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Found 29 results

  1. Hi everyone! i received a Van Buren for Christmas in 1978, but life got in the way of ever putting it together. It lived in its box in my family's basement for many years whie I raised my son, went to college and moved around the state and the country for work. My husband and I finally moved back home in 2001, semi retired and I dug it out one day to find to my dismay, that dampness and time had done some damage to the box and papers inside but the wood was hardly touched. I still didn't get around to working on it, the instructions were a pile of flakes and i had to make a space to work on it in the garage. Then in 2015, my dear husband fell to lung cancer and my life changed again. So here we are in 2019 and I'm finally settled in my own home and soon will have time to open that delicate box again and see what's inside. Wish me luck! If at all possible, I'm determined to put this house together!
  2. Morning all! I have a dear friend who would very much like to reclaim some space in her home and sell her dollhouse. It's a 1/12 scale Greenleaf Van Buren, already built, that needs someone new to love it. It's one of my favorites, and if I had the space it would already be in my house She's going to put it up on craigslist as well. PM me if you'd like any more info.
  3. wenlaine

    Widow's Walk

    Today I put the widow's walk balcony up and hinged the trap door.
  4. I just started restoring my mother's beloved Van Buren dollhouse that her father made for her in the 70s. It has seen some VERY hard times, including a hurricane during the last attempt at restoration, but I'm making some progress on bringing it back to life. I have one concern though, the front door has gone missing, and the opening seems larger than typical dollhouse doors. I'm a total novice at this, and was wondering if anyone had any advice as to what I should do. I know they don't make Van Buren pieces anymore, so does anyone have any other suggestions?
  5. From the album: Grandma's Summer House

    Beginning stages of construction on Grandma's Summer House. Half scale Van Buren.
  6. There comes a point while building a dollhouse where you begin to feel a closeness, almost like it's a part of you. Or that a part of you belongs to it. I've reached that point. It's coming together so nicely for me now and I'm really starting to appreciate it's true spirit. Now it may have something to do with the new Stylus Dremel I received from DH the other day that I was able to put in the French doors properly and fit the bathroom door but I'm hoping that the house and I are now in sync. It had been a rough start. The wood was so badly damaged and dry that there wasn't a day I didn't have to pull slivers out of my fingers. There was no way that I could sand any pieces. When I tried in the beginning, some of them just broke apart in my hands. Through it all, I promised myself I would not give up on it. Now, I'm happy that I didn't! Here are a couple of new pictures after working on it today. Also, the three other doors are ready to stain. I made them the same as the bathroom door. I think I will paint the attic rooms or maybe stucco and of course, I can't decide on the color either.
  7. Peggi

    Progress being made

    Over the past month, some progress has been made. We decided to make bay windows for the first floor. These will show the bakery section and the kitchen. Riley first make a cardboard mock up of the bays in order to make sure that he could make them and also to get an accurate size to cut the new window openings. After the mock up, he then made the frames from scrap pieces from various dollhouse kits. The windows panes are made from plastic that protect some mini furniture. They are not glued in yet, just held in place to get an idea of how they will look and to check that window opening was cut correctly. Once these were made, I decided the next step would be to wire it. Here I must put a big thank you to Wenlaine, because she had mentioned in her Van Buren blog that she used the fold over method instead of using the brads to run her wire in one continuous circuit. Never trying that method, but knowing without folding over the wire, I was going to spend a lot of time cutting and running tape, I got out the CirKit instruction book and read up on the method. So I was able to use one roll of tape with out any breaks thru this house. It's not neat, but every room should be able to be lit without any problems. With this house having 3 stories, with a central hall and two rooms on each side, the fold over method of wiring was a lifesaver. Also, in order to make sure the 3rd floor could have lights, I went ahead and attached the roof. Although the interior doors have not been installed, Riley is working on making them all pin-hinged by making a door frame and running the pin thru it. When he actually gets to this part, I will take plenty of pictures, as it seems a lot of folks would like to know how to pin-hinge. Next, I primed the interior with regular primer and sealer paint except the 1st floor entryway. I plan on staining this. I've also been playing around with my brick stencils and Dab's Water Putty. Although, I've done some on scrap pieces I'm still real nervous about bricking the house. So to either save me from having to re-do the entire house, I'm starting with the front. I painted the front black--which I want my grout lines to be and started with the "quoins" part. I also, taped all the windows up, to make it easier to see where my brick should stop and to keep from totally messing up the rooms. I don't know about any one else, but I'm a sloppy painter and brick layer. Well, yesterday was the big day to try the quoins. Right now, I'm not sure if I'm happy with them or not. But after working on them most of the day, I've got my shoulders cramping up and a my back yelling so the brick work will have to wait until later this week, when my old muscles relax enough for me to bend back over. But here are the pictures of the quoins. The stencil for the quoins also extends for the brick, I've scrapped that part off, because although I want a grayish look for the quoins, I want all of my brick red. In my experiments, I've added the paint straight to the putty mixture. I'm having a small amount of trouble getting just the right amount of the putty mixture mixed. But before this house is finished I should have it down to a science--the mixture, the waiting time, etc. I'm making myself notes for the order I must follow. From the basic shell, it is easy to tell that the center rooms must be wallpapered before the stairs go in, the flooring must be done on the 3rd floor before the little room is added. Another matter that must be dealt with is how DGD and I differ on what period, I was thinking that for a 13 year old she would probably want a more modern look, but when I ask her to go to HBS and create a wish list for the furniture/accessories, she had marked things more in line with early 1900. (This after I had already ordered a beautiful blue marbled type bathroom set). So this house may be a mixture of old and new alike. Hoping before long she will be able to come up and help start making food stuff for the bakery part. A big hint was dropped to DD that she may want to order her a nice turntable from HBS with the 50% off sale. While in Home Depot earlier today I picked up an one inch dowel,which I am hopeing will work for columns for the front porch. As some of you know, I do the building but rely heavily on Riley to make some of my ideas come to life--like the bay windows, the interior working doors and next on his list is to figure out a good foundation and how to work at least one stair leading to the front door. We make such a good team. LOL Have any of you ever had the dread feeling that you will ruin a beautiful house? This is one nice house and my biggest fear is not doing it justice. But we shall continue and redo if necessary to make a nice upscale home/bakery.
  8. I was lucky enough a couple of years ago to purchase a Van Buren kit. Even more lucky that the kit was unopened and apparently had been stored real well. Everything is there, the instructions, the schematics and all the pieces. The wood is in great shape. My oldest Granddaughter, Lindsey, picked this house to be hers. Her original idea was to have a Taikwondo studio on the bottom level and living quarters in the 2nd and 3rd floors. Being a good grandmother, I said sure, it is doable. A little while back, someone posted on the ebay eye candy forum line a picture of a beautiful Van Buren that they had built and had used block siding on, extended the balcony porch and added columns to the front. Wanting to make this special for DGD, I showed her the picture and she wants that house. (Now, I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew, I mean this house is beautiful and fancy) So in preparation to try and make DGD happy and to do a good job, I ordered the plastic stencils to make block and bricks and also the stencil to make quoins. Also ordered upgrades for the front and french doors. This weekend we broke out the kit, and DGD was asked again, if she still wanted a studio--no, no, she says, I want a old fashion candy shop and I want it to be blue--that is my favorite color she says. This child is almost 13, so as I see my grand plans go down the drain, her dear Mother steps up and says you want a fancy shop--let Nana brick it. Well, after looking at the brick and the block stencils, she has decided that her shop/home wants to be red brick--not fire engine red but a darker red with hints of black in it (hard to explain, but our rl fireplace is her model I believe). We didn't make a lot of progress, but part of the shell is glued together, the door openings have been widen and experiment in brick material have begun. The doors are not glued in, just placed to give you an idea of what it will look like. She wants this house electrified, so I'm thinking my next step is to install the interior doors (thinking cloth hinge) because the access to these will be hard after the side walls go up. The rooms are large and the finished house should be 30 x14 x 30. A big house and roomy. Please feel free to follow along on my (our?) journey of building this beautiful kit.
  9. For some reason, I knew there had to be pillars. It just seemed to be yelling at me! This is what I've decided to do but unfortunately I had to cut them to fit. It's not quite finished, the porch needs painting and the pillars aren't in position to stay yet.
  10. I've made the railings/banister for the stairwell. Here are a couple of pictures.
  11. I've installed more lighting and what a feeling it is when the room lights up. Forgive the quality of pictures, I have this mental block when there isn't a flash on the camera, I can't take a picture! So here are a couple of pictures of the livingroom and upstairs hallway lit. Today (Jan.20,07) I installed lights in the baby's room and the master bedroom. Well, I've been putting it off but I think it's time to put a railing around the opening of the staircase. Wish me luck!
  12. I've been cross stitching this rug for the past two weeks and finally finished. Here's a picture.
  13. I really wasn't sure how I wanted to do the curtains in the baby's room so I just used some lace and I may do blinds under them another time. And here are a couple of other pictures as well. I still have to do the chandeliers yet. Just waiting on some supplies to arrive and I'm still waiting on the bedroom suite for the blue bedroom. Still!! Ohh, and I'm just about finished a rug for the livingroom. Hope to be done tonight or tomorrow.
  14. Here's a couple of pictures of the bedroom drapes finished. They are still a bit damp, but I wanted to have them hang to dry. The furniture was ordered on Nov 27, so I expect it should be here sometime soon. I received word yesterday (Jan 17.07) that the bedroom suite I had ordered would soon be on its way. In the meantime, I received this bedroom set which wasn't intended for this room but I thought I would try it out and I just may keep it in here.
  15. It's raining and miserable outside but a perfect day for working on the house. I decided on the fabric for the drapes but I had no idea how it would look. The wallpaper is such a weird color and pattern that I was afraid I wouldn't have any materials that would look alright. But it's done and now all that is left for this room is the lighting. I would like to have all the drapes/curtains made for the rest of the rooms before I start on the lighting. Besides, I have to purchase some hanging fixtures or chandeliers. I know, I'm procrastinating, but it isn't something I'm looking forward to doing.
  16. I chose a wallpaper border pattern that I liked and thought would look ok on this staircase and made it 2 1/4" in width. It also had to be scaled down to fit in a 1/12 scale house. I lengthened it to 11" and I needed to copy it once more. From this, I printed it out onto fabric which comes in sheets with paper backing and is used for inkjet printers. I wasn't exactly sure how the pattern would look on the stairs but once it was glued on, I felt good about my choice. This is the final result. Once that was done, I cut the ends off of 12 toothpicks and painted them metallic gold and glued them on each step.
  17. One room done, it lights up and the curtains are made. I'm thrilled the kitchen is done!
  18. wenlaine

    More Pictures

    I've been working all weekend (Dec 2 & 3) on this bedroom set and now it's finally finished. I'm waiting on the baby's room and the master bedroom furniture to arrive and making the drapes. Ohhh, I'm sure there are some other odds and ends to do. Carpeting on the second staircase and such. For some reason, I keep forgetting about putting in lights, I sure hate the thought of doing that but I've got to bite the bullet on that one, don't I? It will get done, hopefully, one day! Here is a picture of the front it's finally finished. What would a house be if I didn't have at least one room designated for furniture that I've made! So I made the attic bedroom the one for my wicker bedroom set. This set is not staying, I only wanted to see how it fit. I will be making a dark brown set for this room. The other room a sewing room. The roof needed something but I'm not sure if I will keep it this way and I took a picture of the whole house as it is now.
  19. What an exciting day! I wish you could have seen me unwrapping all the little goodies I received from dollhouses and more today. Two different bathroom sets (I'll use them one day), my new bathroom mirror; it's black with gold trim and goes so well in the bathroom of this house. Also two infants rooms, one set in white, the other in mahogany which I decided best suited this house. Two children's rooms as well and highchairs in both colors too and two new chairs for the chess table. I found my mirrors which just disappeared on me a few days ago, they were in my cupboard where they were supposed to be but I forgot to look in there. Poor DH got the brunt of that one. Of course he stole them!! So I made my mirror for the bed set and cut some upholstery fabric for a little rug in there as well. Ohh and I hung my door on the kitchen too. Missy made me lots of flower vases so I've used them everywhere in the house. They are just gorgeous. She also made the vase of flowers and perfume bottles on the wicker dresser. Then I had to take pictures. I'm just loving this house, and after each little change I feel it all the more.
  20. I finally came to a decision on the color for the attic rooms. I mixed light terra cotta with blue and rose and added some sand and this is what I came up with. I wonder if I should leave it or go darker?
  21. I've been so busy these last few days making punchneedle rugs for others that I've been neglecting my Van Buren. Since the opportunity arose, I thought I would take some time for it. I can't decide about the room in the attic which I had originally thought of being a closet. I still like the idea but I really would like to use the smaller room on the second floor as a nursery. I don't have a nursery in any of my houses. Not one!! But if I do that then I will have to make the attic room the bathroom. Well, I'm almost finished it. I just had to use those Home Depot tiles. So whatever the room becomes, it won't matter. I still haven't finished with the door for that room yet and I also have to put the ceiling trim on as well as stain the ends of the mouldings. I finished wallpapering the kitchen and the room above it which will be a bedroom and I'm almost finished with the center hallway on the second floor. Still need to put in the ceiling trim. I have the staircase in now and I will be putting a railing around the opening of the stairwell. I also need to do some more sanding on the French doors. They aren't fitting as well as I would like and they need door handles which I haven't ordered yet. This is how my kitchen is going to be. One of the hutches is a Michael's hutch that I painted. The stove is a Chrysnbon kit. I have a cuckoo clock to go on one wall. I'll fill the cupboards with standing plates, dishes and food stuffs and have some dirty dishes in the sink and set the table. Then all I have to do is make curtains. It's getting there!!
  22. I wasn't happy at all with how this house was looking. I tore off the little porch thingy I had made, wasn't happy with that. I'm not pleased with the paperclay around the bottom, started taking that off. I'm not sure what I will do with that. Recently purchased some pillars for the front, I'm going to need more time to think about what to do there. But I wasn't liking the shingles either. I wanted something dark, so this is what I did. Painted the shingles with watered down black acrylic paint. Let that dry. Painted them all again with less watered down black acrylic paint and once that was dry I dry-brushed with the blue paint of the house. What a difference, I like it much better now. I've also finished with the kitchen and I will take pictures later today and I picked up these tiles from Home Depot last week. I thought the small tiles would look great as bathroom tiles. We'll see!!
  23. There's been so much going on here in the last few days that I haven't been able to find much time for working on my house but I managed today to finally finish putting on the shingles. They are on but still have to be painted and I'm thinking maybe a grey color. Hopefully I will have time tomorrow to work on that.
  24. Since I haven't spent as much time as I would have liked on my house, today was the perfect day! Thanksgiving dinner is over and it's time to relax and do some mini-ing. Here are two pictures showing the siding done on both sides. I paperclayed around the foundation of the house. I'm not sure how it's going to be once it dries and is painted. That's for another day. Anyway, it's done and I've also made a front step. As you know, this house didn't have any type of steps or porch. It rested on the table. So I came up with the idea of two steps. The front doors are in and working great. This picture shows the inside of the house with the front doors on.
  25. As I mentioned last weekend I had painted most of the trim and all the siding I thought I would need. A few days ago I made the base for the bottom of the house but I'm not sure how I will finish that off. Since I had a free afternoon today, I decided to put the siding on. I used tacky glue and each piece goes on separately. The paint is an acrylic latex and cleans up with water. For me, this is definitely the most relaxing thing to do when it comes to building. This is the start. I've managed to finish the front today and tomorrow I will begin again on the sides.
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