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15 posts from July 2011

bathroom sink

Fifteen seconds in the microwave loosened the glue on the washstand so that I could remove the top, but I broke it while cutting a hole in it, so had to make a new top from some basswood.  I need to make a faucet yet, but am putting the Chantilly away for now to start work on Susan's Halloween present.


I distressed the finish more than I usually do, since you'll only get a glimpse of half the vanity through doorways...a light distressing wasn't noticeable.  I want the Chantilly to be an old, well loved, weekend getaway country cottage, in the spirit of my Grandparent's lakeside cottage.  Just in the spirit of though, it won't have the 1950s-1970s finishes.  Though I am hoping I can recreate the big stone fireplace, where I used to sit on the hearth in the winter, reading a book while listening to my parents and grandparents talking as they sat around the kitchen table playing cards.

Harry, Florence, Keli, Cynthia Burke
my Grandparents, my little sister, and me.. 1973 or 1974

Since I'm not sure what color scheme I'm going to use in the house I used white and ivory in the bathroom.  I can add coordinated color later with accessories.

I also painted a jewelry finding to become a mirror, but it's only taped in place now because I haven't decided yet if I like it.

working on the bathroom

I'm building a shower stall out of odds and room for a bathtub in my tiny bathroom.  Hopefully it goes together okay.

I rummaged through my stash three times looking for this small washstand that I picked up cheap at a shop in Chicago last year because it's broken...finally remembered it was in the attic of the Fairfield.  I need a narrow vanity and this fits perfectly.  I can't decide if I want to mount the small bowl on the top or if I want to drill a hole in the top and sit the larger bowl on the shelf beneath.


more bashing

The second story room on the left is too big for a bathroom, so I was going to make two bedrooms upstairs and leave the house without a bathroom...but I find a house without a bathroom odd, so I added a wall that splits one room in half, to add a small bathroom.  I'll put a child's room with a twin size bed in the now smaller bedroom.

Because I'm leaving the natural wood finish on all of the interior walls I needed to make the new wall out of the same wood.  There was enough leftover on the bottom of a couple of the kit sheets to do it, but not enough to do it in one piece.  I hung a picture over the seam on one side of the wall, and will place a dresser on the other wall to cover that seam.  In the bathroom the open doors cover the seam on one side, but the other seam I'm leaving as is.  The only way anyone can see it is if they get their eyeball right up to the outside window, looking in...I don't think anyone will.

I almost, but not quite, got the new door centered to the window in the bathroom.  I don't think anyone but myself will notice it's not perfect.  I used one of the pieces of door trim that was supposed to go downstairs on the bedroom side of the new doorway, so that it is one solid piece.  I cut more leftover from the kit to make trim for the back side of the new door and for the doorway downstairs that sits behind the staircase, because nobody will be able to see that the trim there is made of three pieces of wood instead of one.

Now I just have to remember to finish the bathroom before I put the roof on, since I won't be able to get my hands in there afterward.


sanding, sanding, and more sanding

The build is going well.  Because I'm staining the trim I have to sand the burnt edges off, which is taking a while.   I can get about three pieces of trim done before my hand cramps and I have to take a break.  I'm making good progress though, the exterior window and door trim is done and installed and now I'm working on the interior trim, which will be stained 'natural'.  I'm not looking forward to the porch trim.

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After the build is done I'm going to but the house on a shelf so that I can make Susan's Halloween present.  I'll finish the interior later.

My husband emailed me this picture...


He doesn't remember where he found it or who the artist is.  I forwarded the picture to Susan...we both think it's so cool that we're going to make our own interpretations of it for each other for our annual Halloween present swap. 

If you're new to the blog you can see what I made for Susan last year here, and what she made for me here.

My gifts to her in 2009 are here and here (she was idea-less that year, but sent me so much the year before that I was fine with that).

Her gifts to me in 2008 are here, and mine to her is here.

I wasn't blogging before that, but there are pictures in a photo album in the right sidebar...had I thought of that first I could have saved time going through the archives for those links.

the Chantilly

After working every single day on the mill for three months to meet the deadline I got bored quickly when it was finished.

I started on the Chantilly last weekend.  It's nice to be back to my usual half scale after working on the gigantic mill.  I should probably really be finishing the Fairfield, as I'm very close to being done, but I've been working on it forever and am sick of it. 

I'm working slowly on the Chantilly, mostly to revel in not having a deadline.  Right now I'm trying to decide what to do with the attic.


If built according to the instructions the house will have a small attic, too small to do anything with.  My first thought was to leave the attic floor out during the build, so that the second story ceiling goes all the way to the roof...however, the beams that hold the roof up fasten into the attic floor, so I can't do that.  I'm thinking now that I'll cut away all the parts of the floor I don't need, leaving only what is structurally necessary...with a few additional beams to make it asthetically balanced.  I mocked it up with tagboard last night, I think it will work fine.



more close ups - Greenleaf Spring Fling 2011 Moulin Cerulean

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I bought the pigeons at the St. Louis miniatures show.  I'm sure I wrote the artisan's name down somewhere, I'll have to keep looking. I wish I had bought more of her birds.

The rake, as well as the other tools, the barrels, and the rope, were also purchased at the miniatures show.  They were made by Sir Thomas Thumb.  He was fascinating to talk to, I'm glad I had the chance to meet him.  I can't find the link to his website, but his items are available for purchase here (and they have better pictures than his website does anyway).


The first time my husband saw the sign (the first sign, the one with the wrong word that I had to pry off) he said it needed a bird's nest...he was right.

The weather vane came from Minimum World.  I stumbled across it while looking for something else.  How could I not buy an old man with a scythe for a grain mill?  I had to chop off the peak of the cupola to fit the weathervane on, but that was an easy alteration.  There is a square piece of balsa with beveled edges sitting in the peak, with a slot that the base of the weather vane fits into.

The biggest kit bashes were made to the base unit and the tudor addition.  I cut the base unit in half to add enough height to fit a third story loft in.  I needed the third story to fit all of the mill's machinery.  The additional height allowed me to add the detail over the top of the windows on the exterior that I wanted, and to have room for the sign.

The tudor addition I wanted to sit as a separate unit so I made a second side wall and added to the width of the roof.  I also cut two of the three windows from the front, so that I could have the tudor detail on the sides of the front window that I wanted.  I moved the two windows I removed to the side of the building.  Careful measuring made swapping walls pieces for window pieces quick and painless.


Because I had little windows at the peaks of all the kit pieces I felt I needed one in the piece I cut from craft plywood, to keep a consistent look.  I didn't have the necessary tools to cleanly cut a window from plywood, so I used an extra window frame and some extra brick patterned paper to put a faux bricked up window on the exterior of that peak.  I didn't do the same on the inside as it would have looked funny.

I had an extra window frame because I enlarged one of the window openings on the base unit to accomodate a fan.  The fan is a half scale box fan that I didn't like after I bought it so didn't use in the Fairfield.  It was white, so I sprayed it black, then fit it in a surround made with scrap trim.  My friend Marcie told me it needed dust on the blades so I added that with some gray acrylic paint and a thin enough brush to fit through the grate.


I can't get the picture to insert right side up, but you can see what I mean.


close ups - Greenleaf Spring Fling 2011 Moulin Cerulean

The geraniums were made from Bonnie Lavish kits, partly assembled by my friend Susan, partly by me.

The butterflies (one on the geranium, one by the climbing rose) are from the etsy shop God's Flying Flowers.

The climbing wild rose was made from another Bonnie Lavish kit, I wound the flowers onto a trunk I made from brown paper covered wire.  I ordered extra leaves when I bought the kit so that I would have some to fill out the vine.

The poppies and roses in the flower box are also made from Bonnie Lavish kits.  Because I was running short on time I bought them pre-assembled from artfire seller MostlyArt.  I added some of the extra rose leaves I bought for the climbing vine to fill out the box.

The row of small pink flowers in the front of the box were a gift from my friend Susan.


The grass in the planter boxes is grass, picked from my yard then dried.