Blog Entries posted by Shareb
So I have learned (if I didn't already know) that this dollhouse, if I want to do it well, is going to take time. Which is fine - I'm happy with that. So I ended up spending more time on the foundation. After talking with others via the Greenleaf forum, I realised that for a large house like the Pierce, it is vital that the foundation is level. Even if it's just a few millimetres out, it may have an adverse affect on the upper story walls etc. So..thankfully my husband is an engineer. He helped me to check how level the whole foundation was and then helped me to fix it! It really only required a bit of sanding! I prepared the first floor by punching out and then sanding it really well especially on the edges. I did a dry fit - ensuring that all the tabs slotted into where they are supposed to go etc. This did require a little jiggling around and altering of tabs slightly. I also checked before gluing if the tabs stuck out past the floor level. Those that did I sanded down so that they were level with the floor. I then ran a thin line of wood glue around the edge of the foundation and a line around where the foundation sits on the bottom of the first floor. I put it together and put heavy books on top in order that it dried flat. I left it over night and this morning removed the books! I checked the level of the floor and it is excellent - virtually spot on. I spread another line of wood glue around the inside where the wall of the foundation and the floor meet and that's where I've left it for today.
Hi all! I have spent quite a bit of time tidying stuff up and now I've begun to furnish the rooms! Because the kids attic bedroom is so small - despite my adding on to it, I wanted to build 'built in' beds. Well I am absolutely thrilled with how well they have turned out! I have started to work on the rest of the attic also. It's going to be Val's space for crafting and for apothecary stuff. Beginning to really enjoy this process!
So, I haven't added anything for a while, however I have been steadily working on my house. I'm mainly doing tidy up bits. I have put in the electrics for the attic, I've finished the large roof skylight. I'm putting scotia in - or at least I'm trying to. For the life of me I can't figure how to do the corners - being a weekend tomorrow I can get hubby to show me! Tomorrow we're also going to a Miniature Show! I've not been to one before so really looking forward to it!
Hmmm.....seems I can't upload pics directly to the blog any more - so I'll just add some new ones into the gallery.
I was looking through Pinterest the other night looking for ideas and this one picture jumped out at me - my stomach flipped and I knew exactly who my new Chantilly is for!!!
My roof (apart from the dormers and the copper tops and the shingles) is finished! I am very, very happy with the way my addition and skylights have turned out. I will need to use silicon in a couple of places to hide imperfections - but this won't be noticed once cladding and shingles/copper have gone on. To celebrate I moved the house to the smaller table in my craft room and given the room a spring clean (apart from my messy daughter's stuff) ready to start the next phase of building!
YAY for my hubby who told me to go buy a new tool on the weekend! I now have a Dremel Moto Saw - like a mini scroll saw which is absolutely brilliant. So my first 'straight line' wasn't so straight - but it was easy!!
Once I finished the ceiling how I wanted it (white washed timber) and put the trim on, the large roof's skylights look brilliant (if I do say so myself!). What a shame no one will see it once the whole roof is on! I'm gluing the large roof now and later I'll go put the middle roof on. Then apart from porches and front dormer the house is pretty much complete. Just have to put all the decorative bits on, shingle the roof and clad the outside. Whew! Then I can get to the fun bits of creating new furniture and bits for each room.
I don't know how people finish houses in a week or two....I really don't. Even if you work on it constantly, you have to wait for glue and paint to dry!
Seriously?? Was I really that stupid???
I have realised today that I only ever share my successes! Now while this is a very human thing to do, I also recognise that it doesn't clearly show the blood, sweat and tears I have - thus far - put into my Pierce. No does it explain that while I may attempt to be a perfectionist - I very rarely create things as perfectly as I would like!
So I had the fantastic idea of putting in skylights and creating more space in the attic. When I had the idea I believed we had a scroll saw with which I could do it. However, the scroll saw has somehow gone missing leaving me to attempt to cut the windows and everything else out as well as I can with the limited cutting tools available. Needless to say then, that I now keep a pack of band-aids in the craft room... These photos show the frustrating time I have had today in creating the rounded trim for the top of the windows. I tried cutting it from thicker basswood to match the rest of the trim I cut and painted last week. I managed to cut 5 out okay. Then I also had 3 hoods to cut for the outside - I didn't cut any of those successfully - so then I tried to cut them out of thin basswood which I could double. I managed to cut the sixth smaller hood but as you can see in my rubbish bin - I wasted a lot of wood and I still haven't managed the outside hoods. I'll try them again another day. My next job is to finish cutting the skylights in the large roof. As you can see I made an attempt to do this using my dremel-type tool and cut a few straight bits. Again this was when I believed I had a scroll saw to use! I now know I haven't - and if I hadn't have made a start I think I would have given up on the idea. Now though I have to struggle and get these blooming windows cut out..... I must put another box of plasters on my shopping list....
It's taken some time and kindness of strangers, but finally I have the half-built Chantilly home. When going through the box I realised I had no windows, doors, dormers, filigree and a few other things. Thankfully another box has been found and will be sent to me - will be interesting to see what's in it!
I have to consider who will be living in this cottage before deciding how to lay it out. The only thing I'm sure about is that this is going to be a stone cottage.
I love how big the rooms are! It seems a waste to have one whole room as a bathroom! I'll have to have a good look at other Chantilly's to get an idea of how this one is to be completed.
Typically the cats had to check it out - but I think they gave it the seal of approval!
So my little attic room is pretty much done. I'm finishing off the ceiling for the bay - I'm not worrying too much about what it looks like on the outside as of course I'll put a copper top on it - plus all the cladding once the house is completely built. I have decided to do all the attic ceilings with wood white-washed. Because we seem to have lost our scroll saw, the cutting out of windows has been very difficult! However I'm getting there - I'm now keeping band-aids in my craft room!
So...unfortunately I've run out of wood. I've cut the three sides for the tower and I have enough to cut the roof once the sides are all on. I have marked out the windows on the wood. I'll have to figure out how to use the scroll saw in order to cut them out!
Then I have cut the skylights in the middle roof and large roof in the cardboard. I have decided I love the middle roof ones, not sure about the large roof. I am going to make them a series of smaller windows as opposed to one long one. What do you think?
Okay - completely scrap the idea of a mansard roof. Far too difficult for me!! This is about the best I could come up with. I'll add in windows to mirror those on the first and second floors and make a copper roof similar to the one on the main tower.
What do you think?? I really appreciate your opinions - what can you see will be difficult? Do you think this would work? Any thing you'd change?
Please have a look at these....do you think this is relatively do-able for the Pierce? I'm thinking I could either do a bay or dormer above the kitchen. It's going to be a children's room - but I'd like to fit two children's beds.
I have finished the attic floor. I decided to make the boards wider for the attic. I'm thinking that when the house was built (ie Queen Anne style) the attic was probably for the maids - therefore it wouldn't have had such a fine finish. I do however like the wider boards more than the narrower ones - I like the finish more too. So here is how I did it....
I made a template with lines 1 1/2 cms apart so that it was quick to mark the vaneer.
I then used a paper cutter to slice the boards. I find that this is far more accurate than trying to cut with a craft knife. When cutting with a craft knife it tends to follow the grain.
I then glue the boards onto dark card in a staggered pattern
The first coat of polyurethane tends to soak in so you need to apply a fair bit.
After two coats I then sanded the floors well. I used both a brush and then damp paper towels to wipe after sanding.
Then next coat of polyurethane made a huge difference - looks beautiful in the sun here.
Cut the wood down to fit the card which was created using a pattern.
And Voila - you have the finished floor. I tried to join the two separate bits of floor but it didn't work as well as I had imagined. Hopefully I will be able to cover this bit up with either roof or furniture!
Before I lay the floor I have to finish the lighting for the second floor. This is the bathroom lighting finished - I'll hide the wall sconce wires with a mirror.
Well I have to give it to my brilliant Engineer husband (don’t tell him I called him that!). He gave me a fantastic idea of how to build the tower on my Pierce! The wood glue I use is brilliant but it does take time to dry. Last night I tried to glue a couple of sides of the tower to the top and the bottom. I tried using masking tape and even tried hot melt glue. It was a complete failure – all I managed to do was burn my finger! So I took it out to hubby and asked for his advice. So hubby suggested that I drill small holes top and bottom on all of the side pieces. I then used fine wire to essentially wire all the tower sides together. Once done it was easy to fit the base evenly around each side and glue. Once dried I put the top in and glued. I then glued all the sides. Once it is completely dry I will take out the wire. I’m going to roof the tower with copper, but regardless of what roofing material is used, it should easily cover the holes.
Today I also glued the dining bay. And now that the kitchen bay is perfect and glued, I fit the kitchen bench! I am pretty happy with it! All I really have to do to the kitchen is finish the architraving (however you spell it) around the ceiling.
The tower room is now gluing. I put the roof on and measured where the sides meet the roofline. I cut those down in order to open the room up more. I also papered the room. This is going to be where Val's apothecary table will sit and she'll have her herbs drying etc.
Well, things are coming together quickly now! I have already decided that in future I will not put the skirting boards in until the whole house is built. Plus I really need to consider more carefully which parts will end up glued. I've had to shave skirting boards and wallpaper off when fitting the third floor. Its all fitted now and I'm beginning to build the tower.
I painted over the paper I had in the kitchen in order to get a lighter shade of blue. So much happier with it now. To make the aga backsplash, I made tiles out of polymer clay. I glued these on to card, grouted with spackle and then when dry I put a coat of clear nail polish over it all. Love it!
I have been working on my kitchen cabinetry and must say I am extremely pleased with how they have turned out. Apart from the sink, I have made it all. The wood used for the bench top is basswood - the same as the rest of the cabinet. I stained it using a mix of Mod Podge and various chalk pastels. When doing this technique, I use a craft knife to scrape the chalk pastels, essentially ending up with a small pile of various coloured dust. I then mix it with Mod Podge. Once mixed I brush on to the item I'm staining. I then use a paper towel to remove it. Once dry I varnish - I do this several times, sanding in between. I still have to hinge the cupboards which I'll do today then this will be complete. I won't glue the part of the bench that will go in the bay area until I have the bay walls up. I have another bench to make for the other side of the kitchen, which will house the aga. I'll make a start on that today.
Today has been a good day! I seem to have achieved quite a good amount. I have glued the second floor floors down. I have made and painted the kitchen aga unit. I have a cream aga on order and apparently it's being sent tomorrow. I prepped the third floor level and applied the second floor ceilings. Now I have to consider what I'm going to use as the back-splash. I was thinking mirrored tiles to accentuate light, however I think that will just be a little too modern. Hmmm....time to visit Pinterest and Houzz.
Those naughty Gnomes were holding Norm and Eliza at ransom as they want a secret room in the house for them. Meanwhile Val was having quiet time gazing at her beautiful new kitchen!
My 15 yr old daughter loves to sneek in and pose my dollhouse dolls every day. Normally it is something terrible they are getting up to. Especially Norm - who we think must be having a mid-life crisis - even though he is well past 'mid-life'! Now they have a granddaughter - Eliza, Norm gets himself into even more trouble!!
After a big discussion with hubby, I've decided to go with his idea re the wiring. Rather than not gluing down the floor in order to get to the wire if a bulb blows, he has convinced me to recess power points into the ceiling by the ceiling lights. I'll do something similar for wall/table/floor lights. I have taken a set of photos in order to show the whole process. I hope this can be helpful for others!
I will describe the process here and add photos into a new gallery album titled 'Electrical'.
First I have decided where I would like the ceiling lights to be and marked that on the ceiling and the second level floor. I then drilled two small holes along side each other just far enough away to clear the light and or ceiling rose. From there I used a larger drill bit to join the two small holes into a larger hole. I used a metal file to smooth and shape it until it was the right size for the power point to fit into snugly. I push in down from the 2nd floor until it is flat with the floor. I then drew a line from the wire out to where I want to take the wire - ie on the outside of the house. It will not be seen (hopefully) under the weatherboards.
I used the dremel to cut a channel along the line, just big enough to fit the wire, and drilled a hole in the wall (where the skirting will sit) where I poked the wire through.
Now, the power points I'm using have a plug on the end. In order to get the wire through the small hole, use pliers to carefully take the prongs out of the plug - I have found it comes out easier if you twist as you pull. When both prongs are out, push the wire up until the bare ended wire is out, straighten the wire and the plug will pull straight off. Poke the wire through the hole and when you put the plug back on (if the wire is long enough for your purpose) do the same process but backwards. There are youtube videos showing you this process.
I use tacky glue to glue the power point box in place and tacky glue to run the wire in and along the channel/groove, you have cut to the hole. Use masking tape until the glue has dried. As you can see from the pictures, because the box is recessed, it is hardly noticeable. It will be more noticeable once you have plugged the light/s in, however by running your wire this way, you will be able to change bulbs and lights very easily and the wire can become permanent under the floor and weather boards. I have done two, eating lunch now and will hopefully get the other 3 that I need done, today. Hubby is going to show me how to add wire to leads that aren't long enough. Again I will take photos and put it up on here for people. Remember - see my album called Electrical in order to see this process in pictures.
After gluing in most of the walls and the second floor, today I sorted the electrical. I have made yet another table lamp which looks great - not so happy with the ceiling lights but they'll do for now. Tomorrow (Saturday) engineer hubby is going to show me how to add length to wires, run them etc etc. So while I waiting I finished my little wingback chair kit.
It's turned out okay but I think in future I'm better off doing it without instructions!
Meanwhile Caitlin worked on bowls and plant pots using thin strips of paper and Mod Podge. They are so cool!!!
Finally my dolls clothing turned up from Lithuania! Val is really happy with hers - although the belt was a little small. Norm though seems a little grumpy - might be because the hood is so big it can completely cover his head! At least they are warm and dressed properly now! The clothing is beautifully made - tiny, tiny buttons and tiny magnets on the belt.
So, I have been busy touching up paintjobs, putting in windows and finally I've started gluing in the walls. I had to sand and prep the staircase a little better and that is now gluing so will be ready to glue down tomorrow morning. It's exciting how things are finally coming together! As it takes time for glue to dry etc, I've been doing other little jobs in the meantime. I am making a wingback chair that I found as a kit. I've stained the legs tonight using Mod Podge and chalk pastels. Tomorrow i'll have to varnish them and then it will be ready to upholster. I've got the stairs to glue in, then the second floor and then one more wall. Then it'll be running wires for the electrical before gluing down floors on the second floor and adding the attic space. My birthday is Monday and my kids and I are going for a drive to another city (about 2hrs away) to visit a lady with a shop in her house! I'm making a list - so excited!
I've also decided how to layout my kitchen - I'm trying to make a butlers sink and have 3D plastic printed a couple - not sure which I like yet so will have to decide once the cabinets are in. But first I have to get some wood to make the cabinets!
I LOVE dollhouse and miniature making!!!
What I've really enjoyed about this whole process is the opportunity to try other forms of art and craft. I have done stained glass windows in the past with window paints but have recently had to throw all of my window paints out as they were well past their use-by dates! So when I made the decision to make a couple of the oval windows into stained glass I had to try and figure the best way to achieve a look I was happy with. In one photo you can see the results of two ways. One where I used plastic from containers and a stationery folder, drew the black lines with a permanent marker and then coloured inside using marbleing paints. The marble paints gave lovely vibrant colours however the black lines were chunky and so I have ruled out those. The other sheet is where I have printed out pictures in the right size of stained glass windows and then I applied oil to both the front and back sides of the sheet. Given that it's cold here now, despite following the sun around the house with the sheet, it did take 2-3 days to fully dry. I am pleased with the results though and will use those for my windows. I did also try melting crayons but even though I got fantastic results when they dried they all cracked. Hmmm....
The other art I tried was where I again used plastic from a milk bottle and clear packaging, drew on it with permanent markers and then popped it into the oven for 45seconds to 1 minute depending upon size. Put them in on a crinkled piece of tinfoil so that the plastic comes off easily. While hot the plastic is easily moldable and so I created shapes like the glass art you see around!
Hi all! I have sort of reached a stale mate on my Pierce. I have made lights but I don't feel that I can fix them in until I have the second floor and the walls actually glued in. So, I want to do at least a couple of my downstairs windows before gluing the walls and floors. However I have been struggling to get the window pieces as nice as I would like them to be. Hubby has just bought me a collapsible paint booth with a fan in the back and I have sprayed the two bathroom cabinets I've been making today which worked quite well. So then I decided that I want to put a different paper in the study and now I'm re-doing the bathroom as the cabinets I'd made previously out of balsa were clumsy and completely the wrong scale.
I am extremely pleased with the new cabinets I've made and want to share - even though I'm not completely finished as yet!