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, February 24, 2017

Up to my elbows in primer

Spent almost 2 hours priming various parts of the House with Damaged Porch Roof from the last blog entry...
Foundation is primed and replacement siding strips are primed (gotta paint both sides to prevent a lot of warping).  I also slapped some primer on the exposed house body above the door to help seal the mildew/moldy areas.

 Living Room got a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling and walls and foundation is now primed.

Did not get a very good 'before' photo of the dining room, but it also now has a fresh coat of paint and looks much improved!

And, in my typical fashion, I managed to get primer all over my hands and up my arms to my elbows.  I scrubbed so vigorously to remove the paint I gave myself nasty rug burns on my arms.  they are burning right now -- Some days I am not the brightest! LOL

I hope to glue the siding on the front of the house before I leave work today and then it won't get any more attention until next week...my arms need the rest! :)

Red Townhouse customer returned to the store and finished picking out her wallpapers and floorings so I will work on that tomorrow instead.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Good Bones; Bad Damage

Have 5 customer houses in right now.  This little baby came in for some minor rehab work:
Needs a little love
A well-loved childhood house that seemed to just need a little sprucing up on the surface.  Customer wanted a general clean-up, missing doors/windows reinstalled, railings replaced, maybe some fresh paint on porch, and interior papers removed/replaced.
Missing door is inside house
Rug needs a vacuuming or replacement!

You can tell exactly where the rug was in this room
So at first it seemed like the work was all cosmetic alterations...until we noticed some "high character" shingles on the porch roof:
Those wavy rows add character to the house, right?
Add the noticeable discoloration on the siding under the window and we knew there was a previous water damage issue happening.  A glance under the porch revealed more damage:
Window is popping off the house
With buckling siding and windows being pushed away from the structure thanks to the swelled wood and brittle siding, this rehab project just went to a whole other level.  The bare bones of the structure was solid though so we spent yesterday starting the clean-up, disinfecting, and removing the rotting areas:
Left window is cleaned, right window still dirty
As you can see in the photo above, a good scrubbing with a toothbrush helped the window mullions: you can tell the difference between the left side and right side!
Porch floor was blue, not gray!  Who knew!
Even the floors benefited from a good scrubbing:
So much better!
Small chips and holes remain, but if the customer can live with the imperfections and wants to save on rehab costs, we might be able to just poly these floors!  They may have another few years of life in them after the scrubbing!
Chip along the front edge of the house

Hole at the bottom of the stair

This large chip isn't as noticeable thanks to stain underneath
Next I tackled the porch, ripping away all the rotted wood -- most of it just fell apart or splintered apart as I grasped it.  As I got closer to the "good wood" I used my handy I-drill to make a clean cut. (I love my oscillating I-drill!)
Pile of rotted porch roof wood

Some remaining mildew/rot on the house
There is still some remaining dry rot/mildew on the house that we will sand off and cover with KillZ to stop the mold from growing and seal it up tight!  And, yes, taking off the siding revealed the round wires that had been hidden underneath.  But on the interior it appears as though they were cut out/off many years ago.
In progress
So rotted, dilapidated porch roof has been removed and we will create a new one later next week.  (Got to fix up the siding and paint first.)
On it's way to repair
New siding has been cut to fit.  Needs paint and to be glued back on before porch can be reconstructed.  Amazing what 3 hours worth of work can do: this baby is well on it's way to being brought back to life!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Spray Painting Table

I had the perfect table for the Butterfly scene, but I wanted it black, not the fruitwood it was.
Table in the background needs to be black...and blue vase needs to be red.
And, yes, the blue vase looks good right now cuz it's picking up the blue in the painter's tape but eventually that blue vase will be switched out with a red one.

So I decided to spray paint the table.  Lots of people spray paint miniature furniture.  So I can too, right? Yikes. Something went terribly wrong....
Streaky bubbles appeared!
I'm not sure if I held the can to close to the project (directions said 6" - 8" away and I thought I had but...), or if the temperature in my garage was too cold for spraying that day, or if I did a second coat to soon after the first, or what happened.  But those streaky bubbles looked hideous!
Sanded all the bubbles off and tried again

I love the design on the table edges; thankfully the paint didn't bubble up there!

Gave it another first coat (lightly)
My patience was tried, but I made sure to measure and sprayed only 7" from the project and I waited an entire day between each of my four spray coats.  So my one-day project took four, but I am happy with it...

A table top I can live with!

Finally!  So pretty!
I also spent an evening this week priming the box pieces, assembling the pieces, and wallpapering the interior space.  And I got an extra vase and painted it red so the flowers are now ready to go!
Coming along nicely!
Yeah. So those parts are done. Now to experiment with the "dirt" (coffee grinds) and to get over to the laser cutter to print out my Shoji doors I designed!