Saturday, 20 January 2018

Trims and furniture fiddling

By the time you get to house build five you get pretty nifty at putting in simple profile trims.



The under counter fridge rather stopped me from putting in full size skirting boards in the kitchen as I couldn't get it down the side of the fridge.  It would look odd stopping at the fridge door (and prevent it from opening in real life) so I opted for the solution I did in the mud room and just added a small trim to match the floor like you sometimes get with laminate flooring.



The sitting room took a matter of minutes to cut six pieces of trim and glue them in place.  This still looks a bit 'rough' as I haven't gone back in with paint to fill any gaps.  I started late in the day and the light was too poor for fiddling around with a fine paintbrush.



So..... late afternoon, poor light in the Dalton House, no time left in the day to start fitting the lights on this level..... might as well play around with furniture.  The cardboard box is standing in for a yellow and white sideboard I still have to make.  Not sure if five seats in a small apartment is overkill?  Nice to have friends......




This is the sparse version - will look better with rug and pictures on walls and leaves room to dot coffee table or side tabes or other bits and bobs around.

So which one to go for.....????

(If you do want detailed information on how to fit trims just go to the 'Labels' section in the left hand column of the blog and click on trims - you need to have the blog open on a browser and not just be reading it in your email)

Saturday, 13 January 2018

A Rug ..... for now

I have a wretched time finding any rug I like.  Every project has been the same - bar one - when I discovered a great rug maker and maker of 'lino' and all kinds of interesting floorings, all historically accurate and beautifully made.  By the time of the next project she had stopped working!  So four out of five of my builds I have flailed around trying to find rugs that are even acceptable. I fairly recently paid forty pounds for a couple of rugs printed for me with all kinds of assurances from the maker that the colours would be accurate etc etc.  My required pale pink and faded mossy green sitting room rug arrived in shades of yellowy, beigy, allsorts and the sharp black and gold music room rug was muddy brown and lighter muddy brown!  I rest my case.

At Christmas I bought a couple of packets of very cheap felt from the hobby shop to make stick-on reindeer noses and eyes..... don't ask.


It occurred to me to try printing a rug on the white sheet that was in the pack it they looked to be the right size for the printer and seemed more 'stable' than ordinary felt fabric.


So, OK, it is a long way from perfect but it is as good as any I have paid an arm and leg for.  Indeed I might be happier that it is not so bright as the paper version lying on top of it.  My husband did say the colour could be increased and I could tweak this and that to get it better, but for now this will do just fine.  I may have another go when I have time.  It was good enough to know it can be done without bunging up the printer and exploding my other half's brain.

Moral of this story is - if you think it, try it, you never know your luck.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Step by step wallpapering



Happy New Year - I made it back on time - just about.  I confess to having papered the room after lunch on Saturday which is my blog post day, but here I am.  Hopefully I will be able to keep some progress going on my project and stop by and share with you each week.  'What japes, Pip!'

I have done a ton of stuff about wallpapering through my many blogs and even YouTube but I thought I might offer a step by step instruction here for any newbies.  Apologies to the 'got it sorted' folk; hopefully I might have something a bit more interesting next week.

1.  Measure the height of the room




2.Trim one long edge of your paper if it needs it for any reason.  This is is on a sort of photo quality paper and has a white frame all round.




3.  Work out the width of the strip you need to cut.  Here my room height is 7.75 inches and the total width of my skirting board and small coving that is going in is about an inch.  I want the trims to slightly overlap the paper (this gives the neatest edge) but leave some wood bare for the trims to adhere to; this is better fix than just sticking the trims on top of the wallpaper.  So I will cut my strips 7 inches wide.




4.  Start with the paper for the back wall.  Score gently on the back of the paper a bit under a quarter of an inch in from the edge and fold it sharply over.  This will allow the paper to go into the corner neatly and give a slight wrap over onto the side walls.  No walls of a dolls house fit snugly together as they do in a real life plastered wall and so there is always something of a slight gap.   If you do this little overlap, it doesn't show in terms of wallpapering and it covers that gap nicely.




5. Snug the paper tightly into its corner using the folded edge.  Hold it firmly and then make a firm crease (fingernail will do) where the other corner will be.






6. Fold it over well and make a very sharp crease




7.  Trim a small edge like you did for the other side.




8.  Cut the paper for the two side walls without a folded edge




9.  The glue I use is a ready made border adhesive.  I am fairly sure it is probably just a basic PVA glue (like Aleene's etc) but it does feel silkier and goes on more easily - maybe it has water or something else added?  I have experimented with watering down PVA and using wallpaper paste etc but this is decidedly the easiest, cleanest and cheapest glue for papering for sure.




10.  Get a surface you don't mind cleaning up like this silicone baking liner (!) because you will make a mess.  Go over the back of the paper generously with a wiggle of glue and then spread it smoothly and evenly over every teeny bit of the paper taking care to take it to the very edge.  Easiest way to do this is with your hands and smear it until it feels evenly coated and sweep over all the edges to make sure they are covered.  I said it would be messy.




11.  Line up one of your folded edges carefully into the corner of the room.  Press down along that edge, taking care to make sure the little overlap on the side wall is well glued down.  Then work you way gently across the paper, dabbing and smoothing with a soft cloth (and your hand) to the other creased corner.  Handle the paper carefully to avoid getting glue on the surface.  If you do smear it, just try to clean it off with a slightly dampened cloth, try not to rub.  All papers and prints will behave differently.  At the worst you will have paper that sucks up liquid and tears and breaks when it is only slightly damp and sometimes you find printing with colours that run or smudge.  As with everything in life it is generally best to buy the best quality you can afford from a reputable merchant.  I have only ever had one absolutely useless paper and I very soon realised it was unusable so gave up on it and bought something else.  So, if you find dreadful things are happening when you are wallpapering it may well be the paper not you -  don't give up, just try another choice.




12. Clean and dry your pasting surface between pasting each piece of paper to make sure the good side stays clean.  Paste and stick up the other two walls and..... voila....one wallpapered room.






Saturday, 2 December 2017

Well here's a first.....

Apologies for the non appearance of my blog today .....I sort of knew that was coming....

I am dealing with a load of RL stuff now (as we all do at some time) so the dollhousing keeps dropping to the bottom of my list of things to do..... and then rolling on to tomorrow's list.

I am taking a break for December and will be back with you on the first Saturday in the New year (6 January).  Please be kind and stay with me.

Have a lovely Christmas and I wish you and yours a healthy and happy 2018.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

The kitchen goes in and grumbling goes on

 There will be a considerable amount of grumbling in this post for which I apologise in advance.  This blog is supposed to be my own record/journal/diary of this build and should, therefore, try to be recorded warts and all.  This week there are many warts.  Sharing them is no bad thing as they may serve to remind someone here and there not to do the same.

Let's start with nice!  Here are two more pieces for my bedroom from Elf Miniatures.  There is a small table to be used as a desk and a bedside cabinet to match the three piece bedroom suite I had already bought.  The drawer does open and the finish is lovely.



The desk is to sit in the dormer window space so it was made specially for me so I could have an exact fit.




Bedroom wart:  I do wish I had thought to cut the wallpaper so that the trees didn't have their heads chopped off where the wall joins the ceiling.



When the roof is down this is what you will see through the dormer window.

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Let's wart away in the kitchen.


I tried to improve the tiles by adding a thin card paper trim down the side as they would have a trim in real life.  I also coated them with a triple thick glaze which is something of a pain to apply to a large area.  I do commend it to you if you have a clock face or something like that which you would like to have the appearance of being covered in glass.  It works really well and even gives that nice domed effect that clock glass has.  It works best by dropping a generous amount into a space and letting it settle




The tiles were them re-scored carefully and I kidded myself they looked better for it and they were put in place.


The left side of the kitchen is a double wart wall.

Wart number one:  Why, oh why after making the boob of putting in trim in the bedroom and then realising I should have put the false door in first did I then go on to trim the kitchen and then add the extractor fan!  I didn't even realise it until everything was in place and then the penny dropped the extractor does not go to the ceiling it only goes to the coving!!!!!!!!  I can''t face removing and fixing right now so there it will stay for a while.

Wart number two:  the tiles most decidedly need to go up to the fan and not just be a strip along the worktop.


Can you now spot wart three which resides on the right hand side of the kitchen?....yup, I stopped the tiles below the cupboards again and it looks odd.  I now have the job of having to fit some perfectly between the shelves - such fun, not!


Wart four is really more of a giant carbuncle which will be really hard for me to ignore.  If I have a particular feature or something I am fond of, like a a really nice fireplace or piece of furniture I learned very early in my dollhousing life to make sure it got placed pretty much back and centre of a room, so it could be admired by the large human.  Here I have made some lovely Elf units and terrific sink and cooker and microwave and wonderful resin counter tops and then carefully slid them all in sideways in a pokey room on the rooftop floor which is hard to see any way, so they are now pretty much unviewable.

Here endeth the lesson for this week  Think and plan, think and plan.

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I have mentioned many times that my blog appears regularly each week on Saturday because I do a bit of work on the house and then write about it, so in a good week with lots of bits being done I might get two or three posts written and banked.  I have had as much as three months worth waiting to appear.  Sadly RL stuff has been getting in the way of late and so I am now all out of work and writing.  I will do my very best to get something done on the house next week and get a post to you on time and make it a happy one.  I just thought I would add a footnote in case Saturday came along and I didn't appear.

Thank you to all who comment here and to those who also email me.  It is always lovely to hear from you and to know my mini passions are also enjoyed at some level by others.  Basically it is lovely to share with such gentle souls.




Saturday, 18 November 2017

A couple of purchases and starting fitting the kitchen

I have spent literally months trying to find a light with a fan like I have in the Rec room.  They don't turn up often and when they do they seem to be on American sites (Ebay included) this means the cost has been well over the twenty pound mark and as much as about forty pounds.  I wanted it but not that much.

One iPad and settee night I went on the usual trawl and for some astonishing reason found this on Maple Street Dolls House and Miniatures.  It is a site I sort of know but for some reason had never pinged in my searches before as having 'a light with fan'.  Not only did they have one but it was only £5.39 plus postage and came in a couple of days.  Whoops of happy could be heard in the land.  I am sharing this in case they have something you thought you couldn't find??????


It looks huge here but that's just a perspective thing, the scale is fine.





Another very considered purchase was this not too lovely corner sofa.  I knew it was low quality but it is the size and shape I want.  I had already looked at tons of mini sectional sofas all at daft prices and they would definitely need recovering and were mostly too big for my apartment space. 

I have already bought several very nice (expensive for me) retro pieces of furniture for this room but when I put them in place they looked far too OTT for a (mature) student flat.  My landlady is not that generous.  That said, a white corner sofa might still suggest a case of style over substance. Not at all practical. So, it may end up being recovered charcoal grey especially  if I can't tidy up the bits and bobs that need doing.  Think it also needs better/taller legs.  It is covered in a very, very thin velvet like material, so there are a ton of loose bits.  I am hoping a soft brush and some fray stop may improve it.  You can find it in several places but my favourite vendor had it cheaper than anyone else and it was here the next day, good old  Elf miniatures




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Off we go on the process of getting the kitchen units in place.  


trims painted and ready to go

floors - two coats of satin varnish rubbed down before and in between

wallpaper template of kitchen floor

double sided sticky tape ready

kitchen and sitting room floor laid down

this is why I always use coving - I hate those gaps

I needed a silver escutcheon for front door lock.

The entrance to the flat is of course an interior door in the house but it would still need a (privacy) lock.  I thought a straightforward key lock would do rather than a Yale like we have on the front door of the house.  I started with brass escutcheon, covered it with silver pen, snipped out and super-glued it on the door.


coving in, door in, floor in, ready for units

sad face
I spent a lot of money getting the wallpaper for the sitting room and the tiles for the kitchen all the way from Australia and now I don't like it.  I was expecting flat mat wallpaper and a gloss card (maybe even embossed) printed tile.  I received all the same A3 size glossy paper for both.  I don't want shiny wallpaper and I do want thicker and embossed tiling.  

I tried scoring a strip of the tiles to emboss it a little.  The strip on top has been scored by me but it doesn't look substantially different to the flat piece underneath - so that's not the answer.


In real life I never have tiles in the kitchen - I can never find ones I want to live with for years and can never decide where to stop and start them - guess what - I am having just the same issues in small world.

I show you how it all turned out next week.

Glum mini person......




Saturday, 11 November 2017

The not-much-fun bedroom

For some reason this apartment bedroom seemed to be a pig of problem from start to finish.

First of all there were six pairs of LED lights wires lying across the floor from the ceiling below.  They each had the neck of the fitting slightly protruding above the floor. Rather than making six deep grooves to get the wires and neck laid down properly I worked out a different tactic - a false floor.

I bought some 1/8th inch strips of wood from Hobby's  and used them like joists.  I put a strip right round the edge of the room, laid three inside this frame front to back and put in the occasional strip across (for additional support) where the wires would allow.  On top of this I glued a sheet of cardboard (thin but fairly rigid) for the new floor.

So all that worked out reasonably OK and I photographed each step of the way for this how-to-do-it post - then I wiped the card in the camera thinking I had downloaded the photos - I hadn't.

Here is the finished front edge - now that's a useful tutorial.



the edge of the false floor

I then wallpapered and added the usual coving but held off on the skirting.  Much ifs and ands and buts went into the decision to put carpet down first and then add the skirting.  I like realism and, in real life, carpet certainly goes down after the skirting is in place, but I had the sense to realise that my carpet would fray a good deal and the edges would never go down neatly  Any way when I look at my RL fitted carpet it is sort of almost rolled over at the edges to make a neat edge and it looks like the skirting is sitting on top of it.

I have never carpeted a room in a dollshouse - no, I couldn't believe it either.  I found it something of a pain to do.  The carpet seemed to stretch every which way and cutting it to fit round the door and door frames, trying to make that a nice tidy fit, was a pain; not to mention just getting the front edge to end up exactly in the right place.  Once I had got the front edge OK I daubed it with fray stop and gently 'pushed' it into the pile with my finger.  It seems to be holding OK so far.  I used the usual double sided tape but I only added it as I went along so the fabric didn't catch where I didn't want it to as I worked.

Down went the skirtings.  Ta dah - the end?...... not so, I had always planned a door at the back of the room to go to a bathroom.  Moral dilemma....... leave everything as it is (no-one else knows there 'should' be a door) or find a way to cut out a piece of the skirting (perfectly) and shove the door in.


paper and trims all in place

I used a knife with a broad edged blade like a chisel and hacked away at the wood.  It took absolutely ages. I thought that levering the whole piece of skirting out to cut out the piece would make such a mess of the wallpaper and the adjoining skirting so I wasn't prepared to risk it.  Finally I had hacked through to the back wall in both places and I levered out the door size section using a small screwdriver - out popped the whole skirting clean as a whistle.  Fortunately there was no collateral damage other than some wallpaper torn and the door would cover that any way!! So I removed the piece and duly glued the two sections back in again.

In went the door into the newly created space.....


ditto above plus false door


Here is the furniture I have so far for this room.  There will be a small matching side table and a plain small table to fit in the dormer window space for a desk and a chair for that.  The wardrobe and drawers do open.  Unlike some mini friends I may resist the temptation to fill them.....I love the idea but not the cost.  It would be a delight for anyone 'playing' with the finished house to discover such things but, sadly,  that won't happen.  I have never kept a house to 'play' with.  I really like the making and moving on.  That said, this one was meant to be my first keeper, so you never know.







(05/10/17)