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.

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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.

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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

Slow but steady progress…

It seems that I have so little spare time these days that I have to make a decision between doing projects and writing about them. It seems incredible that it has been a whole month since my last post. Not a good way to building a blog following, huh?

Anyway, have been making some progress, although as I told the Kid earlier, it seems like I can’t seem to get anything completed, only started. Let me give you a quick update on the doll house.

The interior walls have been painted and the floors in the kitchen and bedroom have been stained. I knew using a nice grade of plywood that it would be beneficial in the end. I am leaning towards staining the entire outside of the dollhouse, make it kind of a nice piece of furniture. Not completely sure, as I had thought about making it look more like a house with windows and doors and siding and such, but then, figured that the sheer size of it would require it to sit against a wall or in a corner of two walls and then you wouldn’t even see the outside of it. I guess it will depend on how I feel when I get to that point.

I’ve also got the upper cabinets installed in the kitchen. Wow, had a bit of an issue getting them in to look good. I actually made the cabinets a single piece, gluing them together and giving the back and underneath support rather than installing each piece individually. Did the same with the lower cabinets, and they are ready to go in now that the floor is done.

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Its a bit funny but it almost looks like a real house with construction going on in the kitchen… with the appliances having been moved to a different room. The floors hadn’t been done in this photo, but shortly after this, we moved the house to the garage and three coats of an oak color were applied.

The other project worked on was a sofa for the living room. I started with the dimensions of 24″ long, about 10″ tall and a seat depth of 6″. We first cut all the pieces and layed them out. Then we used a piece of leftover plywood for the frame and with the pneumatic nail gun and Elmer’s glue, we made quick work of piecing it together.

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Here is the finished frame. Got done about 11:00 on Saturday night and figured I could work on it today (Sunday). But each time I walked by it, there was just something not right about it. It measured over 24″ once the sides were added and then there is the dowels on top of that. I had an epiphany that at that length, it wouldn’t even fit sideways in the house, which is only 24″ deep. It was simply too long.

We could make it shorter, but since I am a staunch user of both glue and nails, I knew it would not come apart easily. Then it dawned on me, we could just cut it exactly in half and make two! So that’s what we did, recreating the sides/arms. Now they are both ready for foam and upholstery. (See? One more thing started but not finished. Sigh!)

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A while back, while the Kid and I were out abandoned house hunting, we ran across an old barn full of those old telephone wire insulators… and we managed to find about a two dozen in pretty good shape. We cleaned them up and I desperately tried to figure out something to do with them. I had been experimenting with paint that made glass looked like stained glass (I *think* that I forgot to write about it… I can’t seem to find it in my previous posts.). Anyway, each insulator got three coats of the stained glass paint to get nice even coverage. Thought that they would be interesting sitting on a glass shelf in front of the large window in the office, but I’ve yet to get to that either! Sigh.

But they are sitting in front of the window near the floor, waiting for the shelf. Eventually, I am thinking that the light streaming will make nice colorful splashes around the room. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos:

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Yesterday I ran across a ‘how to’ for using these insulators in wall sconces, which I am excited about trying. But I’ve vowed not to start anything else until the dollhouse and accessories are finished. Whew!

Okay, that’s about it for now. I do have a few more things to share with you… things that had been completed some time ago. I re-did this beautiful dresser and vanity with a mirror, but it took ages to sell. In fact, I couldn’t sell it for the longest time painted only in pink, so I reached back into my magical bag of tricks and the Kid and I painted multi-colored dots on it. Finally, it sold. Had to drop the price twice though. Must not be the right time for selling furniture on Craigslist, at least not in Kansas City.

Okay, so tomorrow is another work day, so am going to say good night and thank you for stopping by. And as always, keep making beautiful things!

julie

 

Doll House is Ready For Delivery

Last few details have been completed and the doll house is ready for delivery.

DSCN1498You may notice that there is a small gap between the “attic” and the rest of the cabinet. That’s simply because they are two parts, created that way for transport. Once it arrives at my grand niece’s home, I will put them together and they will fit tight. Really tight. I’ll post another few shots once it has been assembled.

Before PicsThese are the before shots… sorry about the quality of the pictures. But it does give you an idea of what I started with. I did a coat of primer and realized that it wasn’t going to be the optimum solution, so I opted to cover the box with something that resembled siding. I came up with the idea of using bead board, the kind that comes in 4′ x 8′ panels. All I needed to do is turn it sideways… and viola!, instant siding.

Siding House2Here are some shots of the process… and yes, the Kid was dutifully helping (adding trim to the doors). Looks great!

There were a lot of steps to the process and not sure exactly which ones happened first, so I’ll just post a bunch of the photos…

DSCN1434I added a drawer at the bottom, to hold odds and ends. Modified a drawer rescued from another dresser to fit, added small stoppers to keep the drawer from hitting the back and possibly knocking it off.

DSCN1456 DSCN1457 The remaining space was divided in half and added shelves; one above the drawer and one in the middle.

You can see how badly the primer was doing on this particular surface. Anytime you would touch it, the primer would scrape right off.

On the inside, I did do several more coats of primer and then a couple of coats of paint. I hope that it withstands the play it will get.

Next step was building the “attic”. It was taking shape as a ‘house, but needed just a little more to really do the trick. That’s when I came up with the idea of having an attic. Also allows for a little more play area.

DSCN1455 DSCN1454 DSCN1459 DSCN1458  I added the two vertical pieces on either side to keep it stable as it sat on top of the house. With just a tiny bit of sanding, it will go on with some strength, so there isn’t any danger in it falling off or being pulled off. Also why I opted to not photograph it with the attic in place.

I used actual shingles on the attic, cutting them down to appropriate size and nailed them on. Small wood pieces were painted white to be the trim.

DSCN1468For ease in working on this monstrosity, I added wheels. Made is so much easier to move around. All the layers were starting to add real weight to this thing.

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DSCN1436I built the front door in layers. I decided that rather than put handles on the doors to open it, I would place a front door on it. Made it feel more like a dollhouse. And if things got messy, my niece could just close the doors until she had time to straighten things up.

DSCN1437I found this little door knocker at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I used this knob I had and spray painted them both the same color silver.

I stumbled on all the colors, simply based on what was available. The outside was painted gray because I had nearly a full gallon of it. I like the way it turned out. The door, painted blue, because I had two full cans of blue spray paint. :-)

DSCN1505I created little windows for the house, spray painted white. I had thought about putting some sort of photo behind each one, but couldn’t come up with anything that I really like. My last ditch effort was to put a photo of mini-blinds, but didn’t like that idea either.

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So they just went on with nothing. I did create little windows boxes for the front two windows, also painted blue. Added some miniature flowers in purple.

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DSCN1498Okay, almost done. I added some vinyl tiles to one level and created a checkerboard pattern in red and white for the bottom level. I covered it with a large piece of plexi used to diffuse florescent lighting. I found a piece at Home Depot that had a crack at one end, but a piece large enough remained. The wonderful folks at Home Depot gave it to me free of charge. Gave the flooring an unique look.

Short of that, the doll house was complete. I added the stove, refrigerator and sink unit I blogged about earlier. Added a small storage unit and made a simple bed for the upper floor. And with that, the project was complete. I’ll let the photos do the talking:

 

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And some photos of the interior:

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Here are a few more close up photos of the inside:

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DSCN1503And with that, this long project draws to a close. I think that we will deliver this in the next day or so. And then I can work on mine! Although mine will be done in a much longer time frame. No hurry to get it done, ya know!

I hope you enjoyed this and thank you for stopping to take a look. Will post more photos after it is delivered.

And keep making beautiful stuff, just for the sake of it!

julie

Doll House Appliances: Kitchenaide Red Refrigerator and Stove

Been a few days since I last wrote, but lots being done to finish the doll house in time for delivery on Memorial Day.

Thought I’d show you the work that has been done on some of the accessories for the doll houses. The neat thing is that lots of what I am doing is being done in pairs, so what I mess up or learn from building the first one goes into the second one.

For my niece’s dollhouse, one floor will be a kitchen. It will come with a stove, refrigerator and sink/cabinet. I think this set is turned out really cute. The red set is for my niece, the turquoise one is for mine.

Here’s a shot of the completed set in red:

DSCN1474 I don’t have pictures of all the steps, but let me try to walk you through the process. It is really pretty easy.

The pieces started out as simply boxes. The fridge has a shelf that separates the freezer from the ‘fridge part. And the range/oven/stove has a piece that stands up on top, but essentially they are both just boxes.

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This one was originally going to be “stainless steel”, hence the silver paint. But this gives you an idea of what the basic box construction looks like.

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Here are the stoves, again, basic box construction. They are lying on their sides, as I was gluing in the rods used for the drawer slides.

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The front piece of the stove box was cut short (and the short piece attached to resemble the broiler drawer (doesn’t actually open) and then a window cut into the top section. Attached with hinges.

DSCN1447I used these handles to replicate the oven door and drawer handles. Looks pretty good to me.

DSCN1442I stumbled onto using these fan covers for burners when I watched the Kid take apart one of his computers. Looks exactly like the burners on my real stove. I ordered them off eBay in two different sizes. They went on easily with a couple of screws.

DSCN1481I found some wire baskets in an upstairs closet that when I ran across them, the lightbulb went off… and the Kid used his new Dremel tool to cut them into size needed to fit into the ovens. The oven was painted with a black texture paint and I used the same dowels as the refrigerator to act as shelf guides.

I cut plexiglass into the correct sizes to fit into the door on the front and a little larger on the back (attached with screws). Used a small magnet for the door to help keep it closed.

Here are a few more finished pics:

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DSCN1478Then the refrigerator, again was done in much the same way. The door is connected with hinges. I found the perfect photo of the inside of a ‘fridge door and increased the size and printed it out and glued to the inner side of the door. The doors are cut from a plastic dish drainer and spray painted silver. I found the small plastic box at a local store and I love that the rubber mat at its bottom match the outside color.

 The outside decoration was made from polymer clay. I played around with several designs and decided that I liked this one best. The handle was just a lucky find, taken off an old dresser that I redecorated. They are perfect handles for my “mini-fridges”!

Here are a few shots of the refrigerator:

DSCN1475Here is another shot of the inside:

DSCN1476Work remains on the kitchen sink cabinet and will show that in another post. We are so close to completion of the doll house with a few minor details to complete and then it will be loaded up and delivered. If it weren’t for the fact that my niece is 300 miles away, I would have given it to her and then worked on the details in the meantime. But since I cannot just “pop over” and drop off things or touch up paint etc., it has to be all done before loading it up. Unless it is something that is being done to both dollhouses, I have pretty much stopped work on the resident doll house and will wait until this one has been safely delivered.

Well, thanks for dropping by and keep making cool stuff! And come back soon!

julie

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