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Me and my Mini-me


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I'm a Canadian currently living in Washington State. This past weekend I brought out a Storybook Cottage kit that I bought in Canada at a hobby shop almost a decade ago. At the time I bought the kit, my husband and I were newly married, and he was building a model ship. I thought it would be fun to build something at the same time he was doing his ship model. I opened the box, labeled everything and removed and sanded the first handful of pieces, before life got busy and the kit was put away.

Back to the present: after moving house three times, including a change of countries, I finally took the dollhouse kit out of the basement and put it on the dining room table. I started working on the kit late on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, my 7 year old son saw the big house pieces punched out and wanted to join me. While I punched out the rest of pieces, he sanded up a storm across the table. We found a video tutorial on YouTube (I had lost the original instruction booklet that came with the kit) and watched it on a tablet, and he dry fit the sections together, and I glued. We worked on the house all day, even as my motivation waned, and I would leave the table to make a cup of tea or do something else, he would keep finding me and asking me to help on "his" house. He worked on the house all the way until his bedtime and when I woke up this morning, I found him standing at the dining room table, sanding the pieces for the roof.

He has a lot of patience, and apparently a new hobby as of this weekend. 

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Welcome to the little family J, and especially J's son!  We have a goodly number of gentlemen who build dollhouses on this forum, and I'm sure we all welcome your "mini-me" to their ranks.

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Omg how cute is he! He obviously has a great attention span. Amazing in this day and age. :D has he decided what it’s going to be when it’s built? Firehouse? Toy store perhaps? 

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House update for our little Storybook Cottage:

We have finished gluing everything together and I've put on two coats of flat white spray paint. We went to Hobby Lobby and bought some finishing materials: RGT grey shingle dye, scrapbook papers for the walls, felt for the carpet, Aleene's quick dry glue, flowers for the flower box, acrylic paints for the furniture and a few bits and bobs. I'm trying to keep the cost down, and probably spent about $75 for the finishing materials (including the two cans of spray paint and original bottle of glue).

The kids wanted really wacky colors for the house (son wanted a red roof and yellow walls, and daughter wanted bright blue everything), but we have compromised and the kids can choose all the furniture and decoration colors, and the house will have a grey roof, white exterior, light blue wallpaper and grey carpet.

My 7 year old helped me take apart half the shingles this afternoon, and I'll try to get the rest done tonight. That part is fairly tedious. Maybe the whole roof will be tedious.

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Shingles have been dyed and are drying in the basement. I accidentally left them outside overnight, where I was dying them in the backyard, and they got rained on, so the color will probably be lighter than intended. That's Seattle for you: 0% chance of rain means there's still a chance of rain. Do the dyed shingles tend to darken as they dry?

If anyone has advice for gluing on shingles, or could direct me to a forum post, I'm all ears! 

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I find in my own experience that stain lightens as it dries.  When I get ready to shingle I lay one along the bottom edge of the roof and make a pencil mark where the top of the shingle comes on the roof; I do this at both sides of the roof and draw a line across so I know where to line up the top of the first row.  I go ahead and glue part of that first row and lay a shingle over the top of that row to decide how much of  lap I want, and mark the top of that shingle and draw another line across.  I measure the distance between the top of the shingle and the next line and draw the rest of the lines at that interval.  For a more realistic look to the lay of your shingles you might take all the split and broken shingles and glue a line of them vertically across the bottom edge of the roof.  Also remember that if your first row started with a whole shingle you will want to split a shingle in half vertically to start your next row.  Be sure to save some stain to touch up the bare edges of those splits.  Every three or four rows I cover with a strip of waxed paper   and lay scrapwood on top and clamp it on top of the shingles to hold them in place whilst they dry.  I use a very thin bead of wood glue along the top of the preceding row of shingles and another along the drawn line and stick the shingles down.  They sometimes will curl with the wet glue, but I find that they flatten back out as the glue dries, especially when I clamp them down.

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Thank you for the shingling details, I will definitely read through them again right before I get started. Another 3 days before the shingles are dried out enough to use (according to the directions).

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