Sunday, May 20, 2012


My husband, my dog, and I camp in a 5th wheel camper at a place called 10 Acres, near the Champlain Bridge. This is our 6th or 7th year- we've been arguing over that for the past couple of weekends with friends who've stayed there one less year than us-but we've all been way to drunk to perform the calculations, and we never think of it when we're sober. Plus, we're all 40-something to 50-something, and our memories are sometimes unreliable. Or it's Mad Cow Disease. We're not sure which.

But I digress.

Last year a tradition was started to do a basket raffle, with the proceeds going to First Response (a rescue squad type organization, local to Addison). It was fun - some very creative and useful baskets, and it made some good money for the cause.

I had been puzzling over what mini projects I could do at camp. (I do have some sober moments there, more than you'd think, actually.) I have had problems knitting with my hand issue, which will hopefully be resolved soon. I see the orthopedist guy on Tuesday. The point being that knitting is not a comfortable activity for me right now.

I had a flash of brilliance. I'm making the Corona Travel Trailer kit, and that will be my basket raffle item.

It's a small enough kit that it'll be workable at camp. It's going to be very amusing to decorate, with tiny cans of Bud in the tiny fridge, and a tiny Tuc board (a game obsessively played by many) on the picnic table, etc. My husband may help me with it, but this past weekend he was busy playing Tuc. (see previous sentence)

So, the kit:

The dry fit, front and back. OK, I am not real sure which side is called front, and which is called back. Anyway, both sides:

I will not be using the "awning" you see in the top picture, just the window inside it.
I'll put in two walls, one at either end, making a bathroom on the left, and a bedroom on the right, with the living room/kitchen in the middle.

The kit came with pieces to make a table and two bench seats, the kitchen eating booth. I've assembled the table, and one of the chairs, with the second chair started. I'll upholster the chairs, and make a pseudo-Formica top for the  table. All the other furniture I'm pretty much going to have to make from scratch.

Next weekend I'll bring out flooring, wallpaper, paint, foam core for the walls, etc. I'm planning to electrify this project.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A very tiny house, and progress.

The Whitney/Primrose has a nursery.
This weekend, I made a tiny house from a kit I got on Ebay. I was at camp - I brought the kit, glue, tweezers, and colored pencils.

The colors would have been sharper and I could have added more detail if I'd used markers, but all I could find were the colored pencils. I think it came out OK. The manila envelope it's sitting on is 8 1/2 x 11, if that gives an idea of the scale.

I have been working on doors. Installing them. The little metal hinges don't work worth a darn, so I cut up a rip-stop Express Mail envelope and made hinges. Gluing them to the doors and the door frames has been a challenge, and I won't know how successful it is for a few days, at least. I had doorknobs for two of the doors. I found beads that seem to work for some of the doors, but they are very hard to attach. I'm not sure they are on firmly.
I had to re-sand some of the door frames, for the doors to fit.
I had already installed the stairs. I am working on the railing, with variable success.

The brown railing upstairs is not yet installed. I will try to replace it with something a bit more delicate.

 I had made stained glass on the front door - not bad for a first try, but not fantastically good either.

The three (four, really) upstairs doors. Door knobs are the next step.

This is the side of the nursery. When I put it together yesterday, it became clear that I had no clue how to measure and cut the parts I changed. I will have to fill in the space, probably with foam core papered over.

The back roof part is another oops - I papered the wrong side. Once I have shingles on, it should be ok and no one will know.

There's still a fair amount of spackling and touching up. I have several roof pieces to attach, paper, and shingle. It needs to be mounted on the base, landscaped, and furnished. Parts of it are coming out fantastically well, and other parts have gone horrendously wrong - I'm having a great time with this build.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I love it when a house starts to come together.

The Whitney/Primrose build is making fantastic progress. I really need to come up with a better house name. Hmm.

Anyway. The siding is complete.
Tomorrow I think I'll work on installing the doors. I'm thinking about skipping the downstairs porch railing. I think it'll look better with just the corner post. Maybe a two-step stairs in front of the porch, as well as one in front of the kitchen door.

The upstairs porch and the balcony will need railings. The ones in the kit seem really cumbersome. I may try to make some with wooden kebab sticks.

I put together the flowers for the windowbox.

I used foam core, with florists foam glued onto it. I spread glue on the foam, and dipped it in the coffee grounds. The flowers and greenery are from batches of cloth flowers I bought at various craft stores. I dipped each stem in glue, and stuck it into the florists foam. Once dry, it simply sets into the windowbox. This makes it easy to change out, if I decided to put in, say, Christmas flowers.

This is the view of the stairs through the front door. The railing that came in the kit does not fit the stairs. Possibly because my construction of the stairs is a bit off. (Plus, I have apparently misplaced the finished railing.) I may be reconstructing the handrail and upstair railing. I would like it to be a bit more delicate. I'm going to install the doors first, though.

I decided early on to leave off the shutters. And, to leave off the canopy thing over the balcony. I'll be shingling the bay windows. It's getting to an exciting point, where soon I'll be ready to decorate. Yesterday some of my mini orders were delivered. I had found two awesome sales on the battery lights. 40% off, which essentially means I get two for the price of one. I got a living room floor lamp; an outside streetlamp; a ceiling fixture for the bathroom; and a wall sconce for the bedroom.

I also got two tea sets, a set of dinnerware, garden gnomes, a teapot, and a few items for the Fairfield. I had fun filling the dining room hutch.

I am really thinking that I will use more modern appliances in the kitchen. I have a refrigerator that needs to be painted, and another sink. My stash of kitchen cabinets - some are oak, some are white. It'll take a little experimentation. Still clueless about the living room, too. Bathroom, bedroom, dining room, nursery - those are all fairly well set. There will be minimal landscaping on this house. I had the base board cut not a lot bigger than the house, because the house itself is not small.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Adventures on Ebay

I get a lot of my minis on Ebay. My technique is to search, see what is in my price range that I like, and bid. Usually my bids are... low. Sometimes I win the auction, sometimes not. And that's OK.

I have had very good luck on Ebay, and quite often, for a fairly rock-bottom price, I can pick up some fantastic things.

This week was the first time I'd had a problem.

I had bid on two auctions, for what was described as "Half-scale" items - a tub, a wall mirror, a standing mirror and a rocking chair. Unfortunately, when they came, they were not half-scale. They were 1:12. I contacted the seller, and said basically, Yo. NOT half scale. I told her I would keep them, but that I was very disappointed. Which, of course, I was.

When she replied, she apologized, begged me to not give her bad feedback, and told me she would refund my payment and I should keep the items. Granted, the cost of the two lots was a grand total of $8, with an additional $5 shipping. So, I thanked her, and gave her good feedback.

I had mostly contacted her to alert her to the fact that she evidently did not know the difference between half scale and 1:12, so the offer to refund was a very pleasant surprise.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I've spent the last three days putting cardstock siding on the Whitney/Primrose. The color is a bit paler than I had intended, but it was a really good deal.

I am liking the cardstock siding. It's easy to cut, easy to glue, easy to adapt to the different sizes and shapes I need the "boards" to be.
Here is the kitchen side. This went pretty smoothly.

Corner of the kitchen side. The upstairs room will be the nursery. I'll be figuring that out later - combining the two roofs, putting in the molding. I've decided to make a curtain door to this room, as there isn't enough room for a real door.

Kitchen front. Still need to finish the door frame, and put up the window box.The right side is the dining room on the ground floor, and the master bedroom is on the second floor. I need to put the railing on the upstairs balcony, and of course, hang the doors. The bay window needs a bit of fussing, too.
The right side of the house still needs the "siding." I've a bit of door trim to put in, doors to hang, and I need to make floors for the porches, as well as put in the railings.

On the kitchen side, I finished the corner by gluing a half-inch strip of paper, which had been scored through the middle lengthwise. I think this really makes the outside look smooth. I'll do the same for the other corners.
I'm still concerned about the kitchen furnishings. The house does not seem to like the old-fashioned stove, or the ice box.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Evidently I am obsessed. Or possessed. One of those.

I have made more plants.

A really bad picture of a quite nice in reality philodendron, made with masking tape and florists wire. Potted in a teacup from a dollar store tea set, which was too big to be used as a teacup in my dollhouse.

A fairly good picture of a rather nice-looking corn plant. Made of florists wire and tape, with a yellow stripe painted down each leaf.

The beauty of making plants is that:
1. the materials are inexpensive enough to almost be free.
2. You get a lot of bang for your buck with a plant. Almost as good  as a pillow.
3. Very easy project with room to be creative.
4. Can be picked up and put down easily - not something you've gotta work on til it's finished before taking a break.

I managed to find my paper cutter tonight, and I'm going to start the siding. Or perhaps I'll do the door frames first. That might be best. Maybe I'll do both. I'm kind of excited about this - it's a big step closer to finishing this build.

Though, an unfortunate thought - I still have to fix the stairs and install them, plus I need to make the railing. The one that came with the kit - the railing, that is - doesn't fit the stairs. Unless I can make it fit...