Sunday, December 02, 2007

The MASSIVE Dollhouse Venture Part 3


All right, I'll bet by now you are wondering just what this dollhouse looks like all put together, since up till now I have merely shown bits and pieces of it.

Here we have from the front, with no molding, no window trimming, no nothing on the ouside yet except a bit of trim around the roof line. This is because it's so VERY much funner to do all that itty bitty stuff on the inside. However, I was reading this book on miniatures by a Marion Mave O'Brien (sp?) and she SPECIFICALLY cautioned about getting too caught up in the insides before you finish the outsides. Boy is she right.

This picture shows the full extension drawer guide that Tony the Wood Genius used to support the front half of the dollhouse when opened. This makes it possible to have 2 kids playing and arranging without knocking elbows.

This is my cheesy mitered trim, Wood Genius was annoyed that I did not fit it better, over that brass piano hinge. I carved it to fit, but, of course, you don't see the words "Wood Genius" in front of MY name. ;-P
Trim still needs to be spackled, painted, etc.

This is my free-handed cheesy answer to Wood Genius being too busy to make a chimney box. Some Day I will add a real box on there, even if it only sticks out 1/4", and paint the stones on again. As it is, I mixed fine sand with the paint to make it a ~stone~ texture. It does feel correct, even if th e chimney sorta swaaaayyyys.

And here it is, open. You can see Kat papered the kitchen in contact paper trim. A little large in design, but oh well. Kat did it herself, and she did a darn good job of it. We found some FANTASTIC websites for wallpaper ~ ~
She has tons of other fun miniature printies there as well.
We will show more pics of the dollhouse after we get some of those prints put up. I think that papering does sucha fine job of scaling a room. Just paint really doesn't seem to translate scale very well.
We also don't have any base or ceiling trim moldings up yet, which will help too.

Here is a shot before we hinged the front to the back and finished the flooring ~ you can see how those little miniatures just seem to gravitate towards the house, regardless of progress on the whole.

Here we have 2 different bathroom versions. I kind of think the teeny tiny terracotta room is just right for a bathroom. (All right, all right, I have to admit it, I was the one that set this & the other bathroom pic up ~ they were just so CUTE, it was hard to resist. But I really HAVE to get that outer trim and inside moldings & papering done.....)

This is the Luxurious Large bathroom ~ too much room, I think ~ I might have to talk Kat into putting the laundry room in here, instead. Laundry rooms can have swirly tile, right? ;-D

Uh oh ~ here you can REALLY see that snasty pattern faux pas in the flooring ~ but I DON'T CARE ~ I am so NOT digging that floor up ... it adds character, ..... it adds character... it adds character.....
Next Dollhouse Venture post will show papered walls and (I hope!!) trim moldings.


The MASSIVE Dollhouse Venture Part 2


All right, I was unable to load any more pics into part one, so this will show some of the finished floors.

This is one convenient way to keep down a deviant floorboard till the glue takes. And the glue takes within 5 or 6 minutes, so it's no big deal. Also, this pic shows the wider 1" strips of alder that the Wood Genius made. (AFTER I had done most of the house in popsicle sticks... argh!) Have to admit it, they look good.

This pic shows some of the flooring made with 1/2" or less popsicle sticks, which was my idea. I used these because Wood Genius was busy working, and I HAD to get started, and popsicle sticks are already cut & pretty much smooth. We did have to troll for bent out of whack sticks, however, so if you are going to make a floor out of popsicle sticks, I reccomend getting the box with 1000 in it, that way you can be picky and get straighter pieces.

Here you can see my pattern faux pas ~ made it almost the whole way through the kitchen before Wood Genius came and commented ~ what would I do without him?!

Here is the floor I made for the laundry room ( or bathroom, Kat changes her mind daily). It is made to resemble a terracotta tile floor. I used air-dry clay ( by Crayola, not sure if there are other brands) and foodcoloring to get the right color. Then I mushed it in till it was REALLY workable, and colored evenly. Next, I laid down some wax paper, and put the clay between layers of wax paper, and rolled it uniformly flat, trimming it to fit the paper room template. Then I used a plastic ruler with a fine edge to mark and score the clay.
I had to dip the ruler EVERY time I scored it, otherwise it would grip the clay and bring it up. Also, something I didn't realize, and then had to fix ~ air-dry clay shrinks a little, so you have to actually make your floor a little bigger than the room template, I would say by at least 1/4". Also, if you want to make little designs in your floor, find a rubber stamp with a basic small design, dip it in water, and stamp away. Just remember to dip every time.
This next thing is really pretty important ~ DON'T let the clay dry all the way ~ otherwise it gets VERY brittle and shrinks more! SO, you have to lay the floor when the clay is still slightly pushable, but not moldable. (Half-dried?) I used the yellow wood glue again, to glue it down, and then covered it with several coats of Kelthane II. Now, you might think that it would be a problem to put Kethane over the top of half-dry clay, but it wasn't, it worked beautifully.

The wax paper smooshing over the clay when it was rolled makes a good tile look. The Kelthane is a perfect floor protectant too. It makes it so that the clay is no longer brittle, and gives it a real clay tile look. I also used Kelthane II on all of the wood flooring, it gives great shine & protection.

And here we have the sideways pic! ( sorry about that ~ lazy blogging, I know!) This is the bathroom floor. Wood Genius simply took a 12" x 12" sheet of regular vinyl tile flooring, and cut it into 1" squares on the table saw. Then I simply arranged it on the floor, peeled off the backing, and VOILA! ~ bathroom floor in moments. (Well, compared to that wood flooring, anyway ~ ;-D) One thing about the vinyl, just start your tiles out in one corner and staircase them, so that you always have a V to fit the next one into, that way, your tiles stay very true.
I also put a wood strip in front of the tiling, so that it would protect it better, ( yes, I later painted it gray, looked better! :-D) as well as a coat of kelthane.

Here are the stairs on the 2nd floor, see the mousy I painted in? And the cobweb? And the mousy hole Kat painted in? And just in case you think I have taken over the project... well... you are only half-right ~ Kat did a WHOLE lot of this as well, and she painted a TON. She also put both of the stairs together, and laid the blue room carpet. See, I didn't do it ALL! ;-D

Do you notice in the pics how the little things keep managing to move in before the work is actually done? Kat told her Alaska Grandma what she was up to, and she immediately sent Kat a bunch of really cute doll furniture and accessories from when Wood Genius was a kid, and well, it's been hard to keep the stuff out of of there ever since :-D (Gee, almost like it was MEANT to be in there ~ these doll houses do tend to take on a life of their own, it's strange, really.)

Here is one of the rooms to be carpeted. I used a low nap upholstry fabric, and double-sided sticky tape ( the good stuff from the Wood Genius' shop, of course :-D) I haven't put the protective strip of wood on the carpeted rooms yet, but they will get one long strip, painted the color of the carpet. That way, it will look finished, plus protect the edges of the carpeting, and maybe even help stuff stay in the room? (Kat's paint job for the nursery ~ see? If I had REALLY taken over, I would have repainted that ~ ;-D)
Part 3