Sunday, 8 November 2015

Due to budget constraints, the light at the end of the tunnel has been switched off.

I often hear people say that their Dollhouse projects are never truly finished; there's always something that can be added, taken away or moved. With barely five weeks left to the HBS Creatin' Contest build-along deadline, I'm still making adjustment to Fenton Lodge as if I had all the time in the world to ponder my options.
At first I was happy to leave the rear of the build open A La American/Canadian style. But after months of sweeping out dust with a paint brush, I decided enough was enough. Not my finest hour I'll grant you - planning a door after the rest of it is built but meh. Shit happens.
I cut a piece of MDF, routed a channel for some piano hinge, cut out a window so the bathroom won't be in pitch black and attached the hinge on the base of the build (so it opens top to bottom rather than side to side). Because the  MDF is only 6mm, the piano hinge screws came through the other side of the wood. At least I got to use the stone bit on my dremmel tool which has never seen the light of day. Below is a photo my friend took of me filing away the excess of the screws. He said I looked quite manic...

Oooo, sparkles!

Adding doors that are not meant to be there throw up all sorts of problems. For a start, the door is at the back and had to meet a curved roof. The other problem, and one of those things that niggle me about dollhouses, is adding a catch to keep the door shut. They are invariably huge brass affairs that stick out like a sore thumb on the outside of your project.
So I decided to 'thicken' the rear crossbeam of the roof with a strip of wood so the the beam was flush with the door when the door was shut.


To keep the door locked in place so that it doesn't swing open any time it fancies, I added a strip of Mahogany, (matching the front), to the crossbeam which slightly overhangs the door.



Now, the roof keeps the door shut. To open the door you just lift the roof a little and open it pops. My photos probably don't explain this very well but it works.hurrah.

I forgot (or blocked out), just how long it takes to add ship lap and paint everything.


 I was so tired by this point, I started to make mistakes -  I measured the window frame wrong twice then did the same thing with the glass. Ugh.

 Now the whole of the exterior is done I can concentrate on beautifying the interior.

First thing I made was the top cabinet for the kitchen. I wanted it open so that I can display some food and crockery.


The lights are two 3v led's. The wiring isn't pretty but it's hidden inside.



 What else. Oh yes, I realised mini visitors to the lodge had nowhere to store their clothes so I made a modern Armoire. Enough space to store holiday clothes and a bit of bedding. I've made it out of mahogany because I'm trying to keep to a scheme of redwood, darkwood, black and copper.


Next, a table for the bathroom. It is literally the thinnest table I have ever made because of the lack of space. The lodge is filling up fast so some of the furniture needs to be multi-functioning. Ergo the table cum toilet roll holder


It started off as white wood - didn't like it - painted it black - too dark - splashed some silver on it - gave up.

Last item I made came from a visit to a model shop. I saw the ship search lights and thought I bet I can make something with those.


It's made with wooden rod, a model ship search light, jewellery findings and I replaced the bulb with a 3v led. I wish I could find some black dollhouse wire. Sometimes the wiring just looks better in black.


 Very last thing, I purchased some pears and bread for the kitchen from Hungarian Miniatures which are fantastic



Ah, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Someone must have paid the electricity bill

Pepper =0)

69 comments:

  1. What a wonderful gift to wake up to your post! I love that you closed the back, and it turned out... Holy bleep you are talented! Upper cabinet with lights... Yes! Closet...YES! Ship light... Yes! Fruit and bread... Wow! TP Table... Been there. Still adorable, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jodi, glad you like it all =0)

      Delete
  2. You have such a talent for solving problems and so much creativity. I would have gone into a panic about the back closure issues. You have solved it beautifully. I love the table-toilet paper holder. Even the rolls look perfectly scaled. The closet is brilliant! That ships lantern light is WONDERFUL! I can't wait to see more. Well done!!! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Catherine. I truely believe that necessity is the Mother of invention. Sometimes I have an epiphany, sometimes it goes in the trash =0D

      Delete
  3. Wow! Gorgeous. I'm trying to enclose my house as well but it won't be nearly as pretty looking. Not unless I get a lot of extra time out of nowhere. I'm still building...and building and building. But the roof and second floor ceiling should go on today...I hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with the door Sheila. If you run out of time you could maybe make a false wall just for photographing =0)

      Delete
  4. Pepper, your talent for making miniatures and also for solving the problems (like closing the door) while you're working at your miniature work, is fantastic :D!
    I love your newest additions and your work so far, especially the cabinet is absolutely beautiful to see. Great find, those ship lanterns! All is great work!
    Have a nice week,
    Ilona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much IIona. Have a lovely week too =0)

      Delete
  5. oh my, you were VERY busy. but this just gave me an idea to leave one side open next time and do the same as you do: add it as a last so that you can see the inside! I will definitely try to do with in a relaxed state so that I don't have to do the windows twice ... lol
    looking super!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish all kits were made with a front and back opening. It's very helpful for taking photographs. Yeah, at least I'm getting practice making windows haha =0P

      Delete
  6. Thanks to the one paying the electricity bill... *grin* Your newest additions are awesome... the cabinet even with light and the multifunctional bathroom table... I can barely imagine the effort it took to make the necessary changes for the door in this state of the building process - but you were really showing a true "I want to change it and I'm going to change it"-look on your face! ;O) It's always a big pleasure to look at your newest additions and I hope we're going to see more soon.

    Hugs
    Birgit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Birgit. I'm quite stubborn like that and once it's in my head, I have to do it =0)

      Delete
  7. Oh my gosh....you are so good at this! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. First off, you write wonderfully! You are so creative and great at getting out of jams :) And I love the light. The lodge really has so much atmosphere. Oh and Dremel makes these great cut off wheels "Dremel EZ456 1-1/2-Inch EZ Lock Rotary Tool Cut-Off Wheels for Metal, 5-Pack" they are expensive but I use them so much that I have a dedicated dremel just for this, you can buzz off things like your screws with ease. No more grinding :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the tip Linda, it's really appreciated. I would use my dremmel on metal more if I knew the bits could take it =0)

      Delete
  9. Beau travail!
    l'étape des finitions est toujours pleine de surprises. On pense à tout sauf à.. et ....ça et encore...çà!
    C'est pourtant une étape que j'aime beaucoup car on apprend vite et bien concrètement. Le rayon "naval" des magasins de modélisme est une boîte à trésors pour les miniaturistes...
    Bonne continuation,
    Dominque

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Je pense toujours que lorsque vous êtes sous pression , vous trouvez de meilleures solutions . Je adore la section du navire de l'atelier de modèle. Toutes sortes de trésors à trouver. Merci Dominique =0)

      Delete
  10. If you think sweeping out an open-back dollhouse is a lot of work...well...my current build has a LOT of open "walls" in addition to the back being open. As construction marches on, it's getting vacuumed out with my grandma's old Dustbuster a couple of times a week!

    ReplyDelete
  11. So many awesome things in one post...love, love, love, love, love, love, love! You look like you're having such fun :) I can't wait to see everything in place...all your little works of art coming together to be one large work of art.

    I love your solution for the closed back. The doors I used aren't staying closed, I put on the hinges a bit too tight...with epoxy, of course, so they can't be adjusted. I've got to figure out what I'm going to do to keep them closed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a pain innit? It would be great if A) miniature structures had a front & back opening so you get to view it from both sides and B) when they do put a door in there, it would shut properly so there are no gaps. Sigh =0/

      Delete
  12. You look like you're having fun making sparks! I LOVE the armoire, I suppose you made the hangers too? I never cease to be impressed by your work. It's all wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd also like to know how you keep your work area so clean and tidy.

      Delete
    2. Oh the sparks were cool. I had myself my own little firework display =0D Yeah, the coathangers are laser cut...think I made them last year and as for my work area - just before I take a photo, I sweep all of the crap to one side. If I panned out on each picture it would look like Hobby Lobby had puked all over it =0D

      Delete
  13. Fighting with dust problems does have solutions, even when they make you work hard. I admire your ability to use the carpeting equipment. Your kitchen cabinets already look great. The pears and bread are really life like, a great purchase.
    Hugs, Drora

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your work it's always stunning and even when you are worried that you won't make it, you come up with ideas and solutions that make your work perfect! It's so nice to see you at work and you do look like you are having mad fun!! ;) You look so lovely!! The wardrobe is......wonderful!!! How did you got that pattern at the front? With Shapeway? Anyway, there is no denying that you are very very talented!! Hugs!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you Simona. I do enjoy this stuff...makes me smile (especially when it works) =0P

      Delete
    2. Oops, I've just re-read you comment Simona. The pattern used for the Armoire door is designed in Inkscape. You create a diamond, add a 'tab' at each corner and then using the align tool to connect it to multiple other diamonds. The laser cuts out the 'gaps' and leaves the pattern you see in the door. Inkscape is pretty good for designing vector shapes that you can cut on the laser and it's free to download =0)

      Delete
    3. Thank you for explaining Carol!! That sounds like science fiction to me....diamonds? If we were talking about the girls best friend than I would have got it straight away but diamonds as in physics, were you connect to more to get a pattern.....hhmmm..... I'm lost!! ;) ;) ;)
      I'm jocking ;) Your explanation is pretty straightforward and clear. Thanks again for taking the time to explain!! ***

      Delete
    4. Carol? Where did I get that Pepper? Is your name Carol Pepper? :)

      Delete
    5. Haha. My name is Carol but my friends have always called me Pepper, so please, call me Pepper =0)x

      Delete
    6. I sure will. I must have seen the name on other comments and my mind just registered without me even noticing. :)

      Delete
  15. Whelp, I am ready to move into this place, your "issues" always turn into amazing and envious works of art. ...HECK I am envious of the toilet paper rolls!!

    I am tappin my toes and fingers waiting to see this beauty. Take much needed rests in between, we look forward to your big reveal ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know you're welcome any time. If you pop over now you can help me with decor choices =0D

      Delete
  16. Fantastic creation, especially the armoire and the little hangers.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Has hecho un trabajos estupendo con la casa. Me encanta el armario.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muchas gracias Isabel . Me alegro de que te guste =0)

      Delete
  18. Ooohh, manic woman with a dremel....!!! :) You have made some more fantastic pieces to fit this Lodge! I LOVE the tripod light made from the ship's lantern! (It looks like something my Dad would make...!) And I can understand your need to add the back wall to this house! The American open back houses are what I have grown up with.... but I always wanted the houses to have a hinged wall so they could be completely closed. But it always seems like such a lot of trouble to design and build that additional part... how to connect it, how to latch it.... You have chosen an ingenious solution! Now I want to see the pictures with everything in place...! Fantastic work as usual!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Betsy, I suppose it's because I hate housework that forces me to enclose every build. I can imagine what a pain it must be not only to dust a dollhouse, but to empty every room and give the contents a wipe over. I think adding a door is the easier solution =0)

      Delete
  19. Just returning from holidays an reading your post, this is so creative! I love the toilet table, but also what you did with the ship light, that's amazing. I must agree with your comment about Hungarian Miniatures, each piece is just so well done. Looking forward to see how you will place each item in the house, can't wait! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suzi, yeah, Hungarian miniatures are really fine aren't they. She's a very talented Lady =0)

      Delete
  20. I love the ship light! So cool and creative! And I also love Hungarian Miniatures - each piece is so well done and also recognizable as hers.
    Excited to see the end result!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm excited too, and to see everyone elses build. I bet there's some amazing creations submitted for the contest =0D

      Delete
  21. I totally respect your work. Bless your hands that make your ideas come to life. Perhaps you can color the wire black...I'm pretty sure you can figure that out.

    Respectfully,
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carolyn. I probably should have coloured the wire before I installed it...I have a feeling black paint is going to go everywhere =0P

      Delete
  22. Hi... I just have a few word: Stunning scenes, amazing details and creative ideas: to make perfect Art!
    I Love everything I saw in your photos! Congratulations! You are so talented!
    Hugs
    Kikka

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Kikka...and so are you =0)X

      Delete
  23. Wow you've been busy! Everything looks amazing as usual.
    Your search light makes me want to visit a local model ship shop I just found. :)
    And that armoire, I'm so envious! Now I want a laser cutter. Maybe Santa will be kind?
    Alice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Alice. You know you threw me at first - seeing the name Paul Simpson. Thanks for commenting and could I just say, your miniature designs are awesome! =0)

      Delete
    2. Yeah, sorry about that, I have no idea how to change accounts, and I can't remember my password!
      And thank you. :-)

      Delete
  24. What a great post Pepper, great picture of you and I love what you've done and you are so right to close that back up, cleaning/dusting should be avoided when possible at all times! It also makes it look more complete and you've been smart about making it in a way it's not visible it's a 'door', very well done! The armoire is just stunning, and you make those mini-guests happy with that, nothing more annoying than staying somewhere where there's no room for your clothes and stuff ;).

    Oh my god, that lamp is so GORGOUS!! I just love it, you clever girl! I paint white wiring black (when too smooth for that, just sand with fine grit first), but I agree, there should be black wiring! (I've a little bulb that had white wire, that I just cut off and soldered on some thin black ones from a Cirkit grain of rice, mostly because that black wire was much thinner and therefore more realistic) That bathroomtable/toiletrollholder is great! I think the silver adds some gentleness to the black. Smart thinking to combine functions, you have to given the small space, but I also think it looks very nice! Those pears and bread look delicious, that Bösze is a foodwizard! I look forward to the rest and I'm sure you'll make it in time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Monique, that's very kind of you =0) Yeah, Hungarian Miniatures are fantastic *nods*

      Delete
  25. Fun post, lovely photos! Glad someone paid the electricity bill! :-D xo Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
  26. I always thought the 360 dollhouses looked the most magical so I'm very much liking the extra wall. Your new additions are so nice! I mean those are some fancy legs on that tripod light! I'm honestly going to hunt every craft store around until I find some similar jewellery findings. The little laser cut hangers are cute too. I just learned today of a new laser cutter company called GlowForge, a basic model runs $2,395 USD. How cool is that? Looks like maybe we might be seeing more availability options for us makers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very cool Kristine. I'm really pleased more Laser cutters are coming out on the market because that can only mean that the prices become competitive. Unless you're planning on cutting a whole dollhouse, an A4 size bed is more than enough to design and make fabulous minis. Hope you get one =0D

      Delete
  27. Hi Pepper, You are doing wonderful things. Terrific solution for the closure of the build. Oh dear, now I have to go to look at model ship's hobby shops as well as just about every store I pass. ,,,, just in case.
    I do love the photo of manic you. So glad the light is still shining at the end of the tunnel.
    regards Janine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janine. I don't think there's a single shop that isn't scoured for mini potential. We must spend a fortune on things that we instantly pull to bits =0P

      Delete
  28. This is all amazing. That armoire is perfection. I so wish I could afford a laser cutter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Hannah. The prices are coming down all of the time. Won't be long before laser cutters are as common place as printers =0)

      Delete
  29. Oh at last I'm able to post (had major problems!) but been reading about your progress and I absolutely love what you're doing - I can't wait to see it all finished. Love the light - hear that word again 'Want' :) Great photo too and you don't look manic :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. FAB-U- LOUS!!!!!!
    Every detail is totally "ON FLEEK" ( which my university daughter tells me is the new slang for ON POINT ), or in other words Pepper, it is all - AWESOME SAUCE! :D

    elizabeth
    and I love the yummy Hungarian Miniatures pears and the cake loaf too!

    ReplyDelete