The kit for the contest isn't here yet. I spent the weekend researching, planning, and writing lists. I showed my parents the initial sketch, then came home with notes for improvements.
With the exception of a rug, because I'm very happy with and loyal to my source for quality work in custom sizes, I'm waiting to buy anything online until after I come back from the miniature fair in St. Louis in April. When I made arrangements to go to the show I wasn't planning on being able to buy much, if anything, because I didn't expect there to be any 1/24 scale items, which is the scale I work in...but the kit for the contest is in regular 1/12 scale, so I'm going to make sure I take a lot of spending money. To me what makes a house stand out from the rest (and I'm not talking about the contest) is the quality and uniqueness of the accessories. I've seen pictures of many large, well made miniature mansions full of expensive store bought miniatures, and they're not as charming as houses filled with pieces hand made with care to create a certain feel to the house. Because I'm on a deadline to get the kit finished I'm not sure I'll have time to make as many things myself as I usually do, so will supplement with artisan made accessories...provided I can find reasonably priced pieces.
It's hard to put off my shopping, as there are also some building materials I need, but Minimum World gave me 10% off my next order as part of my prize for earning an honorable mention in their room box contest. I want to place one big order to maximize my discount, instead of placing several small, full priced orders.
I have started making a few things that I know I won't be able to buy...I can't sit still, and staring at an empty worktable was giving me the heebie-jeebies. No pictures for you of what I'm making, not until the contest is over.