Sunday, January 3, 2021

Booknook Beautification

 I have no idea how other people finish the exterior of their book nooks.  For all I know it's just plain mdf or plywood or basswood on the exterior, left raw.  

I used chipboard to sandwich in the wires for the lights between the exterior walls and the gaps I'd created so the wires would have a little wiggle room and hopefully not come apart in transit.  But, as you know, chipboard isn't exactly pretty.

Like a lot of miniaturists/crafters...I have... well... the polite word is hoard.  I have hoards.  Like a dragon collects treasure I collect scrapbook paper, jewelry findings, beads... you know. Like you do. (You know who you are! 😁)

And since I had a lot of scrapbook paper, I decided to find my fairy tale book of paper.  The general theme of the book nook is magic, albeit a little more industrial than typical fantasy but certain things remain constant.

Dragons for one.

Potions for another.

And I added corner trim to edges, stained with Minwax Dark Walnut and then I started on the framing of the front.

I had trim left over from the WQRC, that lovely knotwork carved trim I used for the windows and bargeboards.  

On the WQRC I used Minwax Ebony on the knotwork and Minwax Dark Walnut on the rest.  It was a very Tudor look, dark and moody and I loved it for the cottage.

Back then I didn't have watercolor pens (oh I love these things) but having since gotten a set, I had this wild idea.  So I tested it out.

Blue watercolor pen on the knotwork.  And then...

For my sample I used the Minwax Stain pens but for the rest of the trim I used the can of the same stain.

Sorry for the sun!  My work area has east facing windows and in the morning pictures can be very bright in places.  What I do love is how the color of the knotwork shows up.

I coated everything (even the scrapbook paper) with semi-gloss polyurethane so dusting would be easy in the long run.  The bottom of the nook has felt on the edges so it won't scratch the shelf it rests on.

The nook takes three batteries to light everything.  They're on three separate switches. One for the candle holder, one for the sconces and one for the candles on the cinderblock shelves.

I have six books that are loose and three notebooks as well as the second stool.  So they can be placed on the shelves or wherever someone wants to put them.

So a romance novel and a notebook can slide in between another book and a candle.

You've seen the other books that open before but I also made an alchemy book.

Man that sunlight is killer.  

I gave myself Friday (January 1st, 2021) off so I could rest and relax.  And since I'd gotten the HBS Miniatures catalog I got to see the new Creatin' Contest Kit!

It's a mirror image of the 2012 kit which is kinda cool.  You can actually buy both of them now so you could make a row of townhomes if you wanted to.

And because I'm a dragon in human form and my chosen treasure to hoard is miniatures, I of course ordered the kit.  It's a very good deal so I'm excited.

At first...yeah, no ideas at all.  Mind completely blank.  

And then I remembered Marion's container house and how much I loved it.  I've wanted to do a mini container house for years but really didn't feel confident enough in my abilities to try.  Now though...ready to take the plunge.  

That was part of what I did on Friday. Searched for inspiration photos.  Marion was kind enough to send me the link to her siding source so I'm excited about that too.

I don't know if I want to do an L shape house with a deck, or a two story house, but I think that I'll be able to use a lot of the kit components in my build which will be good for me.  I get so tempted to hoard my kits and pieces because what if I need them for something else someday? 

The two pictures below were the first I found, and I love the arrangement with the deck in front.  I think I'd want to angle the roof over the deck though, for a more covered area.

The layout above is very striking but reaching the middle of the house could be an issue. Not sure I want to do a lift off roof, even for a portion of the build.

The above photo is a little blurry but I love the layout. It could be so much fun to do a two story.  Try to keep the footprint small.

But this is really gorgeous too.  With a neat glass garage door for that indoor/outdoor living experience.  Or really challenge myself and try to do a gorgeous folding glass door like Kristine's 2017 contest entry.

Any of them would be fun.  But I think I'll end up combining a few elements.  

Can't wait to see what the rest of you want to do!

Hope you're having a safe and Happy New Year!


  1. Sheila, your book nook is amazing! So many details and the finish is perfect. Your friend will love it.
    I can't wait to see your container house - what a great idea!

  2. El rincón de libros se ve tan genial con el marco puesto!! Cuando tengas todo acabado con las luces puestas será fantástico verlo!!
    Una preciosa idea hacer una casa contenedor con el kit,me encantan,yo hice una librería-contenedor y me divertí mucho.Me gustará ver el proceso si te decides!

  3. I love the finish of your book nook. The container house is stunning. I am sure that with your work, it will be another masterpiece.

  4. Hi Sheila! Wow, the book nook looks fabulous and the watercolour pen is a great idea. It really does add detail without overwhelming the roombox. And all those ideas for container homes are very inspiring. Lots of options for an upcoming build, and each of them so different! Good luck with the planning! Xx

  5. The trim looks exquisite, what a stunning idea for using those aqua pens, Sheila, and finishing it with varnish. The exterior looks awesome.
    You have thought of everything such as some additions, as the loose books, and the extra space for the batteries. I like seeing the details in this book-nook project, thank you for sharing/showing it to us.
    I do understand your struggle with the sunlight, I too always have this problem ;).
    Wow, the inspiration pictures for the new contest are very tempting and inspiring, I can't wait to see with what you'll come up with.
    Happy New Year to you and yours, dear Sheila.
    Stay safe, take care.
    Hugs, Ilona

  6. Your book nook turned out perfect, and I love the way you completed it by finishing the exterior neatly.
    Container home? Now there's a project with possibilities! I look forward to seeing what you make.

  7. love all of your thoughtful details! (esp. the knots and the gold work on the paper) And the contest kit looks fun! one of these years... Keep up the great work.

  8. Wow, Sheila, the Book Nook turned out Amazing! So much detail in such a small space! The trims you made are really original with the dual stain colors making the pattern stand out! And the magical Papers on the outside give it just the right decoration for the theme!
    The new Kits are already piling up too.... it must be a New Year! LOL! I have been so "nose to the grindstone" with my Card that I have fallen behind on Everything else! Happy New Year! :):)