Philadelphia Miniaturia

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So this is what happens when you go to a conference for work…you spend the next week trying to catch up on everything you missed while you were gone. Which means I’ve been neglecting the house for the past two weeks.

On the other hand, I did go last weekend to the Philadelphia Miniaturia, which is the largest dollhouse miniatures show on the east coast…and what an amazing set of vendors there. Artisans of the finest quality abounded. I even got to meet several I had bought from online. What fun.

I got a good supply of tiny-patterned cloth and lace for the curtains downstairs, some old sheet music, a couple of laser-cut doilies, and a frame for the picture in the nursery.

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Also a little basket for the pantry, and a glazed, fired pot from the woman who made the tiny butter churn in my kitchen.

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And the most fabulous little metal-cast giraffe for the nursery. And a tiny Spode plate depicting the Castel Sant’Angello in Rome.

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Funny thing about this plate is that I own a life-sized copy as well.

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So I had to get it.

Finally was able to put the nursery print in a frame…

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…and place a tiny piece of wood in back so it will hang at a slight angle.

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And here you go.  I’ll get back to work on the pantry later.

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For now, good night.

Pantry odds and ends

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Had a list of different items that needed finishing tonight. First I needed to finish up the support beams between the floors, now that I had the supplies I needed.

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Cut the rest out and glued them in.

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Then glued the sub-floor to the base floor. Also painted the edges of the pantry black so there would be no white cracks showing on the edges of the tiles.

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Glued on the last two treads of the staircase.

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Painted the bottom of the pantry walls brown and the top cream.

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Next I touched up a couple tiny mistakes on the tiles I had painted. Sprayed them with acrylic to protect them. And painted some of the trim for the walls.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Placed everything back in the house (the wall trim is only taped on)…still haven’t cut out the back wall, but I put a white piece of cardboard to show where it’ll be. It’ll look more appropriate when it’s brown and cream like the rest of the walls…

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….starting to look more like a pantry now. Here’s a view from the kitchen side (excuse the reflections on the plexiglass).

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Traveling the next few days, but I’ll be back again soon.  Good night.

Tile floor in pantry finished

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Got back to work painting the tiles tonight.

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Amazing how much time each little one takes to paint correctly.  First I finished off the black ones.

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Added the yellowish cream ones…

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Continued on with the russet ones…

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And there it is.

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It’ll fit quite snuggly onto the pantry floor…

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Which I’m hoping will both contrast with and match the pattern and colors in the kitchen next door.

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Of course the whole thing will look better without all the masking tape holding it up, but here’s what I have so far…

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Good night.

Pantry tile floor

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Started on the tiles for the floor of the pantry under the stairs. Tried out a pattern with a few colors that matched the tiles in the kitchen.

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Decided to go with the lighter of the two yellows. Then I drew out the pattern on a piece of cardboard the size of the floor.

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Scored the lines between the tiles with a utility knife.

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Then started painting…

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…and painting.

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Still a long way to go, but I think I like the way it’s turning out.

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I think I might run the green wainscoting from the kitchen into the pantry, too….but I’ll see. Maybe I’ll make it brown instead…more utilitarian.

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For now, good night.

Dollhouse table

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So I’ve been too busy with work to get anything done on the dollhouse, but my retired carpenter next door neighbor’s been working hard on a table for the house.

Plywood for the top (since it’ll be under the house anyway) and yellow pine for the rest.

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Except for the legs which are made of solid maple and which he got for free once because they had floated away from a yard during the big flood of ’72 and they had been cast away as rejects.

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And here it is, set up in my dining room (dining room table duly swept to the side).

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I’m going to stain it dark and varnish it later.

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But for now, I think I’ll leave it the way it is…

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…since I still have a lot of work to do on the house, and I’d be afraid of ruining the table finish as I worked.

Oh, and it’s got a perfect little sanded-down lip around the edge so the plexiglass box won’t slide off.

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So thank you, Harry, for being such a good neighbor and a wonderful person, as well as a skilled carpenter!

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Be well.

More back staircase

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Since I had made the stairs the wrong size a little while back, I had to start fresh.

First I cut out the inner stair walls which would reach up to the very top of the house. Added the wooden studs to support them.

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Glued the other side of the wall on and weighed it down.

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Placed it in the house…

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…and turned the lights on for a bit of fun.

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Then I made a new design for the stairs, using the correct width, and fixing a few conceptual mistakes I had made the first time.

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Cut out the various pieces.

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Stained them.

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Then glued them together, except the last two treads. (It takes a while to hold them as the glue dries and it’s way past my bedtime…so the rest will be done tomorrow.)

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Placed them in the house (you can see the cracks where the two top treads are just laid on).

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Fits much better than the first set of stairs, and I’ve done a much neater job of it all around.

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Plenty more to go, but here’s a view looking down the inner wall for now.

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Good night.

Feeling protected

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Well, here’s half of the plexiglass box up and going. It looks too tall in the photo, but the front part of that house will have three stories plus the tower roof. So it’ll be snug when it’s done.

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The other half is bigger and wouldn’t fit through the house doors. But since I don’t need it for now, I stored it in the garage until I move in May.

I’ll take it apart then for the move.

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Now we (my 85-year-old neighbor and I) are going to build a low table to put this on–so it doesn’t stand quite so tall in the room, and so I can get my dining room table back.

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Cheers!

Boxing it in

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Didn’t work on the actual house today, but I did finally get the time to put together most of the box in which it’s going to reside (to protect it from sunlight, dust, unidentified flung objects, and dog tails & teeth).

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This was created with the help of my 85-year-old neighbor who was a carpenter all his life and has all the tools you could ever want in his workshop!

Still have one of the tops to attach on.

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Now that I see it in the context of my garage…it’s awfully big, huh?  But then…the house has two more stories and a tower and a porch that need to be added on to what’s already there.

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Cider got to pose with the box in the photos because he was a good boy and sat waiting in the yard while I was in the garage most of the afternoon.

That and because he really, REALLY wanted to go for a walk and he thought maybe if he sat still for the photos we’d finally leave for that walk.

Good night.

Back stair beginnings

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Began to build the back stairs this evening. Started by computing and drawing out the stairs on the side of the wall.

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Created the framework for the stairs.

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Added the risers.

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Cut out the treads and rounded off the front of each one.

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Stained the lot of them.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And glued the staircase together.

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Then I placed it into the stairwell to see how it would work.

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Placed it on the upper half to see how that would look.

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But I noticed there was a bit of a fit problem.  So I added a temporary wall and studs where the center wall would be…

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…and realized I had made the stairs too small. Turns out I measured off the length of a beam with floor and ceiling as opposed to the length of two walls and a stud; I’m an eighth of an inch off.  Sigh.

So I’ll be trying this over again…hopefully I’ll do a better job then.

For now…good night.

Back stairwell walls

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Started working on the back stairwell today.

Added the studs to support the walls…took a while to line them up correctly with the back part of the house.

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Finished the last wall.

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So here’s the stairwell.

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Added the ceiling and floor of the landing (can’t add the beams between the two since I’m out of supplies).

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Placed a few pieces of cardboard to see what the stairs and walls would look like before starting on the stairs.

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I think I like the result, so next time I’ll work out how to make the stairs.

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Be well.