More floorboards

Back to the floorboards this afternoon.

It took a while to match up the floor trim pieces correctly so the pattern was continuous when it was straight.

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Made it most of the way around and realized I needed to do the middle before I did the right wall trim, to make sure everything ended up parallel.

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Stained everything but left parts of it unglued for now.

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Wasn’t sure I liked the middle floorboards going lengthwise like that…and thought they might be a bit too narrow for old floorboards. I’ll try wider boards next time, but for now, I tried them at a different angle just to see.

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Not sure I like that either. Here’s the lengthwise look again with furniture.

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And here’s a third possibility I like better…I’d divide the middle floor into four quarters and do each quarter on a different angle.

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Well, I’m still not sure what to do and I think wider floorboards might be better. So I’ll sleep on it a little. Good night.

 

 

Back to the drawing room

I went to the Philadelphia Miniaturia show this weekend and it reminded me, among other things, that I had this beautiful house to work on and that I had been neglecting it for much too long. Furthermore, I picked up some amazing floor trim at the show, which would work perfectly in the drawing room and would solve my trim-making issues.

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So then it was back to cutting floor boards, staining them, and gluing them in place.

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When I got to the back of the room, I realized I still hadn’t glued the walls in. Which also meant gluing in the little bridge-like rails the pocket doors would slide on..

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Gluing the side wall in place…

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And then the back wall. There’s a little gap on the right back corner. That will get filled with wood filler soon.

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I continued the floor trim around the back of the room.

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But then it was time to go. So here’s the drawing room so far.

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I had forgotten how calming it could be, working  in this miniature world. Soothes the soul.

Be well. Good night.

Drawing room floor boards

It’s been a little while since I’ve had time to work on the house, but tonight I started on the drawing room floor boards.

I had bought a couple stain pens and cut the tips into a point to make them smaller in order to do the detail work on the floor trim. But the stain just bled across the wood when I used them.

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So I tried marking the wood with an x-acto knife first to make an edge for the stain. It seemed to work pretty well.

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I might keep trying this way or I might find some other way for it to work. I could always use felt tip markers instead of actual stain…

Next I started the long and tedious process of measuring out floor boards for the outside of the room and then staining them.

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Glued in one line of floor boards in the bay window area.

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Then a second line.

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Next I wanted to do the first set of decorative trim boards with a dark line down the center. The dark brown stain marker I had bought wasn’t dark enough to contrast well with the medium brown, so I tried with a black felt tip instead.

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I think it shows up alright so I’ll continue like this next time.

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Oh, and I bought a second chair for the sitting room next door and a display cabinet for the drawing room. Still need a lovely console for the left-hand drawing room wall but I haven’t found the right one yet.

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Good night.

Drawing room floor

Last week, I finally found the perfect drawing room furniture! I’ve been searching since I abandoned the drawing room a year ago, so I was awfully happy to find these.

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Now I just need to finish the room around it.

Last time, I had made the walls on each side of the chimney too narrow. So I pried the old walls off and made new ones.

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I think the proportions are more realistic now.

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Then I started painting the sub-floor black so the cracks between the floorboards show up better.

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I also did the area behind the fireplace…

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…so the inside of the fireplace works now.

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The wood of the back stairs which I had stained but not finished last year is looking rather dry and dull, so I experimented with a bit of Danish oil on an extra piece to see if I liked the effect. I’d like the area to look polished but not shiny and varnished since those are servants stairs, after all. I’ll see how it looks after it dries overnight.

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Finally, I drew up a small scale version of a pattern I might use for the drawing room floor.

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I like the trim but I suspect the middle will look too fussy in this small a scale, so I modified it a little.

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And that’s all I had time for tonight. Be well.

Drawing room chimney

I had a few details to fix in the drawing room tonight. First, I needed to add a patch to the side of the bay window, since I had decided not to put a wall there.

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Even though the kitty-cat seems rather upset about the leftover cracks, they will be covered up by the floor boards and by the wood covering the front of the room openings, so no one will see them.

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Then, since I had decided to raise the windows by half an inch, I needed to cut a new bay window wall, cut an opening in it for the window and add studs.

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I then propped that wall up where it belongs.

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Next, I needed to create a chimney for the fireplace. Cut out the walls:

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Glued them together with supports:

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Placed it against the wall. I’m not sure if I made it deep enough…I may need to redo this next time.

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Finally, I decided the fireplace mantel was too black…

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…so I highlighted the details in gold.

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So here’s where I am so far. I don’t seem to be getting as much done each evening as I used to, but at least I’m advancing…

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Good night.

More sitting room windows

Tonight, I needed to finish the walls and windows of the sitting room. The south-east corner of the room is the bottom of what will be an octagonal tower on the third floor–thus the intriguing shape.

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I cut out an opening for the window in the first wall and added studs to support the back.

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And put the wall in place.

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Did the same for the second wall piece.

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Likewise for the third piece.

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Then I had to make a decision: did I stop there or add another wall section?

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Wasn’t quite sure, but I think the extra section is good. It gives a better sense of the octagonal shape from the outside.

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And the corner just looks a lot cozier when you peek around at it.

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Also, the opening is still big enough to show the room well from the side.

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Placed a long piece of board over the top of the rooms to get a better idea of how it will look. Here’s without the extra piece:

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And with it:

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I think I will go with the extra section. Besides, doesn’t it make this little corner look comfortable and inviting?

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So here’s the east side of the house for now.

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Good night.

Addendum: upon reviewing the photos one more time before going to bed, I now think the room looks better without the extra wall section. Hmmmm…

Walls and windows

Added studs to the wall between the sitting room and the drawing room tonight. Left room between the studs in the middle so I could slide two pocket doors between the walls. The two little wooden bits underneath are spacers to keep the wall opening open until I put the doors in…then they will be placed under the doors to give them something to slide on.

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Then glued the sitting room wall to the other side and weighed it down as it dried.

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And placed the wall between the rooms.

Cut out the opening for the window in the second half of the drawing room bay window.

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Propped it up in place…

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…and was undecided as to whether to leave it there or not. I think the view inside the drawing room is better without it, so I may leave that window and wall out altogether.

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Next, I decided the other window in the drawing was a little two low, so I raised it up a half inch (you can see the difference in height in the two previous photos). I think the proportions work better this way, considering how high the ceiling will be.

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Next, using this new window height, I cut a hole for the double windows in the sitting room (on the left) and added studs to the back of the wall.

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I realized I was tired (and sick with a nasty head cold), so I decided to call it a night. Here are the two rooms so far:

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I’ll need to cut out the window openings and add studs to the walls that go around the octagonal tower corner in the sitting room next. But for now, here is a lovely bouquet of roses I just acquired, as well as a metronome and a stereoscope.

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Good night.

More foundations

I needed to add foundations to the second part of the house tonight.

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So I emptied the section of anything that would move, tipped it over on my worktable, and added a wooden foundation. The 9-volt power strip will be stowed under the back stairs, where I’ve left an opening in the foundation (on the bottom right, here) for the wires to pass through.

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Then I put the whole thing right side up again and placed the furniture and accessories back where they belonged.

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Then I measured and glued on the studs for the far wall of the sitting room. Unfortunately, I had made the doorway too small so I then had to tear all the studs off, re-cut the doorway, and then re-cut and re-glue the studs (with slits left open in the stud-work to pass the studs of the other side of the wall, the hallway, through…they will be part of the third section of the house and need to be separate).

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After which I realized it was bedtime. But I’ve got the two back walls ready to be decorated and I’ll add studs to the remaining sitting room and drawing room walls next time.

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Until then, good night.

Starting up again

Life seems to have calmed down a bit, and I seem to have carved out a bit of time after the baby is asleep to work on the house again, now and then.

The house itself has been moved to the second floor office and I made a cloth cover for the box that surrounds it.

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The sides can be lifted individually for easy access, while the thick cloth keeps the sunlight out so the colors in the house won’t fade.

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I’ve also set up a worktable with all my supplies in front of the window. So now I’m ready to get back to work.

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When I made the back portion of the house a year and a bit ago, I left out the foundations, which will house the electrical wiring. (Hence all those wires sticking out to the right.)

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Would have been better to add the foundation earlier, but there’s no time like the present, so first I had to empty all the rooms of anything that was loose.

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And tip the house over on its side in a rather undignified manner in order to add the foundation pieces. I also attached the lighting strip to the underside of the house. The hole in the foundation wall through which the wires pass will be covered by the outside cellar doors.

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Then I tipped it back over right side up and replaced all the furniture and accessories.

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When I get to working on the outside of the house, I will cover the foundation with bricks so it looks more realistic.

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Next I will need to add a foundation to the second section of the house and start work on the sitting room:

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And the drawing room:

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I will also need to figure out how to make these photos better…since I’ll be working only at night, I won’t have the benefit of natural light. Plus having yellow walls in the office is making it difficult to adjust white balance.

In the meantime…so happy to be back at it!

Setting up

So I realize I haven’t made any progress on the house for many months.  Let me show you why:

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His name is Sebastien and he’s three months old now. He takes up most of my waking hours…and a lot of my sleeping ones as well.

But I have not forgotten the house, and tonight I had some time (after the baby was in bed) and decided to set up so I could start working on the house when and if I got the time again.

So I now have a little work table in a corner of the living room:

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And the dollhouse components are safely under plexiglass (to protect from the dog and the baby), a plastic drop cloth (to protect from water that sometimes drips from the skylights above) and a sheet (to protect from the sunlight).

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Not the ideal place for it, but since I no longer live alone, I can’t really take up the entire dining room anymore…

I had already set up most of the rooms, but I still needed to place the cans back on the pantry shelves in the correct order:

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I used museum wax to secure them in place so I will hopefully never again have to insert my fingers into that narrow space to set them up.

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Then there were a couple pieces that had broken in the move that needed re-gluing:

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And all the extra furniture and knickknacks needed to be stored away in back of the house so I had access to the rooms I need to work on.

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As you can see, the lights still work and those two front rooms have a ways to go before they look like rooms. I have the plans for the drawing room parquet in my head. Whenever I next find the time, I will start to work on that.

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Until then….be well.