I put some basswood braces on the underside of the 2nd level to keep it from bending. Not my best cushion work but it'll do.
And now for something a bit different: I have gotten a commission of sorts, to build a Willowcrest for a family member's granddaughter. I am looking through my blog posts for the Willowcrest that I built back in 2010, and poring through Gina's Willowcrest build blog as well http://moreminis.blogspot.com, so as to make sure that I don't repeat any mistakes that I made the first time! The exterior is to be in yellow, and the decor is to be "vaguely Victorian/Edwardian" (my phrase), with white wainscoting.
Here are my paints and most of my papers; the yellow is Clark-Kensington "Summertime Fun" in interior satin, with Valspar "Powder beige" interior satin for trim; the papers are from Hobby Lobby and Michael's. I have also gotten a collection of lights and stair railing components.
I had a bit of a thing with getting the kit; hardly anybody seems to be carrying it these days so I couldn't really find it anywhere except eBay. I thought I had come across a relatively good deal but after two weeks o' waiting, the seller came back with "well we might be able to ship something in August". So I got a refund and ordered from another seller; not as good a deal but the service was bar-none (I had the kit in two days) and the kit was in excellent condition.
In case the family is reading this, I thought I'd post some "how it's made" pics; here is what it looks like when I open the kit box:
Almost 20 sheets of die-cut 1/8" plywood; one can make out window trim pieces in the 2nd pic.
The siding and shingles look a bit porous, unlike what I'm accustomed to seeing. Well it's probably an old kit; we'll see how they do.
The first step is sanding; I learned some time ago not to scrub on the pieces until every hint of a splinter is gone, because due to the nature of the wood, there would be no more piece left. I sand large pieces to an intermediate level with 120-grit.
Then comes the dry-fit, to see if there are going to be any stubborn fits or tabs and slots that need to be persuaded. This fit went pretty well.
I dry-fitted the main structural pieces up to the 2nd floor; remaining pieces I will dry-fit as I go along.
And here I am prepping my wallpapers, all lined up on newspaper on the porch getting their two coats of matte spray. I learned the hard way not to try to take short-cuts with the wallpaper prep.
The main structural pieces have to be primed where wallpaper or flooring/ceiling papers will be glued, in order to protect the papers from wood acids; I like to use Kilz water-based primer and then I sand it after it's dry for a smooth surface. This hand-sander is pretty nice for that. When I'm priming, I have to pay careful attention not to get primer into where interfaces will be (learned that one the hard way too).
And finally here's the first gluing-together of main structural components, with the front wall and first floor. I use wood glue for this, and reinforce heavily on the underside of the house.
Today I have a cold. I think my son brought it home from school. My head is congested, I can't sleep and I desperately want to get into the studio to create.
I spent some time the other day setting things up. I have to take pictures and add them in tomorrow.
I have a new table, a dedicated sewing area, a clay area work storage, a place to paint and sculpt and an area for the Orchid. If only it would warm up out, I could work in comfort in there. I'm thinking of getting a space heater to get me through the cold months.
The new area is great, I can store everything there. No more toting things all around this house. I like that.
So pictures tomorrow of the new area of creativity.
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.
Shame on me for not pursuing this blog. But as it so happens, GL revamped their site, and I had trouble settling in, so I got frustrated and gave up. Now I'm back, and determined to learn our new format.
I've gotten a lot done since I last posted here. Most of the rooms in Moggie Manor (RGT's EastSide Townhouse ) are wallpapered, and I've managed to come up with some very nice furnishings, although many of them are not permanent. Still it does my heart good to see the rooms with furniture in them.
My latest furniture purchase is a Bespaq Chambre de la Luna vanity. I love Bespaq, and although I can't afford to buy many pieces, I'm going to try to eventually have one piece in each room.
I've also gotten ahead of myself in another way..I've made a Christmas tree! Yup, I bought one of the simple, 'bottlebrush' trees, and using Lycopodium, fleshed the skeleton form out with lovely green branches. It now sits, waiting for ornamentation.
Getting the tree actually made was an obsession of mine. I had great fears that I'd leave it to the last minute, be unhappy with the results, and give up on decorating Moggie Manor for this Christmas.
Yep, in J.K.Rowling's world, Harry and his friends do celebrate Christmas. Those who love HP know that the witches and wizards in this world, aren't in league with the devil. Rather, they have been given extra gifts by the Divine..in the same manner that many other natural talents are given. And of course, it's how those talents are used, that makes them good or evil traits.
I like to believe that wizarding skills and talent are just one more example of a Divine Plan concerning human evolution..an adaptation to the world at large, due to mutations within our DNA. Wouldn't it be fun if such mutations really came to pass, and magic was really real?
OH well, I can dream, can't I? In any event, HP's Wizarding world is fun to play in.
More later. Have a great day!
Nothing new will be up untill next week,around march 5th. The castle is dismanteled right now. Putting in the beams on ceilings and cutting out for the staircases. And the outside walls are being painted,while waiting on the stone for the outside, and rest of the stone for the floors to be delivered.
Anyways back to Sirius's house!
I started playing around with FIMO clay. I've made some fruits and veggies, and continued into the HP world.
The next photo is a Troll foot umbrella stand I'm thinking of going over it with some stain, and ploy and stipple it to make it look like skin. In the background you can see the floors, which I stained a darker color, and the wallpaper that I'm still working on.
Next was probably my favorite thing I've done with clay. I made some shrunken elf heads. Its just scrap wood from a laser cut set, stained, and once I made the heads and baked them I glued them to the wood. I'm going to also eventually make little copper plaques with names of them.
My next clay project was a totally improv. The roof of the tower had a giant hole in it so I made a fun little steeple thingy. I just added clay to a broken paintbrush handle and set it in there with a bunch of woodglue. I'm thinking of making it look like metal. Not sure which one, cooper ( greening or not) , shiny black, or silvery.
I'm going to try to make snakes a very pronounced but understated theme of the house ( Slytherin it up ). So my first snake it wrapping around the weird middle window that I hated. I'm going to do the same metal treatment as the turret. I also made some stainglass with a coloring book from Michaels. In greens of course.
Next, I took a cheap Hobby Lobby pie cabinet, took of the metal fronts and added some of the HL little bottles full of various spices and colored waters. I also attempted some clay books. Its hard to see how they turned out but I'll definatly make some more. They turned out super darling.
You can also see it that pic that I stained the floor in two different colors. Unfortunatley there was some bleeding but nothing intense.
Finally is the outside's color. It seems a little blue in the pic put its grey. Whereever its still yellow is going to be paperclay brick. I'm still unsure of how I want the outside to look. I'm just playing it by ear. I'm thinking I was to distress the grey, but since I just did my base coat I have some time to think about it!
Let me know what you think. I'm really curious to see if anyone reads this haha. Have an amazing day!
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