MaryKate

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Everything posted by MaryKate

  1. San Franciscan 550 -- Here I Go

    Hi John--yes, I do plan to start an album. Right now I have the wall panels and the foundation glued together, nothing too spectacular.  One thing I noticed when "building" the wall panels, which was a reminder from waaaaay back when I started the Heritage: it is really, really, surprisingly easy to turn one of those panels upside down as you're gluing them together. I nearly did it once about halfway through and I started triple checking. To make the panels straight as I glued, I lined them up against/within a T-square. And re-lined them up over and over again. I held them together with my hands for 30-60 seconds as I added each one, then, when a panel was finished, I used masking tape, hooking one end to the bottom of the panel and drawing the line of tape up over the top of the panel, keeping it tight to hold the pieces together. Then I sandwiched them between pieces of wax paper and put books on top to keep the tight taping from "curling" the panels. I let those dry anywhere from 1-3 hours, then stood them up against a wall as directed to let them finish drying for 24 hours.  Next is a lot of painting and sanding and painting. I'm going to paint the wall panels purple on the outside and white or cream on the inside (to prep for the 4yo's decorating plans), paint the base--I'm not sure what color but I'm thinking of putting some kind of stickers or decals around it instead of the lattice--flowers or fairy wands or butterflies or something my niece will like. I also need to paint the window pieces and the channels for the wall panels before I assemble. So there's my next few (dozen??) days off sorted. *g*
  2. I thought I'd start a new thread about this house as it hasn't had a lot of general discussion lately. Sometime last year, I saw a still-in-box San Franciscan, the 550 model, at a thrift store for $60. At first, I wasn't sure I wanted it--Victorian is not really my thing--but the price was so good, and the more I looked at it, and at the tower, the more I thought: "PRINCESS HOUSE." My niece, who's about to turn 4, likes her princesses (I mean, she likes them feisty and sassy, but she does like them), and she especially likes Rapunzel from Tangled, and, well, house with a tower. So I bought the kit and she and I talked about it: we're going to have a kitchen for Tiana, a library for Belle and Sophia, a bed with 20 mattresses for the Princess and the Pea, and of course a tower for Rapunzel, among other things.  I didn't start it right away because I'm still moving in to my new house and getting things organized, but this week is her birthday, and I've made some progress in setting up my crafting spaces, so tonight, despite being tired, I decided it was time. I'd just go through and organize and label the parts...and of course now the first foundation pieces are sitting under books, getting glued together. ;)  One thing that surprised me was how many extras there were of the smaller pieces. There was one set of pieces for windows that was supposed to have 33 or so, and instead had 52! That was probably the biggest example, but there were extras of a number of pieces. Has anyone else run into this? There's one part I don't think I have--the smaller tower support--and one of the gables looks like the wrong shape, but those things will either resolve themselves when I get to those steps, or I can make alterations or new pieces from wood or foamcore/matboard.  It always amazes me how much easier it is to understand directions once I've been through the parts on that detailed level. The first few times I read them, I thought it would be impossibly tricky to figure out the process (I have a Heritage started, so I do know a bit about how Duracraft houses are put together), but after sorting and labeling it all reads as crystal clear, and I thought I might as well get started. My niece is going to be thrilled!  My goals with this house: actually finish the darn thing (having a 3/4 year old waiting impatiently to play with it will help with that); keep it simple but pretty (so, no to the strip flooring, and there's no way I'm punching out those splintery strips they use to make the foundation lattice--I can do fake stone or something more fanciful); and make it as sturdy and playable as possible (so I'm going to try to make the roof of the tower removable, and customize the doors so they open and close on pin hinges if at all possible. If there's one thing my niece is adamant about, it's that dollhouse doors should open and close! Luckily she's not as picky about the windows, so I don't have to make them open (or even let her know that's an option). I do plan to make some "stained glass" panels for some of the windows, though. I'm still debating about whether or not I'll put banisters and railings on the stairs. That may just be asking for trouble, and having them open would make it easier for her to reach in and move her dolls up and down the stairs.  She's asked for a purple exterior, and I'm looking at two shades, light and dark, along with cream trim for the windows and posts. I'll let her pick out scrapbook paper or paint colors for the interior walls, and she's excited to make the furniture and to play with it. I found a kit on Amazon for making miniature books--a lot of fairy tales and children's books. They're somewhat oversized, but she won't care, especially since the books have text and pictures. I'll go through past posts and the galleries to see what I can learn, but if anyone who's built this one wants to chime in with tips and tricks, I'm happy to learn!  
  3. San Franciscan 550 -- Here I Go

    Wow, Barbara, I can't believe that's a dumpster rescue! Thanks for the inspiring pictures!
  4. San Franciscan 550 -- Here I Go

    That's good to know. I debated whether I was depriving her of a real-looking house by taking out the railings (because honestly, they are so much work and probably the first things to break), so I appreciate your confirmation. ;) Thanks!
  5. San Franciscan 550 -- Here I Go

    Ha! Probably. When my niece decides to Art, glitter is often involved. ;)
  6. San Franciscan 550 -- Here I Go

    Thanks, Holly--the carpenter's square is on my list for the hardware store when I go to get paint (I have one, somewhere, but at this point it's easier to buy a new one than to go through every possible box where it might be).  I'm mighty grateful for those extras, because I know I'll mess up more than once. And yes, sparkle to make the walls smoother surfaces for our decorating adventures. ;)
  7. Greenleaf Products, plus some questions

    I'm interested in the answers to this as well. I have a Walmer kit called "Ye Olde Firehouse" that I'm planning to finish as a retired fire station turned bar & loft, and it needs to be bricked--but it's 3 stories high and I'm worried about weight (especially since some if not all of the interior walls would be brick, too) and realism, not to mention time. I know I could do the egg carton thing, but it would take me forever and I really want to focus more on the interior of this one.  Thanks for the input on the printed sheets, Kelly. I've considered those, but it's good to know what you think about them.
  8. If you want something as close to the Robotime kits as possible, I'd suggest Beacon 3-in-1. Amazon promotes it on the same pages as those kits. I bought mine at Michaels. It is exactly the same stuff as what's in the kits, and I've used it for the kits when they don't come with glue, or when they don't come with enough because I use it for every application! https://www.amazon.com/Beacon-314OZ-314OZBOT12-Glue-Multicolor/dp/B001683NAO/ref=pd_rhf_dp_s_all_spx_wp_0_1/159-7978697-5532149?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B001683NAO&pd_rd_r=222f8cda-5d11-4299-92b2-194e8cb27225&pd_rd_w=ZloMa&pd_rd_wg=LqbIR&pf_rd_p=be1fc0a3-5323-42ce-8eda-5c75d301717d&pf_rd_r=Y15VH07DXVR610NQARN5&psc=1&refRID=Y15VH07DXVR610NQARN5  
  9. Great Loss For A Small World

    Oh, no!  You know, the tiny museum where I work had a Kupjack exhibit...decades ago, at least. I came across one of the booklets when were were cleaning out spaces and snagged it, because no one else wanted it. One of the facilities staff who's worked at the museum since the 70s said Henry actually came to the exhibit, and she thinks the museum owns a Kupjack room box and that it's in our storage building across the street. I don't have keys to that building or anything, but I've been meaning to have a talk with our curator to see if it's for real, and if it is, if I can get a peek at it. I'll have to step up my efforts on that front. 
  10. Hi everyone, The heat may be affecting my judgment; I've recently bought several lots of House of Miniatures kits and while I haven't had time to build any of them (or work on the houses they'll go into), I keep dreaming about how I'll finish them and use them when the time comes. I'd love to hear (or see, if you have photos up!!) examples of what you all have done with these or other furniture kits (I'm really tempted by the Realife Library Kit, if I can find one at a reasonable price)--especially if you've kitbashed them, either slightly or drastically. The thing about buying lots of HOM kits is you get many fun things, but there's almost always a clock involved as well*, and while I have a lot of houses planned, not all of them need a traditional grandfather clock. I'm thinking about steampunking one of them somehow, but I'd also love ideas for completely different (i.e., non-clock) ways to use the components of that kit. Between my recent purchases and some stuff I've inherited, I have at least 4 grandfather clock kits (HOM & Chrysnbon). I'll probably take just the top part of one of them and make a mantle clock; my dad has made one for each of his 7 children, so at least one of my houses needs a mini version. (* I remember, as a kid, wanting to sign up for the HOM kit of the month club or whatever that was; I read those ads word for word and drooled, so I know the reason there are so many clock kits floating around is that it was often the "free gift" for joining.) Oh, and seriously, how many candle stands and fire screens does any miniaturist need?? There has to be something fun I can make with some of those pieces! Is there any way to turn a fire screen into a book stand? I have at least 3 houses that could use one.  I'm planning to use some of the cabinet tops to make kitchen cupboards, and will probably turn at least one of the chests of drawers into a vanity for a bathroom sink. But I want to get even more creative than that. So help me dream! What have you done, or planned to do, with your furniture kits?
  11. Hi Shannon--I don't know if I'll get to it right away, but I would love to do something with the pieces eventually. I will certainly post pictures of the book once I receive it. I'm trying to remember what I ever did with the pieces I made from the copy I had back in grade school.  Maybe holding it in my hand will spark some memories.
  12. Calling all dollhouse detectives... I'm trying to track down at the very least a title and maybe a photo or two of a book I had when I was a girl. Some of its pages were heavy, and I think slightly textured, paper on which were printed pieces you could cut out and fold and paste to make dollhouse furniture. I remember the prints being red, white, and black, with lots of polka dots and stripes; it was all very 70s/colonial in style. The thing is, I think I saw it online recently, probably on a late-night deep dive on Ebay or something close to that, and I should have taken a screen shot or just bought it...I have tried searching a bunch of different word salad combos on Google, Alibris, and Ebay but I haven't seen it yet. Just wondering if anyone here remembers it and can help me figure out the title. It's more curiosity than anything else at this point.
  13. Ahaha I love how the universe works. As soon as I posted this, I went back to Ebay again and found it: https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-1974-DOLLHOUSE-FURNITURE-TO-MAKE-FROM-PRINTED-HEAVY-PAPER-BOOK/183612133920?hash=item2ac022d220:g:6hwAAOSw~SlbCgYF Of course, "Doll House Book" is such a unique, searchable term... ;)
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    From the album 1/2"(ish) Scale Kits

  15. What's everyone working on?

    Okay, who wants to hear the kicker end to this story?  A) My sister loved it when she unwrapped it last night, so yay! She also laughed a bit uncontrollably and said she would explain later... B) This morning, when we unwrapped presents from Santa, guess what I got? The same kit! Also the same book I put into her shoe for St. Nicholas Day. We know each other almost too well.  (I will say this: though I'm delighted to have the kit because I, too, am a bit obsessive about books, the one I made from her came from a Chinese company and was great. Very easy to put together, good quality materials, and it included the silicon glue and batteries. This one is from Fat Brain Toys, and what I've noticed so far is that some of the pages printed with book covers and other items are wrinkled in the bottom of the box, there is no silicon glue, and when I went to put one of the small cabinets together with tacky glue (everyone else was building Legos; I had to make something!), I had a terrible time because the pieces, small as they are, are warped and I had to force hold them in place to get the glue to stick. I will probably take it apart, flatten the boards under some books, and try again.)
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    From the album 1/2"(ish) Scale Kits

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    From the album 1/2"(ish) Scale Kits

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    From the album 1/2"(ish) Scale Kits

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    From the album 1/2"(ish) Scale Kits

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    From the album 1/2"(ish) Scale Kits

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    From the album 1/2"(ish) Scale Kits

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    From the album 1/2"(ish) Scale Kits

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    From the album 1/2"(ish) Scale Kits

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    From the album 1/2"(ish) Scale Kits

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    From the album 1/2"(ish) Scale Kits