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About this blog

Six different views on building the Magnolia Dollhouse

Entries in this blog

JULY 7, 2007

Just before Jimmy's death, I was working on the wallpaper in this house, I had done most of the kitchen, all of the livingroom, and was working on the bathroom and the bedroom. Here's where I was at that time.

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JANUARY 20, 2009

It took a long time to be able to touch this house again, but I started working on it again in January 2009. I had to finish paperclaying the chimney, and begin the brick around the bottom of the house. For those of you who met "Gigi" (the kitten that was roughly one week old when I got her), she has taken a liking to helping me with dollhouses....

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JANUARY 22, 2009

Continuing to work on the color scheme for this house, I chose to go with pinks and greens. Finished painting the bricks the "main" color on the chimney. Boy was that tough! I've also FINALLY finished my wallpapering in the house, and I'm pretty pleased with it. That gap in the upper pink (bed)room was done by Jimmy (he never could build straight), so I left it alone and didn't try to fix it, since it was his "mark". I've also started installing window casings.

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JANUARY 29, 2009

I need to go ahead and finish installing the windows--and by the way--I did it wrong the first time. I keep forgetting that when you are working with double hung windows that you MUST put the window pane in BEFORE you attach the window casing to the house. Well, I forgot. Again. Oops. Had to take them back off, LOL! I've also started adding the trim, which is being done in darker shades of pink and green.

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FEBRUARY 22, 2009

Time to work on getting the staircase installed. I know some people go ahead put that in much earlier than me, but I didn't want it in the way when I was wallpapering, so I've waited until now. I also put the trim around the fireplace and the mantle in.

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MARCH 06, 2009

I need to go ahead and get that brickwork on the bottom of the house done. I tried to start it earlier, but discovered I wasn't quite ready to do that yet. Because I need to run the brick up to the bottom trim, I've gone ahead and installed it--with Gigi's help of course! And for those of you who think "oh she's so cute!", lemme tell ya, that lil girl is a monster! She is forever taking off with my brushes, my paperclay tools--whatever she can get her lil paws on. She takes things out of my pocketbook, and she puts things in my pocketbook....

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MARCH 25, 2009

I've got my bricks done on the bottom of the house. I've tried to stay with the pattern on the chimney. I'm really thrilled with how well it went together.... Now I've got to paint it all....

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JULY 09, 2009

I've got my bricks along the bottom painted, and if you'll look closely, you'll see that, since the house is pink and green, there are also pink and green bricks, LOL! Not many, just a few. I'm also working on installing the porch railing, since I need to have the porch railing on to start the roof. Hey, y'all see my truck on the other side of the street? That's what I had to end up doing to keep the kittens out of it... LOL!

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JULY 13, 2009

Time to start paperclaying the roof. Got my lines drawn, and doing the "roofing thing". I want to make this look like a slate roof, and I decided to do a pattern in it. So, I'm doing four straight, and four curved. I just cut the tips off the sides to make it curved.

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AUGUST 02, 2009

Still working on the roof, but I've almost got it done.

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AUGUST 04, 2009

Yippeeee!!!! DONE paperclaying the roof, including the ridgecap! Now I've got to give it a few days to get good and dry....

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AUGUST 09, 2009

Been painting on the roof. It has several different colors. I started with a dirty wash, then did a darker wash of dark burnt umber. Then, using a "criss-cross" or "slashing" motion, I'm adding a dark brown, dark gray, light brown, and light gray into it.

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AUGUST 11, 2009

If you will remember, this house already had a recipient, and I've just discovered that her last day is Friday (she's getting married and moving to Maryland), so I MUST have this house completed by then, but I'm almost finished! I've clear-coated the brickwork on the chimney, bottom and roof. I've started doing touchups. I'm not real happy with that trim along the bays, so I'm going to have to change that. Then I can get my balcony railing and the doors in.

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AUGUST 14, 2009

Hey everybody! Guess what! I'm finally FINISHED! Except, last night I realized I had started doing the touchups on the white trim in the wrong shade of white so I was up this morn at 4:30a repainting it, LOL! Here's the finished product!

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Hey, remember I told you this house had a recipient? Well, after having the house on display all day in the office, around 3p I finally handed her the keys and told her it was her house. She looked at the keys...

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and upon discovering it was hers, immediately wrapped her arms around it, LOL!

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Then she decided to go and make a sign for it....

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First off, let me say that I love this house, and anyone looking at the dates of when I started and finally finished must take into consideration that the delay and long time in building was completely my own fault and had nothing to do with the level of difficulty of the house. The house itself was a very easy build and I have no excuse for the delay except for (want of a better term) "funk" I was going through this year.

In summary the basic changes to the house that were made are as follows:

1. upgraded the windows that open and close

2. used greenleaf stucco for the exterior finish

3. Used joint compound for interior "plaster" finish for the downstairs rooms

4. Used joint compound for the front porch "stone" and chimney

5. used greenleaf tiles for flooring in the downstairs rooms

6. left off the trim on the upper roofs and the shingles (mainly cause this house will be a gift for our 8 yr. old granddaughter and can be added at a later date)

7. the house is wired and it actually works LOL

8. Also left off the upper stair railings for easier play

9. All doors was pin hinged in so they open and close

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Thank you again for allowing me to be a part of this team build. I apologize for the delay, but will say I will recommend this house to anyone. It went together easy and I firmly believe will hold up to the rigors of children playing with it for years to come.

Updates

I haven't posted lately because I've been working on my house. :whistle: Let's see since my last post, I've added molding around the walls; using joint compound, made stones and painted them on my chimneyblogentry-70-1182298546_thumb.jpg and attached it blogentry-70-1182298570_thumb.jpg

after using magik brick to make the interior of the fireplace. Then I decided to build a fireplace using styrofoam and real wallpaper sample as the covering. To keep it from looking so blan I went looking through my stash of stuff I have lying around "just in case" and found some cute plastic leaf shape buttons blogentry-70-1182298829_thumb.jpg and a metallic button with a pretty design. Found some metalic copper paint and painted them. Here is final result blogentry-70-1182298870_thumb.jpg what do you think? You can't tell from the picture but the paper has a "marble" quality to it.

Also, besides molding around the bottom of the livingroom and kitchen, I found the perfect border from some of the sample wallpaper to use as trim at the top of the living room walls blogentry-70-1182300863_thumb.jpg. While rambling through my stash I also ran across some silver border bought at Big Lots in the scrap book section and made a thingy (can't remember what it is called) to cover the place where the livingroom and kitchen floors meet. blogentry-70-1182300968_thumb.jpg I also used this as a border after painting it white to use around the top of the kitchen wall blogentry-70-1182301913_thumb.jpg I also spent some time doing some touch up paint to the ceilings, which then lead to touch up paint to the borders, which lead to touch up paint of the ceilings (are you starting to recognize a pattern here?) until it dawned on me that I would just have to live with any spots left.

Next thing was to install the completed staircase. blogentry-70-1182302007_thumb.jpg Holly, if you read this, the gluing jig came in real handy with the railings--at least on the flat side. LOL

Following are just pics taken from different angles of the work so far.

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Hopefully, within a few days I will be able to show pics of the second floor wallpapered over templates. The bathroom will be a marblely pinkish color and the bedroom has blue flowers separated with a blue strip with the bottom a grayish blue color. I used templates in oder to be able to stick them on with double sided carpet tape so the wiring can be easily fixed in the event of any problems.

The last jar of stucco will be used to decorate the 2nd floor ceilings and I am still trying to decide what type of floors I want. I think I have a perfect piece gathered from the scrap section of WallyWorld for carpetting the bedroom. Will have to wait till wallpaper is up to make sure of the colors matching.

I hope you enjoy my progress. I've had so much fun trying out new things, at least new to me, on this house.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

If you'll remember, we last left off at me having to finish the fireplace before I could begin to wallpaper. I got the bricks painted a nice brown.

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And then added a bit of color. I had just spray painted this with clear to seal the acrylic paints, so it's not a good picture. I'll take a better picture later.

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For the kitchen, I'm going with a red. I think it will look really pretty against the white trim. I'll have to wait for this to dry and then cut out the windows and do the other side.

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Now, for the upstairs rooms, and I think I'll start with the bedroom--having already built this house once, I know that regular dollhouse wallpaper will not work--it's not tall enough!

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So, I've raided my stash of real life wallpaper. I've picked a recipient for this house already, who is crazy about pink, but she doesn't know she's getting it. Actually, when I began building the house, it told me exactly what colors it wanted to be and exactly who it wanted to go to.... Anyhow, the bedroom will be this pink wallpaper. What?! Didn't you know it was easier to wallpaper difficult angles doing it upside down?

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I've also begun painting the bricks on the outside fireplace/chimney, which really shows that brick pattern.

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Compliments of LPCullen

Wanted to try the Greenleaf stucco, but also wanted to try a short cut and mix the paint with the stucco--so the finish and paint would be done in one step. I think I mentioned earlier that I had bought some spray paint. Well, I tried spraying the paint into the stucco and that experiment was a bust. The paint wants to separate and not mix. Back to the drawing board--nothing ventured nothing gained. So another trip to the paint store, unfortunately without my paint sample--could've took the lid and probably made a perfect match--but didn't. Picked a color I thought was close to the Victorian Rose I like so well, NOT. Was fortunate though, this store now sells Porter Paints, but had some Benjamin Moore paint samples and I got 28 bottles for $1 a piece.

I can't remember what color the Porter Paint was that I bought, but it is much pinker than what I had bargained for, but I think DGD will love it. Mixed it with the stucco blogentry-70-1181405847_thumb.jpg Looks a lot like Strawberry Icecream doesn't it.

I first fit in my windows to mark off the edges and then taped that portion up in order not to have the windows sticking out but able to glue them flush to the wall.blogentry-70-1181406011_thumb.jpg

Using a 2 in. brush applied stucco to the walls.blogentry-70-1181406080_thumb.jpgblogentry-70-1181406097_thumb.jpg

The stucco is easy to apply, but I had a problem trying to decide if I wanted to try a design. Finally decided to softly stipple it.

For some reason I didn't take photos of my next step, which was to cover the kitchen and living room walls with joint compound. I was hoping it would give the walls a "dry-wall" look and give a smoother finish for painting. I thought painting would work for these rooms, and if the DGD wants wallpaper later we can do it then. Plus the joint compound helped cover up the tape wire. If you have never worked with joint compound, you may want to try it. It is easy to work with.

Once the rooms were covered and dry with the joint compound, they were painted. At this point I decided to try my electrical connection again to make sure no damage was done. Well, the lights quit working and no connection was being made anywhere. So here we go cutting wire to find the short. The short occurred on the 2nd story, had nothing to do with the compound or paint. So that is now fixed and it works again. Thanks Darrell, for instructions on how to test for a short and how to make new connections. Boy was I glad I did not have to take any out (except a small portion) on the first floor with the coverings.

I also painted the windows--the exterior with a cream color and the interior white. Then glued them in.

Here is where I stand right now on the house. Next step will be to put my chimney together and decide what type of fireplace I would like and putting the living room tiles on the template. After that, I will start on the second floor.

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The kitchen walls are painted with Vermont slate and is darker looking in real life than the pictures show. The living room is painted with Nutmeg lightened with white.

Well, since I couldn't ever get to Charlotte to work on the house, I brought the house to Maiden. Jimmy set me up a workspace on the far wall, until I finish polyeurethaning my real life mantel and get it out of the middle of the floor of the shop.

I did have some helpers come in and chase bugs while I worked, Robbie, Ronnie and Darby.

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I decided since the outside of the fireplace had a design on it, I would create a design for the inside too.

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Uh oh. I guess you all know what it means when a dollhouse goes into the "upside down" position--TIME TO PRIME!!!!

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So, I got the interior of the house primed.

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And was about to start wallpapering the downstairs, and then I realized that I should probably finish the fireplace first and get it painted and sealed so that I don't hurt it with wallpaper paste. Believe it or not, I'm just doing a simple hearth on it.

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Have to let this dry, and then I have to paint it before I can go further.

Compliments of LPCullen

A Little Progress

After transfering my templates to the larger sheets, I proceed to stick the tiles on the card and after about four rows, sat back to admire my work. It looked so good, the rows were straight, but something seemed a little off. Then it dawned on me--I had put my tiles on the bottom of the template and not the top. Everyone of the tiles had to come off, had to reinforce the card stock (the tiles stick real well) and replace them back on the sheet. Just call me the Queen of Do Over.

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I decided that even though my template for the living room is ready; I would wait to put the tiles on and go on and glue the house together, so I could start thinking about how best to wire it. Since I knew I wanted to hang lights from the ceiling for the kitchen and living room, the first thing I did was dress the ceiling. Using joint compound and an old credit card to spread with, I smeared my ceiling. Now the look I was wanting was a stipple effect--didn't turn out quite as good as I had hoped, but it will do. The joint compound was easy to work with and I think where I messed up was putting glue on first. It really doesn't need it.blogentry-70-1180576326_thumb.jpgblogentry-70-1180576358_thumb.jpg

Trying to decide the best place to place the junction splice took a while. Me just sitting and staring at it and picking the house up and turning it this way and that, but finally decided to have easy access and put it on the back wall. blogentry-70-1180576488_thumb.jpg

The following pics show how the rest of the wiring was placed. BTW, if anyone does much wiring, I highly suggest buying from Earth and Tree the Connector Tool. I used this with the hollow eyelets and it saves so much time and aggrevation.blogentry-70-1180576646_thumb.jpg

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DH wired in the two lights to the floor above and everything so far works.

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Although, I'm not quite ready to install the stairs, I went ahead and put them together and painted them. Being very careful to mask the tabs so that the paint would not cause me any problems in fitting them in the slots.

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One of the new things I want to try is using dollhouse stucco for the outside, since I had already bought some spray paint in Victorian Rose color that I love, and not really needing a quart of this color, I experimented today to see if you can spray the paint into the stucco mixture. Well, what did I say about Queen of Do Over--it will have to be done over. The spray paint doesn't seem to want to mix very well with the mixture. So back to the drawing board I will go. BTW, when deciding to vigorously shake the mixture to see if the paint will mix; make sure the top is securely on. I happen to be wearing a spotted shirt and have a more color in my hair than I've had in years. Luckily, I was outdoors near the water hose and have managed to rinse most of it off of my face.

Slow but sure, I'm making progress and I've got to say, as far as putting one together, this house has been a dream. I love the large rooms and the design.

In the Beginning

I started out by sealing each sheet with a sanding sealer.

On my first house, the Lily, I took every little single piece out of the sheets in order given in the instructions and sanded and sanded and sanded each piece. Then DH introduced me to his palm sander and boy does that machine make short work of sanding. So the last couple of houses, I've taken the sheets out to my deck and before punching out a single piece; go over it real good with the palm sander. This doesn't eliminate sanding the sides but it does cut down on the amount of time.

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IMHO There are definite Advantages to sanding the wood before punching.

1. Saves sanding time

2. Gets me familiar with all the parts to the house

3. Gives me a chance to look over and see if any parts need putty, like in the following pictures

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4. To fix any parts that needed putty blogentry-70-1179103277_thumb.jpg it usually is dried and ready to sand by the time I do the other sheetsblogentry-70-1179103366_thumb.jpg

5. By fixing the sheet before punching, especially if the "gouged" part extends to more than one piece, it makes it easier to punch out of the sheet without any damage to the part.

6. By lying the sheets out, I also can double check whether or not a sheet is missing.

I found that sheet 7 was missing from my kit and was able to pm Dean, (MiniMan) to let him know and he responded quickly to let me know that a sheet would be sent. Since the sheet that is missing is mostly trim--or seems so from the schematic sheet--it won't hold me up.

While punching out the window casings and trim, the particular sheets did have some problem with the last layer of plywood coming off. Although, I will probably upgrade my windows, being one to save parts- I went ahead and "fixed" this problem by layering wood filler on the problem areas and sanding.

But I get ahead of myself. It is important that you label your parts while in the sheets. That way as you punch out the pieces and the sheets get emptier you will have a way of distinguishing the parts. The first couple of houses I wrote the sheet # and part in pencil right on the piece. For me this way doesn't work as well because I found out that I would sometimes sand the writing right off the surface, so now I write the Sheet # and part name on masking tape and tape it to the sheet. This way, I can just place it back on until it is glued in place.

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This, to me is a very important step. Trim can look very much alike and even though you swear you can keep them straight, it can save valuable time and sanity to have it labelled so you know you are working with the right part. The time it takes to do this is more than worth the headache of wondering if you have the right or left side, the inside or outside piece.

DryFit

Dryfit = taping or clamping your house together before glueing.

Again, this is very important for the following reasons:

1. To see which tabs or slots need trimming

2. To note changes you may want to do

3. Helps in making templates of floors, windows etc.

4. If you are electrifing--to get you an idea of how easy or difficult it would be to do.

5. To see if there is going to be any gaps you may need to figure on filling

6. To mark where walls end, etc.

My oldest DGD were here this weekend and wanted to help, especially when they saw that I was "building" the house. So I had helpers.blogentry-70-1179104518_thumb.jpgblogentry-70-1179104531_thumb.jpg

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I'll make miniaturist out of them yet. BTW the youngest one will more than likely be the beneficiary of the Magnolia--but we're keeping it a secret from her right now.

Here is the house in Dryfit.

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I'm planning on using Greenleaf tiles on the kitchen and livingroom floors and since I hope to wire this house, I've made templates of the floor. I will glue the tiles to the template and then place in the house. Hopefully makes it much easier to trace any lighting problems down the line without messing up the floors.

To make the first templates, I used 8 1/2 by 11 cardstock, but tomorrow I will buy some poster paper in order for the templates to fit on one sheet.

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Once I get the larger sheets and make better templates, the house will be taken apart and then each window opening will be enlarged in order to place working windows bought from Hobby Lobby on sale. I also was lucky enough to find a deal on double window on ebay so even the double window in front can be upgraded.

Not only will upgrading windows be a first for me, but I hope to do several "first" on this house. This will be my 5th build and I'm ready to venture out and try more new things. So stay tuned to the trials and I hope triumphs as I work my way through new techniques.

Hello! My name is Linda, and I am addicted to making bricks out of paperclay. Don't believe me? Just check it out then.

First, I need to brick the inside of my fireplace chimney, right in here, so I need to roll out some paperclay. Then once I get the paperclay in that area (and I had to first put the chimney onto the house and insert the wooden floor thingy and draw me a line so I wouldn't paperclay over that portion), then I have to "stipple" it, which is just taking a small (1 inch maybe) paint brush which has had the ends cut to "blunt" it up and tapping that on the paperclay. Gives it a very nice texture. Then I begin cutting in my bricks.

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Then I start on the outside of the chimney, putting my paperclay on. I cut a half inch strip of paperclay and wrapped it over the paperclay on the top to make a "cap".

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Somehow on this side, I must have cut the clay too short when I was going around that edge and I've got a little gap there. So, I take a bit of paperclay and roll it, making sort of a string, and then I lay it on there and use that little purple tool to smooth it down into my crack. Crack is all filled up now.

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Now, this is probably one of the ONLY times that I actually go by and actually make a measurement! I'm creating a design on the lower chimney, and to do that I'm using my ruler (this one is metal with a cork back--I like it better than wooden ones), my little gray tool, and my little white tool.

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I'm coming roughly 3/4 inch off each side of the chimney, and I'm beginning a design. I make "cuts" in the clay certain stages up so that I will know where I need to be when cutting in the design. Then I'm going to go about 1/4 inch on the inside of what I have cut and do that again.

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At the top, I want a -- I can't remember the name of it -- but I'm putting in another design. I lay my gray tool on it and begin cutting around the gray tool. I have lines in the center of that once I am done, so I just use the end of my purple tool and smooth that back out.

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And now, what I REALLY use that ruler for--TO CUT BRICKS, LOL!

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My clay was starting to dry on me, so I had to cut fast. Here's the first step of the brick design.

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Now, on the inner part of the design that I made on the lower chimney, I'm going to create a new brick design. I start with two cuts--yes, using a ruler--and then I use that to complete my design on the bricks here.

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TA DA!!! I have finished cutting all my bricks and have cleaned all my mortar lines.

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Now, on to PAINTING BRICKS!!!!

Compliments of LPCullen

Today I had to do the shingles and add a base to this house. I had a total ball building this house. The windows and porches are Wonderful. This is the PERFECT house for the Newbie, Great for a Child and is also WONDERFUL for the Collector! I stained the Shingles a Dark Mahongany:

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To see more pictures, see my gallery:

/index.php?automodule=gallery&req=user&user=4&op=view_album&album=943">http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/i...m&album=943

Complements of Minis on the edge

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This house is really a Fast Build. I completed it in 10 days with working on it just a few hours every night. I added the window trim and it really makes this house begin to POP I also added the porch roof and porch trim. I covered the plastic windows so that I could do touch ups to the window frames. I LOVE this house and look forward to making another one soon

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These are pictures of the staircase assembly. I used Quick Grip glue because it is paintable:

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I used the foundation brick work that came with the house. I put a dirty wash of black paint over it to color the mortar Gray. You can see the differance it makes because the left side has the dirty wash & the right side is natural way it comes:

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Complements of Minis on the edge

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This is the Kitchen wallpaper I picked for the Maggie:

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This is the front bay:

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This is the inside of the front bay. I always add the wallpapers as I assemble the house:

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I used "Old English" to stain the wood floors:

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I added the top front wall after I added the wallpaper:

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The top Divider wall has been added now too:

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My customer that I built this house for, wanted the house to be the same colors as it was on the box so I had to try and find paint colors to match those colors. I did not want a "flat" paint look so I added a little textured (I got my customers approval of course first). I used the Greenleaf "Stucco" and added paint to it for the outside walls:

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This is the inside of that same wall:

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This is the outside walls once I finished them:

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Complements of Minis on the edge

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Warning: this blog contains extensive nudity and occasional strong language. Viewer discretion is advised

First I assembled the porch railing blogentry-8-1176138892_thumb.jpg

and then I temporarily installed it along with the posts and roof. blogentry-8-1176139219_thumb.jpg

Next I temporarily installed the mantle and hearth blogentry-8-1176139437_thumb.jpg

and then assembled and temporarily installed the balcony railings.

I assembled the chimney and temporarily installed it. blogentry-8-1176139694_thumb.jpg

Then I dry-fit the roof in place blogentry-8-1176139856_thumb.jpg blogentry-8-1176140034_thumb.jpg

and then dry-fit the stairs and temporarily installed them without risers or treads and I finally temporarily installed the gingerbread. blogentry-8-1176140239_thumb.jpg

This is the most elegant house I have built to date, slightly surpassing the Glencroft (still my favorite, but barely). The rooms are generous-sized and the floorplan lends itself to any layout one could wish. I will "dress" Maggie in a separate album; she has been quite detailed and specific in what she wants, including vertical beadboard walls, baseboards, hardwood floors (I will be unable to scribe my "boards" directly into the plywood after the fact) and tile, board & batten siding, coquina, stone, a tin roof, and an extra room.

complements of havanaholly

I am editing this entry to direct you to the album of pictures of the /index.php?autocom=gallery&req=user&user=8&op=view_album&album=988">"dressed Maggie" in all her decorated glory! Here's a sample: gallery_8_988_72865.jpg

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Warning: this blog contains extensive nudity and occasional strong language. Viewer discretion is advised

First I installed the side bay (right) and temporarily installed the trim with poster putty and painter's tape. blogentry-8-1176136179_thumb.jpg

Next I installed the lattice frames under the porch blogentry-8-1176137405_thumb.jpg

and then the lattice, porch support and step. blogentry-8-1176137556_thumb.jpg

Next I installed the front bay and front balcony wall. blogentry-8-1176137734_thumb.jpg Last I installed the side (right) balcony wall. blogentry-8-1176137931_thumb.jpg

At this point I had to stop and run errands.

complements of havanaholly

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Warning: this blog contains extensive nudity and occasional strong language. Viewer discretion is advised.

I finished temporary installation of trim to the assembled parts. Some of the trim was warped, probably due to the box standing on end at an angle on the porch between the time it was delivered and when we got home. As I was anxious to build I didn't store it flat for several days to "unwarp" the sheets.

I installed the second floor. I stood the assembly on its back to weight the trim on the front to remove the warp blogentry-8-1176134012_thumb.jpg; it took overnight to do the trick so I worked on some other parts and put it back when I was done.

One of the next things I did was to install the rear supports blogentry-8-1176134473_thumb.jpg and the left wall. Then I had to go in for a dental appointment.

complements of havanaholly

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Warning: this blog contains extensive nudity and occasional strong language. Viewer discretion is advised.

It was bandied about that we ought to show at least one of each kit build as it will look in all its pristine grandeur "as is" without the creative license/ bashing your building team tend to take, or decorating. I was asked to undertake the first such build, so what you'll see here is the Magnolia kit pretty much as I first saw one built (unfinished) in a hobby shop on one of our travels. When I saw the built house it said "beach cottage", and when I opened the box it repeated itself, louder blogentry-8-1176119312_thumb.jpg so I laid aside the brickwork sheets. I also removed the acetate window & door inserts and laid them aside between sheets of paper to protect them from being scratched, but where I would see them, so I wouldn't "lose" them later.

I decided that given my limitations in decorating/ bashing after everything is permanently assembled, I would use poster putty for temporarily attaching trims, etc. You who will want to build this kit "as is" may go ahead and glue.

For the "bare" build this is what I used:

Stanley utility knife (you may use a craft knife, if you prefer, I tend to get heavyhanded)

Probond wood glue

2" blue painter's tape & beige masking tape.

sandpaper from the kit fastened to my sanding block

(poster putty for temporary installations is not required)

I began the build 1/28/07. I read the instruction sheet. There are some grammatical problems, apparently parts of the instructions were revised at one time but no one seems to have gone back and finished the revision. As usual, the first part of the instructions advise to assemble the windows and doors. I do NOT do this, normally, both to protect the acetate inserts and because installing windows & trims & hanging doors is the last thing I do after all the painting and decorating. Because I'm building an undecorated version, I did remove pieces. For protecting the acetate from scratches I will not install them.

I also ignore the parts about sealing with shellac and assembling with hot glue.

I began the build at Part C in the instructions. blogentry-8-1176120181_thumb.jpg The kit parts required only minimal shaving of the tab sides for a perfect fit into the slots, although the front wall did require one BLUE word to take it apart after the dry-fit for gluing.

I dry-fit and then installed the divider wall blogentry-8-1176121042_thumb.jpg and began installing trim and temporarily stuck doors together. blogentry-8-1176121292_thumb.jpg

BTW, d'ja notice the curved windows? I set aside the puchouts, which will make perfect cradle rockers for a future project.

complements of havanaholly

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Sleek Geek-Chic

I call this style "Sleek Geek-Chic". Here's the finished house. The colors don't photograph well, but the main body is a medium grey-green and the trim is a light silvery-green.

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This house is home to a Silicon Valley bachelor and I had a lot of fun adding the décor to give the house its final touch of character. To see the finished house fully decorated and furnished, you can visit my /index.php?automodule=gallery&req=user&user=329&op=view_album&album=931">gallery.

If you're considering building a Magnolia, I heartily encourage you to do so. Not only does this kit have unlimited potential for design and style, but it's very easy to build. The house is much larger than it appears in pictures. The rooms are large and airy and will accommodate larger pieces of furniture. The design of the house is very gracious and elegant. It would be an excellent house for either a first time builder or an experience builder.

Deb

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The last step for this house was to build and install the staircase. I liked the staircase that came with the kit, but I wanted something a little more modern that would also open up some floorspace. I did a little research online and came up with a design for a mini floating staircase.

The materials were easy. All it requires is a .5x.5 strip of basswood and the stairsteps from the kit staircase.

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Using an xacto blade, I scored notches into the basswood and cut the edges to a slant to fit the floor and ceiling.

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A coat of paint and the center piece was ready to be glued in place.

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All that remained to do was glue on the stairs.

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I like the modern look that this gives the house.

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Puttin' on the Porch

Having completed the roof, my next stop was the porch. With all the pieces given a first coat of paint, I assembled the components. First came the steps.

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Then came the latticework. These are the three pieces for the front lattice.

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Glue the two lattice pieces together so that the lattice criss-crosses.

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Then glue the frame on and clamp it till it dries.

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And it’s ready to be glued in place on the porch.

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Follow the same process on the side and corner pieces and glue in place.

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To make sure the foundation is square and even, I put the house on a flat board and taped the porch down to the board while the glue dried.

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All that remains for the exterior is to paint and install the porch and balcony railings, and install the French doors.

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Exterior Finishing

As I mentioned earlier, I use bamboo skewers to cover the joins of the bays. Here’s what they look like before they’re painted.

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And after a coat of paint. I really like the way the skewers give such a nice finish to the bays.

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For the modern look of this house, I wanted to use asphalt shingles, but I didn’t really want to go to all the expense of the pre-made asphalt. So I used square birch shingles instead and applied them with rough edges and just a bit of gap between each one.

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Shingles are the only thing that I use a hot glue gun for during building, but it does shorten the time spent on shingling considerably.

After the shingles were on, I “bug wrapped” the house in plastic. I don’t think that’s a proper term for it, but to me, it looked like the house had been tented by exterminators. But for the next step, it was very, very important that everything on the house be sealed off except for the roof.

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With the house all sealed off, I used Fleckstone spray paint in a shade of greenish grey with white and black flecks on the roof. Voila! Instant asphalt shingles.

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Raising the roof

With the walls in place, it was time to install the roof supports and pieces. The first piece to go on is the back roof support.

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Then the side roof panel:

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And the interior roof panel:

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I ran into a bit of warping here because of the addition of the skylight, but nothing that couldn’t be handled by just taping everything that didn’t move and letting it sit overnight for the glue to cure.

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After those pieces had set and were secure, then I added the front and back roof pieces.

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These pieces are the ones that fit into the gable where I had added the allowance of wallpaper to go around the edges. If you look close in this picture, you can see where the wallpaper goes around the corner of the eves to cover the edges of the gables.

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The finishing touches on the second floor were to add the painted basswood strips for floorboards and around the edge of the door. You can also see where I added stained strips of skinny sticks to finish the edges of the stairwell.

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The final touch to finish off the edges was to put painted corner moulding on the edges of both the first floor and the second floor.

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And the interior is done! (except for the staircase which will be the last step)

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I decided that a modern touch in the living room of this house would be a built in entertainment center/bookcase. Nothing complicated……….just a neat and cleanly lined area for the tv, stereo, books and other little things. I used one inch strips of basswood and cut them to size. Here's a pic of the sizing and planning process. (the house is laying on its side here)

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I painted the wood to match the woodwork. After it dried, I installed it piece by piece:

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And the finished result right side up:

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I installed the second floor walls on each side of the balcony next.

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And here's the house with the walls up and the first floor interior complete.

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Assembling the shell

With all the windows installed and the door frames in place, I was ready to assemble the shell. The Magnolia has an interlocking design, so there’s a specific order for assembly.

First I put the center partition in place on the first floor. It slides into a slot on the first floor.

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Then I added the front door section which also slides into a slot on the first floor:

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And then the second floor:

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The pole in the center is one I put in place to support the floor while I assembled the house. I don’t like floppy floors while I’m putting up walls.

Next, I put on the center section of the front bay window. It adds additional support for the floor while I work with the rest of the bays.

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I’m a little bit challenged when it comes to bays. No matter how careful I am, I always end up with gaps. But I have discovered that the following process does reduce the amount of gaps for me.

I install the center piece of a bay first:

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Then I put on the sides:

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After the bays were on, I installed the other wall.

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Now that the main walls are in place, I can work on the interior of the first floor. As I mentioned, I have challenges with gaps in the bays, so I learned from Nutti about using bamboo skewers to cover the joins. Not only does it cover any gaps, but I think it is a lovely finished look and a nice architectural finish. On some houses, I overlap the wallpaper on the interior joins of a bay, but in this house, I wanted the woodwork to really stand out and “pop” the wallpaper. So on the interior of the bays, I installed bamboo skewers cut to size and painted to match the rest of the woodwork. I think it really defines the shape of the bay in this house.

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While the paint was drying on the skewers, I cut basswood strips for baseboards and painted them to match. The baseboards continue thru the entire house around all the lower edges. I like that finished look in a mini house. In some houses, I use a 3/4 round moulding, but in this house, a more defined look was appropriate so I used simple basswood strips.

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Windows and Doors

On to the windows and doors! I’m a bit fussy (well, okay, I’m totally obsessive) about organizing pieces of the house before I start building. When I remove pieces from the sheets, I label each one and stack them together in categories. I put the smaller pieces like stairs or windows into envelopes and label them. It’s a bit of overkill, but it does two things for me. For one thing, I’ve never lost a piece of trim. The main thing however, is that when I’m ready to start on a step, all the pieces I need are right there together and I don’t have to track anyone down or dig out paints for one piece that got left behind later on.

Here’s my window and door pieces all laid out and ready to paint. Notice that they’re all in order so I know that each window has the same number of pieces for both interior and exterior.

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And here they are all painted and ready to be installed. The lighter green are the exterior and the darker green are the interior pieces.

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I installed the door frames first and glued together the French doors

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While the doors are clamped and drying, the next step was the doublehung windows. Doublehung windows can be a bit tricky the first time you do them because it’s difficult to visualize how they are constructed. It’s easy to get the hang of them once you realize that a portion of the window frame is actually the wall.

Start with placing the U shaped frame piece around the window and trace off the interior edge so you have a painting guideline. Then paint that section of the wall around the window to match the frames. (don’t forget to paint the cross bar too)

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Next, glue the acetate window to the rectangular frame using white glue. Glue the frame to the bottom of the window, lining up the crossbar and all edges evenly.

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Glue on the U shaped frame around it with the opening at the bottom. Line up the edges of the U to the bottom of the frame so they are flush.

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Then glue on your window sill.

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Let the glue dry completely and turn the wall over to install the window on the other side. It’s the same process with one exception. This time, glue the rectangular frame to the TOP section of the window.

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And that’s how to complete a double hung window!

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A bit of a bash

As I've mentioned, my style of building is to decorate as I go, so the "R&P"portion of my building includes wallpapering before I assemble the shell. With the Magnolia, I had one other step to do before beginning the wallpaper process. I had decided to install skylights in the roof in both the computer room and bedroom, so while the house was in dry fit, I marked off the places to make my cuts.

I used a drill bit in my dremel to make the pilot holes in each corner of the areas marked for skylights. These holes were just large enough for the blade of my mini jigsaw to fit into and I used the jigsaw to make the straight cuts. The end result is two roof pieces that look like this:

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The "skylights" that I decided to use are 24 pane windows from Houseworks. They have a great finished look and were perfect for the style. First I painted the windows:

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While the paint was drying, I painted the exterior of the roof and wallpapered the interior sides.

I'm going to pause for a quick note here about why I paint the exterior of pieces before I wallpaper the other side. When you paint and wallpaper before assembly, there's a chance of the pieces warping. By painting one side and wallpapering the other as soon as the paint has dried, I've sealed both sides of the wood and eliminated the possibility of warping. The other benefit of painting the exterior pieces before assembling is that the paint around the edges and inside window cut outs is smoothly finished before you apply the wallpaper. It gives me a nice finished look without any wet paint smudges on my wallpaper or window frames. After the house is assembled, I give the exterior another coat of paint, stucco, etc.

Back to our skylights now. After the wallpaper had dried, I installed the windows with the frames on the exterior. For the interior, I used strips of basswood to make my own frames. After the skylights were installed, the roof pieces were set aside on a flat surface to wait for assembly.

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The other pieces of the roof were wallpapered at the same time. There is a trick to wallpapering gables prior to installation and I'll show you how that's done.

When the house is in dry fit, make a note in pencil to add 1/4" to 1/3" extra wallpaper in that area. Lay your roof piece on top of the wallpaper.

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Trace the outline of the V shape on the paper with pencil, adding the additional space to the center.

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These will be the lines you use to cut the wallpaper.

Paste the wallpaper onto the roof piece allowing the overlap of paper to extend to the inside of the V.

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When the roof is installed and the gable pieces glued on, you'll have these flaps of wallpaper that will extend over the edges of the gable joins. All you'll have to do is apply a touch of glue to the underside with your finger, then smooth them down over the edges. We'll get to that in a few more steps when we start assembling.

With the tricky parts out of the way, the rest of the walls had the exterior painted and the wallpaper installed.

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