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 . . . .

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Gold Boxes

While waiting for some Majestic Mansion doors to arrive for my mansion's addition, I've been playing around with my New Yorker Roombox (last post about New Yorker).  Finished decorating and electrifying the Bergdorf Goodman side:
Tish's "Queen of Hearts" doll is the centerpiece of this shop's window
This is the actual, real life, Christmas time, Bergdorf Goodman window display:
So I'm pretty content with how that side has turned out so far.
And then it was on to Tiffany's windows (no pics yet) and the Teuscher Chocolatier window...
The actual, real life, Teuscher windows at Christmas time look like this:

Trees, ornaments, and garland: Oh My!
Mine has more gold than red it in thanks to some wallpaper and the Christmas trees by Miniature Corner that I fell in love with:
Mismatched trees
My window is larger than the real life window so I needed multiple trees of various heights.  But my little tree doesn't "match" the abundance of stuff decorating the larger tree.  So I got to work decorating it so it would coordinate better.
Garland and beads to add to the tree
Now it's more appropriately bedazzled and gold
The roombox was still looking a little sparse when compared to the picture of the actual shop at Christmas time.  There is a piece of garland for the back wall, but there is still way too much carpet showing in the window.  So I zoomed in on the real life photos and discovered that there are more things in the window than just trees, garland, and the occasional Santa/nutcracker/snowman!  There was a shelf full of chocolate boxes!
Chocolate? Yes, please!!!!
So I got to work making boxes to decorate with little floral garland-type toppers:
Made a box template and found a gold striped paper to make box out of
Cut out the box pattern (white inside, gold on the outside)

Glued the box up

Made multiples to decorate a plexiglass shelf piece I had from JMG
 Then I got some small gold beads and various crystals to create the topper:
These sparkly babies were the perfect color to coordinate with the trees in the scene

Painted some little beads to look more "floral"
Glued them to the boxes and put them on the shelf unit along with a mini Hallmark "Father Christmas" ornament that a friend sent me...
Still have to add the topper to the ones on the bottom...
And, like on the Bergdorf Goodman and Tiffany's sides, I even replicated the store sign on the Teuscher Chocolatier side:
Real Life Sign

My mini window version (in progress)
This evening I finished decorating tbe boxes and put some garland and poinsettias under the shelves:

Added a penny to the shelf for perspective
Need to glue garland on back wall and add some more filler pieces, but I am just about content with this side too...
So I'm still putzing around with miniatures, but no updates on the mansion yet....

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lots of wood (Shoji doors are done)!

Customer really wants the wood flooring in her Glenwood to be parallel with the open end of the dollhouse.  But the flooring sheets are 17" wide and the living room is 19-3/8" wide.  So the flooring in that room had to be pieced because I didn't want a seam right down the room.  But it had to be pieced quickly because customer also didn't want to spend a lot of money on labor or another sheet of flooring for the floor to be fully merged at the center.  So I used the remaining scrap pieces to puzzle fill the remaining 2" to 3" of flooring space left:
Edges cut back
 All the strips had to be trimmed back to where the last seam had been.
Cut the scrap pieces to match/fit in
Filled it in like a puzzle....
Scraps all fitted in and then trimmed it down to fit in the room...

Now front section piece needed to be filled in along side....

All edges were trimmed back except in 2 spots
For this larger section I could leave two sections with the seam as the staircase will be covering that area...
Stair goes right over that part so why piece it?

Floor is now quickly pieced together to be the correct size.
At quick glance there is no straight seam and with the staircase in the room, there will be no noticeable piecing at all.  And customer didn't have to pay for another sheet of flooring and there wasn't a lot of labor time involved!  Score!
Floorings are all done

Now I have to install the window trims, paint/stain staircase and install it, and the shingling of the house roof and the gazebo porch (which has been started):
Wood shingles getting cut for the gazebo peak!
Also, took a strip of Mahogany wood to the laser cutter and (finally) cut out my Shoji doors!

Polyurethaned them and added a piece of wood at the bottom to fill in some of the panes (so it wouldn't look like just a French door) and added a piece of plexi to create a door.

So the Butterfly Garden is (at long last!) finished:

I used some inlay wood trims to lay across the top (cannot glue them down because I need access to the interior in case the doors ever stick or break when/if someone opens them)...
Looking down on the scene
But with the plexiglass case on it, the plexi holds the inlay wood down in place so it all worked out:
View of the doors and interior space:
Fountain, Bamboo, and doors
All together

Looking into the interior space
I still love the doll I purchased from Tish (Tish's Website) that started it all:
Back of the doll
So, back fully focused onto the New Yorker box and Mansion now...but I gotta order some Majestic Mansion doors for the mansion first....

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Return of the Mansion

In reviewing my posts to show a customer how the remote control works with dollhouse lighting (youtube video using the remote control), I realized it had been almost a year since I worked on my Victorian Mansion.  I pulled a rookie mistake and because of it I had hit a stumbling block with the mansion: I forgot to square out all the window and door openings before I started decorating.  And now that several rooms were already decorated, no doors fit!  I had discovered the doors didn't fit just before my health got really bad last year.  And so I've avoided the mansion because the one thing I really hate doing is sanding.  And given that all doorways were about 1/16" to 1/8" too narrow and short, I knew it would take a lot of sanding and filing to fix it.  A lot.  And I'd have to be very careful because wallpapers and floorings were already in place in half the rooms.  Wonderful.  So, my way of dealing with it was to avoid it.
Out from behind the dining room table so I can get all around it
But now my mojo is going strong (Asian garden is just waiting on Shoji doors; New Yorker Roombox is waiting on some minor electrical soldering, broadway poster frames, and a battery platform and then it's done)!  So I pulled the mansion out from behind the dining room table to give it some long-needed attention!

Took almost 3 hours but all 6 doorways are now sanded/filed to the proper opening size.  Some doors are still a tight fit but I can't sand anymore!  I quit! LOL
Filing doorway between Parlor and Library without hitting fireplace or marking up the painted Parlor walls

Parlor door now fits

Filing Guest Room doorway tight fit...

After a lot of sanding both doors in Lady's Room fit...
I also touched up the library door from where some white spray paint had hit the molding edge.  So that involved a bit more sanding and a reapplication of stain.
Small amount of spray paint on molding edging that bugged me

Sanded and restained molding
And I cleaned the floors from all the dust I had created from my sanding and filing.  The dust was getting into every hairline crack and creating white streaks in my flooring so I broke out the Tack Cloth.  If you know about Tack Cloth, skip this next part:

This sticky rag gets up so much and even gives a tiny polish appearance to wood floors!  I prefer to wear gloves or a plastic bag when I hold the cloth; otherwise your fingers have a tacky feeling for hours afterwards.  But it gets all the dust and stuff off your wood floors!  I also cleaned the floors in a display house at the store:
Dusty Floor
Wiped with damp cloth but dust clings in the hairline cracks creating white streaks or dots
Scrub with a tack cloth
All clean!
So, I'm back into Mansion mode!  Hopefully a ton of work will be done on this in the next few months -- stay tuned!