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  1. 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 have a ballroom with a two-story ceiling and a skylight. When the Bulrush family arrived from Scotland, where they'd been vacationing
  2. 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' foamboard base. The pins don't show as much in real life as they do in these photos. This lure will be attached to the f
  3. 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 some time ago and forgotten it. Mrs. Lydia Bulrush will be very happy to have her furnishing back on board so normal life can resume.
  4. 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 spray from the textured paint. It will be clear, eventually. Notice the addition of fenders ... they're empty e
  5. 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 not to do a curtain or drape in here. Here is it with the light on. I notice a few stray threads on the bedclothes, a
  6. 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! The next project is the base ... a lazy riverbank or a pond, not sure which yet. Meanwhile, her
  7. 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 this room considerably, thank goodness! No, I'm not going to tell you what the flags spell. Lloyd says the flags are too sm
  8. 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 from paper I got at Big!Lots and a bit of lace glued to a piece of strip wood. (I see some tacky wax peeking out. The c
  9. 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). I like the "moonlight" shining through the skylight in the photo below.
  10. 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 railings were a bear to install. I need to go over the mitered corners to fill in gaps. The long rail proved a ch
  11. 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. *Edit: I just looked back at 5-1/2 months of work on this project and changed my order to a pitcher
  12. 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 frogs in a pond --- kind of creeps me out! LLoyd is after me to do something about the clear "glas
  13. 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 voila! A very modern shelter. No rain will get into the music room after all. Still need to define the edges of the door a
  14. 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 skylight window panes are tinted coral and yellow. The bit of paper toweling is a sling that holds the chandelier.
  15. 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 metalic materials from Lowe's. It's meant to cover electrical outlets & switchplates. Comes in brass, aluminum, copper
  16. 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. The first two shots are of the outside with the asphalt shingles in place. They really look good.
  17. 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 light in the pilot house. Lights only hamper night time sight, he says. I'm glad to believe him. A lantern will
  18. My goodness, but these lights are tiny! Today I finished wiring in the lights on the lower and middle decks and have (successfully!) connected about half of them to the tapewire. I'm following Tracy's (Minis on the Edge) lead and using her idea to combine round wire and tapewire. The wires from each light fixture run through holes in the deck and are bradded and soldered into the tapewire. Most of the wires go through the bow or stern walls. They'll be covered by siding. This is one build where the inside really needs to be finished before I can start on the outside. There is one st
  19. Today I played. Thought it was time to stage the rooms to see how they're shaping up re furniture and accessories. Found that some rooms are nearly complete, a few have some work to be done. Once again it hit home that instead of a 3-room houseboat, this is a 12-room mansionboat (if you count the foyer and hallway as rooms).
  20. While I'm waiting for some bits and pieces from HBS, I've been doing some accessory stuff. The plain Colonial chandelier has had crystals and doodads added and is now fit for an elegant ballroom. Note that there are only 5 bulbs. How did I know to order extra? One of them hopped like a piece of popcorn and tee-totally disappeared. Even sweeping the floor with a soft brush didn't it turn up. Here are before and after photos: The shelves in the Captain's library have been filled with books and souvenirs. A little more to add, but a tedious job out of the way. (Photos to come
  21. Today I did a lot of fiddly things ... wallpapered the music room & installed the tile focal point, went through the stash of fabric from Beachpeach and found the perfect carpet for the nursery and a vinyl for the bathroom, glued the stern wall in place and added the doors. Door framing needs to be added, but am ready to add the top deck and celing lights for middle deck rooms as next step. Am thinking about changing color of dining room/parlor walls from yellow to a pale yellow green to pick up the color of the panels in the ballroom. I used clear yellow in the middle deck hall and
  22. Here's a roundup of the past few days' efforts. Have been working on the middle deck. Ballroom walls are up. Balcony needs to be finished. Haven't decided on window treatments. Boy's cabin wallpaper is up. Very patriotic! Walls are leaning at this point, not glued. Hallway light is installed. Nursery is papered. It's a busy pattern that may get changed out. Bathroom was going to be white with blue Delft tile panels in the wall. That looked pretty blah, so I went a little wild in here. The mural is a painting called "Fire on Water" done by one of Lloyd's a
  23. Today I made window frames for the harem screen that will go between the master cabin and the ballroom and put together the circular stairway that connects with the upper deck (where the wheelhouse, playground, BBQ area, and garden will be). The stairway treads, brackets, and base are cut from balsa wood. The centerpost is a wooden meat skewer; it will be trimmed when I figure out what it will look like above deck. The base and treads are stained walnut; the post and brackets were colored with a black Magic Marker. The stanchions were found in the jewelry.beading section at Michael's or H
  24. Today I finished painting the furniture for the boy's cabin and started placing the walls bulkheads for the middle deck. Painting the little bitty stars was a challenge, but I think the overall effect is nice. Sort of rough and tumble for a boy's cabin. I'm thinking cheesecloth fishnet draped across one wall, maybe part of the window treatment. Before I could start constructing the middle deck, I had to run the wires from the kitchen and library ceiling lights down below. The library was no problem. I'd put the wallpaper on with rubber cement, so I just pulled it loose, tucked the w
  25. Tonight I worked on the furniture for the boy's room. It's all laser-cut wood. The background will be shabby chic white, stars will be red, stripes blue. So many tiny pieces! The pencil and finger are there for scale. The loose pieces will be made into a night stand that matches the dresser. Am searching for a 3-hair brush to paint with! :whistle:
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