Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Little Shopping Spree


A miniature buddy came to visit last week, so a trip to Miniature Designs in Lawrenceville, Georgia, was high on the places-to-go list. Even better, a friend from the Greenleaf Dollhouse Forum was able to meet us there. I found goodies for the Beacon Hill and the Pierce, and even something for the White Orchid Christmas House.

The shrubbery in this photo will be used for a different project. I've moved into a new house, and the backyard needs to be redone from its current state. I'm going to make a model so the landscaper knows exactly what I have in mind. I have some other bits and pieces on hand. Will snip apart the forsythia to make some smaller bushes.

The following items are for the Beacon Hill. The lyre table was on sale. So was the lamp. It lights up beautifully. The cranberry glass charger on the table reminds me of fine Bohemian glass. The brush and comb are from an estate sale. The brush has real bristles. I was told they are horsehair, but I think they are fare too fine for anything found on a horse. The mirror has real glass, not just painted silver. The little jewelry box opens.


This little tin is about the size of a dime. It's going into the Christmas house, naturally.

The eyebrow windows and the pheasant are destined for the Pierce/Bohemian Inn. While growing up, we had a stuffed pheasant that my father had shot back in the day. While in the Czech Republic (now Czechia) a few years ago, I saw a pair of pheasants meander their way across the hillside behind our hotel. I'm not sure if the pheasant will be inside the building (presumably stuffed) or outside in the garden.

I've not worked on minis for a while. This trip has prompted me to get back at it! Heading in to the craft room in a few minutes to get organized! Miniature Designs keeps a wide variety of wallpapers. If I could remember what furnishings I have for the Beacon Hill, I could have bought wallpaper and ceiling paper and maybe some plaster ceiling rosettes. Will have to plan another trip soon!

The drive to Lawrenceville on three sections of interstate prompted me to find our way home on surface roads; it was a half hour longer but far less stressful. Later in the day I signed up for an Uber account!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Beacon Hill Staircase Makeover [Step 2 - 2nd floor demolition]


The staircase remodeling is going slowly, at a rate of two days of thinking for every two minutes of actual work, but the thinking is beginning to pay off. I'm starting with the second floor run, which is straight. This is what it looks like using kit parts.


Looking at the backside, the new bits are staged. As you can see, I've started staining the new parts. I finally figured out that the stain is Provincial by Minwax.


Not shown, the delicate procedure needed to detach the flat bannister/rail piece from the staircase unit. The thinking part included a debate between salvaging the lower part and making an entire new surface.  The salvage idea won. Using a combo of sharp utility knife, mini saw, and emery board, the demolition began. I cut it away to line up with the risers and the underside of the steps. This, however, left a disturbing void between the edge of the step and the outside plane of the facing, which triggered more thinking.

The result of the thinking calls for a piece of strip wood to extend the step a bit beyond the facing. It will be rounded to a bullnose silhouette and stained to match the rest of the unit. The facing has not been glued yet. It may need some gentle sanding on one or more steps to fit the strip wood snugly enough so as not to be very noticeable. The stripwood has been ordered.


Meanwhile, the thinking has shifted to the railings that edge the opening between the first and second floors. I think the balusters for the upper run of the ground floor unit will actually be attached to the 2nd floor railings and simply hang down, so they, too, can be removable. Need to make a mockup to test the theory.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Beacon Hill Staircase Makeover [Step 1 ~ Staging]


The staircase in the Beacon Hill reminds me more of a Craftsman style, not Victorian. I see it used in other Beacon Hills and it works well, but in this Beacon Hill, I want a more delicate appearance. To that end, I've laid in a supply of Houseworks balusters, Newel posts and handrails.

Before cutting away the current details, I used a bit of poster putty to put some of the elements in place. It's obvious that there will be adjustments to be made, but all in all, I believe I'm going to love this makeover.



You'll notice that the tops of the upper balusters are cut off. That's because I want the staircase to be removable.  With the more delicate balusters, I may need to rethink how the pieces will fit together. 
Some of the balusters may have to hang down from the piece that fits above this one. I'll think about that while I prepare the components. I want to stain them prior to assembly.

This concept is not original to me. I saw pictures of this kind of staircase that someone else had done beautifully. I thought I saved the photos for reference, but now I can't find them. If anyone can point me toward them, I'd be much obliged.