Saturday, August 17, 2013

Haunted Hangout Finished 4 - Reading and Pet Rooms

The photos of the finished Haunted Hangout appear in four entries.
Haunted Hangout Finished 1 - The Outside & Meet the Skeletons
Haunted Hangout Finished 2 - Outside Details & Attic
Haunted Hangout Finished 3 - Parlor and Game Rooms
Haunted Hangout Finished 4 - Reading and Pet Rooms

The reading room has a shelf full of skeleton treasures.

I'm not sure what is kept in this old metal cabinet. The hinges were hinky, so I glued all of the doors closed. I'm sure that's not a problem for the ghosts, who can reach right through the sides.

If' I'd realized this was to become a reading room, I probably would have included books in this hutch, but as the house evolved, the need for a kitchen faded. Never the less, it adds color and energy to the room and offers a place to store various herbs in bulk on the bottom shelf.

Talk about a plan evolving -- this was the stove room until a day or so ago when the rat cage moved in. Now it's the animal room. Hey, whatever!

The squashed pumpkin in the corner is wired for electricity, but since I can't imagine ever doing another seasonal house, I tucked it in here.

This flower display was a 2-minute brainstorm. This part of the wall needed something. I found the little shelf in my stash, added a flower pot and some snippets from real life plastic flowers, and the deed was done.

There are better pictures of the rat cage elsewhere. Its addition made this room a lot more interesting.

And so ends the saga of the Haunted Hangout. Now maybe I can get back to what I thought I'd be doing this summer: the Greenleaf Pierce Bohemian Inn and Tavern.

Before I do that, though, I've promised myself a grand clean out and reorganization of the craft area. I sure hope I can keep my promise, because man, does it ever need it.

Haunted Hangout Finished 3 - Parlor and Game Rooms

The photos of the finished Haunted Hangout appear in four entries.
Haunted Hangout Finished 1 - The Outside & Meet the Skeletons
Haunted Hangout Finished 2 - Outside Details & Attic
Haunted Hangout Finished 3 - Parlor and Game Rooms
Haunted Hangout Finished 4 - Reading and Pet Rooms

The skeletons are missing from these photos as they block out much of the detail in the rooms.

In the parlor, a large mirror over the sofa was added. I wonder about those little potion jars on the table. Are they meant to, uhhh, spice up the coffee?

Have you noticed the lack of electricity? Candles and oil lamps are in use throughout.

There's a shotgun over the door in the game room. I guess even skeletons need to have some kind of home defense at hand. The skirt on the table hides the cord from the ghost lights. It comes in through the window and pokes down through the floor. A little bit of it shows in the corner of the picture. The table skirt doubles as a hide-out for one of the house pets.

This skeleton is the only one who is not removable. It was easier to glue him in place than fiddle with posing him each time he moved.

I like this wall decoration. I sawed the back off of a plastic skull, glued two waste bits from Greenleaf Orchid window punch outs on a black backing, painted it and added the feathers. (No skeletons were harmed in the making of this item.) The feathers came with the dots.

Haunted Hangout Finished 2 - Outside Details & Attic

The photos of the finished Haunted Hangout appear in four entries.
Haunted Hangout Finished 1 - The Outside & Meet the Skeletons
Haunted Hangout Finished 2 - Outside Details & Attic
Haunted Hangout Finished 3 - Parlor and Game Rooms
Haunted Hangout Finished 4 - Reading and Pet Rooms

The little details outside the house and on the porch were fun to do. The bats are happy with their little house.

The ghosts dance and the leaves and moss add color and texture.

The suit of armor guards the door. Is there a skeleton inside? I don't know!

This sad little ghost is from a scrapbooking packet. Hmm ... looks as if a welcome mat might be in order.

 Our friend the smoker skeleton keeps an old chair on the porch.

The pumpkin critter was once an unpainted woodsie meant to become a greenery topiary. I like the spooky edge in this photo.

A bedraggled witch holds court on the roof and a raven keeps a watchful eye while a humongous bat and a wide-eyed owl in the attic wonder why they're awake right now. Strangely, the oversize items on the roof and in the attic don't break the spell when the house is viewed as a whole. I suppose once one's reality is suspended sufficiently to accept a houseful of busy skeletons, anything is possible.

While we're in the attic, check out the trunk full of Lemax wiggly snakes, the ginormous skull in the window, and the very large rat.

Haunted Hangout Finished 1 - The Outside & Meet the Skeletons

The photos of the finished Haunted Hangout appear in four entries.
Haunted Hangout Finished 1 - The Outside & Meet the Skeletons
Haunted Hangout Finished 2 - Outside Details & Attic
Haunted Hangout Finished 3 - Parlor and Game Rooms
Haunted Hangout Finished 4 - Reading and Pet Rooms

Hallowe'en is two and a half months away, but the skeletons and their friends hang out all year around in the Haunted Hangout. The building is mounted on a lazy susan for easy viewing and on display in the dining room. Don't forget to click on the pictures for larger versions.


I punched out a lot of little oak leaves while watching episodes of WKRP the other night. They're now scattered on the house and porch roofs, each one glued down. Lloyd said he's not up for raking the dining room.

Four rooms, an attic and the porch suit the skeletons well. Downstairs are the parlor and game rooms. Upstairs are the pet and reading rooms. Under the house -- well, your guess is as good as any! (Sorry this photo has a flare; will try to replace it soon.)

Meet the Skeletons

All but two skeletons have gathered for a group photo. One of the missing is an addicted pipe smoker who was out on the porch at the time and the other was inside reading the Kansas City Star and couldn't be bothered.

The pipe smoker on the porch.

The reader is comfortable in the bow window of the game room. I wonder if he's checking the entertainment section for card games in the area.

This lady is in the parlor, her coffee at hand, chatting with a friend.

Her friend got gussied up for their visit.

This fellow is holding a box of checkers in the game room. He's ready to play.

This fellow is moving the game table into place. They'll be ready to begin in a minute.

This fellow is in the pet room. This room has a nice coal stove to keep the pets warm during the winter. He's enjoying a cup of tea while watching the antics of the caged rats.

This fellow has his feet up and is relaxing with a home decorating magazine.

You may have noticed that the skeletons don't have names. They prefer to remain anonymous. In some cases, I'm not sure if they are male or female, but they assure me that gender is not an issue, especially among those who have been skeletons for a good long while, and even the ladies in the parlor will soon abandon their feminine finery and become comfortable in their bones.

The skeletons, by the way, are the only things in the house not glued down. I'm not too concerned about taking everything out at some point to dust. A little dust will add to the ambience. The next few posts will show you the room detail.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Don't Rat Me Out!

This morning on the Greenleaf Dollhouses Forum, a member remarked that I seem to be having more fun than the law allows with the Haunted Hangout. (True!) I responded with "Don't rat me out!" ... and thus was set off a chain of events that kept me in the basement for most of today and resulted in just what was needed in the room with the stove -- a rat cage!

I had auditioned some Lemax rats earlier but they didn't make the cut because they come with bulky (for their size) gray bases. They didn't look right standing on the floor. But, I thought, if I could hide the bases ... like in bedding material. Well, you can see where this took me. I Googled "mouse cages" for inspiration. Lots of toys and tunnels seemed to be the order of the day.

I came across a box from a piece of Reutter Porzellan while digging through the stash yesterday. It was just the right size for the cage. I painted some mesh black and glued it to the top to give the appearance of an air source for the li'l devils.

  • An upturned flower pot became a house. 
  • A glass medicine ampule plus a bead and a bit of wire painted silver became a water bottle. (The blue lines were on the ampule.)
  • Five pony beads glued onto a pipe cleaner became a tunnel. 
  • A leftover piece of opaque plastic from a tea light cover became a smaller tunnel. 
  • A piece of fancy trim became a climbing rope/swing. 
  • And some wood chips I found in the "kitchen stuff" box became bedding. I think they were meant to be nacho chips. They were a bit big. I don't want to tell you how long it took me to chop them down to a useable size with a sharp craft knife. 

The exercise wheel is a combination of cloth-covered florist wire and paper mesh painted silver. The cage was getting crowded, so I skipped a wire base and glued it to the back wall. It's not functional, but I don't think the rats have noticed. The base is a block of wood glued to a piece of flat wood. It needed a bit of height.

I really thought this would bring the Haunted Hangout to a close, but as luck would have it, I found a maple leaf paper punch as I was hunting for the plastic box. Now I'm thinking a scattering of leaves and some moss on the roof is in order. At the rate I'm going, it will be Hallowe'en before this is finished!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Getting in the Spirit

The Haunted Hangout got a lot of decorative touches today. There is still more to be done, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel ... or is that the light on the other side?  Ooooooooh.

Here are updated pictures of the four rooms. You'll notice I've decided not to hang curtains. There's enough going on in each room to intrigue the viewer, and I don't want to block light from the outside. Almost everything in each room  is glued down with the exception of the skeletons. I want to get some good individual photos of each one before they get glued in place. (Yes, I'm gluing everything down. I don't want anything flying around when the house gets turned or jostled.)

The game room now has a light made from a flickering tea light with a shade made from part of one of those tiny bottles of shampoo one gets in motels and hotels. It doesn't add much to the illumination, but it does add to the ambience. The awkward table has been replaced with a rectangular one that works much better.  The bench under the window now has playing cards and a book of card game rules. The wooden chair at the left has a cloth seat. One of the pets has crawled out from under the table to see what's going on. He's keeping his favorite bone close.

One of the skeletons is holding the box of game pieces, ready to set up the board.

The wall hanging is made of punch out pieces from one of the Orchids embellished with puff paint and feathers.

I'm pleased with the pose on the skeleton moving the table. He may appear a bit stiff in the photos, but he looks very real in real life. If you look very carefully at the tea light, you can see a translucent bat glued near the top. It's more easily seen in real life.

The two skeletons visiting in the parlor have updated their costumes. The table of potion bottles is new. I build it with more scrap wood and added some bead bottles I had in my stash. The light is another tea light with a bottle shade. They add a nice bit of flickering light to the scene on the ground floor, which is somewhat shaded by the porch roof. The upstairs rooms are brighter and don't seem to need extra light. The rug has been changed out. The paper rug is gone and a piece of fabric from a designer's sample book has replaced it.

The next photo is blurry and I apologize. I want you to see the relaxed pose of the skeleton on the sofa. The pot of flowers that you can barely see in the back corner is also new. A pot from the stash plus some snippets of real life plastic flowerlets.

The reading room also has a new rug from the same source. The furniture has been moved around a bit.

It's easier to see (and appreciate) the corner cabinet in this corner.

If I'd realized this was going to turn into a reading room/library, I would have filled this with books instead of dishes and foodstuffs. Oh, well, it makes the room look cozy. I added some flowerlet snippets to the vase of peacock feathers to give it a little more of a presence.

In the room with the stove, I added two floral pieces, the ghost on the wall, and a cushion to the bench. This fellow looks rather pensive. I wonder what he's thinking about.

The little ghost on the back wall is from the scrapbooking packet. The table with potion bottles that is in the parlor was made for this room, but I like it better in the parlor. This room needs something. Not sure what.

The stove wall needs some decorations and a touch of "rust" on the stove and coal scuttle. I did a wash of raw umber on parts of them, but it doesn't show up.