The Weather is Just Not Co-operating. Argh!

Officially, spring came last week and with it, a couple of days of temperatures in the sixties. Windows open, doors ajar and lots of work in the garage. That lasted all of about two days and then it has dipped down into the ‘too cold to do anything fun outside’ range of temps. And now, today, they are calling for snow. Snow!

Too cold for even working in the garage… and I have so much that needs to get done.

photo 1

photo 2I picked up another vanity and a stool, but that leaves me one stool/bench short. Just like I started!

Over the last few months, I have been working on dollhouse furniture and clothing, getting ready for the ‘Dolls & Cupcakes’ website. I seem to be totally dragging on getting the website up and running, so I opted to put a few pieces on eBay, just to see how sales would be.

DSCN2294

DSCN2288

 

DSCN2291

DSCN2283So far, they’re not getting much attention, not as much as I thought. Maybe the American Girl craze is waning?

This weather is so non-conducive to working, but I am going to do my best to get something done today. Hope you’re having better luck than I!

julie

Moving forward… slowly but surely.

A little progress has been made on the doll house, but no matter how much I accomplish, I always feel like I should have gotten more done. There always seems to be a lot of waiting: waiting for paint to dry, for stain to dry, to find that needed ‘thing’ or get something assembled or installed.

Much work has been accomplished on the third level, which is actually a separate piece. I thought ahead and actually painted the interiors before we assembled it. No funky corners or angles to have to paint carefully and not worries about the flooring stain and the walls latex would interact.

DSCN1844

I opted to not make a peak in the ceiling line and rather have a flat space on top. I think I am going to put a railing around the edges and use like an outdoor patio. I picked up the most awesome little wicker set that will just be wonderful there. I think I want to install outdoor carpet  (or what looks like it) and then scatter a bunch of small planters with flowers behind it.

photo

Isn’t that little wicker set just darling? I have no idea what the original purpose of that set was, but it is perfect size for the 18″ dolls. It was just happenstance that I ran across it on one of me and the Kid’s ‘thrifting’ afternoons.

Speaking of waiting, here are the floors for the bedroom and kitchen, finished with two coats of oak colored stain and then two coats of polyurethane. I just love the way they look.

DSCN1841

DSCN1842

The plan for the bathroom floor is black and white checker board tile… I just hope that it doesn’t add too much weight to the overall piece. To help prevent grout cracking, I am going to use flexible grout. Won’t a pink bathroom with black and white tile just be the cutest? I have a little claw foot tub ready to go in and have already made the sink and vanity. And of course, a toilet!

DSCN1843

I’ve started fitting in the lower cabinets and have set the range and refrigerator in to check for spacing. In the corner next to the refrigerator is a small narrow cupboard. There is a part of me that wants to rebuild it a bit taller, but again, I don’t think it is absolutely necessary. You cannot begin to believe how many accessories I’ve purchased, created, made or found to make this house complete. I am feeling like I am turning a corner to having this done. The hope is that it will be done soon, making it a perfect Christmas gift for some special little girl.

As to the other project – the large black wardrobe – has had progress. I’ve finished all the touch up on the black, white and shades of gray. I settled on the accent color of turquoise, and used it sparingly. Also, in the end, if I decide I would like a different color, it will be easy to change. Next step, wait for a warm day or two (or figure out how to warm the garage) so that I can apply two or three coats of polyurethane. I can’t wait to see it completed. Although the interior still needs to have a good cleaning with Murphy’s Oil soap and one or two pieces of trim to replace. This is turning out quite beautiful, if you ask me! What happens to it when I am done still has not been decided.

DSCN1845

Its a bit hard to see, but the center dot as well as four dots are the only spots of turquoise. Everything else? Shades of black and white. Oh and you’re looking at the rebuilt bottom, no sense in painting that, when it will never be seen.

One last think I wanted to throw in at the last minute. Autumn has definitely fallen here in the Midwest. We bought this house 9 years ago and the grand total of trees on our over sized lot was one lone oak in the backyard. Over the years we’ve planted many more, but the two in the front yard have just surprised us with their growth… these trees were about 4 foot tall and no bigger around than a pencil. And the fall colors in their leaves made me stop and take a photo on my way into the garage the other day. Too bad the color doesn’t stick around very long. Or that someone has to rake them up eventually!

DSCN1838

I sometimes forget just how lucky and blessed I am. I hope everyone takes a moment and counts their blessings too.

julie

Seems Like Deja Vu!

Tonight’s post will be a quick one, just another example of the ombre style of painting in my favorite shades: pink. I love when I stumble across essentially a perfect dresser, both in style but also construction. Dressers built around the mid-century and before are examples of furniture built right and built to last generations. And really all I need to do is a bit of sanding, some drawer repair and slap on a couple coats of primer followed by the paint. Then replace the existing hardware with something a little more appealing – at least to me the existing Chippendale style handles are ugly and when I see them on furniture the first thing my mind screams is ‘replace them and fast’!

Anyway, won’t spend too much time on this routine process. You’ve seen the drill. I’ll just show you the before and after:

Pink Dresser Before&AfterAlthough this has become quite a routine exercise in makeovers, I am constantly astounded by the change that paint makes. What an amazing transformation for the cost of paint (and accessories) but wow, how different! And adorable. I can’t wait for the little girl who gets to put this into her room.

I will continue to do the dresser transformations, but am excited to shift focus over to the work being done towards the completion of a dollhouse for the 18 inch dolls such as American Girl. Tomorrow has been targeted as the day that much work will be completed, we plan to put a real dent in the ‘To Do‘ list.

The whole idea was really conceived when I created the play kitchen (you can see the post here). I think the most fun doing the whole project is the creativity that comes from taking something and making it into something with a whole difference purpose. And for this size project, it is all that much more fun. It comes from looking at something and seeing a whole new purpose. The scale here is somewhere between 1:3 and 1:4… sometimes it just comes down to what looks right.

I started thinking about this whole thing when some wonderful people offered me a beautiful entertainment armoire. For free! All it needed was a door hinge repair. But it got me thinking and planning. It has taken a prominent location in my front entry, so that every time I walk by it, it makes me think a little more about something I want to do.

Just to give you a peek into what has already been going on, I’ll just throw some quick pictures up here.

DSCN1423

Here is the first cabinet. As you can see, its a work in progress. The top shelf is a kitchen and the bottom shelf is a bathroom. Not sure that it is going to stay that way, especially after the cabinetry kept growing and growing and now there isn’t adequate room for the refrigerator and stove that is yet to come. :-(

DSCN1424

Working still on the upper cabinets and so they’ve been relegated to the top of the cabinet. Man, I am going overboard on this! :-)

DSCN1425

I hadn’t planned for a bathroom, at least not for what I will keep. This will probably go into the other dollhouse. But the pieces are just too awesome!

DSCN1426

There is still a lot of work to do on the bathroom, but the one thing I finished was a miniature bathrug like the one I did for my bathroom! You can see it here. The bathtub will get a painting, white gloss inside, textured on the outside – more like a real tub. I’ve started the vanity and sink, still much to do there too.

DSCN1428

Everywhere I go, I keep my eyes peeled for things that could work as props and supplies for the house. Sample size and hotel size shampoos and conditioners and lotion bottles are perfect size in a small basket. Still need to do towels and wash cloths. Soap has been made out of clay, but needs to be wrapped.

Okay the next series of photos are of things in progress… I will explain and given instructions later. So much going on!

DSCN1439

DSCN1440

DSCN1438

DSCN1437

Door knob and knocker for the front door…

DSCN1436

The front door being glue together…

DSCN1441

Here’s a angled photo of the sink (filled with dishes!) and what will become the sprayer and I am holding the faucet. Still in works…

DSCN1442

Found these lovely little fan covers that will make nice burner grills.

DSCN1443

These are the two stove/oven combinations (laying on their sides while gluing in the rack supports). One will be “stainless steel” while the other is getting a retro color treatment: turquoise! The refrigerators will get the same treatment too.

DSCN1444 

Here are the oven shelves, trimmed from various pieces found at thrift stores.

DSCN1450 DSCN1449

These are the knobs that will become the kitchen handles. Something special planned for these…

DSCN1448

These are the handles to be used for the stove/ovens. Need to pick up a few more before I am ready to attached.

DSCN1447   DSCN1452

These are the shelves for both refrigerators. They are plastic cut from a dish drainer and painted silver. Perfect! DSCN1434

This is the second doll house. Barely got started… but it will have a shelf at the bottom and two floors. Also an attic! It will have beadboard places horizontal to simulate siding and it will have the grand front door and windows.

DSCN1433

Here is a sneak peek at the turquoise, this is the second refrigerator door.

DSCN1431

Here are a couple of shots of other things I’ve been collecting, such as pots and pans and dishes and glassware. Whenever I find something that seems about the right scale, I snatch it up and stash it away. These kitchens will be almost as well stocked as my own.

  DSCN1429

Okay, that’s enough sneak peek for now. It’s getting late and there is much to do tomorrow. I hope you’ll come back and see my progress!

And of course, keep making beautiful things just for the sake of beauty!

julie

Been a Busy, Busy Weekend!

Ever notice that the more you have to do, the faster time seems to fly? I have been going non-stop for the last three days and I am constantly amazed that every time I glance at the time, hours have passed.

The first of the doll beds has been completed! Wow, who could have guessed something this small could take so much time and effort? The Kid and I spent last weekend following the plans from Ana White’s website – this is an amazing woman and you could spend hours and hours there! I know I have!

Once the bed was assembled and painted, I started the bedding. It has a two inch foam mattress that is padded and covered with a mattress pad. Then sheets, pillow cases (and of course pillows) and a handmade and quilted tiny quilt with matching throw pillows. I am in LOVE with it! So without further ado:

DSCN1152

Here’s a close-up of the bedding so you can see the details. I may have gone a little overboard, considering that these are play pieces intended for girls, but I cannot help myself. I am sure that there are grown-up girls that love this stuff as much as me and will appreciate the extra effort. :-)

DSCN1154

We have two more beds close to being completed, one similar to this style in a light blue and a four poster bed that I made using stair posts that will be ‘ultra bright white’ with frilly and lacy sheets and quilt. The design was a bit of an experiment and even though it turned out looking quite nice, the connections of the headboard are a bit in question and I don’t think it would withstand child’s play. So I am going to keep it as a prototype, I think I’ve figured out what I did wrong and can remake it more sturdy. Pictures to follow soon.

Was able to do some more work on the special project. Now since the blue and pinks are completed, I am down to the large flower outline that appears on the front. Previous posts have described the process, I pulled a flower from the bedding and morphed it into a singular stem and transfered that to the leftish side of the front. Up to this point the white was simply the lack of paint (and the primer being white) but I started the process to fill it in with the final white.

The Kid asked me why I was taking the time and extra effort, that to him the primer white looked “fine”. I thought it was worth the explanation and wanted to include it here as well.

Sometimes, white just seems like white. However, it doesn’t take long to demonstrate that there are just so many shades of white (so many shades of every color!)… this is the stack of ‘white’ color paint chip cards that I collected just for Behr paint at Home Depot. And I am sure that I missed a few. These are what I use to match whites for some of the stuff that I do. That’s a lot of whites.

Shades of White

So when I started painting the white onto the dresser, you can see the difference:

DSCN1146

Now that might not look like much, but it is like black and white to me! There is also a difference in the finish… primer is pretty flat, but we’re using a satin finish. Again, not much difference when you’re standing there looking at it, but trust me, in the end it is noticeable. It’s all in the details!

So, on top of all of that, I delivered another dresser to a satisfied customer (you can see it here), she had been sick, so I stored it for a while in the garage. I primed four cabinets and most of the corresponding drawers, but only having fixed more than half of them. One dresser had been taped and stored for many years and if you have never seen what tape residue does to a wood finish… yikes! That particular cabinet and all the drawer fronts required so much sanding! My arms ache tonight from the work out! It is destined to get the antique white finish as well, its’ bones are magnificent!

At least the weather was pretty nice for a January winter day… mid-50′s most of the day, although there was a little rain overnight and early this morning. I was able to work in the garage (thank heavens for all the sanding that I did) and the Kid helped me out quite a bit with the prep work.

I spent a fair amount of time and effort last week collecting pieces and then the weekend getting them prepared for painting. Hopefully that means a significant payoff sometime starting the end of this week. Just in time for the mortgage payment! LOL

Okay, fellow crafters, it’s getting late and I know that I won’t have any problems falling asleep tonight. More like lapsing into a coma!

Thanks for stopping by, as always, and Happy Crafting Y’all!

julie

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,230 other followers

%d bloggers like this: