Tag Archives: dollhouse

Making Progress

21 Sep

DSCN0476Last week, I moseyed on over to Grace Shaw’s shop, The Virtual Dollhouse, and collected a lot more goodies for Austin’s McKinley. The kitchen cabinets I had used in the original go-round, when I made this up for his dad, have been discontinued, so Grace and I put together a few things that were by the same maker, but different finishes, and I brought them home and painted them to match. There are three different types of wood, here, and the stove is another matter entirely. I simply wasn’t willing to spend a lot on this project, and the stove is a matter of “you get what you pay for”. S’Okay with me. Nothing that a little bit of foam core won’t fix.

I got the kitchen papered, and the soffit glued in place.  Yes, I know the wallpaper pattern doesn’t match up, but there are limits. I still have to do the bay window, but that – she says hopefully – is a minor problem. Tonight I will hex around in A.C. Moore and see if I can find somethinDSCN0477g to put on the floor. I do need spigots for the sink, and a stove hood. I know I saved the one I pulled out, but heaven only knows what I did with it. Put it in a Good Place, most likely. Can’t find the brass bed for the master bedroom, either.




And Now, We All Have a New King

9 Nov

Or so said Edward VIII.  And, today is also the anniversary of Krystal Nacht, which somehow just seems wildly appropriate.

And it is raining, to boot.

So – The Squire is settled in the recliner, reading the latest David Weber Safehold book, and I took advantage of the damp weather and his journey to outer space to pull the wallpaper off the dollhouse, and rebuild the drawers. All three drawers had come unglued, and one of them was missing a side and the back, so I dug out a piece of basswood and cut those. Much clamping and stacking of books.


These pictures look as if they were taken in a haunted house!  There was a Monet over the fireplace; no idea where that went. Probably “classing up” some mouse’s nest, I imagine. The paper came off the bedroom walls in one large piece, but the moulding stayed put. This is rather mysterious, as the moulding was glued to the paper. Beats me.

Election Day and Starting the Doll House

8 Nov

The Squire and I left the house early (for us) and drove over to Kingsville to vote. Tout le monde was there, as they say.  It took us an hour to cast our votes, and when we left the building, the line was even longer than when we arrived.  A quick trip to the laundromat, and we got the clothes on the line as soon as we got home.

After a bite of lunch, I started in on the doll house. As I said before, the poor house has suffered from neglect, and is in horrible condition. Today, all I did was vacuum out the various dead leaves,  dead bugs, and goodness-knows-what from the rooms, and then wiping down the entire house with a wet rag.


These are views from the rear of the house, the side, and the front. As you can see, I have my work cut out for me!  The entire roof is missing from the left side, and the tower has also lost its roof. The front door is gone, and most of the windows are either missing entirely or laying on the floor.

Let Me Count the Ways…

13 Jun

Just about a year ago, my friend Kay and I started to build a dollhouse. She had offered the use of her dining room table, but we needed to raise the first floor by an inch and a half, and since I have all the power tools here, the project ended up on my dining room table, instead.

We worked at it pretty steadily, but as Kay said, “there’s more to this than I expected”, and it took me longer than I had figured it would. Then we had our Christmas Open House here, so I moved it from the dining room to the back room, and it sat on top of the dryer for months, getting shoved first one way and then another as we turned dials and pushed buttons.  Out of sight, out of mind, although I did continue to purchase little odds and ends to go into the house, and “borrowed” other items from some of my finished stores and shops.

Last week, we discovered – oh, horrors – that we needed to get this baby finished by the 16th!

In truth, all that needs to be done is to finish thatching the roof,  connecting the lights, and doing a bit of landscaping. However, even that little bit of work can cause more glitches than the average person can imagine. If you’ve ever worked on a dollhouse, you can understand – I had sandwiched the thatching for one of the porch roofs (there are three) between two narrow strips of wood. First, I glued this sandwich onto the roof with the raw wood on top instead of the painted piece. In order to make sure the thatch stayed put, I had smeared glue all over the porch roof, which made it even more interesting. Carefully removed that, and then glued the bloody thatch to the bottom edge of the roof instead of the top.  At this point, The Squire decided to take the dog for a walk. Coward. Now that I have fixed that but can’t get the porch roof to stay on the building. I may have to resort to hot glue, which is an anathema to Serious Miniaturists, but needs must.

I ran most of the wiring down through the fireplace, but The Squire and I could not get the wiring for the two lamps in the upstairs to go down the chimney. In fussing with it, I managed to snap the chimney off the roof. We finally ended up drilling a hole through the wall, coming out next to the fireplace, and then tucking it behind the half-timbering. Blessedly, I already had both a power strip and a transformer that work. Whew!

At this point, most of the lights are working, and I’ve started on the thatching on the main part of the house. Tomorrow and Monday should see the landscaping and last minute stuff done.

I most sincerely hope!

Restless Leg Syndrome

13 Apr

I have had Restless Leg Syndrome since about 1985 or so, and have been taking Klonopin pretty nearly continuously since then to control the spasms.  I was taking a quarter of a half milligram tablet when my dad had his brain surgery in 1991; I took two pills, and they lasted me the entire week I stayed in Roxboro with my mom.

My regular neurologist retired and I went in to meet his replacement and go over my meds. He informed me than Klonopin was “no longer the drug of choice” for treating RLS. Today, if a doctor told me that, I’d just tell him it works, and that’s that. Go away and leave me alone. Well, the first thing he did was put me on Sinemet, which had a horrific rebound effect. (Doctors call this augmentation; I call it Hell.) It didn’t allow me to sleep all night, but would wake me up after four or five hours with leg spasms, and if I sat still for too long – such as driving to work – my legs would begin dancing all over the place. He refused to put me back on Klonopin, but tried Permax, which made me pass out without warning,  several other equally useless (or worse) things, and finally started me on Neurontin, which led to one of the best lines I’ve ever pulled off.

Neurontin caused horrible insomnia. I was getting by on three hours sleep – if I was lucky. I  had a friend, a surgeon, who used to save me his used scalpel blades. This was back before you had to worry about a lot of odd bugs, but I would boil them, toss the rusty ones, and use the good ones in my X-acto knife. One night, I was working on a dollhouse, and the knife rolled across the table and hit my foot. When I reached down to retrieve it, I discovered it has slipped between two metatarsals and pierced an artery in my foot. I tried to stop the bleeding but only succeeded in turning the bathroom into a scene from the Maryland Chainsaw Massacres. I finally woke The Squire, who came down and patched me up.

Of course, he was afraid I was going to Get Something. “Oh, for pete’s sake, I was working on the dollhouse. The worst that can happen is I’ll get shingles!”

Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Directions

11 Apr

My girlfriend Kay and I are putting together a dollhouse kit – a country cottage.  She bought the kit, and I am “helping” her put it together, since I have built quite a few kits in the past.   (http://www.picturetrail.com/lady_anne)

I think she is a bit nonplussed by my attitude that the directions are just there to give you a rough idea, as I have hardly done anything the way it’s supposed to be done.  (I sew the same way.)  We did get the base made according to the instructions, but then we realized the doors are only 5-1/2 inches high, and the ceiling is 6-1/2, which is simply impossible. Who do you know who can walk through a door that short?  This meant I had to bring the walls and doors back here, and use the scroll saw to cut pieces 1-1/2 inches wide to put under all of the walls, and completely remake the doors.  Since gluing edge to edge is difficult under any circumstances, never mind the plywood here is only 3/16  inch thick, we had to groove and stain 1/8 inch balsa to make wainscoting to hold the two pieces together. Then I decided I didn’t like the fireplace, and redid that without so much as a by-your-leave. inside fireplace I have NO idea why it was so important to me that the fireplace not be flat against the wall. OCD, and all that. It only sticks out a quarter of an inch, but it’s the principle of the thing.

So far, we have gotten the base and two walls up, and it actually is beginning to come together. Kay muttered something about there “being a lot more to this than she realized”. She did, however, agree completely with “raising the roof”, so to speak.  We are also considering putting in another wall on the ground floor, to create a second room. At least, when I explained it to her, she nodded. She may have simply given up all hope of regaining control of this project.

adding space

This shows how we added the extra height at the bottom. This is the outside back of the fireplace, and I had to do the same to the sides. We wrapped it all in brick paper to keep it together.

The next thing is to decide how to handle the lights.  I think we’ll need to involve The Squire that part of the project.  We shall see.