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, January 30, 2016

Snow Days Library Stairs!

For a town that freaks out when we get 5" or more of snow, to be hit with 36" means we shut down for almost a week.  Stuck at home with nothing to do: NEVER!  I have a mansion to work on (and 3 young kids who need hot chocolate, snow pants put on and off, and a driveway/sidewalk that need shoveling, and a dog who, it turns out, is afraid of windy snow gusts and needs a path shoveled so she can do her business)!

But in between the various snow related activities, I put together the library spiral stair case!  It is a special order spiral staircase kit by Alessio.  He makes a (nicer, IMO) spiral staircase kit but it takes up 5" diameter of space in the house.  I only had 4" diameter of space I could spare for the stairs so I contacted him and requested this kit be made to only take up the smaller diameter.  The treads aren't as finely detailed as his 5" diameter steps which have a pretty design on them (as opposed to mine that have two rows of square holes), but this kit met my important criteria of 4" diameter -- plus I have a pretty scroll work railing for it so that will dress it up.  I had carefully dry fit it together, sanding and whittling down the spindle posts that were too fat to fit thru the appropriate holes, and positioned it in the house and it was perfect!  So I disassembled the dry fit and broke out the glue!
Moving right along!
With a cozy fire crackling and kids playing their newest favorite card game (Exploding Kittens), I glued the staircase together in less than an hour!  And put it in the house to make sure the top step reached the floor of the second level library:
No, no, no, no, NO!
To discover that I had assembled the darn thing reversed!  It needs to spiral the opposite way so the top step rests where the black arrow is in the photo, not where it currently is!  When I disassembled the dry fit I must have put the pieces upside down and when I picked them back up to add glue, it changed the direction of the spiral!  Craptastic.

Luckily, our cozy fire in the other room had the house at a lovely 76-degrees (F) so the glue was not set yet.  I could wiggle the parts all back off!  After some sanding of dried glue bits and gluing 2 broken steps back together, I was ready to begin again . . .
Round 2: Murphy's Law - 1; Me - 0.
Spiraling the correct way now...
YAY!  I did it correctly this time!
Now to add my pretty scroll work railing!  However, I didn't like the fork-y looking sticks that came with Alessio's stair kit.  At first I was thinking they would offer support for my pretty scroll work curved railing.  But when I held the curved railing up to the sticks, the sticks disrupted the scroll design.  So I had to cut all the sticks off the stairs...
Sticks all trimmed off
Dry fit of scroll work railing
The railing would be glued to the very edge of the steps and to small balusters at the top and bottom of the steps.  Luckily the laser cut scroll work railing had been wrapped around a mailing tube for months now so the warped curve is pretty much set in place!
Set in to the room - it's a good fit!
Now it was ready for paint!
Painted and with all railing in

More Railing
I have to still do the lower ceiling and add crown moulding, baseboards, and trims so I did not glue the railings or stairs in place (they are just held temporarily with FunTak).  And that is why the fireplace and other bookshelf are missing from the back wall on the first floor: can't work on the ceiling with those in there.  But the Mansion's 2-story Library is just about complete!  Another snow storm that keeps me home for almost a week would do it (Can you hear me, Mother Nature?).


  1. Hello, Lori - I always enjoy stopping by your blog, and today was no exception. You're doing a fantastic job on the library, and the spiral staircase is wonderful. (In spite of a few setbacks, which made me laugh, because that's exactly the sort of thing that happens to me more frequently than I should admit.) But your recovery was excellent. That scrollwork railing is perfection, especially with the painted finish; you could not have made a better choice, in my opinion. Very nice work!

    1. Thank you so much, Marjorie! I appreciate your kind words and am grateful that some one out there enjoys reading my babblings!

  2. Hello Lori,
    I'm sorry you had trouble with assembly, but it was so worth it in the end. It looks lovely and the room is perfect.
    great work!
    Big hug

    1. Hi Giac, Thank you! Your work is gorgeous and your opinion means a lot to me!

    2. Hi Giac, Thank you! Your work is gorgeous and your opinion means a lot to me!