Saturday, June 20, 2015

Patience in Building

"Patience," I keep telling myself. "Take your time. Don't get in a hurry. Think things over," I say. With the bedroom in the Blue Farm House mostly finished, I began working on the upstairs hall. I had visions of a small library a or reading area in the alcove at the front of the house.

I spent weeks looking for wallpaper all over the Internet from miniatures.com to Etsy to superior, and, of course, Itsby Bitsy.com with the largest collection wallpapers for minis. I was thinking something masculine, old world, bookish. In the end I settled on two patterns, a red toile with the coordianted vertical print paper.

The space is a very odd and difficult place to work with. The center of the house is deeper than the rest of the house. While the rooms on either side of the hallways measure 17 inches deep, the halls that divide the house  measure 22 inches, a long way to reach. The upper hall also has that high vaulted ceiling with two windows on the front wall. I literally changed my mind as I began to apply the paper as to which papers would go each wall.

For my first step in wallpapering, I always make a wall template using 12x12 cardstock from scrapbooking stash to position the doors, windows, and to cut the paper to length.

Before the windows are cut out.

First the patterned paper was going to line the left wall and alcove with the vertical print patten on the opposing wall. I changed my mind. Inspiration pieces always help to achor a design idea. I really wish I had a doll, a lady, to inspire me more. So this red leather chair aquired from the antique lady down the street when I first started my dollhouse obsession last year, called for masquline type sitting area where the man of the house could sit and read the paper or spend time with his prized collection of books. I was going to stain the bookshelf (still am) and add some manly type decorating accessories--a globe, an owl, a horse picture, manly type books.

But.....



The red toile changed the entire character of the second story hallway.  I think the grand piano (found at an antique mall) fits better in the alcove. I like the candelabra. Older miniatureists will remember the grand pianist Liberache who always had a candelabora on his pianos.  The harp is actually a pencil sharpener scored at ARC, the thrift store, along with other pencil sharpeners suitable for a miniature setting. I may spay paint it gold. What do you think? Should I?

So I ran the stripped pattern as far as the door, the full length of the wallpaper sheet. At that moment, I decided to finsih the wall with the toile, making the alcove complete.


I had always planned on adding a lamp, even purchased a tiffinay lamp that I may or may not use here there. You can see how I added the plug-in instead of hard wiring in a wall light. I applied the wallpaper glue, put the paper on then added the tiny plug-in before I put the wallpaper in final position. Let me tell you that manuvoring the glued wallpaper was no easy task. I had wallpaper glue all over me, my glasses, my phone, the plug-in. What a mess.

 

And Wala it works.


I want to share a little trick I use to get good lighting while I work, especially at night when downstairs ligthing is not very good. I use the flashlight on my iPhone. It is bright white, very bright, but it illuminates the area very well. 

Making templates of the walls allows me to cut to measure the wall paper, especially if the wall has archetecutural features. This wall for the bathroom, for example, has two doors. I don't always get the doors or windows cut out exactly, which is okay because door jambs will cover up the errors--hopefully--so far, anyway.


Here are the two wallpapers that I used in the upstairs hall purchased from Itsybitsy.com


For the ceiling, I used scrapbooking paper purchased at Hobby Lobby. I use Yes paste. It is very thick and stiff, but I am learning how to thin it with a bit of water. I use a sponge paint brush that I can throw away when I am finished with it. 






The opposing wall required some tricky fitting of the paper because, as I mentioned earlier, the wallpaper sheets are 18 inches long and the walls are ----inches, requiring matching a patch. The opposing wall was an easy fix--a good spot to change patterns just on the other side of the door. On this wall, I did not want to change patterns, so I used the scraps from cutting out the doors to fill the spot at the far end of the wall where the seams would not show. Placing the cut wallpaper on the template I was able to get an exact cut for the pieces. Yes, I could have avoided piecing together scraps, but I did not want to cut up a brand new sheet of wallpaper. I pasted these two peices in before I pasted in the main piece with plenty of over lap to cover up the one seam.


The house, as I have mentioned before, is not a kit house, so there are some rough places such as the ceiling above the alcove. You can see the beam that goes across that I did not cover with ceiling wallpaper. An over sight, I think. So I am going add a faux ceiling beam or some sort of wood trip to hide it and to create some artechtural interest. 

I have also been staining pieces for the house. 


The French door for the living room, the narrow door for the 3rd floor, and the stairs for the first floor hall.


I had to protect the windows by cutting small squares of masking tape. To each piece I apply three coats of oil based stain. I don't hav name of the stain since it was created to match the original stain used by technicans at Diamond Vogal Paint store.

I purchased this flooring at Hobby Lobby. It comes in a sheet that is easily trimmed to size. After I apply 3 coats of stain to each piece, I apply 3 coats of polyeurthane, buffing lightly in between coats of eurthane.

That's my progress report now. The weather has finally warmed up, so it time to work in the garden. You will find me at annsgardenspot.blogspot.com each Monday. I'd like to see you there, too. 

Happy building.