Sunday, March 31, 2019

Inventory and Walls

I still haven't come up with a plan to keep the cats off the WQRC but so far they haven't done any more damage.

The first thing I did on Saturday was to paint the spiral staircase black and then another layer of black metallic.  I like how it looks so far.

But afterwards while it was drying I was trying to figure out what I had for the kitchen and bathroom and everything and I found some flagstone paper I could use for the flooring. It's a pretty beige/yellow/brown and it'll look great on the first floor.  But the black staircase was going to stand out in a big way.  And I didn't know how well the two would mesh.

So I found some of my metallic paint in bronze/chocolate brown and dry brushed it over the black.

Here's the flagstone flooring paper.  I think the brownish metallic warms up the black just enough that it isn't too much against the flagstone.

I still haven't figured out the kitchen.  But I do have a bunch of different counters and things.  I'll have to play around with them in the space to see what I want to use.

I was also debating a feature wall but I don't want to use wallpaper or anything to make it.  So I think I'll end up with textured paint on the walls and one of them a different color than the rest.  Still working that out.  I ended up going through a lot of my stash looking for different things and figuring out furniture.

I was also thinking about the exterior.  I like the idea of a modern stucco.  But I don't know how I'd finish the corners and edges.  The other thing I like is a board and batten look.  I have time so I'm still thinking about it.

For the bookstore I spent some time working on the interior walls.  I've got ten inch ceilings for the first and second floor.  The third floor is nine inches but the ceilings are angled as well.  So I had to take those into account.

I worked out where my walls on the second floor would be a few weeks ago.  Today I got some of my scrap wood cut and glued to actually build them.  I also had to make a false door leading to the non-existent stairs to the third floor.

That took a bit of doing but luckily I had some trim and balsa that worked for the paneling and doorframe.

I did my best to match the paneling on the door I'm using as the third floor entrance.  I didn't want them to look too different.

I stained it red mahogany but I'm still debating if I'd rather paint it instead.  Maybe a nice dark brown door?  Or black?  I'm not sure.

The walls for the living quarters were a little more tricky.  I had to keep the angle of the roof in mind.

I'm thinking that I might try to do some paneling around the lower/straight portion of the walls and then a wallpaper over a chair rail on the angled portions.

That was the other reason for my inventory Saturday, figuring out what I have for wallpaper and how I want to finish the walls on the lower floors.  They'll be mostly covered by the bookshelves but the parts that show would look nice with a dark wallpaper or paint.  Still debating.

I also was messing around with some fancy flooring for the second floor.  I'm still not sure about it.

I love the flooring but I still think it might be too busy.  I need to look into the types of floors that were popular in the Victorian era.  I think they mostly had narrow boards.  The wider planks were for less elegant homes.

Maybe a couple of popsicle stick floors?  We'll see.

The other thing I did was figure out where I'd need to put the chandelier for the ship.  It'll need to hang down from the second floor ceiling above the opening in the second floor.  So I figured out my walls and where they'd hit on the ceiling and outlined the opening.

That'll also help me figure out where I want the wood moldings.  I'm going to paint them to look like plaster.  They're just decorative wood trim from Hobby Lobby but once they're painted it'll look like plaster.

At least that's what I'm hoping for.

How are all of you doing?  I need to go read blogs after I get some of my chores done.  Things are getting a little messy around here.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Making Windows and the Front Elevation

The Building Inspector has decided that the empty space provided by the wall repair should be occupied.  

What I wasn't able to capture on camera was her apprentice actually on top of the dollhouse roof.  I'm so glad those magnets are strong.  Nothing came crashing down but now I'm really wracking my brain for some way to keep the cats off of it.  Maybe Cecelia Alyce could put a spell on it to make it impervious to feline predations.

I'll keep working on it.

Though it is good and sturdy when I think that Jack weighs almost twenty pounds and nothing broke.

He also decided to look over the living room from a greater height than usual.  Crazy cat.

But I did decide on Saturday to bite the bullet and make the windows for the Downtown Loft.  I'd purchased some but the tall side window and the skylights would need some custom frames made.

That took me a pretty good part of Saturday. 

I also did some more work on the spiral staircase.  I got it primed with gesso and I think having it a uniform color looks good.  I'll paint it black sooner or later.

I'm not entirely thrilled with how the spindles are leaning a bit but I think once I get it into the house it won't be as noticeable.

Sunday I started to work on the front elevation for the bookstore.  I wanted to fancy it up a bit so I tried a few different things.  Some of my jewelry findings and wood trim.

The jewelry findings and the smaller wood trim didn't really work for me.  But I liked how the larger pieces looked.  

So I added some raised panels to the second floor lower sections.

That gave the second floor a little echo of the first floor.  And I added my trim back.

I thought about adding some of the jewelry findings to the panels.

I still might.  But right now I think simple works better.  I added some crown molding to the upper portion of the second floor and some quarter round and half round trim.  I also added some baseboard to the bottom. It fancies it up a bit and disguises the joins between the two pieces.  I only had one piece of it and it was broken so this was a good use for it.

I also cut some pieces for my mansard roof out of foamcore board.  I painted them black because it's my experience that if you don't no matter what something white shows through when you take a picture.  Then I got my dormer openings cut out.

My biggest concern is that it's looking more Parisian than Victorian London.  The good news is that if I decide I hate the scrollwork I can pry it off.

I'm thinking about how to finish the outside, the type of floors I want and the layout of the third floor.  I've got some fancier flooring and beadboard left from NOLA House so I might try to use some of that.  But I don't want to complicate things too much.  Maybe I could do a herringbone floor on the ground level?  I'll need to think about it.

Some good news is that if I need filler books I can borrow from the study in the Gothic Victorian.  And I have plenty of kits to make furniture.  Still debating whether I should paint the bookshelves in the shop or stain them.  Stain might be more traditional.  And I've got plenty from when I was working on the barewood furniture for the WQRC.

I'm trying to remember to post to Instagram as well as the blog but I'll admit it's not my favorite.  I'm better at writing than I am picture taking.  How are all of you doing?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Floors, Windows and Stairs

My weekend didn't start out all that well.  I got home on Friday night and found this.

That's the pigeon on the floor by the way.

So despite there being very little room, The Building Inspector has been leaping from the floor to the roof of the cottage and has been... investigating the dollhouse.  I've come home to find the pigeon in the garden and the spire over the front door gable broken.  So the pigeon has already been glued back on the roof once.  The gable has been broken four times now.

I put the spire and pigeon inside the house and then put the vegetable garden in too.  I fixed the wall.  The glue is still drying.

So I spent part of my Saturday morning trying to figure out a way to get the cottage covered.  Without breaking the spires or the tree.  I'm a little irked actually.  Tali's been getting glared at all weekend.

When I finally did start working on the current projects I did get the railing on the spiral stairs. I used a rounded cord and threaded it through my spindles.

I'm going to paint the whole thing with modge podge to stiffen up the railing.  Then I'll coat it with gesso and paint it metallic black.

Then I started thinking of how I could support my floors with my three story build.  And figured out a way to get the angles for the mansard roof.  I'm going to do a flat roof, similar to my Gothic Victorian, for the book store.  The third floor will have a ceiling height of maybe nine inches and the bottom two floors will have ten inch ceilings.

I'm planning to have a nice plaster ceiling for the second floor.  I have some wood trim that I can paint to look like plaster.  The chandelier will hang from a nice ceiling medallion.  I'll have to change out the chain so it hangs lower but I'm pretty sure I've got some in my stash that will work.

So I got some of my wood lengths and glued them to the edges of my side walls.  They'll look like part of the trim in the store.

I used a piece of scrap wood to make sure I allowed enough room for my second floor.

So I'll run the railing around the opening in the middle of the floor and near the edge of the opening for the stairs.  The support beams are also where I'll put my magnets to hold the walls on.

I was planning on putting actual stairs in the back, to go up to the third floor.  But I'm really debating that.  If I don't put stairs in, I can use the space to put my wires and the transformer.  I can put a false door on the second floor and make a bit more of a landing for the third floor.  That way it looks as if the stairs go up to the third floor.

I think that way I can hide the wires and save myself some trouble.

I also did a mock up of the front elevation with the dormers for the third floor taped in place.  They'll sit a little bit higher up but I like the look of them.

I'll need to cut my top wall to accommodate them, but that won't be too hard.  I want to add some trim too, at the top of the second floor.  Give it a slightly more Victorian look.  I don't want the pediments on top of the windows, I think they'd look too busy.  At least four small ones would.  Maybe a larger one in the middle and two smaller on the side and then something to give the top pizzazz.

I also want to do the edges in brick or stone, something very geometric. Like this:

I love that contrast and it would be fun to do something like that on the corners.  I've seen quite a few buildings that are mostly brick with painted wooden facades.  We'll see.

How are the rest of you doing?

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Figuring Out the Layout and the Spiral Stairs

Oh these darn stairs are killing me.  I've been busting my butt on them the whole day and I'm not feeling like I've made a ton of progress.  I need to find something for the railing that won't pull my spindles off.  I have some chain that could work. It'd be flexible enough I think.

So we'll see how I do with it next week.

I also went through my left over pieces from other kits I've bashed and found a window for the opening under the loft area.  I'll have to widen the opening but not by a lot.  Beats having to make one from scratch like I have to do the tall corner window.

As the post title suggests I did some work figuring out the layout of the shop and even got the balcony type second floor cut.

The first floor will have three section bookshelves on two of the walls.  I don't think I'll end up doing the corner shelf.  I think it makes everything look too crowded.

The measuring tape is where I'll put the spiral stairs.  But you see what I mean with the corner shelf?  I love it but it really doesn't help with the space much.  And it doesn't quite match the rest of the shelves.  So I'm thinking of something more like this.

That gives me more floor room and makes the stairs feel less crowded against the shelves.

The second floor will be slightly similar.  I want about a two and a half inch to three inch aisle for customers.  The second floor will have a hallway with the back stairs to the third floor behind the rear wall.  I'll add a narrow door at the foot of the stairs.

The circle at the rear is the stairs.  I'm debating if I want to make the shelves painted or stained.  I'll need a wooden floor on all three levels and I'm wondering just how fancy or simple I should make it.

I did work on the front elevation as well.  Got my two separate pieces glued together.

I also needed to figure out a way to make display tables for the shop windows.  So I started going through my House of Miniatures kits.

I know I can use the table, stove and bureau in the living quarters.  If I adjust the two Chippendale Lowboys they'll fit in the window area of the shop on the first floor.

I also spent several hours cutting plexiglass for the shop front since it doesn't come with glass or trim. I'm hopeful that by next weekend I'll have my third floor figured out and with some luck the angles of the mansard roof.

Hope you're all having a good weekend!