Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Eaves & Beams On the Last of November

Last gasp of November and I managed to get the eaves painted a nice soft grey to contrast with the white trim.

Part of me is tempted to do something with this color on the windows too but I don't want to go crazy and quite frankly I'd probably goof it up and then hate myself.

It was hard enough painting the grey so it didn't mess up the white.

It doesn't look so crisp and pretty this way, the grey doesn't contrast the aqua as well as the white did.  But the beams really stand out nicely.

It looks much better this way.

Oops.  One little spot of grey I missed.  Have to clean that up.  But other than that... Not bad.

And here's the eaves of the porch.

Not bad right?  A few little spots that could be touched up but pretty good for not turning the house upside down.

I've got a few little projects, some Converse sneakers to make, a painting to add to the chimney wall and a couple of coats to do, but those can all be done in between stages of making grass out of fur.

I'm testing a little piece now to see how well the process will work with the materials I have.  But I got the idea from this Pinterest pic.

Grass - fur dyed with acrylic paint (1 part) and water (4 parts), brush out, trim

Believe it or not, that's fur.  The excellent person who did this explains the process pretty well so I'm trying it out on a scrap of fur I have to see if it will work just as well on acrylic fur.  Even if it comes out half as well I'll be pleased.

My board for the base of my house is due to come in tomorrow.  Then I'll get it cut down and the house fixed onto it.  That'll be a process in itself since the house is pretty bulky and I don't have a ton of space.  But once I've got that done I just need to figure out some landscaping, hence the fur grass, and put all my furniture and décor in place.

This is not helped by the period end closing process at work, a holiday lunch/Secret Santa/potluck on December 15th and the need to wrap and mail packages to the family before the post office gets bogged down with mail.

Once I'm done with the house I'm going to work on a fun little project and then get going on my Downtown Loft again.

But any progress is good progress at this point.  Yay painted eaves.

How are all of you?  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Trim & Other Little Things

The big accomplishment this weekend was adding the trim to the roof.  I actually got all of it done and realized I hated how part of it looked.  Guess which part.

Apart from the blinding sunlight, notice anything?

Yeah I used a different width trim on the porch and side roof.  And promptly took it all off so I could match the trim on the main roof.

Then I started working on some exposed beams for under the eaves.

Here's one view and here's another.

I have one issue with them though.  They kind of disappear into the eaves.  So I was doing some thinking and thought maybe if I painted the eaves a grey the white would pop against it.  And it would reflect the stone and the porch.

Here are some of my colors:

The white is the white I've been using for the trim.  The middle grey is Americana's Zinc.  The grey on the left is Anita's Rainy Day Grey and the one on the right is Americana's Slate Grey.

I actually am leaning towards the Zinc because it's so close to the porch color.  What do all of you think?

I also finished a little project I started a couple weeks ago.  Some speakers for the stereo I bought.

Made some wooden boxes, filled them with balsa, added silver thumbtacks to the center and stained everything Minwax's Red Oak before I glued on the mesh covers.

Made a little jar of cotton balls for the bathroom, a loofah and a jar of bath crystals and glued everything into the bathroom.

That was pretty much it for Saturday and Sunday for me.  I'm going to debate painting the eaves while the glue dries and measure out the house for a small base to put the house on.

I'm freaking out a little bit, only 20 days left.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving Clothes

We don't have any family near us except for each other so Thanksgiving is usually a nice quiet day for us.

My husband spent most of the day watching football.  I spent it making clothes for the dollhouse and fooling around with little keepsakes for the shelves inside the murphy bed.

Let's take a look at the shelves first.  I don't want them too busy but I have the idea that my homeowner has tried to travel somewhere new when she gets vacation time and picks up a reminder to look at when she's home.

I started out with some drink markers I got from a site called Modcloth a while back.

I cut off the sticks and picked a couple of animals and supplemented them with a few other pieces I had.

A couple of charms minus their loops, some little shells and a few semi precious crystals.

Amethyst from Ontario, a lighthouse for South Carolina, a wolf for Montana, sea shells from the Caribbean, an elephant from West Africa and a black jaguar from South America.  The cloisonné bird is a souvenir from Korea, the topaz from Utah, the little house with the windmill from Graue Mill in Oak Brook, Il, and the binoculars are from a whale watching trip to Maine.

I'm going to live with the pieces there for a bit and try to decide if I need to add or remove anything before gluing them in permanently.

For the clothing I went through my fabric stash to find pieces that would look cheerful and colorful on the rack but still be appropriate for someone who works in an office and would get a couple weeks vacation a year.

I didn't do a lot of sewing, though glue and strategic folding of fabric was big.  I'm saving my sewing for any outerwear I need for the hall tree.  I'll have to find some patterns for little coats.

I don't think it looks too bad.  I might take one of the sweaters off and have it thrown over the top of a chest, rather than hanging on the rack.

More to do this weekend, but for now I'm taking a little break and resting my eyes.

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mini's Are Taking Over!

Okay so maybe not completely, not everywhere.  I think you'll all still get a kick out of this.

In preparation for Thanksgiving Honey Baked Ham sends out tons of emails.

And today I got one with this awesome picture.

Which had me giggling over the pun.  And then fan-girling over the awesomeness that is the ad because hey, they're using miniatures!

So cool.

I don't really like ham but it looks pretty good doesn't it?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Upside Of Home Repairs

So this week the home repairs finally started.  I took Thursday and Friday off, well, part of Thursday because there were a few things at work that I needed to do so I spent about three hours there and got home by a little after ten in the morning when the repair guys arrived.

That was a long day.

But by Friday afternoon at four thirty I had a finished bedroom and all that was left in the bathroom was the paint that needed to dry.

Thursday I spent making sure all of my electrical connections worked once I got everything plugged in.  Everything works! Yay.  I didn't get much more than that done though because I felt like I was going to fall asleep.

I added a plug to the living room floor for the lamp.

And then wired everything in.

Always nice to have the lights work when you put everything together.

So for the past two days I've been working on the dollhouse furniture.  This was my first time working from one of Kris's kits and I was really pleased with how easy it was to follow.  I thought about using my multi colored dot fabric for the chairs but I it seemed like too much of it would be overwhelming in the space.

I'd already made the window seat cushion out of it. You see?

So I decided on a plain off white linen look fabric. It's got irregular spots of brown here and there which I liked.  Not as easy to see in pictures but I still liked how it looked.

And because it's a mini house I figured I could get away with a lighter fabric. Less chance of someone dripping grape juice or coffee on it.  I also decided to use some of the same embroidery thread as piping.  I like how it looks because it seems softer than the regular piping.  And I used French knots as my buttons.  If I really hate how they look after a while I'll put the regular buttons over them but I want to live with the chairs as they are for a bit and see how I like them.

The other decision was the legs.  I started out painting them a dark brown and really didn't like it.  It was too dark with the light fabric and it seemed like it would just blend in with the floor.

And since I wanted the house to have a quirky feel to it, I decided to paint the chair legs the same turquoise as the piping.  It's the same color as the front door.

Attaching the legs took a little bit of doing, my T-pin didn't work as well as Kris's but I had a couple of mini drills and managed to widen the holes enough for the toothpicks to go in.

Quirky enough do you think?  I like them.

And the cushions I got from Anita's shop look great with them.

And they fit into the living room portion of the house pretty well.

One with the lights on.

And one with them off.

Next I started working on the bedding.  I got the pillows from Brae's shop and the mattress from but the bedding is from my stash of fabrics.  The blanket at the foot of the bed is a piece of felt folded up like a blanket.

I like how it looks, so far at least.  I think I might want to put another layer of polish on the bed. And add a few pieces to the shelves to decorate a little.

Today I'm hopefully going to work on some trim for the roof and start putting all of the stuff from the bedroom and bathroom back where it belongs.

Hope everyone else is having a good weekend.

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...