Sunday, September 25, 2016

Kitchen & Roof

Lots of little things got done today and yesterday but today primarily I worked on the kitchen counters and the roof. 

Last night I played around with the bolster bed and the bedding for it since I'd found my pillows.  I had to tear out the mattress and take off the satin covering which is always nervewracking for me.  I'm always afraid I'll break or rip something that I can't repair.

But with a little bit of work I figured out something that looked nice and fit into the room.

You can see here part of why I was so excited to find that green fabric that I used for the cornices.  It looks nice with the bedspread I got from WendyDollHouse and the little quilt folded at the foot from DollhouseLittles.  I purchased the afghan from GZMinisNeedlecraft.  The little white throw pillows and white bed pillows are from Otterine of course.

I added some lace to some fabric left over from the drapes for a little blanket and the sheets are some patterned white fabric I found in the remnants bin.

I also gave the bedside/side table another try.  This one looks better next to the chair I think, not as tall.  The nine volt battery still fits inside which was my big goal.

It reminds me of furniture you find at a thrift store and use where you need it, not necessarily where it's meant to go.  But a lamp will work on it and there's even space for a book or two.

This morning I started on the kitchen counters while the stain dried on the lower cabinets.  I'm absolutely thrilled with how the contact paper worked out. 

Once everything was glued on tight I added the finish and waited for that to dry.  (Lots of waiting.)  And then I added the cabinet hardware.

The glue isn't quite dried here but I still like how they look.  I made a little backsplash to go behind the stove.  So here's a shot of how everything will look.  Just imagine some uppers in there.

Part of my delay on the uppers is making sure that I can add some under cabinet lighting.  The kitchen isn't very big and it has dark walls so the counters are light and I need some extra light in there. 

I like the color of the cabinets though, they're light and nice too.  Slightly different from the floors but I wanted to use the cherry stain not walnut.  The floors are walnut and the cabinets match the trim and doors which are all cherry.

Not sure if anyone can really tell, but I notice the difference.

It was raining today so all the cats were lazing around, trying to take my chair and in general not being energetic.  Jack didn't get any of the window seats so he climbed into the upper house on the older cat tree and curled up to keep an eye on me and nap.

He's only a couple years old, the Building Inspector's apprentice/assistant.  But he loves me best.

The other thing I spent a lot of time on was the roof.  Since I want it to open on one side I had to hinge the two pieces together.  Then I'll clue the non opening side to the walls and support beam.

Miho, the Siamese, in one of the cat window seats.
The tape was necessary to keep the whole thing together until I got the first two screws in for the second half.  Then I kept it to let the carpenters glue dry with some added stability.

I measured out where my bedroom ceiling would be and added beadboard to it and some beams for the attic and balcony.  While the glue was drying, (again) I fitted my adjusted balcony roof to the scalloped detail and glued that in.

I'm planning on decorative, substantial beams for the bedroom vaulted ceiling with a chandelier hanging from the crossbeam.  So I painted the beadboard Snow White.  The crossbeams will be the same color as the wainscoting.  It'll be a nice contrast I think.

I also painted out the attic portion of that balcony so it's a uniform dark grey and hopefully it'll look dark and gloomy. 

I added 'Insulation', only a single layer this time.  I'll have to do a coffee wash or something to age them up a bit more, they look a little new to me right now. Maybe I can find some cobwebs. 

I've got some suitcases and boxes to go in there but it's a small attic.  The insulation and support beams make it seem even smaller. 

But when you open the roof you can see the attic stairs which I like. 

One last shot of the front of the house with the roof on.  There's just enough clearance for some trim ono the edges before the shingles of the front part of the balcony roof.  Once I get the roof half glued on then I'll measure for my gutters and downspouts.

I'm pretty pleased with my progress for the weekend.  The only thing that keeps me from adding the back wall is that I want to be able to glue the upper cabinets to the wall and that'll be easier if its not attached to the house.

I'm still debating a little spot on the other side of the fridge with some coat hooks, like a tiny mudroom area to throw shoes and hang coats.  It's not something that would really be seen except maybe through the kitchen doors.  Anybody have an opinion on this?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cabinets and Chair

Well I bit the bullet and started to build the cabinets for the kitchen.  I'm still not sure about the uppers but I've got the lowers built. 

I actually borrowed an idea from Babettesmom over at Cramped Quarters.  When she did the Undersized Urbanite contest she had a huge problem making her kitchen cabinets.  I loved her solution and thought the look was perfect for my house.  You can go read her post here, it's really funny especially as I'm a huge Kitchen Nightmares fan myself.

I haven't stained them yet or added the hardware or the countertops, but here's what I have so far.

The small one will go between the stove and the fridge, the large one on the opposite side of the stove.

For the uppers I was thinking of using some of the House of Miniatures kits I have.  I've got a couple like this:

Maybe altering the glass fronts to some thin wood.  Not sure yet.  I don't know that I want the uppers to be that tall.  Have to think a bit about it.

I've got the counters glued together, just wood with two edges sanded to a gentle curve.  And the contact paper I ordered arrived Friday.  It's not quite as pretty as what I originally hoped to use but it's nice and light and looks like granite.  See?

See? I added a ruler for scale.  Kind of important.

It has the cream and tan and some darker browns so while it isn't as dramatic I think it'll work nicely.  And it's to scale.  Plus I got a whole roll for ten bucks. Which is a nice bargain. 

I don't want to put everything together until after I've stained the cabinets.  But I'm pleased with the day's progress considering I've never made from scratch cabinets before.  (Much more difficult than making cake from scratch. Not as tasty either.)

The other bit of progress I made was the chair for the bedroom.  I decided to use the same green as I did for the curtain cornices.  It's subtle and will look nice in the corner.

It has a soft, semi worn look to it that I like.  A nice little cushion stuffed in the corner and it's a cozy place to read.

The other bit of news is that while I was looking for my Chrynsbon bathroom accessories I found my kitty cat cushions from Brae!  I was so excited!  I also found the bed pillows I'd ordered at the same time.  So I might take a break from the counters, since I have to wait for the glue to dry, and play with the bolster bed and bedding for it.

That could be a fun use of the evening.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

In the Words of Zorg

I don't know if many of you have seen The Fifth Element.  It's an awesome movie with Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich and Gary Oldman.  Oldman plays Zorg.  Jean Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg.  I'm a huge fan of the movie and every now and then one of the lines is incredibly appropriate.  For instance, in the words of Mr. Zorg, villain extraordinaire:

"I am Very Disappointed!'

Remember my lovely granite?  The granite that I ordered for my kitchen.  Okay, not granite but paper that looks like granite?

Yeah... so when I received it, it was quite definitely not 1/12 scale as the listing suggested.  I was distinctly unthrilled.

So I set the paper aside and was grateful I hadn't spent a lot of money on it, and started looking for alternatives.  And today I went to Home Depot and took a look at their tile, the adhesive kind that you just press on. 

I think I've found my kitchen counters though I've got a couple contenders.  The marble is nice but a bit stark and I want some warmth to the kitchen.

This is more of a stone look, but they didn't have anything that looked like my granite except actual granite or quartz and I wasn't willing to pay for that.  It has some movement to it and it's still light looking.

The two above are full sized tiles. I couldn't find sample pieces of them.  The next ones are some sample pieces.  I like how warm the first one is... though I'm not sure about the texture.

The pattern isn't as obvious in this one, but it's the lightest one besides the marble.  I might have to go to Lowes tomorrow and see if I can find some other samples.

So...disappointed but I'm working on it.

Any thoughts?  I'd love some opinions or additional sources.  I'm just not willing to buy a box of tile so I can use one.  I have to draw the line somewhere right?

Thanks for listening!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Making Furniture

This week I spent some time learning how to draw and octagon... That actually took a few evenings as I tried to translate what I saw on the internet to my graph paper.  I wanted to make one of those smaller at the top than the bottom tables that look a little more modern and that made it trickier.

But I finally managed it and Friday night I started the process of making an octagonal table.  It has a ribbon hinge to hold two of the panels so I can put a battery pack inside for the lamp.

You can see that it's partially open here.  I'm pretty happy with how it looks... it's not too huge but it's just tall enough for a table lamp.

I also made a mirror for the bathroom.  It started out as a House of Miniatures kit.  But the trim that came with the kit kept breaking, splintering and just misbehaving in general.  So I got out some of my chair rail and improvised.

I added some left over curlicues from my porch trim to give it some dimension.  Then painted it green, brushed it with crackle medium and painted it Warm White over the whole thing.  I like the look, some color but not overwhelming.

I'm also working on a table for the bedroom, something narrow but also big enough for a battery pack.  I started out with this kit.

But I wanted to put a door on the front and make it a bit taller.  Which I did.  I did the same treatment on it as I did the mirror only with a dark pink undertone and Snow White over the crackle medium.

I like the look, but I think its a bit too tall.  I might try this again and see if I can leave out the drawer and just add a little door over the whole front instead.  We'll see.

It's a bit whimsical and fun which I like. A nice contrast to the bed and bureau.  The knobs are cut off brass nails.  I'll make the chair to go next to it and see how high it is in comparison.  It's meant to be a table for a reading lamp.

And I'm working on the chair as well.  Slow and steady right?  You all probably have seen the kit before.

This is as far as I've gotten.

It's been a busy weekend so I don't know that I'll get much further today.  Our new washing machine was finally delivered today and now we're trying to catch up on laundry.

With luck I'll get a bit more done but I'm not holding my breath. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Gifts In the Mail

Folks I'm constantly surprised by the generosity of our fellow mini makers.  For every blog where I've thrown up my hands and screamed in frustration that 'I can't bleeping make this work', there have been kind, patient people out there who said, 'Here try this, this works for me'.  They've encouraged experimentation, offered supplies and advice and most importantly, honesty when I really needed it.

I'm even more amazed by this generosity when I consider that some of the folks giving me advice on my current build are working from the same kit and building their own houses for the Creatin' Contest.

And then today I got a semi surprise package from Keli.  (Semi surprise because she told me she sent something on Saturday but mail runs slow here so I didn't get it until today.)

You may recall Keli's blog posts where she was making wicker chairs?  The awesomeness of her wicker is major.  Go check out her posts.  It's okay. I'll wait.  Because you won't appreciate how awesome this is until you've seen the work she put into these chairs.  There are several posts but I've linked to the first.

But I opened the box and pulled out this lovely note from Keli.  (Yes I'm going to put a picture in because I love that I'm not the only one who has to scratch out errors when I write.)

That's right!  Keli sent me Mardi Gras beads and her first little wicker chair that I loved so much.  It's perfect for the balcony!  The cushion even works with the house paint.  I'm in awe!

See? Isn't it adorable? 

Here it is on the balcony, with beads on it. And on the door handle.  Because you know, N'Awlins.

Thank you Keli!  Thank you thank you!

I have some things I'm going to make for the dollhouse...if they turn out like I want them to I'll make more and send you some.  Hint. It involves sandalwood fans.  Hehe.

Hope everyone else's week starts out this well!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bathroom Fixtures

This was my first time with the Chrynsbon kit of any type and I was fairly nervous.  But thanks to some very good advice about glue and a lot of patience I managed to get everything put together and painted.  The glue worked great!

I was a bit stumped on how to age the pieces but since the glue tends to slightly melt the plastic I decided to get out my cinnamon and sacrifice an old brush to the cause.

I added some glue to the brush, dipped it in cinnamon and then applied it to the appropriate parts of the sink, toilet, pipes and tub.

I think the hardest part was getting the pipe on the toilet tank to the toilet bowl in place without it leaning sideways or backwards. 

I used a slightly off-white paint with a pearly sheen to it on the sink and inside of the tub to make it look like old enamel.  The braces and tub feet I painted black and then black metallic over them.  And I aged the faucets with some dull silver paint before I added my 'rust'.

I really didn't like the faucets for the sink that came with the kit and I had an extra of the type below so I used it.  Just a little different but still old looking.  The drain plug and rim are a small silver brad with the prongs clipped short and a little silver washer.

Red and blue on the faucets so we know which is hot and which is cold.

I've made water intake pipes so the rust on the bottom of the sink would come from faulty connections.

They have some 'rust' too.  Basically everywhere there's a joint or connection there's rust. 

So rust along the edge of the tub, on the bottom where maybe the beginnings of a pinhole leak will be and a couple of patches on the side as well as around the drain and faucets.

I painted the drain hole black and added a small metal washer for the drain rim.

I clipped the chain for the toilet pull in half and used part of it for the chain to hold the drain plug.  The plug is a small piece of cork and a jewelry finding.

After I attached the drain plug I added the red and blue to the faucets so we'd know which is hot and which is cold.

When I was sure the glue (with and without cinnamon) and the paint was dry I poured some coffee into the tub to make it look a little more aged.

I decided against making the medicine cabinet.  I want to find a small mirror and paint the frame something bright and cheerful, maybe white with green or yellow to go with the wallpaper.  I'm debating about making the stool and I don't need the radiator. 

The toilet was...problematic, the issue with making everything connect properly and having it all line up.  But I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I wanted a lot of rust down the back of the toilet and around the bottom since that's where water would pool if there was a leak and that's also where the raw edge of the enamel would be. 

The one thing that bothers me is that there aren't any visible bolts holding the toilet to the floor.  So I may make a slight notch in the side of the toilet and make a little bolt in black for the sake of appeasing my OCD.

My other project this weekend was a small shelf to go under the window.  I took one of the House of Miniatures kits and added some wood to the bottom where it would sit on a chest of drawers and then added some trim before painting it white with a green back to the shelves.

It just fits under the window behind the door.

And then I did a little test run of all the fixtures in place.  I think it'll work out pretty well... I made sure the toilet is pretty much across from the tub, not opposite (or next to opposite) of the door.  And I notched out my chair rail.

A slight side note.  Am I the only one who goes around the house measuring how tall the counters are in the bathroom to make sure the sink in the dollhouse is the right height from the ground? (It's 32 inches by the way.)

The water intake pipes won't be added until I glue the fixtures in place.  Since they're metal and the fixtures are plastic I'm not confident of them staying in place without benefit of glue on both ends, not just attaching them to the fixtures.

I think it looks pretty good.  I want to make a shelf above the bathtub, I've got another Chrynsbon kit for accessories that would be nice to use some of.  For a while I really debated putting in a shower head but I don't think I want one and the shower curtain and curtain rod that it would require.

This coming week and weekend will be my time to start on the kitchen counters.  My granite paper has to come from Greece so it will be a little while before I can really finish the counters but I want to get the base made and the uppers as well.

Maybe after work tomorrow I'll play around with the living room furniture again.  That could be fun.