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About MaryKate

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  • Gender Female

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  • Dollhouse Building Experience Five or more
  • Dollhouse Preference I like them both
  • Online Community Building Projects Please Select
  • Digital Camera Yes
  • Real Name Mary
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  1. Another one to add to the hoard. Heritage!!

    Oh, that poor baby! You have a challenge ahead, but I love the Heritage and I bet you can make something great with it. It really does look like the beginnings of a decaying, possibly haunted house somewhere out in the middle of nowhere. I have a half-built Heritage that I'm puzzling over--I want to make some changes to my original plan, but that's going to require some creative repainting if I can't disassemble some of the things I've already done. And the stairs...oy, what a space waster, and right in the line of sight of that room.  Please keep us in the loop as you work on this one. Can't wait to see what you do with it!
  2. Clarification on Foam core ?

    Re: Cutting: I've never worked with gator board, but with foam core (which I've used for a 1/4" scale house and other craft projects), I had no problem cutting it with a craft or utility knife. I sometimes have to go over the line to cut more than once to get a clean, steady cut, but I haven't had issues with making exactly the cuts I want using those simple tools.
  3. LaserTech Beach House

    While I generally love the laser cut-ness of this kit (everything fits! NO SANDING!!!), I am up against the first "problem": no scrap wood to try out the painting process. The walls are MDF. I've worked with it before, but it was a barn project for my nephew, so I wanted nice, solid red and whites. All it took was a couple coats of sample paints from the hardware store and it was good to go.  But here, I was hoping to create a weathered, beachy look. I'll need to do some layering and I really want to try a couple different ideas (mostly gleaned from Pat Thomas's articles in back issues of Nutshell News/Dollhouse Miniatures). I have plenty of wood scraps of other kinds that I could use to experiment, but MDF doesn't take paint like any other wood, and it's already fairly dark, so I'm wondering if I can use that to my advantage. I think I'm going to have to try stuff out on the underside of the base. It's the only surface that won't show! 
  4. LaserTech Beach House

    Good points, thank you! Some of the ends along the gables I mitred; others ended up a little too long. I waited until the glue dried, flipped the piece over, and trimmed it flush with the angle.
  5. LaserTech Beach House

    I've begun assembling the LaserTech Beach House kit my parents gave me a number of years ago. I love the look of the house, especially the batten siding, skylights, and "pier" foundation, and even though it's only one room (plus addition) it's a huge room. I can't wait to pour my love of all things ocean into the decorating and landscaping. I love the building process at least as much as the decorating, but, not too far into the build, I'm finding the instructions a bit frustrating. The layout of the battens on at least one of the walls, which are glued onto the walls before assembly, is described differently in the written directions than they look to be in the drawing of that wall. Thank goodness for those drawings, because otherwise I'd be completely lost. And the only drawing of the whole structure shows only one angle of the house, so I'm not sure what it's supposed to look like on each side when assembled. There are no photos with the kit, and there are precious few online (I've found one set that someone put up here of the house already assembled, and the photos on the website, where it's pictured with shutters that aren't included in the kit). It's not a really common kit, or at least the people who've built it don't seem to do a lot of documenting. I mean, I'm fairly experienced at building and so far I've managed to work out the discrepancies between the directions and the drawing, though I'm still confused about some of the pieces of batten and trim. The directions sometimes say which of the batten pieces to use to cut to fit, and sometimes just say "batten" without the label for which length pieces to use, so I haven't always been sure that I'm using up the right stock. I guess I'll figure out when I get to the end and run out of something?  I'm just venting here (I should go down and glue some more ;). I really don't think I'll have any trouble figuring it out and filling in the blanks. But as a teacher and a writer, it does raise my hackles when directions for something like this aren't clear and accurate. Has anyone else ever built this one? I wonder if, in the years since my parents bought it for me, they've revamped the directions. I'll try to post pictures of the process as I go, in case anyone else looking for guidance stumbles across my little odyssey!
  6. What's everyone working on?

    Linda, that chair is adorable! I wish I had something so finished to show for all that stress. ;) 
  7. What's everyone working on?

    I did buy glue (and a few other things, because I'm incapable of going to the craft store and coming out with just a single bottle of glue). I was going to stain the outside walls, but since they're MDF I'll need to create effects with paint, which means...I got to start gluing! I'm putting battens on the outer walls of the beach house and it's SO SATISFYING. I had to stop to get ready for my niece and nephew to spend the night, or I could have kept going for hours more. Aaaahhhhh, I feel like myself again and it's lovely! (ETA: I didn't find the glue, but I did run across the box with the rest of the Orchid components. Oh, well, I know where they are now!)
  8. What's everyone working on?

    Okay, after weeks and weeks of losing my mini mind, trying to track down a kit or plans for an all new project, and living with boxes, boxes, everywhere, I decided yesterday, "Forget the plan, I'm going to clear off the counter in the laundry room and unpack my mini stuff and get to work on SOMETHING." I just need to glue stuff, okay? I spent about 4 hours yesterday unpacking boxes and organizing the counter and cupboards in the laundry room that I plan to use for mini building, at least the big stuff. I found most of my tools and supplies and kits. I brought a lamp down there to give me more light. I looked through old magazines for inspiration and ideas. And today I woke up and thought, hey, I found the Orchid shell, I'll get to work on that. Do laundry and clean house while glue and paint dry.  Except I can't find one key box that has the next pieces I need in that project. It's probably out in the garage somewhere. So, Plan B: I'll pull out all the pieces of the Heritage I found yesterday and look at what I need to rework and change in order to fulfill my entirely new idea for that house.  Except...I don't know where the base is. It's in a clearly labeled box that is, in all probability, out in the garage somewhere. I also can't find the directions, but I have a feeling those exist somewhere online. Still, it's a Duracraft kit and the way those are built, I need the base to refit everything and figure out what to change.  So, Plan C: Open an entirely "new" kit (new in the sense that I've never worked on it; I've had it for at least ten years) and get to work. It's the Laser Tech beach house, a gift from my parents that I really love, just never got around to. No plan for what colors I want? No problem! I'm going to wing it and it all starts with glueing on battens to flat walls first anyway so let's open that kit, label some pieces and get going! Except...I can't find my glue. I have lots of glue. Lots and lots of glue. SOMEWHERE. Probably in the garage. And I just don't want to tackle the garage right now. SO. I am going to buy more glue. And whatever else I need and can't find to do the first steps. I don't even care anymore. I just need to BUILD. (And possibly get a frappucino because this whole process of finding something to calm the urge to build has been weirdly stressful. 
  9. craftsman dollhouse plans

    OH MY GOODNESS. Emily and Carrie, I actually whimpered looking at those pictures. Seriously, that would be a dream project/bucket list thing for me! Your work is gorgeous, and I'm so glad I got to see it. Now I'm doubly inspired to take on a project like this. Don't know if I can afford to get to those classes, travel wise, any time soon, but thank you so much for putting this on my radar as a possibility!
  10. craftsman dollhouse plans

    Thanks everyone, for your answers. I didn't realize E&T sold plans for the Rye; it's not the house I want but you're right, the plans might be a place to start. I'm not sure if RGT has discontinued the Classic or if there's some glitch in production. Like I said, Manhattan Miniatures says it's coming back later this year, but I can't find any explanation of when. The 1/24 Classic is still around, but I'm not sure if I want to switch scales for this project (see below). That quarter scale kit is adorable! I'm not sure if I want to sacrifice the detail of 1/12 for this project; there'd be a lot of woodwork and stained glass. But the space savings would be nice. As far as converting, sure, it *seems* like you'd just multiply everything by 2, but I worry about angles and centering and getting one measurement wrong that would throw everything off. Whenever I get around to digging out my magazines, I'll look at those plans and see how hard it would be.
  11. craftsman dollhouse plans

    Hi everyone, I've been pretty quiet around here because I've started a new job and moved 500 miles; I'm still in the process of unpacking and have been trying to quell the urge to work on minis with Lego sets and coloring books, as well as drooling over photos on this site and raiding my new local library for all the books about dollhouses and minis I can find. But the urge to build is *killing* me. Even though I have --I think 5? Possibly 6-- projects in the works, they're all in the basement under mounds of boxes. I find myself sighing over kits and ideas all the time. The one that really appeals to me, and that I would probably have ordered a week ago if I could find it in stock for a decent price, is RGT's 1/12th scale Classic Bungalow. It's not everything I want, but it's the closest I can find to my actual real life dream house. So I keep scanning Craigslist and Ebay in the hopes I might find the kit (like I said, at a reasonable price). Manhattan Dollhouse says it'll be stock "later in 2018." The Beach House Bungalow is everywhere, of course, but I *much* prefer the symmetry and the more impressive facade of the Classic. But all this has me wondering--does anyone know of plans I could get my hands on for something similar? I tend toward kits because they're so easy to start and endlessly adaptable, but I've done enough kitbashing and have enough tools (plus access to my dad's woodworking equipment) that I know I'm capable of building from plans rather than a kit. I know back in the day Nutshell News had a series of plans for one in 1/24th scale, and I think I still have those issues somewhere in my stash, but I don't know how complex the math would be to rework them in 1/12 scale. Google searches haven't turned up anything useful, probably because the term "Craftsman" gets pooled in with "crafts" and "craftsmanship." Ideally, I'd like a Craftsman/Mission/Prairie style bungalow with 4-6 rooms and a big porch. (Okay, in a dream world, I'd build the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in miniature, complete with the barrel-ceilinged playroom and embedded tree, but that's probably a more advanced and expensive project than I'm ready for right now!) I figure if anyone can point me in the right direction, it's the collective brain trust of this forum! And now that I've done something, however small, to quell the need to BUILD, I'm going to continue setting up my home office so that I can check that item off the list and move on to my art supplies...someday, I will play with tacky glue and paints again.
  12. That is so stinking brilliant! Totally stealing this idea. ;)
  13. dollhouses as Fanfiction

    As someone who's written fanfiction, been part of fan communities for a long time, done some academic research on it, and seen the wide variety of fan created responses to various media, I'd say your miniature work isn't necessarily fanFICTION, which usually refers to a text-based, written response in the form of a story that plays with the same universe and/or the same characters, but it is an intensely creative response to a book you love, and therefore falls within the realm of fan responses. Fanart would be a good term for it, or you could invent your own. ;) I've seen people respond to media with knitting, costuming, sewing, doll dressing, cakes, recipes, brewing specialty beers and meads, 2-d art, sculpture, composition, videos, quilts, podcasts, meta, gif sets, photography, tattoos, plays, embroidery, cross stitch, collage, stained glass...I mean, you name it, if it's a way of creatively responding to, extending, or altering a fictional universe, people are out there doing it, and it's amazing.  Anyone who expects people to watch/read/listen to media and have anything more than a passive response, or to respond only by buying licensed consumer goods and not altering them at all, is either severely lacking in imagination or a network/studio president. We are creative, creating beings and whatever you want to call such endeavors, they are a great way to express ourselves and our passions.
  14. Your Very Best Tip

    I learned this at a mini workshop years ago: Patience is the art of finding something else to do while the glue dries. ;)
  15. First Build Finished!

    I LOVE THIS! I'm such a sucker for anything Halloween, and you've done an amazing job with the construction and the details. Very well done!