Friday, September 25, 2020

You Win Some and you Lose Some

I had hoped to write a great tutorial for building a chicken pen attached to a cute little chicken coop, but the project didn't go well. I had a good plan and I thought a viable design, but I just couldn't pull it off, so I decided not to waste time writing about what went wrong. Actually, it really wasn't the fence design, it was chicken coop itself. I used plans from Julie Warren's potting shed book. This easy-to-build project should be a no-brainer, but this project sent me over edge and helped me make the decision to buy the Cricut Maker, mostly because the project requires hand cutting everything. But the real failure of the project I would learn while trying to attache the fence is that the bottom of coop is not square, making all the difference trying to build my coop pen the way I wanted. I'll figure out something sometime.

Meanwhile out in the garage where I have been working on the Fairfield all summer, the dinning room has been successfully wallpapered. The room certainly isn't finished, but I love the William Morris wallpaper. Having never heard of artist William Morris before I found this wallpaper on Itsy Bitsy, I am now seeing this particular print all over my computer screen--as that happens. Wayfair has hand towels and a blogger whom I follow has a sofa upholstered with this print in her dollhouse. 

My daughter called the other day to ask how much to offer for a box of dollhouse furniture on a garage sale. Before her texted photos arrived, she had already paid the woman $15 for the whole box. The lady had not idea what she had. Take a look at a box of vintage Shackman furniture. 

I have been trying to make a buffet like the one this photo and here it is.

Some pieces like the mirrored shelf need repair and they all need a good cleaning.

The organ is a great find, even though the key board is damaged. It is a music box, too.

I've looked all over for a ceillo. 

Look at the label for the candlesticks--patent pending 

But here is the real find: a four piece bathroom set: the toilet, sink, tub, and bidet. I've never seen this in any of my eBay or Etsy searches. Have you? Our last house did have a urinal in it, a rather novel piece in the bathroom just off the garage--a man thing.


We could resell on eBay, but Jen has a house to build and still has the old Painted Lady that I tried to assemble. We are going to build the San Franciscan that will be her abandoned haunted house and this furniture will be perfect for it. I'm talking her out of the buffet, though.

Another project with a good outcome is the flooring for the Fairfield. This is my final design printed on mat photo paper. I did a lot research to help create a 1920s era kitchen. The online stores and catalogs don't carry much selection of flooring for the half scale, especially not the green tiles so popular in the '20s.

These squares are .4x.4 and I created this one in Circuit Design Space, but that's not where I began.

My first attempt I created in Microsoft Word which a was so tedious because each tile had be put in place and then all of the diamond accents.  The 4 square tiles are made of 4 .5x.5 squares and while I love this floor it is too overwhelming for this tiny Victorian.

While I was creating this floor--I spent an entire day on it, only to reject--I started a tutorial. Briefly, you can see how I created the pieces for the floor, using the tools in Word to size the tiles and it's shape tool to get the square, but as I said it was work intensive.

During the process, you make the background for the flooring, then create individual tiles and drag them into place one by one using the copy tool. 

But Design Space is so much easier because you create your tile, select the color, size it, duplicate the tile, change the duplicate to the second color and begin building the first row by duplicating each tile and dragging them into place until you have enough for the size of the first row flooring. For the Fairfield I needed a square 8x8 inches. I created 2 rows to get the off-set pattern then I selected two rows and used the weld tool, duplicated the two rows and continue to add welded rows until I had my 8x8 flooring. I finished selecting the entire pattern and welded all the rows together then sent it to the printer. I saved it to Public.

I purchased this wallpaper, but I'm not sure I am going to use it. If I do I have to order another sheet because one won't be enough. First, I am going to paint the kitchen white and try to figure out a tile backsplash of some sort.

My husband has gone fishing, so I am on chore duty here and tomorrow I'm going to go watch the girls compete in their last horse show of the summer. 

Wishing you a splendid weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.



  1. So pelased that you like the William Morris paper, it's a great favourite of mine. In the 70s houses in England started a renaissance of Morris, and curtains and paper abounded!

    1. Actually, I didn't know about William Morris until you mentioned him, so looked him up. I love his work. I will now dedicate the Fairfield dining room to you.

  2. Well, you have been busy. Your fence looks good so far – hopefully you can make some adjustments to make it fit. I also love the William Morris designs and have a couple rugs with his designs in my real life house. Thanks for sharing your method for making flooring on your Cricut Maker. The print function confounds me, but you have inspired me to try it again in a project like you’ve done. It looks perfect for a 20’s kitchen.

    1. I do love this particular wallpaper. The print option in Design Space seems pretty straight forward. In ht toolbar select print. The machine doesn't seem to have to be online either. I do hope that the green tile doesn't overwhelm the rest of the house. We shall see. At least all I have invested in it is ink and time.

  3. 'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful'.
    This is my favourite quote of William Morris's

  4. I love Julie Warren's books and videos, but for the life of me, I cannot cut a straight line. Don't be too hard on your self. Now that you see how it is suppose to be made, why not tweak it so that it is easier for to do. I love the packages of craft wood sold at HL and Michael's etc. They usually contain several 1/8- 1/4" sticks.

    I love your Fairfield and look forward to watching.


You Win Some and you Lose Some

I had hoped to write a great tutorial for building a chicken pen attached to a cute little chicken coop, but the project didn't go well....