I wanted to create a fender for those front wheels on the Summerhouse. I spent some time looking at fenders online and while my DH and I were out riding around on the weekend, I noticed some fenders on utitlity trailers that I liked. Didn't get a chance until today to try out my plan. First I fiddled around with a paper pattern until I got a shape I thought would work. I had purchased some 1/16 basswood the other day just for this so got out my utility knife and cut the shape out very carefully. Cutting the piece on the outside edge of the fender was a little trickier, but I did manage to cut it out without doing any personal injury....always a good thing! LOL! I glued the top of the fender to the straight part first and let it dry, also the small curved piece on the front edge. After the glue was dry, I bent the wood around that curve and superglued it. I made sure the Captain wasn't around and added my bling aka rivets! I put the first coat of paint on and thought maybe that was the end of it.... But when I went back to check on it, the front edge had started to ripple....since the paint was dry to the touch, I clamped a couple of pieces of wood on either side and will leave it overnight in hopes of flattening it out. Otherwise, either the Captain had a fender bender last time he was out in it or I'm going to have to start over! Won't worry too much about it until I unclamp it and see how it looks. I tried putting brick paper on the back of the house while the wheels were off and it ended up crooked! So that came off and I am waiting until I feel more amiable towards the brick paper. Still really hot and humid here, I'm beginning to feel refrigerated....have a great day all!
Figuring out what the staircase looks like, and installing a (matboard) door, pin-hinged:
I found on sale some of that acrylic gel stuff that one mixes with paint to make it look like stain, and have been trying it out on the stair treads and railing newel posts; so far it looks OK, though I mixed it with a dark paint to get this (what I consider to be) medium color.
Siding done! And side trim (matboard strips) affixed.
I have to get some paint now! Also you can see that I did make smaller (circumferentially) tapered posts for the porch; I like this look much better.
Finally breaking open that San Fran 555 box (special request build for a family member). I had been thinking that this was an MDF model like the 557 that I built several years ago (which was not my favorite building experience by a long shot), but havanaholly set me straight about it on a San Fran thread, so now I am much more excited about getting into this kit. Here are all the pieces after sorting:
You probably can't tell but that instruction booklet is pretty thick! A dozen pages at least. This is an old kit off eBay, but everything looks to be all present and accounted for. I do like that brick powder and template-- it was in the San Fran 557 kit as well (probably the only thing I did like about that particular build ).
Edit: I should say that the SF555 is not MDF, but it is die-cut 1/8" plywood with pieces of milled siding that one slides together for the exterior. It still has all that uncut trim to saw, and the windows will still be difficult, but at least it is not MDF!
When I look at this pic it doesn't seem like I've done that much, but these are the fussy bits of architecture that take time to paint. Painting over that dark green meant about five coats of ivory over all the porch pieces and of course, my OCD went into overdrive when I painted the green on the porch trim so that took some time to get perfectly straight. But all things considered, I think I'm making good progress.
I'm very twitterpated with this screen door. I've used them on Greenleaf houses in the past and fell in love a little more each time so when I built a house for myself, it had to have one. They're about half an inch shorter than GL door openings so I'll need to patch in a piece of filler but that's no big deal. I didn't turn on the true-lights for this pic so it's hard to see the contrast between the dark sage trim and the lighter sage of the wall, but it's really pretty.
I decided to replace the front doors with french doors. Why? Because I like them better than other door options for this house. It's almost a novelty to build a house just for myself and this may be the last big one I can do so it's go to be special and have the elements that I want to enjoy. So french doors at the front entry it is! I thought about putting a door with side lights on the front and cutting out a doorway on the side for the french doors but I don't want to lose that much wall space inside.
I added the darker shade of sage for the barely-there detailing around the doors and windows. It's not meant to pop, but rather to add depth to the overall look. I'm finding this scheme to be one of the most soothing and relaxing that I've ever done and that really adds to the joy of building.
I ordered what I'd hoped would be a large octagon window for the third floor to match this smaller one. <sigh> I do wish that retailers would specify if their measurements are for the window opening or the window frame. It turned out to be a smaller window and that had me stumped for a few minutes. Then I remembered that the Orchid has a large octagon window in the center dormer. And I just happen to have my witch's Orchid in the closet in several pieces after it met with a "cat-astrophe". (Frankie crawled inside and got stuck, then he panicked and fought his way out, resulting in a lot of crying on my part about my very first dollhouse in ruins) Anyway, I carefully removed the large octagon window frame and discovered that the small Houseworks window fits perfectly inside it. So I painted them up and set the small window into the large frame, giving it an extra dimension that is visually appealing as well as making it a perfect fit for the large window of the Tennyson. I did a little happy dance and was grateful to my brain for remembering the Orchid. Yay!! It's the little victories that mean so much. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to leave the cross bars on the window or not. It's a simple matter to cut away parts of the window frame to accommodate them but I'm not ready to decide on that until I have more of the house assembled.
I'm afraid I have to stop work for a few days. Both my arthritis and fibro are in flare and I'm losing feeling in my hands and feet. I can feel the pain settling in between my shoulder blades and lower back so nerves are being pinched somewhere in there. It's bitter to know that I can't keep even a slower pace for any length of time and I don't do well with enforced captivity and being stuck in bed but hopefully it'll pass quickly and things will work again.
Seriously?? Was I really that stupid???
I have realised today that I only ever share my successes! Now while this is a very human thing to do, I also recognise that it doesn't clearly show the blood, sweat and tears I have - thus far - put into my Pierce. No does it explain that while I may attempt to be a perfectionist - I very rarely create things as perfectly as I would like!
So I had the fantastic idea of putting in skylights and creating more space in the attic. When I had the idea I believed we had a scroll saw with which I could do it. However, the scroll saw has somehow gone missing leaving me to attempt to cut the windows and everything else out as well as I can with the limited cutting tools available. Needless to say then, that I now keep a pack of band-aids in the craft room... These photos show the frustrating time I have had today in creating the rounded trim for the top of the windows. I tried cutting it from thicker basswood to match the rest of the trim I cut and painted last week. I managed to cut 5 out okay. Then I also had 3 hoods to cut for the outside - I didn't cut any of those successfully - so then I tried to cut them out of thin basswood which I could double. I managed to cut the sixth smaller hood but as you can see in my rubbish bin - I wasted a lot of wood and I still haven't managed the outside hoods. I'll try them again another day. My next job is to finish cutting the skylights in the large roof. As you can see I made an attempt to do this using my dremel-type tool and cut a few straight bits. Again this was when I believed I had a scroll saw to use! I now know I haven't - and if I hadn't have made a start I think I would have given up on the idea. Now though I have to struggle and get these blooming windows cut out..... I must put another box of plasters on my shopping list....
It's taken some time and kindness of strangers, but finally I have the half-built Chantilly home. When going through the box I realised I had no windows, doors, dormers, filigree and a few other things. Thankfully another box has been found and will be sent to me - will be interesting to see what's in it!
I love how big the rooms are! It seems a waste to have one whole room as a bathroom! I'll have to have a good look at other Chantilly's to get an idea of how this one is to be completed.
Typically the cats had to check it out - but I think they gave it the seal of approval!
I've completed the main gable over the front of the Orchid. I had a bit of an issue figuring out the alignment of the gable because I tend to invert things and of course I don't follow direction very well but I did get it to work out.
I'm thinking of papering one attic room with newspapers, I found a free printie site with 1:12 scale newspapers and now I just need to find paper that will work as newsprint and print them out. I'm thinking of aging the paper with a weak tea solution.
I'm not progressing fast, but I'm not in a huge hurry either. Just letting the house speak to me and tell me it's tale.
This one a bit closer:
I think this will work. I'm going to dig through my stuff to find some chains and figure out how to attach the whole thing at the ceiling so that it looks good.
This will be the start of my blog for the Hobbit House build. This house is a last minute request for a Christmas present, and I’ve had to put both my Bronte build and the rehab on my Fairfield on the back burner to get this done in time for the holidays. I’m starting out with these supplies, I’m sure there will be more as I go along but here’s what I had to buy to get started:
- 6 - pieces of 3MM Birch Plywood ⅛x12x24
- 1 - quart of Dap Dry Dex Spackling
- 1 - quart of Minwax English Chestnut 233 wood stain
- 1 - 18 pc. Carbon hole saw set
- 2- 1 inch round windows and 2 ½ inch round windows
- 1 – Piece of ⅛x12x24 inch Plexiglas
I've been incredibly busy because I now have 3 jobs: a day job (school librarian), a night job (writing instructor at local community college) and also a weekend job (local history museum).
I was working this past Sunday at the museum (which is really a small historical village) when they had the Fairy House tour. Here's the link from the event, direct from author Tracy Kane's website: http://www.fairyhous...smouth-nh-2013/
Towards the end of the day, I happened to meet the lady who arranged these Fairy House events. She told me that every year, there are a few houses that never get claimed, and they end up in the dumpster. I thought that was apalling! Not just the idea of the wasted materials, but also the idea that these beautiful little houses don't get a chance to be seen again!
I told her that I am a dollhouse/fairy house builder myself, and that I also work in a school library. Our school has a little courtyard that the library windows look down into, and I told her I'd be happy to take any unclaimed fairy houses to display in the school's courtyard. She told me to come back on Monday (yesterday) and just take any houses that were left b/c Sunday night was the deadline to pick them up. So I went yesterday, and ended up taking 3 fairy houses back with me!
Not to mention- they also inspired me to make some more of my own! I made 2 little ones last night from these little wooden, decorative birdcages that I picked up at a thrift store last year. And now I am working on a 3rd one in a larger, metal decorative birdcage that was also bought at Goodwill.
I cannot wait to set them up in the courtyard, and then casually tell teachers/students to go out because "I think some fairies have taken up residence in our courtyard!"
Spent 4 hours today removing more paint, paper, varnish, and glue. After the last few days of disassembly and cleanup I have to say I have a renewed respect for sanding the product before assembly. As I said before, this was my first house and I knew next to nothing about finishes. Although I gave the pieces a light sanding to remove splinters and jagged edges before I put it together, I see now the benefits of doing a complete and thorough sanding.
As I took the house apart I saw close up how rough some of the glued edges were and in future I will be sure to take this step more seriously. Close examination has shown me how much better the finished product can be with careful attention to this preliminary step. I’m still deciding whether I will change the color of the house, so there may be a few more hours of sanding in my future, but at least now it has been made easy with the Multi Max.
I’ve been trying to get my hands to cooperate with me so I can cut the hay bales on the mini saw and finish off the coop. Unfortunately carpel tunnel is relentless and my hands are just too weak and shaky to confidently power up that saw. The CP is bad enough, cutting off a finger – not in the game plan, so I’ve set that aside for now and moved on to something more manageable – building a needlepoint stand and creating a mini needlepoint piece for the Bronte House. I was so excited when I got the little kit in the mail that I couldn’t wait to put it together and in my haste I forgot to take pictures of the unassembled kit. So, Yankee ingenuity in tow I scanned photos from the instruction sheet to give you an idea of what it looked like before. So here are pictures of the notched bottom, the decorative stand, and the frame. Simple pieces that were quickly done.
And here are the pictures of the completed assembly.
This is the pattern for the needlepoint piece.
I do wish RL would stay out of my way! I had a little time yesterday to work on minis, but spent much of it packing up the little room box I had made for my sister. I've learned a few things from the big companies that mail miniatures to me - pack them with LOTS of padding! I now have a cigar box cushioned in the center of a 17" square box. And my own copy of the same room box isn't quite finished, so I worked on that for awhile, too. Then, when that was clamped and the glue was drying, I got out my micro house. The paint was all dry, of course, so I did another dry-fit, putting more of it together this time. Sorry I forgot to put a penny or a Hershey's kiss in the picture, but it's setting on a cutting mat with one-inch grids.
I think this will work just fine to take out the one wall so I can have a larger Parlor, or Entertainment Room, as they were called.
Then I took the micro LED lights out of their packages, dismantled the house again, and did some experimenting with light placement. I think maybe the hallways will be left without lights - the maid forgot to turn them on! That will reduce the lights from nine to only six. So if I can fasten the lights to the ceilings first, then cover the ceiling with paper, then try to hide the wires down the sides of the chimneys …
I worked for hours on Sunday afternoon and evening, but don't feel like I made much progress! The wires are on two of the floor/ceilings, but not on the top floor yet.
I think I should paint the top side of it first but not sure if it will be seen or not. I made a paper pattern of the second floor, which is the first-level ceiling, carefully tracing around the stairwell and the slots for the lower walls to fit into. Since I am leaving out a wall on the second floor, I didn't cut slots for it, just covered them over. Not needed, right? WRONG! Half of each slot is for the notches on top of the lower wall. Two walls fit into one notch. I used a pale yellow scrapbooking paper for the ceiling, which I cut out using my scratch-paper pattern. Carefully measured and cut holes for the light bulbs to poke through, and glued it all down. Then I did another dry-fit, placing the first-level walls and the second flooring together. That's when I realized my mistake in covering the slots!
Why does glue grab quickly when you don't want it to??? I was barely able to get the paper off again! I fleetingly considered trying to cut the paper through the slots, since it was already glued, but the slots are so tiny I wasn't sure I could do it without cutting the wood also. So now I'm back to Square One with the ceiling papers. Well, maybe Square Two, since I still have the pattern.
I also painted the red "carpet" on the stairways, and painted the banisters and top landing in gold.
For the past eight months I have been working frantically to get the house ready for Tom Bishop's Chicago International show coming up this April. It won't be finished in time, but it will be close.
The more pressing deadline now is the Orlando dollhouse miniature show coming up this weekend. I will be a vendor there, but I will only have the unfinished Tudor on display. The Bed & Breakfast will not be there as it is currently undergoing repairs from the accident that occurred two years ago. With the Chicago show coming up, I finally started the unpleasant task of working on it again. I have dismantled the damaged parts and will spend the next two months rebuilding her.
I plan to focus on the Tudor's roof during the next two evenings. My almost 4 year-old son got into my workshop last year and nearly destroyed the roof framing. Besides the needed repairs, I have to extend the roof trusses and flooring to cover the 2 inch extension I added several months ago to accommodate the bathroom.
The first floor is only missing a few light fixtures. All of the staircase banisters were completed several months ago and add to the view from the main entrance.
The 2nd floor is about 75% complete. The landing is completely finished, the 2nd floor bed room still needs mortar for the hearth brick work, crown molding and a light fixture, which it will get on Saturday right before the preview show. The bath room needs a ceiling panel and crown molding, the columns and arches installed over the tub surround, and the far exterior wall installed. The Library's walls, floor and windows are installed, but it still needs wall paneling, books and bookcases. It also needs a coffer ceiling, fireplace mantle (the last to go into this house) and chandeliers. The other mantle, in the bedroom worked out rather well, I think:
The current view gives you the idea of what it will look like when its completed.
I doubt I will get the attic interior sheathed at the show, but I can always hope.
i need to paint a few more of the stones, i missed them when i did the painting. at some point i'll add landscaping and fill in the cracks with moss. I still need to shingle, touch up stain here and there on the inside, polyurethane all wood on the inside, low gloss finish to the painted trim on the outside, fix the dormer window, and do something about the red paint on the wall in the bedroom. i was using the utility knife to file down something and got scuffs on the wall. haven't decided if i will try to color match it to repaint or just use a wall hanging of some sort to cover it.
i pretty much made this house the exact way that i did with my first chantilly. i like the wood ceilings that i included this time and my stonework is better. this is one of my favorite dollhouses, i love the staircase!
We only live about 90 minutes from Orlando, and we know of a great resort at a very low price, so we were able to take a 5 day mini vacation.
Of course we started by making a stop at Ron's Miniature Shop. I now have enough supplies to finish the Tudor's internal wiring and the ceiling light for the dining room. We spent the 2nd day at EPCOT. We had lunch at the Mexican showcase, which is very good and very romantic. If anyone reading this hasn't been there, the resturant is themed like an outdoor terrace looking out at a Mayan Pyramid and an active volcano in the distance. The rest of the dining area has Spanish styled buildings and paper "lanterns" everywhere. I wasn't able to take a photo of the room, but it was nice.
We went to some of the areas we missed on our last trip in 2010, but the kids were too young for most of the rides are scare easily.
I was able to get lots of photos of the German showcase, which is a Tudor lover's dream. Even the resturant was themed to look like a courtyard surrounded by Tudor houses! I was able to get photos of the exteriors.
The French area is also full of inspirational architecture for anyone interested in building minis.
The other areas were also something to see.
We spent the next day at Hollywood Studios. That place is loaded with amazing art deco styled buildings. Unfortunately, I'm a little old for running around theme parks day after day and the 3 kids were more than a handful, so we left before dark, but I could only imagine how amazing it must look when the lights are turned on.
On the fourth day, we went to Leu Botanical Gardens near downtown Orlando. I used to be very familiar with the garden since my dad was the Director from 1985 - 1990. The Leu house was built in the late 1880's and added onto by the many families who lived in the house. Its full of antiques, so I didn't dare bring the kids inside, but I did get a photo of the exterior.
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