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

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.

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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. :-(

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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! :-)

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Door knob and knocker for the front door…

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The front door being glue together…

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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…

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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