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February 2011
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April 2011

10 posts from March 2011

I can't sit still

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.


Look at my worktable, it hasn't been this clean since I installed it a couple of years ago when I remodeled my studio (note that I still haven't found the right fabric for curtains). 


It's oddly unsettling to look's uncomfortable in here...I think I'll go visit my parents today. 

I hope my new project arrives Monday.

I've lost my mind

I got an email yesterday announcing Greenleaf's 2011 Spring Fling Contest.  Ten seconds after I clicked the link I saw the kit completed in my head.  

I bought it...the base unit, both side extensions, one dormer, one cupola and the stairs...despite not having room to display the finished project. 

With any luck I'll meet the July 4th deadline.  Wish me luck.


playing in the kitchen

Here's a shot of the canisters  you couldn't see yesterday...just the two little ones were there, they seem too small to be the right scale, don't they?  I think if I add either the striped bead or the white canister behind them to make a trio that they'll then look okay.  What do you think?

Notice the addition of the turkey to the top of the cabinets, Susan...I can't find any roosters to paint copper...yet.


I was reaching in to get the refrigerator to put a hole through the handle to slide a towel through when it dawned on me that the obvious (and easier!) solution was to drape a towel and dishrag over the side of the sink instead.  Now the kitchen looks more lived in, and I didn't have to break the frig handle then figure out how to fix it.

I added a tablecloth, bowl of pears, a newspaper and the beginnings of salt and pepper shakers to the table...and put a rug underneath.  The tablecloth needs another spraying of hairspray to hold the edge down and the pleats in before I remove the pins.  I just noticed, looking at the picture, that I need to shorten the rug a bit too, it's too long.

Does anyone have any more suggestions?  I appreciate the input.


I've been puttering around in the kitchen the last couple of weeks...ten minutes here, half an hour there, whenever I could find time.  It's not going well, finishing the kitchen is harder than I thought it would be.

I'm going to splurge on some kits to make houseplants to go on top of the upper cabinets, the houseplants I've been making from plastic aquarium plants don't please me...I'll replace those throughout the house with paper ones.

I'm indecisive about whether I need more stuff on the long back counter.  I think now that if I add more to the corner by the stove it should be okay, as the two canisters I've got there seem too small to be in scale with the rest of the accessories.  Wait...the two canisters you can't even see...sorry, I'll take better pictures tomorrow when the batteries in my big camera have recharged. 

The only other thing I haven't done yet that I know for sure I will is to make a tablecloth.  If anyone has ideas for finishing the room please post a comment, I can use the help.

another trip

I have to go to St. Louis in April for a company meeting.  Usually when I'm paid to travel I'll pad the trip by a couple of days...I have to pay for the hotel room and meals for the extra days, but since I don't incur the cost of getting there it's worth it.

I googled for museums, zoos, public gardens, etc in St. Louis, clicked on the site for a miniature museum, then found that there is going to be a miniatures fair the weekend before my meeting.  How cool is that?

the bathroom





When I put in the shelves a couple of weeks ago I knew the smart thing to do would be to fill them first, but because the bathroom floor is wonky and I had to cut the right foot off the shelving unit and glue it in crooked in order to make it straight, I didn't.  I should have tried.  Everything on the shelves had to be meticulously placed with a pair of long tweezers...which means everything was dropped a half dozen times before it reached the shelves then was placed cock-eyed and had to be teased into place.  It took forever.

I spent a lot of time on the pipes that lead from the tank to the toilet.  There are two:  one goes from the tank to the toilet and the other goes from the tank, through the back of the toilet, to the floor, with a small o-ring at the bottom.  They are brass, but because they faded into the yellow wallpaper I had to pull them back out after I was done to paint them pewter...I placed a third brass pipe (unpainted) between them as a spacer, because when they sat next to each other it wasn't noticeable there were two instead of one.  Now that the alterations are done and they're back in place I realize that they can hardly be seen...I can't tell there are two, and I can't tell only one goes to the floor.  What a lot of fussing around for nothing.

When I bought bottles and labels to make the bar I lucked into stock for the dollhouse.  I had quite a few smaller bottles left over that are suitable for half scale, and the labels came in a packet that had two sheets of perfume and other small bottle labels that are small enough for half scale.  I used some of the bottles in the bathroom, made even smaller ones out of beads, and added labels to them all.  I think the labels really make a difference.

There are a couple of things my perfectionist self isn't happy with..the pipe leading up to the shower was supposed to be centered between the faucets, and the trio was supposed to be centered to the head of the tub...and the shower curtain rod is shorter than the tub is long.  But, considering that I had to work in a room the same size as my hand so did almost everything with tweezers I guess that's not too bad.  I'm going to settle for being grateful there isn't a big painty gluey fingerprint in the middle of the mirror.

I finished the bathroom yesterday...

DSCF0002 ...but this morning decided to improve a couple of things, so it's not ready to show you yet. 

I'll give you a sneak peek though, this is the vanity I made...the mahogany base is from an occaisional table kit, the countertop is from a laminate sample card and some scrap wood.

Sorry about the awkward angle, I didn't think to take a picture of it before I installed it in the bathroom.

contest results

They sent an email last night...

"Our shop roombox competition closed on 28th February and we were delighted at both the number and quality of the entries we received. Entries came from 7 different countries and 3 different continents and judging was a very difficult task. We would like to make special mention of following entries which are Highly Commended -Jackie Gilchrist (UK), Claudia Lezza (Italy), Keli Minick (USA), Rose O Donovan (Ireland), Valerio & Vittorio Ruschetta (Italy) . The winner is Caroline Hemmings (UK) for her replica of a traditional J Sainsbury grocery store. Caroline made all the furniture and more than 500 food items as well as the clothes for the shop asistant and customer. We were very impressed at the quality of her workmanship and her thriftiness in using cuttings from old magazines, coloured foil from sweet wrappers and wooden stirrers from fast food restaurants! Please take a look at all the entries on our Facebook page."

Awww, I'm highly commended.  Makes me smile :)

hobby lobby loot

There is no Hobby Lobby where I live so I'd never been to one before my trip to Indianapolis.  I was expecting a JoAnne's/Michael's combined with a hobby findings to model airplane parts.  I was right about it being like JoAnne's and Michael's, but not about it being like a hobby shop.  There was a lot more decorative junk than I expected...easily half of the store.  Imagine all the hobby products they could carry if they ditched all that crap.  Probably all of you shop at one regularly so I'm rambling on for no reason...

I did browse almost every aisle, since the brands they carry are new to me, and picked up a few things.  I bought a gazing ball and stand for my mom's picture because I gave it to her already.  I bought some cheap felt to make dollhouse towels, because I've never seen it so thin...a 1/12 scale faux tin ceiling sheet for a future project...a sheet of textured paper that looks like tiles...some dollhouse sized plastic flowers that don't look too plasticy...a jewelry finding that I can use as a picture frame...square filigree thingys that I bought because I looked all over for them when I made Susan's tomb but couldn't find them anywhere...and a sheet of corrogated aluminum and some fine wire mesh that I have no idea what I'll do with but they looked like something I should have in my dollhouse supplies stash.


I have decided March is going to be my catch-up month at work, so I'm going to be putting in a ton of hours at the office.  I'm tired of getting further and further behind every day, I'm starting to feel like there is a black hole under my desk, sucking me in.  I'm hopeful that if I can just get on top of things and reorganize my weekly schedule to accomodate the shift in responsibilties that it will be easier to stay on top of things.  I'm not sure how much time I'm going to be in my studio this month, working on the dollhouse, but I'll post when I can.