Wednesday, November 30, 2011

say hello to my peeps

These are the Jones's. Yep. Try to keep up. They just bought an old firehouse, and are turning it into their dream home. Well, Callista is anyways, with the help of a big-shot contractor. She's a stay-at-home-mom with discerning taste, and her devoted and devastatingly handsome husband, Trent works in the city. The kids, Piper and Evelyn are stoked about riding the fire pole down to breakfast. They don't even care about having to share a room. And they never fight or make a mess. Apparently they got the memo that children should be seen and not heard. What a happy family.
Anyways. These guys were my black Friday splurge at 30% off. It's a Melissa and Doug set called "Victorian Family". They're adorable, but they strike me more as "yuppie" rather than Victorian. At any rate, they're perfect. Renovations should be mostly complete by December 15th (God-willing) for them to move in. I'm done making up stories now.

Monday, November 28, 2011

i love lamp - long weekend, long update

There are so many light fixtures happening in my dollhouse. Most of them will actually light up. And I made them. To date, I have about 8-10 fixtures in various stages of completion. I love making lights so much that I've decided to ban myself from making any more until I actually wire the dollhouse for electricity, ya dig? (you can see most of the fixtures in the pics below). I made a priority list, and I'm sticking to it. Sort of. Here it is:
-sand off all old wallpaper
-prime all walls, inside and out
-stain the hardwood floors
-paint and install trim/windows/fire pole
-wall paper/paint
-build more furniture
-make more lights
-decorate and accessorize
I hate that all the fun stuff is at the bottom of the list.

Since I started drafting this post, I've completed a ton of projects. I'm really making good progress on tedious, no-fun, necessary tasks. I'll be glad to put all that behind me. Since I've finished so much stuff, I'll try to keep it brief and mostly pictures.

 I tied up a lot of loose ends...

Electricity is in, and it was incredibly easy. Serious. I  had absolutely no problems.

 Hardwood floors have been stained. I remember years ago having problems getting the stain to take to popsicle sticks. This is only one coat of stain. No sweat.

Cork floors have been cut and installed. They could have come out better. But they're not terrible. I don't know if anyone will really notice the flaws too much, since there'll be so much more interesting stuff going on in there. See?...


I"m almost done making that chair, and I'll probably make one more. Kind of like a retro dinette chair. Real leather. I made that pedestal table out of this stuff:
That's a giant souvenir penny (3"ish diameter), a jar lid a hose nozzle, a knurled nut, black spray enamel,  and an aluminum tube. And hot glue in copious quantities, but you can't see any of it. It came out pretty cool.

I finally made the mounting flange for the range hood.

These lamps came out great. The shades are really shiny. I kind of wish they weren't so shiny. They plug into outlets behind the headboard.

Since you can't really see them in those pics, here's another:

The industrial cart coffee table is coming along. I decided not too paint all the metal components black. It almost looks a little campaign style, a little steampunk. I like it.
The arc lamp is so badass. I've outdone myself.
I'm not sure about the wallpaper option. Maybe.
I still have to put legs on the sofa. Procrastinating.

 Converted the old electric range to a deluxe seven burner gourmet gas range. Obviously.

Way shitty picture. I threw a few things together to make this little guy. His name's Eduardo.

The dishwasher is complete. Except for the knobs, which I'll add after I decide what color to paint the cabinets. It has a leather hinge and a magnet closure.

I made this stainless steel farmhouse sink. I love it. I now have to design and execute the cabinetry to hold it. I ordered the rest of my granite countertops today. Tomorrow I'll order the double oven setup I've been salivating over.

The copper pot rack is finally done. The only thing I'm changing here is the chain. That stuff is whatever I had laying around. I picked up a gunmetal cable chain, and I've already replaced it.
I've primed the trim I'll be putting in this week. I had the windows cut, and I'll install those this week as well. The nursery is getting a beadboard treatment. So adorable.

Ah, my "black friday" purchase. This idyllic little yuppie family by Melissa & Doug. I've had my eye on it for 3 weeks. At 30% off. Shwing!

Grabbed some mini clutter accessories at the bead store.

That's all I can think of right now. There's definitely more. What a great long weekend, I really feel like I made a dent in the to-do list.

And. I'm. Spent.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

mini mirrored nightstands

Here you go, Christina! I'm pretty happy with how these came out. They're almost done. They're made of 1/8" and 1/16" basswood panels/stripwood, eight 1" square craft mirrors, a couple different adhesives, and paint. They measure about 3" tall, 2 3/4" wide, and 1 1/8" deep. All that's left is to paper the insides, and add pulls to the doors. I wish the paint was a little golder. I mixed the color myself, so I guess I can't blame the dog. I just added the feet tonight. I couldn't decide between faceted glass beads or tapered wood feet. Ultimately I went with the taper because everything else in that room is pretty busy. Of course I picked the harder option. Sucker for punishment. I'll probably do crystal knobs for the doors. Since I hinged them (invisibly) to open and close. Here's the abbreviated photo montage. Que music... Eye of the Tiger, by Survivor. Obviously). Also, sorry about the layout of the pics. I'm blog-challenged (read: inept).

Adding the final hinge-pin. It was a happy moment.

I'm not sure I love them with the bed, but I'm trying to reserve judgement until I wallpaper and get the floors refinished. And make bedding.

I bought a pair of these amazing brass beads. They're going to be lamps. I'm totally pumped.

Yup. Those mirrors fit snugly inside the frame. No glue necessary. Shelves are removable. I'll be papering the inside back panel and doors to make it look cleaner.


I did not appreciate having to clean my fingerprints off the mirrors with a windex-soaked q-tip. Almost as tedious as mitering all that basswood. Those little squares on each mirror measure 1/2" across. There's 8 of them. Which means 32 tiny 1/2" mitered sticks. Plus the 32 1/4"-long trim pieces that hold it in the frame. Won't do that again. Unless someone pays me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

state-of-the-dollhouse address

Ok. So there's only about a month left in the I'm a Giant Challenge. Which means that I'm probably going to suffer a stroke sometime in the next few weeks. It seems like I've started every project, but have completed very few. I'm a girl who appreciates multitasking, but this is absurd. I was hoping to post about each project as I finished it with a slew of pictures showing the process. Got a few draft posts waiting for 'after' pics that never seem to happen. I'm beyond excited about this stuff, but people at work are starting to give me these knowing "you're pathetic, stop giving me daily updates" looks.

I've decided I'm going to show you the majority of my current projects, no matter where I am in the process. I'm hoping to make serious headway this weekend. I'll still do the play-by-play/tutorial posts as pieces are finished for anybody who looks at them. Bueller? Bueller?

I still haven't finished the dishwasher. Or the fridge. And then there's all this:

Exhibit A... The sofa

At this time, the sofa is nearly complete. As it turns out, the living room set I was planning to re-upholster is too small for scale and looked ridiculous in the same house as the bed I made. So I improvised with some free foam I scored. The wood panels for the backside and undercarriage have been cut, sanded, and painted. Just waiting for glue, legs and throw pillows. It came out way better than I had anticipated. I'm hoping my knight-in-shining-armor can give me a hand bending those bars into legs.

Exhibit B... The coffee table to my houndstooth sofa
Check out my new wheels.

I've made the table top. I'm waiting for delivery of those antique toy wheels from Latvia. Yep. Latvia. It's going to be one of those antique industrial cart tables when it's done. I'm sorry I can't get the pics arranged nicely, but know that I'm getting super-pissed trying. There, at least you can see them, moving on.

Exhibit C... I am a rock, I am an island

Shwing!! Those are real granite countertops. How, you ask?! I know a guy. He even bull-nosed them without me asking. He's awesome. All that's left here is to finish converting the range from electric to gas. Of course.

Exhibit D... The swing chair

I'm designing the 'kids room' to be what I would have wanted if I could go back to being 10, knowing what I know now. Who wouldn't want a swing in their reading nook?! I found a nursery/playroom ideas book from 1980something. And they had a swing chair. I used their design for inspiration, but definitely put my spin on it. Also there's going to be a tree-house inspired loft over the bed, probably a slide too. Dream room, for sure.

Exhibit E... Pendant lights

I found these amazing brass bead caps last night. I decided it would be prudent to buy three. There'll be one over the sink, and two over the island (one on either side of the range hood). I was going to make the pendant lights entirely from scratch, but you can see that I'm already up to my eyeballs in projects. These may have saved my life. I'll adapt the design I had in mind for the pendants into a killer geometric brass shade for...

Exhibit F... Arc lamp. And/or tripod lamp

I've started the arc lamp, and have a basic design for the tripod lamp. The base for the arc will be the wheel in the picture above, and the shade will be a brass geometric polyhedron-ish shape. That might be a toughie, but so far I haven't met a dollhouse project that I couldn't handle. Graph paper is my friend. The tripod shade will probably be a simple drum. Cakewalk. The legs will be made of some old EKG calipers (pictured) and something else that will hide the wiring. I hope.

Exhibit G... Walls

If there's any project that is taking years off my life, it's undoing something I did when I was an ignorant teen.
Nope, not what you're thinking.
It's the fact that I put up scrapbook paper on bare plywood walls using wood glue. What kind of asshole does that?! This one...

Aaaanyways, I watch too much Holmes on Homes. And I need to do this right. So instead of wiring/papering/painting over the old crap, I'm sanding it off to the best of my ability, priming, and using an appropriate adhesive to reapply paper. I can't do any decorating until I'm sanded and primed. Shit.

Exhibit H... Cork floors

I have a pattern cut, and the inlay mapped out. I've had the rolls of cork flattening under old textbooks for about a week now, so anytime I want to get around to finishing the walls, I could start corking floors.

Exhibit I... Kitchen table

I love this brass hose nozzle for the base of a pedestal table. I think the top will be made from a couple of old jar lids (pictured), and a souvenir from Washington DC. I can't put it all together until I come up with a color palette for the kitchen. It's going to go with the...

Exhibit J... Banquette

I built this to maximize space in the eat-in kitchen in lieu of a traditional table. I'll bet nobody else has a custom dollhouse banquette. I almost feel special. I just need to work out seat upholstery and a color to paint it. I've primed it and applied batting to the seat in anticipation. 

Exhibit K... Everything else

I have plans to install a fire pole (post about that coming soon).
Cutting large window, almost floor to ceiling in one room.
I still have to electrify the thing, at least I already bought most of the supplies for that.
I have to build all of the furniture for the nursery.
I have quite a few chairs to make/upholster for the living room and study.
I will be making mirrored side tables, an accent chair, and a bench for the master bedroom.
I have to work out plans for all artwork/wall hangings. That will be last.

There's more, but I'm betting you're bored with all of this. All of that being said, I think that doing anything to the exterior short of painting it one color, is absolutely out of the question. Period. Regardless.
If you've continued reading this far, thank you. You deserve cash and prizes.