Dollhouse Rehab, Missed Dolly and etc…

So my big news of the day is that the postman attempted to deliver my Brownie today, but sadly nobody was home and I was asleep at the time so my package was taken back to the post office. 🙁 Since my car’s battery is currently dead and charging, I begged my brother to take me to the post office in the late afternoon to see if I could pick it up yet, but sadly our mail carrier was still out on their route and so I couldn’t even pick up my little Brownie. It’s really very frustrating to know that the object you want is so darned close, but you can’t get it yet. XP

I’ve also been feeling a little lackluster today. My stomach is a little crampy, and I’m so very tired since I didn’t sleep well last night. So the progress on my dollhouse was slow. I did get most of the window frames painted though and I’ve begun assembling my first window. I ran into a few “technical difficulties” while planning my casement windows, mainly because of the design of the original window boxes on this thing which disallowed my casements to swing out. Of course I want to keep as much of the original as possible because my grandfather made it, so I had to figure out a way around that and some other problem areas. I think I’m on the right track now, but I can foresee a long slow process ahead of me since I decided to make nearly all of my windows casement windows. I know it will all be worth it in the end, but right now I have those “ugh” feelings about the whole thing. I just hope I don’t run into too many problems with the window sashing next since I’m having to use some very thin pieces of wood on it.

So, I guess my goals for tomorrow will be to complete at least one of my windows, paint the attic white, and since it should be simple, go ahead and get the attic window attached which will be non casement. Well that, and get my doll of course! Going to get to bed earlier tonight so I am sure to be up in time to get her, but I’ve also told my family to keep an eye out too. Hopefully we’ve got this covered!

Dollhouse Rehab – Day 3

I got all of my spackling and sanding done today, and currently as I type this, the first coat of paint is drying on the exterior of the house. I thought I would share a spackling tool tip though. It is something I kind of took for granted in having being as I am an artist, but the artist palette knives you can get at any art supply are really excellent spackling tools for those hard to reach spaces. You can see my palette knife on the right in the above pic, resting next to the red handled spackling knife. You can get palette knives in varying sizes and they are also inexpensive. I got my palette knife for a couple bucks or less. Of course some art supply stores have better prices than others.

I also decided to start sanding down all of the exterior window trimmings and I wanted to start planning to put them together, which brings me to my next tip. When dealing with custom windows and you have no plans to go by, you can always take a sheet of copy paper, and using a firm back board, hold the paper up to your window hole and trace your window in pencil. This makes a great guide for you to sit at your table and put your windows together. Of course for this house I think I will have to do each window separately seeing as there seems to be subtle differences between each hole my grandfather cut.

You may also notice in the picture that a bit of the old decal is showing through from the bad paint-over I did a long time ago….The yellow color you see is actually how badly the clear part of the decal yellowed, so yeah, it was not a pretty sight. I plan however to at least attempt to re-create those designs using my acrylic paints. We’ll see how that goes. I did manage to find a picture of this dollhouse from the planbook online, so I will use that as my guide for the detailing.

And here is a full progress shot with the dollhouse all taped up and ready to be repainted. I bought a warm beige color from Lowes the other day. I think it will be a tick darker than the last color on there, but when I looked at it in the store it provided nice contrast for both the white and dark brown trim. Well, I can see from here that my paint is dry enough to take a second coat, so I shall be heading off to do that now. I’m note sure what tomorrow’s goal will be, but I imagine it will be window related. 😉

Dollhouse Rehab, Day 2

The above pic is what one of the window cuts looked like before I reframed it. I think the before and after shots I will show you will convince you to properly frame out your custom windows and doors! Anyway as you can see, the cut is not straight, and there are a couple chips out of the wood on the side.

And here is an exterior shot of the same window all nicely framed out. It is now a beautiful, clean square! Hehe….anyhow I spent today reframing all of the windows like this and then I started spackling and sanding the outside of the house to prep it for paint. I want to make sure everything is as baby bottom smooth as possible so painting will be a breeze, and also so it looks good. I am hoping that I will be able to finish all of the exterior spackling and sanding tommorrow so I can begin laying down a coat of fresh new beige paint. Then I will be able to focus more on the inside and start papering/painting the interior rooms and eventually add some nice interior window trim.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I have a more in depth sorta tutorial on framing out your windows from when I made the 1:6 scale house. You can find it in the dollhouses category. 😉

Dollhouse Rehab Part 1

The first task in rehabbing the 1/12th scale dollhouse my grandfather built was to take out all of the old flooring and wallpapers. The wallpapers were mostly easy enough to deal with, except for a few rough patches. I basically just sprayed the walls down with water and then used a straight edge razor to scrape off the wet paper. Some of the paper I was able to pull off dry though. The flooring was another matter however. ^^; First of all, the downstairs floor has a layer of some sort of brown paper-like substance glued onto the wood. I remember a while back when the very original textured wallpaper flooring was pulled up and replaced with carpet, some of the paper was left behind and the carpet and tile just placed on top of it. It looks ugly, but, for the most part, it doesn’t bother anything or make things look bad when covered, so I think I will leave it alone since it’s proving to be a real bear to get off. Even sanding that stuff isn’t yielding fantastic results. The second pain in the rump is that removing that old velveteen carpet was difficult, as lots of little fibers wanted to stay behind and cling to the hardened glue on the floor. Again I used water as a solvent, and slowly but surely pulled the carpet up.

Presumably because my grandfather was just making this for a kid to play with, he didn’t bother to properly frame out the windows and add interior trim. Basically each window hole you see is a pure cut in the wood. This being said, I decided to undertake removing all of the trim in order to properly frame all the windows and add interior trim. Of course this was a very tricksy thing to do because the wood is not only old, but it’s also not the best quality of wood either. Basically I took a spackling knife, and with a hammer, wheedled that knife under each piece of trim and popped them off. Sometimes I had more success than others, and I have a couple “boo-boos”. I’m going to have to take the sander to everything now to clean it up, and spackle my booboos as well as other flaws in the wood.

Finally, I decided that the roof needed to come off as well, for a couple reasons. The first reason is that it was on there a little kaddiewampus. I remember that the roof started coming off a long time ago when I was a little girl….probably from moving it around in the room, so my dad put it back on again and I guess he didn’t bother to be perfect. ^^; The other reason is that it will make it a whole lot easier to frame out the attic window and apply new paint and papers to the upstairs rooms. Right now, the roof is sitting on the floor at the foot of my bed, where my cat is using it as a hidey-hole. XD She’s going to be upset when it goes back on the house!

Anyway, I’m breaking for the night. I’ll resume sanding tomorrow, and then hopefully start work on framing out all of the windows. I went out earlier in the day and got all the wood I needed to do so, plus some extra to make some nifty little swing open windows that I’m going to try to make in the original criss-cross design of the original plastic windows. This means I’ll need more hinges however! Thankfully I still have Xmas money to help me rehab this house. 🙂

The Dollhouse that Grandpa Built

So in my last posting I mentioned that I wanted to get a tiny that would work well with a 1/12th scale dollhouse that I had, and here now is that very dollhouse. I ended up hauling it out of the attic late last night, and after a quick dusting I thought I would shoot some pics so I could solicit help/advice in choosing what size of tiny would work best in this house. I have a t-square and my Blythe in the pic to give an idea of scale.

Here is a close-up of the kitchen area with the ruler and Blythe to give a better idea of the scale of the furniture. Although I plan to make some of my own furniture, I would like to be able to use some of the items I already have, as well as 1/12th scale stuff you can find at the local Hobby Lobby. Blythe doesn’t look too happy in this picture, I bet she thinks this house is a dump and she’s glad that she lives in the big house. XD

And lastly, for posterity or whatnot, here is a shot of the front of the dollhouse. I plan to start refurbishing the house, so these can all be used for the “before” pics. 😉 Anyway the house has a sort of German cottage flavor about it. When the house was new, there were little flowery design decals that looked very Pennsylvania Dutch in various spots, as well as plexiglass windows with crisscross lines printed on them for that Tudor feel. The windows have all become brittle and broken over time except one that is now hazy and yellow. The original decals of course started yellowing, and because I found it unsightly when I was younger I was stupid and painted over them. The decals added some serious cute vintage to the whole thing….oh well, we grow, we learn. I think I will probably try to find new decals, or perhaps even make my own stencils to try to bring that back as well.

Enough about rehab plans though. If you have any advice for me on what size of tiny will work best with this house, please share! Last night I poured over Brownies, PukiPukis and Lati whites. I am leaning towards thinking that size will be best, but I’m still not sure. Anyway advice will be much appreciated!