Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fairfield parlor

More photos from Andy Fish.
This is the Fairfield parlor, looking toward the foyer. The photo on the foyer wall is of my parents' tombstone.
This view shows the window over the door in the foyer. The hutch is filled with tiny objets d'art. Some are turnings from CW Lubin's Etsy shop, as are the two pots on the marble-topped table. The tombstone clock was an Ebay purchase. The dragons on either side of it are beads. The plant on the coffee table is made with a bead and a flower snipped from a larger silk/plastic flower from AC Moore. The couch pillows were an Ebay purchase.
The rug was from my mother's collection, as were the marble-topped side table and the yellow upholstered chairs, and the fireplace (not shown in this photo). Her furniture was purchased at Fred's Miniature Dollhouse shop, which operated in Pittsfield, VT, until Fred's death in the late '90s.

The birdcage on the right, toward the stairs, is actually a jewelry bead/finding. I made its stand from wire. The bowl on the mantle is a turning from CW Lubin.

This view shows the mermaid painting over the fireplace, a great view of the foyer, and the bookcase between the parlor and dining room. I made the books in the bookcase, from printables found online and tiny pieces of scrap wood.

The doilies are made from tiny pieces of lace.

Andy does such an awesome job with photos!


I'm building staircases. These are odd little stairs. They "curve," which is a bit odd, because they don't actually need to curve. Between the odd stairs and the warping issues, these are pretty rickety looking. The application of spackle once the glue dries should make a huge improvement. Plus, baseboard trim is another help in covering flubs.
Each step has a tab that's meant to slide into a slot on the wall. It's recommended to paint/paper the walls before making the stairs, and I did that. Problem is, that has thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into the tab/slot theory. Some of the tabs I was able to cut down enough to fit them in the slots. Others, I had to completely clip off the tabs.
These photos (poorly taken by me) are all of the second floor stairs.

While I actually like the rickety look of the stairs, I will try to improve them.
A bit of needlework. I'm making a rug for this house. Pretty simple, just stripes, but fun to make, and tiny enough for half scale.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Exterior shots

While my brother, Andy Fish, was visiting this week, he took some awesome dollhouse photos for me. The next few posts will feature those photos.

This is a detail shot of one of the gargoyles at the gate. He is sitting on a pillar I made. I used cardboard and tape, then painted it gray and dry-brushed black.
The fence is from It is actually 1:12 scale, but works really well as a tall half-scale fence. The pillar gargoyles came from the Dollhouse Emporium.

Window detail. I am still on the lookout for tiny birds/bats/whatever that can sit on the outside window sills.

Tower detail. I painted the tower windows to look like stained glass. I used a tiny paper punch to make the little bats.

Another view of a pillar gargoyle.

The gargoyle in the corner of the roof was given to me by my niece, Jessie. I think it looks perfect in that spot on the roof.

Front door, view into the foyer. The little hall tree chair I made from a kit.
The front door mat is from upholstery material samples that my sister, Debbie, gave me.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Glencroft

The concept of this house is an old-fashioned home. Heated by fireplaces and woodstoves. A library full of books, and music.

I am electrifying this house. It'll be the first project I've done with wiring.
The kitchen has a chicken theme. The floor is made of craft sticks, sanded, stained, and varnished.
I haven't worked on the ceiling yet. It will be stucco, with beams.

This is the living room. I still have two walls to paper, and the floor to finish. I'm still thinking about what the fireplace will need.

The photos were taken by my brother, Andy Fish.
I do like to have several different scale projects to work on. This house is on the back burner right now, until I'm further along with Grandma's Summer House. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Walls, floors, lights, and an amusing purchase.

Not a whole lot of time to work on minis this week - my day job has been crazy busy, and I've been exhausted at night, far too tired to build or paint or anything of the sort.
Here's where we left off with Grandma's Summer House. Tonight I started Mod Podging the floors. The unpapered floors will be carpeted. 
These are the side walls. I've painted the wood in the windows twice with buttercream acrylic craft paint (buttercream being the color). Clockwise, starting top left, it's bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, living room.

Here is the front wall. The middle section is the hallway, first and second floor. 

These are the half-scale lights I have acquired. I'm still trying to decide which rooms they'll go in, and which rooms I'll have to make lights for. At $9-$20 per light, I do not have the budget to buy another 5 or 6 lights. I certainly didn't pay that much for the ones I have, but it's taken me two years to get the ones I have. I can't count on such good deals coming along before May, when this house must be finished. I will challenge myself to make lights, and it will be a good experience. If it's an unsuccessful experience, no big deal - I'll just figure something out.
I do plan to put the Tiffany table lamp in the living room. It occurs to me that there are no overhead living room lights in any of the houses I am familiar with. I'll need at least one more table or floor lamp for that room.
The kitchen will probably need two hanging lamps. I'd ideally like a ceiling light in each hallway; one in the bathroom; ceiling and table lamps in the bedroom; and two or more lights in the attic/guest rooms. Maybe one on the attic stairway to the roof, also.
A minimum of 12 lights, and I've currently got 5.

This is an Ebay buy - and when I saw it, I knew I had to have it. There's a small acrylic paint bottle holding it up, which may give some idea of the size. It's far too big for half scale, but I think it will fit nicely in the Glencroft - maybe over the living room fireplace.

Anyone over the age of 35 related to me on the Bushey side of the family will understand why I had to have this.
I'm feeling pretty good about how this house for the Undersized Urbanite contest is coming along. I'm still doing a lot of thinking and planning - how to install the lights, which pieces to do first, etc.
I must say, I do like the laser cut house kit. Except for the warping - which is likely my own fault: I should have taken the kit out of its box and wrapping when I got it a year ago. The only other quirk is that where it's been laser cut, it has darker edges that do take extra painting to cover. Well worth it to avoid all that sanding with the die cut kits.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Slowly but surely.

More work on Grandma's Summer House.
I dug through my paper stash to find suitable patterns. I decided to either carpet or linoleum most of the floors; I'm going to electrify this house, and will be running wire either on the ceilings or on the floors.
So I was thinking, left to right:
Living Room walls
Kitchen walls
Kitchen floor
Bathroom walls
Bathroom floor
Bedroom walls
Hallway walls
Attic walls
The living room, bedroom, and attic will be carpeted. The hall floors I decided to use wood patterned paper. 

Then, I started gluing in some of the floors. D'oh! I totally flaked on my plan, and used the bathroom floor in the kitchen, and the kitchen floor in the bathroom. Which will be fine.
The kit has four interior doors: 2 on the ground floor, 2 on the second floor. I will only be using the doors on the second floor. I see no purpose in doors between the hallway and living room and kitchen. Pictured above, the blue doors are the front doors. The trim on the right will be painted and glued to them. The white (actually buttercream) doors with the tiny brass knobs will be for the bedroom and bathroom. 

Kitchen floor

Hallway floors

Bathroom floor.
One reason I'm sorry that I switched the papers for the kitchen and bathroom is that I used the same papers respectively for the haunted Fairfield. I kinda wanted to change it up for this house. Well, for now I'm leaving it.
The color scheme for the exterior of this house is similar to the way my father had his house painted last: Cream colored, with bright blue doors and chocolaty brown trim. To match his beloved and ancient Siamese cat.
One problem I'm having with this kit is that some of the sheets of wood are warped, due to the way the kit was shrink-wrapped at the factory. I think I can overcome this. I hope.
The floors will get coats of either Mod Podge or polyurethane. I'm also working on a shabby chic ambience with this house (that makes it sound fancy, when in reality we're just shabby).

Friday, November 8, 2013

Stash of half scale furniture

I have a box of half scale furniture. Most of it from Ebay. I've used almost all the pieces I inherited from Mom, in the Fairfield.

This is what I've got:

Please ignore my messy desk background. The wicker chaise and the gold metal chairs will go on the rooftop garden. The bookcase is destined for living room. The baker's rack will be in the kitchen; The piano will go in the living room as well as the violin and music stand. The armchair will go in the living room.

Tonight I painted two interior doors. The kit actually has 4 interior doors, but I'm leaving the doors off the downstairs.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Undersized Urbanite 2014 - Half scale Van Buren

This is the start of my project. It's a half-scale Van Buren, and these are the floors and partitions.

This house will be casual, comfy: Grandma's Summer House.

Ground floor, hallway, kitchen and living room.

Second floor, hallway, bathroom, Grandma's bedroom.

Third floor, guest room.

Rooftop garden/sitting area.

I'm modeling it after the feeling and ambiance of my grandmother's house.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A little inside information...

The Fairfield is mostly decorated; I still have some minor additions/changes to make.

So, room by room:

The sitting room: The cabinet is filled with various objets d'art. Some are turnings, by CW Lubin on Etsy. The little gold chairs and the fireplace were my mother's.

Dining room: The table and chairs were made by an elderly man, hand-caned, when I was a teenager. His daughter was a friend of my mother's, and Mr. Rhodes had built a fantastic lot of dollhouse furniture for his daughter. My mother commissioned him to build this set in half scale, in particular for this house.
I made the corner shelves to fill a gap.

Guest bedroom

Master bedroom

View of this side of the house, first two floors. There's something a little odd about the paintings in this house...
Third floor: the witch's den.

In the middle of the right side of the top floor sits a little round cage. It needs a strange pet inside, and then it will hang from the ceiling. I've yet to figure out what strange pet to put in it.

Hallway and bathroom

Witch's den, continued. I labeled and filled all the little potion bottles. The brass mortar and pestle on the table are turnings by CW Lubin. The tiny wooden box on the table was a kit I put together.

Kitchen: The stove was one my mother had bought for this house. The sink unit was a kit I bought from Petite Properties, in England, as was the little wall cupboard. I made most of the food items stocking the pantry. The green rocker was from a kit. I do still need more grocery items, and will be working on those off and on.

Slightly better view of the sink.
It's kind of interesting the way photos show what needs to be added or what looks cluttered or what needs to be fixed. That is, more so than just looking at the rooms.
I will find/make tiny birds (or something similar) to put on the outside windowsills, and in the tree. The project is also needing some snakes, and some mice. Some of the doorknobs need to be re-glued, too. Of course, a dollhouse is never really finished.