Sunday, March 29, 2020

Decisions, Decisions

I spent a lot of time this weekend planning, looking for furniture in my mini stash, and looking for the right wallpaper.  I plan to have purple drapes, so it can't clash with them.

I couldn't find anything that I liked at a reasonable price.  I looked at some miniaturized versions of real wallpaper but I couldn't justify spending so much money.

So I turned to scrapbook paper.  None of mine would work.  I need something in either the perfect shade of purple or in a neutral that's striking enough to be a bit gothic looking.

Enter Hobby Lobby.

I think it'll work pretty well.  We'll see how long it takes to arrive.  It was only twenty five cents per sheet which is great.

I felt like last year I took the easy way out with my floors.  I was concentrating on books and the stairs and railings and making everything look real.

This year I want to do a more interesting floor so I've been looking into herringbone, parquet... and I still haven't completely decided, though I'm in love with how Marion's floor looks.  I ordered some popsicle sticks since I'm almost out of mine.  I don't want the wide plank floor look like the WQRC had in the stillroom/workroom.  I need something narrower so the popsicle sticks will work better.

I'm also researching gothic looking fireplaces and trying to decide if I want to use my House of Miniatures Fireplace kit and bash it or make one of my own from scratch.

I showed you the new door last week.  I had some pediments that matched it so I microwaved the windows and removed the tops of them.  Then I added the pediments and on the smaller window I turned it into a six light to match the larger one.

It gives the windows a more cohesive look.  I'll add a knocker and handle to the door.  I'm planning to paint the mullions black.  The rest of the window and door trim, I'm not sure.  I might try to do an aged paint using a crackle finish.  Not sure about that.  Something to consider.

But the door has to be black I think.  Something moody.

I had my walls cut out and my floor.  So I glued the ceiling and two walls in.  One of them is hinged on the book cover which is handy.

Knowing that I'll have the fireplace and bookcases on one wall I started to plan out my ceiling details.  I learned the hard way last year that ceiling embellishments can't go to the walls or they'll run into the crown molding.  And having the 'plaster' ceiling medallions and corner details looks ridiculous without crown molding so I can't skip it.

Finally having gotten them situated I glued them down.  But I'm reasonably confident that I won't have to pry them up and move them this time.

I want cornices over the curtains, but nothing frothy and delicate the way NOLA House had.  So I got some of my trim and cut it into lengths to go over the windows.  My ceilings aren't as high as NOLA House so I can't get too crazy with them.

I'll cut some small pieces and angle the ends of the fronts to make them stand out a bit from the walls.  But I don't want to do that because I'll want to paint or stain them and I can't until I determine the color of the bookcases and the rest of the trim.

I want to add wainscoting but I'm not sure about how elaborate I want it.  So I'm still thinking.

But I did add the 'plaster' to my ceiling.  I used the same method as last year.  I added a lot of the texture medium and very little paint in an effort to get a plaster effect.  It's subtle but it worked pretty well.

I deliberately used some lumpy paint in places to give it a slightly rougher look.

Then I found the desk I plan to use and got my bookshelves.  The box is meant to represent the fireplace.

I'll end up building up the bases of the bookshelves and adding panels to mimic cabinets.  I have a corner bookshelf but I'm not sure I want to use it.  I'd rather build out some wide simple wood panels between the walls and fireplace and bookshelves.

Whatever I decide to do about the wainscoting I need to decide before I begin the bookshelf/fireplace wall because the trim has to look the same.

From the above angle I know a herringbone floor would look gorgeous.  But I don't want to do a million and one angle cuts so I'm still debating that.

On the plus side the ceiling looks pretty cool from this angle.

So I'll be spending time looking for different options for the fireplace and floors and wainscoting.

I've been going into the office, all of last week while my husband worked from home.  This week he goes into his workplace and I'm home tomorrow.  Luckily I have a printer from work and several things I can do once I log into my work computer from home.

Let's hope that works because it didn't when I tested it Friday night.

I hope you're all staying safe and healthy.  We'll all get through this, even if it seems insurmountable now.  And terrible as this is, I keep comparing it to the Spanish Influenza outbreak and realizing that we're really lucky to have the medical knowledge we do.

So I'm counting my blessings.  Which includes all of you out there who keep me company just by sharing this hobby with me.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Walls, Windows and Doors

So far I'm not quarantined at home.  Texas has shut down a lot of the service industries, hair salons, nail salons, restaurants and bars.  But folks like me who work in an office aren't being told we have to stay at home.  We're prepared to do so if need be, we all brought things home so we could work remotely if we had to.

I hope everyone else is doing well and staying safe and healthy.  Let's just all be sensible and try to stay sane.

I did get the last two books gutted.  And figured out where the windows and doors would go.

The books have been glued together.  And then I had the fun part of cutting through the books and spines to make the openings for the doors and windows.

My wrist hurts now.

Oh, I found a Yorktown door in my stash so I figured I'd use it instead of the kit door.  I think it looks a little better?

But I cut out my walls and added some matboard to the book spines to strengthen them.

My matboard is held in place with my sophisticated clamp method.

I'll use foam-core board for the walls and floor (or ceiling possibly), to keep the build lightweight.  And matboard for the ceiling (or floor depending on how things work out).

But to give the books a more antique look, I painted the tops of the pages with gold.

Believe it or not, all this took me quite some time this weekend.

I need to start building out my fireplace and bookshelves, and get half of the room built at least so my measurements are accurate.

I'm still debating the floors...Something simple or herringbone... I don't know yet. But I do need to make some cornices for the windows.  Something suitably Victorian and ornate but shabby.

This should be fun!

I'm going to have a drink now and think about wallpaper I could use and paneling I can make for the room.  Something suitably gothic and interesting.  Any suggestions?

Please stay safe and healthy.  Self Quarantine if you can.  Take sensible precautions.  Enjoy your mini time.  I hope all of us make us through this.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Finally Back To It!

So I've been gone for almost a month.  Which is due to flu and recovering from that and just in general dealing with allergy stuff on top of recovering.  And you know, that work thing that allows me to continue with my hobby.

Working for a restaurant company makes any health issue problematic and a widespread problem can really damage a small business.  So we're all waiting to hear what steps are being taken beyond the common sense caution advised.  And we're not sure if those of us that could work from home will be told to or if we'll be working in smaller shifts in the office.  It's all still up in the air at the moment.

So fingers crossed we all can figure something out.  Small businesses are really going to suffer no matter how much government help we might get (eventually).

I've been working on hollowing out the books my husband got for me. You recall the box o' books?

This is only one stack of the paper that will get recycled.

Soooo much paper!

But I only have two more books to hollow out.  See?

I spent some time today working on a floorplan and figuring out the measurements.

I'm thinking 17 1/2 inches wide and 11 1/2 inches deep.  Though I might take one book away and use that as a place to hide the electrical works.  That would take the room box down to 16 1/2.  Which I still think is a lot of space.

Here's my idea of the floorplan.  I have a computer program called Campaign Cartographer which has an add-in for Cities and Houses.  So I took a print screen of it.  Each of the little spaces in the border represents an inch.

I marked where I'll put my hinged wall with bright pink.  I'll add a fake window to the right wall to give the room more detail.

It feels good to have a game plan even if I am going through Xacto blades like they're potato chips.

The room looks a little empty to me, but I figure I can fill in some of the space with some things from Poe's stories.  A cask of Amontillado, a purloined letter, a black cat, the obvious trappings of a detective... That sort of thing.

And in an effort to have something I could put up on Instagram I borrowed the WQRC garden and the flowers from the Craftsman Tiny House to make a little spring scene.

I also got an Amazon gift card for Christmas and used part of it to buy a copy of Janet Storey's 'Making Upholstered Furniture' and I'm looking forward to trying out some of her methods combined with some of Kris's tricks.  I also ordered one of her chaise kits to try because I couldn't resist.

I hope you're all staying healthy and safe.