Welcome to my life . . . .

This is a blog about my passion: dollhouses and miniatures. This particular blog was started to follow my miniature dream: to create a Victorian Mansion. But work on my Mansion is slow. Very slow. Sloth slow. Ice Age glacier movement slow. Why? Because I am easily distracted by other personal miniature projects (I have 50+ roomboxes and 15 dollhouses in various stages of incompletion) and because I work for a miniature shop and am often up to my elbows in miniature projects that aren't mine! So, I thought, some artists work in a particular medium (woods, watercolors, clay, oils, etc.), I work in progress . . . .

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I Found a Name! (And it's Woodline)

My curiosity is appeased!  This house that keeps appearing to haunt me finally has a name! (First mention of this style house. Second post about this style house.)
The house we worked on in 2004

The same style house that appeared for work in 2015

Another turned up again in 2016
And, in November, a fourth one showed up for repair!
This house is in for repair in 2018
But this customer had all the manufacturer's instructions and some other reading material about miniatures (including some catalogs from the 1970s or early 80s for Lynne's in PA)!

So this style house is called the Victorian Doll House by Woodline Products out of Illinois.

Now that I had a direction to google, I have found some other Woodline Product houses with the most popular being:
Not certain if you can see the other houses offered so here's another image of a kit up close:

That's that.  Now I know who made these houses I keep seeing and what they are called.  And now you do too.  Lol

Friday, November 17, 2017

Water Update: Year Anniversary!

I was so distracted by other projects, looming holidays, and baby arrival that I missed the year check up on our water effects! Blog post about different water products to use in miniature scenes.

Now I have since used another miniature water effects product (running water to create a fountain was explained in the middle to end of This Blog Entry) but did not cover that in this experiment and review.
Day 1
Half Year Anniversary
And today (13 months later) there is not much change!  No cracks or shrinkage that I see.  Issues that were there before (bubbles, cloudiness, etc.) are still there:
Year Anniversary Group Picture
Not seeing much difference in the sun photos either:
Early Days in sun

Year Anniversary in sun
For individual photos:
EnviroTex in Painted birdbath

EnviroTex Unpainted birdbath

Scenic Water

Solid Water
So I don't see any major changes but we will continue to check up on them -- hopefully I'll remember in October next year for our second anniversary! LOL

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Working right along

Finished up the water damaged (rotted porch roof) dollhouse last week! (First Post About This Dollhouse; Second Post)

BEFORE: Needs work

AFTER: Isn't she lovely?

BEFORE: Busted side door and missing rails on porch

AFTER: Side porch door replaced and railings in place

BEFORE: Front catastrophe!

BEFORE: Front porch was more toothpicks than railing

BEFORE: Front door was...drafty

AFTER: Front door and porch railings all replaced

BEFORE: Wallpapers and floorings showing their age

AFTER: Room is crisp and clean!
I forgot to take an overall interior picture. I guess I was so focused on the exterior, I forgot all about the interior before pictures with the exception of that one room above.  But all rooms had old papers removed and new ones installed except for bottom two center rooms which had previously been a dirty stucco that we cleaned and repainted bright white.

AFTER: all interior rooms were repainted or rewallpapered

AFTER: Flooring all replaced

AFTER: So amazing!

Several customer houses are waiting for me at work to finish, but I am only working on them during work hours so that I may still work on my own projects at home. I have been invited back to display my miniatures at the Green Springs Holiday Open House again this year so I feel like I should be working on finishing up some of my smaller projects to display there.  And my Mansion is calling me: I am certain I can get the exterior mostly done before the end of the year!  A blog entry about my Mansion will be posted in a month or so (if I can fit it in between my BFF's visit and our trip to the Philly show! and my sister's baby shower and the arrival of my niece in late Nov/early Dec).  Happy Halloween, my friends!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Mansion growing by leaps and bounds...

Not a lot of "explanation" this time: I'll let the picture speak for itself.  Addition is together and final top floor is dry fitted!  Have some adjustments to make (addition and main house don't match up exactly) but overall I'm thrilled!
Time to start decorating the exterior!!!!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Loose Ends or ADD?

I admire the miniaturists who have one project and work only on it until it is complete, and then they start the next project.  So organized.  So focused.  So diligent.  I am not one of those miniaturists.  And I jump around...a lot.  I'd like to think it's the sign of an active mind, but I know it's just my lack of focus (Oh, look!  Something shiny!).

So, first up: The Mansion!  I decided I wanted windows on the back of the house.  And not just any plain rectangle windows.  Let's make them a difficult shape!

Then I took apart some Exterior Double Pollinade doors by Majestic Mansions and made the door panels into the windows:

The Mansion has been worked on every single day but for the most part the progress is boring: I've had to sand every single one of the addition's 17 window and door openings.  Luckily I did that before decorating the rooms (as opposed to the right side of the house).  But since I hate sanding, especially when some needed to be sanded down by as much as 1/8", I would only do one opening a day.  And with 17 openings, it took over 2 weeks to do that task.

And I'm still working on the customer's house that had water damage to the front porch roof (Introduction to Customer's House).  Customer had informed us that she had no deadline for the house; just wants it done by the end of the year.  So I was able to put it aside for a few months and focus on the other 4 customer houses I had in that needed to be done ASAP.  But now I have time to finish this one. Since we had removed the damaged porch roof, several original shingles could not be salvaged due to mold, splintering, warping, etc.  I spent a few days painting new cedar shingles to match the older, discolored shingles on the house.
Arrow is pointing to old shingles; circle shows real color of cedar shake that I've painted
There are 2 old shingles on my paper plate; all the other shingles I've painted to match using a mixture of the ivory, brown, and gray paints seen in the photo.  Then came the fun part of shingling the porch:
BEFORE: Original Picture of house with damaged porch roof in center

BEFORE: Up close photo of water damaged roof
IN PROGRESS: Photo from April of new roof being glued on porch
IN PROGRESS: New shingles on porch roof

IN PROGRESS: New shingles match older shingles quite well!
So now I need to measure, cut, and install the exterior rails and then I move on to the interior!

During these past two weeks I also got distracted, er, I mean, I created a wall gun cabinet for another customer.  Had two customers in on the same day looking for gun cabinets.  Where upon I realized we did not have any in stock.  And the only one I could find from my distributors didn't fit either customers' needs.  So I am making them some...
Got various scrap woods and trims, started to stain them all
 Since I am a messy gluer I need to stain all my pieces first with at least 1 coat of stain...
All my pieces drying

Made a box for a wall hanging gun case...

Trimmed it out and made sure rifles fit in it; can even fit a third one if she wants.

Cut frame trim to create glass front cabinet doors.

Just need to put hinges on and this wall hanging gun cabinet is done
 First customer came back in and saw this and loved it!  And then realized her "man cave" room is on the top floor of a dollhouse with a mansard roof so she has no straight walls to hang the cabinet on.  So I started over and made her one with a slanted back to hang properly on her walls...
Slanted at back

Still needs trims and doors and to verify it fits in her room
So they are still works in progress (just like this blog and all my projects) but they will be finished up by next week...

And, to end with something pretty (Oh, look! Something shiny!), I did install the Mansion's Lady's bedroom ceiling medallion thing ("thing" is a miniaturist's decorating term for me)...
Still need to put up crown molding...

Doors fit!  Just gotta paint them now...

Looking thru from sitting room to the bedroom

Bedroom with it's pretty furniture in place
I tend to be more productive in the Fall so hopefully there will be lots more to post about soon!