Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2015

TA-DA! Attic floor!

TA-DA! Attic floor!

And it even FIT!

And it even FIT! I can’t tell you how happy I was.

But now we have to do the walls in popsicle sticks. I cut 200.

But now we have to do the ceiling in popsicle sticks. I cut 200.

When you cut popscicle sticks, the end bits curl up and resemble some freaky wooden toenails.

When you cut popscicle sticks, the end bits curl up and resemble some freaky wooden toenails.

I had a great big pile of toenails. Yes, I kept them. You never know.

I had a great big pile of toenails. Yes, I kept them. You never know.

Wondering how long this one is gonna take?

Wondering how long this one is gonna take?

I think the was about the time I decided I was seeing patterns in the knots.

I think this was about the time I decided I was seeing patterns in the knots.

So, I finished it, but left a couple of blank spots in the corners. We'll get to that later.

So, I finished it, but left a couple of blank spots in the corners. We’ll get to that later.

This day is not going to end, is it?

This day is not going to end, is it? I was almost through….

I used over four hundred matches for the floor and roof sections. I know this because I ran out of matches and had to stop here for the night.

I used over four hundred matches for the floor and roof sections. I know this because I ran out of matches and had to stop here for the night.

Bought more matches. Finished Sunday morning.

Bought more matches. Finished Sunday morning.

TA-DA!

TA-DA! It only took about nine hours to finish both ceilings vs. the eighteen it took to do the floor.

This is where the blank spots came in. I kept thinking the knots looked like stars on the ceiling.

This is where the blank spots came in. I kept thinking the knots looked like stars on the ceiling.

On the left is Pisces, for the hubs, and the right is Libra, for the kiddo.

On the left is Pisces, for the hubs, and the right is Libra, for the kiddo.

There was a huge debate between hubs and I on whether or not to stain the wood. He said no, I said yes. I won.

There was a huge debate between hubs and I on whether or not to stain the wood. He said no, I said yes. I won.

Cut the staircase hole out and decided to use that part to make a trap door. Now to find hinges.

Cut the staircase hole out and decided to use that part to make a trap door. Now to find hinges. Not today, though.

Of course, only AFTER I stained both ceilings did I remember to put my own constellation on the other side. Burning stain really stinks.

Of course, only AFTER I stained both ceilings did I remember to put my own constellation on the other side. Burning stain really stinks.

Final TA-DA! :-)

Final TA-DA! ūüôā

You know you're in trouble when you use the box from your next dollhouse to flatten the floors in the one you're working on.

Took them out of the attic again to flatten them. You know you’re in trouble when you use the box from your next dollhouse to flatten the floors in the one you’re working on. I have polyurethane, but decided against it. It’s great like it is.

DOLLHOUSE TOTAL WORK HOURS: 85

 

Read Full Post »

Requiem for a Magic Bus

Hubs borrowed my van to go to the grocery store. He’d only been gone a few minutes when I heard all the dogs go nuts as he unexpectedly walked back into the house.

“What in the hell is wrong with your van?”

I’m forty-seven years old. I get strange looks at stop lights when I pull up in my mini-van, rocking out to Disturbed,¬†because Hubs put a kick-ass stereo system in that bitch. I ride around the neighborhood with the iPod blaring when I’m in need of writerly inspiration. It carries home all my “junk” when my kiddo and I hit flea markets, yard sales, and book stores. It brought home the dollhouse in all it’s cumbersome glory. ¬†All my dogs fit in that van, and I don’t give two shits about the dog hair at all. I smile as mountains black out the sky, and sigh when I look over at the passenger’s seat and see how happy my husband is because we’re surrounded by raw wilderness (when we’re in the van together, unless I’m deathly ill,¬†I drive¬†because Hubs is a lunatic and it’s MY van). I reached over the seat and held my daughter’s hand for dear life and cried as we passed over Lake Pontchartrain on the way to New Orleans–and then cried when we left.¬†I rely on that van to get me home safe when I’m having a panic attack.¬†I grip the steering wheel like it’s my last lifeline when I drive long distances alone because that van is my rock.

Or I used to.

The Magic Bus is dead.

The number quoted to us yesterday was astonishingly high, and may not be the end of the costs–there could be more wrong once that problem is fixed because original problem BAD and holy crap. Even if we paid it and found nothing more was wrong, it would mean we’ve put more money into my van in repairs than what we originally paid to buy it.

My husband has a few cars *ahem* but none of them are road-worthy at the moment. I have another car, but it’s missing a convertible top and other miscellania.¬†Jeez, all that is a long, long story.¬†

The short of it is I probably have to buy another car, and tax season is a crappy time to do that because every vehicle price is jacked sky high.

I’m fighting it tooth-and-freaking-nail.¬†I don’t like change; I especially don’t like not having my van.

I know it’s strange to be so upset about a vehicle. I know I can get something that makes me look less soccer-mom-ish and probably be perfectly happy with it.¬†But that van has memories,¬†and I’m gonna stomp my widdle foot and pout as much as I want to because my van was perfect for me¬†in spite of its flaws.

And then probably go out and buy another car.

Maybe.

Dammit.

 

Read Full Post »

Hubs found these in one of the old mills. Of course, I wanted to soften them up.

Hubs found these in one of the old mills. They are samples of blue jean material from the quality control department. Of course, I wanted to soften them up. Warning: these samples, if you ever find any, leak indigo like crazy. Soak them in water/hair conditioner to soften and get the dye out.

This is the tangled mess that came out of the dryer.

This is the tangled mess that came out of the dryer. I am not pleased.

Time to start working on floors. I have to cut the round edges off.

Time to start working on floors. I have to cut the round edges off. Note, I am in the kitchen because it’s bloody cold outside and the sunroom is still freezing.

That lasted two minutes.

That lasted two minutes.

Got me one of these. Took two hours to shave down 400 sticks.

Got me one of these. By the time I got back from the store, the sunroom was warm. Took two hours to shave down 400 sticks.

Worked really well.

Worked really well.

Spray painted poster board black. I'll just get black poster board next time.

Spray painted poster board black so no white peeks through the floor boards. I’ll just get black poster board next time.

Trace out the pattern.

Trace out the pattern.

Flip it over and trace out the CORRECT pattern, because I had it upside down.

Flip it over and trace out the CORRECT pattern, because I had it upside down.

The glue begins.

The glue begins. This is about the time that my kiddo and I decide the stain we chose is too dark because this floor is beautiful. We will get a lighter stain.

Lookin sharp!

Lookin sharp! But how do we get the knots in the wood? Coffee sticks do have some small knots, but not huge ones.

Matches. Make sure you hold the box on the wood so when you strike the match you can immediately set the head on the wood, allowing the flare-up of the match to make the knot effect.

Matches. Make sure you hold the box on the wood so when you strike the match you can immediately set the head on the wood, allowing the flare-up of the match to make the knot effect. To get the effect on the edges, hold two together and let the flare rest where they’re joined. Separate them and put them in different places to maintain the ‘edge knot’ effect.

If I had known how easily scissors would cut these things, I might not have rushed out for the dremmel.

If I had known how easily scissors would cut these things, I might not have rushed out for the dremel. However, I will need the dremel later and scissors do sort of smush the wood.

I filled in the gaps on the edges with the bits I cut off that overhung the edges. Total work hours over three days.... EIGHTEEN.

I filled in the gaps on the edges with the bits I cut off that overhung the edges. I used the boards you see every night to prevent warping. I’ll show you the finished product on our next installment. Total work hours over three days…. EIGHTEEN.

MY RUGS CAME! SO EXCITED! They’re not the cheap, ugly rugs you usually see. Ebay for the win!

20150217_125450

Attic rug.

20150217_125445

Dunno where, but it’s beautiful.

I have sneezed more since last Sunday than I have in my entire life. I caught head-crud from someone-cough-boss-cough at work, so I decided to just combine these three days of work. And, really, it was all one thing I was doing, anyway.

A shipment of furniture also came in, but that’s for another day.

DOLLHOUSE TOTAL WORK HOURS: 73

Oh, my aching back.

Read Full Post »

Wal Mart can be your friend.

Wal Mart can be your friend.

With yesterday’s success with gold tissue paper, I picked up some black. I also picked up two of those craft paper books to use as wallpaper. One didn’t have enough sheets of the patterns, so I had to get two. Yes, I’m getting brave, thinking I can splice wallpaper.

Annnnnd I turned back to this, thinking I was going to get something done.

Annnnnd I turned back to this, thinking I was going to get something done.

I keep my paint in the kitchen so it stays warm.

I keep my paint in the kitchen so it stays warm. Why, yes, those are the bones of my enemies. GOT THAT?

But I needed my big box of craft paint because Hubs suggested a weathered look in the tower room for reasons I will not disclose. However, my craft paint is all over at my daughter’s house. *sigh*

Back to the instructions. No. Just no. Not ready for all that. Must decorate interior while I can still get in there.

Back to the instructions. No. Just no. Not ready for all that. Must decorate interior while I can still get in there.

So! I go back to the tower room. At this point I'm either overly ambitious, or just flat insane. NO.

So! I go back to the tower room. At this point I’m either overly ambitious, or just flat insane. NO.

Back to the attic! It'll take about 200 tongue depressors to do the entire ceiling. Cool. I have 500. Man, those coffee sticks for the floor look small.

Back to the attic! It’ll take about 200 tongue depressors to do the entire ceiling. Cool. I have 500. Man, those coffee sticks for the floor look small.

That cubby hole will be the death of me. The wall is right there and I can't get my hand in there.

That cubby hole will be the death of me. The wall is right there and I can’t get my hand in there. Wallpaper will be HELL.

Toss the wall. Problem solved, attic HUGE.

Toss the wall. Problem solved, attic HUGE. Let’s paint some walls. But… no craft paint.

Mixed ceiling white with a bit of the exterior paint and winged it.

Mixed ceiling white with a bit of the exterior paint and winged it. BOOM. Gotta let that dry.

Annnnd we're back to this bastard again. But I think you can see where I may go with this. Maybe.

Annnnd we’re back to this bastard again. But I think you can see where I may go with this. Maybe. It got put aside again. I have a tutorial on Pinterest that just may be the thing.

Yeah, this wasn't the smartest idea.

Yeah, this wasn’t the smartest idea.

I’m still not sure what to do with the tower room, so I decided to paint the window frames for the outside red because it’s my house, my rules, and to Hell with white frames. Problem was, this paint is not paint with primer and it took three coats, and will need another. The paint in the attic may need another coat, too. I lost light in the room and had to just call it because I’m blind as a bat. (Painting tiny bits takes hours, have I mentioned that?)

YOU KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN!

YOU KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN!

Floor template is wrong, again, because I tossed the attic wall. I fixed it.

I might have screamed a little.

My problem today was I have no idea how I want to decorate any room except the attic. I could have the house complete–minus shingles–by next weekend if it wasn’t for that. So, I have to sit down and seriously think about what the hell I want to do with each room. THAT is the hard part.

I need chocolate covered pretzels. Stat.

DOLLHOUSE TOTAL WORK HOURS: 55

Read Full Post »

I didn’t finish the windows the other day, so I finished them today. Pro tips:

Don't let the rubber bands come up over the edges.

Put a SMALL amount of Tacky Glue in the corners. Don’t let the rubber bands come up over the edges.

Tape those suckers DOWN.

Tape those suckers DOWN or they will fly everywhere.

And you will be happy.

And you will be happy.

Next up, the attic floors. NOT!

Next up, the attic floors. NOT!

I did not compensate for this.

I did not compensate for this.

Or this.

Or this.

So, I fixed the attic templates and moved on before I became too ticked to breathe.

So, I fixed the attic templates and moved on to the tower ROOF room before I became too ticked to breathe.

That was the tower room. I did not know I had a tower room, so I had to explode it and make decisions on decorating walls.

I did not know I had a tower ROOF room, so I had to explode it and make decisions on decorating walls. And floors.

TA-DA!

TA-DA!

Modge Podge sucks.

I had a bit of MDF I could use for a tester. Modge Podge sucks.

Tacky Glue is awesome.

Tacky Glue is awesome.

It dried super fast and I even got my wrinkles. Yes, the wrinkles are intentional.

It dried super fast and I even got my wrinkles. Yes, the wrinkles are intentional.

Yeah, that's a problem. Solution? I ironed it. Gave it a nice texture.

Yeah, that’s a problem. Solution? I ironed it. Gave it a nice texture.

Tower room floor!

Tower room floor!

For sure the look I wanted.

For sure the look I wanted.

So, I flipped it over and did the ceiling in the tower ROOM.

So, I flipped it over and did the ceiling in the tower ROOM. No, I don’t expect you to understand. Just nod.

Hmm. I did the eaves.

Hmm. I did the eaves.

But then it started talking railing nonsense and I need to get back to painting the edges of the tower thingy.

But then it started talking railing nonsense and I need to get back to painting the edges of the tower thingy.

Thingy is a technical term, yo.

Today was slow going. I wanted to make sure Jackson was getting along with everyone, and he did. He even took a nap under the work table like everyone else does. I’m going back in there to finish up a few things, but I’m pretty much done today. Tomorrow will be work-work-work.

Such a good boy.

Such a good boy.

 

DOLLHOUSE TOTAL WORK HOURS: 50

Read Full Post »

This One Was ALL The Hubs

So, no, I haven’t been online much this week. I can blame it on a dozen things, but let’s blame it on Hubs.

See, this medium sized red dog showed up at the house on Monday. In my back yard. I stood at my back door with my face screwed up like the dog had six heads.

I walked out front and asked the hubs if there was anything he didn’t tell me? Um, no. The neighbor was outside, so I asked him if he’d gotten a new dog? Nope. So, I brought my dogs in the house and took the padlock off the gate and let this unknown dog out of my fence.

All I heard out of Hubs was “NO!” and “He’s got to go!”

Not unexpected. Not for one second did I even consider this dog was staying. Mill-dog, and that’s all I want to say about that. Just… no.

I spent two days being mean to this dog. I don’t know if any of you understand how much it hurt my heart and wounded my soul to yell at this dog, “GO! Go home! Anywhere but here!” over and over for two days. But the dog wouldn’t leave. Oh, he’d truck around the neighborhood during the day (neighbors reported this to me because they thought he was MY DOG), but he’d come right back and sleep on our porch.

Hubs joked that he didn’t mind that part because it ran all my adopted stray cats off. But he minded. A lot. Or so I thought.

Day three, we’re watching tv and red dog is scratching at our door. I rolled my eyes at my daughter and said, “I’ll run him off later.”

Hubs said, “I was thinking about keeping him. Lily needs a friend that can keep up with her.”

My daughter’s jaw dropped.

I could have punched Hubs in the nose.

Instead, I got up and got the dog a bowl of food, went out on the front porch and apologized to this dog for being mean to him for two days. He crawled into my lap and licked me across the face, and I knew I was forgiven. Hubs wouldn’t let him in the house because no shots and we didn’t know if he was sick, which is understandable. I gave him food, water, and a heavy warm blanket. The next morning, I apologized to red dog again. I made a vet appointment for shots.

I told my boss about being mean to little red dog and finally broke down and cried. Big fat ugly cry. I tell you, I needed that release.

Of course, the little shit wasn’t home when I got home to take him to the vet yesterday, so I took Lily for her shots instead. Red dog came home about sundown and spent the night on the porch. Hubs said, “He’ll have to stay outside if we keep him. We just have too many dogs for them all to be inside.” I wasn’t about to argue. In our backyard was better than being hit by a car, or gods forbid, picked up for a bait dog.

This morning, I called my vet’s office and they were open, my favorite vet on staff, so I loaded red dog up from his blanket on the porch. He was scared to death.¬†

20150207_075647[1]

I held him and told him everything was going to be okay. Then I drove him to the vet, petting him the whole time, and held him some more. He was shaking apart sitting on that table. “I promise you, you’re gonna be okay now.” They asked me his name. “Just call him Red, because we really don’t know.”

All I could think of was Mill-dog and how scared he must have been at the shelter if red dog was scared simply being at the vet. Luckily, our vet is the kindest man–he’s the one who tried to save Clarence–and he helped me calm the dog, and told him, “Son, you hit the jackpot. You found an awesome mom and dad.” Jackpot clicked in my head. By the time we left, red dog was a changed boy. It was like he knew… he was safe, he was loved. He fell asleep in the van.

20150207_085538[1]

I got home and told Hubs that red dog was perfectly fine. Heartworm negative, just a little beat up from life on the street. ¬†He had a collar now (bought that yesterday), and his rabies tag. And then I mentioned the vet saying he hit the jackpot and said, “Maybe we should call him Jack?”

“I don’t know, I’ll have to come up with something like Clarence S. “Mutha Fuckin” Johnson.”

“Nothing will ever be that awesome, hon.”

“Nope, but we’ll figure it out. He’s still got to stay in the yard.”

Whatever you say, hon….

Ten minutes in the yard with all the dogs playing, and red dog became Jackson. He also became allowed in the house. To quote Hubs, “Lily sleeps with us, MiMi sleeps in her kennel. That leaves an extra dog bed in the livingroom with Baby, so he should be fine in the house. As long as he doesn’t pee in the house.”

No, no peeing in the house, for sure, but I smirked and just kept my mouth shut, watching my husband love on this dog.

Hubs scruffed his little head and said, “Jackson is his last name, I’ll work out the rest later.”

20150207_110824[1]

So, this is Jackson.

No longer cold, no longer scared.

Welcome home, boy.

Read Full Post »

The first thing I do every morning when I walk into the sunroom is peel off the tape from the day before. I don’t need it anymore, the glue is set forever unless I take a hammer to it. When I did that this morning, I didn’t see all of yesterday’s flaws. I saw one badass dollhouse.

*BOOYAH, bitches*

*BOOYAH, bitches*

I started seeing what I’d done right.

This room is *tight*.

This room is *tight*.

But then I saw it. That one bit of blue tape that I missed.

IMG_1419

I ripped that sucker off. *BOOM*

Then I looked at the gable and sighed. Just like the porch at the end of yesterday’s ETA, I was going to have to fix it.

Hmm.

Hmm.

That’s not going to be ideal, but it gave me enough of an idea that I know how to fix it now. I ripped that tape off and sat down to sand window frames, when I saw this….

*grr*

*grr*

That’s the POS paint brush I was using when I first started painting windows last night. It dropped hairs, it spattered paint, until I finally threw it out and used the one I knew in my head I should’ve used in the first place.

Then I sat down to sand window frames. Approximately 130 pieces. Sanding of the rough spots, admiring the not so rough spots. Dreading like hell the instructions that require rubber bands wrapped just so and say,¬†“when you can do it every time without pieces flying, then you are ready for glue.”

Have I ever mentioned my nerves? Can you imagine me wrapping a rubber band around a window frame and jumping out of my chair when that sucker flys apart and shoots all over the room? How I’m gonna totally flip out when I can’t find one piece that shot who knows where?

Gods save me. ONE-HUNDRED THIRTY PIECES. But I soon figured out the instructions made sense, but they needed tweaking. It said not to use glue, but seriously? Those corners are gonna slide. A dot in each corner and, once tacky, it made all the difference. Only one bit of wood shot across the room, the rubber bands stopped flying, and I only almost hit the hubs in the eye once.

Can you tell I know how to read instructions, and when to follow them, when to discard them, and when to tweak them?

Can you tell the parts that I painted with the wrong brush were harder to sand than the one where I used the brush I knew I should have used in the first place?

Can you tell I can go over things with a fine-tooth comb and still miss a funky bit?

Can you tell I might freak out because something is wrong, but I’ll eventually figure it out?

Can you tell I know my faults as well as the parts that shine?

Can you tell that no matter how many times bits fly apart, and I lose my shit, I’m not giving up? That I might just have to think about it and do things a little differently?

Can you tell I’m playing hell with this dollhouse, and yet what did I do?

Lily approves.

Lily approves.

I bought another one. Because I’m a masochist.

I sanded all those pieces today because that’s what you do. You start off with a fecking mess and you sand, and you scrape, and you throw things out. You polish, and you paint, and you fix the things you fudged up. And when you finally find that pack of missing rubber bands you celebrate!

Because that’s what you do to have something beautiful in the end. Something all your own, with your own “voice” among the flaws; one of many, but uniquely your own.

The best thing about a dollhouse, though? It doesn’t require a query letter.

~

DOLLHOUSE TOTAL WORK HOURS: 46 

TIME SPENT CHOOSING MY NEXT WRITING PROJECT: 46…and counting.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »