Sunday, November 12, 2017

I Found My Wire!

Well, I found some of my wire. God knows where the rest of it got to.  But luckily the wire I did find was bronze-ish/copper and a decent gauge so it worked for what I wanted.

I also found a couple of little eyelets.  I think that's what they're called, the little screw ins with circles on the ends?  Whatever they are, I found a couple that would work in my stash of beads and stuff.

After some eyeballing and measuring I figured out where I need to screw the eyelets into the ladder.  Then got my wire bent/shaped to the right length and size and screwed holes into the floor and loft edge for the wire track to go into.

I would like to say that my normal procedure would be to put the wire in with glue, then curse because I forgot to attach the ladder first.  Thankfully I skipped that step this time around and managed to get the ladder on the wire track before the final glue was in.  Yay me.

So here's the finished product.



I did clean up the extra glue afterwards so there won't be random splotches of it on my loft floor.

The ladder stands up pretty well when it has the loft to brace against so I'm pleased.  And when it comes down it won't hit the sliding door of the bathroom either. Yay.

I found some pretty shampoo and body wash bottles on Etsy, in Stephanie Scott's shop, and I really like how they look.  Not name brand but our home owner is more the organic shampoo type anyway.



Not bad right?  I might add a little jar of bath salts to hide behind the shower curtain, just for fun and because I'll know it's there.  We'll see.  I've got some stuff to make a loofah too which is another project for today.

The major project for Saturday was the front porch pillars.  So I started with mortar for the stone.


And while that dried I started on the cap and tapered columns.  I made the cap from some mitered wood of the same width as the wainscoting lip.


Then a little step up detail to the cap, which I widened a bit more with some strip wood.


Because I noticed on a lot of the Craftsman houses I've seen there's a squared base and then the tapered columns begin after the trim and I'd inadvertently made my little step up the same width as my tapered column base.


The tapered columns were a bit tricky but the website I found, actually a blog, was super helpful. I don't know if Mr. Katz ever thought he'd be helping miniaturists build their dollhouses but his blog is excellent.

The trick is determining your base width and your top width and then centering your top measurement over your base with the length/height of your column in the middle.  Then you cut from point to point.  I started with an inch and a quarter and cut that in half for my top width.  That's for the front and back. The sides you need to remove the width of the boards you're using. 1/8 bass and balsa in my case.  So your side column pieces are narrower.  Then you sandwich them together and glue.  And tape.  And pray.

Then you test fit.  With tape still in place with the glue dries so I could untape and make adjustments if I needed to.


I had to do some sanding and then I started adding trim to the base of the tapered column.


And then to the top of the columns. Otherwise they look unfinished to me.


Before I painted I went over everything with wood putty to fill in any little cracks and to smooth things out.

And waiting for that to dry was a pain but I managed.

Sanding and paint.  And glue them into place.


 And I added the trim to the top of the porch so it looks more finished.


Voila! The porch is pretty much done.

I have a doorknocker that I'm waiting on to arrive, and a mailbox to put up but apart from some plants that's pretty much it.

Here's a question for you, should the columns have a wooden cuff around the bottom of the stone?  Something in white to echo the white columns above it?

Here's a few pics with the wood raw just to give you an idea.



Not so great pictures off my phone but you get the idea.  It just feels like the stone needs some transition to the wood porch floor.  Does that make sense?

I also need to measure for a base so I can have some landscaping and something solid for the whole thing to go on.

So that was my entire Saturday and my Sunday morning folks.  What do you think?  And what have the rest of you been up to?

Oh! Also we've gotten the go ahead from the insurance company to get everything repaired from the water damage.  And won't that be fun to pay for the remainder with our deductible but hopefully it'll start getting rebuilt this week.  Yay! Doors on my cabinets and shelves inside again.  Very exciting.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

November Already? I'm Feeling Behind...

I don't know what it is about this time of year.  I always feel like I have a million things left to do and not enough time to do them.

I did manage to add some more trim to the house.



When I get the porch and pillars done I'll add the trim there.

Speaking of the porch and pillars... that was the next thing I worked on.  I made a template out of cardboard and made supports from bass wood.



Then I stained the wood with Minwax Ebony and Rustoleums Weathered Grey afterward.  It made the wood dark without being brown.  I'm trying to keep the cool colors on the outside of the house.


Here it is in place against the house.


I made a little step as well, about the same size as the original, because otherwise you're stepping up a foot to get to the porch and that's not realistic.



They're not glued together yet, just sitting for now.  I wanted to add the stone before I glued them together.

A little finagling and I got the stone on.



Ceramcoat to protect the stones and then some mortar, and I glued the step to the porch.  It's not perfect but I still like how it looks.  Of course I forgot to take a picture of that step.

Instead I started on the columns.  I wanted the stone to go about four feet up the columns and then the lip and tapered wooden column would start.  I'm still figuring out the engineering for those tapered columns but I did get the stone on the bases.




The ceramcoat is still drying on the columns so no mortar yet.  You can see a bit of the mortar on the porch and step though.

I need to make the cap/lip to the stone columns and study a few pictures of craftsman houses to figure out what sort of detailing I'll need on the tapered portions.  

So far so good though... that stone takes forever and drives me more than a little batty but I'm pretty much done with it.

Have a great rest of your weekend everyone!

Now where's my to do list...

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Staining Shingles

Another weekend of not accomplishing much on the dollhouse.  Mostly because I'm worn out from working on the real house.

We had some loose tiles in our back bathroom so I made my first foray into the world of tile, thin-set and grout.

My knees and back are protesting.

But I did get my shingles stained.  The first layer I used Rustoleum's Weathered Grey.

I like it but its very light.


So I let it dry overnight and then mixed up some black paint with a bit of grey and then watered it down.

I coated the shingles and then wiped off the excess just like I would a stain.



I still have a little bit of what looks like raw wood showing but it's more like layers of color rather than one flat stain.

That's it so far.  I need to paint trim and get it added to the upper portion of the house as well as get some rafters cut for under the eaves.  And work on the porch and columns for it.  That's not even including the furniture that needs to be made, or the window seat cushion and bedding.

I've got a list.

Hopefully I'll get a little more energy this afternoon and get a few more things accomplished but I'm not going to hold my breath.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Shingles! And Flashing

Not that sort of flashing.

I don't want to scare people.

The sort that goes around a chimney.  You know, copper, steel...that sort of thing? 

I thought about bronze, I really did.  But nothing else on the outside of the house is bronze.  So I decided to go with black metallic. 

I love thin cardboard.  It's so versatile.  I painted it black and then black metallic over it. 



A bit of glue still sticking to it but I'll fix that with some tweezers and paint touch up after I finish the roof.

You can see I've started shingling already.

That was time consuming until I found my glue gun. Then it went much faster.  Simple too, no dormers or gables so no angle cutting on the shingles. Yay!


Here's the main roof with the chimney cap and the skylight in place.  Fits very nicely.


Then I started on the smaller roof.


I'll  get some of my grey weathered stain and do that in a few days, then add a wash of black paint if the grey looks too light.

While that's drying I'll start back up on the porch.


I keep looking at my ladder and wondering if I should sand it and paint it or just leave the stain the way it is?  I might sand and soften a few spots strategically where hands would grip the rails.

But that's my big accomplishment for the weekend. Not much I'm afraid. 

Hope everyone else had a good time.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Weekend's Work

My weekend saw one big thing (at least to me) accomplished for the dollhouse but due to a weeks worth of sleep deficit I really didn't accomplish much else.

Why was she not sleeping you ask?  Oh boy.

You all recall the plumbing issue we had to have dealt with?  That happened on Monday.  A broken stop valve under the sink was dripping steadily for goodness knows how long.  I keep extra makeup bags, cottonballs and a few other things under the sink so I didn't hear any dripping.  Needless to say everything under the sink was pretty much trashed.

The cabinet base looked so bad the plumber gave us a card for a company that deals with water damage.  They came out on Tuesday.

When they left on Tuesday, this is what they left behind. (Pictures courtesy of my husband's phone.)  He was awesome the whole week.




In case none of you recognize this equipment, they are dehumidifiers, heaters/fans.  They spent from Tuesday morning until Friday morning in our house, giving us a new appreciation of how quiet it is without them.  It's a bit like being inside a wind tunnel.

So...not much sleep this past week.  All the cabinets are a dead loss, as is the drywall on both sides of the wall and the carpet in the bedroom.

The process of getting it all replaced starts next week around Thursday after the insurance company gives us the go-ahead.

So this weekend I was moving in semi-slow motion because I haven't felt quite awake.  My husband was worse off than I was.  To accomplish anything for the dollhouse was a minor miracle.

Because I was so tired I neglected to take any in progress shots.  But you'll recall I was working on a topper for the chimney? So it would look realistic?

I got the stone on the chimney, and got it grouted and coated with ceramcoat.  So it looks pretty good.  Then I got to work on the topper.

A layer of bass wood covered in stucco and smoothed to look as much like concrete as I could manage serves as the edge of the chimney.  A cage made of scrap wood, painted black and some spare vinyl screen from an old door partially hides the stacks inside.  They're actually the inner plastic of a calculator tape roll.  You accountants out there will know what I mean.  And the roof to keep water out is actually painted cardboard.  It was the easiest to work with when it came to fussing with the angles.  Geometry is not my friend.


I wanted the roof angles to match the house a bit, so I was playing around with them.


And here's a close up of the cage part.  No birds or squirrels will next in this chimney.

I have an idea for the flashing and once that's on I'll start to shingle the roof.

Now I just want to flop on the couch and recover from the crazy week a bit more.

How are the rest of you doing?  I hope everyone else's week was a bit easier?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Cat With a Death Wish

You all remember my NOLA House?  That I slaved away on for a year and obsessed over?

The Building Inspector has a death wish.

Pardon the terrible quality of these photos.  All I had was my phone when I spotted where she was.






Insane!  This cat is insane.  And to get up and down she had to jump and walk all over the Beach Bungalow.

My husband says she has more balls than brains.  Since she's female I don't think she's been blessed with an abundance of either.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Lots of Little Things & the Chimney

Oh! And the lamp which suffered from sudden Cat! syndrome and broke has been repaired.  Seriously, these lamps have lived with us more than sixteen years and my husband actually likes them so I really had to repair the one that Tali and/or Miho broke.

The glue is drying but that I managed to find all the pieces and glue it together is a triumph in and of itself.

So that was my Real Life 1:1 scale drama.  After I post this I need to clean everything off of the bathroom counter that I won't need for tomorrow morning.  Which is frustrating because it's a lot of stuff that I need in the morning.  But somehow I'll manage.

On to the fun stuff.  Minis!

I decided to bite the bullet and put the stone on the chimney.  So that's all done and the glue is drying.  I'm working on making the chimney cap and I've been reading about flashing too so I have high hopes of making it look authentic.


Once I get all of that figured out and done I can start to add the shingles.  I found the extras I had but they're hexagon shingles so I probably need to go buy some more.

I started to mess around with decorating, at least a bit, trying different things out on the built ins and the mantle.  I need some art to go on the chimney bump out I think.






I took a picture from the small window just inside the entrance so I could see how the bench and fireplace built ins looked before I started adding accessories.


I've also added the kick plate to the kitchen cabinets as well as some wine bottles, canisters and a nice little bread box.




I had purchased some of Jodi's dinnerware from Shapeways and decided to try an ombre look.  I have mixed feelings about how they turned out.


I only painted two place settings so if I really hate how they turn out I can do something else with the rest of the dinnerware.

The last thing I did was try out a couple of rugs in the bathroom.  The cream colored rug is simpler, but the striped one picks up the color on the walls and the tiles in the main space.



 Anyone else have an opinion?  Obviously I need to iron the cream colored rug.

I'm working on the measurements for the porch since it's going to be a bit bigger than the standard porch for the kit.  Once I get that established I'll know how many columns I have to make and where to place them.

Still haven't found my wire so I can attach the ladder.  It's getting a little frustrating actually.  Have to keep looking.

Hope everyone else has had a good weekend.