Saturday, December 01, 2007

The MASSIVE Dollhouse Venture Part 1

~ The Humble Beginnings ~

Ok, So what do you do when your darling little 7th grade homeschooler tells you that she wants to start a dollhouse as a project?? Wellll....... we jumped, both feet, no noseplugs or ANYthing!
Tony, the Wood Genius, said ~ "If you make up a sketch, I'll see what I can do."
So of course she proceeded to come up with the most elaborate sketch she could......
SOO ~ here is what we have been up to for the last month or so ~ and yes, this is EXACTLY why I haven't blogged in a while ~ ( oh yeah, I have excuses up the YINYANG ~ do you ever notice that I ALWAYS have an excuse for my blogging bluh's? ;-D It''s all true, I doooo ~ however, I think you may agree, this has to be one of the funnest excuses yet~)

Following are some of the progression pics of the dollhouse ~ it has gained a life of it's own ~ very strange, and now the other kids all want their own dollhouses, too... ( oh, except Izzy, he wants a Grover CABIN, which, he will inform you, is SO NOT a dollhouse, sorta like action figures as opposed to dolls.... ;-D)

The Sketches become reality
(and don't look at the background and comment on my dirty tv room~ I was sick with pneumonia at the time, and don't need any scathing remarks :-P)

The Wood Genius decided to make it out of Masonite, and join it with tabs & yellow wood glue because it's so huge, and he was trying to cut down on the overall weight. To do it again, however, we might just have dealt with the weight. Masonite takes a TON of paint, and makes it difficult to screw lights in the ceiling as well as nail anything. (Read into that, Jess's dollhouse won't be as big, OR out of Masonite ;-D)

The masonite DOES however make for very clean joinery, and after spackling the tabbed joints, and painting, they simply dissappear.
Some of the painting process ~ Kat chose all of the paint colors (despite my careful guidance ~ but, it's her dollhouse ~ though I suspect when she grows up, she will one day decide to just gut it and revamp ;-D..... I hope... :-D)
Laying the Flooring
This is what you do when you are sick with pneumonia and get cyanotic just walking around. To pass the time, I hand-layed every single board in that darn dollhouse ~ except for one room, which Kat did,.... oddly enough, she decided to concentrate on other aspects of decorating after that.... hmmmmm...
This pic is of cutting the board to fit. Tony made us a little miter box, which we used to excess, absolutely a necessity.

Another handy tool ~ the awl. I used this to make little holes in all the ends of the floorboards to simulate nailholes. Then I dipped the ends into stain to darken the holes. Naturally, I had already stained each of the boards., but dipping the ends in just seemed to make the edges and the holes stand out a little more. Also, what can I say, there I was, stuck for 4 weeks in the house, dying of pneumonia, so, what else did I have to do?

Another necessity ~ one of those little monoject syringes, filled with yellow wood glue. You can get a very thin bead of glue down with it, very cleanly. Too much glue will cause the floorboards to bow up, since they are thin pieces and the glue is water based. However, with a thin bead of glue, it works very nicely, plus you have a small window of positioning time, which can come in very handy.
This pic also shows me starting to lay a room at the back, however, I should say this : I first layed out the boards to figure out how many it would take, measured the amount left over of the final board, and then started with those in the back, so that the actual final boards in the front are full-sized and don't show the fitting. I did that for all but the first floor. In fact, for the first floor, I didn't even realize you aren't supposed to make a "pattern" with the wood, but rather lay it out randomly, with the joints at random lengths. However, I was NOT going to dig up that entire floor, and besides which, (after Tony the Wood Genius mentioned the whole random thingy in the first place ~ dang it, he's always right!!), as Tony said, it will give the house ~Character~ :-D.
Part 2