January 25, 2017

Hey in a week it will be a year since I started my blog! I estimated at that time that it would take me about 2-3 years to finish my mini house, and I still think that’s about right. I sure am enjoying myself, and I’m learning a lot.

I’ve been working on the kitchen cabinets, as you can see from prior posts, but I ran out of wood and had to wait until I could go get some more. So in the interim, I started on the shower.

To make the “stone” shower walls, I printed out on glossy photo paper a photo of some granite I really liked and glued it to some Bristol board, folding it around the sides and gluing it down on the back, mitering the corners with a razor knife. I trimmed it so that it didn’t go too far onto the back of the Bristol board.

I needed two slabs, one for the rear wall of the shower, and the other for the left wall. The right wall will be rigid clear acrylic “glass” with honed edges and the front will have a partial wall of the acrylic “glass”. By the way, a shout-out to TAP Plastics, who will cut the acrylic to order for you for a small charge, and mail it to you (or you can pick it up if there is a TAP Plastics near you). Here is their website: http://www.tapplastics.com

I should have the acrylic shower walls/door in a couple of days.

Here is my planning/thought process as I worked out the shower details:

Now I have to think about the shower pan. What color should it be?

It should be about ¼ inch high at the sides, and the bottom will need to be 4” x 7” outside dimensions.

Each of the two shower wall panels will need to be 9 ¼” high as they will rest on the shower pan sides, and go all the way to the ceiling. The ceiling is 9.5” high.

Wait a minute – another thought – I could simply run the shower panels from the ceiling all the way to the floor, and then install ¼ inch “shower pan” sides for the two open sides of the shower. I could cover those sides with more of the stone panel photograph so all would match, then install the shower floor stones inside on the existing bathroom floor. Since it is not a real shower, I don’t actually need a shower pan, just the appearance of one. (This is what I actually did.)

Have to think about the thickness of the pebble floor. It will probably be about 1/8” thick, which will fill up half of the “shower pan” thickness plus a little more for the mortar bed (which will be quite thin since we aren’t dealing with actual water in this environment). This is probably okay. Otherwise I could consider making the “shower pan” sides 3/8th of an inch high which would be about 5 or 6 inches in regular (1:1) size. That’s too high for true reflection of scale so I’ll probably just deal with the “fill” depth caused by installation of the floor pebbles.

So here is a picture of the shower slab walls in place (they are not glued in yet, just standing there):

Before I glue everything in I will install the wallpaper.

This is the rest of my speculations on the bathroom:

I’ve made some decisions about the vanity. The stone vessel sinks are kind of a grayish veined stone. I’ve found a photo of a light colored limestone that I will use for the countertop. The floating vanity will be a medium or a darker wood to contrast with the light countertop, which in turn will contrast with the medium dark vessel sinks.

I will be building the vanity and countertop myself. Might purchase the faucets or might try my hand at making those too. We’ll see.

Here are some to use as inspiration:


I have a lovely freestanding tub from Marion Russek’s Shapeways shop (previously shown on this blog):

As you can see, Marion makes a tub filler, but I’m considering a wall mount filler because the tub will be next to a wall. Here are some I am using as inspiration to make my own wall tub filler:

As you can see, the last one is very similar to Marion’s. I think I will print out small photos of these, set the tub in place and hold the fillers up to see which one I like best.

I bought some chrome paint from the model section at Hobby Lobby and I am going to try it out to see how realistic it looks.

I am really excited about constructing the pebble floor of the shower. I already had some dark gravel I can use for this. It’s been picked through to remove detritus and lighter colored stones. Here they are in a bowl, waiting for installation:

I will use gray grout to provide some contrast, so you can see the stones. Black grout would not provide enough contrast and white grout would provide too much contrast.

Below are some floating vanity inspirations for me to consider in designing and building my floating vanity:

These are all different but all interesting in their different ways.

January 15, 2017

A friend of mine commented that there should be a current picture of the entire house. She’s right, but I hadn’t wanted to do this because my mini house looks like exactly what it is – a construction site! In other words, not very pretty.

But here goes – this is the house as it is now, with construction tools, supplies and debris in and on top of the house:

To the left is the two story foyer which will also eventually be an art gallery. Bottom right is the great room. The kitchen will be in the left rear, the dining area in front of the kitchen, and the living area to the left in front of the fireplace.

Upstairs the center room is the giant bathroom, and the remaining large room is the bedroom.

The stairs go up to the roof. On the roof will eventually be railings and a roof patio/BBQ/garden and either fireplace or fire pit. There will be lots of plantings.

In the bathroom, the large shower will be at the left rear, with the toilet beside it, under the narrow window. The floating vanity with vessel sinks will be on the right wall. The freestanding tub will be at the left wall between the front of the house and the door to the foyer.

In the bedroom, the bed will be under the rear window, flanked by nightstands with lamps. There will be a dresser on the wall to the left, and the great red egg chair shown in an earlier post will be at the front right corner. There will be more art on the wall in this room, and in the great room as well.


Since I took the photo above (several days ago), I have sprayed the coat of paint/primer on the fridge, and tomorrow I will spray the first coat of the stainless steel look paint.

I have started to glue the cabinet boxes together, as well. I’m using my lovely new (Christmas presents!) mini-clamps and clamp-square to hold them in place while the glue dries. This process has been fraught with frustrations – thinking I cut something incorrectly, cutting new pieces and then realizing I had mistakenly tried to put the original, correctly cut pieces on the wrong edge of the cabinet box back. Sigh…do, undo and redo. At least I enjoy the process and am in no hurry.

I am also working on my first landscape painting. It is nearly done. I’d say it isn’t horrible, but I don’t love it, either. I think I want to paint a bunch of landscapes to get more practice.

I’ve found my favorite relaxing meditation – watching Bob Ross painting videos. You may laugh, and it IS funny, but he’s so sweet and so mellow that it is just terribly relaxing to watch him. When he paints  he lives in a lovely world where nothing is bad and you can paint whatever you want. Such a pleasing fantasy! For a few minutes its nice to live in that world.

I’ve actually learned quite a bit of useful painting tips and techniques from watching the Bob Ross videos. And now I am addicted to painting videos, and not just Bob Ross’ videos. I watched a couple of videos on how to paint waves and sea foam, and I can’t wait to try it!

I’m happy to finally be doing what I wanted to do as a child – art and dollhouses!

January 8, 2017

Well it’s been a long time since my last post. I knew that Christmas would make it pretty much impossible for me to do any work on the mini house or the blog, and sure enough, I was just too busy spoiling my family, LOL!

We had a wonderful Christmas except that was the day I got a really nasty flu. I was able to get through Christmas dinner but then I was seriously ill for the next week and not doing that great for the one after that. So instead of using all my lovely holidays off work for oil painting and working on my mini house, I could do nothing but sleep, watch TV or read.

So today was the first day I have been able to work on my mini house. I also got some good progress on my landscape painting as well, so it was a good day.

I’m still working on the refrigerator. Here’s a picture of the progress so far – structure is basically done but needs to be painted and the doors glued on:

The rubber bands are there to hold on the doors in the right place. Once I’ve painted the fridge I will glue on the doors – it won’t be an openable item, though I could do that if I wanted. There’s no need to do this for my purposes, however.

I also got some great Christmas presents for my mini house:

These are going to be vessel sinks in my mini house bathroom. This is the Etsy site for the vendor: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CrystalRiverGems?ref=l2-shopheader-name

This is a darling tiny feather duster:

From this Etsy shop – Mere Miniatures at https://www.etsy.com/listing/475232104/a-miniature-feather-duster-112-scale?ref=shop_home_active_21

And this MOST lovely fruit and cheese plate made by a lovely young lady in Bulgaria at Esty shop Kikimora Handmade:

Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/287691509/112-dollhouse-miniature-food-dollhouse?ref=shop_home_active_5

So I’m pretty happy with my haul!

Happy New Year!