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Willowcrest, San Fran, Westville, Beacon Hill and others

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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.

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...


Isn't it pretty! This is the "Marissa" gable trim, from Heritage Laserworks:


Tried something a bit different: used "chalky finish" spray paint:


It doesn't look like a chalk finish to me, at least at this scale, but it isn't nearly as glossy as other white spray paints, which is what I wanted. Think I'll try it on the porch railing too.

Here's what a Newberg looks like with siding-- it appears that it's usually adorned with those cardboard scallops and wood cutouts; got (almost all of) the siding on:


And here's the first coat of paint: Valspar interior satin, "Moraine":


That is nothing to shout about, is it! Hubby stopped by and asked me if I were trying to make the world's most boring dollhouse. :eek:

I think it looks pretty close to the main color on the Robin Carey "Darling House", though, so that's the color I wanted. The backdrop color has to be tame so that the trim and bits of color can pop.

Got the battery box installed in a matboard creation:


Getting the lights installed in the attic; using shiny pony beads:


Got the staircase put together; the kit doesn't have risers or a backing, so I made my own from basswood and matboard:


This house eats up the siding:



I have installed the porch roof (after re-cutting the angle to accommodate a horizontal installation, shaving about half an inch from the front, and installing trim on the house so that the roof had something to tack onto).

Got my order from Heritage Laserworks! :) From left to right: "CiCi" (for the porch roof underside, just above the porch steps); "Barbados" (for the rest of the porch roof underside); "Duval" (railing for the yard); "Marissa" large (for the three large gables, left and right and front); "Marissa" small (for the small gable, front); "Cumbria" (for the underside of the "CiCi" part). I got the porch underside trims in matboard because I figured that matboard would be more forgiving to more cutting, since I will have to cut these in smaller pieces.


Got my matte "tile" sheets in from Miniatures Marketplace at a good price; found tiffany lamp shades there too. That sheet in the kitchen has lilac accents. :)


Mounting the second floor ceiling lights from the underside of the ceilings, so prepared all the papers and cutouts, used my Dremel to groove the underside, installed the 2nd floor (messed up my purple wallpaper there-- will have to trim or patch :dunce:), turned the house on its side, laid the wires in the grooves, and installed the papers etc over the wires.


Glued on the front roof (even though the instructions said to glue on the back roof first) because I want to start laying out the attic lights.


Got all the windows sealed, and started to put up walls:


I may have misread how to install the grooved side trim on the Left Diagonal Wall (just rechecked-- no, I don't believe I did misread)-- should've dry-fit it, because the Left Front Wall does not fit in place the way it ought. There is a huge gap between the 2nd floor and the Left Diagonal Wall now. I added some matboard to the 2nd floor to fill out that gap; I think that it will not affect placement of anything higher in the structure though, so it's OK. These grooved vertical trims are tough to keep square, and then on top of it all one has to make allowances for them in ceilings and floors. :crazyeyes:


Prepping the underside of the 2nd floor with some ceiling-works; trying something fancy with a doily, a wooden medallion from HL and a decorative button, in small tribute to Robin Carey's wonderful ceilings!


Figured out that I really needed another Flora Lites battery pack, so found one (20" leads) on eBay. Worth it. The battery packs that I had found recently on Amazon have the on-switch on one side of the pack and the batteries are inserted on the other side. Unless one is going to dangle the pack from the middle of the ceiling, this really doesn't work.


Got my 1st floor paper templates laid out, and framed that window box while I can still get to it.



Got my papers glued on:


As per usual, spending extra time on the windows. Decided to go with modification of Kris' matboard windows-- I'll leave out the sashes because they add weakness to the window structures (but mostly because they are difficult enough for me to get straight, speaking from experience, let alone those evil curves :p). Fit each casing to each window opening, using Kris' scored matboard trick to do the curves:


A lot of gessoed and framed casings: And installed:


I'll glue the transparencies to the other side, and add some mullions here and there. Can't add the outer frames until the siding is done, though. Used Kris' door tutorial for the front door-- love how clean and crisp the lines are-- so much better than those die-cut doors turn out.


Silly me!

Silly me-- the Robin Carey "Darling House" wasn't a Newberg bash-- it's a Chantilly! :dunce:

Once I realized that (actually it was when I was looking at Mini maniac's shabby Chantilly build), it freed something in my head about whether to flatten the front or not: don't make the Newberg into something it isn't! But that porch roof is going down, for sure. Most of the point of this is to get to use those lovely Heritage Laserworks pieces, after all. :p

Did a run on HL, got some papers and bits:


Got the main pieces sanded, and the floors glued together (each floor has two pieces, which are held together by a backing piece). Got the post assemblies glued together; those are to join two walls at various angles.


Here I am putting together the base. I don't think whoever made this design was up on their angles; that one post piece to the left is not angled correctly for what the finished product is supposed to look like. I should've figured out my own post angles instead of following the instructions...! Also, you can see where I had to rip apart my floor gluing b/c I glued the piece to the right on exactly backwards. :dunce: Well this is why I am inserting the floor while the base glue dries, to make sure everything fits...!


Here I am dry-fitting because I want to figure out paper placement and porch trim lengths.



New house kit

(It is nice to get an hr or two on a Friday afternoon! :p)

New house arrived-- a new build for a cousin; I've not built the Newberg before, but it has alot of familiar elements, both the tab-and-slot, and the frames like the San Fran 555 has.


Ed is being vaguely helpful.


The kit has this funny stiff paper cut in scallop shapes which is meant to be applied to the gable fronts.  I'm not going to use that; I will side the whole thing and am looking at the Robin Carey "Darling House" for inspiration-- it looks like it used to be a Newberg, doesn't it. I will kick up that porch roof and make it horizontal, and I'm thinking about whether I'll flatten out the front of the house or not. I'll use lavender accents instead of teal, on special request. I have spent a bit of time poring over the Darling House, and have come up with the following pieces to order from Heritage Laserworks that look the same or very near to what Robin Carey used:

Duval (one-pc railing) (fence railing)

Barbados (grill) (half-circle grill on underside of porch roof)

Cumbria (bracket)

CiCi (grill) (grill right above porch steps)

Marissa (gable) (in two sizes)

How much I order of these pieces depends on whether I figure out that I will flatten that house front or not... Will need to do some dry-fitting and ponder on that.


...done! I may have one paint touch-up and up to two trim touchups... And that end-table in the parlor is getting gessoed and finished, but I figured I better take some pics while the light is decent, because this pink house will get boxed up and put on the road here soon.








I think I've gotten these rooms finished:


Still working the attic, with some matboard creations to hide wire runs:


Some work on the exterior:


And a little kitchen unit from Kris' recent tutorial; I think that next time I make this, I will use all matboard (no cracks :hmm:) instead of basswood.


(Also I thought that those two fairy chairs needed a little something, so I gave em some seat cushions.)