Sunday, December 30, 2012

More Shingles & Going A Shade Darker

So this week, not a ton of progress, I spent most of my time writing and figuring something out for the roof.

But I did get another section mostly done, and the half shingles onto the section I'd worked on last week.  See?

Lots of tedious sawing and sandpapering involved here.
And also here, the 'addition' part of the house.  Just need to do the cut down top row.

Not bad right?
Notice how brown everything looks though?  I really don't care for that too much.  So I mixed up some, a little white and some of the dark blue that's on the trim and corbels to give it the right hue.

By the way, old Cool Whip containers... awesome for this purpose.  Just don't expect to use it again afterwards.  But on the plus side there's a lid and the paint stays viable in the fridge. 

So here is the result of the paint job I did on the roof.  This is the first side of the roof I completed by the way.

Not perfect but it looks marginally better to me.  I need to touch things up a bit.
I figured out that dry brushing works the best for this, it keeps the wood grain showing somewhat and that prevents the roof from looking too flat.

Maybe this will give you a better idea.  This is the front part I just completed before the paint.

See? Very brown.

And after I dry brushed the paint onto the shingles.

Again, not perfect but better than it was.
Part of the reason I've been busy and haven't done as much with the dollhouse is I've been chasing a kitten all over.

We got snow here on Christmas Day.  By the way, I moved to Texas to get away from snow.  I do not embrace the cold, ice, or any form of frozen/crystalized water whatsoever.

The kitten (six month old calico) is named Tali.  I may have mentioned her?  Well Tali had never seen snow.  She stared at it out the window for HOURS.  She wasn't freaked, this cat doesn't get freaked about anything, but she was reallly fascinated.

You can't see the snow falling but its on the ground so assume it's coming from the sky.
Here's one where she's looking at me for an explanation of this phenomenon.

Mommy? What in the name of the dear and fluffy lord is this?
Of course she does other things... climbs on the tops of doors for example.  She's very adventurous that way. how do I get down?
Mommy lifts her down, that's how.

By the way, Tali likes to steal the mini make up brushes from Mommy's bathroom and carry them around in her mouth.  Daddy says its because she wants to be pretty like Mommy.  He's started singing 'I Feel Pretty' whenever he sees her doing this.

Daddy really can't carry a tune so its disturbing for everyone involved.

And those are our adventures for the week.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Shingles and Corbels...and Hot Glue

So I'm happy to say that I've made progress on the dollhouse...

I'd also like to advise those of you out there who haven't used a hot glue gun that they are very hot.  That might seem obvious but when you get hot glue on your fingers... well its one of those things that you think you know, until you get the glue on your skin.  Ouch ouch ouch. 

Contrary to what you guys might think I've used this glue gun before.  It's actually the only glue gun I've ever used.  And its not like its this huge thing.  See?

It's what? Five inches at the most?
So really I have no excuse for my klutziness.  But this is a warning to all you would be glue gun users, shaking fingers and hot glue don't mix.

However I did manage to get some of the shingles on.  The instructions called for half shingles or copper flashing.  I really didn't care for either one of those things.  So I used black paint on the lowest edge of the roof.

See? To show through the angles of the shingles.
So I started at one side and glued my way over to the angled edge of the roof.  Getting the singles cut at an angle so I could fill in that little corner space wasn't easy but I found that sanding half shingles at an angle seemed to do the trick. 

It's not easy to see but on the right is where I sanded down little shingles.
I'd like to say that this was quick work... That would be a lie.  It takes a couple of hours to do one the way what do you guys think of the color?  I'm really wondering if I shouldn't get some dark stain and put another layer on the shingles.
Yep at least an hour and a half of work.  And the top row still has to be done.
The top row has to be cut down so only the right amount of shingle shows.  Basically a third of an inch cut off the top of the shingles.  Yeah, that's what I thought, an awful lot of cutting and sanding going on here. 

But I got it done eventually.

It doesn't look bad...but I'm still not sure about the color.
But I started to work on the front of the house and painted the room edges and top of the bay window area.  I'll need to paint the whole roof before I can put my widows walk railings up but I also need the shingles on before I do that so the shingles are the order of the day for a while.

I'll do the top row later today or tomorrow.
I'm debating doing all the regular shingles for the whole roof and then doing the half shingles of the top, but we'll see how I feel.

The last thing I did was add the corbels to the eaves.  See?

Maybe I'll put another coat of white paint on the spindles of the railings...
Or maybe I'll just relax... we'll have to see.

But if I don't see all of you before Christmas I hope you have a Merry one.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Papering the Walls

Hello all... I'm a little tired this weekend.

I am only partially ashamed to say that I did not accomplish anything with the dollhouse this weekend.  I wrote quite a bit, so much so that I got very little sleep, but the dollhouse... well until I get Christmas all situated the dollhouse might be delayed somewhat.

I did however get the wallpaper I ordered for the house.  So I'm going to show you that.

As you'll recall, I'm doing the living room/parlor in red and gold.  So, gold curtains, red cushions... rug to match... and here's the wallpaper I picked out.

I think it'll go very nicely in the living room don't you?

I also found something that was just gorgeous for the master bedroom.  On sale too.  A very nice blue and white.  I loved the pattern too.

Reminds me a little bit of the wallpaper in the room I had at home.  Very pretty.

So now dining room is also going to be red and gold, not sure how much red but a little bit at least.  And I wanted something a little bit brighter.  So I chose this... elegant but still not as dark as the parlor will be.

The library I was really torn.  I finally decided that I'd go with something a little different.  This paper is called Green Hyde Park and it seemed suitably masculine as well as elegant.  I think the redwood furniture will go well with it.  A nice contrast.  And then I'll look around for some fabric for curtains that matches nicely.  Something dark and suitably masculine since the bedoom is so feminine.

The last room I bought paper for is the girls room on the top floor.  Since her room will be green and pink I thought a nice floral pattern would be appropriate.  Its a sweet pattern and I really liked the colors.


Oh, a few more things to show you,  a different carpet for the libary.  I think I'll end up using a green satin or something in a very deep red to go along with this and the wallpaper but I think it'll work.

And the rug that came with the dining set I ordered was awful and starting to lose its fringe.  I found another one that will work in the dining room and still is in keeping with the gold and red scheme.

So that's what I have to show you today.  I'm hoping by next week to have at least some of the shingles on the house and show you how they look and what I want to do with them.  I think you'll approve.

Oh, the library furniture, I don't know if you remember, but the desk, a book shelf and some chairs I ordered are a very red wood.  I'm debating if I want to get some brown or black stain and wash it over the existing wood to darken it up slightly.  I'd love a few opinions.  I may have to test this on one of the chairs since I'm not terribly thrilled with them as library chairs anyway.  I'm planning on finding some stuffed furniture for the library. My boss gave me a bunch of dollhouse furniture that belonged to her daughter at one point.  I may re-upholster a chair or two if they'll work in the library in different colors.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Shingles, Trim, More Trim & Hinges

Yes, that's right, I got the dye and my husband brought me a gallon jug to use as a bucket & drainer so I stained my shingles on Saturday.  Newspaper is a must when doing this, even using it to cover my counters it was still messy.

See how you're supposed to use the gallon jug?  This gets messy pretty quick.
I'm not precisely thrilled with how they turned out though. I'm thinking I need another batch of dye/stain and do them over again or I need to buy some grey/black stain and paint the shingles after I've glued them to the roof. But here are the shingles drying after I've stained them.

They look a lot darker here than they turned out.
Here's a better picture.  The grey didn't seem to cover all of the shingles with color, there's a lot of the wood tone showing through and I'm not sure I like that.

See what I mean about the wood tone?
So they have to sit for almost a week, with turning and rotating so they dry completely and when we're on day five I'll see how the color looks.  If I have to I'll get some stain that I can paint on and do that once the shingles are on the house.  I'm a little impatient to get them actually onto the roof.  Right now they're in a cabinet on the top shelf and I take them down every few hours to stir them up.

But while I was waiting for them to dry I decided I'd work on some more trim for the dollhouse.  I did a lot of painting on Saturday.  I mean a lot.

The blue looks really bright here.  It's not as bright in person.
These are all the pieces of trim that go on the corners of the house.  The extra long pieces go on the tower and the shorter ones go on the side wings of the house.  The two little ones go above the bay area on the tower.  The effect is very cool.

See, the bright blue isn't so bright here.  And I painted the tops of my fence posts
I also took the opportunity to paint the edges of the roof in the blue so I wouldn't have to do it later.  the tricky part was painting the edges of the trim, I hadn't done that before I glued them to the house.  The second batch of trim I painted I waited a bit and then painted the edges before gluing them to the house.  That worked much better and hopefully I won't have too much trouble fixing the little blue mistakes on the pale blue body of the house.

Remember last week how I was wondering what color to paint the railings?  I talked it over with Rita and we looked at the original picture of the dollhouse.  So I've decided to paint the spindles white and the railings blue.  I'll do the same with the doors and windows, the bulk of the frames will be white with a little blue trim. 

So here I've painted the spindles white.  I also painted the posts of my fence posts white as well.

See? Nice and white.  I'll probably need to give them another coat though.

There are these cute little corbels (I think that's the word) that go under the eaves of the house and should match the trim.  I painted those as well.  That was tricky because they're so small, I got a lot of paint on my fingers.

The green background doesn't help but the little blue things are going to go on the house.

The last thing I did for the house was to attach the bay walls with hinges.  Now I just need to figure out how to place the magnet closer.

Nice and shiny.  Might paint over those, might not.

Of course I've been doing other things too.  If I have time midweek I'll show you samples of the wallpaper I ordered and I caved in and ordered another couple of rugs because they were so pretty and I really wanted them.  I'm hoping I can get the outside of the house done in the next couple of weeks and then the fun part begins.

In the mean time I need to read up on electrical systems.  If I can install a ceiling fan (or three) in my actual house I should be able to deal with electric lights in a dollhouse, right?

Wow, don't all of you agree with me at once... sheesh.

Wish me luck.  And if in a few weeks my hair looks a lot curlier than usual you'll know that things they did not go smooth.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Trimming the Dollhouse

The blue trim that I painted last week worked out fairly well.  I'm pretty excited about how it looks, the blue will be a nice pop against grey/black shingles.  Here it is on the dollhouse:

The raw edges showed so I had to repaint once the trim was glued on.
 There were a few points where I had to sand down the top edge to fit the trim between the roof lines.  But it worked out pretty well.

You can barely see the raw edge on the back piece.
And one more picture of the other side, which still looks pretty good.
Nice reflection too huh?  Never said I was much of a photographer.
So the next step is to add the shingles to the roof but since I don't have everything I need to stain/dye the shingles I decided to put a few other things together in preparation for the rest of the work.
See part of what is so cool about this house is all the trim and woodwork.  The roof and bay window extension have railings for the widows walks.  The kit gives you a railing guide and instructions as to how to construct the railings.  Not hard really.
See the top right illustration and the top middle drawing?
It involves spindles, wood glue and rails and a lot of bending over on my part.  But other than that...not too difficult.  See below:
See, the trick is to make sure the ends have an even amount of the guide around them.
See what I mean?  It isn't hard, just a little ticky tacky and I'm so glad that wood glue doesn't dry too quickly or I would have had a lot more trouble.
Both rails on and glued.  Have to let it rest and set a little bit before picking it up.
But eventually everything gets set and its safe to take the railings off the guide.  Then I start the whole process over again.  So I just started to stack my finished railings against the house.
Husband asked if it was a ladder for Santa Claus.  Uh, no. It's not.
The next step was to assemble the newel posts which come in three pieces.  These also had instructions:
See the lower right hand illustration?
This also involved wood glue.  And bending.  And then enclosing all of these inside the case so the cats couldn't get them.
Three completed and ten more to go.
And here are all thirteen glued together. 
See?  All of them looking nearly uniform.
I'm thinking of what color to paint them.  The trim on the roof and on the house will be blue.  I'm wondering if I shouldn't do the railings and window trim in white.  I'm debating because with the roof black/grey, trim in dark blue, the railings white and the house pale blue it might be too many colors. 
Then again, three colors plus the roof is the norm.  So should I be repainting the foundation?  Or leaving it black to go with the roof? 
I'm really not sure and since painting houses isn't exactly my forte I don't know what I should do.  Suggestions, comments, great thoughts?  I could use some help on this.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blue Paint & Trim & Random Holiday Stuff

So maybe some of you noticed, this was a holiday weekend?  As such, not a lot was accomplished on the dollhouse.  Actually not a lot was accomplished period. 

We did several things, went to the home of friends for Thanksgiving which was awesome cubed (yep, I'm good enough at math to make that reference now.  Tears of pride anyone?)  Seriously they're such good cooks that I liked sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce (the homemade kind) and stuffing with sausage in it.  And pork tenderloin with this reallly yummy sauce to go over it.  All of these are things I don't normally eat and yet I ate and ate and ate because it was all sooooo good.  Rachel & Bill you guys are made of cool. 

We won't mention the Cowboy game.  Ever.

On Saturday my phone stopped working.  Apologies to anyone who tried to call me. Not that I get a lot of calls, but still... I go today to get that fixed.  Saturday we also journeyed into Frisco to see Silver Linings Playbook.

This is a great movie.  And if people don't at least get Oscar nods I think my husband might just break something.  I don't want to think about what.  But it was funny and poignant and sweet and you don't have any idea until the end what is going to happen to these loving and damaged people.  It's really good. Go see it if you can find it in a theatre near you. Or like us, even if you can't.

So the Dollhouse.  Before I can put the shingles on, I'm supposed to put on the roof trim.  You may recall that the instructions say to paint everything before putting it on the dollhouse.  And I don't know about you, but when I use wood glue I like it to go in between wood. Not in between wood and paint.  So here are all my pieces of roof trim:

Nice piece of cardboard so I don't get paint everywhere.
And these are not in any particular order.  Order comes later when I've figured out which board goes where.  See, they're angled at the ends and what side I paint will depend on what part of the roof they go on.  See this handy diagram?

Very helpful right? At least labels everything.
So I figured out what side I needed to paint and laid them all out so only the exposed side would get the blue paint.  And here is my can of blue paint which looks very bright but should darken when its dry.  I'm hoping. 

It seems bright to me.  I'm not used to painting with colors.
But with some work and manuevering to make sure nothing got painted and then stuck together, I got all my little trim pieces done.  Voila!

Once I've gotten them on the dollhouse I'll give them another coat of paint to make them a little prettier and also color any exposed edges.  But I'm pretty stoked about this. 

I also worked a little bit on another dollhouse project which I'll try to finish up and show you guys hopefully midway through this week or next weekend.  Ha!  See I'm getting so good at this I'm throwing out teasers for the next post...

Yeah I'd probably sound more professional if I didn't point stuff like that out huh?

Anyway hope your Thanksgivings were great and I'll see you guys next week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dollhousing Again! Yay!

So this weekend had several issues to delay this post. 

Number 1) I had strep throat thanks to the lovely folks at work who spread it around.  So I was exhausted and really not in the shape to do anything but sleep. 

Number 2) The photos did not want to upload from my phone.  I love when the phone says it has an update and you think it'll make your life easier but it just messes up everything you thought you understood about your phone.

Number 3) Tali'Zorah Vas Normandy.  Yep, my kitten was definitely an impediment to accomplishing work on the dollhouse.  She was fascinated by the paintbrush and got paint on her paws which freaked me out.  I returned the favor by freaking her out and washing her paws with soap and water.  She hasn't died yet so I think she'll be okay.

But the goal for this weekend was to start painting and as you can tell from Tali's trouble paint I did.

I started with building the front steps because they had to be wood glued on and I din't want to glue paint to paint.  So first step, attach the treads to the steps.  Like so:

Notice my high tech carpentry tools here.
And also like so:

More very high tech professional grade tools.
The end product is supposed to look like this:

Nicely specific aren't they?
I painted the steps partially before I glued them together.  I thought it might make it easier for some reason.  I never said logic entered into this process.

Painted the sides and front of the bottom step
Here's the top step partially painted:

You can see the paint a lot easier on this one.
Then I glued them together and glued them to the house.  Which I forgot to take a picture of.  So we'll skip right to the part where I painted the steps completely. 

Snazzy huh?
Eventually I'm going to put a gloss on the steps and another coat of black paint.  But for now this works.  I also painted the foundation of the house the same color, hence wanting the steps to have a little contrast.

See, I don't want the steps to blend into the foundation as much.
Here's a pic of the side of the house.  Tali was fascinated by this process.

A little dark but still you can see what I did since it contrasts with the raw wood.
But that wasn't all I did folks.

Oh no.  I got out my brand new paint brush and my special paint that I bought that has primer and paint in one BEHR paint that the Home Depot lady mixed up special for me.  She was really great, helped me figure out my colors and decide on a nice pale pale blue for the main body of the house.  As you see here:

The color doesn't pop as much from behind the plexiglas.
But it's so pretty.  and the front part of the house looks a little weird because part of the house is meant to be on hinges and open so I couldn't paint it attached to the house because then the paint would dry and its really got a glue like quality to it once its dry.  So a little weirdness.

But here's another picture of the side of the house.  I'm very pleased with this color.

Isn't it pretty?
So now I need to paint the trim, stain the shingles, glue the shingles on, glue on the trim...

Yeah I've got a lot of work.  But this is the fun part.  No more case building. We're dollhousing again!

Yay me.