Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

The Dining Room is coming together.


So this is the latest dry-fit of the dining room. I think it’s coming along nicely.

The coffee stirrer floors have been cut and attached to their template. They are bare wood right now but will likely be whitewashed or painted white and the substantially distressed.


The stairs fit… just! the hole and chiselled channel are for the wiring for the porch light. I need to run some crack filler around the staircase hole and sand and paint it I also need to trim out my stairs with bracket detail and a stringer board against the wall.


Testing out the fireplace in situ. The chimney breast still needs to be wallpapered.


The firebox needs grouting and some more paint washes. I might coat the mantel in a wash of white chalk paint also.. it’s looking a little grubby.


I also need to make the marble hearth (just a paper place marker here 😀 ) I saw a tutorial on making marble effect out of polymer clay, so I think I’ll give that a try. My back up plan is to print out a marble effect from the web. Cover a piece of mat board with it and then spray it with high gloss non yellowing varnish or coat it with modge podge.


I still have a lot of work to do. I need to decide if I am continuing the painted wood wall all the way around the room (with the exception of the chimney breast). I also need to decide if I’m doing pressed tin look on the ceiling (I won’t be doing that if all the walls are wood, I don’t think. Then with those decisions made, I need to cut all the baseboard and cornice, install the lights trim out the chimney breast, doors & windows… etc, etc, etc… long way to go, but it’s nice to see a room look a little bit like a room.

Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

Basement Progress


So I’ve had a little bit of progress on the basement (Please excuse the state of my craft room!)

I took the original foundation off the house (tip: vinegar works well to loosen glue. Drizzle a little on both sides of the joint and wait a while for it to work it’s magic. Eventually you will be able to pull the pieces apart with a bit of muscle.)

As you can see I’ve cut the out the garage door and given it a coat of primer. I haven’t cut out the basement apartment’s door yet because I’m not exactly sure where it will go on what remains of the wall. Ideally I would have wanted it directly under the other doors but the Garage door took up a bit more space than expected so it can’t actually line up. I might be able to get it close by having the garage and the door share the trim between it but there are some internal struts/runners that allow the garage door to work and they may impede the operation of the door… The other option is to centre it on what remains of the wall… not particularly happy with that option either. I think I will have to wait a little while.. figure out the stair configuration and landscaping design and then revisit it.

I chose a french door style for the Basement even though it’s not very security conscious 🙂 because the basement will have limited windows and it will be kind of doing double duty as a door & a light source. 🙂


Currently these are the only other windows in the basement. So you can see my need for the door! The Garage side will get a larger window as it is on the low side of the imaginary hill. (This house will be on a  landscaping board that will simulate a hill, like most San Franciscan row homes!) The ground level on the Apartment side will be just below those basement windows & the chimney I am yet to make will fit snugly between them.

Slow progress I know but… baby steps! 🙂

Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

Second Dry Fit


As you can see from this latest dry fit, I’m making slooooow progress.. lol. I had a bit of a setback when I moved the house downstairs and the main structure fell apart :0

Not to worry, I wasn’t happy with the glue fit anyway so this gave me an opportunity to redo it and get a tighter, straighter bond.

I can’t dry fit the main roof just yet as it requires some constuction to make it sit on the side walls.


Here is a close up of one set of the working windows… One of my favourite elements of this house for sure… but pretty fiddly! Scared of having to glue these in one day… Yikes!


And as you can see… I’ve managed to build that basement I’ve been banging on about. 😀

Garage will be on the right side as you face the house… basement apartment or room on the left… Haven’t decided what to do with it yet.

The old foundation pieces will be removed later in the process… Just wanted to dry fit it up to see if I liked it. 🙂

Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

A few small jobs


Did some random jobs today… first I spackled the corner of the bay where there was an incorrectly cut piece provided in the kit. I just need to wait for it to dry, sand it and repeat. I don’t need to be too precise as there will be a corbel over this area. But I do want to make it at least good enough that it’s not noticeable when the whole house is together.


I made another wooden wall. This one with the door at the other end (front of dollhouse not rear)… I’m still undecided as to where to place the door on the first level so this gives me options. If I opt for the front, then I’ll use the other wall for the second floor. If I opt for the rear, I’ll use it either on the 3rd floor for the bathroom door or in the basement if I create one.


I also punched out the rest of the windows and painted them all. Now ALL the kit windows are painted completely. I am considering adding some more windows. One in the side wall of the kitchen above the sink, possibly a dormer in the attic bathroom to gain some floor space and if I build a basement garage as I would like to, I would add up to 3 windows on that level…. we shall see what eventuates! 😀


Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

Vintage Wardrobe Ebay find


So I found this vintage wardrobe on Ebay and thought it would be perfect for the San Franciscan! I couldn’t stop myself from bidding and…. I won!

The photos on Ebay made her look pretty beat up so I was a bit concerned with what was going to actually show up. I paid about 20usd plus shipping so it could have been a bit of a disaster.

It FINALLY arrived last week after a global shipping program snafu that saw it returned to sender for an incomplete address. (apparently they couldn’t read the street number??) I bought this item back in October so you can see why I was starting to think it would never get here.


I’m happy to say it was worth the wait! I love it! It actually looks better than the sale pictures… that never happens right? Sure she’s a bit chipped and the back legs have fallen off and the back plate clips have fallen off. There is also some trim that needs attention, but over all she is beautiful in a crumbling glory kind of way 😉


The mirror is in great condition! Look she has shelving on one side.


And hanging space on the other side. 😀

I was going to paint her, but I’m now undecided…. I kind of like the way her “patina” is (her colour is whiter than the pictures show in real life). I think it suits the shabby style quite well.



Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

Banishing the Dreaded Mahogany


So I found this dresser in my stash that I was never in love with due to the Mahogany colour. (Why are so many miniature furniture pieces in this old fashioned stain!)

Not withstanding it’s colour though, I though it might go well in the San Franciscan if it got a somewhat shabby make over. It has relatively good lines and is feminine enough for the look I am going for so I decided give it a paint job. 🙂

First I took the drawer knobs off with needle nose pliers.


Then I gave it a light sand and treated it with Easy Surface prep. It’s supposed to allow you to paint over stained wood. You apply it liberally and the wipe off the excess with a rag and let is cure for about 2 hours. To be honest I wasn’t that impressed with it’s effectiveness, but that could have been because my technique was terrible.. lol

Then I got a first coat of paint on it…. Yikes not so great.


Second coat below. Better but the drawers need more work.


Third coat… getting there but still need to do something with the drawers…. Not sure why the paint isn’t covering on them as well as elsewhere. My painting technique maybe? 🙂


While I was waiting for paint to dry between coats I made some perfume bottles for the dresser out of jewelry beads from spotlight. I won’t be using all of these but they are cute, no? 🙂

I will clean up the paint on the mirror after I have given the dresser a final coat. I actually quite like it now that it’s not mahogany. It still needs handles that I have on order. I’m not putting those gold pin heads back on!

I wanted to see it in the room for size which then made me decide to try out some wallpaper for the Master bedroom. This paper is scrapbook paper from spotlight. I like the pastel hue and modern look. It would only be on one wall as a feature wall. Not sure if I will use it but I do think it’s pretty.

The bed is one I made from cardstock loosely following a tutorial from Kris’1 inch minis. I didn’t have foamcore or mat board on hand so it’s very flimsy and just a place holder. 🙂 The mattress isn’t finished either, it still needs some piping around the top, which I have made but haven’t stuck on yet… Hmmm there is a pattern here of unfinished jobs. Must get to it!


Now I just need to find a little stool for the dresser. 🙂

Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

More San Franciscan Assembly

Today was spent assembling a few more sections of the San Franciscan.

I added the the Bay & Gable sections to the 2nd floor ceiling/3rd floor.


I will have to address the staircase hole edges at some point. They are incredibly rough, sanding isn’t going to cut it. I think I’ll probably line the opening with some sort of finishing trim or in a pinch popsicle sticks. Not ideal though, as they are not long enough for the longer side and will need a join.

I also put together the small gable.


It’s completely painted even though it will likely be mostly covered with trimmings.


The top will be covered in shingles of course, but the paint is helping to seal the wood. This section fit together so tightly it’s not even glued. I will have to glue it at some point though.

I’m contemplating finishes for the eaves and front of the gable. The larger popsicle stick below don’t quite fit without the need to cut one long ways… umm.. not attempting that with my current skill set!… I also have some smaller craft sticks at hand and they fit perfectly 4 across. I think this will finish off the eave area nicely. It reminds me of the Pigeon guards on my own home’s eaves.

Of course, I will cut off the rounded ends and stagger them for a more realistic look. 🙂


Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

Stair wall tongue & groove

I’ve decided to panel the wall the stairs will run up beside in horizontal tongue & groove paneling painted white. Similar to the below picture (though my stairs are open). I’ve always liked this look and it will give some visual interest to a room that is otherwise just painted walls. It also will allow me to hide wiring beneath it if need be. 🙂


I started by making a paper template of the modified wall with the new doorway for the kitchen to the rear and started laying down paddle pop sticks in a staggered pattern. (Sorry my picture is upside down, the door way is the L shape to the right.:p )

You can just see faintly that I have two lines drawn on the paper to the left. They were my stagger lines for my wood planks. I did this so the pattern wouldn’t be completely random and messy. I also kept me on track.img_2158

Here it is in situ. It is not fitting very well around the top of the doorway at the moment, so I will need to cut a little away. But you get the idea. 😉img_2167

I will update when it’s painted.

Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

So when I bought this door it didn’t fit.


I bought this door for the San Franciscan’s upper balcony door. I read the measurements in the listing and thought it would fit… ummm no… *facepalm*

What to do? It almost fit but not quite. I was determined! Either the door opening had to be widened or the door had to be modified.

I decided to modify the door as the San Franciscan is made of MDF… not easy to cut and in particular the door openings are rather fragile and crumbly on my kit.

My solution was to cut down the inside door frame (that which will be inside the wall) whilst leaving the exterior framing intact.


I used a small hand saw a chisel and an awl to remove the excess wood.

I had to cut down all three sides so the door would still be centred when placed in the opening.img_2154

It’s rough but it doesn’t matter as it will all be hidden by the door frames. 🙂img_2156

And it fits!


Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

Why are all (ok almost all) miniature lights brass?

I don’t like the brass colour of most miniature lights… I guess they have their place but not it’s not in my San Franciscan!

I decided to test out painting some lights that i will use in the San Franciscan and later in the Heritage. I chose the two external coach lights for the “SF”and a three bulb chandelier that will most probably get used in the Heritage. I removed the bulbs and the white simulated candle covers in the case of the three bulb light and then hand painted them with black acrylic. I had moderate success but one of the coach lights turned out a bit lumpy… lol…


Looking at this picture I will have to go back and touch up around the candle bases as you can still see the brass there. I didn’t notice this in RL. Amazing what the camera picks up.3-light-chandelier-painting

I wanted to see what the coach lights will look like in situ so I drilled a hole in the front door wall at the appropriate height. I though I may as well go ahead and chisel out a channel for the wire now also. No time like the present!



Probably needs to be a little deeper, because I would like to spackle and sand this so I don’t have to wallpaper this wall. I prefer painted or paneled walls to paper. img_2140

There is a corresponding hole in the second floor/first floor ceiling for the wire to go through. The wires for this house will mostly run under the second & third floor flooring and out into a chimney that I will build for one side. I would like to make it detachable so all the lighting fittings can be hidden inside it, but I’m not quite sure how I’m going to execute that at the moment.


Here is the light on the outside wall.there are a few issues getting it to sit level due to the milled siding. I may have to pack behind them.


This height looks about right. 🙂img_2139

And here is what it looks like with a door in place. This is not the door I will be using for the entry door it will be the upstairs balcony door. It’s what I had on hand though because the front door is still on order. 🙂 img_2150

I know, I know… it looks like it’s not centred on the wall. But there are windows and trim to go in that bay so that will cut down on the exposed wall space.img_2149

I’m happy with the result. 🙂