A Week’s Hiatus

Just a quick note to let you know that work continues on the doll house. My son and I just returned from a week’s vacation, we went out to Utah’s Arches National Park. We hiked and explored and roamed and goofed off. It was heaven!

IMG_4041We had absolutely the most perfect weather, ranging from a comfortable high 60’s and low 70’s during the day and dropped down into the 40’s at night. Just beautiful! Since we arrived on Saturday, we dealt with lots of other folks, but once Monday arrived, we darned near had the park to ourselves. I did a lot of walking and hiking, pushing myself on some trails that might have been just a tad too much. But lots of breaks and icing the knees during the evenings helped. I swear I lost 15 lbs during the trip!

I collected a lot of stones during the trip, the plan is to use them to build a fireplace in the doll house. I’ve am making real progress on the kitchen cabinets and The Kid is constructing me a aluminum range hood too!

I will let you in on a secret: working on 1:12 scale is ever so much more difficult than 1:3 or 1:4 scale (the scale for the American Girl sized dollhouse I did previously). The details are the devils, I swear!

I should have an update for the kitchen soon!

julie

 

 

 

 

Miniatures, Doll House and Dreams

So having gotten most of the projects that I had started (over the past year) completed, I am going to take advantage of avoiding the cold and work inside. On my dollhouse. With the help of my son and his best friend (my other son from another mother), the dollhouse has been safely moved and placed into its working spot. I expect that I will work on this a long time: until I either get finished or I get sick of working on it. I am finding working with 1:12 miniatures is a lot more tedious and time consuming than the 1:3/1:4 miniatures for the 18″ dolls (American Girl-style dolls).

It seems to take a lot more time and energy to do the smaller scale. Not to mention it seems to cost more! What I have been working on so far is getting a rough idea of how I want to proceed with each room. Originally I thought I would approach it on a room by room basis, but found that as I worked through the furniture and decorating needs, it seems to make more sense to more than one at a time. I mean, like when I pick up the flooring needs for one room, it just makes sense to get what I need for all the rooms that have similar needs.

I have numbered the rooms so that when I write about the rooms, I can also refer to the room number in addition to what I am calling the room.

 

dollhouse-numbered-roomsSo the rooms are designated to be:

  1. Attic Sewing Room
  2. Home Office
  3. Second Bathroom & Laundry
  4. Attic Storage
  5. Master Bedroom
  6. Master Bath
  7. Hallway
  8. Boy’s Bedroom
  9. Baby Girl’s Nursery
  10. Living Room and Entryway
  11. Dining Room
  12. Kitchen

So, yes, this is a large dollhouse and now takes up a large chunk of living room real estate:

dscn4885But is always in view to keep my creative juices flowing. I’ve begun planning floors and colors and the necessary cabinetry for the kitchen as well as stove, refrigeration and cabinet with sink and a microwave. Rough estimates are in the two hundred dollar range! And the kitchen is one of the rooms that requires copious amounts of extras… including a diner style booth and table and food and dishes. I bought a set of flatware tonight for a whopping $1.67! But, WOW!, it all adds up.

I have a couple of furniture pieces that have to be finished and written about still. I just couldn’t resist giving y’all a sneak peak at the project that is going to be consuming much of my time in the next year!

julie

Doll House Sink/Cabinet and the First Food Items

I may have neglected to mention in my last post, that the dollhouse that I am building for my grand niece is for her American Girl dolls. For those not aware of the great doll wars – these are 18″ tall dolls supposed to be about 12 – 13 years of age. There are many less expensive dolls of the same size, such as My Generation and Madame Alexander as well as generic type dolls. You have to be careful when sewing clothing as there can be some differences in their body sizes, such as waist, hips, and leg length.

I have come to the conclusion that this size, versus smaller dolls (1:6 scale) or the standard dollhouses (1:12 scale). Things are so much easier to build and sew for. You actually have a greater chance of finding things in a smaller size of everyday objects that will work, like espresso cups and small bowls (like the ones used to hold dipping sauce).

In my last post, I showed you the refrigerator and stove that I build and now is the last piece of the cabinet that I will be doing for my niece’s dollhouse. It is a sink in a cabinet combination. This is a moveable piece (as opposed to the other dollhouse I am building that will have actual cabinetry built in (and that includes upper cabinets).

Without further ado:DSCN1487The basic construction of this piece is a drawer that I rescued from a seriously broken desk. It was in really sad shape, the top and sides were in deplorable condition, so I rescued the drawers (and their hardware). Who knew what can come from a lowly drawer?

I simply cut doors and the top panel from 1/4″ plywood, the doors are attached with small hinges and the top panel is nailed. Using the sink to draw the template that had to be cut in both the drawer box and the counter top. By the way, that “sink” is actually a very small steam table pan called a “ninth size” (6 3/4″ x 4 1/4″) that I bought off eBay for less than $4… and works perfectly as a stainless steel sink.

DSCN1488

I added a couple of round feet, salvaged from legs of a small table that I also rescued from Craigslist. The counter top has rounded corners and is covered in a very cool faux tile that I found at Home Depot called ‘Smart Tiles’ (you can read more about it on their website here). They’re very think and self adhesive and I think scale-wise works perfectly. I shaped the faucet and base from polymer clay and then used two small wooded knobs painted silver for the handles.DSCN1486I had accidentally cut the doors just a little narrow, so I inserted a vertical board to fill in the void and also add some stability. I also installed a small shelf to help provide some storage below. A couple of white narrow knobs following three coats of white spray paint over a coat of primer.

DSCN1489So very easy and I think it will be very durable. Here is one final picture in its place in the dollhouse.

DSCN1490The feet might have made it just slightly taller than the stove, but I don’t think that is a big deal. Little ones don’t seem to mind that the things they play with aren’t perfect. I also have collected some plastic food and pans and although they are a bit larger than either 1:3 or 1:4 scale, I don’t think she’ll mind.

Speaking of food, I was playing around with the polymer clay and created some faux food.

First up was a couple of plates of fried eggs and strips of bacon. It took a while to get the colors right on the bacon and I am still thinking it could use some tweaking. These are the plates I got about 10 years ago at IKEA and have been packed away ever since. They are perfect!DSCN1484

Then I worked on a pie, I guess it would be apple pie based on the lattice crust on too. Using a small baking dish – yes, that’s a real ceramic pie dish – I just cut a bunch of shapes that would sort of look like fruit. Then placed them on top of the bottom crust and then wove the top lattice crust. Other than not using real food, the steps were very similar to that of making an actual pie! I used watercolor paints that I thinned way down and then poured into the pie to get coloring throughout and then painted the lattice crust.

DSCN1485Oh, I also sat and rolled peas from the polymer while the Kid and I watched a movie. I had sort of expected for them to fuse together when I fired them, but they didn’t. I spread them out on a painting cloth and using an awesome green, spray painted them. I had to keep rolling them around, trying to get all of the sides and I think I finally made most of them the same color, but since variations are natural in nature, I think that the ones that aren’t solid green make the whole bunch perfect!

DSCN1491Turned out pretty cool, if I have to say so myself. I think that going forward with work on my dollhouse, I will continue to create food, both for me and my grand niece. Its fun and relaxing as well as challenging to keep coming up with more food items. Think I will work on some boxes and maybe canned food, reducing the size of labels should be pretty fun.

Tomorrow I will posting the final shots of the dollhouse. And a week later, we’ll load it into the truck and head to Des Moines and deliver it. I am planning on including some pics of the by grand niece with the final product set up in her room. I think it will be a blast.

To be perfectly honest, though, I really am ready for this piece to be done. Lots of little details and issues and I am ready to move onto something else. My own dollhouse may take a back seat to my next project, but since it occupies a very visible place in my entry way, I will be reminded of it constantly. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by and remember to keep making beautiful things!

julie

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