Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hanging in There

The false wall solved one problem, but it's such a large wall that the hutch and appliances looked lost. The answer: wall hangings. I printed out nearly four dozen hangings in various sizes this morning, printed them on fabric, and stuck them up all over the place. In this photo, the wall is outside the dollhouse. It was easier to figure out where the hangings should go. Here's what it looks like in place.
I moved the table to the right a bit, so you can see the sink and stove. Just a few more tchotchkes to add -- the refrigerator looks way too bare -- but the kitchen is essentially finished.
Here are more of the hangings. These are 1" square sample blocks. I glued them to strip wood painted white for ease of hanging. It's light enough that Mini-Hold wax should do the trick unless it is exceptionally hot on the day that it needs to be moved to the YMCA for the show. I grouped all of the redwork together. I like the look. :) The show is September 25-26, 2010; if you happen to be in mid-Missouri, do drop in!
Here are the sample blogs as they hang. Sorry for the wash of light in the photo. They look a lot brighter in real life.
Here are more wall hangings in the shop. I tried for a wide variety. Something for everyone!
While I was busy with the hangings, the mailman arrived with two wonderful dolls from HavanaHolly, a dear friend from the Greenleaf Dollhouse Forum. Holly said that neither of the ladies would share their names, but Sheila fairly screamed to get out of the box. She suffered a bit in transit, so I perked her up by offering to make her the owner of the shop. She'll probably be behind the counter, but I wanted you to see her wonderful silk pants suit. Poke the photo for a larger image.
More wall hangings added in the workroom. And Sheila's friend is back with the quilting frame until she opens up and tells me her name. Actually, she may stay there. She seems to have a keen eye and steady hand for hand quilting.
In the apartment, the crazy quilt went up, along with some smaller wall hangings. A screen to block the view of the apartment from customers coming up the stairs was installed. I embroidered it some time ago. It works perfectly here.
Here's a better view of the screen.

And of the crazy quilt. More wall hangings ... and a TV! Can you tell what's on the TV? Maybe not. It's a very tiny print of one of Suzanne Marshall's quilts -- "Beast and his Boy" from her Medieval series. Why that one? Because Suzanne will be at the Country Patchwork Quilt Guild Show with some of her beautiful quilts. I'll not say anything about it at the show and see if anyone makes the connection.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Sign of the Times

First of all, since I know you've been waiting impatiently, here is the solution to the awkward doorway -- a false wall. Foam core board. I think I put the wallpaper on sideways, but since this wall is so hard to see, I'm sure no one will notice if you'll keep the secret. The flash made shadows on either side. In real life, the slight gap is not noticable.I added some napkins to the table and hung curtains and put some colorful cloth in the baskets in the sink unit, which you can't see in this view. I also added a drainer basket with dishes in it after this picture was taken. This room needs some clutter (do you know anyone who has a refrigerator with nothing on top?), but is essentially finished.

I put curtains in the apartment today. I'm not over the moon about them, but they are a muted blue/white/pink pattern that works well with the upholstered chair. Ummm ... the curtains don't look quite that wonky in real life. The camera has a mean eye.
I still haven't found a nice mirror for the bathroom, so I made this one from a decorative mirror piece, some balsa wood, and a bit of the fabric from the apartment curtains. That's a line of gold puff paint around the mirror. Don't know if I'll use it, but it does go with the colors in the wallpaper. And the sign of the times in the title? Here is it --- the sign for over the front door. I printed the words in blue on ivory paper, cut a wooden spool in half and painted the thread on it, and mounted it all on a 2" x 4.25" mini table top that I got at The Great American Dollhouse Museum last week. It has a couple coats of varathane and will get a few more before it's finished.

Laundry, the never-ending chore

Don't you love it when you finally remember where you put something? Last night I dreamed that the missing hutches from Michael's were in a shoe box. I remembered putting them in there. Sure enough, when I went to look this afternoon, there they were, sitting right on top of the drawers I'd scoured looking for them a few days ago. Since I found the hutches, I set to work on one of them to hold laundry supplies and to cover the awkward doorway opening that's blocked with the large shelf unit in the shop. Still have to figure out something for the opening above it, but the hutch fit in very nicely. The box of Fab came from a Manor House Miniatures grab bag, I think. I made the Bounce and Ivory Snow boxes from Sherree's website on Picasa. The bottles are beads. This is so far back in the room that it can only be seen by peering through a window (through which this photo was taken), so I'm not bothering to put labels on the bottles.
I got the table set with refreshments, coffee and tea, a cherry topped cake I got in a swap a while back, and some brownies from Jennifer McCracken. If somebody recognizes the cake, please let me know. I'd like to give credit where it is due.
The bathroom got some towels and a toilet tissue holder. Still needs a mirror and maybe some shelves with folded towels.
It was getting on toward midnight, so I thought I'd better stop for the night, but the need for an ironing board was weighing on me, so . . . I used craft sticks for the legs. They're a bit oversized, but I figure this board will get a lot of use in the workroom, so it needs to be sturdy. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. I may paint the legs. The little circles where the dowels poke through annoy me.
I also decided on curtain material for the studio apartment and started pinning in the folds prior to dousing it with hairspray, but I didn't get a picture. I got two curtains pinned, and by then it was after 1 am, so I quit to blog this and get to bed!
Many thanks to everyone who has been leaving such nice comments. I apologize for not answering each one, but the day doesn't seem to have enough hours -- at least not enough hours in which I'm coherent. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Curtains in the Quilt Shop

While I was in a Kentucky quilt shop, I found some black and white fabric printed with sequins. Some had a black background, some white. I bought fat quarters of each and made the shop curtains with the darker valences. I didn't want colored curtains to fight with the luscious colors of the fabric bolts, yet the windows needed something. I like the way it looks now. It so happened that I managed to hit a Hobby Lobby during their 50% off sale on dollhouse miniatures. I snagged a washer and dryer for the kitchen/workroom. Also got a case of Coca-Cola for refreshments -- it's a Christmas tree ornament. When I saw this photo, I remembered the blocked doorway. The brown is the back of the large shelf in the shop. Not sure whether I'll tack a piece of wallpaper on the back of the shelf unit or put a hutch there. I used to have several Michael's hutches, but danged if I can find them. One day I've got to get the work area sorted out!
My prized purchase at The Great American Dollhouse Museum store was this crocheted afghan. It is exquisitely done and looks perfect on the Murphy bed. Unfortunately, the creator is unknown. I'd love to give credit for such fine work. You can see a bit of the quilt rack; it has a fold of cheater cloth to mimic a quilt. The "real" quilts are too thick for it.
Now we need curtains for the kitchen and studio apartment. I auditioned some lace curtains in the apartment but didn't like them. I may just make valances. We'll see, won't we? You may have noticed by now that this is evolving ... what seems like a good idea one day gives way to an even better one the next. At least I hope it's a better one!

More Photos from The Great American Dollhouse Museum

Here are the final photos from our visit to The Great American Dollhouse Museum. There would have been more, but the challenge of reflections on the Plexiglass cases made it impossible to get good photos of other displays. What you're seeing are snippets of the museum's holdings. Even if you could see photos of all of the displays, you still won't be able to grasp the amazing sights. You really must go visit!

You may have noticed the numerous dolls in various settings. Several hundred of them were made especially for the museum by Nicola Cooper, a sculptor and dollmaker from Dunstable, England. You can see her website here. She says on her website that she has sculpted more than 2000 dolls in the past ten years -- and no two are alike! Other dolls are antique bisques and porcelains, as well as vintage and imported dolls from many nations.

The Mexican market and restaurant are vivid with color.
This is Mansion Row, and mansions they are! The gazebo in the center will become a flower shop. Do you recognize the work of Lady Jane (Linda Young)? Click here to visit her website.
A beauty on Mansion Row. Look at the tinker's wagon in front. I can recall when the tinker came around our neighborhood looking to repair pots, sharpen knives, and so on. Does that date me, or what? This tinker appears to have many household goods for sale, too.
There are vernacular houses on the other side of the tracks.
I didn't catch a photo of the entrance to Copper Hollow, but this is the exit to Fantasy Forest, complete with warnings of dangers ahead.
In the Fantasy Forest is Poppy's Cottage at Lessor Dixter by Melissa Chaple of The Enchanted Woodland Faery Dollhouse Co. It is rough wood, bark, moss, and embellished with hand-dyed silks, crystals, and antique brasses. Reflections kept me from getting a good shot of the whole house, but these details give the flavor. Don't forget to poke the photos to see larger images. Click here to visit her website and here for more photos of this cottage.

Above the Fantasy Forest is a viewing platform. The view from there gives an idea of the expanse of the exhibits. The museum is housed in a 1939 Works Progress Administration (WPA) building.
There is a 19th century factory row on the other side of the tracks.
This wizard lives in the Fantasy Forest.
The troll's bakery was designed and executed by Hanna Kagan-Moore, daughter of the museum owners.
That's all of the photos from this trip. I hope we get to go back soon to see what's new!

More from The Great American Dollhouse Museum

More photos, as promised. The museum layout includes a timeline of American history as well as Copper Town (both sides of the tracks) and an enchanted forest. There's no set way to go through it. One just wanders, as one might when exploring a new town in real life. There is a map on the museum website. The layout is evolving and isn't quite like the map, but it will give you an idea of the various sections.
The first photo shows a doctor's office on the "other side of the tracks". Also on the other side of the tracks is a boarding house. A mother tucks her child into bed before heading off to her job in a factory. She admonished the child to be very quiet so as not to attract the attention of the landlady, as the rent is overdue.
Interior of a house in the part of town with comfy homes. Wish I could recall which one it is. Poke the picture for a really good look at some wonderfully detailed furnishings.
A scene in the park.
A gypsy wagon in the park.
Another park view.
A boys' prep school.
A general view of the displays. To the left, the city park. On the right, a block of elegant homes.
A modern house in the American history timeline. There's a lot to see here. A nanny is trying to control some unruly children who have left messes throughout the house.
A lovely deck beside the modern house.
A glitzy room box with a mirrored background.
One of four Brooke Tucker room boxes in the museum.

The other Brook Tucker room box. What a great way to give a scene a sense of place: the photo mural on the back walls.

That's all for now. Another round of photos in the next post.