55 posts categorized "Chantilly"

a day for me

I've been working a crazy amount of hours, so haven't been in my studio all year.  I miss it.  Last week was especially rough because my assistant was out all week with pneumonia, which meant I did her work instead of my own, putting me further behind...so after a 12 hour day at the office on Saturday topping off a more than 60 hour week I decided to keep Sunday for myself.

I was going to finish the boy's room, since it seemed quick, easy and fun....then I remembered that before I can finish any of the rooms I have to glue the lights in and doorknobs on, while the house is empty and can be turned upside down and sideways.

Audra gave me the lights...she started a Chantilly, then decided she couldn't tolerate half scale so gave it to her daughter to play with.  The lights no longer work, but since I didn't electrify my house it's a perfect match.  They look fantastic, thank you, Audra!

I painted all of the fixtures except the largest chandelier, which I left brass.  I needed to figure out something to use as a base for it...I settled on a clear glass flower shaped bead with a hole the same size as the brass post.  I painted the inside of the bead with white paint to better match the glass in the chandelier.  It worked great.

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The house is still upside down waiting for glue to fully cure...the copper colored fixture in the kitchen didn't stay put, so I used a different glue last night to reinstall it.

It took me so long to find where I stashed the doorknobs left over from the Fairfield that I never got them installed, nor the carriage light on the front porch.  Hopefully I'll find time soon.

taking stock

Both houses have been vacuumed and dusted (except the attic)...

my studio has been cleaned...


it seems like a good time to take stock of where I am on both projects.  Let's start with the Fairfield...

The living room and foyer are furnished, I just need to add artwork and accessories.  The grandfather clock needs a new face, the windows need curtains, and I need to make a lamp to sit on the table in the bay window.  I also need to make a long trailing plant for the sofa table on the end of the fireplace wall to hide the crooked table leg.

The dining room is also furnished.  It needs curtains, a fireplace screen, and more plants under the windows.  The table needs a centerpiece and the hutch needs to be filled.  I also need to make some potted topiaries to sit on either side of the fireplace to hide that I didn't have it sitting flush to the floor when I glued it in place.


The kitchen needs something more, but I don't know what...other than I need to stock the pantry then glue the pantry doors in place.

The bedroom is almost finished.  I need to add artwork and make a better jewelry box for the dresser.  The curtains need to be glued in, as the double-stick tape was only meant to be temporary while I tested their look.  I'm not happy with the lampshade but I don't think I can change it without breaking the light.

The library needs some work.  The bookcases need more books (I'm working on that), I want to make a little TV on a stand, I have to build a desk chair and a fireplace screen, then I need to add some artwork and accessories.  I'm not happy with the finish on the desk, but I think a coat of matte varnish will fix it.

I haven't started on the upstairs hall yet.  That thing on the floor is the kitchen pantry door, just look past it.  The windows need curtains to hide the glue I couldn't wipe away because I couldn't get my hand back there when I glued them in.  I'm not sure how I'm going to get curtains in there either, but I guess I'll figure out something.  There isn't any room for furniture in the hall, but I should be able to sit a houseplant in the far corner...that and some artwork on the walls will be all I'll do here.

The bathroom is finished, but I'm going to swap out the ugly plastic plant with a realistic looking paper one.  I'll add a rug in front of the sink too.

The attic need more stuff...boxes and trunks and boxes of old stuff. I need to recreate the shadow play, make a fort behind the stairs, make either a twin bed or cot for when the grandkid sleeps over, and finish Grandma's workroom.  I've never been happy with the sheen on the walls, so I'll start by repainting.  The bottom portion of the chimney needs some work too, it's too clean looking.

I just realized I didn't take a picture of the front porch...I've got hanging plant kits to put together, a porch swing to hang, and a letter slot to glue to the door.


The Chantilly is coming along much faster than the Fairfield did, it was a much easier build.  I didn't paint or paper the interior walls, put in flooring, put in baseboards or crown molding, and I didn't electrify it...it's a vacation cottage, not a big Victorian home.

I need to finish the coffee table and make a chair (once I figure out what kind of chair I want) for the living room.  The walls need artwork, the floor needs an area rug, and the fireplace needs tools and gee-gaws on the mantle.  I'm thinking about making more throw pillows for the loveseat but I haven't decided yet.


I need to make a dining table for the breakfast nook and either make or find another chair.  I tested the chairs from the Fairfield's attic when I was cleaning, but none of them looked right.  I need to make a shelf/pot hanger something or other for the wall over the refrigerator, and I need to stock and hang the racks I already have for the opposite wall.  Once I'm done with that I need to accessorize with kitchen stuff.

The boy's room is furnished, though the bed isn't completely dressed yet.  I've got all the accessories for this room already picked out, I just need to put them in place.  First I'm going to attempt to hang something else over the Monet on the wall, as I don't think it suits a boy's room.  I'm contemplating putting stars all over the pitched ceiling, but can't decide if I'd like it or not...I'll have to test the look using some double-stick tape.

The master bedroom has me in a bit of a quandry.  The furniture arrangement works best with the bed angled into the corner, but I don't like the empty space behind it, and I don't like seeing the  join where the roof meets the top of the wall.  I don't know if it would look awkward to sit a tall plant or a folding screen behind the headboard, or if I should try to trim out the join.  I'm planning on a climbing vine to cover the exterior of the house which I could let it creep inside, but that might be too weird.  I'll probably leave this room until last, while I think about it.


I commented to my husband earlier today that I was almost done with these houses, but now that I've written down all the things I have still to do to finish these I suspect I can stay busy for another year before I'll need to build another.



one more batch of books to go

I finished another batch of books yesterday...and the library in the Fairfield still isn't done yet.  I filled the small bookcase and added books to the big bookcase.  I need to make another batch to fill the library table and finish the big bookcase.


The bookcases in the Chantilly are complete.  I finished the last shelf with a display of tiny seashells.


The books I had left, which were too tall to fit any of the bookcases, were placed on a shelf in the kitchen as cookbooks.  They'll sit far enough back in the room that you won't be able to tell you're looking at The History of Flight instead of French Cuisine.

I'm going to take a break from bookmaking today.  I need to clean my studio and vacuum out the houses.

never enough books

The Fairfield is now on my worktable, next to the Chantilly.  She needs to be accessorized before she's finished...I was overwhelmed at the thought of all the empty bookcases when I put her away.

Thankfully the books I made that were a little too tall for the Chantilly's bookcases which I thought I was going to have to save for a 3/4 scale project fit on the bookcase in the Fairfield.  Yay!  Some of them are oversized coffee table books laying on their backs, but that's okay, not only does it fill the space faster but it looks like my real life bookcases.

Because the Fairfield was my first house I didn't know not to glue the bookcase in before I filled it with books.  Never again!!!  I remember that I did it that way because I wanted it to sit flush to the back wall and I put the baseboard on around it, but boy oh boy, it's hard to glue books in there now.

At least the bookcase and library table on the other side of the room aren't glued in place yet.

I wanted to finish making all the books so I could fill the bookcase in one sitting, varying the height and thickness of the books, but the ones I had done were starting to jump down to the floor so I glued them in before they wandered away.

When I was done with that I glued the shelves into the Chantilly's bookcase.  I've been going back and forth on whether to use three shelves (books the same size as on the other bookcases) or four (the bookcases won't be matchy-matchy)...it's been driving me bonkers so I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers I was making the right decision, then glued them in.  Done...it will bother me no more.

I made two more pieces of electronic equipment so the shelves have a reason to be closer together.  They're not any particular kind of pieces of equipment, just equipment.

Now I just have to make a billion more books.  Sigh...never enough books.

more puttering

I made a set of bookshelf-sized stereo speakers this morning...I glued pieces of black foam to pieces of cherry stained scraps of craft plywood.  Super easy and quick!

I got two of the three bookcases for the living room done.  The records are half inch squares of cardstock, in assorted colors.  I decided I needed another houseplant for the third bookcase so pulled a philodendron kit out of my stash.  I got three plants out of the single kit by being very frugal with the wire.  Two of them are meant to sit against a wall so only drape in the front...the third drapes around the entire pot (the middle one, it looks a little wonky because I can't finish shaping it without a proper plant stand) .  A pot wouldn't fit on the bookcase so I planted that one in a bowl...worked well.

I ended my day by finishing the occasional table turned record player stand...a coat of white over a coat of cream, lightly distressed.  I was able to increase the height of drawer with several layers of paint...I'm glad that worked!

I'd have finished the last bookcase but I started and finished my Christmas shopping this afternoon instead.  I'm tired...am going to go curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and my iPad.


I sat down at my worktable this morning with the intention of finishing the rest of the books I'd started earlier in the week.  I got sidetracked.

I finished the bookcase, then trimmed the top of the other cabinets to match and gave them all a coat of satin sealer.  While the sealer was drying I filled the bookcase for the boy's room, then altered the white cabinet to show orange behind the doors instead of the paper that looked like records (remember that I made the white cabinet to sit the record player on in the living room, then moved it to the boy's room later).

When I was done will all of that I started filling the bookcase, decided I wanted a plant on one of the shelves, so dug a wandering jew kit out of my stash to put together...assembling the plant kit took almost all day.


I ended up with two plants, because I couldn't fit all the stems in one pot...which worked out agreeably since I bought the kit for the Fairfield to begin with.  The wandering jew in the white pot will reside in the dining room of the Fairfield.


As I was rummaging through my stash looking for the plant kit I stumbled across an unfinished occaisional table which perfectly fits the spot in the living room I need a record stand...it's now got its first coat of paint.  The drawer fits fine on the sides but is too short...I'm hoping enough coats of paint on the top and bottom of the drawer will fix that.  Too many coats of paint on walls makes windows and doors not fit, so I'm hoping I can utilize that effect in reverse.

getting the hang of it

I'm getting better with each batch.

Batch One

Batch Two


Batch Three

Most of batch two and three ended up 3/4 scale instead of 1/2 scale, I'm afraid...but I have some 3/4 scale furniture in my stash, so I'll end up using them eventually.

Batch Four ready to go


Susan, this one is for you...recognize it?

Brae, this one was inspired by you, because as soon as I saw it I heard you say "Grandma likes her liquor!".


I'm a nutter

I've completely lost my mind.  I'm looking for it in my cocktail glass now that I'm done making books for the day. 

What a tedious pain in the butt book making is...makes me question why I work in half scale.

It turned out like I wanted though, so it was worth the suffering...or it will be tomorrow anyway, right now my back is killing me from bending over my work table all day.

For a little added interest and variation I finished some of them with a matte sealer, some in satin and the rest in gloss.  I'm not sure I like the gloss ones, but I'm not discarding them after all that work.  I painted the tops of the balsa pages in either tan, white or gold.

The shelves aren't glued into the bookcase yet, which is why they look crooked.  I needed to finish the books first so I knew how far apart to space the shelves.  I'll either space the shelves a little further apart or put a kick plate at the bottom to eat up the extra space there.  I'll decide later, when my brain recuperates.

This isn't my final arrangment, I'm going to make a couple coffee table sized books to lay flat on a shelf and put a geegaw on top of them.  And, because the bottom two shelves won't be seen since the bookcase will sit behind the loveseat, I'm going to put something else there so I can move some of the books to the bookcase in the boy's bedroom.

I'm still around

My mouth is almost healed now, the gum feels much better so the only spot that still hurts is where the graft is. I saw the surgeon for another check-up yesterday and he gave me a clean bill of health.  I'm still a bit worn out and sleeping more than normal so haven't been working on miniatures.

I had a very nice birthday since my last post.  My husband made a lasagna for dinner and my daughter made desert.  I bought myself some leaf shaped paper punches to make miniture plants with...then ordered some more after they arrived and I realized I needed some more shapes and sizes.  I'll show them all to you after the second shipment arrives. 

I've finally decided what I'm going to do with cabinets on the back wall of the living room in the Chantilly...

I want shelves because it would look good and hide imperfections in the wall, but don't want shelves because it will take up floor space that I need for furniture.  I decided to make cabinets half as deep as they should be, then fill the the shelves with books half as deep as they should be.  Since the cabinets will be viewed head on and not from the side I think it will fool the eye enough to be realistic looking.  I may have to make a narrower coffee table than the one I was planning to use, but that's no big deal.

Now I have to clean my room to clear some space to build :)