Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Problem With Cats

The problem with cats (and sometimes the awesome of cats) is that everything is a potential toy.

That can lead to...difficulties if you have a dollhouse.  Things like this.

Building inspector.

And this...

The house does not belong on the floor.
The culprit.

Innocent face of 'Who? me?'

Most of mine have a lot of energy, especially Cap'n Jack.  He loves to go bouncing back and forth across the windows from the corner climbing tree, to the middle climbing tree to the window seats and then bouncing across the window shelf.

The window shelf is a three and a half by eight board, covered in foam and then fabric, and held to the wall by brackets.  I made two of them, one for the office and one for the main room.  They have held up to a variety of felines of varying weights and dispositions.  For more than eight years.

Cap'n Jack Sparrow is...different.  He's our first kitten in I don't know how long and he's a cheerful, energetic, play with everything and everyone cat. 

One of his rare still moments.

Sometimes too energetic.

Here are some of the results.

Jack feet and tail, waiting patiently for me to fix this catastrophe.

The holes torn out of my wall.  Notice the ripped/shredded curtains.
The spreaders/screws encased with drywall/plaster.
This is gonna take a while for me to fix.  It happened this past weekend.  And the shelf has been sitting (accusingly) on the floor since then.  I'm less than thrilled.

I was even more aggravated when I began to paint and work on the dollhouse again, only to find that my electrical tape had gone missing.

This is the problem with cats.  Things like small rolls of tape, placed (I thought) safely deep within the dollhouse, away from curious paws...  Well, these things are perfectly sized for cat toys.  And once taken as a toy, very likely gone for good.

So now I need to make a run to the store at lunch so I can continue building tonight.

I blame this one.

Tali and her make up brush (also stolen from me)

Tali Zorah Vas'Normandy has absolutely no fear and no shame when it comes to toy scrounging.  I'll probably find my electrical tape under the couch.  In a few months.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Second Floor, Walls, Doors & Wallpaper

Well I mentioned last week that I got the second floor up.  I've progressed to getting some walls glue in and wallpaper glued on.

I kept looking at the green paper on the bedroom wall and the more I looked at it the more I hated it.  So down it came.

In its place I put up some wallpaper I ordered from Miniatures.com, it's made to look like grass paper. 

I like this a lot better
So I went crazy putting that up and I'm almost out of it so I had to order more.  But that's okay.  I'm working on other parts of the house in the meantime.

I painted the doors for the upstairs.  All of them a nice off white/bone color.

See? Nice and neutral
I went back and forth on this next part, I worried the print was too big and it wouldn't look right in the house, but eventually I just said 'Go for it' and made the wall next to the stairs a feature wall.

I started by gluing the top part to the wall while it was still loose.  Once I got the wall glued into place on the second floor I glued the rest of it down, which hid the seams of the floors and walls being glued together.

Ta Da!

I love the combination of colors. 

After that, I needed the stairs in place, and that was...interesting.  But I finally got them in. 

They look slightly crooked in the picture but I've since gotten them straightened out.
In getting the walls and stairs in place I also had to wallpaper and put doors in the doorways.  I've learned that its much easier to put doors and trim on when gravity is working with me and not against me. 

I love binder clips. So versatile. Have I mentioned this before? LOL
I was pretty excited.  I got all the walls I have built wallpapered and the basic structure is glued into place.  See? See?  (I'm still pretty excited about it.)

Masking tape is awesome for keeping things tight together.
I'll get the rest of the walls in after a day or so.  I can't put the bathroom walls in permanently until I put the baseboards on the bedroom walls.  But I did make my closet.  I decided I wanted one but I didn't want it to take up any space.  So I cheated.

It's only a half inch deep.  Just enough to look like a closet.
I used brads for handles. And made a false wall to go above the doors too.  Here it is all wallpapered and finished.

Looks pretty real huh?

I got some of the kit pieces and cut them down to make steps from the garage into the kitchen.  I just glued three pieces together.  Then I coated them with glue and sprinkled them with sand.

This is not the finished product, don't worry.
I did the same thing in the garage.  Lots of glue and then sand sprinkled over it.

See? Glue.
Then we add sand.

And wait. And wait.
And wait some more for all the glue to dry.  I used a paint brush to sweep off the excess sand.  There was a lot so I used some cardboard as a dustpan and poured it back into my little bag. 

I had to touch up a few places and then wait for that glue to dry.  That took several nights this week and I'll tell you my back hurt from all the bending.  But it was worth it once I got it all painted.

I mixed glossy black paint with some water and applied it liberally.  And let it dry.  AGAIN!  I swear half my life is waiting for glue or paint to dry. 

But look!  When its all dry? Blacktop!

Obviously I need grass and some white paint to touch up the garage walls but still. Blacktop!
You can just see my steps leading to the back door.

You know what the hardest part was?

Keeping the cats from pawing at the glue, sand, paint.

Curious kitten is very curious.

I also need to sweep the floor because some of the sand escaped. 

But I'm excited still.  I got some art to put on the wall that doesn't have the bright fabric and the beams are almost ready to go up.  I need to paint some this week but after that?  Oh my, windows, tile, baseboards... so much to do!

See ya next time.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Slight Sense of Urgency

Reality hit last week when a fellow blogger mentioned there were only sixty six days until the Creatin' Contest due date.  (As a complete sidebar, I love saying fellow blogger because it makes me feel accomplished and like someday I might be on the level of say Otterine or Pepper over at MitchyMooMiniatures.)  Otterine has a countdown on her blog.  Today there are only 57 days left!

But that kinda lit a fire under my butt.  No more futzing (is that a real word?) around.  Time to actually figure out how to do some things and then get them done.  So... I worked.  And I made some mistakes but thankfully they're fixable.  And my husband gave me the coupon that came in the mail for twenty percent off my order at Miniatures.com so I got to order a few things I'd been wanting.

That really helped.  Shopping for miniatures always helps somehow.

But I'm pleased to say that I got the kitchen mostly finished and the second floor started.  (I actually nearly said completely finished on the kitchen before I remembered I haven't put in the baseboards yet.  Ooops.)

But the floor is in!  Yay floor!  See?

No grout just yet but you get the idea right?
That's my homemade light fixture there.  Ignore the flash reflected in the glass please.

I had to get the windows trimmed and framed in on the inside.  I love the natural wood look.

Here's a shot of the backdoor and the tiles grouted.  They still look a little streaky but I want to wait until its completely dry before I wipe them down anymore.

They're actually real glass tiles that you'd use for a floor in a bathroom or the backsplash in your kitchen.  I love how they look.  They're just about an inch square so they're kinda like real mini tiles.

You can also see where I need to touch up the edge of the door. 
Making that light fixture was an all weekend job last week.  First figuring out what I wanted, making it, reducing the length of the tubing and then getting the whole thing wired up in the little copper box fixture.  And when the ceiling was upside down it did not look too good.

See?  This was a whole long process
I love the colors though
See? Not graceful.
I also changed the 'glass' tulip shaped shades on the living room ceiling fixture to some more modern actual glass spheres.  I like the look better and Sticky Tacky glue is a wonderful thing.  That reminds me, I need to go get some more. 

Not actual size.
Oh, here's a better shot of the crown molding in the kitchen. 

And you can also see the other light fixtures.  I like the vintage look.
I didn't want a pure white ceiling so I got some beige and white.  I like how it looks.

Yeah, its pretty good.
But the big news is that I got the second floor installed, glued and screwed in.  And got one of the hollow walls for the bedroom wired and wallpapered.

I also got the bathroom wired and the walls papered.  Can you believe I've got everything I need for the bathroom except a toilet.  Yep. Nothing like forgetting the obvious.  I'm a genius like that.

So here's a progress shot of the bedroom.

We'll pretend there's extra insulation in the floor so the bedroom doesn't get cold over the garage.
My extremely technical method of holding the walls on until the glue dries.
And here we are with the floor and wallpaper.

The green is not really that bright.  It's the flash on my camera phone.  When I get the trim in we'll try it again.
Here's a shot of the bathroom.  The walls aren't permanent yet.  I need to get the wallpaper, trim and doors on before I glue.

It looks bigger than it is.
A slightly different angle.

I added a transom window near the ceiling to let in some natural light from the front windows.
A close up of the wallpaper.

The green matches the green of the bedroom.  I want a good neutral green and brown.
So now I only have a few odds and ends to show you.

The faucet for the kitchen sink, which is finally dry and safe to untape.

I love this faucet. I want it for my real house.

We have a doorknob on the front door now.  Yay.

Ignore the junk outside the house please.
And I refinished a shade for a lamp in the living room.

I think it'll go next to the couch.
And that's... it.  Yeah.  I don't think it feels like much.  But that's because I know how much more I have to do.  I'll do some more work tonight and have another update for you next week. 

See you soon!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Trim, Cabinets & the Kitchen Sink

I got a lot of little things done this past week, more work on the kitchen, some finishing touches on the half bath under the stairs and some trim in the living room.  First thing was to finish off the kitchen sink and cabinets.

I loved the style of the cabinets but I didn't want anyone to be able to actually see through them to the underside of the sink.  So I got some of my fat quarters and cut a couple of pieces of bright green fabric with white circles.  The white doesn't show much and that's okay because it's the green that I want.

See what I mean about the white? Just enough to diffuse the green a bit.
The other thing I did was change out the sink.  I can't stand how dollhouse sinks are all these shallow, never useful in a million years, cheap looking things.  So I bought a butler's sink from Elf Miniatures and used a hand saw to enlarge the sink opening.

It worked pretty well I think.

Not too bad looking I think. 

I'm waiting on the new faucets to dry or I'd show you a picture of it too.  They're glued and taped into place until the sticky tacky glue dries so pictures aren't quite available just yet.

But I did make something to fill in the space between the upper cabinets and the ceiling.  It's hollow so I'll be able to hide the wiring for the lights inside it.

Hard to see the pattern but its wallpapered as well.
You can also see the stove vent that came with the upper cabinets.  It comes with silver paper but I wanted something more like aged copper to match the backsplash.

I'm pretty pleased with how it looks.
One last picture from a different angle.

Ignore the hole in the floor.  That'll be patched as soon as I'm done with the wiring.
A few finishing touches for the half bath.  A towel rack, toilet paper holder and mirror.

More of the pale green flannel fabric for the towels.
It felt like I waited forever for the mirror to come in the mail.

I'll probably put a tiny shelf or maybe just put a tissue box on the back of the toilet.
I got the door trim onto the outer walls too.  Had to cut it down just a touch or it wouldn't have covered the doorjamb completely.

I'll have to fix the wallpaper after I get everything completely glued together.
Wallpaper for the living room and then trim around the windows and door.  Always fun to do.

Here's a hint of how things will look after the floor is in.  Not too bad huh?

The wallpaper went on pretty well.  I'm getting better at it I think.

You can just see the wires where I'm running them from the porch light and the light just inside the front door.
Here's a shot of the light I'm planning on hanging over the entryway area.  I've got it wired in, just need to get it attached to the ceiling. 

Trim around the door and transom window as well.
The stairs needed a support post to hold the upper floor in place and its also hollow so I can run wire through it for the light over the stairs.  That'll be fun to hang.

It's not terribly sturdy but once the weight of the second floor is on it it'll be better.
That's pretty much it for my progress.  This weekend I'm working on the lights for the kitchen and living room ceiling.  If I'm lucky I'll get them all done, I have to make one from scratch and its tricky.

Talk to all of you later!