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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pictures of the Bungalow... Finally!

You read it right, I am finally as finished with this little house as ever I will be. Had reached the point I knew if I kept at it -- I'd just end up doing too much with it. As it stands I think this is a delightful house, and honestly lovely to put together! Again, it was The Cassie dollhouse by The House That Jack Built. Got it for a great price when it was on sale, and I only hope that whomever it may go to this holiday season may love it so much as I loved putting it together.  =)

 A quick shot that to me says "Come on in!"  Not sure the why of it, but I've always enjoyed pictures into dollhouses like this -- very much inviting you in to let your imaginations run wild. 
 A brief view of the front exterior of the house, truly did enjoy the color scheme on this one. Just really put me in mind of a beach side cottage -- weathering slowly but surely, even while the owners do their best to keep up with it. No matter what looking at this picture of it makes me smile...

Next, an overall view of the back of the house. Again, please remember if you click on the pictures they'll get bigger to show more detail. Besides the matter that all of the shingles were homemade(thus some of the variance in them, which I loved), but this house also boasts my first attempt at a built-in. Under the window in the bathroom I wanted to make the wall look more appropriate for a bathroom, thus the built-in idea was born. lol

Last but not least I wanted to show a picture of the lower floor. I do believe the kitchen is the most modern looking I've gone in decorating so far. Though the living room also was lovely in the making, completely different than I'd done before -- let alone considered doing, but I love the way it turned out. The last couple of pictures at the bottom are to show these in a bit better detail.

 The kitchen was completely finished with scrapbook papers -- and I must say, I had A LOT of fun with this! Truly wish I could get a better picture of the ceiling, it's an embossed paper with the look of numerous roses popping out. Puts me in mind of an extreme version of pressed tin!
 Last but not least is a picture of the living room, specifically the stairs! First time I've ever considered painting with a toothpick, but again I liked how they turned out... You can't tell in this picture I don't think, but in each of the stripes on the flooring paper there are extremely tiny fleur de lis that match the wainscoting. :)

From each of my house building experiences I'd like to think I walk away with a new bit of knowledge or understanding of self, and why it is I so enjoy these little gems. In this case -- two points came to me: no matter if you've not tried it, and you're not too sure if it'll work -- try it out, it may well surprise you how much that oddball idea will work. Second, even if you've never attempted something before -- it's just like real life, if you don't have the guts to try it, you'll just end up wondering how it may've been down the road. For myself I'm extremely glad I did try the different decorating techniques, as well as making so many bits and pieces for this myself -- shingles, window trim, built-ins, and stair decorating all get to be filed under "So glad I did it!"

Saturday, September 29, 2012

One of those days...

Okay, one of those weeks, months, well you get the picture... lol I finally got all the shingles on the bungalow done. At least in being glued down. I think I mentioned that these are all homemade shingles, which shows a slightly larger grain on some, but it lends to the more rustic look of the outside. I can so easily imagine this little house in a beach side community somewhere. Aging, not necassarily so gracefully as the homeowners would wish -- but they keep doing fresh paint while other aspects of it show weathering as homes along the coast would.

I may be in trouble, as my not so local WalMart has now started carrying a much improved craft section -- now including Sculpey. Think I mentioned this previously, but they're now carrying the variety pack of colors as well. Believe it or not, the pricing is not bad either. I keep looking at my newly bought clay and wondering if I dare try to finally sculpt a little person to take pictures in some of the houses with...

Also, managed to come across some bags of scrap material -- some very decent for mini usage! $2.00 a  bag, I couldn't resist. One bag is all sorts of plain colors, the other however is full of fun holiday designed fabric for both the Christmas season as well as St. Patrick's day(with my notably red-hued hair, and freckles -- this is one of my faves!) Thinking I may well try to do a mini quilt soon as well. Though I have been having fun going through A LOT of books I got from the library in regards to making mini furniture. Think I'm very much one of those people I like to really research to get a good mental grasp of a concept before I'm willing to risk using the materials and screwing up so badly... Given a bit of screw up is good for learning, but I'd prefer as little as possible. lol

Anyways, in regards to the title of this entry -- I keep looking around and realizing just how many projects I have sitting about. While I hope to update with the next blog entry of the bungalow being done. I'm also starting on a Duracraft Farmhouse, of which a lot of pieces were missing from the kit I got. So have been out in the shop today marking on plywood a good number of the pieces I know I can make from scratch using the dimensions from the instructions list of parts. I thankfully have most of the siding other than 6 pieces of the longest needed -- may end up making those as well, but hoping I may find some somewhere on-line if I get lucky. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

In other mini-related news, one of our local stores is changing from one store name to another -- and thankfully one of the store managers thought of me and my mini-endeavors. Their blind samples from I believe it's called Bally Blinds are being given to me once all their main blinds sell -- will also try to get pics of these as I get them. Some of this material is just fun!!!  =)

That's all I have to update on for now, but didn't want anyone to think I'd been sitting here idle. Meanwhile, hope everyone's mini work is going great -- going to go browse some other blogs to see what everyone else has been up to while I wait for dinner to get done. Have a good one!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Not a whole lot to update...

Must admit to being a bit lazy today, kind of feels like trying to keep my eyes open after taking the newer anti-inflammatory is impossible. None the less, I have been working on shingling the bungalow -- never my most favorite section of a house. Don't get me wrong if you're in the mood to let your mind wander and still work, shingles are great. Just wasn't there for me today. Don't know if I had mentioned but the shingles on this house are all scratch made here at home. Really not hard to do at all, and I like the look of these -- a bit more rustic right off the bat. We'll see how the finished product turns out, but at the moment when I look at this little house I think it's my best one yet... It somehow puts me in the mood of a little bungalow on a cape somewhere. Makes me smile.

In other news I should get my shipment from HBS from their House of Miniatures sale tomorrow. I also have some molding in that order which I need to finish the living room of the bungalow. Have to admit I'm quite excited over that! Had also found an old American Girls Minis Illuma Room for $3.99 at the local Goodwill store. Haven't tried the power in it yet, but have my doubts it works -- simple reason being it looks like someone tried to take the box apart at the base. Probably just blew the transformer with it previously -- and in all honesty, not too big a deal. Think I'm going to do this into a sports themed football roombox for one of the few true guy friends I have. He's just recently bought his first house, and will also be having a birthday in a little bit... So, even though I'm definitely not a Steelers fan -- going to see what I can do since he happens to be a die hard fan. lol

Meanwhile, going to go attempt to do something so that I don't feel like this was such a wasted day for mini-making. Hope everyone's had a good one!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A visit back...

At least for me that is! When my niece Alyssa was still living nearby, was a fun past time to go out for walks and search for bits and pieces that could be used for her dollhouse from nature. I always enjoyed those little ventures, as I can only hope she did as well.

As I've still been shingling the Bungalow for donation I wanted something else to work on to feel like I was accomplishing a bit more... They're not instant gratification, but watching the grain come out after so much time spent sanding and poly-ing -- like no other!!!

 So, here are a few quick pictures to show what can be wrought from a walk through the woods with a beautiful child whom has always found wonder in the everyday course of life!  =)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm a bad bad blogger...

I admit this freely now -- I could give you the excuses of feeling like death this last week with limited mobility... but life is what it is, I'm just having to learn to lead it a bit differently than before! So, at the very least I feel I should update with what I have been up to as of recent days.

Number One: The Cassie dh kit by The House That Jack Built -- lovely kit and I will soon be done with it. This is a cute little bungalow of a house, and it will be joining the Hickory Ridge Log Cabin, and The Heather dollhouse kits that I made for Relay for Life this year.

Number Two: I've been working diligently on the house... but find I have the same repetitive tasks of cleaning cat fur out of it night by night. It seems my supervisor has quite decided that while the house is here -- it is whether I realize it or not, PERFECT for him! lol Ah well, he's been fun to work with.  ;)

Number Three: I've been trying to get up the gumption for the last year to really give a go at combining my mini making with stained glass, another hobby I was talked into long ago when my mom wanted to take classes at the local college. Think I was a sophomore or junior in high school when we took those classes. Anyways, I've really been wanting to get back into the stained glass as well, and kept considering how to combine the two. I guess it just seems silly to me to see so many dh companies selling "greenhouses" that are made of plexiglass or very thin acetate like material. I've finally figured out where to get glass that is thinner and more in line with the dimensions I'm thinking of -- so tomorrow, I'm taking my first pattern out to the shop and seeing if I can't actually make something worthwhile besides indulging myself and having fun.

Number Four: Last but not least -- guess who has been asked or "commissioned" if you want to sound snobbish about it to build a dollhouse for someone else?!? That's right, little old me. A girl I went to high school with has seen several of my dollhouses that I've finished up and has asked me to make a farmhouse for her daughter for Christmas. I personally love the matter she's told me it will mean that much more that I make it -- and that she and her husband hope to keep it even after she's done with it for grandchildren!  :) She had initially requested this last year, but with her husband still over seas serving... Well, this is a gift they both wanted to be there for -- so this year it's definitely happening! So glad that they are both back together and safe!

Gives you(or at least it does me) a nice feeling to help build tomorrow's memories from today's dreams. Hope everyone else has been doing wonderfully! Oh, and last good point to share -- guess who's now managing to make all of her own shingles? That will be a for sure money saver for me! lol

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Finally, the cabin is finished!

Yuppers, you read that right! I gave up on the air dry clay for the chimney, what I was using was not satisfactory for my personal taste as to how I wanted this to look. I wanted it to look rustic, not falling apart and pathetic... Which sadly is exactly what my attempts with that clay looked like! lol I do realize I've not tried Paperclay as yet, namely b/c unless I order a bunch on-line I don't really have any store nearby which sells it. Not to mention, I've been coming across a bunch of recipes for clay that can be made at home. May see if I can't do a homemade version of that and see how well I like it.

Anyways, went to Walmart the other day and realized they are now carrying Sculpey. I realize most use poly clays for little things like foods, castings, or even dolls for their houses. I went crazy though and rolled out about two and a half of the four slabs that come in the box, and now have a pretty solid looking chimney. Basically just rolled the clay out 1/4 of an inch thick, used a mold I bought in the cake decorating section of a store long ago. This mold is not being used for anything but dollhouserie. Baked it, painted it, sealed it, and it's now glued on and making the cabin much nicer to my way of thinking -- more complete I suppose is the term I'm looking for.

Below, find some more pictures of this little cabin. Oh, and btw -- both the cabin and Heather were taken to my local contact for Relay for Life today. Had a nice lift in spirit when he stated he couldn't believe the detail in them, and how he really thought these would help out this year.  :)

 A quick picture from the back showing the interior. I did the floor using popsicle sticks, or craft sticks as they're being called now. The ceiling I chose to do a pine panel effect with Greenleaf siding strips to lighten up the inside of the cabin.
 Liked this picture because it really gets that full view effect of everything from the floor to the ceiling, and everything in between. If anyone's wondering, the interior walls initially were flat. However, after gluing the kit together I realized I didn't like how fake that looked to me. So went back with an awl and made them a bit more rustic if you will.
 Hoping if y'all click on the fireplace you may be able to see the ash I included. Got this trick from the GL forum of scraping some pastel chalk to get the look of ashes. Loved it!!!  :) Also, this fireplace when I received it was missing quite a few of the rocks, the mantle, and had nothing in it. Found some flagstone and was able to replace the missing rocks. Sanitized and baked some twigs to create the "logs", and then cut down a piece of pine and painted it to create the look of an older wood mantle. Truly enjoyed refurbishing something that I knew I wasn't looking to use anywhere, but was able to pass it on with this house and really felt like it added to the overall impression of the cabin!  :)
Last but not least a photo of the exterior chimney that gave me such issue. Still not "perfect" per se, but I like it a heck of a lot better than my previous attemps!  :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Later than planned...

Seems to be my idiot theme on here, but I'm going to say better late than never! I know I was hoping to get pictures up of both The Heather dh and the DC Hickory Ridge Log Cabin up -- as it stands, y'all are going to be treated to pictures of the first. As for the cabin -- still no pictures, because I'm still having issues with clay. Keep hoping one of these days I'll figure out the key to air dry clay and not having it crack all to heck, just doesn't seem to be yet! lol

Anyways, for the Heather there were definitely several firsts with this little house! The shingling on the front gable is one example of this, as is the brick used to paper the exterior, also the dormer window -- first one I've made from scratch due to the opening being larger than those that are now sold by HBS. Another first would be that the windows and door on the ground level are all operational.  :) Other firsts that should be pointed out are the flooring on the second level, used cork flooring for the bedroom area, and attempted my first tile rug in the bathroom(think that's probably my favorite room in this house!)  Oh, and last first I can think of -- my first scratch made staircase!!!  Was super excited about that. lol

Here's a couple of shots of the living room...
 One of the kitchen, after taking the pictures I realized I needed to go back and touch up the trim in the upper right corner -- that has now thankfully been addressed!  ;)
 Quick picture of the bedroom area and scratch built stair surround, must admit I really liked the cork shelf liner as a floor in this room.
Then my favorite room, really had fun with this one -- both with the flooring and with the paper! This is the first house I've used all scrapbook paper for every room in the house, but I really liked this because it seemed to make it fairly cohesive in regards to the color scheme throughout. Going to leave you all with the last pic of the back of the house in it's entirety, and hopefully soon will have a few more pics to show of the cabin in it's completion with a chimney that's not cracked! lol (Crossing my fingers!!!)

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's all in the details...

At least that's what I've been telling myself all day. Decided to really do my best to finish up the cabin's fireplace and chimney today. For the piece of wood I had for the mantle -- I like the way it's turned out. Of course I then started taking a closer look at the actual fireplace, and realized that way back when someone painted the interior black and managed at the same time to get a good bit of that black paint on the rocks around the entrance. Unfortunately I couldn't get the paint off, so instead attempted to paint them back to a bit more natural look. They're certainly not great, but at the very least the colors on them should tie more solidly into the stones I'm painting in the clay for the chimney... So at least there is a bright side there.

Also, went back to verify there was nothing more to do with-in the Heather dollhouse. One thing I've been trying to do with each house I do for this raffle give-away is to paint in the Relay for Life symbol somewhere in each house. Hadn't done that yet for this house and so decided to go ahead and add it to the stair surround. It will be completed in a darker purple, though I think that will be complementary to the colors used in the room it will be located.

Have to say as houses go, I did get to try my hand at a few new techniques -- of which I not only enjoyed but am thankful. The staircase from scratch was the first first if you will. The second I got to try out was using cork shelf liner for flooring, which I have to say looks better than I initially thought it would. I also did a tile carpet in the bathroom which was new for me in miniature -- and I must admit I think the colors of that room are my favorite! It's a bright green, with a bit of "bling" to it on the walls. Then a white tile with copper threads swirled through surrounding the outer edges of the room with a blue, green, and copper tiled "rug" in the middle. Of course, it's also the first house I've papered the outside of to give the illusion of brick as well.

This house definitely turned out colorful, yet I think, harmonious. Tomorrow I hope to have pictures of both with the final details done and in place for you guys to see and if y'all don't mind critiquing -- it's always appreciated! Until tomorrow guys.  :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fireplace is coming along...

Slowly but surely that is. lol Had several rocks that had come loose on it, and it was missing some trim along the bottom. Thankfully was able to locate the rocks and glue them back in place, as well as make a new piece of trim for the bottom. The interior has been repainted a flat black and has some new cleaned up(in other words baked) twigs, that have been glued in place. Think I'm still going to put another coat of Mod Podge matte finish over the twigs and possibly some pastel dust in burnt umber, black, and grey to give the look of some ash. The fireplace has also been given a new mantle.  :)

Last thing to finish up on the cabin is the rest of the chimney. I must admit this is a first for me, so I am doing it as simply as I can and still hope to have it sturdy enough to hold up to little hands. Simply got the measurement I needed for the height and width, and cut a piece of foamboard for the interior above the fireplace and then also a couple of pieces for the exterior chimney. I've not glued these in place quite yet, as I intend to cover them with some clay made to look like yet more stone. I know there will be a definite difference in the look of this from what the fireplace was made with -- but at the moment, with what options I have available, I think it's the best bet!

Hoping to upload pics of the little cabin, and The Heather dollhouse tomorrow. Again, both of these are being donated to my local chapter of Relay for Life. I really liked this idea, as quite simply I live in an area with a depressed economy and most kids around here wouldn't have even a glimmer of hope getting something like this under their Christmas trees. So if these may help to bring a few smiles around that time, as well as raising money for Cancer research -- have to say it just seems like a win/win situation to me.

Hope all's been going well for everyone, until tomorrow folks!  :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Never done...

Seems to be the miniaturists plight, or at least this miniaturist! Every time I'm convinced I've really and truly finished with a project, something else comes to mind that would make it just THAT much better. In this case it was the log cabin project... Just really couldn't envision it without a fireplace. Thankfully I had an older stone fireplace that came with another house and  batch of furniture I came into a while ago. That house called the Walmer French Victorian by some or French Chateau by others doesn't appear to be a house I see myself installing a stone fireplace quite so rustic as the one I received with it. Thus, I'm going to finish it up and repair what needs fixing(it's missing it's mantle) and then see if I can't make up a quick chimney to go with it and really make it look like it's always been there.

Was trying to go for a truly old-fashioned look with this cabin, along with a few updates here and there. I chose to do a different roof for the interior like some I've seen on more modern cabin finishes. Just took some Greenleaf strip flooring and used it like planking for the ceiling. Still rustic, but a bit lighter and brighter with this finish. I really think the last addition of the fireplace and chimney and I'll quit being bothered that it's not quite right... Hopefully. lol

Anyways, going back to sort through my scrap wood and see if I can't find a probable mantle piece. Hope everyone's had a good one. Til tomorrow...  :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Been a long time gone!

At least from here that is... Between new jobs and the basic point that I've been struggling with some health issues for the last little bit -- I took a longer than I thought breather from posting here. While I may still be dealing with some of those issues, I dare say I should be back and will be hopefully posting some pictures with-in the next few days of projects I've been working on and having fun with.

First off was a kit called the Heather that was put out by HBS and RGT back in the 80's I believe. A cute little house that has 4 rooms and has been finished completely in regards to the build. Had fun with this house as it is the first time I've used brick paper on the exterior, and the first from scratch made staircase for me!  :) Thought it turned out pretty cute, and for a donation house I hope it makes some little one very happy round abouts Christmas time.

I also worked on an older kit by Duracraft called the Hickory Ridge Log Cabin. If anyone wants instant gratification -- this kit needs to be on your list. lol I can honestly say it went together for me in less than an hour... Of course being a bit of a twit, I kept looking at it and thinking I didn't like the interior of it -- looked too flat in my opinion, so took it apart and used an awl to give it a more 3 dimensional look. Have to say I like it much better now. Other point that I did change up about this kit was the door. They have it so that the support beams are on the outside, and quite honestly I couldn't see that being historically accurate(nor could my folks -- whom have both expressed very definite opinions on this one ;) ). So I simply put the beams on the interior side of the door instead. Simple doorknob on this one, as opposed to the accuracy of the latch into a j-hook with a cord hanging on the outside of the door... But again, donation house and I was trying to keep this one as child friendly as possibly -- didn't even put in a plexiglass window like I wanted to, thus if it goes to a younger child of either sex -- they aught to be able to really play with it.

Anyways, that's my updates in regards to houses I've completed. I did actually invest in a Creatin Contest kit this year and have finally taken it out of the box to really consider. Though I've also been spending my last couple of days trying to re-organize and make it easier for me to get to things.With my mobility becoming seemingly more limited as the days wear on, I want to know I can still access what I need to without troubling others so much.

Have also been looking at The Storybook Cottage by Greenleaf and thinking of finally getting to the point of turning it into a vintagey/retro-ish flower shop. Not completely sure but that seems to be the direction I'm leaning towards with that one... Guess we shall see.

Until tomorrow folks!  :)