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 . . . .

Friday, April 21, 2017

Suffering from ADD?

I jump around from project to project so much that I sometimes think I might have ADD.  Except that I am utterly focused on whatever project I am currently working on; it's just that in a day or two I could be onto another project or created another new project without finishing the one I was just so focused on!  So here's a stream of consciousness update on what I've been doing these past 2 weeks....

Last week at work I electrified the little gray Bungalow Cottage by Alessio for a customer:

And, since it was Spring Break for my kids I dragged them to the laser cutter and tried to print out my Shoji doors for the Butterfly Garden (Asian Butterfly Garden Scene)..."tried to print out" is the key phrase in that sentence:

Even my dog is shocked by how warped it is!
Does fit in the space though...
So, kids were not pleased with my laser-cutting-plan Spring Break activities, so when machine was too hot and warped my acrylic I did not take the time to review/search thru the settings to fix it.  I decided I'll buy the thin wood and try to cut the doors in wood next week.  In the meantime, this attempt did leave me with a bunch of these:
Acrylic shelves?

Collection of acrylic rectangles
Not sure what I'll use them for, but I'm brainstorming.  After fun Spring Break activities during the day with my kids (ok, it was still boring for them: we just went to work at my mini shop) in the evenings I created a little something for a friend of mine who was creating a witch's workshop.
Wooden box
Using some scrap woods I made a little wooden box for some "witchy potion ingredients"...and used some of that clay I made on the stove (Blog Entry About Clay) to make the "ingredient" for the box:
Harvested humanely Unicorn Horns
I had such fun creating this witch-themed item that my mind jumped to all sorts of creations and I made other things so that I can create a witch's hutch or work table in the future to sell in my mini shop:
Scrolls, Spells, Unicorn horns, Dragon Eggs, Candles
I really love spell #11 on my spell scroll:
One twelfth the size: heeheeheehee
And, once my mind was jumping with those creations, it of course went off in another direction (using all those breads I had created out of clay the past 4 months).  I glued a cloth "napkin" into a small resin basket I had in my stash.
Threads still need to be snipped off but I'm waiting for the glue to set up

But the majority of my breads were still bright white clay.  So I resigned myself to spending Easter mid-morning getting a few chalked to put in the basket.  But when I took out the chalk, brushes, and clay my children got excited and wanted to help.
Mini workers
I thought I would spend 1-1/2 hours getting two dozen chalked; instead, thanks to my mini helpers, in 1-1/2 hours all my breads were completely done!
Enough for me, my friend's bakery, my mother's bakery, and even a few for my store to sell!

So I filled my basket and brain has already mentally created 2 or 3 other scenes to use my breads in.

As long as the chalk was out I worked on my cakes too...which means my brain went off in yet another direction and another scene is being created for the cake (I'll share that in a future blog).
My practice cakes - still need glaze/icing
Kids are back at school this week and I'm back at work alone (i.e. actually getting work done this week!).  Customer came in and picked out the last room of paper for the red townhouse so it will get done this upcoming week:
And this house (Customer's House) is getting it's front porch put back on and the interior is getting the wallpapers stripped:
Lower roof setting up

Using strip wood to hold up the crown molding support for the lower roof

Lots of weight to keep it secure

From a distance

Interior rooms have been stripped of paper
And, because I can't sleep at night when I'm supposed to be, I also mentally worked on my Fantasy Victorian mansion and on my best friend's birithmas gift.  Oh, and I found the right fabric to finish off my elephant for my Hindu Wedding scene!  Yeah, I suffer from Miniature Addiction, but it's ok; I'm happy here.








Saturday, April 8, 2017

Updates: Water, Dollhouses, and Projects

So, it's been roughly 6 months since my water experiment (Playing with water effects) and it's time to check in on our water displays:
Our four samples
The lower left one seems cloudy - which became more noticeable in the direct sunlight:
So, the lower left (Envirotex Pour On) definitely clouded up, probably from the massive amounts of small bubbles that formed when I had poured it into the birdbath, I'm sure.  But the surface is still glossy and easy to wipe clean from a small layer of dust (display sits on the counter near my work space so there is dust).  The painted birdbath was the other EnviroTex Pour On sample and it likewise is still hard, glossy slick, and the small bubbles that had formed when I poured are still there but not as cloudy or noticeable as in the unpainted sample.  But I think that is the painted bottom that is helping disguise the cloudy issue.

EnviroTex Pour On at an angle to catch the direct sunlight on the surface to capture the cloudiness of the water.
The Solid Water example (lower right in group photo) had reacted with the finish on the birdbath within moments of when I had poured it.  The marbleized swirls on the bottom of the birdbath still remain and, like the EnviroTex product, the surface is glossy smooth and easy to wipe clean.
Solid Water at an angle to catch the direct sunlight across the surface of the water.
Which leaves us with Scenic Water (upper left in group photo): all bubbles that had formed when pouring are still there.  The surface is tacky, sponge-like, and soft making dusting impossible.  I am fearful to even touch it too much as I don't want to pop the bubbles clumped together on the side of the basin and I fear leaving fingerprints on the gelatinous surface.

Scenic Water at an angle in direct sunlight to highlight the bubbles.
I will check in on them again at the year anniversary mark....

So, besides the water update, I have dollhouse updates...this customer's house had wiring checked over, lights added, flooring installed, and was picked up yesterday:
The wood floors look so crisp and pretty!
Lights all working, including the new chandelier in the center room and the lamps in the top attic floor (not in photo).

Coach lights were added since old ones had been ripped off years ago

And the Newport that was supposed to be picked up 3 weeks ago was left with us for painting. (Blog Entry about Newport.) Customer thought she would paint it until they came to pick it up.  Her husband took one look at it assembled and said, "No, have them paint it; you'll never get it done!" Gotta love those type of spouses! Lol  We finished painting it on Thursday and it will be picked up today:
Pretty in Pink



Priming started on 2 other customer houses we'll be working on this month.  The first is a little gray cottage, a bungalow dollhouse by Alessio, that the customer would like us to wire the interior for electricity:
Love this house by Alessio - customer still has front door at home to paint it.

Loved how she used Alessio trims to finish off the flat rooftop over the dormer windows!

We had previously cut out the bathroom partition walls for her weeks ago

Placing furniture to figure out where she wants electricity
Other customer house that needs work is a Glenwood.  It will get finishing, inside and out!
Interior will be finished off completely, but first step is to prime it!
Exterior porch needs to be painted and roofs (both on main house and on porch) will be shingled.
So Dad (that's him in the photo) is helping out with my work load by priming the interior of this Glenwood while I was finishing up the Newport and starting the wiring on the little gray cottage.
I still have the water damaged house to be working on...I'm waiting for some Spring days so the table saw can be rolled outside and wood pieces cut to replace the porch roof I had cut off (Water Damaged Porch House).

Needs a coat of paint to blend the primed replacement siding with the housebody
Plus I'm making progress on my Asian Butterfly Garden scene.  First, I had found these little statues a friend had given me, but they are a neon green that (in my opinion) make them seem toy-like, disjointed, and disruptive compared to the rest of the scene:
One of the statues, not a subdued green like the other statues in the scene
Painted the statues a deeper green to help blend them in with the greenery and other statues in the garden
It seemed like a stroke of fate that I found these in a local craft shop:
Bamboo!!!!
They will be in the Asian Garden scene too...I'm almost ready to mix my "dirt" with glue and start sticking my landscaping in place!  I tried to laser cut my Shoji doors a few days ago, but someone had modified the setting on the laser printer so I have to wait until Monday so that I can reset the machine to the proper settings (which I didn't have time to do the day I went in to print my Shoji doors).  But I believe my Butterfly Garden scene will be finished by the end of the month!

And I'm making a little thank you gift for a friend so I bedazzled this chair this week too.  I'll post pictures of this little scene as it gets closer to completion...
Broke out the glitter
Lots of updates on projects, but I'm still buried neck deep in work so time to get back at it!  I'm off to wallpaper a customer's townhouse (and I didn't even show you photos of that dollhouse -- there's just so much going on here!).  Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Another Newport Done

We (my shop) are hired about once a year to work on a Newport dollhouse. It's a very popular model by Real Good Toys! This year's Newport job only involved assembling it; customer wants to paint, shingle, and finish off the interior herself. She bought the kit from us 3 weeks ago and I promised to have it assembled in 3 weeks (so deadline was today). But then my youngest daughter came down ill delaying my work; and then my middle daughter had her 12th birthday and a slumber party to celebrate, distracting me from my job; and then I came down with an illness for 4 days and missed work! Sitting at home with a fever, cough, and sniffles, I was a nervous wreck about how far behind in my work I was getting. Until my mother texted me this from the shop (where she was holding down the fort in my absence):
Not only was she helping customers and shipping out our online orders, Mom had started the Newport foundation and labeled all the parts in the kit! If I weren't infected with nasty cold or flu germs, I'd give her hugs and kisses! Lol
So, upon returning to work on Thursday I assembled the rest of the house and glued windows and railings together (they aren't glued onto the house though so customer can paint them easier).
So even though life tried to get in my way, thanks to energetic mom getting the ball rolling, one of the six customer houses is done on time and awaiting pick-up!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Up to my elbows in primer

Spent almost 2 hours priming various parts of the House with Damaged Porch Roof from the last blog entry...
Foundation is primed and replacement siding strips are primed (gotta paint both sides to prevent a lot of warping).  I also slapped some primer on the exposed house body above the door to help seal the mildew/moldy areas.
BEFORE

AFTER
 Living Room got a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling and walls and foundation is now primed.
BEFORE

AFTER
Did not get a very good 'before' photo of the dining room, but it also now has a fresh coat of paint and looks much improved!

And, in my typical fashion, I managed to get primer all over my hands and up my arms to my elbows.  I scrubbed so vigorously to remove the paint I gave myself nasty rug burns on my arms.  they are burning right now -- Some days I am not the brightest! LOL

I hope to glue the siding on the front of the house before I leave work today and then it won't get any more attention until next week...my arms need the rest! :)

Red Townhouse customer returned to the store and finished picking out her wallpapers and floorings so I will work on that tomorrow instead.