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A Friend's Dollhouse
Morning all! I have a dear friend who would very much like to reclaim some space in her home and sell her dollhouse. It's a 1/12 scale Greenleaf Van Buren, already built, that needs someone new to love it. It's one of my favorites, and if I had the space it would already be in my house She's going to put it up on craigslist as well. PM me if you'd like any more info.
Van Buren Restoration
I just started restoring my mother's beloved Van Buren dollhouse that her father made for her in the 70s. It has seen some VERY hard times, including a hurricane during the last attempt at restoration, but I'm making some progress on bringing it back to life.
I have one concern though, the front door has gone missing, and the opening seems larger than typical dollhouse doors. I'm a total novice at this, and was wondering if anyone had any advice as to what I should do. I know they don't make Van Buren pieces anymore, so does anyone have any other suggestions?
A Project for the Day
I've decided tiling was the answer to my attic situation. Since I had put that middle room in I wasn't sure how I was going to get behind it to lay any kind of flooring so I asked DH to cut me 1 inch pieces of three tiles I had purchased at Home Depot which he did. So I installed each piece and ohhhh, what a job! Anyway I managed to get them all laid down and then I had to do the grouting. At least the attic floor is now done. Sure wish I were more organized. I could have had that done long before I had the roof on. Just seems I make more work for myself. Well, here are a few pictures to show today's work.
Here I have the left side finished.
The closet is done and the last room is being grouted.
I'm finished for today.
Colors Can Change Your Whole Outlook
I wasn't happy at all with how this house was looking. I tore off the little porch thingy I had made, wasn't happy with that. I'm not pleased with the paperclay around the bottom, started taking that off. I'm not sure what I will do with that. Recently purchased some pillars for the front, I'm going to need more time to think about what to do there. But I wasn't liking the shingles either. I wanted something dark, so this is what I did. Painted the shingles with watered down black acrylic paint. Let that dry. Painted them all again with less watered down black acrylic paint and once that was dry I dry-brushed with the blue paint of the house. What a difference, I like it much better now.
I've also finished with the kitchen and I will take pictures later today and I picked up these tiles from Home Depot last week. I thought the small tiles would look great as bathroom tiles. We'll see!!
Progress being made
Over the past month, some progress has been made. We decided to make bay windows for the first floor. These will show the bakery section and the kitchen. Riley first make a cardboard mock up of the bays in order to make sure that he could make them and also to get an accurate size to cut the new window openings.
After the mock up, he then made the frames from scrap pieces from various dollhouse kits. The windows panes are made from plastic that protect some mini furniture. They are not glued in yet, just held in place to get an idea of how they will look and to check that window opening was cut correctly. Once these were made, I decided the next step would be to wire it. Here I must put a big thank you to Wenlaine, because she had mentioned in her Van Buren blog that she used the fold over method instead of using the brads to run her wire in one continuous circuit. Never trying that method, but knowing without folding over the wire, I was going to spend a lot of time cutting and running tape, I got out the CirKit instruction book and read up on the method. So I was able to use one roll of tape with out any breaks thru this house. It's not neat, but every room should be able to be lit without any problems. With this house having 3 stories, with a central hall and two rooms on each side, the fold over method of wiring was a lifesaver.
Also, in order to make sure the 3rd floor could have lights, I went ahead and attached the roof.
Although the interior doors have not been installed, Riley is working on making them all pin-hinged by making a door frame and running the pin thru it. When he actually gets to this part, I will take plenty of pictures, as it seems a lot of folks would like to know how to pin-hinge.
Next, I primed the interior with regular primer and sealer paint except the 1st floor entryway. I plan on staining this.
I've also been playing around with my brick stencils and Dab's Water Putty. Although, I've done some on scrap pieces I'm still real nervous about bricking the house. So to either save me from having to re-do the entire house, I'm starting with the front. I painted the front black--which I want my grout lines to be and started with the "quoins" part. I also, taped all the windows up, to make it easier to see where my brick should stop and to keep from totally messing up the rooms.
I don't know about any one else, but I'm a sloppy painter and brick layer.
Well, yesterday was the big day to try the quoins. Right now, I'm not sure if I'm happy with them or not. But after working on them most of the day, I've got my shoulders cramping up and a my back yelling so the brick work will have to wait until later this week, when my old muscles relax enough for me to bend back over. But here are the pictures of the quoins. The stencil for the quoins also extends for the brick, I've scrapped that part off, because although I want a grayish look for the quoins, I want all of my brick red. In my experiments, I've added the paint straight to the putty mixture.
I'm having a small amount of trouble getting just the right amount of the putty mixture mixed. But before this house is finished I should have it down to a science--the mixture, the waiting time, etc.
I'm making myself notes for the order I must follow. From the basic shell, it is easy to tell that the center rooms must be wallpapered before the stairs go in, the flooring must be done on the 3rd floor before the little room is added.
Another matter that must be dealt with is how DGD and I differ on what period, I was thinking that for a 13 year old she would probably want a more modern look, but when I ask her to go to HBS and create a wish list for the furniture/accessories, she had marked things more in line with early 1900. (This after I had already ordered a beautiful blue marbled type bathroom set). So this house may be a mixture of old and new alike. Hoping before long she will be able to come up and help start making food stuff for the bakery part.
A big hint was dropped to DD that she may want to order her a nice turntable from HBS with the 50% off sale. While in Home Depot earlier today I picked up an one inch dowel,which I am hopeing will work for columns for the front porch.
As some of you know, I do the building but rely heavily on Riley to make some of my ideas come to life--like the bay windows, the interior working doors and next on his list is to figure out a good foundation and how to work at least one stair leading to the front door. We make such a good team. LOL
Have any of you ever had the dread feeling that you will ruin a beautiful house? This is one nice house and my biggest fear is not doing it justice. But we shall continue and redo if necessary to make a nice upscale home/bakery.