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

One More Denim (Finished a While Ago)

I know I made the proclamation that I wasn’t going to make any more quilts in denim for a while, but I actually did complete this some time ago and have had it stashed for a while. I finally when through the inventory in the guest bedroom, I ran across this one (and one other) that I have opted to place for sale on eBay.

DSCN2298I love the nuance in the shades of the denim, and I love the idea of the life that was worn into each of the squares of denim and then rescued and displayed in the quilt. The paisley fabric I chose for the trim looks almost like bandana material, and just compliments the denim. There is a small print red heart fabric on the back that really gives the calming influence of the blues and white – a nice contrast.

photo 1For what it is worth, this is the other quilt – also finished sometime ago – and going up on eBay:

DSCN2300I used the same fabric as in the sashing for the back. This is just hard candy colors and sometimes it is just fun to play with the dynamic colors. I could see this as a quilt for a boy or a girl that just graduated from a crib to a “big kid” bed. Or to hang on the wall of a nursery or kid’s room. I hope that someone buys it and loves the colors and the happy feeling that comes from it.

Okay, that’s it for today. I am in a very weird place… kind of in-between everything. I can’t really get excited about working on anything new and really, I shouldn’t be starting anything when I have so much to finish. But I really am having a tough time really getting back to the already-started-pieces because it means that there it will require working in the garage and the temps just aren’t all that comfortable. And that is probably just an excuse, I just am unable to get motivated.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

julie

More Denim, This Is It For a While…

Okay, I persevered and finished another denim quilt. This one fought a long and hard battle. It is the first time that I had to really rip seams and fix mistaken cuts. And not just once. And to add to the fighting, the weight of all that denim had me uttering choice phrases to the sewing machine. I even had to throw my hands up in defeat and leave it for a couple of days while I pondered the best way to finish it.

I think it all boiled down to four diagonal set-in seams. I have never been a big fan of set-in seams anyway, but that they were on a bias and diagonal didn’t help. Oh and yeah, broke four! needles in the process. Denim is not kind but I love the end result.

IMG_6145Now I have three more denim tops completed and have really paired down my stash of recycled denim, I am going to swear off working with it for a while. I flipped through a few books and magazines that I’ve marked with possible ideas but nothing seems to be sparking or lighting a fire under me. Maybe I need to take a break from sewing and concentrate on finishing at least one or two of the Victrola cabinets that I picked up a few weeks ago.

I’ve decided with one that I am going to turn into a little bar… with a little ice tub and a place for bottles and decanters and store glasses and napkins in the cabinet where albums were kept. I am thinking a walnut stained top and painting the cabinet a deep brown. The other cabinet is going to be an entertainment cabinet… using the former horn as an amplifier for an iPhone/iPod/music player and then adding a turntable and also making place for game controllers. This piece is going to be walnut stained top with a deep red/maroon cabinet. I think this will be really sharp.

There are two additional cabinets, a taller one that I think The Kid has his eye on it to be restored to the same sort of end product… a place for gaming systems and also a music system. And the last one has the makings to be the perfect bathroom vanity. I will have to replace the top with a solid piece (it splits in the middle right now), but I could see this is a beautiful ivory with maybe a piece of granite or ivory on top. Guess we’ll have to see how this proceeds.

Tomorrow I may go down to the Habitat’s ReStore and check out what they have in terms of granite or ivory and if they might have any vessel sinks that might work. Or any other interesting pieces that might be fun to work with. I still have the whole garage/shop job that I have planned, a post for another day.

julie

Rescued Wardrobe… Finished At Last!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you will remember that quite some time ago, I started work on rescuing an antique wardrobe. Well, since my last contract ended, I took the last push and finished it. Put the handles on it last night and wiped down the interior and took the final photos.

DSCN2270So here it is, it all of its black, white and shades of grey. Oh and the smallest touches of turquoise. I think it quite striking and I wish that I had a place to display it and keep it in my home. It is that beautiful. Oh, and did I mention? It weighs like 300 pounds, which means, that me and the Kid gotta pick it up and deliver it somewhere. And if luck holds out, it will be on a second floor somewhere. Whew!

DSCN2269I got lucky and the doors open and close easily, no sticking or creaking. This piece was absolutely a gem in its heyday, it is just too bad that the previous owner left it sit in a garage and made a mess of the walnut veneer. I imagine it was an absolutely gem.

DSCN2271As you can see, the interior escaped most of the damage that incurred on the outside. A thorough cleaning of the interior and the replacement of one trim piece and it sparkles like it must have always.

DSCN2272Last shot, you can see the multiple coats of polyurethane just shine in the evening sun… I just love the way this turned out. I especially enjoy the color scheme that was chosen. The stark contrast of the black and white with the shades of grey are stunning. I debated about the accent color, but in the end, I went with a favorite of mine – a deep turquoise.

If you care to see the previous blogs, you can see them here, here and here.

Now, to get them sold and move on to the next projects… picked up these lovely cabinets thanks to the generousity of a gentleman who only wanted the guts of the old record players. I think these will turn out to be very lovely pieces.

ALL

I’ve also started on the third piece of stained glass, after thinking long and hard, it hit me… it has to be my logo for the doll accessories and clothing and furniture that I’ve been creating. Lends itself perfectly to stained glass. I still have to show you the last one I finished, although I think I realized that the image I chose was much too intricate and am not very happy with the way it turned out. But we can talk about that more in the next blog post.

julie

For Sale: Handcrafted Doll House and Accessories

Need that perfect gift for your little doll mommy? Built for all 18″ dolls including American Girl, Today Girl, Journey Girl, Madame Alexander, My Twinn, Our Generation, KidKraft Sadie, Gotz and Disney Princess and more. After many months of planning, shopping, designing, building and furnishing, I am offering this one of a kind dollhouse for $3000.00.

DSCN1929Designed, built, handcrafted and lovingly assembled for your princess just in time for Christmas. Give your little girl a place to play and store all of her American Girl treasures!!

Two pieces, designed for delivery, assembled stands 80″ tall. But that doesn’t include the rooftop garden! Overall dimensions: 80″h x 25″d x 48″w. This was hand built by my son and I in our home and has many extras you won’t find in any other house.

DSCN1863

Three levels boasts a bedroom with adjoining bathroom, living room with fireplace and a state of the art kitchen with built in cabinets and turquoise appliances. Everything pictured is included with the exception of the doll. The doll is not included.

The pink bedroom with handcrafted bed and handmade linens sewn in awesome shades of pink. Includes a pillow with pillow case. Matching dresser in shades of pink (also called ombré style of painting) with four functional drawers. To round out the bedroom, we have a deep red wood stained armoire with a bar for hanging and three small drawers.

DSCN1912Enter the bathroom through the door in the bedroom to find a clawfoot bathtub, toilet and sink. Pink towel set – bath towel, hand towel and washcloth and a small basket with shampoo, conditioner and bath soap. The room is complete with actual white square tiles and baseboards.

DSCN1909

DSCN1910

DSCN1911The kitchen is like no other you will ever see! Taking up the entire second floor, it boasts built in glass door cupboards above and below. Stainless steel sink with extendable sink sprayer sits on top of a glass tile countertop in beautiful shades of turquoise. The cupboard next to the store has a solid wood surface perfect for chopping vegetables, and houses a mixer and baking pans. Microwave above the over (sorry, door doesn’t open) but the range has an opening door with two wire shelves and plastic door to see when those pastries are browned. Refrigerator comes stocked with vegetables and food for hosting that perfect holiday party. Pantry next to the ‘fridge also boasts soup and assorted canned vegetables.

DSCN1920

DSCN1922

DSCN1923

DSCN1924The kitchen floor is a beautiful hardwood floor, three coats of varnish and three coats of polyurethane. This will look beautiful for years of play.  Same floor on the third floor, and has a hand hooked rug in between upholstered sofas. Put your feet up and relax in front of the fireplace (extra firewood in the wood box). A small table with a sewing box is near for mending socks on a late night. Plenty of room to include a Christmas tree for your dolls!

DSCN1919

DSCN1905

DSCN1928

DSCN1925

On top, we have one more relaxing space… three piece wicker set with heart motif is surrounded by pots of colorful flowers. A wonderful place to enjoy the sunshine with a glass of tea!

DSCN1927Please keep in mind that I am simply someone who likes to tinker and collect, I am not a master carpenter so this is unique albeit not perfect.  The small imperfections make it a one of a kind but built and furnished with love and laughter!

DSCN1896

DSCN1895  DSCN1893

DSCN1892

DSCN1898

DSCN1899

DSCN1900

DSCN1902Keep in mind that although lots of little extras have been provided, there is still plenty of room to add your own special touches. Pictures, posters, doll clothes, food, dishes, jewelry… all those things that will make this dollhouse your daughter’s own.

Dollhouse will be available for local pick up in Kansas City MO once payment is received. Feel free to email me with ANY questions.

With regards to shipping: I want to work with you to make this your little girl’s perfect Christmas. I can deliver locally in and around Kansas City area for $50. That includes delivery and set up in your home. I will work with you on getting it to you, inquire about delivery outside the area, please send me an email.  Of course you are always welcome to swing through town and pick it up!

Please remember: The doll is not included. Everything else is.

I would love to hear your comments, questions, your own experiences. See previous posts for more in depth instructions and photos. I’ve truly enjoyed this process, but am ready to move on to something new and challenging.

Thanks for stopping by!

julie

The Finish Line is Within Sight!

So me and The Kid have been putting some real effort into finishing this dollhouse and we’re getting very close. I am hoping to have the bulk of it done by the end of the weekend. I am so ready for this project to be done and over with… and I can get my entry way back!

So, updates: The floors have been done in the bathroom and the bedroom. Laid 2″ square tiles in the bathroom and then grouted with caulk. Because the house still needs to be delivered and therefore undergo some critical traveling, I didn’t want the grout to break or crack so thought that the caulk would be a much better solution. DSCN1853Here is a quick shot of the tile installed. I used Liquid Nails to adhere it, not standard practice for the installation of tile but a good solid decision based on the size of the room and the number of tiles.

DSCN1855Here is the floor with the caulk ‘grout’. I am really liking the clean look of the tile.

DSCN1857Here it is with the baseboard trimming. Isn’t this sweet? And The Kid did a great job of making a door transition and gluing and then grouting the space between the bathroom and the bedroom.

DSCN1858A little bit of clean up to do and it is ready to be staged. You can see in this photo that the floor has been stained (two coats) and then polyurethaned (two coats) and the trim also installed. It, too, is ready for furniture!

DSCN1836You may recall that I started work on the love seats, I wanted to show you how I applied 1″ foam to the pieces to get ready for upholstery. One piece wraps up from the seat and over, all the way to the bottom. A couple of staples and lots of glue, a few clips to hold it in place while it dries.

DSCN1847DSCN1846

Next, I wrapped both arms with the same foam. This time I used clamps in addition to the staples, clips and glue to hold things together until they dried.

DSCN1848 DSCN1849

Both loveseats got similar treatments with the foam on the front (forgot the photos). But they have been relocated to my sewing room for the upholstery work. Probably won’t get to them until we finish the work on the house and its ready to be furnished. Additional photos promised.

DSCN1850This is the side and back view of the third floor. Slowly this piece is coming along. You can see that I am toying with ideas for how to “roof” the angled pieces, and at this point, have not settled on a solution.

DSCN1861

I stumbled across the most wonderful little piece of furniture. It actually had three small photo albums in it, but it is going to be transformed into a fireplace. Which means, at some point, I need to scout “fire wood” for it. I also need to figure out how to put floor moulding with the tricky angles, but The Kid thinks he has a way. Ah, I love that Kid!

I won some glassware at a local auction, in additional to a 12 foot x 30″ purple counter top (all for the grand sum of $15!) that I have plans for. But… like I have said many times, no new projects started until this doll house is completed. Now that I have this quick update written, I am going to go work on the kitchen’s lower cabinets and get them ready for installation. Once that happens, then I can do the tile countertops, get the sink installed and complete the trim around the edges. Then its just a matter of details! I can see the finish line!

Once this has been done, it is going up for sale. If you are in the market for a custom doll house, watch this space. I have been thinking about the logistics of getting this shipped or (my choice) delivered, I know that whoever is the recipient of this gift is just going to love it. And just in time for Christmas!

Okay, thanks for stopping by and for following my progress. Remember to keep making beautiful things for the sake of beautiful things! And of course, I’d love to hear any ideas you might have for finishing touches!

Thanks again!

julie

Baby Steps… Can’t Rush the Creativity

Lots to talk about, things making progress but seemingly like getting nothing accomplished. Making steps on the dollhouse, getting an inventory for the doll accessories and clothing sale and finally making visible progress on the wardrobe.

I’ll give you an update on the wardrobe re-do, since I had the Kid take pictures :-) Since it takes up so much room in the foyer, it is difficult to get good photos, but since I have a landing on the second floor that overlooks the entry way, pictures are much easier that way.

So, first, I opted to go with the black, white and shades of gray. I had a lot of paint leftover from the ombré gray dressers back a while and the color scheme did get the most votes. Although no one color got many votes, it was the one I liked the most and if it comes down to it, it will go in just about any color schemed room.

Here was the art:

The Real Number 8I did redo the shades of gray ever so slightly, since once I picked up the brush and the first color, I realized about half way through that I had started in the wrong area! Whoops! So, I just cleared them and started again.

I just finished laying down the second color and I think I am really starting to see it coming together. And really am liking it. Right now the paint I am applying is flat, but once I am done, the whole art is going to get a couple coats of polyurethane and it will all be back to a nice gloss. Again, remember, that the interior is still a beautiful walnut and will only require a deep cleaning. I am getting excited about this piece. Even if it is breaking my back to lean over it to paint.

So, without further ado:IMG_9937There are a couple of reflections at the top from the light, makes it look a little weird. Again, from this angle, you can tell just how massive this piece is and how much of an impression it is going to make in whatever room it ends up in.

Okay, the weather has turned ugly outside and I think that we are going to unplug the network to avoid any voltage surges; we had a lightning strike right outside the house about a year ago that fried the network modem and a power surge protector and don’t want to take any chances when it comes to my computer equipment (did I ever happen to mention that I am a software quality assurance engineer at my day job?) and between me and the Kid, we have lots of expensive toys.

Thanks for dropping by, stay warm and dry and come back soon!

julie

 

Color Condendrum – Your Vote Counts!

I’ve been slowly making progress on that large wardrobe I picked up off Craigslist. It had been a beautiful piece at one time, but when it was handed down, the person on the receiving end either didn’t want it or didn’t know what to do with it. As the story was told to me, it had been relegated to the back corner of a garage, and there, the weather and other elements took its toll on the facade. The interior was – is – gorgeous and will only require a deep cleaning and a wood conditioner (and a couple pieces of missing trim), but it is the outside that has plagued me.

The two broad doors had been layered with walnut veneer that I cannot find to replace it, that is, even if I knew how to work with a veneer. It, too, took a corner position in my garage for a while, as I pondered alternatives. Finally, I opted to fill the sparse areas with wood filler and sand it all, then over the course of several months applied my favorite ‘deep space’ black. My son had done a fantastic job of building a replacement footer and shoring up the overall cabinet, now a strong and sturdy piece of furniture.

DSCN1715

I had been doing (as I do a lot) browsing on the web for interesting treatments to these massive pieces of furniture. The very size of it indicates that whatever room this eventually resides, it will be a focal piece. So I knew it had to have a special treatment. I’d love to show you some of my early influences, but for the life of me I can’t put my finger on it. Gah! Hate when that happens!

Anyway, I tripped across some abstract painting and fell in love with one in particular. You can see her work here. I chose a piece out of her coloring book that she sells on her website and with a little resizing (the wardrobe isn’t square) I was ready to get to work.Large Bold DesignI used an old school projector that I got for free off Craigslist and by simply cleaning it, it was fully functional. Obviously that never stops me, so I had to paint it a much cheerier color than that dismal office desk gray. So I printed the design onto a piece of clear transparency film and simply used white paint pens to mark the edges.

DSCN1815The first try I was a little short – the design didn’t cover the doors – so another couple of layers of black paint and I was ready to start again. While it was sitting in the garage waiting to be remarked, I tried to envision what colors I would use. There was a part of me that thought that the white against the black was unique enough, but the lines are a bit messy and I am not sure that I want to do something so ‘colorless‘.

Last night, me and the Kid manuavered the thing into the entry way and got it set for me to work on it. Now I simply cannot close the garage door to it, it really is an albatross sitting there. Here’s the view from the home office:

imagephotoThis is going to be hard to ignore.

So, this is where I need your help. I’ve taken the template and using Photoshop, tried out a bunch of color combinations. Which one feels right to you? Let me know in the comments or send me an email which one you like. Or use the template above and do your own coloring, I know a lot of you have great artistic skills and a great eye for color

.Color Voting

Work continues steadily on the 18″ sized doll house and the play pieces, furniture and clothing to go with it. The Kid is working on my logo and the web site colors and today we shopped for the new backend server computer. We’re going to be running SQL – this will be my first experience as a DBA and hopefully will hone my SQL skills. While we were shopping, we stopped into the local computer recycling center and then had an honest-to-goodness LISA there. As I was oohing and ahhing over it, the guy working there said rarely does anyone recognize it. Even though my experience with Mac computers go back a ways, it didn’t go back that far, but I admire that our sleek new iMacs and MacBookPros had their humble beginnings with this computer. My son found a G4 MacBook in excellent shape to, so for historical sake and to help my son see what we once thought was the biggest and baddest. He’s been installing the OS and games and apps for the better part of three hours now, so I think he’ll at least use it enough to get the $40 price tag’s worth.

Okay, signing off for now. Come back soon and don’t forget to vote on your favorite designs!

julie

 

Gaining Ground on the Dollhouse Project

Today is one heckuva warm day – been this warm for several days. Makes me not want to do anything in the garage or outdoors. I send the Kid out with birdseed and water for the birdbath and regularly send him out to water the strawberries and his peppers. Just too dang hot to be out there long.

So, I opted to move the dollhouse inside. As you may recall, I had started work on a second dollhouse after delivering the first one to my grandniece. If you’ve not seen it, you can see it here.

I’ve mentioned the second doll house occasionally, my first thought was to duplicate much of the work and design from the first one, but as I’ve gotten started, it has quickly become a monster! Here is the second one in early steps:

dscn1423The top shelf was to be a kitchen and the bottom was supposed to have a bedroom and a bathroom. My plans for the kitchen soon outgrew the space and it also bothered me that the part that a little girl would play with was so high off the ground.

My son and I put together the basic construction for my second attempt at this house. Looks like this:

DSCN1714

Yes, this would give me the added space that I wanted. So, this morning I listed the first piece on Craigslist and moved the box into its space in the entry way.

DSCN1785

The cabinets that I had been assembling was pretty haphazard, working with two different pieces that I found at Hobby Lobby, I just sort of ‘put that here, place that there’ approach. I’ve had to do some trimming and adding to get everything to fit together properly and its just sort of taken on a life of its own!

These are the pieces I found and am using from Hobby Lobby:

649442_1I’ve turn the drawer unit on its side and removed some drawer supports to make the lower cabinets (where the sink is going). The window units became the upper cabinets. Its all just random and I need to reign it in before it becomes too much! They will, in the end, become white and have a actual tile counter. The cabinet between the stove and ‘fridge will have a wood top for chopping. And with mention of the stove and ‘fridge, you can see them in the photo, they are the most perfect shade of turquoise!

Here’s a little better shot:

DSCN1784I had hoped for room for a dining room table, maybe booth style, but now am thinking there really isn’t room. Maybe I’ll do a pub table with stools against the wall? Guess I will see what I find that will work. But the cabinets and ‘fridge will be stocked with polymer food and scaled down boxes and bottles. Attention to detail will be evident.

The bottom portion will be a bedroom and bath. I have most of the required furniture and pieces and it is just a matter of painting walls and installing flooring. There is yet to be an upper room/attic, in this style:

ea7ef63cdedd363d4bbf7a32079fc709I cannot locate the original link for this piece, so if you know it, please send it along (I like to give credit where credit is due.) I like the simplicity of the outside and I am actually thinking that my cabinet exterior will simply be stained, since I used a high grade plywood. Will make it more of a piece of furniture.

In case you were wondering, this piece will be for sale in the near future. I just like the planning and execution of an idea. If you’re interested, let me know. I hate to say it, but the price tag for this piece – which will include all the furniture and accessories – will be high. It isn’t often that you will find something like this for sale.

Okay, enough for now. Need to get the first coat of paint onto the cabinets as I’ve gotten it all primed. One day, I will actually get my kitchen and entry way back!

Thanks for dropping by!

julie

Mismatched Hardware? Sometimes Its More Than Okay

I had mentioned in an earlier post that I am always on the lookout for unique and interesting hardware for furniture. Sometimes when I do find pieces I just cannot live without, there are not very many pieces. At least not enough to do a single piece.

That is what happened with today’s subject. I don’t so a lot of green, but love many of the shades that green comes in. And in the course of collecting, I ran across a few beautiful pieces that only came in a pair, or sometimes 4 of a kind. I was sorting and reviewing my hardware collection, when it occurred to me that I had enough green pieces for a dresser if I was okay with using mismatched pieces. I was! I was hoping to find a dresser or vanity that only required 4 pairs, but when I stumbled onto this – well, shall we say – very loved dresser, I knew it would be perfect for the mismatched hardware.

I started with the usual routine, repairing drawers and sanding. When I stripped the first couple of layers of paint and stain from the top, I knew there was some beautiful wood under all of that. So with much sanding and scraping, I uncovered some beautiful oak. I didn’t have the stamina or the sanding tools to remove it from the body, but I decided that if I used a very light shade of green to blend with the hardware, I thought it would turn out okay.

Well, after the primer coats and three coats of a shade of green that is called Mystic Light – almost looks white, even photographs that way. But with the natural stain on the top and the green handles really makes it work. And like I said, there are four matching sets of hardware and the top and bottom drawers have the same hardware. But since they are so far from each other, I don’t think that it hampers the total result.

I’ll stop talking (typing!) and just show you the results… you be the judge!

Light Green Before&After

I absolutely love the way this turned out. I am so hesitant to part with this beautiful jewelry on this piece of furniture. I’ll post it on Craigslist and see how well it is received. Maybe if it doesn’t seem to appeal to others, then maybe I will move this upstairs into the guest room and sell the piece I just finished and put there! Yes, I love this piece that much!

Here are some closeups of that beautiful hardware:

DSCN1416 DSCN1415

And another angle of the total package:

DSCN1417

Isn’t the wood on top gorgeous? I love the older furniture – the construction techniques, the angles and curves and the materials used. And that they’re definitely worth refinishing and working on. And the piece will be around for a long time after that too.

I completely missed celebrating my 100th post and now this makes 103! And do I need to say that I love comments, so if there is anything that you’ve seen or read that you enjoy, please leave me a comment. Saying hi is enough!

Thanks for dropping by! And come back again soon!

And as always, keep making beautiful things just because…

julie

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,236 other followers

%d bloggers like this: