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 . . . .

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holidays brought windows and doors!

Thanks to the holidays I made progress on the Mansion.  My husband (with help from my parents) bought me most of the windows needed for the mansion and my in-laws gave me cash (which I promptly spent on the Majestic Mansion's Pollinade French Doors needed for my mansion's ballroom).

I plan to have two of these (along with one single Pollinade French Door) on the side of the Addition so that the little dollhouse people may exit the ballroom out to the terrace.  I am such a sucker for Majestic Mansion windows and doors! http://www.majesticmansions.com/

Now that I don't have to worry about paying off all these windows and doors without my husband realizing how much money I spent on miniatures, I am getting excited again about working on the mansion.

My father, in addition to cutting me some base pieces which will become a basement with servants' rooms and a wine cellar, took two pieces of the addition home with him to route out a notch at the bottom so (since he works slowly) the project was on hold for a while.  I am hoping the mild weather we had this week will prompt him to take the saw and router out and work on them.

My very good friend sent me my Christmas gift and in amongst the chocolate was a gift certificate so that I could purchase this for my lady's bedroom (or the Morning room):

I love this floral arrangement!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Picture is worth a thousand words . . .

Okay - my last post was a bit difficult to understand!  Hope I didn't give anyone a head ache!  Here are the new revised plans for the three floors of the mansion:

This is the first floor plan (above).  The Addition is the ballroom which is shown in the plans as being "hinged" open although I decided to drop the hinge idea when my parents pointed out that it wouldn't fit thru a doorway if it were connected to the main house (thank goodness for their input!).  The Parlour and Music Room are now joined into one room.  The library is now on the first floor (will have a spiral stair up to the second floor level of the library).

The second floor plans are bit rough in the Addition.  The Morning Room (smaller family dining room) is roughly the same size as the guest bedroom on the opposite end of the house.  So please ignore the darker wall divider line halfway thru the addition -- the other room in the Addition is the Formal Dining Room for when they are entertaining.  The guest bathroom and bedroom are self-explanatory.  The Billiards Game Room is also fairly obvious.  The shaded area in the second level library is the part I will cut out to create the 2-story aspect.  The double doors will be filled in to enclose the second level library so the only access is thru the door downstairs in the first-floor library.

The Third Floor has the new, now-open room in the back of the house.  I'm leaning towards making it an art room, although I don't know if I have enough art things to fill 14" x 9-1/2".  Other items may end up in this room - I think I will have an extra desk and/or chairs that may end up in this room -- not sure.  The other rooms on this level are for the Owners of the Mansion.  The gentleman's bedroom and bath take up the Addition and the Lady has her sitting room (where she has her desk and entertains her friends) and her bedroom and bathroom.  (The doors from the hallway into her bedroom and bathroom will be filled in so the only access to those rooms will be from the sitting room - Lady must have her privacy).

No photos yet of the plans for the Fourth Floor (Conservatory, Terrace, Maid's room, servant's bathroom, Nanny's Room & Nursery) or Basement (Wine cellar, food cellar, washroom & sewing room, maid's room, butler's room, chef's room, and servants' bathroom).  When I get done it will be a 30-room dollhouse.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Silver Linings

One of my dreams for this mansion is a two-story library room.  I have several pieces of the Bespaq library set to put in this 2-level room.  I put some of the pieces in this roombox I made (on the left) so that I could enjoy them/view them while I searched for the perfect dollhouse for my mansion.

Today I attempted to arrange the fireplace and two bookcases in the first floor of the library to discover that the rooms I had picked to be the library was not large enough for the furniture I had!  The fireplace fit - but not the bookcases!

I tried to rearrange the furniture - what if I filled in the double window and put the fireplace and bookcases along the longer wall?  What if I turned the bookcases to be at an angle?  What if I only put one bookcase next to the fireplace (looked horribly off-balance).  I was in a panic.  I bought this dollhouse kit and am constructing an addition based on this dollhouse having two identical rooms one-over-the-other so that I could cut an opening out of the floor/ceiling to create one room.  And now these two rooms are too small?  Now what?  Obviously time for a coffee and chocolate cookie break!

While having my coffee I stared at the plans for my house.  The Parlor room would be large enough for the fireplace and bookcases -- that room has a long 13-1/2" wall with no interruptions (no doors, windows, stairs, etc.).  But where would my Parlor go?  Currently my Parlor furniture is crammed in with my Music Room furniture in this roombox (pictured on right).  The roombox looks a bit cramped, but the doll and dog would not be in the room in the house so that would free up some space.  And this roombox is roughly 14" x 10".  My Music Room is 13-1/2" x 15".

This could work: move the first floor library room to the Parlor; put the Parlor furniture in the Music Room; and the second floor library room will be above the first floor library room (slightly different size, but still able to cut the floor to create the illusion of a two-story room) where the Game Room was to be (Game Room to be swapped with second floor library).  So, once I was done changing, joining and swapping rooms -- I was left with an open room!  I am now trying to decide what the new empty room should be: another guest bedroom (already have one in the house)? the sewing room (was going to stick this in the basement with the wash room)? an art room (have lots of artist supplies that I was going to try to display on the terrace or in the Lady's sitting room - or just sell as the idea of putting the artist items in the Lady's sitting room did not sound like a very Victorian thing to do)?

So my panic, terrible discovery this morning led to a silver lining of an open room (and a few cookies)!

P.S. my wood cutter friend contacted me to say that he has cut my new-measurements-addition wood!  I hope to get them from him this weekend!  Happy Dance!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Small steps . . .

I'm so anxious and excited to work on some aspect of the mansion that I went out shopping and was hoping to find the necessary pieces to make my own spiral staircase (have figured out exactly what I need - just need to find the nicest looking parts to make sure it's a stunning sprial stair).  Struck out on finding the stair pieces, but stumbled across this great metal mesh sheet that I think will look perfect on the glass doors for the Bulter's Pantry (where the family locked up the fine china and silver).  I'll need to spray it black or pewter first -- it's too bright and shining right now. This will be a nice winter project on a snowy day . . . can't wait to start constructing the pantry and doors now.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Finally back!

What a year -- I lost my blog (how embarassing - please don't tell anyone!).

A friend of mine offered to cut the addition pieces for me and I dry-fitted them together to discover that I am a terrible measurement-taker.  You've heard the saying: "measure twice, cut once"?  Apparently I measured dozens of times yet still had to admit to the wood-cutter that I'd had him cut the wood to the wrong height.  He agreed to cut me some new pieces (thank goodness).

In the meantime my father (my usual wood-cutter) pointed out to me that this house with an addition on it will be huge and will not fit thru an average door.  So the addition will not actually be attached to the main house with a hinge.  Both the addition and the main house will be attached to their own base (which will have wheels to make it easier to move this thing around).  I will fit the addition butt-up against the main house, decorate the exterior and pull the two pieces apart again.

I FOUND MY GRAND STAIRCASE!!!!  Have been searching for a decade for an impressive, elegant, grand staircase (that I could afford -- I saw beautiful stairs at the Philly Show one year, but I was NOT spending $2,900 on one staircase!).  Majestic Mansions came out with their Palace Dollhouse and in it is a wonderful staircase!  Through my local miniature shop I was able to purchase this Bespaq-produced staircase (which is good - that means it will match the other two stairs that I have for the mansion which are also Bespaq stairs purchased years ago and I thought I was going to have to bash the two stairs to make my one grand stair -- now, I have my grand stair and two other straight stairs!).

Excitement started yesterday - wood-cutter-friend emailed me to say that he hopes to have a few hours this up-coming week to cut me my new addition pieces!  And Dad-the-wood-cutter called me yesterday to say that he was cutting the wood for the bases and going to a home improvement store tomorrow to look for wheels!  (In my excitement I threw a curve ball at Dad: I want the base to be open on the sides so that I can add a wine cellar, wash room, maid/butler's room and chef's room in the basement).  He told me to tell him the measurements, he'll cut the wood and deliver them to me and I can assemble/play all I want.  And he knows about the "measured dozens of times yet still told the wood-cutter-friend the wrong measurements", yet Dad still offered to cut me whatever I wanted based on my measurements!  Can't decide if that's fatherly love and devotion or a sign that my father is loosing his marbles!

All day long yesterday I researched marble blocks (not because I thought Dad was losing his marbles though ;o))).  I want the exterior of this Victorian Mansion to be marble blocks (like Marble House or Elms in Newport, RI).  But no one has any the size I'd need (this house is HUGE and so the scale needs to be just a bit bigger to not look "busy" but yet still be impressive).

So, I have removed the top of the Majestic Mansion's Darlington (it is on the cart in the top left in the photo) and have the new top of the mansion in place to figure out how the fourth floor will be laid-out.  At first I thought I would keep the fourth floor the same - just move it over a bit so it would be centered over the main house and addition together (instead of only centered over the main house).  But now, the fourth floor will get an addition too.  Sure, why not?  At this point in time what is another 3 rooms?

And, last but not least, please also check out my friend's blog about her miniature adventures with her Glenwood by Real Good Toys:  Audra's Adventures