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Everything posted by LeeB

  1. I'd like to echo what the posts above have said - and add my own ideas: on one house, when I was considering adding a bay window, I made one out of cardboard and taped it in place, before ordering a professionally made wooden one, to see if I liked the effect. I didn't try building the real one myself because the angles were so different and I didn't have the tools to handle that. And I sometimes draw a full-size floorplan of a house or certain rooms, with doors, windows, fireplace, stairs and other architectural details in place so that I can plot out where to place furnishings. When I have the actual pieces, I can place them on the plan and move them around to see if they fit. If I don't yet have them, I can cut approximate sized pieces out of paper so that I can envision the arrangement. That way, if I have not bought or made the furniture, I can avoid getting things that will not work. I have prevented some mistakes in construction and in spending that way. Actually, I spend a LOT of time doing research online relating to the architectural style and period decor and furnishings before making decisions. I enjoy that and it often inspires custom details that I would not have thought of otherwise.
  2. I think the biggest challenge you would have with a mat cutter is trying to hold the strip of wood in place so it would not move while you are cutting and guide the cutter so it will go straight. If you can figure out some sort of jig to hold the wood in place and keep the cutter on track, it will be more likely to work. Your success may also depend upon what kind of wood you use. Balsa would be easily cut but a hardwood would be more difficult. Good luck if you try it - and let us know how it goes!
  3. I second Holly. The clean, straight lines of Craftsman houses are not only very attractive and fit much better with the basic shell of that house, but are also easy to create because of the clean, straight lines. I also love the colors and think they go well with the style. The door and transom combo is a good fit with Craftsman. But the gingerbread, as you suggested, needs to go! Of course, it is your call, but that is my tuppence worth.
  4. Saw this in a ReStore in Kent, Ohio. Beautifully painted in lavender with accents of purple and teal. Inside is a blank page. Price: $125.
  5. One or two words of caution - when wetting the plaster to soften it for scraping, be careful that you don't over-wet it and cause warping of the wood underneath. Also, you will probably need to do some sanding to get the last vestiges of plaster removed or at least to make it smooth enough to prime. Be sure to wear a mask and goggles so that the very fine dust doesn't get into your eyes and nose. I had to sand a textured wall in a life sized house and it was a terrible mess. A small vacuum is also handy to use often. I am working on a house now in which I decided to make the whole 2nd floor removable - not because of the dimensions of the footprint, but because of the weight. I really like the convenience of it. So much easier to decorate and arrange things in the deeper recesses.
  6. I use scrapbook papers for much of my wallpaper. It is relatively inexpensive and 2-3 sheets are usually enough for a room. It is also heavy enough to be easy to handle. There is a lot of it out there that is the right scale and has cute and fun kids' themes. One I used for my grand-daughter has unicorns and rainbows. Just what a 5-yr-old wanted! You can also spray it with a couple of coats of sealer to make it more dirt resistant.
  7. I once spoiled a piece of wallpaper by spraying it too heavily with matte sealer. It gave the colors a very faded or muted appearance. You could try that.
  8. I have one finished, one half-finished, and one waiting to be started while I do research and planning. I don't think I will stop there.
  9. In my first miniature house, I used one attic room for a child's bedroom and play room. I figured that the lower sloped ceilings would not bother a smaller person the way they would an adult. Another space became the attic storage - a place to put all kinds of interesting things that I had left over from furnishing the other rooms and had no room for: an antique style treadle sewing machine, discarded or outgrown toys, a trunk, a birdcage, etc - just a hodge-podge of random stuff. I left the ceiling and walls unfinished, with some rafters visible and the floorboards raw wood as well. Another idea, if you are into whimsey, is an animal's home - smaller scale, rustic furnishings for a woodland creature such as a rabbit or squirrel, who has found a place out of the cold!
  10. Thanks for the suggestions, Holly & Lisa.
  11. I want to make the floor in one room look like inlaid marble with black and white pieces in a pattern. I have faux marble in both printed paper and vinyl laminate samples and am considering cutting the pieces and gluing them down in the design I like. Has anyone ever tried these approaches? How did they work? Did the laminate separate at the edges? (I know I would need to seal and varnish the paper.) Did you seal the laminate with anything? Is there a another different material that would work better? Thanks for any ideas!
  12. Welcome, Katherine! That sounds absolutely wonderful. I hope you will share pictures - maybe some before & after and as you go along? You can start posting photos after your 5th post, I believe.
  13. I collect Mudlen End houses. They are pottery pieces that were made in England in the 1960s-90s. We have 26 different ones and a few duplicates. The average height of the 2-story ones is about 3", including the chimney. We get them out when we decorate for Christmas and display them on the mantle. Here is a photo or two to give an idea.
  14. I eliminated the stairs in my first house. I cut a piece of wood of the approximate thickness of the structural floor and as close to the dimensions of the opening as I could and glued it into the hole. (If you don't have tools that can handle cutting solid wood or plywood, you can get balsa wood at any hobby supply store or even use foam core.)To even out the surfaces, you can just fill the gaps with wood paste or spackle and sand it down. In order to hold everything in place and make sure that it didn't show, I added an additional decorative surface to the ceiling of the ground floor and the floor of the upstairs. For the ceiling, I cut a piece of mat board the size of the room and glued it in place. For the upstairs floor, I just glued the hardwood effect paper down and varnished over the whole thing. No one has even asked where the stairs are and it gives me lots more floor space.
  15. Right! That's the first thing I would do - and half the fun!
  16. One of a kind? Wonderful piece at an unbelievable price! If I lived closer, I'd be very tempted.
  17. I have used scrapbook paper for floors. I spray the paper with clear sealer (usually before gluing it down with wallpaper paste) and then cover with 3 coats of polyurethane. It has held up quite well and looks good. There was no wrinkling or bubbling.
  18. I didn't like the placement of stairs in my house and didn't want to reposition them because they take up so much floor space in two rooms. So I eliminated them altogether. I just assume that they are in the part of the house that is not visible where the opening cuts it off. I am told that is a completely legit way to go. It all depends on what you want to do.
  19. My first house was already assembled when I got it, but needed some restoration, finishes and decorating. It is Victorian but we had already amassed a rather eclectic collection of furnishings and accessories that weren't all in keeping with that style. At one time we owned a real full sized Victorian home and had furnished it similarly, so our backstory was that a contemporary family was living in this vintage miniature house and had filled it with a combination of family heirlooms and newer pieces. The décor honored the period style, but included modern conveniences such as a gas stove, electric refrigerator, etc. It is “quirky” in that it reflects our personal interests and taste. My second house is bashed from a kit that was missing about a third of the pieces. It is still in progress – first floor done and second floor about half done. I call it the “Quirky Cottage” so that answers the question for you. The kit was intended to be a Victorian, but I decided to redesign it as a transition between late Victorian and Arts & Crafts. It represents a home owner who lived at that time and was rooted in the earlier style but wanted to incorporate elements of the newer fashion. It combines elements that wouldn’t otherwise have appeared together in a pure example of either style. It also incorporates lots of my favorite things just because I like them. but things that could conceivably coexist at a particular point in the past. I am planning my third house – a Greenleaf Glencroft which I intend to do as a relatively authentic Tudor cottage both inside and out. There will be no bathroom or plumbing. The main room will be a multipurpose space that combines kitchen, sitting, and dining areas. The finishes will combine a variety of materials such as brick, stone, stucco with half-timbering, etc. The furnishings will be of the appropriate style. But I can’t resist letting the whimsy creep in. I have planned stained glass windows, tapestries, and other ornamental details that are the right period but a higher class of items than would be found in such a modest structure. So I guess that could be considered quirky. Since I am not creating these houses for a museum or a commission, I just want to have fun with them and not be slavishly restricted to absolute historic accuracy. they are one place where I can be free and have total control so I let my imagination go. I guess I come down in a category that combines historic precedent with quirky touches.
  20. Welcome, Brad! I feel for you trying to assemble a house with inadequate instructions and pieces that don't fit. Been there, done that! First, I am wondering if there is a base that the walls attach to so that they will stay square and not splay out as they appear to in your photos! If not, I think I would create one to hold it all together. Though I am by no means an expert, here is a suggestion for fitting the existing floors. It appears that there are supposed to be some sort of long narrow pieces with a square cross-section that are meant to be glued to the inner walls to support the floors. If you were to replace them with wider, rectangular pieces, then you would end up with a ceiling that has a little stepped edge or border like a tray ceiling. Or if you use a half-inch or so cove molding instead of the provided supports, it will look like a crown molding. You can buy fancy patterned ones at a home improvement store. Then you can center your floors on the wider supports and fill in the gaps with pieces cut to fit. Once you add floor treatments no one will know the difference. I am sure you will find a way to make it work.
  21. Wonderful and incredible price!!! Any chance you can post photos of the inside?
  22. Lindsey - Since you love those books so much, I have another recommendation for you, if you haven't discovered it already - and i have found that is very little known (pun intended!) The book is "Mistress Masham's Repose" by T H White - the same man who wrote "The Once and Future King" - the book that mas adapted for "The Sword in the Stone." It is about a girl who discovers a colony of Lilliputians who were descended from some brought to England 150 years earlier by Gulliver after his travels. It describes their adventures together and is absolutely delightful. If you can find it I think you would really enjoy it. Your idea sounds enchanting. I will follow your progress with great interest. My avatar photo is in Hobbiton at the Green Dragon Inn in New Zealand about a year and a half ago. And welcome to our community. If someone here doesn't know something about miniatures, it is a good bet that no one does.
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