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MaryKate

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MaryKate last won the day on September 14 2016

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  1. Oooh, Leslie, I like that color scheme! Re: Window mullions: The 550 kit includes very narrow strip wood that you cut and fit to the windows as you assemble them. I used some of it to make the acetate "glass" into panes, but I left some windows "open" and some the others I made "stained glass" with Sharpies. This is a house for a little girl, and her sassy princesses wanted some ooh-la-la--and some ways to sneak in and out of the house! In my Orchid build, I'm using drafting tape, which you can buy at art and craft stores. It comes in various colors and widths, and the 1/16" and 1/8" work well for window leading. I take a strip and lay ito on wax paper, and color it with metallic Sharpies (silver works well for a leaded effect). Let that dry for a bit and then it can be applied to the windows, sometimes with tiny drops of clear glue to help it stick. I really like the effect. If you want more thickness you could probably create a double layer of the tape. I have to admit I was going gangbusters on the SF550 in May/June, but this month has been deadly for all my creative endeavors. In other advice, I agree with everyone who's said to decorate as you go and to paper the tower walls (at least) as you assemble them. My niece's hands will be able to reach into the corners, but mine definitely will not. And I'm going to leave the tower roof loose so she can reach in and play. I don't know how old your kit is, or what kind of foundation the later kits have. The 550 has a sheet of thin, splintering strips you're supposed to punch out, sand, paint, and glue to the sides of the foundation to make a lattice. I took one look at that and went, "NOPE." Unlike the rest of the wood in the kit, that sheet was awful and there was no way I was going through all that effort for a 4 year old's dollhouse. After assembling the foundation piece, I glopped on sparkling compound to make it look "more organic," as the house's recipient's 8 year old brother called it. Then we put it on the porch table and got out every color of green paint, along with some brown, that I had (this was mid-stay-at-home orders so I wasn't going out to get more). The three of us used sponge paintbrushes and had a grand time dabbing the different colors of paint all around the base and into the nooks and crannies. By the time one of us finished a side, it was already drying and ready for the next randomish coat of paint. Once that was completely dry, I got out some tiny paper flowers, along with some flower, insect, and butterfly stickers that are a good match for the scale (not *to* scale, as I'm not super finicky about that with this project), and we glued them onto the sides all around the house. It looks fanciful and fun, and I saved some flowers to make vines going up the tower (where Rapunzel is going to live, along with Ariel and probably at least one Descendants character, as that's her latest obsession). You could probably do something similar with more in-scale and authentic details if you're interested. I need to get more pictures loaded...once I sew another batch of masks. The 8yo was worried we were getting green paint on the "floors" of the house, but as the house's footprint doesn't cover the whole base, I told him it was a good thing to make it look like the grass is growing all around the house. I will probably use something other than the flooring strips to make the first floor of the house, but whatever I do, any green that leaked through will be covered. It was a fun way to involve the kids in the project.
  2. Thank you so much for posting about this! I went to UNL and never heard about this collection. Next time I'm down in Lincoln I'm going to track it down.
  3. I'm glad I could help, William. I spent years tracking down a library book my father and I used to make my sister's dollhouse, which had come from the library and then sometime after we returned it, left the shelves forever. Finally found it a few years ago. Enjoy your books!
  4. The first one sounds a little like The Remember When Dollhouse, by Phyllis Jellison, but if the book you remember was written by a man, that's probably not it.
  5. OMG. You lovely people. I *do* have page 19, and thanks to Susie's post I looked at it again and I realized that little arrow imprinted on the wood by the arrow wasn't about the window, as I had assumed, but about orientation. (Which...why did I think that? WHO KNOWS!!) I flipped it around and voila! I have the right piece. I think it was your mention of magic! I know why it confused me--orienting it correctly for the build makes the wood grain run diagonally, and for some reason I assumed it would run up and down. Thanks to both Susie and Holly for chiming in and helping me get it right (before I did something irreparable and drastic!). Off to paint the gable! ;)
  6. Unfortunately, no. There is a 5 page parts list with diagrams, dimensions, and cross sections, which is wonderfully helpful, but nothing showing the full sheets of die-cut parts. The box had never been opened when I bought it two years ago, so I don't think it went missing, either. And if I cut the gable piece down to size the little window will be in the wrong spot, so now I'm thinking I may have to glue it back in and cut. Maybe once the rest of the walls are up so I can make sure it fits.
  7. I have continued to work on this, bit by bit (got most of my house reorganized during quarantine and have all kinds of spaces for crafting ). But I'm running into a question. The wall of the large gable, the one with the hexagonal window, is far bigger and a different shape on one side than what's in the directions, where there's a line drawing with a couple measurements. I was about to go through with just doing it as it was and seeing if I needed to alter it once I started putting the walls up. (I mean, if you've built this kit, the 550 in particular, you might know that a complete dry fit at the outset is next to impossible, so I have to figure it out as I build.) But I'm at the point where I need to at least paint it I don't have a schematic layout of the wood sheets in the kit, so I can't tell if this is actually 2 parts that were next to each other but didn't get the die cut "lines" pressed into them, but that's my suspicion--even though I went through at one point and labeled the parts and didn't notice anything missing. Looking through some of the older threads here I came across one with a photo of someone working with the same part and it looked like the drawing in the instructions, rather than the part I punched out of the sheet. So I think I'll go ahead and cut it down...unless anyone here has run into the same problem and has insight that might help? I'll give it a little time--I'm still working on building and finishing the interior of the tower and the bay, so I can keep busy for a day or so before I have to decide. But I don't have a whole lot more time than that. There is a 4yo who has been denied the end of her 4K year in school and all her friends, and I'm trying to make it up to her at least a little by pushing this project to the front of my queue. Last week she and her brother helped me paint the base green and glue flowers onto it. We've planned which character gets which room (though they will all visit each other and share, of course, because even the sassiest princesses are good at sharing). I'm trying to find as many little projects for her to help with as I can, but I don't think she will have much useful advice about this weirdo misshapen part! ;)
  8. One suggestion for glass: if the size works for you and you want real glass, you might look into microscope slides. Nasco has some here: https://www.enasco.com/p/Glass-Microscope-Slides%2BSA04464?searchText=microscope+slides. They also have some square glass covers if that shape works better.
  9. Hi from Wisconsin. We are under a Safer at Home order until the end of May; I'm working from home (museum educator) and revising plans for the summer every other day because we are still trying to figure out when it will be safe to open in some limited capacity. I personally won't think it's safe until we have a widely distributed vaccine, or at least comprehensive testing. I've used the extra time at home to work on a number of projects, including minis. I put together a Halloween stand from a kit, totally cleaned up and reorganized all my work and crafting spaces, did some cross stitch and made a junk journal for a craft exchange I'm participating in, and started sewing masks for the maintenance and garden crews at our museum, for when they're allowed to go back. My youngest niece and nephew, who live just two miles from me, have been coming over for informal homeschooling sessions twice a week, and my niece, who's 4, asked me yesterday if she can help make the dollhouse I started building for her last year. "NOT just paint. I want to MAKE it. It IS mmmmmyyyy dollhouse!" Of course it's a DuraCraft San Franciscan, probably the most complicated kit I've ever put together! But I'll find a way to let her help, because she's right. It's her house. ;) BTW, her brother is the baby in my little picture up there. He's 8 now, finishing up third grade, and the little girl in that picture, his cousin and one of my other nieces, is graduating from high school this year. Another niece is graduating college. We're trying to find ways to virtually celebrate them both. I also ordered some mini/crafting supplies for my Orchid project and for my LaserTech beach house. Got some absolutely adorable pillows for the beach house from Brae, and they're having a merry trip through the USPS system. Hopefully they'll show up soon, but if not, I can wait. I know everyone's routines are off right now, and USPS is under an incredible strain. Just grateful that they're still up and running at all at this point! I have a couple of repair projects on my work table for this weekend, and a lot of dreams of what I might be able to do now that I have my supplies and spaces organized. Went through a creative lull through most of March, with crafting and writing both, but now I think something's shifted and I'm starting to adjust to this "unprecedented and unbelievable time," as my boss keeps calling it. He's not wrong. I hope all of you are doing as well as you can, and that you're taking care of yourselves in all the ways you need to.
  10. Thank goodness I'm not the only one!
  11. What a lovely thing to do for your wife! Ihad Velvet, Crissy's blonde...cousin? Sister? I loved that doll. I'm the oldest of 7 kids so I think it got handed down or given away, but I've occasionally checked on Ebay to see about replacing her. I haven't actually bought one yet.
  12. Okay, I started an album for this build; had to work around the vagaries of the interface here and managed to upload the picture of my niece twice...can't seem to delete the extra one. I'll keep working on it. Anyway, all that's in there now are some pictures of the books I'm making for the library and the papers and do-dads I got yesterday for interior decoration. I thought I'd snapped some pictures of the foundation and walls but I can't find them yet, so I'll do that when I'm able to start painting. That'll have to wait until I get my basement guest room, and laundry/craft space organized, which I've been working on all week. I'm so tempted to start painting right here on the coffee table, but I am *not* getting paint on my brand new couch. Hence, working on the books instead. Soon, though. My niece is so ready to play with this house.
  13. I bought a DuraCraft San Franciscan 550 for $60 from a thrift store, all because of the tower. I'm building it with and for my niece.
  14. Hi John--yes, I do plan to start an album. Right now I have the wall panels and the foundation glued together, nothing too spectacular. One thing I noticed when "building" the wall panels, which was a reminder from waaaaay back when I started the Heritage: it is really, really, surprisingly easy to turn one of those panels upside down as you're gluing them together. I nearly did it once about halfway through and I started triple checking. To make the panels straight as I glued, I lined them up against/within a T-square. And re-lined them up over and over again. I held them together with my hands for 30-60 seconds as I added each one, then, when a panel was finished, I used masking tape, hooking one end to the bottom of the panel and drawing the line of tape up over the top of the panel, keeping it tight to hold the pieces together. Then I sandwiched them between pieces of wax paper and put books on top to keep the tight taping from "curling" the panels. I let those dry anywhere from 1-3 hours, then stood them up against a wall as directed to let them finish drying for 24 hours. Next is a lot of painting and sanding and painting. I'm going to paint the wall panels purple on the outside and white or cream on the inside (to prep for the 4yo's decorating plans), paint the base--I'm not sure what color but I'm thinking of putting some kind of stickers or decals around it instead of the lattice--flowers or fairy wands or butterflies or something my niece will like. I also need to paint the window pieces and the channels for the wall panels before I assemble. So there's my next few (dozen??) days off sorted. *g*
  15. Wow, Barbara, I can't believe that's a dumpster rescue! Thanks for the inspiring pictures!
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