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, July 31, 2015

Mansion Detailing (Pot Rack and Butler's Pantry Cabinets)

One thing the Chicago Show taught me is that I need to be making some of my mansion stuff because I'll go broke trying to buy it all.  This past month (in addition to customers' projects) I worked on finishing the lower cabinets for the Butler's Pantry (First post about work on Butler's Pantry cabinets) and the Hanging Pots & Pan Rack for the Kitchen.  I also fussed with the library ceiling, but it is not turning out the way I want so I will continue fussing with that until I am happy and post about it later.

I fell in love with the Getzan's pots and pans hanging racks at the Chicago Show, but couldn't rationalize spending so much on one piece -- a piece that isn't even the large size I'd need for my industrial (almost commercial) size mansion kitchen.  So . . . time to make my own!

I purchased strip wood, swivel plant hangers, some chains, and most importantly: the new pot and pan wall hook plaque by Reutter Porcelain.
Chains and Swivel Plant Holders.
Beautiful pots and pans and a wall holder for them - which I will glue to my hanging rack!
 Using strip wood I created a rectangular outer frame and I cut several crossbars to create an open rack between the rectangle frame edge pieces:

Step 1: creating the frame work
Step 2: cutting the bars to create the rack
 Using scrap pieces of the strip wood I glued the cross bars to the frame:
Step 3: Gluing
Step 4: All glued together!

Then I spray painted it all black.
Step 5: First coat of paint

Added some metal scroll work (it's actually the swinging plant holder by Island Craft Miniatures - available at your local miniature shop).  I bought 4 of the plant holders and used super glue to attach 2 on each side:
Step 6: Glued on the scroll work pieces to attach chains

Another spray of black paint and then I added the gold hook plaque.  The gold hook plaque came with the Reutter Porcelain pots and pan set.  I bought 2 (one for each side of the rack) and now I have a full assortment of metal pots and pans!
Step 7: Gold hooks are glued on

The fine chain was from Heidi Ott and it fit right thru the remaining piece from the swivel plant holder!  So, once my kitchen is complete, the black holders get glued to the ceiling and it's done!
Step 8: Chains are attached to black bars that will be glued to kitchen ceiling.
My kitchen ceiling heights are at 13-1/8" high so this pot racks looks to be hanging low in my work box, but it will fit perfectly once the kitchen is finished (fingers crossed!).  Finished pics with all the pots and pans:
Finished with pots and pans on it

Finished rack

View from the side
Now I also worked on finishing up the Butler's Pantry lower cabinets:
The Butler's Pantry will store all the dishes, linens, and everyday silverware (the real silver would be locked up in a safe).  I had previously disassembled Bespaq pieces to get my linen and silverware drawers (the lower cabinets).  Now I had to glue them together and add stripwood to cover the gaps and uneven cabinet heights.  Plus it needed a new countertop since they didn't have one.
Cutting and gluing the wood needed to fill in the gaps and height discrepancies.
Stripwoods are in place, and new countertop cut to fit.  Still need to fill in the back wall window hole!
Now counters and cabinets are all stained the same color (Mahogany) and once the stain dries a full 24 hours I will lightly sand it with a paper bag (finest sand paper there is, other than your hand!) and polyurethane it to a gloss finish.  But essentially it is finished:

Now to continue working on the library ceiling and electrical!  My middle daughter loves to prime and she started to prime the house for me: one room is primed and ready for the electrical wires:
Lady's Bedroom is primed!
I really want to start the electrical before a business trip I have to take on August 22nd so that if I run into any issues with the 12 channel remote control I can discuss it with the maker (Creative Reproductions 2 Scale) when I see him on the 22nd.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Revist the Celerity Little Molly

We finished the Celerity Little Molly ahead of schedule making the end of June deadline easily!

However, the customer came in to get her dollhouse and decided she loved the wallpapered rooms so much that she wanted us to wallpaper the other rooms which were only primed and left for her to paint in the future when she had time.  So she picked out a few more wallpapers and I got to work installing those papers, cutting and installing some window trims and some doors, and staining/painting the stairs.

I actually finished this job 2 weeks ago, but a storewide sale and my own personal projects kept me distracted and unable to finish this blog entry!  I keep trying to figure out how I can cram 39 hours of work into the 24 hours God gives me in a day!  So far I haven't had any success with that; then again, I was never a genius at math so I keep trying to make it work.

The top right attic room got wallpapered to coordinate with the left side of the attic:

I tried making a template for the slanted wall that is papered with a white textured liner, but it ended up being easier to just stick the paper in there and cut and fuss with it around the wall divider instead of taking the time to create a template. 

Both hallways were wallpapered and stairs were stained.  Customer loved the wallpaper but we only had three sheets of it for the six walls so we opted to leave the back walls white (which helps them not clash with the other rooms they flow into - on the first floor the back wall goes into the kitchen and on the second floor the back wall is seen along with the bedroom).  But we still had to creatively cut the papers to get the three sheets to cover the four remaining walls:

As you can see in the pictures above, customer also had us paint and install the french door onto the porch (as well as the white door on the front which was seen in previous post pictures).
Lastly, customer really wanted a fireplace in the living room but instead of just gluing the fireplace on the wall like the customer requested, we added a sheet of bricking behind it (with customer's approval) to make it more realistic (otherwise the wallpaper would have been seen in the fireplace insert where the logs would go).

Now, during this time while finishing up these last details on the Little Molly, I have also been working on several personal projects (pot rack, library ceiling, and finishing up the lower cabinets for the Butler's Pantry in the mansion) but none are quite finished yet, but as soon as they are I will be updating you on them!