November 27, 2016 # 2

I forgot to post a photo of the completed fireplace with the firebox installed. Here it is:


I’m not super happy with the contrast between the brick in the firebox and the darker grout. I will probably paint the bricks a darker grey. The current grey is so pale that it looks white. I think it will look better darker.

November 27, 2016

I’m actively working on the kitchen right now. There’s nothing completed yet and it may be a while before there is anything really worth photographing. But for fun, I have photographs of the plans, the parts and, LOL, the mess! Here you go:


Above is the drawing for the back wall portion of the kitchen. It is actual size, so I cut these out and made patterns out of them for cutting the bass wood. Yes, I decided to make the cabinet boxes out of wood, though I am using very thin stick-on veneer for the cabinet doors once the boxes are completed. The blank space between the drawers is the stove. Above it will be a range hood and vent.


Above is a view (sorry, partially blocked by my temporary dining light fixture) of the cabinet back wall template in place. You can see that the wall to the left is out of square, and the ceiling is also a bit out of square. So just like in real houses, I will probably have to use shims. I do have some very thin wood and cardboard for this purpose.


Above: interestingly enough, the top of a large tub of cat litter makes a very good “sawhorse” for cutting thin wood!


Above: stacks of wood cabinet parts. I stacked them by section.


Above you can see that I wrote the name of the piece along with an “s” for “side”, so I know which parts go together.

What you don’t see is that there will be toe kicks. I have not cut these out or even marked them, at this point.


Above is how obsessively organized I can sometimes be. I’ve put each set of parts per cabinet into its own plastic bag so they don’t get mixed up or lost.

I’ve recently reviewed Kris’ tutorials on, as to the modern stainless steel stove and refrigerator. I’m going to construct mine of wood and alter the method a little but these are SUPER helpful and I am really grateful to her for posting these tutorials! Kris is really talented, creative and detailed.

November 16, 2016

More work on the fireplace – the mantel is installed!

Here is a picture:


So next I started work on the firebox lining. Here’s the back and sides:


Shout out to Otterine (here’s her blog –, thanks SO much for the idea to use egg cartons to make bricks. Though we don’t have proper egg cartons (our Farmers Market egg company uses styrofoam : – / ) I did have some Bristol board in varying thicknesses. Since the interior brick of the firebox could be smoother than the egg carton texture, and since I have Gesso that I can use for some texture, I think it will be alright. In the picture above you can see that I’ve glued on the bricks and that’s all so far. Tomorrow night I will apply the Gesso and then I will use my paint and make it a light grey, like this photo:



And I will grout it. I have some grout handy and can change the color with some paint as needed.

I am also toying with the idea of skipping the granite or marble (faux) for the kitchen countertop. I think a matte acrylic would be lovely. I’ve found that TAP’s website will allow one to order pieces cut to size. I’d still need to make an opening for the sink but I think I can acquire the cutting blades I’d need to do this, and I’ll order extra pieces to practice on.

TAP has a bunch of videos about working with acrylic and it is very tempting to spend yet more money on some supplies and start playing around with making some things for the mini house. But I think I’ll restrain myself – this isn’t an inexpensive hobby. In fact, I think my next project will be something like a fairy cottage made entirely of found objects, involving very little money.

But for those of you who like to geek out (as I do), here is a link to TAP’s website:

Enjoy watching their how-to videos – I did! Note: they can’t ship their acrylic glue to California, but there are products on Amazon that can be shipped here.


November 13, 2016

Well I finally gave in and actually grouted the fireplace. I just didn’t like it without the grouting, even though it is supposed to be dry stack. So there’s a little grout.

Here it is:



The mantel is stained and once the grout is fully dry, I will install it.

I spent the other part of my work time on the house removing the ceilings and inserting spacers, and then gluing the ceilings in. I know I may need to remove them in future, but the screws I used did not support the ceiling properly. It is not that hard to take a scraper and break the glue hold if necessary, and then re glue the ceiling in place once any changes or repairs have been made.

I have to make a decision on the shower design. I have decided not to work with real tile, partly because I do not have the proper cutting equipment for fine tile work. I’m going to use this tutorial to make my tiles from a photo printed on paper and glued to Bristol board:

Don’t let the Dutch language at the top of the page for the above link confuse you. Josje is so wonderful she has the tutorial in English too, bless her! My Dutch is just terrible, LOL! Just scroll down to near the bottom of the page for the English version.

I might print this photo for the tile “stone”:


Or maybe I will dispense with the tile idea and make the walls of the shower full stone slabs like this one:


But with a pebble stone floor like this:


Grouted, of course. I can use aquarium or decorative gravel from a garden store. Jackalope Pottery in North Hollywood has some great tiny rocks which are sold for use in container gardens, including some that look like the above.

I’ve been spending some time before bed at night rooting around through the hundreds of miniature blogs and other websites, picking up lots of great ideas, which is motivating me to make more of my own furnishings, not just the house itself.

I’m definitely having fun!


November 7, 2016

It’s been busy at work and I was out of town last weekend, so did not do anything until today.

I’ve installed the electric fire, connecting it to the electrical tape I ran behind the fireplace. Below is a photo. As you can see, the electric is connected but the inside surface of the fireplace has not been installed:


The other thing I did tonight was cut the mantelpiece and stain it to match the hearth. It is drying, so I did not install it tonight. Also, I need to fill the larger spaces between the fireplace stones with “mortar” before I install the mantel. It would probably be easier to install the paper lining of the firebox before I install the mantel, as well!

I’ve been rooting around over at:

Pepper’s posts give me good ideas and her links help me pick up even more lovely ideas. I am now inspired to make my living room lamps. I purchased lampshades and bases from Shapeways for the bedroom lamps, but I hadn’t found any I like for the living room. Because she is in the UK, one of her suppliers for lampshade parts wasn’t going to work for me, but a bit of googling found me a US supplier of basically the same part. And what a great idea it is to deal with how to fasten the lampshade to the base! In the future, you’ll get to see the final product.