Monday, September 28, 2015

Kitchen Is Coming Along

Did you guess what I worked on this weekend?  Uh huh. You got it.  The kitchen.

I bought a kit for some upper cabinets as I didn't care for the ones that came with the second hand stove and sink that I purchased.  Elf Miniatures has some awesome kits and that's where I got the cabinet kit.

I also just purchased a sink and faucet from them but they haven't arrived yet.  I'm planning to upgrade the sink I purchased. 

Here are the cabinets from the kit.

I haven't put the varnish on them yet. 
They came with some pretty silver handles but since I'm making most of the metal in the kitchen out of copper I drilled some holes and used copper wire to make handles.

I also changed the handles on the drawers, oven and cabinets I had already.  And below you can see where I took out the cheap little sink.

They aren't perfect but they're pretty good.
I also worked on the island/peninsula.  It was originally white and I painted it a softened lime green. 

It's not nearly as bright as it could be and I like the pop of color it gives the kitchen.
I took some thin bass wood for a base and used some leftover oak flooring to make it look more like butcher block by gluing it to the basswood.  Then cut quarter rounds for the edges and painted/stained it in walnut.

Here it is taped together so the glue will set.
And here it is glued to the island/peninsula stained and ready to be varnished.

I want to use it as a sort of breakfast bar with the stools I bought.
Here are another couple of angles.

I also started to work on the stove and 'tile' backsplash. 

I had some dark brown textured scrapbook paper that just needed some dry brushing with copper paint to pass for tile.

It's just bright enough to gleam but not take over.
And I picked up some plates in copper that look really cool over the stove.

See?  I like how that looks.  I'll put some dark brown paint to hide the little gaps.
My plan for the kitchen is to have one wall with the off white wallpaper as if its wrapped around from the bathroom and living room.  The other walls are in a very soft green that'll match the tile flooring.

See?  It won't clash with the bright green but its not off white either.  It'll look nice with the tile.

the green is nice and neutral, just like the wallpaper.
And the bright green apple color will be a nice pop.  Not too awful but something to keep the kitchen from being boring.

So I put the cabinets on the walls.  I think they turned out pretty well.

I like how they look... pretty good right?

This is a good one of the stove backer too.
So now I need to make a little filler for between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling.  I really don't want a lot of empty space up there.  I don't like how it looks.  I'd put cabinets if I thought I could make some.  I also need a place to attach the vent/fan for over the stove.
I'll do pictures of that when that part is done.  It's also another place to hide wiring which I really need.
The other thing I did was make towels for the half bath.  I had some soft thin flannel in pale lime green and cut it into towel sized pieces, folding and rolling so they filled the shelves.  If I can find a little basket I might put extra soap or lotion bottles on one shelf instead.
I'm a little sad the dots don't show too well on the white towels.  They're pink and green.

But those are my weekend accomplishments.  Not too bad considering... 

See you later!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Feels Like...Not Very Much

It doesn't feel like I got much done this past weekend.  That I'm writing this early on a Thursday morning kinda emphasizes that fact.  I did get things done but they aren't big things.  Well, in the grand scheme they are but as far as taking pictures... Not so much.

My big accomplishment for the weekend was getting the squared off wall cut out and door holes cut into it.  When you don't have a table saw or any sort of skill with a jig saw this is actually a huge accomplishment.  I used craft knife and a ruler and a lot of prayer.

And then I did a test run of how everything will fit together. 

Except for some careful sanding I think we're good.  I need to cut more of my thin basswood to make my hollow walls.  And I really need to cut some channels into the beams over the porch or figure some way to run wiring down them so I can hang my porch lights there. 

But here's the test run of everything fitting together.

I need to make some windows, tiny narrow ones to go on either side of the sliding doors.

I'm debating how to build up the squared off part of the house.  I need the walls of the roof patio to be at least waist level to a doll, so about three and a half feet at the least. (That's in doll feet, so inches to you and I.)  I need to add about four inches total to the shorter walls...and two and a half to the tall one.  So that project needs consideration.

The other thing I did was cut a larger hole into the outer curved wall for more windows.

You can kinda see it here...
Mostly you just see how much I need to organize and clean off my table.  Sad really.  I have this huge room I work in but no storage for the building supplies.  So all my wood is on a chair and next to the house.

I have to confess, this is a continued post. I started it last week and realized that I hadn't gotten a lot of stuff done that was picture worthy. I mean if you count painting windows I got a lot done but its about as interesting as watching paint dry. 

So this is about two weeks worth of progress. 

Here's a shot of the painted windows in the newly cut opening in the upper curved wall.

I'll fill in or otherwise cover up the original little window opening.  I need to make more trim for these guys.
They're actually regular Houseworks windows turned on their sides.  I like how they look this way.  The windows are smaller but the idea is to echo the windows in the bedroom, which will be from the original kit.

I also started to make my hollow wall to close off the studio/office from the stairwell.  I put an outlet in the lower part near the door opening so I could add a lamp to the desk if I was so inclined, in addition to the other lights I want.  Still not entirely sure on those.

It is not easy to cut curved walls, let me tell you.  Lots of time and struggle.
One of these days I'll have more power tools. Until that happy day I'll muddle along with my hand tools.  Sometimes they're better for delicate work anyway.

The picture above is the inner wall.  I've got another hollow wall supporting the stairwell and the outlet wire will feed through the floor through the stairwell wall and under the bottom floor to the foundation.

Here's the inside of the wall...

Balsa wood 'two by fours' to widen the wall and make it more real. 
I did a bit of this work on the square wall as well.  It needed to be widened somewhat.  The kit wall will make up the other half of the stairwell and the roof will onto it so I have my curve.  Then I'll build the wall up from that point to make up the roof area.

I still have no idea how my mini people will get from the second floor to the roof.  I'm just going to call it the magic stairs and people can use their imaginations.  I don't have the room for another stairwell.  Not unless I make a spiral stair case in the corner of the master bedroom... Hmm... Possibly doable... Need to consider that.

Here's a shot of the entire side wall, new windows and all.  The lower floor windows will pop a bit more once I get the siding onto the house. Right now there's no contrast really.

See what I mean?  But the whole wall is gonna be a nice walnut in flat horizontal siding and then the windows will pop out.
While my walls were drying (Glue, wait, glue, wait some more, this process erodes my patience), I worked on the lights in my first floor half bath.

I was gonna make the bar silver but then I decided natural wood was the way to go.
Here's another shot... hopefully you get the idea. When they're lit up they're very bright.

See what I mean? 
But since they're the only light for that bathroom they'll need to be bright.  The camera makes them look a light brighter than they are.

I also attached my sink to the vanity and got my drains touched up with black paint so they look like drains and not just holes in the sink.

I love the little marble top.
And now that I'm pretty much done with the bathroom I'm working on the kitchen.  I really need to have everything done for the first floor except the flooring, the walls finished and furniture placed so I can get the lights wired.  Then the lights for the second floor.  I think for the roof I'll end up cheating and using some battery lights.

But the project for the coming week is to get the rest of the second floor windows done, the master bedroom walls widened.  (They need the balsa two by four treatment.) And the second bathroom wall cut.

I think I've got plenty to do.  I just need to take pictures of it when I do it right?

So long for now.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hedwig's House

Since my in progress shots don't show much progress I'm waiting to show you what I've been doing on the contest house.

But what I did do was take pictures of a project that's been on my desk for a while and I just got around to telling you about it.

I have a fascination with taking things that aren't supposed to be a dollhouse and turning them into one. fronted cabinets, birdhouses...that sort of thing.

I also love owls.  I can draw a pretty decent cartoony owl but I'm always on the lookout for something cute and little for my dollhouses. 

So when I saw this lantern I had to grab it.

I mean look at that? Is it not adorable?
And since the theme of my desk at work is owls...It's perfect there.  The color even matches the turquoise I've got going.

Well...sorta.  But that's okay because Owls!

My first step was putting in a floor.  And that was pretty simple.  Some paper towels and glue to build up the floor around the votive holder in the bottom and then some pretty textured paper on the top of it.

Ignore the furniture, look at the floor!
Can you tell I didn't take a lot of in progress shots?

To me the cool thing about birds/owls/winged creatures, is that they don't need to bother with stairs so you can have two or three stories without pesky things like...floors or ladders.

And since this lovely creature was making her home in this little lantern she'd need a place to sleep right?

Isn't she adorable?
I'm calling her Hedwig (of course) and I got her from Handmade By November along with another owl for a different project. 

This Hedwig is a bit younger than canon Hedwig from Harry Potter and she's just learning the craft of being a Post Owl.  So she has to study her textbooks.

I made this myself, can you tell?

And she needs light to study by and a place to sleep.  So I added a chandelier and a hammock to the dome of the lantern.

This took a while to make...I relearned macramé for this.

Worth it though because it looks pretty underneath.
You can't see the chandelier very well so here's another peek and a look at Hedwig's little statue of a distinguished post owl in History.

He was originally a charm.
The chair and table I found at Hobby Lobby but I made the corner shelf out of some woodsies.  I painted them all the same chocolate brown and varnished them with clear nail polish.  I actually bought some clear polish cheap at CVS just for my miniatures.

They match nicely I think.
The Harry Potter statue was a Christmas ornament but since he's Hedwig's Wizard she needed to study who he is and how he looks so she could bring him his mail without fail.  I mean how did you think owls knew who their wizard or witch was? Magic?  Get serious.

The cake was another charm and so was the candelabra, I just cut off the loops.  The owl pellet container is wooden miniature canister painted with different shades of green nail polish.

I added the upholstery to the chair using my tried and true method of glue and binder lips to hold things in place until the glue dried.

Hedwig fits on her little chair perfectly.
I cheat and use a little piece of masking tape to hold her in place.

She's not sure if she should study more or have some cake.
It is a dilemma... Go for the cake Hedwig! The cake!
Or get back to studying...up to you.

Bye bye!
And there you have it folks.  Hedwig's House lives on my desk at work where she can keep me company.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lights! Camera! Action!

Okay so maybe not.  Lights, windows/wall and door is a bit more accurate.

Oh, and the stairs are looking spiffy.  So let's start with them.

I really enjoy how they look.  It took a bit for me to get the lower part fixed up.  And nothing is glued in place just yet.  But this is how they should look once everything is done.

You know, with flooring and no paint in the foreground.

Here's another shot, just for fun.

I really wanted a gradual curve but angles seemed a bit more modern.

And for the bathroom under the stairs, part of the light fixture.  I took little glass bottles and some jewelry findings and to diffuse the light somewhat put citrine and peridot chips inside.  I don't think we'll get green and yellow light but it'll look real pretty.

I made two, one for each side of the mirror above the sink.

Here they are side by side.  Please excuse the dust.

I love sticky tacky glue by the way.  It makes anything stick, even metal to glass.

And I also got cracking on the upper outdoor lights.  More drawer pulls were used so that the upstairs and downstairs lights would match.

I made three but the third one did not want to stay sitting up like these two.
I like the antiqued bronze look for the outside of the house.  I generally like silver/nickel finishes inside a house but outside, bronze or antiqued silver is nice.  Copper is pretty too but I could not find anything that would work.

But I did get started on the front wall of the 'cube' part of the house. 

Yeah, that looks like a whole mess of boards and plexiglass and blurry to boot.
I think this is much better.  After I painted with black metallic/shiny on the edges of the boards so it would look like metal framework.

I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out actually.
I'd been toying with the idea of a door from the master bedroom to the balcony.  And since making a window or a door would be equally difficult I decided to try making a door from scratch.

To be honest, if I'd had another door like the one on the front of the house I'd have used it but I didn't have one handy and making one seemed like a good idea.

This is the inside panel.  I covered the wood in a semi glittery scrapbook paper in offwhite.

Here's the outside. 
Hmm... a little blurrier than I usually like.

This is better. 

I'm pretty excited about it.
Here's a close up of the hinges and detail on the window trim.

Again, please excuse the dust. 
And that's my progress for the weekend.  I didn't get a lot done during the week.  But I've got major plans for this coming week so we'll see how everything goes.  More lights to make, the bathroom to hardwire... so much to do and only 99 days to do it!

I'm really wavering on the trim by the way.  I was originally thinking off white. But now I'm wondering if natural wood tones finished with clear polyurethane would be a more modern look?  Opinions anyone?