Sunday, December 30, 2012

First set of STAIRS in Ariel!

This set of stairs was worked on from Dec 22 through a couple of days ago and still needs it's 2nd coat of varnish and a few tweaks.    I got in the look at least of 2 drawers and it is enough to make me happy.

There will be a pretty elaborate floor (one my my cheater styles) and doors and maybe a fireplace in the hall.  I can't wait to hang pictures and put in the tiny details that make a house a home.

The plinth in front there needs a coat of varnish.

Things done & found

I have been busy!   I cleaned and rearranged mini-working stuff inspired by the AIM magazine articles showing artisans work spaces.   Came to light many an item I don't even remember making yet there it was.  One of those was this blue chair (from a kit).  
The push pin and pony bead glass I made six dozen of after learning, at last, how to get the pin out of pushpins cleanly and neatly.   You hold the pin over a candle flame for 8 seconds and pull it out with pliers - easy-peasy.   The glasses aren't fabulous but they will do.
The crystal ball thing is just some bits I glued together which I simply couldn't resist.   It is a curiosity and will go into someone's library or the pawn shop should I ever get that built.

The wonderful plinth with flowers comes straight from an AIM magazine project.  I am working on a second one right now.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A demilune table

This demilune table was part of the big order I just made.  It was on sale I think and will be just right for...somewhere.    I had never heard the word demilune table in my entire half a century plus of life but now I know. 

Clearing up in Ariel

I'm doing some clearing up in Ariel prior to some serious work done on the place.
I've placed a large order with Hobby Builder's Supply and can hardly wait to get going!
Meanwhile, here are some pics of Ariel looking in areas better than it has for well nigh on a year I think.
In this picture I was glad to get the first picture hung in the parlour.   There will be a picture rail there and the hanging ribbon will eventually be very fine but for now....
And the baseboarding is on order, very, very exciting.....
 I just wanted to put up the wall pocket too.  It needs some sheet music in there or at least a magazine or two of the period.

These 3 fellows are simply everywhere!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Few Merebrick pics

Just a few pictures of Merebrick rooms.  I do like how the popstick floor in this room, now 15 years old, looks nice and aged and surprising real.

A nice crowded gentleman's parlor.

 The laundry room which needs a bit of work and here has been rearranged by a 9 year old.  The laundry rack on the floor has got to be attached to the ceiling.

I've been busy

 I got the bedrooms papered for a start.  I don't have an overall picture of the edifice yet but I was going for a certain balance of colors and patterns in the rooms.
I plunked down beds in the rooms which may or may not be there when they are "done" - whenever that will be, if ever.

I can't believe how smoothly it all went but maybe it's because I spent an awful long time picking what papers were going to go where.

Ten interior doors are necessary to continue work on these bedrooms and I am hoping to order them all today.  There is still a LOT of work to do on the halls which won't be seen much but I am doing them up to make myself happy about it.  The dado will be painted a dull brown over the shiny nonsense on the paper and floors have to be added as well as doors and a picture or two so they can be "glimpsed" from the doors.

 The green washstand goes with the green bed just as I planned.

Where the ladder is will be a hall with light green striped wallpaper (and a frieze), a staircase and a bathroom behind the door.  A bedroom is above the hall.

And to the right of this set of 6 bedrooms will be this bit with a tower room yet to be built on top.

 The slanted bit on the left upstairs is the underside of the stairs leading to the tower room. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hallways are papered

By dint of staying up till 10 pm last night and getting up somewhere before 5 am, I was able to get the hallways papered. 
True - they will mostly not be seen but it makes me happy to have them done.
The bit of unfinished baseboard I propped upstairs was just for effect.  It will, of course be painted BROWN.
And once doors are in they will be standing open all the time just so I can look into my hallways.
These hallways are fully 3 1/2" wide, nice and generous.

Here is one of those shots I so love, as if I were mini and "looking down the hallway."   It makes me feel like an inhabitant.

Below is a better view of the wall-paper and the dado, oh so perfectly Late-Victorian.

If I can't have it in real life I can have it in 12th scale.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Servants Hall

I got the wallpaper and dado put in the extended bit of servants hall.  I couldn't find the dado paper (though I knew I had it) for months and months and a rested, intensive search brought it to light. 

When I first shined my light into the house and looked at the servants hall I actually got a lump in my throat and almost could have cried because I love it so.   Ariel, it is the house of my dreams in that it represents so much of the things in my life that have fascinated me and brought me enjoyment and pleasure.
Although my pictures show rather a mess in there now I can see how it will look when I get it to where I want it to be.   There will a fireplace and 1 or 2 more doors.  I will also need some serious lighting because of the depth of the room.
But I just love this simple room! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bedrooms for Ariel

It doesn't look like much yet but it took me all Saturday to do.  I made half the top part of Ariel, the bedrooms.  I am not attaching the floor or roof until I finish wall-papering the halls and installing doors which, as I haven't yet bought them, will be a little while.

What you see here is about 36" wide and 16" deep.
 That bed sitting there is the one I made of Davy Board & wood bits back in 1997.  I spray painted it brown and learned how many coats it takes to cover unprepared cardboard!  Way too many I can tell you!   At least it has a mattress and a quilted yellow coverlet but no sheets or anything.   It looks like two maids could share it comfortably.  When I made it I thought it fine enough for the master bedroom but now I think not nearly so fine at all. 
           I am nearly dying of anticipation to go to work on this but I can't until all the decisions about the wall paper colors and friezes and dados are made for the entire top half (even the right hand side I haven't made yet).
           The lower floor ceiling height is 9 1/2" and the upper or the "attic" is 9", nice and high and sort of comfortable I guess.   Our old house had the same ceiling height as Ariel's attic - that is one way to think of it.
           Ariel is very late-Victorian, Eastlake-ian.   The bathrooms are going to be quite something I can tell you.  Maybe I can get ONE done this week.    

Friday, December 7, 2012

Three more washstands

I have made 3 more washstands, the ones I had planned to make this past summer.
Two are painted, the green one matches a bed and will be part of a bedroom suite eventually. 
The unpainted one I haven't decided on yet.    These washstands are strictly utilitarian, not for any grand looks at all.

Friday, November 30, 2012

I've done something!

It isn't much, just a small sort of crate of tea but it is something.   It feels good to be working on a mini-project again.
I have started on the 3 washstands (one is shown here) which I planned to do this past summer but lacked some popsicle sticks.   Just this very morning I began gluing a bit on each so they are finally going to be done maybe by the end of this coming weekend.

These washstands are being made to a pattern from Christiane Berridge's Victorian Dolls House book and will be very utilitarian, probably even in servants quarters.

The first picture is with no flash, long exposure, the second is with flash.  I think I like the one with flash better but the other one has more "romance".

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Life, Mississippi & Emily Sinkler

SO, one might think I have been busy doing other crafts and to that I can say yes and no.
          Between work, taking care of a parent with dementia & a marital crisis I have been busy working on real life since summer. 
          Ariel is stuffed with items I have been dropping off in there, all mini-related, and it looks almost as abandoned and neglected as an antebellum southern mansion.   I have just begin to clear up some and hopefully something will happen over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

         And speaking of antebellum southern mansions; lately, while rearranging books (a massive effort since I have many hundreds) I got back into my huge fascination with antebellum mansions.   When I was a teenager this book simply engrossed me (and it still does):

I found it at the public library back in the 1970's and later in the 1980's got a copy of my own.  This picture from looks just like my copy, dust cover repair and all.
           Ghosts Along the Mississippi is sitting on the dining table this very morning as I am reading in in Marc Mantrana's book Lost Plantations and referencing back to Ghosts occasionally.  
          The picture on the cover of Lost Plantations shows a curved pair of stairs going up to the front doors of a home (I forget the name of that one) long gone but which were covered in marble in their day.   I have been thinking of something like that for the front of Ariel but I can't see how to build it just yet.
           I just recently read about Goat Castle which is the most interesting story.  This link will tell it all with a small photo or two.
           I so very much want to go to the Spring Pilgrimmage in Natchez, Mississippi and also to drive down the River Road and stay at some of the antebellum mansions which are B & B's now, it is my dream nursed since my teenage years.
           Hubby actually  found the most gorgeous steamboat which is called the American Queen and has cruises up and down the Mississippi.   It was decommissioned in 2009 and has just been put back into glorious service and we very much want to take a cruise - but they are not cheap.  Just look at this - if you are a Victorian Era lover this will delight you.  This is their dining room, the grand staircase and one of the staterooms.

          Actually, my hubby found out about this and I just sooooo want to take a cruise on this boat!   Imagine creating such a beauty in miniature!
          Also, on my recent birthday we finally entered the 21st century and bought a wide-screen TV, High Definition.   I had no idea how gorgeous and detailed it would be!  I am having to re-watch just about all my DVD's because of the detail I can now see.
         Downtown Abbey just about blew me away in HD widescreen.   I am currently going through Manor House and the Wedgewood china, the silver, the lace on the dresses of Mrs. Oliff-Cooper and even the dirt of downstairs, it all can now be seen and I am quite thrilled.
         My current breakfast-book (besides the 2 mentioned above) is a re-reading of this book.  I recommend it highly if you are into such things.  There are such details of life back then.   For example, Emily Sinkler lived on a plantation in a place now submerged under a massive lake created in the 1930's.   She married and moved there from Philadelphia in 1842 or so and to get from Charleston to her plantation home she mentions taking a train to a point where it ends and they have to then go by carriage and boat.  The train went 25 miles only and took about 2 hours to do so - talk about SLOW!   To get from Charleston to her home was an entire days trip.   She yearly went back home to Philly which was no small journey then.  
There is even a second book published with her receipts (recipes) which is delightful too.
For large dinners she always served 3 desserts which isn't a bad idea - I'm sort of aiming for this day after tomorrow.   It may end up only being 2 though, I don't have help in the kitchen besides hubby and he is roasting the turkey.  
           I'm also getting out some of my own silver collection and even though there will only be 3 at the table (alas) it will hopefully look worthy of a Victorian Era board.             
           Thank-You John E. of Merriman Park for inquiring about me, it was just the little nudge I needed.   I am awfully glad to be able to see others mini-worlds.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Doll House Museum

Found this link on my Facebook and OH, I want to go there!!!

At the very least I can poke around on the site and enjoy it vicariously for now.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Construction is messy

The construction crew has been back at work on Ariel/Sapiens.   The halls needed to be deeper and it was decided that there will be bathrooms, plural.  
I must admit I was very inspired by Hambleton Hall's bathroom ( and I hope to have one very like it, in spirit at least.
Here is a view of an enlarged, well, deepened hall one papered, one yet to be.

And the whole edifice now is 54" wide.  I made many other big decisions this past weekend too such as the height of the top half and how the front will look.  There is still A LOT of construction ahead.   It well may end up as 60" wide, maybe. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Items made while camping

After that stay in the fine Victorian home we camped for a week - here is our tent under a tree.   I brought a plastic bin filled with mini-making stuff and made several items....
 From a DHW magazine I made 4 lap desks.
I also used a fan to make the small table.

Yes, I painted them and did all of it at our camp table under our fly.

I made an abacus and a small slate board too.
I made two wall-pockets using filigree bits and mat-board.

 And best of all I used my Ruthberg book to make these washstands out of matboard and 1/8" square basswood for the legs.   The legs were shaped with an x-acto.

I call these the Tres Amigos.
They are all going in the Red Dragon Tavern upstairs rooms.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Back to the "Simple" layout

Tried one of those new dynamic views and have decided simpler is better.

I've been on vacation and on our way to camping we spent a night in a B & B.  It was a beautiful old home in Ohio and here are some of my pictures.  I have visited many but this is the first time I got to stay & sleep in an historic home.  It was also my first live seeing of black squirrels!  They had a family of them out back.

This fireplace was in the front hall which I found interesting.
The detail of the woodwork is kind of amazing. 
 Again the height of the pocket doors made me realize my doors in Ariel have to be taller.

The proportions of the whole house were fascinating to me and very helpful when working on dollhouses.
The relative height of the lamp for instance to the ceiling.  When there it was perfect, but in looking at this picture, much as you see a dollhouse room, it seems so low and so small.

I have decided my stairs somewhere have just GOT to have lamps on them like these.     
This picture looks into the dining room from the front hall.
 The built-in library shelves had the most interesting system for adjustable shelves that I have ever seen.   The cabinet on the right stood in front of one of 3 sets of pocket doors!
The exquisite dining room with a southern exposure.  I love the loftiness of the ceilings!
It felt huge and airy in there!   That ceiling medallion really stood out with the two-tone coloring used. 
 A small view of the "butler's panty" I think it once was but it would have made for a marvelous breakfast room for a private family. 
Another fireplace you just want to copy in mini - if you could.

Hearth detail.

 Looking upstairs.
 On the lower left of this picture of the staircase, built into them were 2 drawers!  I thought that a wonderful idea.
 Opposite the fireplace in the front hall was this built-in hat rack!!   The settee there obscures it but it was original to the house too.  Fabulously detailed woodwork.
The front hall looking towards the entrance with it's stained glass.  The hall was about 12 feet wide, I "foot-measured" it.

 Another bit of hearth detail I found fascinating.  This fireplace was upstairs in our bedroom.
 Our room, which I think is the nicest, most elaborate bedroom I ever slept in.

Here is how it looked as night fell.

 The hinges on the doors were just awesome!
 This is a view of the upper hallway so simple and yet so wonderful.