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.

 

May 29, 2016:

A lot of work has been going on, with some setbacks. Firstly, I had fun  making the hardwood floors out of self stick hardwood veneer strips cut to plank size, and installed on foamcore board colored black with a giant sharpie marker. I used a medium tone color for the great room and a dark stain for the bedroom. The wood came in colors that I could choose from.

I used a craft sliding paper cutter to cut the veneer, which worked great.

Here are some photos:

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The floors will have finished edges later. For now you can see the foam core board.

I’ve been working on making pendant lights for the kitchen island, and have had some difficulties. Prototypes were fabricated and dumped. Finger and thumb were accidentally glued together with superglue. Sigh…

I do rather like the final pendant lights, but they are too light to hang well. Thinking about what I can do about that. Add weights? Break down and buy glass fixtures? Oh boy. Problems, problems!

I really liked the initial pendant lamp for over the dining table, but hanging it is not working out. I really have to work on figuring out how to suspend it and hide the electrical wires for the LED bulbs. What I really need is thin metal tubes. Probably can find some, but where?

I can then start connecting the lights to the ceiling tapewire, which is going to be difficult due to the depth of the room and the 10 inch ceiling height. I’m using museum putty to affix the false ceiling to the real ceiling to hide the tapewire and allow depth for the can lights.

Here’s what the top (hidden part that abuts the actual ceiling) side of the false ceiling looks like:

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I had a great birthday, and enjoyed my new tools and my Phillip Nuveen Barcelona chairs for my mini house living room. I can hardly wait to start furnishing the house! Pity it’s going to be a while yet. But then, I mostly am enjoying the construction process, despite the occasional frustration.

May 16, 2016

Last night I spent some time doing the elevations for the kitchen. I do love doing drawings for architectural work! I have no training in this but I still enjoy it!

The kitchen is a galley kitchen with the refrigerator, stove and cabinetry against the back wall of the great room, extending for 15 inches, and a large island wide enough to allow for counter stools across from the wall of cabinetry.  The “island” which is really more of a peninsula, consists of a sink, dishwasher, cabinetry and drawers, and has three pendant lights above it.

The back wall of cabinetry has LED under cabinet lighting.

I started work on installing the can lights in the false ceiling. Jasper, my pussycat, tried to play with the wires – aaaauuuughhh! Had to hide it from him. I don’t have enough LED lights, had to order more.

I realized that in order to finish installing the lights I am going to have to make the pendant lights and the chandelier, so that is what I will be working on next.

May 13, 2016

Well it’s been quite a while since I last had time to blog about the work I’ve done on the house. Work is sporadic and will continue to be so due to the interference of daily life, LOL! However, I’ve actually gotten all of the windows put in! Here is a picture showing the first window I installed, which is the bedroom rear window; you can see the acrylic propped into place in the unfinished bathroom window opening as well:

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And another showing the side with the living room windows and the upstairs bedroom window.

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This was a lot of work, and I damaged some of the acrylic sheeting in the process. I may have to remove and replace a couple of the pieces of acrylic. There was a bit of a learning curve on cutting the plexi. Believe it or not, I could not find much online about cutting it, and after trying multiple different tools, I found that cutting it with – wait for it – scissors – actually worked the best. It does mess up the very edge of the acrylic but since I knew that would be covered, I could live with that. The two story, giant window at the side of the foyer was a real bear to install. I had to resort to using tiny nails rather than just gluing in the window frame pieces. And it took a long time to cut and stain each interior 4 pieces of window trim for every window as well as to cut and stain each exterior 4 pieces of window trim for every window. Whew!

I also finished tiling the “granite” floor on the second story of the foyer. And I’ve made patterns for the floors, which I will install over Bristol board and then fasten in place in the room. The downstairs great room will have hardwood floors. I’ve been spending time cutting the planks from my pieces of veneer, and will glue them down onto the Bristol board. I love the finish on the veneer, which is matte and a honey color. I have darker wood for the bedroom floor.

I am sorely tempted to use real stone tiles on the bathroom floor, but if I do that, it will make the flooring thickness inconsistent throughout the second level. I guess I’ll have to think about it. Meanwhile, I have cut up the vinyl “travertine” into tiny tiles to use for the bathroom floor. Hmmm….

My birthday is coming up, and I’ll be getting a few furniture pieces! Yay! I’ve also ordered a red modern chair for the bedroom furniture layout. It is one of the Japanese Reac pieces. I’m hoping that someone will get me one of the Phillip Nuveen Barcelona chairs I’ve put on my birthday wish list!

Here’s a picture of the chair I ordered:

Reac red chair

I think it will look very cute in the bedroom.

I’ve done some shopping for wallpapers as well, which was fun, and for planters for the plants I’ll be making from artificial floral pieces.

I also ordered baby washcloths to make towels out of for the bathroom, which is an idea I got from https://joannesminis.blogspot.com (many thanks to Joanne, who is very creative and very good at making miniatures!)

 

 

April 17, 2016:

Well I got the grouting done in the foyer! I went with a medium gray grout and I think it looks great! Here it is:

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Then I started work on the window frames. I need to interior and exterior framing for each window. I cut most of the frames for one side (exterior only), and started cutting the acrylic (not too happy about the acrylic cutting, need to work out a better solution than the tool I’ve been using) for the “glass” panes. I ran out of the wood pieces I need to finish the windows. Hobby Lobby should have more stock by Thursday. I could order it but it takes longer than Thursday to get here. Not available on Amazon Prime!

Today I stained the frame pieces. Here you can see them, stuck into a piece of foam insulation board, using straight pins. I used walnut stain for the exterior pieces:

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I also bought wood pieces so that I can start the stairs. Once the ceiling in the foyer is installed, including the can lights, I will probably start the stairs.

April 11, 2016

Yesterday I was able to spend enough time on the mini house to actually get the floor tile in the foyer laid! Lots of little hand cut “granite” tiles (actually vinyl tile) laid out in running bond pattern. I used a piece of the tile as a spacer for the grout lines. Now all I have to do is grout the flooring.

I have to google what kind of colorant to use to darken the grout I have, or maybe I’ll just use the medium dark grey that I have. I’d kind of like a black grout. I’ll doodle around with it until I make up my mind…

Here’s a photo of the flooring stuck down (self stick tile) ready to grout:

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I also spent some time “choosing appliances”, LOL! This means I went to an appliance website and found a fridge, stove and dishwasher that I like and saved photos, resizing them to “actual size”. I will use them to make my own appliances for my kitchen.

I also spent some time researching proportions for cabinetry; standard heights, depths, widths, and looking at kitchen photos to pick out my design. I really want the proportions of the kitchen to be correct, as it will look more realistic. Proportion is very important in art, and miniaturization is an art.

I watched videos of people building things out of foam core board, because I’ve pretty much decided this is what I am making my kitchen cabinetry out of. I may do the one wall of base cabinets and then see what I think. I might change my mind and use chunks of wood instead. We’ll see. Basically Marion Russek’s foam board kitchen inspired me. I’d like to see if I can pull off something similar though I am probably going to do a wood veneer facing on the cabinetry. Hers is a beautiful, simple white. I really love her work! It is super realistic, and the design is awesome. I’m a fan, for sure! And I really love to see the process of someone putting minis together. It’s addictive.

That’s all for tonight. Grouting the floor will be next. Then what? More floor installation or windows? We’ll see…

April 3, 2016

I’ve been continuing work on the electrical for the mini house. I’ve had to wait for a while as I ran out of electrical tape wire and I had to order more. It has arrived and I’ll probably finish the electrical tape wire installation tomorrow.

While waiting, I started cutting up one of my 12 x 24 granite look vinyl tiles into 1 inch by 2 inch “tiles” for the foyer floor. It will be glued in place and then grouted and I think it will look pretty real. I have some electrical tape wire which is being applied onto the subfloor of the house, so I can’t start installing the house flooring until the electrical tape wire is all done.

Cutting up the tiles is rather tedious. I feel like I am doing interminable food prep for a large meal. Slice and dice! Stacks of little pieces of tile. Here’s a picture of the stacks so you can see what I mean:

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I think I am pretty close to moving the house inside my own home (rather than the garage) for the finish work. But before I can do that, I have to fill in and sand the window openings and then install the window frames and plexiglass. I may also go ahead and install the fireplace stone before I bring the house inside.

I ordered an electrical log fire set to put in the fireplace, so I have tape wire going behind the fireplace.

Oh, and I ordered the bathtub from Marion Russek’s Shapeways shop, this one (so beautiful):

Russek Badewane bathtub

I got some tiny LED lights for my “can lights” in the ceilings of the house. They will be in all rooms so there are a lot of them. I found a great website for these, and they have a great installation tutorial, see this link: modeltrainstoftware.com. I had to purchase eyelets for the “cans” elsewhere, however.

March 22, 2016

Tonight I worked on the electrical wiring installation. The next several posts may be mostly about this because it is a large house with a lot of lights and it will take some time, which I don’t have much of, to complete this.

I have discovered that it is quite awkward getting the electrical tape placed, because the angles are hard to reach. My mini house is rather deep, about 19 inches, so it is hard to reach towards the back of the rooms, especially on the ceilings.

The house will have a lot of can lights in the ceiling, and further there will be vanity lights in the bathroom, lamps in the bedroom and living room, pendant lights above the kitchen island, led under cabinet lighting and a chandelier in the dining area. This is why I had to get a larger transformer than the one which came with the kit I got. Not to mention extra tape and eyelets!

I am still unsure how I will make the kitchen pendant lights, because I will have to make them. I’ve looked all over the internet and there is nothing pre-made that will work for the modern style of this house. I may purchase something I can hack, or I may start from scratch. We’ll see.

Anyway, plenty of work to do!

March 16, 2016

Over the last few days I have finished the stairs mockup, made out of foam core. This was a test run before I make the stairs out of wood, to help with sizing and fitting. Here is a picture of the mockup on its side before placing it:

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I glued this together and then used sewing straight pins as “nails” to hold it together.

This is what it looks like being held in place. I learned from this that a. it is going to be hard to make the stairs straight and b. as expected I am going to need to add a tread even allowing for installed flooring thickness.

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Despite the fact that this is tricky, I am rather excited about it! I think it will look pretty cool once it is done!

I also worked on the electrical. Here you can see the first interior portions of the Cir-Kit electrical tape placed in the foyer:

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It is to the lower left in the photo.

I’ve also gotten some adorable miniature items as follows:

Loon print songmountainart

This is a loon print from songmountainfineart on Etsy.com. Her work is lovely! This is going above the dresser in the bedroom.

A really beautiful tiny bowl from the UK:

Microbowl

Also from Etsy.com, Madebymanos, it is thin and shapely and looks gorgeous filled with some paper flowers also from Etsy.

And here are some more beautiful miniature flowers, again – Etsy!

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And the link for this store is: Carverscuttings, and they make lovely stuff.

For now, good night!