Dollhouse Reveal: More of the Exterior

One of the things I forgot to add to the first post of the dollhouse reveal was some of the original photographs.

I had asked my Dad for a dollhouse ever since I can remember. I was the seventh child and of the six before me, four were boys (and two more following). Lots of little boys in this house. It was kind of unusual for my Dad to have to do ‘girl’s toys’ but I kept asking. Finally, about the time I got married, my Dad finally got the time and energy to build a dollhouse. It took him quite a few years and I had moved away from my parents (in Iowa) all the way to California. When Dad finished the dollhouse, I guess he couldn’t figure a safe and affordable way to get the house to me, so instead, he gave it to my oldest sister (she is 11 years older than me) and who lived in the same town.

Well, fast forward about ten, maybe fifteen years and the dollhouse sat almost untouched – some of her children and grandchildren messed with it and broke a few things – and to my sister’s credit, she did buy a lot of stuff for the house. But then came the time my sister and her family decided to move to Colorado and no longer had a place for the house. Time for it come to me! Believe it or not, my folks drove the house out to me in their van!!

Let me show you some of the early pictures:

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Isn’t it grand? A few things that happened during this transition was the base of the of the house was lost along with the railings and stairs on the porch.

Another issue that I felt needed to be changed was the fact that the kitchen had its own staircase to a secluded room above it – which just happened to be the “servants quarters”. Now I know this is supposed to be one of those broad sweeping houses from the old south, but this layout didn’t settle well with me. And as with anyone who buys a house, they want to make it their own – well, I wanted to make some changes to make this house my own as well.

So, out went the kitchen stairs – and an old fashioned kitchen – replaced with a gleaming and sophisticated red and white kitchen (reveal later). I opened the wall between the kitchen and the dining room and placed double doors for easier access. Next, a hallway was opened up so that the former servants quarters could be accessed and it became a nursery.

I also had to open the attic floor to allow a staircase up, added a wall to create another space and doors between the rooms to allow passage from one to another. Since I was having to invest in doors for the new rooms, I opted to replace all the doors for a more cohesive look. This also went for the addition of the stairs and I had previously purchased a gentle curved staircase, so out went the originals including handrails. All of these additions and changes not only created extra cost, most of the time it also created more work in widening and heightened to accommodate the new doors. This was really tricky with the sloped ceilings in the attic.

Then both the exterior and interiors were painted white. Lots and lots of cans of white spray paint. Remind me to tell you the lesson I learned about using spray paint in the same space as your red sports car. 😦

The house was turned upside down and I used this “ceiling texture repair” to give all of the ceilings a nice finish. Now it was finally ready for decorating to begin:

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The house was moved up to the living room for easier access (no running up and down the stairs to the basement) and eventually all the supplies and tools were relocated to this area. I am so lucky that I live with people who are accommodating!

julie

Trying Something Small 1:50 Scale

You know, I have no idea how I stumbled on to this little project. I ordered these little people from eBay.IMG_4224Then with a little gift from The Kid, I painted the figures. My eye sight seems to continue to improve, but this is some painstaking work and I need the magnification.

IMG_4223Then I simply built a little box – using paint stir sticks – to the size of all of them. I searched the internet for an appropriate photo, was looking for a 50’s era street scene, but I like the one I ended up using. I elongated it and then cherry picked the particular section of the photo:

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 10.20.53 PMCarefully scored the corners and folded it and glued it into place. Then I carefully glued the little people into place.

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Here are some close ups of my plastic citizens:

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Let me assure you, going smaller in scale is not for me! In fact the 1:12 dollhouse that is so close to be completed isn’t even the best scale for me, but rather the 1:3 or 1:4 which is the American Girl doll-type sized dolls. So much easier!

But it was a fun exercise and was something that I could work on while waiting on the final pieces of the 1:12 dollhouse to arrive.

Hope you found this interesting!

 

From Rough Vanity to Sweet Nightstands

I have had many projects planned and with my recent push to get the garage cleared out, I’ve finally gotten some long overdue furniture projects completed. And took the time to take the necessary photos as well.

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This piece I picked up a while back at a thrift store. I had gotten the two sections separated and that’s where it stayed for quite a few months. I actually was able to get a special boost from completing the outdoor bench from school desk chairs, as it provided me with the two additional legs that I needed for each cabinet.

Once I attached the legs, I got a whole new energy to complete the project. Taking a queue from the existing appliques, I glued appliques to the drawer fronts – initially to hide the previous hardware holes – and found the perfect glass knobs.

I then did a quick sanding of both cabinets and legs and launched into the priming and painting. I used a beautiful shade of off-white, more like a creamy vanilla color. With a couple of coats, the cabinets had a beautiful finish, but something was missing.

I had this unique spray paint leftover from working on the carousel horse (soon to be showcased) that had a glimmer of pearl glitter and using that over-sprayed both cabinets. It was just the trick. I attached the knobs and the piece was set.

I am thinking that this would be a perfect compliment to any little girl’s room, couldn’t you just imagine these flanking a big canopy bed?

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One more project down and only a few hundred to go! JK!

julie

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A New (Old) Obsession: Monopoly

I don’t know about the rest of you, but Monopoly was a staple in my house growing up. We always had to have more than one game at a time as pieces – and especially tokens – were always walking off. So, we’d buy a second to replenish the first. Or vice versa. 🙂

So, it was no stretch of the imagination that I had to collect Monopoly tokens. I have quite a few now, I am guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 or more sets, and some are super neat! I have learned much about the game’s evolution as well… did you know during World War II they didn’t use metal tokens (they needed the metal for the war effort) and wooden tokens were used in the game.

I will have to take some time to photograph all my sets. Most of them live on narrow little shelves in my home office, but recently I have started collecting again, so quite a few reside around the little free space I have around my keyboard.

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But along with collecting the tokens, I ended up with lots of other Monopoly pieces. Game boards, property cards, Chance and Community Chest cards and dice. But mostly? Monopoly money. And I just knew there had to be something fun that I could do with all of it.

I started kind of small, using some of the money to cover a star, boxes and tins. This was easy enough and once dry, I sprayed several coats of an clear sealant over the top.

But, I knew that I had to do something bigger. And once I found an older but sturdy four drawer chest, I knew what was going to happen next!

I started covering the sides with the Monopoly money and realized that covering both sides, the front and the top might be a bit too much. I finished the front and sides and kind of liked the plain white top (primer) but wanted to see what paint I still had in my arsenal. When I kind of squinted my eyes, I could see a lot of yellow/gold and the white, so I wanted to play one of the other three colors: pink, blue or green. When I checked my paint stock, I found a perfect blue (and there was plenty of it!).

There was, of course, the drawers that had to be covered as well. This was all well and good, as I was able to watch movies and do the gluing.

BTW, I simply used slightly watered Elmer’s glue, applied with a 1″ brush. Simply brush on the glue, lay on the bills and brush more glue over the top. It takes a little effort to make it look random and still cover all the surfaces. I tried not to get anything repetitive or lined up and tried to get as many upside down and sideways as right side up.

I left the bills overhang the edges and sides and once dry, simply used a single edged razor blade to make a nice neat edge. I couldn’t believe how easy this was!

Then I moved the cabinet into the garage and painted the top blue. It took several coats to get it saturated and looking really good. I also painted the inside edges of the drawer opens blue as well.

Once it was good and dry, I rolled polyurethane over the entire box and drawer fronts (twice!) for a really glossy finish. It will make everything last a long time too!

Now it was time to put drawer pulls on. It was The Kid who had the idea of making larger versions of Monopoly’s classic houses and hotels. And the houses were cut from 2″x2″ and the hotels from a 2″x4″ that we had in the garage. It was a fairly simple construction using the band saw. I then sanded them smoothly and painted them their iconic colors (standard Rustoleum high gloss paint from The Home Depot).

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We realized that they would need to stick out from the cabinet in order to be grasped, so The Kid cut 1″ dowels into 1/2″ segments and drilled through the centers (and of course painted). They were then glued into the centers of each ‘house’ and ‘hotel’ and by the time I got home from work, they were ready to be attached.

This is one of those jobs that I keep The Kid around for! He is so good about measuring and taking care of the fine details! All that was left was to move it into the sunshine and take photos!

And there it is! I think it would be great for a kid’s room, especially one who loves to play games (real games, not on their computers and phones) or to help organize a family room or rec room. It was just so much fun to make!

This particular piece was made using Monopoly Deluxe Edition money, but I have several different editions (including Junior Monopoly) that I still want to use for something! So much fun!

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Have you done something like this? I’d love to see what you’ve done!

julie

Finally! The Grand Reveal of the Church Table

I have a bad habit (sometimes) of starting projects that take me a while to get around to finishing. Actually in this case, I actually did finish it, but have been wafting back and forth about a final finishing piece. That, and I never got around to taking the final pictures either. And because of its sheer combined size, it isn’t like I can just drag it out and set it up and shoot the photos… and I always used the excuse about that final flourish to put it off.

Well, time is up for procrastinating. This coming weekend, my neighborhood is having one of its two annual garage sale weekends. I’ve combed the house and really collected from every nook and cranny anything that I could live without. I have to admit that lately the house has been creaking from the excess that I’ve collected these past years. We’re going to have a really big sale!

So, since we’re already using the driveway as a sales floor, I might as well as to it some of the furniture projects that I’ve recently completed. Including the dining room table and its eight chairs, as well as the the matching sideboard. So, me and The Kid dragged it all out and arranged it artfully on the lawn (partially on the neighbor’s lawn too) and took photos.

I’ll just start with photos… now that I have them!

DSCN4529The table was made by combining a salvaged door that I picked up from a Catholic church that was closing its school. The door was from the main office and I could only imagine had been pushed open by the hands of hundreds of little kids in cute school uniforms.

I removed the hardware, replaced the holes with wood and sanded, sanded, sanded. The more layers of varnish I removed, the more beautiful the wood I was revealing. The Kid helped in creating the skirt and attaching the legs, but we simply recreated the same mechanism that held together my original oak table that was purchased when I first got married (it still is working to this day!). Before we attached it to the door, it was painted my favorite shade of red. (Have I mentioned that I love red?)

The chairs were all from the same Catholic school… all of these were well worn, used and loved by students from that school. It took hours of sanding to remove doodlings and scratches but unbelievably, there was not a single wad of gum stuck under the seats!

As you can see, six of the chairs became red, but wanted to create accent piece (or in this case, pieces). What better color to contrast with red than turquoise?

Even better, I created a piece to accompany it. A mid-century piece, this is all wood. The drawers have dove-tailed construction and great detailing typical of the fifties. I love the spiral details on either side and I was able to fit it with a great set of vintage hardware that I painted black. The Kid and I have refurb’d many dressers and desk drawers, so bringing this piece was no challenge. The drawers glide beautifully and silently on their tracks and fit within their frames nicely.

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This is one of those times when I wish my house was empty (and I didn’t love my replacement round dining room table)! This sideboard rivals even my newly built piece, although mine has a little bit nicer top.

DSCN1864So, finally, I can mark this one off the list. Now just to get it sold and be able to reclaim the space in my garage would be the icing on that cake!

julie

Finally, Work Has Begun on the Denim Rag Rug

I seem to be guilty of working on many projects at once, and because of it, they seem to get completed at the same time. When that happens, there seems to be a roller coaster effect on the blog… many posts in a row, then nothing for a bit, then more posts. I wish I was better at planning or managing my work, but it is what it is.

Right now, my focus is getting things done that will be a) in my way once I have my double knee surgery and b) those projects I won’t be able to do because of the recovery. So, the garage is once again full of multiple projects being sanded and readied for priming.

Let’s see… there is one dresser, one chest of drawers, that little vanity that is about to become a pair of nightstands, my entry way pew (I can’t wait!) and headboards and foot boards waiting to become a couple more benches.

I am also determined to finish a project that I started about a hundred years ago… a table sized regulation Scrabble table!

DSCN4206This is the table base. The top is almost done, its been painted and the striped… all it needs is the special squares marked (you know, “double letter score” etc) and a finishing edge to the table. I’ve made the Scrabble tiles and the holders and then just to put it all together. I can’t wait to actually play a game on it… its going to be awesome!

I’ve been working on a couple of other small projects in between the big ones. One is for The Kid and his recent love of vinyl. As in music records. Whenever we hit the second hand shops and thrift stores, there is always at least one or two worth buying. His 45 collection is growing quite nicely and he needed somewhere to keep them, rather than in a flat pile on the desk. So, I am building this:

DSCN4207Its been primed, and I am going to finish it with a coat or two of my favorite Deep Space black high gloss paint. I made this in a day using scrap lumber (the bottom is actually paint stir sticks!!).

Whenever I get overwhelmed with how much is going on in the garage or it is a bit too cold to work in the garage (note: buy kerosene for garage space heater), I escape to my sewing room. I’ve been purchasing and prep’ing old blue jeans in anticipation of making a denim rag rug. So, after removing waist bands, pockets, zippers and seams, I have a nice pile of denim. The next step is to cut it all into 3″ strips in preparation for braiding.

So, I spent many hours tucked safely in my warm sewing room watching streaming television. I am having a difficult time estimating just how much is going to be needed to make the rug I want… or how large of a rug I can get with what I’ve got. I guess I will see when I start braiding. Saved for recovery time!

And speaking of, I am also planning on hand quilting that quilt I found some time back.

2015-02-18 16.45.07I’ve replaced the torn patches and added a new border and have a great backing material. Then I went out a purchased a hand quilt frame in anticipation (along with the wool batting) for time to hand quilt it and have been mulling over what pattern but right now, I am leaning towards just ‘stitch in the ditch’ of each and every triangle. Maybe I am overestimating how much free time I might have?

julie

P.S. I’ve been thinking about redesigning the website, mostly because the design blocks reader comments. I’ve been wanting a OMCS logo for a while, to start attaching to photos mostly – as they are popping up all over the internet, many without redirection back here. I’d love to hear from y’all… suggestions?

Cozy Little Kennel and an End Table

So, while back I was on the lucky end of receiving some great old pieces of furniture. Most have already been turned into something new and great and most of them have been sold.00202_3khIVloCi1e_600x450Today’s project is the end table, second from the left in the photo above. I looked at this and immediately could see what I wanted to do with it. Took a while, I seem to get many projects planned in my mind and pieces piled high in the garage before I start working.

This particular project was worked hand in hand with a few others. Just because many of the projects I do require a little something and then waiting and then some more ‘little something’. It can be frustrating to just wait, so I often have several in the works at the same time.

photo 2You can see progress in this photo… way over to the right.

I took the bottom off and removed the lower section. It was only decorative anyway, so it had to go. I then built the two side and two end frames and then fitted with dowels. It all went together pretty quickly and fairly easy.

Before slipping the bottom back on, I opted to paint the whole thing in my trademark Deep Space black. The door actually swivels on one of the wooden dowels. This idea courtesy of The Kid. The way that the door fit into the frame didn’t lend itself to any of the metal hinges nor the latch and hook mechanisms for locking, so he also figured out a way to make a dowel lock. Very neat.

I then sat down one evening and just using scraps, sewed a little cover for a foam pad to fit inside. It has a velcro closure so that it can removed and thrown into the wash easily.

It did get a bit heavy, so I decided to place the thing on wheels. That way it can be moved from a bedroom to the living room or where ever it is needed. The cool thing is that the way the bottom is designed, you really cannot even see the wheels. Suh-weet!

So, here are a few photos of the completed project:

2015-11-14 13.05.39I just love the shine of this black!2015-11-14 13.05.54The door mechanism:2015-11-14 13.06.09Side view… the dowels are spaced about two and a half inches apart and I think it will work for a dog or puppy of about twenty to twenty five pounds.2015-11-14 13.05.30I’ve never used the crate method for any of the dogs that I have loved, but I know that others do and there are some dogs who love it. My last forever-puppy, Ashla, used to love to squeeze under the loveseat in my master bedroom when she was scared or needed to feel safe. It was hilarious, but I am sure it replicated a den-like feel for her. Otherwise she was always next to me, underfoot and cuddled with me in bed. Or with The Kid. 🙂

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julie

Dresser Conversion to Dress Up Cabinet

Tonight’s reveal was inspired by a friend’s little girl who loves to play dress up. Her mom indulges her with a more than abundant number of costumes, dresses and accessories. The mom’s main complaint? An easy way to store and organize all of them and still let the little one get to them easily.

I’ve seen this adaptation before. Simple enough. I recently picked up a decent little dresser that I thought would turn into just this handy play center.photo 13I know I had a better photo of the dresser, but after hours of searching my computers, I can’t seem to locate it/them. (Another project on the list: organizing and backup of all my photos!)

Anyway, it was a pretty quick transition – simply removed the top three drawers and their tracks. The dresser had a simple construction and side tracks, so once those were removed, it was just a matter of adding a ‘bottom’ just above the bottom drawer. The Kid is getting so good at understanding and following my absurd instructions lately, its kind of scary!

Once he had that in, it was just a matter of priming and painting. This one was painted all in the lightest of the pink shades – blush pink – so, no taping or switching of rollers or brushes. Once that was done, a standard closet rod was added (so many leftover from previous closet remodels) and then picked out a pretty drawer pull. And it was done!

2015-11-14 13.29.48As you can see, it matches the other pieces, this beautiful shade of pink is so subtle yet so feminine.2015-11-14 13.30.06The newer construction of the piece means a clean simple interior on easy gliding tracks.2015-11-14 13.30.16I love this hardware… especially combined with the back plate. Simple yet elegant!2015-11-14 13.30.32Small children-sized hangers included! 🙂

This piece sold almost as quickly as I had it listed. I had an idea that at this time of the year, it might be a popular gift. I may try and do more of these before Christmas.

julie

Helping My Son To Get Organized and Neat

Hi. I’ve been away for a while, been dealing with some health issues. Seems that after all I’ve managed to put my body through, I’ve finally worn out my knees. So, in two and a half months, I will be going into surgery and have both knees replaced within a seven day period. I am thinking that with luck and hard work, I can be through the physical therapy in three or four months and be back to some semblance of my old self in six months to a year. I am anxious to have the surgery and terrified at the same time. But that is a discussion for my other blog. 🙂

Although I have not been writing posts, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing creative style work. The journey and the work has been slow going as I’ve been pulled away attending to medical matters and it has been getting more and more difficult to do the physical portion of a lot of the work that I do. But I have quite a few projects that I have been able to finish (or are near to finishing) and I want to get them written. I have made a promise to myself to try and finish as many projects that I’ve already started before my surgery as well. Wish me luck!

As a consummate crafter, I am always stumbling onto materials that might be good for something someday.  Every so often I review my piles and make a concerted effort to use up or donate as much as I can before collecting more. Such as the case with this project. When I picked up a dresser back a while, I noticed another one in the corner of a garage literally falling to pieces. It wasn’t salvageable but it had the greatest drawer fronts. And intricate design carved into the three remaining drawer fronts caught my eye and the offer to dispose of the piece made it mine.

Recently, The Kid was away for a few days and of course, being a mom, I sneaked into his room to pick up dirty clothes and dishes. Wow, is this kid messy! I realized that some order and organization was needed. Everything seems to end up on the floor! Quite a bit of his stuff seems to end up on the stairs too and with the condition of my knees, I need to have them clear.

One of the things I noticed that he seems to acquire a lot of is hats! And when I started to think of ways to store them in a useful and decorative way, the drawer fronts came to mind. I pulled them out and gave them all several coats of his room’s signature black paint – Deep Space from Behr. I’ve taken to using high gloss finish and it just looks so bold and sharp.

Then, using paint pens, I traced the lines. Since originally this was intended to be in The Kid’s room and his (sort of) recent room update utilizes the black paint with a red accent, that is the same direction I took this. Then it was just a matter of adding hooks at the bottom from which the hats would hang.

2015-11-13 22.17.02Once I finished and showed The Kid, his reaction was to let me know that while he liked it, it wasn’t really the style of his room. His room is more industrial, with a lot of pipe and leather (if you’d like to check out the reveal of his makeover, you can see it here). This turned out to be a bit more traditional with the specific style of engraving. So, while I agreed it didn’t match his style, he still needed it to be a bit more organized, so we agreed to place it in the hall at the top of the stairway. That way, he could grab the hat of choice on his way down the stairs and hang the hat back up when coming back.

2015-11-13 22.33.43The other two drawer fronts received a similar treatment but different colors. I have another project in mind for those and when I complete it, I will share it here.

Stayed tuned for more completed projects!

julie

On Second Thought, the First Thought is Usually Right!

In my last post I showed you a neat little way to store your bits and baubles. At the very end, I mentioned that I considered adding elastic bands across the front of each shelf.

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Well, in tidying up before heading to bed last night, I barely tapped the edge of the cabinet and… well, you can see the result! I guess that “might” has turned into a “definitely” be adding it! Once is quite enough of picking up those bottles!

Saturday, I started work on painting the six chairs for the dining table. I had spray painted them white as a primer and had initially wanted to continue with spray painting with the final red color. But after spending the better part of an afternoon working through five cans of paint, I am less than enthusiastic about how it is turning out. For whatever reason, the coverage is not as good and in the process of trying to get good coverage, I am getting drips and too heavy coats. Not to mention that the overspray coated me such that it looked like I was sunburned and took a bit of scrubbing to get it all off. I had to wipe down areas on at least four of the six chairs, which then required re-priming. Sigh.

This set me back a bit. Which is why I decided to take the day off from working on it today. Just wanted to clear my head and rethink my next steps. Instead, I’ve been working on something fun and relaxing and watching old movies.

Hope y’all have had a great weekend too!

julie

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