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Hello Everyone! It was some time ago now that I joined the forum for Community and Advice but I got VERY ill with my juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and never did build my Fairfield. I opened it. Tried to gently sand the pieces without taking them out with the included sandpaper, but almost RUINED my kit! That put me off building for some time. Then my Actemra injections gave me a nasty case of pancreatitis with the unknown (At that time.) pain coming to a head in mid September of 2018. Ulcers in my gall bladder and stomach had to be healed by both medication and surgery. One surgeon cleaned sludge out of my stomach from a raging infection. So no more injections that lower my autoimmune system for me: EVER! I've just now recovered. And I want to get back in to 1:24 (half scale) dollhouse kit building. It saddens me to discover a great many full scale makers stopping production, especially those that made half scale items too. Or simply dropping their half scale lines. (Bespaq I'm looking at YOU!) Furniture I've been slowly collecting, but it has been difficult to find artisan pieces. What I have discovered is that you can Always ask. Ask for a custom built piece in half scale, ask an EBay seller to hold onto a Dollhouse kit, and the worst they can say is sorry, I can't. Most of the time the answer is: yes! I'm fact I've got a Real Good Toys out-of-production half scale Victorian Shell dollhouse kit arriving Tuesday or Wednesday from an extremely kind EBay seller who held in until February and even shipped it when her ad said Pick up. I'm hoping that my arthritis flair-ups take a back seat so that I may begin on my dollhouse soon. (It's storming here so I awoke stiff as heck!) It's a front opening dollhouse kit, which is a necessity with my (currently) three, soon to be two house cats. (With my poor health my girl kitty is going to live with my childhood Best Friend's mum.) Felines LOVE the box-like shape of a dollhouse and I must protect my little people inside from Large Paw Chaos. With getting this kit in half scale, and being a Research Type person I picked up 'The Dolls' House 1/24 Scale: A Complete Introduction' by Jean Nisbett off of Amazon to begin my education, but I'm still a Newbie. This will be my first completed dollhouse, and I'm both excited as well as nervous to begin. What I know: Work slowly. There isn't any need to rush. Take zoomed in photographs to see detail and complete the scene with realism. Plan everything before beginning. Plans may change once I get to that part. And that's okay! Test each connection when adding the electric lights. Avoid knives and sharp objects inside the dollhouse once the electrical is in, because it is easy to accidentally cut a connection. Ask for advice! There isn't anything wrong with getting stumped and asking those who know so much more where to go from there. Try to include Artisan furniture and accessories! It makes a little dollhouse look amazing to have such high quality work inside it. IF I try to make something myself as a placeholder until I find something created by an artist, it's good practice for becoming better myself with creating my own pieces. (I say this because I am not an artist. I can't draw stick people, but I would like to learn.) Use real house paint samples for painting. But DO NOT get anything with a shine to it, as in miniature it shows all sorts of flaws. For each dollhouse kit use new paint brushes. If I'm working on something very detailed, and it's not coming out right, there isn't any reason to sand off the paint and start over with brand new brushes. Sometimes smaller ones may help too. Use very fine sandpaper! I already learned this from my Fairfield mistake, sadly. Is there anything else that I couldn't think of? I'm SO grateful for any help, advice or suggestions! I don't know where I would be without this forum. Thank you. Drea W.
From now on I'm just going to post any "work in progress" posts of my experience with my first dollhouse (the Corona Concepts, Willow) onto this thread in case anyone wants to follow along with me as I go. Hope it's ok if I post it all here! I don't want to block up the threads by making new posts all the time but I wanted it to stay all in one place. Of course I'm still posting it all at my blog as well. It's been a little while since I last updated, mostly just because life has been hectic and I haven't had the chance to get on here and post what I've already posted to my blog. But here is what has been happening lately with my Willow dollhouse. -------------------------- Posted on April 24th 2013: Just wanted to make an entry about where I’m at with my dollhouse. I really haven’t done much at all, but I’ve been busy and haven’t been able to get supplies. I finally got some over the weekend but unfortunately not the things I need to really get started. I apparently (according to my dad) bought a grit level that is probably too course. I need something more gentle… But I can probably find some spare sand paper laying around here somewhere. I need to make a sanding block though. I also want to make a grey wood stain for the shingles. I intend to make this steel wool and vinegar stain but I still need to buy some steel wool (apparently we only have the copper kind )… Hopefully that will happen over the weekend (I’ll probably buy some tonight and not be able to use it til this weekend since it needs to sit). I also need to get the wallpapers printed. I bought this decopad but the pages are obviously too small to use directly. I intend to make some larger layered graphics out of them and get those printed. Then I’ll mod podge them on to the wood I think. Some things I bought. A brayer for mod podge (will use for regular art projs and the wall paper for the dollhouse), Sandpaper (I need some different grit levels), Wood stain (#233 English Chestnut), painter’s tape, masking tape, and a deco paper pad for the wallpaper. I actually scanned all the pages if anyone wants me to send them to you for your own use. Just email me! (beyourpet AT gmail.com) I made some plans for color scheme and such by layering and filling in images of the techniques I hope to use onto the blank dollhouse images. Here’s what it ended up looking like. A grey stained roof. Crackle paint on the outside shingles, although I’ve never used that stuff and have no idea if it will work well or what color to use… I want it to look like an old house that has been left for a long time without any care to it’s paint. So I figured the crackle paint might work well for that. The two greys are from steel wool stain. The crackle is some crackle paint jobs. The roof here is also the steel wool stain. The sample there is the stain I bought… Might not work as well as I thought it would with the more grey toned aesthetic… Here are some samples of the papers from my decopad. I liked these, they looked like old torn up wallpapers and painted wood. I spent some time labeling each little tiny piece on every single sheet in the kit (with pencil) in case I misplaced anything… I took photos of each sheet, mostly for my own reference guide in case I need to know where a certain piece is, but also as a reference guide for anyone either interested in getting this dollhouse kit, or if you already have it but mixed up your pieces. Sorry the photos look awful but I was trying to get the contrast to show the outlines. Sheet #1. You can see the rest of them here. I don't want to bore everyone by posting every single sheet! Shingles and junk wood in a bag. After putting them in here to get them out of the way I decided to pull apart all of them because they were coming out anyway. So now they’re all individual pieces. The junk wood is ‘kept somewhere else in case I need it. This is a regular size shoebox, this is how much the shingles fill it up (after they’ve all been separated). Quite a bit of shingles!