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Willowcrest, San Fran, Westville, Beacon Hill and others

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But first, the banjo clock and upholstered chairs for the living room, that I made from Kris' tutorials. This is the first time that I've tried a sofa (I expanded Kris' patterns for the chairs), but they all turned out well. I lowered all the seats by one thickness of foam board, as I had done for the Calico Critters hedgehog family in the Shadybrook Cabin build.


This is the first time that I have put piping all the way around the cushion (top), but I figured that I had to with the couch cushions, and the others would look funny if I didn't. I'm pleased with how these turned out-- the fabric was a good weight for this.


I had measured that left wall to see how long to make the couch!


Then I turned to another of Kris' tutorials, "bed with faux caning", which is unfortunately not on her blog anymore (but I had printed out this tut to pdf). The mattresses are from her shabby chic bed tutorial. This is the first time I've tried the buttons; they turned out OK, but I might look for some tiny nail art for buttons next time. This is the first time I've tried this bed tutorial; I used Kris' general directions, but I fit the height and width dimensions to what I actually needed for the mice (so I ended up making my own templates). I gessoed them then spray-painted them with the Krylon Chalky Finish spray paint that I've been using (which is actually a slight satin sheen) and I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.


I got the rugs cheap on amazon.

Now let me tell you about these chairs; I have made the parson's chair quite a few times and they have turned out moderately well, which is why I keep making them...! :prop: Well these guys fought me the whole way, and it took me a while to figure out why. First of all, the backs were too bendy-- looked like Dr. Seuss curlicue chair backs, so I ended up gluing tongue depressors on the back and dremeling them down (after they'd dried pretty well) so there wouldn't be too much thickness on the back.


So that turned out pretty well. Then I got to the part where I was upholstering the chair backs, and I started to figure out that this fabric was too heavy of a weight for this design. There is some "fabric sculpting" that has to take place on the chair back and the cushion; I have always had difficulty with it, but never had wrinkles like this happening:


So these chairs all had to have boxing to hide all that massive wrinkle, which is the first time I've done this on a parson's chair, but actually I like the way it looks.

I abandoned the original cushions because I couldn't get them to look nice (fabric too thick) and they would make the mice sit too high anyway. Went for a simple pad.

Found some cheap-ish 1mm waxed cotton cord on amazon; I sanded it down a bit with sandpaper before applying so it would stick in place, but it is growing on me-- the cord that I had been getting is a bit bigger, so this looks more in scale.


Finally, some of the little odds and ends that my aunt sent me-- thanks, Aunt J! :)


A few more shades--


More fiddling, and all the windows are dressed (a view of my home-made "pretty pleater"):


My order from etsy came in-- I've been looking for the right sized toilet and bath furniture. Well the sink and ironing board are a bit tall, but they're Renwal so I won't cut them down. I will, however, spray-paint the tub and ironing board off-white. (Hide your eyes, vintage purists! :ohmy:) The toilet isn't Renwal-- it doesn't appear to be marked-- but it is just the right size.


I was so sad when Kris stopped blogging, but happy that she left her tutorials up, but then sad that the banjo clock wasn't on there. Today I looked again, and there's the banjo clock! :) Starting on a clock now.

Unfortunately I don't think I'll have much time to work on this house during the holiday break due to traveling :(, but I did figure out what to do about the window blinds. I decided to make the same blind design for all the windows, and after some thought about cloth versus paper, settled on a cardstock base with scrapbook paper on either side. I had some Korean rice paper that I had gotten at an art store a few years ago, and it was a good weight to use as an edging (scored down the middle so it would fold over the edge). Used http://caseymini's tassel tutorial. Used fancy toothpicks to roll up on, but you won't be able to see those anyway once the draperies are installed.



After much fussing (and an entire lining of yellow stripe in the back; no skimping :prop:), I like how the draperies turned out; I don't know if you can see them but there are tiny buttons sewn onto the tiebacks:



Got the side shelves installed, though didn't push the left one in far enough and almost had a small disaster :ohmy:! (Caught it before the glue had set too much.)


Got the roof shingled and painted! First coat was dark, then used light gray for intermittent touchups. At first I thought it was too dark overall, but it's growing on me. I'll continue to ponder on it.


But those roof trim pieces were bugging me: the larger front one wasn't as wide as the others, and there was too much dark/congestion going on. So I painted over the mini-fishscale shingles with a lighter green, and ripped up the roof trim pieces: widened the one, and shortened the porch one, added some features, and redid the "jewel" placement:


I like this much better. I figured out what to do about the drab bricks: added copper paint wash, which gives a subtle but definite sheen:


Working on shelves to fit that angled roof space in the large bedroom; takes care of the whole awkward trim problem:


About time to start thinking about window dressings!


What are those little mice doing up there:


While shopping for Hallmark ornaments (I've gotten them for the folks for Christmas for years), couldn't leave this one behind! :prop: It's too cute-- the Fisher Price school, and the side drops down and everything.

First some tea set and tableware pieces that I got for cheap off amazon (these are just a few of the pieces-- love that teeny bowl), and a couple pieces from the many minis that my aunt sent:


This is an awfully blurry pic but it gives a notion of my brick touchups (peach and gray) over the barn red:


Here we are after sealing then grout (spackle mixed with water and paints) and after wiping off grout from the brick faces:


I think that I will do a little touchup with a paint wash before I seal it; I might have toned down the red too much.

Fireplace mantel in dry-fit, with the lightbulbs turned on. This one definitely needs some brick touchup-- went overboard on the toning-down.


That lamp shade just needs something. Maybe some copper spray paint.

I'm a bit of a fabric addict, I suppose; Joann's run (well okay, I probably spent over an hour in there :prop:), and an online order from Etsy:


Decided that I must have a chimney. (I know it's not regulation height. :prop:) Egg-carton bricks are addictive; trying out the base color (barn red), which I think I'll try to tone down a bit with charcoal and peach:


What you can't see is that I've added a battery pack (will be mounted on the base on the back side) because I decided that I must have a lit fireplace (the main battery pack didn't have long enough wires, and those lights are all used up in the house anyway). By the chimney base, I decided that I must have a lit basement window. While I was at it, I poked a hole by the porch door so that I could have a porch light too. I bashed a hole in my nice papered parlor wall, yes I did:


Need to decide whether the mantel will be of brick, or painted. The brick is growing on me; I don't think I'm done cutting tiny bits of egg-carton yet.

Inside, outside.

Something happened to my pics in the last post: here there are:


Some progress views:


Detail on the front window:


Figuring out how to hide the battery box wiring while working with the given length of wiring:


Lights strung out into the attic space:


What to do with that wire going up the side of the hallway:


Playing with the roofline:


Front gable with half-scale fish-shingles:


Finally got my order from amazon, some small glass globes that I thought would make a good light fixture element:


Inside and outside so far:


Got the "tile floor" from miniatures marketplace installed into the powder room:


I think that the bathroom fixtures will have to be white (and the window dressings monotone) in order to balance all that color going on with the wallpaper and flooring.

Here's what I've been doing for the past while; always takes longer than anybody thinks, especially the way I do it (for pieces with any length, I mask-tape each layer top and bottom and let the glue set for a while- sometimes all week before I can get to it again- before proceeding with the next layer; helps ALOT with preventing warping):


It's good to have that done. Was very fiddly around the small bay corners where the siding has to meet up. You can see there at the interface between the small bay and the 1st and 2nd front walls where I didn't quite make square, and the siding highlights that. :dunce: It's worse on the 1st floor, but all that will end up hiding behind a prominent porch roof. I am still thinking about what to do over that center large bay window. The original house has some sort of arch-y tableau decoration going on there, but I'm still thinking. I may end up just putting siding there, but maybe not. :hmm:

Got my first layer of paint on-- "Botanical Bliss" (Valspar interior satin "perfect pint"):


It shows a bit more blue-y on my computer screen than it quite is. I love it! (Even though the first coat always looks terrible.)

Starting to look like the photo:


Here's how the hallway will look, and the third floor:


Understair is lit, and stocked with a tiny apple-shaped shelf unit that I found some teeny things to fit in:


Wanted some ceiling medallions, found a soft-metal variety pack on amazon:


Figured out that I can't start siding until I do the framing, painted white. I am spacing the siding at 3/8" instead of my usual 1/2"; It will take more siding but will hopefully look more in-scale to the house.


Having some fun with the ceilings: kitchen, and parlor (found the plastic lampshades at miniatures marketplace, spray-painted and added beadery to the edge of the one):


Finally (after much fussing) have the staircase done, and installed, so could install kitchen ceiling (staircase had to come first b/c the lighting was tied to it). That "hand-rail" looking trim along the wall is actually made from matboard strips, one of which being the neat beveled edge that comes with many matboard scraps from an art store.



Whew! More hours and hours, from Kris' window tutorial:


And door tutorial:


Added some height to the bottom and put things together in a really rough dry fit: figured out where the hallway will be (love hallways):


I am going to have to glue the structure together very carefully to keep everything square; those tall bays in particular are getting pretty curvy.

Need to put a little sealer on those windows and start mapping out my lighting; found a battery pack with separate lights on etsy:


I guess these aren't made anymore? I better order some more from this shop!

What to do about light shades?? Looking for interesting ideas.

This is what hours and hours look like!


From Kris' tutorials for windows and doors. Got my paper order in from happy scrappin; very pleased:


Here are some colors starting to come together:


I was going to do the sashes in white, but noticed that my inspiration house has very dark green sashes, so here we go. (I am not good at keeping square...) Got my holiday coupon savings from miniatures.com and Greenleaf for hardware and siding, so that will keep me busy for a while.

I've been foraying into stairs-- these are the kit stair sides:


With steps an inch high, this simply wasn't going to work for the mice. I started putting together a winding staircase based on 1/2"-high steps and 5/8"-treads, from foam board and matboard, to see how it would look in the space:


Those pieces that extend into the room are just base pieces that would get cut off, but regardless as much as I liked how they turned out, this staircase simply took up too much space in the room. Back to the drawing board-- tried 1/2"-tall steps along the wall and they ended up at the front door, so compromised with 5/8"-tall steps:


Relocated the doorway (4" tall!), and I think this will work. The card on the floor shows how wide they'll be. I would prefer the steps to be 1/2"-tall, but I think this is minimally intrusive on the rest of the room.

Anyway, I had to do this so I could figure out where the stairwell hole would be in the second floor. Here is everything back in rough dry-fit:


The reason that the front door opening is so tall is that it will have a transom window. The bay walls are two layers of matboard glued together; I cut out the windows in each layer separately b/c cutting two layers together would've been too tough!

I am deviating from the original house's roofline by keeping that right-hand-side roof tall-- it may look a little funny but I want a third floor, and if I lower it to the left-hand-side roof height, there won't be room enough for a third floor.

Now that everything's cut, including doors and windows, I've taken it apart and primed. Last weekend I went to get paints and papers:


The paint at the top is Valspar perfect pint interior latex satin in "Botanical Bliss", and I even found square "diamonds" at Michael's for the left gable. I was disappointed with the cardstock selection at HL and Michael's-- the florals are in paper, whereas I am thinking that some of these rooms will do better with a thicker cardstock wallpaper due to the amount of wall patching that I've done (therefore increasing the surface roughness of the walls). I am looking at this site to see if there are some printed cardstocks that catch my eye.

Got this house for a new niece-- it is not much to look at:


I got it because it has similar basic structure to this house, which is actually a place of business in California; I found it while googling "victorian houses" or some such:


Isn't it a beaut! Anyway, here what the Artply house looks like in rough dry-fit: Not much to it:


So I got to whacking and hacking. Took the 2nd floor down by an inch, widened the front door, added matboard and scrap wood to extend walls and floors.



That front wall roof pitch will get reduced, and will have to figure out what the rest of the roof looks like; will extend the base by a couple-few inches, and may extend the porch a bit. Need to get the windows measured and cut out.

Need to start looking for colors and papers, and get my siding and shingles ordered-- looks like small fish-scale shingles on that front gable. I like the greens in the original house, so I think I'll do a green palette.

Newberg is done!

Well, I might add some sealer here and there, but it's ready to box up and put in the mail. (Aunt J, I need an address!)


Inspiration: Robin Carey's "The Darling House" [Chantilly] , the color purple, and the desire to make a Newberg like nobody ever saw before :p

"Duval" railing, "Barbados" and "CiCi" porch grills, "Cumbria" brackets, "Marissa" gables (3 lg, 1 sm): Heritage Laserworks

Corbels and "Victorian picket roof ridge cap": Manchester Woodworks

Papers, fabrics, "greenery": Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Joann's

How to do the windows, door, 1st floor ceiling moulding, furniture, banjo clock: Kris' tutorials

Window treatments: my own :dunce:








Got the house landed on its 3/8"-thick plywood base (1/2" square dowel on the edge); got the lattice parts made (matboard) and the stair (cut the steps to make its width match that between the porch posts):


Enjoyed making the parlor window treatments with satin ribbon trim-- had to think about em for a bit, two drapes on each side of the pelmet would've gotten a bit much for those two closely-spaced windows, but then it came to me: a single centered drape with a neck-tie knotted ribbon. Think I'll use that one again some time. One can't see it very well here but the window seat is fake tufted :p in the same fabric as the chairs.


I did some boo-boos when cutting out the fencing-- "Duval" from Heritage Laserworks-- but I am thinking about strategic foliage placements. :dunce:


Now what are these guys doing here--


(This is the "Marshmallow Mouse" Calico Critters family. Aren't they cute?!)

You can see that 1/12" is a bit tall and narrow for them; they're more like a fat 1/16". I am getting a new niece this summer, and have gotten this kit for the mouse house:


Now this is a really blah kit, but I have in mind to do a real number on it: I did a google search for "victorian style houses exterior" and found a couple views of this house (that is apparently from pinterest; I don't know the origin so apologies if it's your house but WOW!):


I may play around a little with the color scheme, but it is really starting to grow on me. For the mouse family, I will need to do some custom-fitting and some custom furniture, like I did for the Calico Critters hedgehog family in the Shadybrook Cabin build.

Had some fun with the kitchen curtains-- pleased with how these turned out:


And the bathroom curtains:


Using more cardstock forms with the curtains this time around: this cotton fabric is too thick to cooperate much in the way of fancy folds, but it will sit nicely on cardstock.

Well I am not galloping along at any great pace here, but finally got my roof ridge cap from Manchester Woodworks installed (some spackle involved here): that is all that is left of two 22" pieces there at the bottom. (And my MacGyver method of holding the trim in place with pink ribbon. :p)


These are very time-consuming, with gluing and painting and drying: Kris Compas' small sink and banjo clock:


I am working on some window treatments, but cannot for the life of me find my skewer sticks, so will have to make a pleater form out of matboard.

Edit: So I made a pleater form out of matboard, and found some 1/8" dowel rod to put into action (scrap piece shown here), and I like how these turned out:


And a couple more views of the small sink:


Flower boxes.

I did some more on the roof with washes, and have spent a while on window trim, including flower-boxes made of matboard. I realized right after I hit the "buy" button on my order to Manchester Woodworks that I should've gotten some brackets for the boxes, but didn't want to pay all that shipping all over again so I cut some out of foamboard-- painting and spackling to finish them. I didn't put any boxes on the right side, or on the bump-out, because the width is just a bit under 24" and I need to keep it that way for ease of shipping.


I decided that the ferns and large leaves were too-- much, so I trimmed it back and like this much better:


I think that I will apply some white/light paint on the flowers here and there to lighten them up a bit. Yellows-- need more yellows to set off the purple. And some bright green turf.

It has taken me a while to get this far, bits of dowel and wire and beads and matboard:


The purples turned out a bit darker than I'd originally envisioned, but I decided to roll with it and see how it turns out.

I need to find some way to add purple accent to the windows and door. Purple framing? Purple window boxes? It wants a light touch, not too purpley...