October 27, 2016

I’ve been working away on the stacked stone fireplace. I’ve installed about half of the stone, and have installed the hearth shelf. Here’s a picture of the work in progress:

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The scotch tape and paper clip box are pushed partly inside the firebox, supporting the run of stones that go across the top of the firebox. They are sitting on the hearth shelf. Which I can only make out of wood because there will not be a real fire in the fireplace, LOL! Ahh the  joys of dollhouses – no building codes, and you can leave out what you don’t want to deal with or have no interest in.

For instance, I have an opening at the top of the stairs to what will be the roof deck. Because I don’t have to worry about it raining into the house, I don’t have to make a stairwell room on the roof – it can just open right up there. Lovely!

And, I don’t have to have a closet in my master bedroom. After all, the dolls’s clothes are permanent, so they don’t need a closet to keep anything  in. And nothing has to be stored because if it isn’t out in the house, it isn’t needed!

And no plumbing needed either. What a relief.

It’s been close to a  year since I started this project, and it will be at least another year or two before it is finished. I am unable to put a lot of time into it, but that isn’t a real problem for me. I am enjoying the process. Getting it done will be good, but I am not impatient to get there. I really love building things so taking my time on this is fine with me.

I may redo things as I move along. I don’t have much problem thinking of that, as I can take the time I want to take to fix anything important to me, or I can ignore what is not so important.

And sometimes ideas take time to percolate through my brain and fully form themselves. So I’ve thought of a few better ways to do things already. Maybe I will redo them. Or maybe I won’t!

I think I may fill some of the cracks between the stones with grout, which will not show too much. I can use my baking supplies – plastic pastry bag and icing tips to do this. What fun!

October 23, 2016

I’ve finished reinstalling the greatroom ceiling, cut the fireplace base piece and have started installing the stacked stone on the side of the fireplace base.

To do this I am peeling the stacked stone off the mesh backing, cutting the stones as needed with a tile scoring/breaking tool and tile nippers, and gluing them in place with a construction glue that some guys at Home Depot clued me into.

Since this is not a full size stacked stone installation, I don’t need to use mortar – glue is fine.

Here’s a picture of the fireplace in progress – at this point the stones along the sides of the wood base are the only ones in place. Next step is to install the front base row of tiles and then install the wood hearth, which will be cantilevered at the front of the fireplace base. If you enlarge the picture, you can see the pencil lines where the wood hearth will be affixed. I thought about using slate, because I can purchase slate tiles, but since no actual fires will be burning in the fireplace I can use wood, which is easier to work with. I don’t have a wet saw so I’d like to avoid major tile cutting situations.

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These stones won’t actually show from the front view of the room as they will be covered by the face stones.

The electrical tape runs behind the fireplace so that the electric fire can be installed. The interior of the fireplace will be lined with paper that looks like stone or cement, not sure which yet.

I may cantilever the mantel as well, but may just glue it on to the stones. I’ll decide when I get there!

October 18, 2016

Back from a lovely vacation in Illinois! So beautiful there, and nice and cool this time of year. No thunderstorms while we were there, unfortunately.  : – (

But I had two more days off after we returned so I was able to finish the foyer two story chandelier! It looks great! It is not identical to the inspiration chandelier. That one was made entirely of chains. Mine is a mix of chains along with strings of crystal beads alternating with silver beads, and it is illuminated with dollhouse Christmas lights.

Here is the inspiration chandelier (sorry the shot is enlarged and is fuzzy):

Great Stairs execution

As you can see, it is all made of chain.

Here’s mine, with the shot taken lit up but with the full size lamps outside the house turned off (notice the Xmas lights in the chandelier aren’t very bright):

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I really like the look.

Here’s another shot using exterior room lights as well as the dollhouse lights:

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Yes, the stairs still need to be painted (stringers) and stained (treads), but I will just wrap the chandelier up in a plastic bag when I do this.

The false ceiling with the pot lights is now installed under the roof level of the foyer. Once the floors and ceilings are all in, I will add wood tape to cover the raw edges of the floors/ceilings.

It’s moving along pretty well.

I will say that stringing all the beads and otherwise making the chandelier was very time consuming, and expensive. I could have saved a lot of money using clear plastic beads instead of the crystal, but I tried that and it just did not have the sparkle I wanted. Bling, please! Amazon helped me with the prices, thankfully. I found some reasonably good deals for the crystal and mixed them with round silver beads to help with the sparkle while reducing the overall cost.

I have some housekeeping things to do, which I’ll probably do next, including reworking how I have installed the drop ceilings. Then I’ll start on the stacked stone fireplace, followed by the kitchen cabinetry, appliances and countertops.

After that, probably the shower in the bathroom, and the floating vanity, both of which I will be making myself.

October 1, 2016

Today I purchased some of the supplies I needed to make the two story hanging chandelier for the foyer. Unfortunately, there were insufficient quantities of affordable glass or crystal beads. My inspiration chandelier is all made of silver chains. Here it is (center of photo running down the center of the stairs:

Great Stairs execution

But I wanted to add some sparkle to it, as well as lights. So in addition to the chain, which is more silvery and less gray, I wanted to add glass or crystal beads. I had to order those online, so I used some plastic beads and fastened in only one strand so I could get an idea of what it looked like.

Here is a shot of me holding the partially completed chandelier (missing the sparklies) in place at the foyer ceiling:

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As you can see, there are gaps in the chain. This is where the crystal bead ropes will hang. The lights are dollhouse christmas lights, which are unfortunately not very bright. Oh well…

Later this week I will be installing the crystal bead ropes and then will try it out. There is some potential I may need to add more chains. We’ll see.

If you’d like to know how I did this chandelier:

I used the white plastic lid from a cream jar. I drew dots on it using black sharpie where I wanted holes drilled for connection of the chains. I then drilled the holes using a drill bit which is very tiny, but not the smallest one I have. The holes looked just perfect.

I had purchased some eye pins, which are in the beading department of Michael’s or Hobby Lobby and which look like straight pins without sharp ends and which have a metal ring where the head of a pin would be. The reason I needed them is that I needed something to fasten the chain to which did not show on the “business” side of the chandelier. So I pushed them through the holes I drilled, on the “wrong” side of the cream jar cap, and then bent them up with my jeweler’s pliers, into a loop over which I hooked one end of the chain.

For the bead string, I strung the beads on beading flex string, using a crimp bead at the bottom to hold the beads on the string. At the top end I threaded on a crimp bead and then bent the thread around and back through the crimp bead, making a loop. I then crimped the bead to hold my loop in place. I then connected the loop to the eye pin as I did with the chain. All done! At least, until I receive the shipment of crystal beads.

Once this is done I can install the false ceiling, connect the chandelier to the electrical, and that will finish the main electrical work.

The next project will be installing the tile flooring in the second floor foyer partial floor and the bathroom. I have to cut the tile, which will be another learning experience with the Dremel. Hopefully that will go well.

I felt like shopping earlier this week, and I bought some adorable fabrics to use on my sofa, which I plan to make myself. Some of the fabric can also be used for throw pillows.

I’m definitely having fun! This might be the only house I get to design and build, ever! We’ll see, though. I’d like to make some more, but I have to figure out what to do with them as I can’t keep many, living in such a small space.

September 20, 2016

I’ve been working on the foyer stairs, and they are now mostly done!

Here is a picture:

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I’m pretty chuffed at how it turned out, actually. The sections of stair weren’t perfect, so no, the entire thing is isn’t a perfect job. But hey, I’ve never built a staircase before.

So if one wants to be picky, it’s not perfect. But it’s good enough that I’m happy with it! All that’s left to do before I finish the ceilings and the electrical lights is to completely cut the roof opening, as the stair from the second floor gives access to the future roof deck and garden.

I’ve come up with a way to install spacers along the edges of the false ceilings which will even out the fitting of the ceiling, and will make the ceilings look better. Once I’ve done that, I can install trim to cover the front-facing edges of the floors and walls, and I can install wallpaper and Oh Joy! the stacked stone fireplace! I’m really looking forward to that.

I’m also looking forward to creating the last ceiling fixture, which is the big statement piece in the foyer – a long chain chandelier dropping almost two stories down the middle of the stairwell. I’m combining strings of crystal beads and chain with dollhouse Christmas lights to make it. I’m hoping it looks fabulous.

September 10, 2016

I’ve taken a few pictures to show you what I have been working on, now that the stairs are beginning to take shape.  Firstly, here is a photo of the inspiration stairs:

Great Stairs execution

Mine will be a little different, but this is the basic style guideline I am using. Here is a photo of the house with the stair stringer sections clamped to the edge of the roof, just to allow the glue to dry with the treads properly in place. This isn’t where the stairs will be mounted!

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I used one of the online stair calculators (just Google it) to figure out how long the stringers needed to be and how many risers per stringer, etc. The calculators don’t allow you to calculate turns in staircases like these that go from stringer to landing to stringer to landing to stringer again, so I just divided it all up. I’m hoping it actually fits, but there may be some tweaking and redoing that has to happen…sigh…

I mentioned in my last post that I had finished the lighting except for the stairwell foyer area, and here’s a picture (with the clamped stair stringers and treads showing at the upper portion of the photo), so you can see the lighting:

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Definitely under construction, LOL! BTW, on the lower left of the photo, the first floor ceiling for the partial ceiling area is down with its backside on the floor. I have to fasten it into place.

Well, waiting for the glue to dry on the stairs, and then will start fitting it and making no doubt tedious and time-consuming adjustments!

September 6, 2016

I haven’t posted in quite a while, but I’ve continued to work on my mini house. Most of the work has not been photo-worthy because I’ve been installing the dropped ceiling electrical, which doesn’t make for riveting photographs, LOL! But I can’t finish the ceilings yet. I’ve gotten to the ceilings in the two story foyer and in order for me to install the upstairs ceiling I have to have the stairs constructed and at least in place enough for me to cut the roof stair access opening before I can set the ceiling in place.

Construction of the stairs is very time consuming and somewhat tedious and again not much of a photo op. Once I get the components put together and looking like stairs, I will post photos.

I still haven’t decided whether or not I will paint the stairs or stain them.

I’ve had to disable comments – too much spam, and not any true comments anyway.

July 19, 2016 Jewelry

Well I finally finished (and passed) my Texas licensing test, yay! So glad that is done. I also ordered and received dishes for my dining table – jewelry for the table. Here is a picture:

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These dishes were custom made for me by https://www.etsy.com/shop/Twelvetimesmoreteeny

I really like them – they are so adorable!

I have also been working more on the false ceilings, installing more
“can” lights but not enough progress to show more pictures yet.

I’m also starting a new oil painting – a sunset landscape. So many things to do, but only so much time to do them in!

June 22, 2016

I’ve gotten the electric lighting in the great room completed! It was a lot of work and a lot of waiting for additional supplies. I probably installed too many lightbulbs. Oh well…it still looks cool.

I’m also not completely happy with the chandelier that will hang over the dining table. It’s not terrible, but it’s not up to my standards yet. I’ll let it stew in the back of my mind and we’ll see what I come up with.

Here are some photos of the lighting:

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The above photo shows the amount of light in the space.

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The above photo shows the can lights in the false ceiling (which is not fully fastened to the actual ceiling yet). The large light at left is the chandelier, and the small pendant lights behind and to the right of it are going to be hanging above the kitchen island. The tapewire on the wall at the rear is for the fireplace, plugs for living room lamps, and under cabinet lighting in the kitchen (left side).

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Above are some fun pieces of furniture I have for the house, including a couple of “residents”. The two circular objects at right are actually votive holders but they will be used as large outdoor planters on the roof terrace.

I am deciding whether I will do more light installations in the ceilings or start work on the foyer stairs. We’ll see!

I’ve finished the kitchen design layout but I think I’ll wait on constructing the cabinetry until I have finished the electrical and other structural work on the house, such as the stairs. The kitchen cabinetry will be made of foam core board faced with stick on veneer (like that used on the floors). The appliances will be “stainless steel”.

My sweet brother sent me a lovely Dremel moot-tool kit which has a lot of fun attachments! How lovely and thoughtful!

June 6, 2016:

Well I did get some work in on the mini house over the weekend. I spent my time connecting the LED “can” lights to the electrical tape in the house. This was very time consuming, as there are many lights in the great room.

I also “fixed” the hanging light over the area where the dining table will be. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was not super happy with part of it. I did find some aluminum tubing with a very small diameter, and figured out how to cut it without crimping the tube hole shut (use jeweler’s cutters to gently go around the tube with low pressure, and then bending the pipe so that it snaps along the indented line you’ve made). So then I ran the LED wires inside two of the tubes, and glued the bottom of the tube to the interior aluminum heavy duty wire supports of the lampshade, and then glued the tops of the two tubes together.

I’m not posting a photo of it now, as I want to do that when all the lighting is installed and the false ceiling is fastened in place.

I found a pretty cool video tutorial online of a person making a kitchen for a dollhouse. The quality was very good and watching the video was very helpful as I will need to start on the kitchen cabinetry/appliances in the not too distant future.

I also purchased some tile for the bathroom floor, decided that would work better with the thickness of the foam core board that the adjacent bedroom hardwood veneer flooring is affixed to. Also it will look more real, since it is real. It is ceramic tile, however, as they did not have a stone tile that I liked.