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 . . . .

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Happy Helpers

One common complaint of motherhood is that you are never left alone: can't even use the bathroom without a kid knocking on the door needing something.  So my hobby is no different!  I started to chip out the Leaky Cauldron pub floor and it attracted the attention of my girls. 

Luckily two of my girls are old enough now to actually help!  I was not surprised by my eldest offering to help me; she likes to help with everything I do, from laundry to miniatures.

It was appropriate that my middle daughter also wanted to help; I was pregnant with her 10 years ago when I took the class and first made the structure.  How appropriate then that she help me finish it up!  She is not into miniatures, but she is a Harry Potter fan so she was eager to assist.  Plus, she is great at deconstruction!

So, slowly but surely, the old plaster floor is getting chipped out!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Getting Personal . . .

I was so certain that I would struggle on a customer's dollhouse recently and when I encountered no difficulties with the job, I felt empowered and ready to tackle the world. Well, my tiny corner of it anyway.
 I know that I should be working on my Mansion.  It sits right here behind me as I type; a figurative elephant in the room. (Okay, it's not really as big as an elephant but to hear my spouse complain about it still sitting in our family room corner you'd think it was larger than a pachyderm).  Yet I went and brought a different project up out of the basement . . . .

My unfinished but still respectable structure

A local lady is trying to coordinate a Bill Lankford class here in Loudoun County.  It's his Leaky Cauldron/Diagon Alley class. On the pamphlet I made and posted at work, I used a photo of my own (unfinished but still presentable) Leaky Cauldron/Diagon Alley that I made in a Bill Lankford class 10 years ago. I never completed this project for a very stupid reason: The pub floor.

My Leaky Cauldron Pub Floor

I had never used wall spackle to create flooring so I wanted to make sure I had completed this part in class that way Mr. Lankford was right there if I ran into problems.  Unfortunately we were rushing at the end of class and I hastily created this stone floor in the last 1/2 hour before leaving.  And I hate it.  And I know I need to destroy it, chip it out, sand it, do whatever it takes to remove it!  Because I really want a wood floor in there.  So for 10 years I have avoided completing this project because I know I have a messy and labor intensive job ahead of me to undo my poorly done floor.

There are some minor other issues, but they are either quick fixes or decorating issues.  A window needs to be repaired and installed:

This window needed to be installed . . .

. . . but it broke before I got to install it.  So I have to fix it first.
Stones under the moving part of the structure need to be glued down with a special formula of soap and water (a special formula that is written on a tiny scrap of paper that may never be found in the "safe spot" I put it somewhere in my basement):

This collection of aquarium pebbles need to be glued down -- it's
amazing I haven't lost any of them over the years
as they just rattle around down there under the pub.

And, the part I am really looking forward to: various shop windows in Diagon Alley need to be filled.
I have cauldrons and owls for these two shops, but the shop just out of frame on the right
is a robe shop.  Not too thrilled about filling that shop, and am debating about changing it to a different shop all together.
There is also an exterior shop window that needs to be filled with some merchandise.  It is a muggle shop.  There is already one other exterior shop window that has Harry Potter books in it for sale.  Any ideas of what should be for sale in the other muggle shop's window?


Both hinges cooperated and turned out great!
Dollhouse Before: minor work needed on right side of house to reattach
 the addition front panel and the second story porch door back in place.

Dollhouse After: Cleaned, reattached additon front panel, put porch door on hinge,
reglued porch railing in place and interior stairs were given a coat of paint and reglued in place (not shown).
Customer was happy to have the childhood dollhouse swinging parts back in working order.  Addition panel was put on a new hinge and the porch door was reglued together and fit back on to the hinge.

Porch door opens and closes again!

I was happy that there were no issues with the job: hinges went on without a hitch!  Riding on a wave of euphoria over my hinge success, I decided to tackle a personal project I have been avoiding for 10 years: my Leaky Cauldron/Diagon Alley! It is now up out of the basement and ready to be completed!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


So my sister is married! Yay!
Now it is time to focus on work again . . .
Customer brought in her childhood dollhouse that needs some minor repairs: fix porch access door, repair molding above front door and re-glue porch railings back on, and reattach front dollhouse piece which was on hinges but fell off. So two separate hinge issues (smaller porch door and large dollhouse panel). Not gonna be fun as hinges are my nemesis!