Posted in Accessories, Decor, Dollhouses, Miniature tutorials

Custom Modern Lighting

img_2783
Custom made “Modern Wire Ball”  light fixture (please excuse the dog hairs in the picture. Can’t be avoided at my house!)

So I got inspired by my friends over at the Greenleaf forum, to try my hand at making a modern light fixture. This was the result.

To be honest I’m so happy with this fixture that I might have to rethink the entire lighting plan for the San Franciscan.

In fact I’m stretching the truth to say I custom made it, because it’s essentially constructed out of premade components, super glue & spray paint.

It’s incredibly simple but incredibly effective.

So forum member SewMini asked about modern fixtures and pointed to this one as an example of what she was looking for.

55751_XXX_v1.tif&wid=480&cvt=jpeg

Later that day I was in my local Choice store (Australian version of a dollar store, though hardly anything costs only a dollar. 😉 ) and found these balls in the craft section

img_2767

I thought the smaller balls would be great for pendants and the larger ones for a statement light in the middle of a room.

img_2771
Smaller pendant size

I wanted to use the smaller size to start but I didn’t have any G.O.R bulbs so I had to raid my lights stash for a fixture and that meant, I had to use the larger wire ball if I had any hope of fitting it within the structure.

I tried to replicate the fitting in the inspiration piece by attempting to shove a simple 3 arm chandelier into the wire ball… umm.. no.. that didn’t fit… so I rummaged some more and came up with one of these ball pendants. I actually think if I make another light, I would try to find a half scale 3 arm chandelier and change out the chain for a 1:12 scale one to get the look above.

I ditched the bottom spindle taped off the ceramic bulb and spray painted it silver using Rustoleum “Satin Nickel”.

I also sprayed the wire ball, so that there would be continuity of colour. I actually prefer the silver of the original ball but getting that finish in paint would be near on impossible and they just don’t seem to make many dollhouse fixtures in silver. If I used G.O.R bulbs or GOW bulbs I would have been able to keep the colour as long as I could find a tiny chain to match. Much easier!

I think this light could also look great in a antique copper colour or black for a more industral feel.

Once everything was dry I tested the light to make sure it worked. then worked the wire apart in one section and pushed the ball pendant through. I then repositioned the wires over the hole and strategically centred one wire at the top to attach the chain ring to. A dab of superglue does the job of holding the pendant chain to the ball. but you could use a bit of jewellry wire also or you could fashion the wire of the ball so that the top of the fixture holds it on.

You will need to fiddle with the chain ring a bit to make sure the pendant sits straight and centre in the ball. It helps to hang the fixture from something for this step as the weight of it hanging helps and you will get a true indication of how it will hang in your dollhouse.

For light bulb changing, just snap off the glue (this is the reason for just a dab and pull the bulb out.

 

 

Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

The Dining Room is coming together.

img_2634

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.

img_2626

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.

img_2624

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

img_2622

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.

img_2621

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.

img_2617

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 Miscellaneous, Other things

Brisbane Dollhouse Extravaganza haul :)

So I went to the Brisbane Dollhouse Extravaganza on the weekend. If I’m honest I didn’t have high hopes for anything too extravagant.  😉

I mean, how many people in Brisbane could be into Minis & Dollhouses right?.. Wrong! It was actually really surprising how many stalls there were and how many people were there. There was a great selection of stuff. New, Hand made, & second hand. A lot of things were cheaper than you would pay online with the added bonus of no shipping costs.

The hard corers were there early and snapped up all the really good bargains, but there were still some to be had. You had to be quick though! I have some serious regret for dilly dallying over a working Grandfather clock for $10. I walked away to think about it and someone else snapped it up. :/

Also, I guess it pays to check your bags on checkout. I snagged a Franklin Mint Bathroom sink for $5 but when I checked my bags when I got home the item wasn’t in the bag… There was another item missing as well. I don’t think it was intentional on the part of the vendor (they are working from fold out tables and boxes and don’t really have a set up to keep track of the stuff you hand over to hold aside until you are finished shopping at their stall) but super disappointing because it’s was a pretty rare find.

So anyway.. on to the good stuff… here’s some pictures of some of my haul.

First off, OMG this bunny bear!

He/she is sooooo adorable, I couldn’t resist! She was rather expensive (I think she’s a girl because she has pink on her feet and ears.) but sooo worth it. I think I’ll name her April.  😉

She has moving arms & legs and a little tag from the maker on the back. She’s from VonneBears. Evonne who makes these bears had so many cute miniature teddy’s I could have spent an absolute fortune at her stall but I had to contain myself. Luckily she has an Esty shop so I will just have to content myself with collecting over time.

Next I treated myself to some TinyFinery treasures.

This dress, handbag and shoes were calling my name. Again, if I’d bought more cash with me I would have shopped for hours. 😀

The imaginary inhabitant of my house is going to be so stylish.

img_2722

So cute! The shoes came in a shoe box complete with tissue and were then placed in a tiny shopping bag.

img_2725

The shoe detail is lovely, they even have tiny little buckle detail & labels inside like real shoes. Could the brand name be any more adorable “Mini Choos”… Get it? 😀

The bag has lovely trim detail. It also opens, with a magnet clasp. Inside it even has a little side pocket. I assume for a miniature mobile phone? lol

img_2726

Please excuse my fingers I was super gluing something earlier in the day and well….. we all know how that goes.

Continuing on the clothing theme, I bought some undergarments from a lovely mature lady who makes them all herself. She is retiring from selling and so had all her stock marked down. I didn’t get her card… so I can’t link you.. but I doubt she had a website anyway.

We had a lovely chat about how crochet is a dying art form and how she must have great eyesight and a steady hand to make her lovely creations.. again.. should have taken more money. She had lovely crochet miniature handkerchiefs and lovely lace tops in boxes and flower arrangements and *swoon*…it was all so lovely, it was hard to be restrained and only buy a few items.

img_2766

Corset, bra & panty set and a wedding horseshoe. 🙂

The detail on these pieces is lovely. Tiny little crochet flowers, bows & crystals (not showing up very well in the photos) are sewn in.

img_2757

I also bought these tiny doilies from her.So pretty.

img_2756

I then headed over to a vendor that was selling mini food imported from Germany, because I wanted a cake. Well.. I got three. 😀

You can’t pass up a deal they were $5 each or 3 for $10… Three for ten it was!

img_2736

Then I went looking for bargains and I found this 1930’s style gas refrigerator.. I’ve been coveting one of these for a while but they were always about $70usd plus shipping on eBay. I got this one for $30aud and no shipping 😀

It has a few dings in the paint but nothing that I can’t touch up with appliance paint.

img_2738

I also picked up some vintage kits I’d been wanting. A couple of cane seat chairs a dining set & the bathroom accessories kit from Chrysnbon, a gramophone from Phoenix Miniatures and this Fireplace kit from HOM. I’ve never seen the Fireplace before, it’s called the “Tidewater Virginia Fireplace circa mid 1700’s” and it was only $5.. can’t go wrong.

I also picked up some window and door components including a full length victorian/georgian bay window for $10. Bargain! Many light fittings, all of which i will need to paint or modify. A couple of resin dogs that I plan to flock. A little woven basket, another cheap little mass produced teddy bear and a pencil sharpener in the shape of a toilet! I think it might be just the right scale and it has a lot of detail and is more modern than most dollhouse miniatures out there.

Safe to say… I’m a show convert! Now to start scheming for time off work to go to the Sydney show. 😀

Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

Basement Progress

img_2629

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. 🙂

img_2628

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

img_2504

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.

img_2502

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!

img_2506

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 Accessories, Decor, Dollhouses

Coastal Decor

The other day when I wasn’t feeling well, I decided to take a break from building and make a few decor items…. I was looking at my coffee table shell bowl and realised there were a few teeny tiny little shells and even pieces of coral in there…. Well, inspiration struck and I decided to make some modern coastal decor for my far off in the distance Hampton’s dollhouse… one day….

Not satisfied with just the shells I rummaged around in my charms and findings for nautical/coastal type items and found the fish skeleton and a seahorse… in they went to the mix.

I used jewelry pins to secure the shells, coral & fish to bases made of cut up coffee stirrers topped with cut up skinny sticks which were then stained with furniture touch up pens. I drilled tiny holes in the bases to attach the pins to the base and glued them to the back of the shells. With the coral I drilled a hole in the bottom of it as well to secure it to the base with a pin.

The base of the star shell is made from two clear plastic beads.

img_2487

Not content to stop there.. I rummaged around in my fabric stash and made some blue motif cushions.

img_2489img_2491img_2494

 

Then I got distracted by my bead box and made quite a few perfume/cosmetic bottles & jars…. I got a bit carried away…  😉img_2474

Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

A few small jobs

img_2166

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.

img_2425

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.

img_2133

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! 😀

img_2157

Posted in Accessories, Decor, Dollhouses, Furniture

Love Seat Rehab

img_2429

So I have this lounge suite set in my stash that I don’t mind the shape of but ugh.. the fabric makes my eyes hurt… lol

I decided something had to be done!.. I chose the 2 seater/love seat as my guinea pig (I’ve shown the 3 seater above because I forgot to take a picture of the 2 seater before I pulled it apart.)

The fabric was glued down within an inch of it’s life so I put the piece in the microwave for 10 seconds to loosen it up. It worked but there was soooo much glue!

Here is a picture of the pieces after the sofa had been deconstructed and after I had painted the main wood pieces with primer. I did this because I would be using a lighter fabric and didn’t want the wood to show through and/or leech into the fabric over time.

img_2430

During deconstruction some of the cushion foam got destroyed so I had to piece in some new foam so as not to have a lumpy sofa! This foam was part of the packaging in another piece of furniture’s box. NEVER through these kinds of packaging materials away!… You never know when you might need them. 🙂img_2431

New foam pieced in.img_2432

I cut out all my fabric for each piece before starting the process. Making sure to cut a little larger than each piece to allow for folding over to cover seams. Planning is key in this stage as you need to know how you are going to reconstruct the sofa and plan you fabric placement and size required appropriately. You also need to know which cushions you will be using in which location and facing in which direction so you can make sure that the fabric all faces the same way and that you have enough overhang to do the job you want it too.

Now to cover the cushions making sure to have the “grain”of the fabric facing the same way and making sure that it is sitting straight on the pieces where it will show. Regular Tacky Glue will do the job.img_2433

Cut the corners and fold like a present. img_2448

The base cushions were completely covered and glued on all four sides the back cushions were left open on two sides because they would wrap over the top and side of the couch during reassembly. You can see a completed seat cushion below bottom left and the two back cushions top right. The fabric you see beside the back cushions is the armrest fabric.img_2437

Then on to the arms.

I had to sand a lot of glue of of the front of the arms before starting as it would have made them lumpy if I left it on. I also noticed when I held them together that who ever manufactured these chairs used two different sized dowels for the armrests! lolimg_2440

For the arms I first covered the front… I was careful not to pull the fabric too tight so that the “grain”stayed as straight as possible. I cut the fabric a bit larger than the arms and wrapped it around the sides. I cut little pizza wedges out of the excess to get a good fit around the round portion.img_2439

I made a hem on the front face of the arm rest fabric for a clean finish. Then I folded the armrest fabric around the arm with enough of an overhang to cover the side of the base and be folded and glued underneath and out of sight.

img_2443

On to the base.

I cut enough fabric to go all the way around the base piece from top front to bottom to back. I know a lot of this area will be covered by cushions or other fabric pieces but just in case there are any gaps, this will make them less obvious.

I started by gluing the front of the back with enough over hang to fold over for a neat finish.img_2444

Then I continued down the seat, taking extra care with the base front as this will be very visible on the finished product.img_2436

And then across the bottom. It’s important to cover the bottom because you don’t want a beautiful upshot photo or view to be ruined by the sight of an unfinished sofa bottom.

I folded the base sides like a present. Cutting away excess fabric at the corners.img_2446

I left the back unglued as this will be the last piece to be attached during reassembly.img_2447

The next step was to attach the back cushions. img_2451

Remember I left the top and side open? This is why. They are attached over the back and side of the sofa. This will give a clean finish from the top and side view once the back cover is on.img_2449

Side view.img_2450

Front view so far. 🙂img_2451

Second back cushion attachment. Top done first. Side still to be glued.img_2454

Both back cushions on.img_2455

Now to attach the arms. As I said earlier. The side panel is attached all the way down the side to the bottom.img_2456img_2457

Now the seat cushions get glued in.img_2458

And finally with the last arm glued in and the back piece glued on (with hems on all three sides for a clean finish.)

I added a bit of twine as piping at the point where the seat cushions & the base meet just to tidy it up a bit. A major improvement, no?img_2459

With the legs put back on we have a final product!img_2466

Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

Vintage Wardrobe Ebay find

img_2422

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.

img_2421

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 😉

img_2419

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

img_2420

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.

Thoughts?

 

Posted in Dollhouses, The San Franciscan

Banishing the Dreaded Mahogany

dollhouse-dresser-before

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.

dollhouse-dresser-drawers-knobs-removed

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.

dollhouse-dresser-first-coatdollhouse-dresser-first-coat-2

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

dollhouse-dresser-2nd-coat

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? 🙂

dresser-in-progress

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!

bedroom-wallpaper-3bedroom-wallpaper-1

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