Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sharing the fun

I love sharing my dollhouses with someone new. Sometimes the smallest things make an impression. Tonight it was the egg carton stones on the half scale bungalow. He had to touch them a couple of times just to be sure they weren't real stone. :D

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Late night additions

 This console table is one of those inexpensive, red, Dollar Tree pieces. It looks so much more expensive after the makeover. I sanded it and roughly painted it with a bright blue. Then I stained the top and antiqued the bottom with pecan stain and replaced the wooden knobs with brass hardware. The picture frame was made from air dry clay and then stained with pecan and painted with 2 shades of gold paint.
The third floor looks much more cluttered because I had to make room for the console table on the second floor and things got moved up. I don't think cluttered is a bad thing, though, in an antique shop. ;-)

The front is finished!

Just 1 2/3 of the sides left to go...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Then Again again

 I thought the base violin was better here than in the boarding house with George. He has several brass instruments. He can part with this stringed one, lol.
 I added a very thin sheet of plexiglass to the countertop so I could put postcards and things under the "glass" top.
 I think the second floor is looking good. There are enough things to be interesting and to have to dig a bit to see it all.
 I added the pink and lavender desk to the back of the third floor room.
 It's a plastic dollar store item that I refurbished. The beautiful carved table/trunk was a gift from Bulgaria that my daughter brought back from her mission trip.
The stone work is slowly but surely progressing.
My classroom teacher, Carol, contributed this huge stack of egg cartons to the cause. Yay!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Signs of the times

 Or at least of the antique shop. :) There's a large sign above the awning and a smaller swinging sign that can be seen from the corner. I also got a doorknob on the outside of the door.(Still have the inside to do.)It's made from a small eyelet and a glass head straight pin.
I carried the stone work up the front as far as I could before the current stone supply was depleted. I have a few more cartons I can cut up and my niece has a couple of large ones for me. After that it's time to go on a carton hunt so I can finish up.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rockin' along

 I was able to get part of one of the side walls "rocked" today. I still need to finish the edges of the top third of today's stones but I'm happy to be making progress.
 I modified a strange little underscaled hutch I had to make the glass fronted counter. It worked really well with an added countertop.
 Shelby uses an simple adding machine with cash drawer and she uses an old fashioned desk top phone in keeping with the antiques in the shop. These were made with wood scraps and beads.
 The glass case is filled with random bits that look nice but that I won't want to use at some later point in an another project.
 Shelby uses a cedar chest for extra storage behind the counter. I made it from a plastic 1:16 scale dresser. I cut the legs off and stained it.
And here's the promised photo I forgot to take last night of the right side of the upper story. I really like how this project is turning out!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Then Again update

 The lower entry room is still in the beginning stages. The empty space to the right of the door will have the counter. I want to make it "glass" fronted so I can display more items.
 The left side is a little more complete. The "antiques" are a very random mix. The piano is from Hobby Lobby but the other furniture is much better quality. The jewelry box on the desk is a button cover. The two cat statue came from a box of tea. There's an Egyptian statue from my daughter and a cameo from a vest clip. The open desk drawer holds Victorian Christmas post cards.
 The middle room is much more finished. Owner Shelby is looking things over. (She's a Breyer doll and is a bit too tall to be in scale. But she was free so I will make her work, lol.) The antiques in this room range from $1 Michael's hutches to a 1941 Renwal high chair. The Asian statue on the table is a genuine antique.
 The cheese plate on the bottom shelf of the right hand hutch was made by Tom Saunders as were the trenchers on the ledge in the photo below. The center table was made by Gaye of My Small Obsession for a dollar store swap. The table holds vintage cook books and Victorian era periodicals. The utensils in the hutch on the left came from my friend Roxy in New Mexico. The tea towel over the door was made by my friend, Sandy.
 The Uncle Sam is another tea box prize. I made the oar for a nautical swap.
The upper level is still in need of a lot of stuff. The hitching post was made from wooden chess pieces. The desk holds a lot of "tin types." The Victorian dress on a mannequin is a resin figure. The vintage map was printed from the internet. I forgot to take a pic of the other side. There's a small pot belly stove, a large angel statue, a wood and iron school desk, a wood sled, a braided rug and a few smaller items. I will post a photo soon.

I need to cut more stone and get back to work on the exterior but I wanted to play with the interior today. The unfinished Michael's hutches were calling my name. ;-)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Then Again Antiques begins to take shape

 As I mentioned earlier, I am using a three cube tower for the building. The wallpapers are all vintage looking scrapbook paper, except for the downstairs door wall. That's a sample of life size wallpaper. The moldings all came from a couple of packages of mixed moldings at Hobby Lobby.
 The "linoleum" floor in the lower level is also a wallpaper sample. I wanted the first floor to be very soft, neutral colors.
 The window on this floor opens. It isn't really a true to scale window but it came with a box of miscellaneous miniatures I purchased with a dollhouse at a garage sale last summer. This seemed the perfect time to use it.
 I love the soft colors of this wallpaper. The floors are the reverse sides of the shelves. The white side became the ceilings for the floor below and the particle board sides were scored with a pen and stained.
 The beginning of the stonework. The bottom three rows have been edged with a large ball stylus to make the egg carton look more like stacked stone. Thanks Casey for the tip!
 The plan is to put stone on the whole building but I'm not sure if I have enough carton to do that so I will start with the lower level. The front is finished and the awning hung.
Side view of the awning which was made from scrapbook paper and skinny dowels.

I have another project I need to work on for an upcoming birthday so Then Again is on temporary hold.  I'm so excited about how this is turning out!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Getting closer

To starting the antique shop, that is. Today I found a three cube bookcase like the one I used for the castle  at the Salvation Army store. It's already assembled and only cost $10. It's a bit beat up but that won't show once I'm done with it. I have a name (Then Again), a building, and the beginning of the stock to put in it. Now to find some time to work on it!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

This and that

 I just wanted to show you that Harriet did get time to do the cleaning. ;-) No more dust.
 She's now enjoying a well deserved rest in the quiet of her bedroom so we won't disturb her.
 Sandy is helping out with the laundry while Harriet rests. Johnson Boarding House has great boarders. They are always willing to help out.
I made this sign from the bottom half of a cigar box. I have a couple of other signs that I use throughout the winter holiday season and the shelf looked very empty once I packed those away. I used an iron on transfer for the outlines and then gave it my "personal touch." The bunnies came from the thrift store and are just adorable.

I am enjoying a rather lazy Saturday (other than laundry) after a busy week. Just two more days then it's time to head back to work. I'm looking forward to the routine. Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The proof is in the pictures

 The fabric drawer is organized by type of print - floral, holiday, mini check, other prints, mini nursery prints, solids. The back corner has fabrics for 1:1 projects.
 The paper drawer was jammed pack with all kinds of stuff - most of not useful at all. Now I can find just what I need, quickly and easily.
 I'd forgotten what my work top looked like, lol. I scrubbed a lot of old paint of both the table and the mat. The mug is a coffee shop in progress.
 This desk is to the left of the main work area. I love to see the paints all sorted by color.
 This is the sewing area. The machine is under a patchwork cover. The chair was found in one of my Dad's barns after he passed away.
This is organized chaos. It's the storage area for wood, egg cartons, large bottles of paint, spray paint, all of my beads and buttons, trays for making projects portable, packing materials for my shop, and a bunch of room boxes. I know it looks cluttered in the photo but it looks so much more organized than before.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Well, it's spring and I was cleaning so I guess that counts, lol. My sewing/craft room was such as disaster that I wouldn't let anyone else in and I would just dash in and dig out what I needed, then work in the living or dining rooms. Today was the day to tackle it and, boy, did I. Ten large black trash bags full. A stack of emptied boxes. It's so much better. I have a plastic box full of items for my next project and the rest of the mini drawer is mostly organized. The 4 large drawers full of fabric have been sorted. The paper drawer was crammed full of mostly scraps and I could never find printies or wallpaper scraps that I knew were in there. Now everything is sorted into manila envelopes with labels. I can find exactly what I need. Woo hoo! I sorted through my wood scraps and larger pieces, too. Dollhouse wallpaper is rolled and stored in oatmeal cans under my work bench. I know where to find styrofoam squares, egg cartons, pipe cleaners, plant materials...I am ready to create!

My camera is charging so I can share photos of my work...and prove that I do have a floor in that room. ;-)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Simple bead head dollhouse dolls

April asked about acquiring a family of dolls at an affordable price, dressed as pioneers from the Little House books. Her twelve year old is working on a Little House project. Grammy is an example of the first dolls I made for my dollhouses. She has a pipe cleaner skeletal system. Her arms and legs are covered with hollow shoe string pieces and her torso was padded with batting and gauze. She has a wooden bead head that has been painted, along with the shoe string limbs with flesh colored acrylic paint. A simple face was drawn/painted and then she was dressed with fabric scraps. Her shoes are felt and her apron is a paper doily. Her hair is macrame cord that has been unraveled.

To make the skeleton start with one pipe cleaner that is about twice as long as you want the finished doll to be tall. For example, for a 5 inch doll start with a 10 inch long pipe cleaner piece. Bend it in half into an upside down "V." Leave about half to three quarters of an inch at the point of the V and twist that section tightly. Cut a piece of pipe cleaner to roughly twice the length of an arm and slip it into the skeleton right under the twisted portion. Twist tightly for the next inch or so, then spread the remaining pipe cleaner to form two legs. Cut a hollow shoelace into 2 arm length pieces and 2 leg length pieces and slip them over the corresponding limb. Paint the limbs and the bead with the flesh colored paint and let dry. Next, pad the torso with batting and wrap it with self stick gauze to hold in place. If necessary, stitch the shoe strings edges to the stuffed torso. Paint the face with simple eyes, nose and mouth - don't forget the eyebrows! Now dress and wig your doll. Have fun and good luck!

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's a date

 Hubby and I had a beautiful sunny (but cold) day for our trip to Frankenmuth. We had so much fun exploring the shops and eating lunch at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. The miniature shop at Rau's Country Store is awesome. I could have emptied my checking account, lol, but I restrained myself. I found the little boy, fan, and muffin tin in the clearance aisle. I don't get Miniature Collector so even a year old issue was a welcome find. The greenery is holly leaves in a garland and I got a few pieces of mini wood to replace stock I've used.
 The fan is moving air in the boarding house living room. Too bad it doesn't move the dust, too. Looks like I need to give Harriet a hand with the house cleaning again. There's dust everywhere!
 George's nephew, Davey, has come to visit. Davey loves Davy Crockett and wears his coonskin cap wherever he goes. Today his mom even let him wear his fringed cowboy shirt! (Davey was on clearance for $2.97. I couldn't leave him.;-) )
We spent quite a bit of time at Bead Haven, too. (I have a wonderfully patient husband.) I found cute little teapots in both metal and glass and some jewelry findings for use in making minis. The elephant bead looks a bit like an ivory elephant. He will probably end up in one of the Victorian houses.

DH found some Marine Corp. mementos and we got fudge and an interesting bottle of wine to try. All in all, it was a perfect date. :-)