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Posts Tagged ‘dollhouse’

Puit D’argent

I’ve been trying to come up with a name for my big dollhouse because all cool real houses have cool names. They just do. It’s a rule.

I put out a call to the Facebook Hive Mind and asked for the French translation of “money pit” because trusting Google translate is like trusting the guy at the tattoo parlor when he says that Chinese character he’s gonna tattoo on your butt really does mean ‘rebel’ when in actuality it means prostitute. Or something.

My buddy, Laurie, came back with advice from her friend in Belgium. Puit d’argent could mean ‘pit of silver,’ but puit can also mean a well, as in throwing money down a well. Without the benefit of wishes, Laurie added.

Perfect.

*GRRRR*

*GRRRR*

Thing about this house is I’ve based a lot of the rooms and items on characters in my books. There’s a picture of Nita framed for a wall; my friend, Gail, gifted me with mini guitars which Javier and Celestino argue over daily.The master bed I have yet to find, must be similar to old world Spanish design because Esteban won’t stand for anything else. He thinks it’s his house, so why the French name and not Spanish? “Because we are in New Orleans, reina. When in Rome?”

Who wants to argue with a five-hundred-plus year-old vampire?

The only thing I wish he’d remember is that I don’t have his wallet.

I wanted to figure out a name because I’m looking to order a custom made sign to hang in the garden–as a lot of Nola houses have–when this is finished. The sound you can’t hear is my hysterical laughter over having typed the word finished. Just when I think I have something figured out–like building lights for the kitchen–they’re not good enough and this house does it’s damnedest to pick my pocket. My other houses? They’re good; they’re patient. And they’re not as persnickety about what goes in them.

It’s all Esteban’s fault. If you knew him, you’d know he’s reading a good old fashioned print-copy of the Times Picayune and acting as if he’s ignoring me.

At least now I know exactly what that sign in the garden will say.

p.s.

Say hello to my Princess Anne house, saved from Craig’s List.

Top right, in PURPLE!  Ignore the cob webs.

Top right, in PURPLE! Ignore the cob webs, I’m too short to reach up there.

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Got him at a thrift store. He always ends up with his legs crossed.

Got him at a thrift store. He always ends up with his legs crossed. Guess he needs a name.

You would think these kits are easy. Nope. Total pain in the ass.

You would think these kits are easy. Nope. Total pain in the ass.

All those little bitty pieces.

All those little bitty pieces.

And a great big instruction sheet.

And a great big instruction sheet.

Ended up having to make a gluing jig.

Ended up having to make a gluing jig.

Stained it and, of course, broke one of the spindles. Ya do what ya gotta.

Stained it and, of course, broke one of the spindles. Ya do what ya gotta.

I mentioned needing a gauzy fabric to the hubs. He says,

I mentioned needing a gauzy fabric to the hubs. He says, “What about that gauzy stuff at the mill?” This is part one of a second project, and the curtains for the bed.

There's wood under that tape. Boiled and shaped while hot. Been there for a week or more.

There’s wood under that tape. Boiled and shaped while hot. Been there for a week or more.

There's roll after roll of it at the mill. We think they used it for their filter system. I'll give it a shot.

There’s roll after roll of it at the mill. We think they used it for their filter system. I’ll give it a shot.

Pieces for the corona that will hang over the bathtub.

Pieces for the corona that will hang over the bathtub. That gauzy stuff will also hang from this corona.

Yes, that is an empty masking tape roll, some bent coffee sticks, and a laser cut wood disc. All stained. The hole is for the light fixture that will drop down inside it.

Yes, that is an empty masking tape roll, some bent coffee sticks, and a laser cut wood disc. All stained. The hole is for the dimmed light fixture that will drop down inside it.

That took hours and hours and HOURS.

That took hours and hours and HOURS.

I can’t even fairly count making that stuff as dollhouse time. I never made it to the gauze part because I refuse to turn the heater on to dry the stain when it’s almost eighty outside. I’ll get there next time.

Finished tape wire.

Finished tape wire.

While I DID finish the wiring on the top floor, that was all the dollhouse work I did this weekend. I just wasn’t feeling it, for one. For two, I’m at the stage where I need lights, and most of my lights are on back order or got sold out from under me on eBay. So. We wait.

In the meantime….

Ignore all the crap hanging off the edges. I'm drying fake herbs.

Ignore all the crap hanging off the edges. I’m drying fake herbs.

Once upon a time, someone loved this house.

It's a mess. Missing so much.

It’s a mess. Missing so much.

But someone loved it. Loved it enough to hand paint the floors and walls, and make curtains, and hang wallpaper.

Well, I tore all that out today.

Well, I tore all that out today. As much as I could without diving in all hard core.

But here’s a promise to the person who once loved this house. I saved some of the bits and pieces of what I could save. Some things you took the time to put in the house.

IMG_1756

I don’t know what and I don’t know how, but in some way some part of what you did will stay with the house when I make it beautiful again.

Promise.

~

DOLLHOUSE TOTAL WORK HOURS: 204

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I forgot… *hem*

Um. This happened.

This is dollhouse #2, which I've mentioned before. I think. Greenleaf "The Orchid."

This is dollhouse #2, which I’ve mentioned before. I think. Greenleaf Orchid.

SO! I mention to my mother that I’m building a dollhouse.

“I have two. You can have them.”

My daughter built this with her grandmother many, many years ago.

My daughter built this with her grandmother many, many years ago. 

It’s in horrible, shape. Just BAD.

It's in horrible, shape. Just BAD.

It’s a Dura-Craft Lafayette.

This is not AS bad, but it's still bad.

This is not AS bad, but it’s still bad.

It's an older version of the Vermont Farmhouse Jr. by Real Good Toys.

It’s an older version of the Vermont Farmhouse Jr. by Real Good Toys.

They were both covered in so much dust and flat dirt that I had to take them to my husband’s shop and blow them off with the air compressor before I could bring them in the house, and then hope to gods nothing flew off.

So.

When I say making floors is relaxing and I can’t wait to do it again, I guess I better mean it.

#projectrehab

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Tape wiring is some scary shit. Not because it’s difficult, but because once you commit, you commit.  You only have so many slots allotted to your power supply, so you gotta figure that out. And you plot, and you plan, and you waste foot after foot of painter’s tape laying out your path in the smartest, most economical way.

That took four hours. Seriously.

That took four hours. Seriously.

It has to be one long continuous run, so I'd pull off a run of tape and replace it with tape wire.

It has to be one long continuous run, so I’d pull off a run of tape and replace it with tape wire as I went.

Like so.

Like so.

Power supply all hooked up, I give the first run a test.

Power supply all hooked up, I give the first run a test. I think this is where I stopped for a Valium.

And the Dollhouse Gods said,

And the Dollhouse Gods said, “Let there be power.” And it was good.

Tiny little things called eyelets.

Tiny little things called eyelets.

You use them when you have to splice the tape run.

You use them when you have to splice the tape run–purple to purple, pink to pink–like up a wall for sconces.

And this is where I stopped because fifteen feet of tape wire might sound like a lot, but it is SO NOT.

And this is where I stopped because fifteen feet of tape wire might sound like a lot, but it is SO NOT. There’s still painter’s tape in the attic to mark what needs to be finished.

The only store in town that carries tape wire is closed on Sunday, so there we are. Laying out where I wanted the lights was the hardest thing of all, which is hilarious since I was terrified to start wiring.

So, I found this online while I was doing anything and everything to avoid starting to wire.

I totally put sticky notes on my computer screen and then moved them, one by one, to the house as I marked their path with painter's tape.

I totally put sticky notes on my computer screen and then moved them, one by one, to the house as I marked their path with painter’s tape.

Don’t judge.

It works.

It’s just not finished.

Blame Hobby Lobby.

DOLLHOUSE TOTAL WORK HOURS: 203

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Since it’s been a month-plus, obviously a lot.

IMG_1606

More dollhouse pictures here. I added another 67 hours.

Then I tore all that out because I have to tape wire electricity now that I know where the majority of things will go.

And I took a sanity break because things got a little crazy. Then these showed up on the porch.

IMG_1651

damn-damn-damn

Things are still crazy. Not in a terrible way, but in that I don’t have time to blog. Forty-five hours a week at a day job, four dogs, seven cats, and a family of humans, is plenty to keep one occupied. The dollhouse? I’ve said before, it doesn’t require a query letter or anyone’s approval. There is no market saturation with a dollhouse.

There’s lots of things I would like to be doing lately, but as my friend Lily said, I’m not going to kill myself to do them.

I am, however, going to update my Pinterest board and go see about the coffee sticks boiling on the stove because I have a three day weekend of my own making and I’m going to damned well enjoy it.

DOLLHOUSE TOTAL WORK HOURS: 192

As of right this second, anyway. There are many hours left before sleep.

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a.k.a

I did a whole bunch of crap. Most of it was boring, so I didn’t blog.

The Magic Bus was sold and after a near month long fight to get a title, it was replaced by this:

It doesn't suck.

It doesn’t suck.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this new (to me) vehicle, but I miss The Bus.

I did about thirty-two hours of work on the dollhouse over six different days. I mostly did the floors, but I did stop and refinish some furniture somewhere in the middle of all that before I pulled my hair out over the monotony of gluing down coffee stick after coffee stick. Just go here to see pictures. The end result is all that counts. I will say I am sick and tired of coffee sticks.

Before stain.

Before stain.

After stain.

After stain.

Yes, I legit made these floors.

Yes, I legit made these floors. Just need to decide if I want to poly them or not.

So, yeah. I’m alive, just been tired and busy. A lot of things came in for the dollhouse, so now that the floors are (nearly) done I have to move forward with wallpaper, etc. ACE Hardware is having a .99 paint pint sale, limit four, so I’ve snatched up my four limit. Good thing it runs until the end of the month because my happy ass will go back.

I’m going to mess around with some insane ideas I found on Pinterest before I watch The Walking Dead.

If they kill Daryl, we riot.

(note to self: eBay for 1:12 scale crossbow)

DOLLHOUSE TOTAL WORK HOURS: 117

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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! 🙂

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

 

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