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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Intermediate Work : Ceiling Lantern, Produce Basket for Tomatoes

Using a jewelry saw or a hand drill for making holes
Crochet thread and lots of diluted glue to cover the outside
Ikea lamp for insipiration.
July 21st - 29th 2012

Since I started the house, I have also started looking for everyday objects or hardware store stuff that could be used to make something in the house.  I came across a tutorial to make a ceiling lamp from a ping pong ball so I was on the lookout for some cheap ping pong balls.  Here, Dime Store Chinese run department stores are everywhere so last week, whilst doing my grocery shopping, I stopped by one of them.  There, I found 6 ping pong balls for €1 and also six plastic sink filters for the same price.  One became my lantern and the other a produce basket.

The lantern just needed some holes and a bit of crochet thread sort of draped around it, then covered in parchment calligraphy rice paper to simulate the lantern.  And the filter I cut down and then used some more crochet thread to weave a sort of rustic design into it.  A little paint and some small scale tomatoes and voila! More food stuff for the kitchen.

Detail of the ceiling lamp.

The sink filter, cut away and woven with crochet cotton.

A bit of color and some mini tomatoes

Produce in the kitchen.
 Eventually, I will return to the build....but still I have a few more embellishments to add to the existing rooms. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Intermediate Work - Flowers and Flower Boxes

Tiny petals attached to tiny wire
June 27th - July 18th 2012

I came across two really cute ideas for making flowers or plants for the dollhouse.  The first came from a blog with some printable flowers, leaves and petals.  Putting those into 1/20 scale was really difficult.  Not only, I had to find the right size wire to glue the little petals too.  If you’re working in a 1/12 these pages are great for making some nice house plants.

I then came across, again thru Pinterest, a tutorial page with fantastic stuff.  I was interested in making little flower boxes for the ground floor windows. 

I used some leftover pieces and glued them together rather quickly.  I then weathered them a bit with some paint, wax and sand paper and fit in some florist sponge to stick the flowers into. 
Leftover wood is great!

Painted, weathered and floral sponged.

At first I thought that I’d sprinkle some “dirt” over the green sponge but using glue to make it stick only makes the floral sponge hard - then you can’t insert the flowers into it.  So I had to resort in the end to just filling the box up with as much stuff as possible to hide the sponge.

The geranium tutorial you can find here.  It’s just a matter of patience and time but they are quite nice upon completion.  I used a mouse pad and toothpick for shaping the petals and the leaves (which I found here) and then just glued around the geraniums to fill it in.  The pink petals I purchased at a dollhouse store.
Soak green construction paper to make a spit ball! Then let it harden overnite. This is the flower base.
Use a hole punch and punch out some red construction paper.  Wet it, then push the toothpick in the center. Use a mousepad underneath so that the paper will fold in on itself.  Then let the petals dry.
Dip the petals in glue, then with the tweezers, apply them to the green spit ball. 
Fill the flowers as much as possible, then let dry.
Cut out the leaves....
Crease them with the toothpick.  This will make them look more realistic on the plant.
Then I had to make some leave fillers.  Just wire with leaves on them.
One of the finished boxes.
The finished box attached to the kitchen window.
The idea of the box is that it is suspended by a metal rod under the window.  So, even if you can’t see it clearly, I did paint a skewer stick silver then glued some bits on the outer edges to simulate a rod going thru the box. 

I just love the geraniums !

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Intermediate Work - Purchases

April - May - June 2012

Well, I have been busy with work (life work, not dollhouse work) and have somewhat abandoned the build for a bit.  I have been learning how to make miniature paper flowers tho but I will post about my results later for that.

Over the last few months in my internet travels, I have accumulated quite a few contacts and made some purchases that can now begin to be put into the dollhouse.  So, I figured I’d attempt to show some of them here and link over to some of the shops.

On a side note, I came across an insert in Wikipedia which explained the term ryokan which I had come across previously in another post.  There, they had a detailed explanation of what it is and it matched exactly with dollhouse I am working on.  Basically, most of these ryokan are pretty nice luxury / spa hotels where you sleep on a tatami mat and eat all in the same room.  During the day, the futon is rolled up and put aside so you can pull out tables and chairs and eat or relax in the room.  The bathroom and spa are communal.  The entrance hall actually has two functions.  One it for “check in” for the guests and the other is a gathering place for the guests to sit and watch TV or read or socialize.  So, I decided to make my entrance hall this way.  It says they furnish you with kimonos for the spa and little geta sandals too.  So knowing all this, I’ve decided to make my ryokan not so run down or trashy but still a place for young people to come to and be entertained and enjoy the indoor spa !  Love to actually visit a real one.

The Spa really doesn’t have anything that I purchased in it. The stools and buckets were part of the kit as were the geta.  The changing area cabinet (with the kimonos I made) along with the scale and sink came with the kit.  The only purchases were the little laundry basket and the medicine cabinet over the sink.  I bought quite a few little objects from Doll House Emporium and they have great service and quick delivery.  The cabinet is a bit big (as DHE has mostly 1/12 scale) but I’m thinking I’m going to pull it down and weather it a bit.  Plus I want to fill it with medicine cabinet essentials.  But that’ll have to be later.  I'm also thinking of adding a little shower head to the right mostly because technically you are supposed to be clean before you enter into the spa pool.  It's not a bathtub - so I pretty much need a shower area in here.

I'm contemplating adding a shower head to the right.

Spa changing area

You can see the medicine cabinet above the sink.

View thru the spa window

The entrance hall has quite a few pieces which were part of the kit and needed construction.
Cabinet, desk, TV and the bonsai on the right.

View up thru to the first floor.
Cards for guests and little Evil Eye Charm
The large cupboard in the back, the front desk, the chairs, the TV and the screen were all part of the kit.  The clock on top of the cupboard was a DHE freebie with a purchase so I stuck it there.  The bonsai was also a special purchase from DHE.  They are issuing replicas from Queen Mary’s Dollshouse and they started with the Queen’s bedroom.  The bonsai was a 1/12 scale but I think it looks fine in the entrance.  I had to add some moss and greens to the vase as it was a bit ugly and unfinished but it looks great now.  The cards on the desk were a freebie from Japanese Miniatures off of Ebay. I bought many little kitchen items from her site all of which we can see in the kitchen.  The little black and white kitty on the desk is actually a pocket charm to ward off evil.  I found it in a shop in Florence that sells Japanese objects of all kinds.  I also found fabrics which I used to make the futon bedding and chair pillows and origami papers there too.  (I’d like to got back and buy some washi tape to use in my doll constructions - but that’s for later...)  The little paper lamp comes from Jim's printables page.

The kitchen is full of stuff that was from the kit (back and right side cupboards, wooden shelving, sink and stove) but many things I ended up making myself.

Coal and burnt ember container for cleaning
Lots of fun stuff in the kitchen. Mr Sparkle too!
The butcher’s block and knives, the ice box, the aluminum top table and stool I fashioned on my own.  The fruit and veg were purchased from Superminiatures who also had great quick service.  The bowls and bento box as well as the sushi board on the table were from Japanese Miniatures and the fish and knives came from Superminiatures.  The wok, pots and pans and wall mounted cups all came from I Love Miniatures who also gave me some free 1/20 scale Japanese 50’s style posters and calanders as their freebie.  Everyone is very nice about giving extra little things to add to the details of your project.  The mirror, coal collector (which is actually a slop bucket!), milk bottles and carrier were all purchased from DHE.  The food stuffs, boxes and cartons of juice and milk were made from the printies pages (either Jim’s or Jen’s or the Japanese Rainy pages) or I created them myself (see Mr Sparkle from The Simpsons). 

So, at this point, the ground floor is pretty much complete.  The kitchen still needs a few items to be attached and I want to make a rice paper globe for the spa ceiling light.  Plus an upcoming chapter has a paper and wood lamp which, if easy enough, I will reproduce for a few more rooms and replace the printie one I have in the entrance right now. 
Ground floor nearly complete.
The lighting is temporary still because I still need to wire the third floor and bring the wires down the back of the house to the ground level.  So, the back of the house is still a mess with missing boards and wires hanging out all over the place.  Not only that, I am still trying to figure out how to make a permanent table to put the house on.  I'd prefer it with wheels so I could move it around if I had to.  I have plans to make an outside garden area and an area right outside the kitchen where garbage and trash is left for pick up as well as an area for pickling vases. So I have plywood to install the house on, just no clear idea yet on where or how to install it.  I am trying to get my wandering mind organised and even purchased a trolley from Ikea for around E39.00 to get all the tools and paints organised.
Loaded Ikea trolley
Now if I could only do it with my mind ! I think I need a dollhouse journal so I can write down all the ideas that flash at me - I'm so afraid of forgetting!

And I’m still not done with my purchases or my own additions outside the kit.  Upcoming projects will be a rolled up futon for the music room on the 1st floor as well as loading up the table there with all the sushi and food stuff I already purchased.  And I have actually commissioned a stain glass room screen for that room which hopefully is being shipped soon.  Two flower boxes are in the works so will post once they are complete. It's all a viscious cycle in the end.  One thing leads to another idea which leads to another.  Now I know what they mean when they say you never really finish building a dollhouse.