Monday, November 5, 2018

The Cranberry Cove

I've been able to spend some long hours on the Cranberry Cove house. I put the primer coat on inside and out; now the the outside is ready for the first coat of paint, but I am going to wait until I have some of the electrical work done incase I have to turn the house on it's side to pound in the eyelets. I still haven't decided how to run the tape. Such decisions!

This will be the living room The flooring is cut and ready to stain. As you can see, I have run the copper tape. This kit has pre-cut to slots insert the tape between floors. Nice as that it is, I am sure if I am going to run the wire that way. I have to figure out to put the power source. 

Promising myself to build the kit as is, I traded out the door. The kit door is a plain six panel door, so I ordered a front door with a oval window. I like to see who is at my front door before I open it. Right now it is in backwards just so that I can get the wall placement correct.

The kitchen will be next to the living room without a door between. I wanted to use up items in my stash, such as the tile floor, but today Lily came and said she preferred a wooden floor. No worries. I have extra flooring. I decided to run the flooring long ways because it fit bettering will give a smoother edge, more finished edge.

So with the excess cut way from the living room, I was able to use it as a wainscoting for the kitchen. I've made wainscoting for other houses out of craft sticks and was never really happy with the look and it is so much work, why not flooring? I'll stain it the same as the floor. 

The kitchen looks pretty bare, so I began to play.

When Hobby Lobby had a close out on their wallpaper and now carry a roll of preselected papers made by Real Good Toys, I bought out all they had because I loved the papers so much. Bargain that the papesr were, I now realize that all of my houses will look the same, but for this little house, I wanted to use up some of the excess that I have gathered--not working out as I planned.

This checkered paper I love, especially with the farm animal border. Lily loves farm animals. She has a bunny, and her sister has 4-H rabbits, the other girls have horses, and they also have hens, and dogs, and a cat. The little girl loves animals.

I texted this paper to Lily's mother to see if Lily liked the paper. She is the youngest of the family and with the influence of older children and her parents she has very mature answers, so I got her answer: "Not really, but it will do." That's our little girl. Honest, straight forward, and easy to please.

I had to agree with her. I had originally planned on putting this paper in the Bellingham Farmhouse and it is just too wild and bold and dark. I may never use it.

She does love the border, so I cut it off. I will paint the walls tan. Lily doesn't like that. She wanted maroon. I don't think so, I told her, we'll paint another wall maroon. 

I want to have the house ready for Christmas, so I have a lot of work to do, along with the rest of life. Tomorrow I'll stain the floors and then I can glue in the wall and place the stairs. 

Before sign off, I'd like to share a link with you. A Denver TV station featured David Nelson, a Denver area dollhouse builder, Sunday night. I got to know him when we visited his mother's dollhouse store in Denver where he built the dollhouses, following in his father's footsteps. In her 80s, his mom decided that after 30 years it was time to close the store. Now he builds houses in his warehouse. I'd like for you to meet David. He's also on Facebook, search for David's Dollhouse, and he also has a website, David's Dollhouse where you can order your favorite things and some new items, too. Now that the store is gone, he travels to miniature shows outside of Denver and Colorado that he announces on his Facebook page, so you can look for him at your local shows. If you check out his FB page you will see his large inventory that he takes with him. 

Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate your visits.

Monday, October 22, 2018

King of the Cowboys

I will seriously date myself when I begin reminiscing about the good ole days, the glory days as I grew up in the 1950s. Not only did I grow up in the country, I listened to the radio shows long before they became television favorites. Roy Rogers and his cast of characters were at the top of my favorites list. Let's see: Dale, his wife and her horse Buttermilk, a white buckskin, and Bullet his dog, a beautiful German shepherd. Roy's horse, Trigger was the best, a golden palomino. As I grew older, I came realize that Roy and his wife were devout Christians, adopted a number of children, especially children with special needs, and thus served as really good role models for not only their child audience and fans, but for adults as well.

So as I contemplated what to do with the attic in the Bellingham farmhouse, my plan had been a pink bedroom. As I played around with it, I just couldn't bring it together. I always do pink. Boring. When I looked at the rest of the house, the white furniture, the gray walls, the lack of color, I was reminded of my original idea for the house: a remodeled farmhouse, updated, but with remnants of its past as late 19th century farmhouse still showing, much like the old farmhouse that I grew in up built in 1890.

The idea suddenly came to me: a boy's cowboy bedroom. I always think in girly terms because I raised two daughters and have three granddaughters, but I also have two precious grandsons, a  treasure of a great nephew, and a sweet brother--all great inspiration for a boy's room--a boy's room. The little nephew is a Texas boy and idolizes Roy Rogers, so the room will be a cowboy room. I'm really excited, but the cowboy motif isn't exactly popular these days, so I will have to create most of the items. I've already started the bedside lamp.

I began by searching the web for Roy Roger's pictures to get a poster. He was a popular comic book character, so there a lots of comic book covers to choose from. I've had the cowboy boots in my stuff for a long time--thinking at one time they'd be cute for a Barbie Cowgirl and they are still available in miniature online catalogs. The deer mount and horns on the left came from Hobby Lobby's Christmas miniature offered a few years ago (not the dollhouse wrack), as well as the rusted star. I purchased the deer mount along the, perhaps.

I assembled the bed from a House of Miniatures kit, the night stand came from HL, and I will be making the lamp. I am trying to figure out bedding--I hate dressing beds, but this one already has its sheets and pillows. You can see a corner of the plaid fabric that I may use for the bedding or piece of faux suede on the bed--only I can't find the larger piece.

Right now I am working on the lamp.

Probably the only place where you find a lamp such as this might at a mountain lodge or in someone's house sorely trapped in the 1950s--I've got a couple  saved from my mother-in-law's house. The shades are often translucent with images printed on the shade, realistic photographs of interesting scenery with the lamp itself simulated aged cactus or wood. Something like this one. Yep. That was the '50s.

I'll be using a tiny wooden barrel purchased by the pack in HL.

In this prototype, I printed the image on computer paper and pasted it to vellum that I had in my stash, trying to decide on the size of the image. This one is 1 inch.

 So cute.

Some of the lamp shades are stitched together, so I used the tip of a marker to add the stitching. While I didn't make it neat on the prototype, the stitching does add character and makes the shade look finished.

The vellum is just over an inch tall, with each side 1 inch, and the length cut 4 1/4 inches long with the extra 1/8 inch on each end to glue. 

This is the screen shot of how I created the shade with images. First I found the images then copied them into a Word document and sized them to 1 inch. Photos, by the way, are easy to size in Word--see where the pointer is sitting up in the right hand corner of the screen of the photo. Click on the photo to select it then type in the size of the image that you need.  Next I created a table with four columns and one row and inserted the 1 inch images, centering them in each cell.

I am thinking that four images will be too much for the small lamp.

I inserted my computer copy inside the vellum shade to see how the four images will look and added a Sharpie® border.

I am still working on the lamp; I'll share the finished lamp. I also need to figure out wall covering. Cowboy wallpaper is scarce or non existent, so that will be a challenge. Still pondering that dilemma.

Lily's House

I need to do some painting before I assemble the roof and attic of Lily's house, but could not resist gathering up furniture and playing. It is going to be so cute. I am trying very hard to keep the house simple with simple furnishings, decorations, and accessories because she is very hard on her toys, but it is so hard to resist thinking of how cute it can be.

I don't want to spend a lot of money on furniture, so I am going to use pieces from my stash. A couple of years ago I bought six boxes of dollhouse furniture from a junk dealer. I think I paid $175 for a hodge lodge of furniture, some really nice pieces and some pretty junky pieces. The table and chair were still boxed and there three sets. The stove: there were two or three stoves, along with the sink and maybe even the hutch that has a Michale's label on the back.  I made the refrigerator from a HouseWorks kit. 

The living room furniture came from Hobby Lobby to have been used in the downstairs living room, but I decided on the brown leather. The fire place can be purchased from HL, too, but this one came with the San Franciscan. I'll be using a more Victorian style fire place in the San Fran. And maybe I'll let her have my little shelf clock or I'll make her one. 

So that catches you up. Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment so that I know who comes by. No ads here and I'd don't share emails or information. It's just you and me and other miniature 
enthusiasts. Working on a project? Tell us about it. 

Friday, October 19, 2018


I have been putting off starting Lily's house, but this week I committed to getting started, and I did it.

 First let me introduce you to my youngest granddaughter. Now 6, she is in first grade and I suppose you could say that she is the tom boy of the three girls in her family. She has two older sisters who have their own horses and limited space to keep them, so Lily comes to our house to ride Pop, an old man of a horse. Once a little girl's world champion hunter-jumper, he now lives here. At 32, he is healthy, but blind in one eye and we think that he can't see out of the other one, but he is good and sweet and safe for the littlest cowgirl.

She loves to ride pop, and she also likes to cook. After seeing a Paddington Bear movie, she decided that she wanted to make marmalade.

She and her mother worked hard to make the jam, and then she didn't exactly like it.

She likes to play with my dollhouses and laid claim to the big Bellingham Farmhouse, but I am not ready to give it up, so she suggested that I build her her own, so we got on Real Good and she chose the Cranberry Cove.  She wanted a house to go with her large collection of horses and horse barn, and while this house is a larger scale than her Scheilch toy barn, it will be a nice addition to her play world. Click on the link to see the barn that she has.

So, I have four houses now that I am working on: The Bellingham, which I am trying to finish. I am working on the last room now in the attic. Inspired by young great nephew who aspires to be a Texas cowboy and loves Roy Rogers, it is going to be a boy's room, a cowboy room with a Roy Rogers theme. He is, after all, King of the Cowboys. The San Franciscan out in the garage has me totally frustrated and now that it has turned cold, I haven't been working on it. The Storybook toy store sits empty, waiting for me get on with its renovation.

Step one: unbox the parts, become familiar the pieces, and do an inventory to make sure everything is included.

The instructions are fair. Sparse, in fact. The wood is a nice quality plywood with a nice, smooth veneer that does require some sanding to get a nice finish. It is NOT the MFD or composite wood that is so heavy, making it hard to work with. The instructions say to tape the pieces together while the glue dries, but I prefer to use clamps for a nice tight grip.

Next I will glue on the third floor sides and front and the roof.  The house will be together. Windows and stairs will be assembled and installed altered.

 I have decided to assemble the kit as is--no kit bashing. I had thought about buying different stairs to avoid assembling the two stairs cases, but decided that I would have to assemble those kits, too, so I ordered railing and balusters to upgrade the stairs. The front door is a six paneled, windowless door, so I ordered one with oval glass. I am also trying to use my stash. Furniture will come my collection, giving her items that aren't perfect or anything that I would use in my own houses. She is a little girl and she is rough with things, too.

As I search the Internet for examples of this house, I don't find many--basically the ones on display by companies who sell the variations of the model with the interiors finished, but I haven't found any that have decorated and filled with furniture. If I were doing it for myself, I would do a country French house painted a dirty white with slate blue shingles. This house It can't be too frilly; it has to be sturdy because she will be hard on it. Still it is hard not to dress it up and make fussy things for it. 


 I asked her what color she wanted, she said maroon. I asked her what color maroon was just to make sure that she knew what she was talking about and she answered, "Sort of pink." Close enough. Because she lives nearly an hour away, I asked her mother to show her houses to choose a color pattern. That didn't work out so well because she chose a different house. Her favorite color is green, so I am going paint it a sage green, perhaps using the same paint that I used on the Bellingham and will accent it with white and mauve trim.  I had another great decision to make: do I paint the pieces before I assembled the house or after? I opted to paint the body of the house after it is assembled and the shutters and trim before I glue them in place. I'll leave the spaces where the trim pieces will be glued on unpainted so that the glue stick. 

I have dug through my stash to come up with furniture and I will make a few things, too. I am trying to use up spare lumber and all of the things that I have accumulated. I want the house to be cute, but one that a child can play with, yet I keep finding cute things to add. She loves the little things like tea sets and dishes and all the little doo-dads. I am also going make some of the lighting, like this little chandelier that I made last week.


Inspired by one of my mother's chandelier earrings--can you believe women really wore those things in the '70s?  She loved those long, dangly, clip-ons. I thought that is would make a great dollhouse light, but I couldn't bare to tear it apart, so,I created this one for the first house that I renovated but ended up not using it. Instead I put it in the Bellingham.

The bedroom will be pink, so I used pink beads for this second light.

I think I would use smaller beads for the bottom next time, but it is easy to assemble and inexpensive if you had a bead stash-- I went through my beading phase a few years ago.

The chandelier is quite easy to make. You can find my first tutorial on my August, 15, 2015 "More in the Bathroom." The pictures are better than these.

You will need these pieces: a light source, a foundation--this pink one I found at Hobby Lobby on the close-out wall and grabbed all they had. I spray painted it gold. These are the rest of the jewelry findings that you can mix or match. I use head pins, preferring the third one with head that looks like a long straight sewing pin to holds the beads in place on the bottom. While I have a 12 volt light in it now, I am deciding if I will tape wire the house for electrical or if I make all of the lights battery operated.

If you use first or the third head pins, you have to put a twist at the top to attach the beaded head pin to the chandelier. Making lights from beads adds such a personal touch and really is so easy to do. You do need jeweler's pliers to hold on to the pieces as you work and two pliers make the twists and loops and perhaps some jeweler's glue, but I try to make these so that I don't need any glue. While Hobby Lobby and Michales have great bead selections, I also have ordered from Bindles Ornaments. You can find them on Face Book, but I couldn't get to their website. They have beautiful things, but are located in The Netherlands and their Facebook page is in Dutch. I have ordered from them, but it does take a while to get the product. They have a nice online catalogue, but my server wouldn't go to the site this morning.

Winter is coming. We had snow last week that pretty much ruined the fall colors here on the Colorado prairie and ended the gardening--the weeding at least. I like the change in seasons, but as I grow older I am less fond of the the cold and snow, so I can spend all day in the basement working on one house or the other without feeling guilty over not being out in the sunshine working in the garden. I have a lot of work to do now to keep me busy all winter.

Thanks for stopping by. If you are new to the site, please leave a comment just to say 'hi.' I don't advertise or share information. 

Have a great week.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Renovations Begin

The more I played around with the Storybook house, the toy store, I decided that I had to make it my own. Right now I am just playing around. I found such cute ones that others have painted and decorated, so I decided to renovate.

First, I took out all of the toys. There was a massive number of little bears of all sizes and kinds. Cute as they are, there are other toys. Some will go back and others will end up in the stash. I also removed the carpet. Don't we all. We move into a new home and one the first things we do is yank out the old, soiled, outdated carpeting. If it is an older home, we just might be lucky enough to find a beautiful hard wood floor underneath. Not so luck with this little house. I am wondering if I should make a wide planked floor out of wide craft sticks or look for other options. At any rate the floor will be wood. 

Cute as the teddy bear wallpaper is, I will be covering it with something else--don't know what yet. First I have to figure out how cut replacement wall covering to fit perfectly around the wood-work. I have begun by fitting computer paper on the wall. I press my fingers against the wood window frames to create cutting lines to make pattern. This pattern needs more fitting.

Next, I will cut out a card stock pattern of the the wall and place the wallpaper on that instead of gluing it to the wall--I think. I'll see how that works. I think it would be too hard to strip out the existing wall paper, so we will see how things goes. 

Any suggestions?

For the exterior, I may or may not paint the green trim. The house is stucco, so I will it as such. I might add a fence. Maybe I'll build a nicer one.

I will also add a climbing vine, a rose one, I think. The cottage seems to call for red roses. I've already build the trellis. A very easy DYI project. Potted plants and flowers will add much needed color to outside. 

Inside, I have rearranged and dug through my stash to find cute things and added some new things.

I was inspired to build a barn by the little metal barn that my husband had as a child I found this barn on Pinterest, printed it on computer paper--the one on the right--then I printed a larger one on card stock. I think I make a larger one and I have some cut little figures to add to it. 

The farm animals are from Hobby Lobby and come in a package. They are not meant to to fit with the barn--just farm toys and are not to scale.  

I ordered the display cabinet online, only to find that some things that I wanted to put in the class cabinet didn't fit. That's okay. I find plenty of cute things to put in it. 

I also assembled this little Dragonfly International Peter Rabbit 1:144 dollhouse. 

Cute. Easy. Fun

Look who dropped by see what's going on, Pinkie. She pops up everywhere. I am playing around with a reading nook for the little kids who visit. As I set up the house when I brought it home with all of the original bears and toys, it was just too cluttered, so I want to reduce the clutter and still have a store with a fun, cute inventory.


I also made build the rocking horse, another Dragonfly International. It wasn't the easiest to cut such small pieces and get them glued in place. The hardest was the dowels that hold everything together. I didn't paint anything, and I should have, especially the dowels. It is a good project if you are looking for a DYI pre-cut rocking horse. Just tedious, but mine looks well-used when it should be new. I actually made it for the attic for the Bellingham, so it may go back up there.

I am admiring another bloggers flowers that she is making for her Storybook. You must drop by and visit Jodi at My Miniature Maddness to see the impressive garden that she has created for her little house. I' not sure exactly how many individually hand crafted flowers she has created, but she will have an amazing cottage garden when she is finished. I don't have the patience or the know how--yet. 

So in the meantime, I will channel another blogger, Caroline at Cinderella Moments whose work I admire, too. She uses simple, easy items to create the most amazing houses and I'm going to get brave and add vines to this little house. 

As you can see, I have yet again revamped my blog layout. While I liked the previous layout, I never could get the opening photo to be a really attractive one and I missed my side bar. I've increased the font size, too. I hope it works.

Thanks for visiting. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Three for the Price of One

I hinted at the end my last post that I did a reckless thing. I jokingly told my daughters that Dad shouldn't leave me alone two days in a row. On Monday, without fail, he drives to the bigger city to have coffee with his friends at a small neighborhood coffee shop. Things didn't end well for him that day. He was parked at the pet store later, sitting in his big F-350 Bronze beauty of a pickup truck when some old guy backed into it, leaving an ugly dent. While he was running down the guy who drove off without even knowing that he had hit something, I was getting my nails done.

When the manicure was finished, I walked across the street to the town hall to pay my water bill and decided to cross back to take a little walk and peer into the windows of the three antique stores to see what was new. Jen's Antique store is the largest of the three, and for antiquers, it is a gem. I didn't think to take out my phone at the moment to take photos of the window display and I couldn't go in because the antique stores are closed on Mondays.

Tuesday I was left alone again while G went back to town to get estimates on fixing his bronze chariot. The store opened at 10 AM, so I drove down, anxious to make sure that my little finds were still there. I didn't have my phone with me the first time I visited, so I took this photo later. The other dollhouse had already been removed from its perch in the window.

There had been two dollhouses in the window. I was breathless. Jen had a tale to tell--of course, that is her job--to tell a good story to make a sale. Apparently she has had these two little houses for some time and decided to put them in the store windows to attract attention. They were created by a little old lady whose daughters are making her get rid of her houses so that they can send her to assisted living and she doesn't want to sell them. Jen encouraged me to make an but make offer because the greedy, mean daughters (my interpretation of Jen's description) would take almost anything. "Oh, by the way, you did see the toy store?" she asked. "And she has 11 more houses in her basement," Jen said as we headed to another room in the store.

She took me to the back of the store and brought another dollhouse down from a tall shelf where she had placed  it to keep children's hand off of it. And I was done.

I made an offer.

And hurried home to get boxes to pack up the contents.

At first, jen could not find the woman's card in her rolodex so that she see if she would accept my offer. Then she found it, and I had to wait for the lady to call her back. She had to check with her daughter to see if she would accept my offer. I was firm and wouldn't pay more--I hoped. . .

She accepted my offer at was half what the three houses were individually priced.

I have finally identified each house by doing a general search for dollhouses, finally finding all three.

I do find the layout, especially the top floor is awkward. The fire places on the main and second floor limit the placement of furniture and restrict room design. Were I to build from from scratch, I think that I'd not do 4 fire places.


At the same time, part of the charm of this little house is that two sides are open for better access.

The Fairfield is really cute house, but because it is half scale, I probably won't build one because I would have to establish a whole new stash of accessories. That's a lot of work-- and $$$

This one was hard to track down because all of the ones that I found on Pinterest had a different roof line with a window where the front of the roof comes down to the balcony. There are two windows hiding behind the roof that are easily seen room-side. I suppose the house was redesigned to fix the oddly hidden windows. Still, it is charming little cottage. 

See the hidden windows in the bedroom on the left?

This house is a treasure: It's a toy store, filled with all sorts of vintage toys. Like Minnie, Pinochico, and Micky, barely an inch tall, and made of metal. I have searched eBay and Etsy to see if there are any more in the collection, and I didn't find any other little Disney figurines like these three. All of the lights work in this house, making it even more charming.

The little house is stuffed full of wonderful vintage toys, originals, one-of-a-kind, and some that are still in the online catalogs. 

I can only image the fun that the builder had collecting the inventory for the toy store.

The lady had a love for bears. I've been playing with the toy store and looking up toys. Some are still available in the online catalogs.

I have found that I cannot resit playing with the toy story, moving furniture, rearranging toys. It's just fun.

I sorted through the bears that came with the house and dug through my stash to come up with this furniture  and the hobby horse to add to the upstairs, trying to make it look more like a story display.

And who do we have here? Seems that word has spread that there is a toy story in the collection. Miss Strawberry Short Cake must have her eye on something.

And the little Pullip doll must have followed Strawberry upstairs.

The original builder must have been a Denver Broncos Fan.

As I was taking photos of the exterior, I discovered something very odd in the upstairs window.

Halloween Sales will soon start.

Three of the OOAK bears. So cute, but what evil lurks in the shadows?

Looks to be John Snow and Gray Worm. 

 And the really good news, all of these little houses are still available on the Green Leaf website. My guess is that these houses are at least twenty years old. My first house that I purchased from Jen, was made by the same lady. Here's the link to the Dura Craft Franklin Farmhouse. Only the lamp in the front window works. The nice thing is that carpeting in not glued down so perhaps I could find where the break in the electrical is.

 I have left the Franklin as it was when I bought it, admiring the builder's skill. It looks vintage, but these three houses after looking at others on Pinterest look old and tired. The carpeting has faded is and full of dust. I think I will replace the flooring in the toy store, and I'd like to brighten up the wall paper, but I have to think on that. I am thinking, too, that I might add some climbing vine to the exterior to give it some life and color. I really like this little house.

 In the other two houses, the furniture is dusty and the wallpaper faded. I am not sure just what I will do with them. I may even try selling the Fairfield on eBay.Or I may just add them to the village. My oldest daughter enjoys the houses and may even talk me out of one. That would be fine.

 I thought that I'd really enjoy the smaller half size, but after seeing newer ones with brighter paint and more creative design, I may either spruce up this one or sell it and build my own. Or not. I have plenty on my plate:  three unfinished house--the Bellingham needs the attic finished and the roof shingled and the Painted Lady has a ways to go and there is a second San Franciscan to build, plus Lily's house to start and finish. And I know for sure that my next new build will be log cabin.

Now, I need go rescue Grey Worm.

The Cranberry Cove

I've been able to spend some long hours on the Cranberry Cove house. I put the primer coat on inside and out; now the the outside is re...