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About this blog

Projects and Experiments :)

Entries in this blog

 

Lighting ... a start

First of all, let me introduce Santa. I found him in a gift shop, back in the 75%-off Christmas sale stuff, in a little German-heritage town not far from here. I don't believe he'll live in the mushroom, but he comes by frequently to check on the elves and their progress. Do you think he's carrying a lantern because he doesn't think I'll solve the lighting dilemma? ;) While I was thinking about the lighting, I did some aging on the oven wall. I love these artist color

KathieB

KathieB

 

The Oven Wall

Well, life intervened with my mini plans, as it often does, but I'm finally back to working on the oven wall. The little baker is very interested in what's happening. Today we got the alcove cut out. The little stove fits in there just right. The little baker likes the little stove. She says she can turn out all kinds of good Bohemian breads and pastries on it. We used a big emery board to sand down the rough edges. This view shows the left side of the oven wall shortened an

KathieB

KathieB

 

A mushroom home for elves

Inspiration The White Orchid, a special run of the Greenleaf Orchid dollhouse kit, is made from Sintra, a beautifully satiny white plastic. I was lucky enough to get one during the short run of this kit. It has been waiting patiently for more than two years to become what I knew it was going to be almost from the get-go: a mushroom home for five elves and their fairy godmother wrangler. ;) This is what inspired me. We have always had a cheerful red-topped mushroom on our C

KathieB

KathieB

 

Adams: an 1860s Creole Cottage

Project Name: Creole Cottage: home of Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans Construction photos can be found in my Blogspot blog. 2nd runner up in the Hobby Builders Supply 2008 Creatin' Contest! .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Marie Laveau (1802-1881) is legendary for an unusual combination of spiritual power, beauty, charisma, showmanship, intimidation, and shrewd business sense.] She also was known for her kindness and charity, n

KathieB

KathieB

 

Creating a Crape/Crepe Myrtle Tree

One of my favorite trees is the crape myrtle. I love its bright flowers and clean, gray trunk and limbs. This photo was my inspiration for this project. In doing research, I discovered that the tree name can be spelled crape or crepe. I looked through my stash of artificial flowers and found some ivy with stems that came close to the shape I was looking for and some red salvia that could be chopped up for blooms. . I glued three

KathieB

KathieB

 

Washington 2.0 - Siding painted & Shutters

Haven't worked much in the past few days, but there is a little progress to share. The siding is finished and painted. The irregularities below the upper floor windows will be hidden by the porch roof. The shutters are glued in place, and some of the interior window and door frames also glued. Not sure how or why, but some of the interior window frames are a bit wide and show through the window when you look from the outside. Not sure how this will be addressed. They're made of bal

KathieB

KathieB

 

Washington 2.0 - Siding

It has been nearly a month since Mollie and I got the basic construction done. The holidays and life in general intervened, but I've been working at siding for the past week or so. Siding is not my favorite sport, I've decided, but I certainly do like the way it looks so far. The Greenleaf siding that comes with the 2.0 kit doesn't look like much in sheets, but with a lick of sandpaper (emery board, actually), it finished up beautifully. You'll notice from the photos that tape is an

KathieB

KathieB

 

Washington 2.0 - Construction

Mollie is my 10-year-old goddaughter. We're building the Washington 2.0. Mollie has visions of it being an old time farmhouse but with modern conveniences, which include a horse or two in the yard. Here's Mollie, hard at work sanding and hamming it up for the camera while showing off the dry fit. ... Mollie hung in there during the sanding and priming with gesso, and finally we were able to glue the main structure together. It was glued before I read the

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: FINISHED!!

The Lily Pad won an Honorable Mention in Hobby Builders Supply's 14th Annual Creatin' Contest. Welcome to the Lily Pad, the home of Captain Walter Bulrush, retired from a life on the high seas as a member of the Merchant Marines, and his family: wife Lydia, and sons Algernon and baby Moses. ... ... When I saw the houseboat kit, it told me immediately that it wanted to be part of a fantasy, the home of a frog family, and that it wanted to h

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Fish

Today I added fish to the water, four of them made from Fimo polyclay. The first three fish started out looking like the others, but they came out really strange,looking like lumps of toxic waste on a pin. They started out looking like this: But came out looking like this: The next four fired up just fine and were painted with acrylic paint, including some silver touches for shine. They're mounted on pins stuck into the contractors' foamboa

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Boat on the Base

October 10, 2007 Today I finished the landscaping and put the boat in its setting. The protective plastic has been removed from the Plexiglas. It's so clear that it nearly doesn't look like water! I found the little fence at Big Lots, part of their Christmas decorations which the clerks were busy arranging on the shelves. Lloyd donated the canoe to the project. I'd bought it for him at Hobby Lobby so

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Base

October 8, 2007 Worked on the shoreline today. The shore was sprayed with stone-textured spray paint and looks very much like half-inch scale rough sand. Plants, rocks, and shells added, along with some green model train turf in nooks and crannies. Not quite sure what the sides and back edges will look like, but definitely not as detailed as the "front". I put the boat in place so I could see how the plantings looked in context. The "water" is still covered with plastic and over spr

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: The boat is finished ... as finished as a project ever is, that is!

October 1, 2007: I vowed to get the boat finished by the end of September, and here we are. The past few days I've been tweaking ... making accessories, getting pillows on the bed, and so forth. Here are photos I took today, with the Bulrush Family on board. Capt. Walter, wife Lydia, son Algernon, and baby Moses. There are still some little tweakings to do ... accessories for the parlor, fenders for the boat, etc., for for all intents and purposes, I'm declaring the boat itself finished!

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: More Tweaking

Today I added pictures to the nursery and bathroom, made a rug for the parlor, added a foghorn to the pilot house and installed a yardarm with flags, made and installed (non-lighting) running lights, put a flag on the stern, and put a shawl and candle on the piano. (The music room has no light of its own and is darker than I'd like it to be.) Also installed the aquarium. My list of things to do is getting shorter. The ivory rug brightens thi

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Tweaking

After a few weeks' hiatus, I got busy again yesterday. I built a baker's rack out of white-covered floral wire for the bathroom and loaded it with towels. Can't have too many towels on a house boat, eh? Also added a toy to the hallway and a mirrored shelf, and put a towel on the sail maker's bench in the bathroom. I'm going for a lived-in look. I added a stained balsa window sill to the bay window in the parlor, then I turned to the parlor curtains. I made them

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Decorating continues

The curtains in the dining room, music room and ballroom slowed me down a bit. I'm not really satisfied with what is there, but I'm moving along with the thought that those things can be revisited. The Master Cabin is not finished. Need pillows for the bed, and I don't like the rug. May want to soften the porthole and/or harem screen with some fabric; not sure about that. Bathroom needs a white wire shelf unit (I think I can make one) and a frame for the mirror (which is resting in the bathtub).

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Decorating Port Side

I've decided to do the decorating methodically. Started with the top deck. Unless I decided to age the decking a bit, it is finished. I don't think I will age it. Captain Bullrush keeps his boat ship-shape, so even tricycle marks would be painted out nearly as soon as they're made. You may notice the frog pond is missing. The jury is still out on that item; it may turn up on the lower deck. On the middle deck, the boy's cabin is pretty much finished. Have decided n

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Upper Deck details & lower deck railings

Here are the photos from yesterday's efforts. The canopy has been rebuilt and edged with some neat lace I found in a bridal shop for 29 cents a yard. What a deal! Two of the deck chairs have had cushions added, thanks to some nifty froggie fabric that Anna gave me. (The nice shiny wheel and compass in the pilot house also came from Anna. Lloyd is beside himself over it, as the compass really works!) And some astro-turf was installed in the children's play area. The lower deck raili

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Upper Deck Plan Comes Together

Well, I spent most of the day in the basement, catching up on several days worth of recorded Y&R episodes and working on the upper deck. The photos below tell the story. The empty flowerpots will eventually have plants in them. The door on the stairway shelter is made from balsa wood and a piece of gray nylon stocking. I'd really like to grab a glass of lemonade* and sit under the awning for a while. Can just feel those pond breezes on my cheeks. &#

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Upper Deck staged -- sort of

The canopy has undergone some modification. It's a lot less likely to attract the Pope now. It's roofed over with some bronze material like the copper used on the bay window roof. The upper deck railings are glued in place, and some of the upper deck items are scattered about. Still thinking about where the plants and playground will go and whether the table and chairs need a sun umbrella. That dark rectangle in the corner is a frog pond. I'm not sure it will stay. A family of frogs keeping frog

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Canopy & Railings

In the previous entry I mentioned a canopy. Well, here it is. I cut a plastic frosting container in half for the arch, made the underlying frame from skinny sticks, and added 4 porch ports. As you can see, it looks more like something erected for the visit of the Pope than protection from the weather. And there is no protection from the weather. So, the porch posts were cut down and a 2-litre soft drink bottle was cut up. A little trimming and scoring, and

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: This and That

Working on this and that -- spiral stair installation, skylight installation, and canopy for the spiral stairs. I've been geeing and hawing over how to protect the spiral staircase from the elements and have settled on a canopy. I don't want another blocky item stuck on top (like the pilot house). What to do about weather? Maybe clear walls can be added ... but a door? Naahhhhhhh ... I'd prefer to think this houseboat is anchored in Paradise, where it never rains. The

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Stern Bulkhead

Over the weekend I worked on the stern bulkhead. Couldn't do it before, as lighting wires run down the outside. Now they're there for good! I didn't feel like painting each shingle individually, so I used painter's tape to layer waxed paper under the bottom row of shingles. I did that to block off the single row of blue shingles, too. It worked perfectly - not a drip or smudge in sight. The "copper" roof on the bay window is an adaptive reuse of a peel-and-stick metali

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Pilot House & Accessories

Today I worked on the pilot house and its accessories. I thought it was pretty close to finished, but then Lloyd the Sailor came by. He doesn't like the stanchion for the wheel, and pointed out that the gimbels on the compass are reversed. I wondered about that myself, since green is starboard, red is port, but the photo I used as a reference has them the way they're shown here. So, next session I'm going to lose the wheel stanchion and replace it with a pipe, and reverse the gimbels. &

KathieB

KathieB

 

Houseboat: Top Deck & Pilot House

Today I got the top deck cut and painted, made a window frame for the ballroom skylight, and started on the pilot house. The only three lights left to install are in the bathroom, ballroom, and by the front door. The first two will go in when the top deck is ready to be glued in place; the door light will go in when I can attach the siding, which won't happen until the bathroom light is installed. Oy, the logistics make me crazy sometimes! Lloyd the sailor said I shouldn't put a lig

KathieB

KathieB

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