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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Working backwards, sideways, any way but what I normally would!

The title of the post says it all! I'm literally working on steps that I at this point normally wouldn't ever dream of working on. I still don't technically have four walls together. This is because I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to electrify this little gem. I had both side walls glued previously, with each floor fitted into their slots -- only to go down the next day and realize there was a definite tilt... As I prefer the idea of a stylish, classy brownstone the look of ready to fall over just wasn't going to work. (This was my session with this that I was contemplating the other week just taking it out and starting a nice bonfire in the driveway.) Luckily after scouring the internet, I found out a way to get my dollhouse shell apart with a lot less effort than I had already been putting into it and getting no where. Apparently it's a technique used by antique furniture restorers to loosen wood glue. White vinegar drizzled along the glue line, let it set for 10-15 minutes, then use a heat gun to loosen it the rest of the way. One still needs to be careful when pulling the sections apart, but if you're patient and let the vinegar do it's thing it will I promise you come apart without much issue!
So anyways, I now have the bottom and top glued into their respective slots on one side panel of the house. Before I glue on the other again, I want to use my Dremel to sand 1/4" slots for my tapewire to fit before I slide the other side on. I'm hoping to do that tomorrow after I do my cardio routine. (Boyfriend wants to lose weight and he's inspired me to join him. Though my goal isn't weight loss so much as build lean muscle mass.)
In reference to the title -- I'm trying my hands at different parquet patterns for a few of the different rooms in this house, as well as different patterns of stained glass. I've done actual stained glass in real life, but in miniature it's an entirely different business!

Piece of plexi after cutting.
Stained glass first. For my attempts I'm using 1/8 inch thick plexiglass. I cut this into the sizes I'd need with my Dremel cutting blade, and a sharp razor blade. Basically I just used the Dremel to get a little ways down along the lines I'd drawn, then did the same on the reverse. I didn't want to go all the way through. I find if you let the Dremel work for you and don't force it you shouldn't have any issues like melting or whatnot. Once I was comfortable with the depth of cut I'd gotten from the Dremel on both sides I then used a sharp razor blade to score it a couple more times and I was then able to snap it pretty easily. My edges aren't perfect, but I intend to insert these windows into channel molding once done, which will cover any irregularities.

This picture shows the first that I'm working on, the solder lines are done with lead golf tape -- I got mine from Amazon and thankfully pretty cheap. I cut my main straight lines at 1/8" thick, then got
gutsier and cut my "detail" lines at 1/16" thick. This definitely has a steep learning curve and it's not going to seem perfect when you're overlapping lead -- but remember real stained glass soldering isn't perfect either. I figure it's lending to the realism! Side note, I have found most of my patterns on Pinterest or free sites for stained glass. As I don't have a printer with me currently, it's been a lot of staring at pictures and sketching... Once I get done with the front side I'm going to repeat the process on the back --  matching my lead lines as best as I possibly can. A definite note to remember with this -- no matter what, make sure you wash your hands before you go for food or drink. I would say as soon as you're done working with the lead the better, just to be on the safe side.

Now in regards to the parquet... I have a couple of compass styled kits from Brodnax. I'm hoping to get one made up for this house. However, I don't want everything to be classic -- I want a little edge
This is going to take a while...
in here as well. A classy brownstone with attitude -- sounds good to me! Insert my inspirations from M. C. Escher. I'm attempting a 3-D look cube floor made with 3 different types of wood veneer. This has been going pretty smoothly in the cutting, now it's just trying to piece it all together -- guarantee that's going to be a few more days!

That's all that I've been up to for the last few, and in all likelihood what I'll be continuing to do for the next several. Trying to be good though and keep you all updated on my progress and keep my pics coming. If there's something specific I've not added pictures of, and you want to see just let me know in the comments and I'll see if I can't make it happen!  Hope you all have a good one!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Georgetown Dollhouse Kit... elusive and dangerous!

Alright, now that I'm feeling back on track and fairly settled into the new house -- I've been wanting to focus on my miniature making and dollhouserie! I brought one 1:12 house with me to work on which I've had for a couple of years but kept being put off by the front of it. The facade is MDF, which had several thick glue slicks on the back, and then the front was done in a plastic coating -- which with time has been cracking and flaking off in several spots. Initially I had no clue how to combat the issues with the plastic... however I decided this was one kit I could pack up fairly easily in a plastic tote and bring with me to my new home to work on when I could. As I had moved to enter into a new job and see how I and my boyfriend would do with living together -- I knew I would need some sort of project to keep me sane at times. lol  I realize that sounds terrible, but I've never lived with someone before and have always prized my alone time. Thankfully, he not only understands that but appreciates it as well!

Sooo, where am I with this rarely seen house? Thankfully not out in the driveway having a bonfire with the pieces like I wanted to a couple of weeks ago!  I've never had any one house give me so many issues at literally every step of the way... Tonight though I want to share the only article I've ever found in regards to this kit, and then also how I'm planning on making the uh-oh's and OH NO's work for both me and the kit!  :)

The article/description and picture are from the Miniatures Catalog Third edition, located on page 65 in the townhouse section. I've honestly only ever seen the one I have in person, and I've looked for this model elsewhere -- Ebay, Craigslist, Etsy, you name it. I've never seen another anywhere. So I have to wonder if perhaps the plastic coating made it more unpopular or what the reasoning may be. Either way, as mentioned my issue was that age had taken it's toll and a good bit of the plastic on my front opening panel was to be frank cracked, flaking, or had holes -- not a good start for an elegant brownstone! I then had the brilliant idea of using some of the Krylon Stone Finish paint to give texture to the bricks -- worked out well til a well-meaning man whom will remain nameless decided to be helpful and stand it upright while drying. Left my building with some nasty paint runs! So being brilliant and wanting to move forward(as in fix the mess) I used a paint stripper to remove the paint... That was my second big uh-on moment, as the paint stayed on in those nasty streaks, but the plastic came off almost everywhere else!

So, I did some research and found a product called Goof Off. It removes paint but is safe on plastic, that helped me to get rid of the streaks thankfully! However now I had a panel that still had the roof detail and shutters, but most everything else was obliterated... Oh, this kit also had no window panes -- so I'll be doing something from scratch to replace those. Anyways, while I had bought sheets of plastic brick to paint and put on the sides to match the front -- I now had a very sad looking, not a lot of brick detail left front. Thankfully, I've got two bags of miniature stone from Andi Mini Brick and stone which will work well to replace the side detailing of the front. In addition this has pushed me to try my hand with Paperclay -- I have two packs and am hoping to emulate/reproduce most of the original brick detail with it. Simply put, while I thought this project was going to be up in flames the other week for how upset I was getting with everything going wrong -- I've decided positive is always better, and there's always an answer even if not what we had initially planned on.  :)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Been a long time gone...

Yikes! I have been away from this forever it seems. Thankfully, after moving I find myself with a new dedicated craft/mini room in the basement which my boyfriend delights in calling my dungeon. lol It's a happy dungeon though, and I've truly been enjoying my time in it.

I only brought one 1:12 scale project with me -- but as my brownstone has been delighting in stymieing me nearly every step of the way I've also been trying my hand at smaller scales. To date I have one of four "corner scenes" done. The first I finished the other day is in 1:144 scale and depicts Spring. Definitely have to say painting in this small a scale takes some getting used to! However, I truly found I enjoyed how quickly I was able to complete this project, and how nice it really looks.

In regards to my blogging, I am contemplating moving over to Bloglovin' just for the simple matter it is seemingly easier for me to move around and find similarly minded folks. For now that's all I can really update with, but hope everyone is doing wonderfully!

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