Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No progress on the house today

I was shelving books in the library last night and someone had donated a Barbara Taylor Bradford book I hadn't read so spent most of the day reading.

Tonight several of us met at Tina's and I got seven of the St. Albert books done for the Arizona trip.

Joanne and I were talking when we got home and I mentioned that I was going to have to change the light on the nightstand in the Bombay bedroom because the one with the red shade doesn't give a proper light to read by...

She was still laughing her head off when I added that I had put in the partial wall so if someone turned on the stairwell light it wouldn't shine in my eyes if I were in bed.

Hopefully I'll get the bathroom finished tomorrow.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bathroom/Laundry Room

The laundry room hasn't changed any in the last couple months - except for repainting the vacuum cleaner which isn't shown in this picture.

The stacking washer/dryer was made from instructions by Barbara Guyette in Nutshell News, May 1989. The laundry basket and vacuum cleaner were Dollarama purchases that I repainted with nail polish. The information on the shelving and its contents can be seen at http://stalbertmini.blogspot.com/2011/11/laundry-room.html

The glass brick wall separating the laundry room from the bathroom was made from a section of a fluorescent light shield that I saved from my working days.

I cut it to size then glued a sheet of clear plastic to one side; let that dry (really, really well); then glued a sheet of clear plastic to the other side. The glue attaching the first sheet of plastic has to completely dry before you even think about attaching the second side because once you attach the second side, air isn't going to get in there and allow the glue to dry.

BTW there are 'glass brick walls' that you can purchase (and I even have some) but I like to do a lot of this from scratch - or at least from kits.


Don't think I've mentioned these before...

Miniature Collector magazine, published by Scott Publications, carries a regular feature called "Kids' Corner" which is a one page tutorial for dollhouse accessories. These are not only for kids but many are wonderful for adults. Even if you don't use the ideas as written, sometimes they give you starting points for your own ideas. Over 60 of these tutorials are online so you might want to check them out.

Also on their website are searchable indexes of the magazine from 1993 - 2010.

If you have a collection of miniature magazines and can't remember what issue a particular tutorial was in, you might want to try the project database on the N.A.M.E. website. It covers projects published in 8 American publications (American Miniaturist, Dollhouse Miniatures, Kimberly Corner*, Little Enough News*, Miniature Collector, Miniature Showcase*, NAME Miniature Gazette, Nutshell News* - publications marked with an asterisk are no longer being published.) One thing I will mention is that if you're searching for Christmas items, search Xmas.

http://miniatures.about.com/ is also a good source for tutorials. And you can also sign up for Leslie's weekly newsletter to keep up to date on what's available.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Top of the stairs

Since I started the day with the books for the built-in bookshelves in this area, I'll end the day with it also.

Leanne and Rob have fallen in love with the work of photographer Peter Lik. And I really like it too. (And Leanne says it's way better in person!) So I decided to use one here. I also made a laptop computer from Jim Collins.

TIP: I glued a nickel inside the laptop before it was assembled so it has some weight to it and stays in place. The TV (which goes in the alcove on the bedroom side of the wall) was made by bashing the TV on Jim's site.

The TV was too deep (even without the box on the back) so I pasted the printie into a document and made it wider and shorter (by dragging the corners of the printie), left off the box, then rearranged the folds so it's only 1/4" deep.

Here's the desk with accessories. The camera is by Judy Mitchell of Wee Dreams and Cobwebs.

The desk in place:

and with a chair. I bought a desk and chair from Grandpa's Dollhouse as part of the Daily Deals sale and I'll replace this chair with that chair when it arrives.

Still don't know what else will go here.

J. D. Robb books

I went to the J. D. Robb website and found pictures of all the covers of her books which I copied into a Word document. I then resized them to .4 x .6 then copied them into every third cell of a table that I had set up in 30 columns - 10 sets of 3 - back covers, spines and front covers. The spines have the titles running down then were filled with a colour I tried to match (more or less) with the front cover. I think I know why I ended up with the extra space below the covers but it worked to my advantage as some of the covers were slightly longer than others.

Here I had printed two rows of books on 65 lb. cardstock. I scored on both sides of the spines then cut out all the covers using a straight edge and scalpel.

The book covers were folded into shape.

Two strips of matboard were cut to the width of the book covers

then glued together and clamped.

The book covers were then glued along the matboard strip.

Once the glue had dried completely, I cut the books apart with my mitre cutter.

Here are 20 books - just over half of the series.

And here the books are in place in the bookshelf that I built into the wall.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Friend Barb and I went to the Westmount Dollarama on Monday. She spotted some keepsake boxes that would make great vignette settings and a couple pieces of the red wooden furniture. Hopefully we'll get started on one of her scenes in the next week or so.

They were out of the red wooden tables that I like so much but I did find three tiles with a concrete look (3 for $1.25) that I'll use 'someday'. And I found one more of the hair bands that I used to make the tub surround for the Bombay house bathroom so picked it up - just in case.

One thing I saw (and am kicking myself for not buying) was a set of three outfits for a Bratz type doll for $2.00. There was a set of blue jeans and a crop top that would have been great in a teenage girl's room. Can't recall just what the other pieces were.

Then Joanne and I went to our local Dollarama yesterday. I broke down and bought two of the boxes that Barb spotted at Westmount on Monday.

Inside measurements of the box: 7 1/4" x 9 1/2" x 4" deep

Also picked up this wire. No idea what I'll use it for but the green and blue are such gorgeous vivid colours I couldn't resist.

Also picked up two packages of white air dry clay. (It also comes in several bright colours.) Didn't see it at Westmount.

Joanne and I also went to Chapters where I picked up two of the J. D. Robb books that I hadn't read yet. And that's where most of last night and this morning went!

I've put furniture in the Bombay house but not ready to show it yet. When I put the furniture and appliances in the kitchen, it seemed that there wasn't much room to move around in there so I've been playing in my head with possible ways to rearrange it. Will try some arrangements tomorrow.

And I'm thinking about making a set of the J.D. Robb books in miniature (covers only) to put in the built-in bookcase.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The bedroom floor is in....

I used a paper template to cut the angle of the carpet.
I used my framing square and a rotary cutter to cut the carpet. The weight of the square plus a couple pieces of carpet tape on the back of it really work well when cutting straight lines.
 Here the strips of carpet tape are in place on the floor template. I'll start  installing the carpet from the angle and remove the protective tape as I go.
Here I've removed the protective tape from  the first third of the floor in preparation for laying the carpet starting with the angled portion.
Ready to remove the final strip of protective paper and drop the final piece of carpet in tape.
 The carpet is installed. You can see that I've cut the carpet slightly larger than  the template - just in case! VBG
I've turned the template over to make the trim cuts.
 The bedroom floor is now in place...
 With the lights on...

The doors still have to be framed on one side. I have crown molding for the other three rooms but I'm in no rush to install it. Should also install baseboards. And all the windows need to be framed and curtains installed.

But for now I'm going to put in the furniture and enjoy it.


I bit the bullet and got the piece of crown molding in! It's no work of art but it's in!

You'll remember that the one side was 1/16" too long and had to be trimmed back. The easiest thing would have been to turn the dollhouse upside down to allow better access but I didn't want to take a chance on doing that because of the bathtub and the fireplace.

So I decided that turning the dollhouse on its back would at least help with access to that piece of molding. BUT even that presented a potential problem as all the wiring and plugs were on the back of the house. So I taped some boxes to free areas of the back so the plugs would be above the table when I put the house on its back.

Rather than remove the front of the house, I used a mop handle to hold it in place while I worked on  the molding.

After much fiddling, the piece of crown molding is finally in! Needs a paint touch-up but it's in.

Now to carpet the floor template and install the final floor. Then I can load the furniture back in and start the final decorating.


You do realize, of course, that this sudden preoccupation with the books is simply a way of putting off dealing with the crown molding in the bedroom. (You know it's simply procrastination when the books don't have to be finished for six weeks and even housework looks like a good alternative to actually tackling the project at hand. LOL)

That said, I did complete one book last night and got all the pieces cut out for ten more.

It's been a long time since I made any books from scratch and I did enjoy the process.

BTW since I didn't think to put a ruler in the picture, the finished book is 5/8" x 9/16". While I meant it to be 1:12 scale, it would work as a coffee table book in 1:24.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yes!!! Flight booked!

We booked our flights this morning for six days in Phoenix and Tucson. I am SO looking forward to seeing the Tucson Museum and attending the Phoenix Show and Sale on March 10 and 11.

I decided to make some miniature books about St. Albert as gifts. I got the pages and front cover ready to go today before coffee. Just have to design  the spines and start making the books.

Sheet of pages:

One set of pages cut and folded:

Glued and ready to have covers and spine added:

I took a sheet of the book pages to coffee this afternoon and had a few requests from non-miniaturists for copies when they're done.

Should have one ready to show you tomorrow.

Monday, January 23, 2012

One problem solved

The flooring problem is solved. Because the door was so close to the front of the house, I was able to use the saw from my mitre box to undercut the door sill so the template would fit under it.

That solved the problem BUT because I had previously cut the flooring to fit around the door sill, when it was put in place there was not a gap between the edge of the door sill and the edge of the flooring.

I used the hot iron to remove the strips in that area. I was able to shift the pieces that were removed up so they could be reused and I only needed to cut one new piece to fill the area.

Sorry this picture is so poor. It was really over-exposed and by the time I realized that, I had already cut the angle at the end of the new strip. The trick to cutting the angle easily is to iron in the strip to within about 1/2" from where the angle needs to be cut. Once the glue has set, the excess wood can be cut to the angle - and after the cut has been made that end of the strip of wood can be ironed down.

Unfortunately the new strip is just a tad lighter than the previous wood but I think once it's been sanded and finished it will blend in okay.

I told you earlier that I would explain why I installed that side of the floor at an angle. The front of the doll house on that side of the house covers two thirds of the front of the house and half of that has an alcove in the section above the first floor entrance door.
The alcove will also have wood flooring which will go to the edge of the angled piece.

I wanted more area in the bedroom section than the office/sitting room area and angling the floor helped achieve that.

Now to tackle that piece of crown molding.

Then finish the hardwood and lay the bedroom carpet and install the floor.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Looking good

I just sat for a while this morning and looked at my lit dollhouse:

I've run into two major problems.

The crown molding on the right side of the half wall juts out about 1/16" past the wall. It looked just fine when I dry-fitted it but of course now it's in place with wood glue. I'm just hoping I can trim it down enough to make it work properly. Would be so much easier to do if I could just turn the house upside down but that's not really an option with the bathtub in place in the bathroom. So wish  me luck with that one.

The other thing I saw coming last night. With that partial stairwell wall in place, the floor template can't be shifted to the right to pull it out. The easiest solution, and I really hope it works, will be to trim the doorsill from underneath so the template will just slide under it. If that doesn't work, I'll have to remove the partial wall (which, of course, is solidly glued in place) and reattach it with poster velcro so it can be removed if I need to pull the floor out.

Didn't sleep too well last night so after my company leaves this morning, I'm going to curl  up with a (hopefully) good book and worry about these things tomorrow. VBG

I still have nine days to meet my (self-imposed) deadline of finishing the house by the end of January so think I'm okay on that.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Didn't accomplish all I had hoped to.

Just one more tiny piece of crown molding to put up but I'm so tired that I can't think straight to cut the two mitres needed.

I did get the wood portion of the floor done. I'll explain why it's angled later - and tell you how I accomplished the angle. You can see by the two small scraps on the side that I was cutting things pretty fine supply wise.

It still has to be sanded and finished before I can lay the carpet on the bedroom side so I'm calling it a night.

Crown molding in the bedroom

Well, the push is on to get the bedroom finished so I can get the house off the dining room table tonight as I have family (Mom, 2 sisters and 2 BILs) expected for brunch tomorrow morning.

The crown molding is up on the right hand side. This piece is attached only to the ceiling so the wallpapered wall (on matboard) can be slipped out and reversed. You can see here that I slipped a folded piece of waxpaper over the top so no stray glue would get on the wall.

Here the wall has been reversed to show the black and white wallpaper.

The half wall of the stairwell was cut from 1/2" foamcore and the top and front raw edges covered with matboard. Here it's glued and clamped to the floor template.

The left hand crown molding is glued in place.

The floor template is in place.

Here comes the tricky part - crown molding across the back and around the half wall. BUT the half wall will only be glued to the ceiling - not the floor as I want to be able to remove the floor if I have to get at the wiring.