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, April 5, 2016

Plant Roombox

This was a quick little project we stuck in between the other customers' houses we are finishing.  It is a shadow box kit from Real Good Toys.  Customer wanted a small space to put plants so this 4-1/2" deep by approximately 14-1/2" wide roombox seemed perfect!  I was to stain the exterior, Magic Brik the interior walls (How To Magic Brik: My Previous Magic Brik Project), and Magic Ston the interior floor: a simple and sweet job.  Until I opened the box to assemble it and realized the box is MDF and not real wood so...no staining.

For those that have never tried (i.e. for those who haven't accidentally forgotten and stained MDF anyway), MDF doesn't stain well.  There is no grain to enhance or actual wood to create that beautiful richness when you stain it.  MDF just absorbs the stain, becoming a brown color with streaks of darker brown depending upon your brush strokes.
Porch Floor made of MDF we stained
I pointed this out to the customer, but she elected to have us stain it anyway: she isn't interested so much in what the exterior is like: she is more focused on the interior!  Most of the exterior isn't seen anyway because who ever looks at the back of a roombox?  And, most likely, the roombox will be on a bookshelf or up against a wall.
All of this will be against the bookshelf and never seen
I also debated about attempting to faux paint it to look stained as I had read about in another miniature blog (Late Victorian English Manor) but I was too chicken to try experimenting on a customer's project that had such an immediate deadline.  There would be no time to practice or experiment with new techniques.  But it was a good lesson to learn that if customers have their hearts set on a stained exterior I ought to convince them to buy Alessio's shadowboxes or roomboxes which are made out of real wood!

So on to the interior...
Per customer's instructions, we Magic Brik'ed the interior walls with red bricking.  Then we sponge painted over them in white, leaving some spots of the red showing thru.  We started the Magic Ston to create the stone flooring:
Step 1 for Flooring
Step 2 for Flooring
Customer wants a light gray stone flooring, but I don't think the monotone gray looks very realistic.  So I painted some of the stones to add a touch of realism:
Step 3 for Flooring and front trim is glued on
Sconces are in:
With lights on....
I don't know exactly what type of plants the customer is putting in this box, but I grabbed some off the shelves here at the store to see how it'd look with stuff in the room:
Finished box
Customer is picking the box up tomorrow before she heads off to the Chicago Show where I'm sure she'll find all sorts of fun goodies for her roombox!

Now I've got to get back to work on the Little Lost Cause or the Donation House!

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