May 26, 2022

#Fairfield #dollhouse: Some Progress!

 I've been working on and off, but I am making progress on the Half Scale Fairfield Dollhouse. (See previous post and also search in left column search box for more posts. Click photos for full size.) * Progress after that - post here.

The Parlor:

I'm pretty happy with a few things I got done. Especially this: the fireplace in the black/white parlor. Parlor on left; dining room on right.

Now for the front of the fireplace: I just love how this came out!

The sides were those beads I found at a Ren Faire some time back. I knew someday I'd use them for this. (And luckily they weren't in that "safe place" where I can't find things! haa!) The bottom was cut off and I layered painted wood strips underneath for the surround. The middle gold piece was cut off a broken metal bench and painted. I was testing to see what picture will fit there though I kind of like the larger frame.

Here's a picture showing the ceiling decoration. I also trimmed around the fireplace top and bottom edges, plus put flat pieces to divide the two floors. I added trim pieces on the doorway inner edges too as the line bugged me.  I wish the flash didn't wash out the colors but I didn't feel like reflecting the flash.

The Kitchen, so far:

The kitchen, which is the room next to the dining room, (enter by the dining room door), is also going to be interesting. I fell in love with this orange floral scrapbook paper and figured it'd be perfect for a Hall0ween-flavored house. It's not going creepy or worn like the other house but will have both Halloween and "normal" furnishings. The "better" relatives will live here. (Like the Munsters except this would be Marilyn's house! Haa!) The walls here are papered, but I have to add door trim and frames yet.

Here's the kitchen window alcove with the curtain/shades done. Isn't that cool paper? 


As this house has to be thought out in steps, the inner alcoves had to be finished. I had wanted to attach the alcoves but... I realized I  have to do the floor and ceilings before I glue the alcove on so I can get my hand in there. ha! Then I have to add trim on the outside of the alcove, which I decided will also have some brick paper with trim to contrast with the red-painted windows.

This is the kitchen floor pattern, which also extends into the front hall. The front hall walls are a large botanic print scrapbook paper. I'll show that later. (The colors are darker and brighter then shown here since the flash bleached it out.)

Yes, it's busy, but I like busy. Adding to that, so far I have a pebble print paper that I painted a light orange for the ceiling. The floor print gives an old-fashioned feel since I want to add older appliances. I have a metal Tootsietoy icebox, and am using the stove and sink kit from TMC/Teresa's Miniature Creations. (Stove/sink photo from Terri Shuping Correll, FB Half Scale Miniatures group.)

And.... yay! I got my sink kit! I figured why reinvent the wheel and make one when she did the work already? So I ordered one and she shipped it to me. 

Also in the Works:

Pictured: the third floor and 2nd floor hall with staircase opening - stairs coming from the first floor kitchen. The roof pieces are only placed to see how they go.

The idea:

I keep looking at the second floor, deciding what to do. There is a wall that fits there with a door at the end nearest to the edge facing you, but it makes this a very narrow space for the bathroom. I am thinking of using part of the wall, cutting it off by the window, and maybe having the door on the side facing the stairs or maybe facing outward. That would leave me a space at the end (again facing you) to put a spiral staircase to go upstairs.

 I could forgo the stairs as I usually do, but I'm enamored with these spiral stairs.  ha! I could put the stairs in the back of the hall in that right corner but then if I add a bathroom you won't see them - and they'll be pretty. Only about half is done here in the picture. Will decide once I have a better idea of how it'll look since the ceiling/floor has to be cut out then.

I'm assembling the half scale spiral staircase kit from Alpha Stamps. Once I finally figured out how this works, they go together nicely. I'm deciding on a black and copper finish, or a dark brown with gold, not sure. Still have to decide on a rail, though. One of their design team used spindles and wood connectors on the 1"  scale staircase here. I'll have to do some other searches. I didn't want to get so complicated but there may not be much choice on this. We'll see how it goes.

Inspiration and Staircase Rail Ideas - Stairs made from wood fans

Bentley House Minis staircase, YouTube

Emily Morganti used spindles and a suede necklace cord for a HS staircase.

Thanks again for visiting. Stay tuned for more to come!

May 19, 2022

New #Mystery The Dead of Autumn

If you like reading mysteries as I do, then check out the blog tour post today on my other blog for the new fifth book in the Piper Maxwell mystery series, The Dead of Autumn, by USA Today Bestselling Author Jean Rabe.           


 About the book:

A teenager dressed as Tinker Bell never made it to the Halloween party.

Her murders sends a ripple of fear through Piper Blackwell's rural jurisdiction.

Investigating the crime, the young sheriff and her detective are drawn into an underworld they didn't know existed.

 Can the pair survive the trip into the dark heart of once idyllic Spencer County? Can they find the killer before more lives are are destroyed and he strikes again?

BUY: The Dead of Autumn on Amazon:

BUY: The Dead of Autumn on Amazon:
Dead of Winter on Amazon:
The Piper Blackwell Series on Amazon:

May 13, 2022

May Flowers!

 Or in this case, nature's flowers. Yes, they're real!

I  couldn't resist. The lilacs are blooming! Sadly, they won't last long in this heat. 

May 12, 2022

Fairfield #Dollhouse Progress Update!

 I know, it's been awhile, but it takes a lot of planning doing this house and lots of trimming. So much wood to paint and cut! Here's the side I'm working on. Don't be too disappointed; I've only got stuff done on the bottom two rooms though the tower and hall on other side is papered; what will be the kitchen is part papered and I'll be working on that soon. (click photos for full size.)

I found with this house that to do one thing you have to do a bunch of other things first. First electric, then wallpapers, then floor, then put in door trim before adding wainscot trim. The parlor alcove inner roof had to be painted and the inside papered, and all windows done before it's attached. That's next. 

Then...  I painted the outer windows on the alcove sections a lighter purple and... I didn't like it.  

Nothing harder/worse than repainting windows already attached but at least it was doable. (Ignore any sloppy parts that have to be touched up and there will be strip trim added top and bottom also.) The lower wall is beige/tan mixed with some sand. The inner windows are all the same color. The outside parts of the windows are now a cherry red.  The window in the second floor tower on the other side got cut out for a door, too, so that's the door color as well. It's not looking too Halloween at this point, but the decor will be. Well, you  have to go with what feels right and I've done enough purple and orange already on other projects. Time for a color change.

The inside is the fun part - the designing. The worse is all the awful trimming and wood to cut. Then I lose pieces and have to re-cut and repaint. ha!

I had these scrapbook papers saved and really liked the blackboard effect of the floral print. Plus the floor has circle designs with a part shiny surface. So black and white is the theme in these two rooms. The dining room floor is the black/white tile paper I seem to use in every house. I wanted to do matching papers since the two rooms join. The dining room on the right has to have trim and windows put in. There's also a strip on the wall dividing the two rooms.

The ceiling is a textured paper I had a few pieces of. It gives it a kind of old-fashioned Victorian feel. 

I love the alcove. I have trim for the bottom of the wall once it's attached. 

I used a pearly stone paper on the front and side panel of the fireplace on the first floor between the rooms. I'll put a thin white wood trim around the top. I decided to cover a piece of mat board also with the stone paper for the hearth instead of using the thicker wood pieces from the kit.

The front of the fireplace will be kind of different. I found these beads ages ago at a shop at the Renaissance Faire and saved them for a project. They got cut in half, so I can use the bottom designs on the other side. I'll paint all the wood pieces and the shaped trim black.

Ceiling in dining room. That split wall on left will be divided from the striped wall with a painted wood strip between the rooms.

It's know it's not a lot done, but it's taken a while to get to this point. Feeling better about this project as I go on.

The kitchen next to the tower on the other side will have an orange floral paper and a orange/green tile print floor paper. Since it has an old-fashioned look, I wasn't sure what style the kitchen would be. The stairs are made but once I saw this stove and sink set from Teresa's Miniature Creations at the last dollhouse show, I knew I had to have an old-fashioned kitchen. I'll be using the vintage Tootsietoy metal refrigerator that I have instead of the one shown here and have to order the sink since she ran out of that kit at the show. (Thanks to Terri Shuping Correll of the FB Half Scale group for the photo.)

So, slow progress but getting there. Hopefully I'll have more details to show soon. Thanks for stopping by! 

May 03, 2022

More finds at the #Dollhouse #Miniatures Shows


Ron Chase, D-Tales Miniatures clock, shelf

Fun once again to be out and seeing stuff. Nice to say hi to a few people as well! 

* Check out the cool show displays too  - Frasier Show in Miniature!

Some things I found: 

* I've fallen in love with the filigree work by Ron Chase of D-Tales Miniatures. I have this wonderful shelving unit by him in my big HS dollhouse that I luckily got in a previous HS group swap. I also have another clock and radio. So I had to get this small wall shelf and clock this year. (See top photo) And he kindly made some dish drainers for me. More photos of that to come when I get another one done. I got the first one in the kitchen cabinet kit I bought from him at the last show. 

I buy mostly half scale kits these days as I have plenty of 1" scale furniture and I do half scale mostly now (running out of room!) Any 1"scale things I do if I get in the mood will mostly be vignettes or small settings in book boxes or jewelry boxes that I find at Goodwill. But I do have a roombox set aside that will be a fancy library at some point since I have furnishings saved for that. There is another roombox that was once a bar that I might refashion into... something.... at some point.

* Neat resin decorative carved/castings from All Dolled Up TDS. She does some nice fireplaces and furnishings, too. I plan on using some of these to dress up the fireplace fronts in the Half Scale Fairfield.  The bottom left pieces also have faces on them which should look cool once painted. The right side package was a gift since it was broken.

* I thought this wall panel would look good above a fireplace instead of the usual art or a mirror.

* I wanted to see CastleCrafts (South Africa and NY) at the Bishop Show since it was their first time in this area. I had some accessory kits in mind, not realizing they had 1:24 - half scale, so I naturally honed in on that instead as they had some unique styles. They had a nice chaise lounge and a clock that I'll have to pick up at a later date, I think.

Teresa's Miniature Creations has some really nice 1/24-half scale furniture kits. I have her library table in my den in the big HS house and I think I have a side table set aside yet. I like finding more unusual pieces and fell in love with this old-fashioned stove. I have some "magnet" stoves, but this looked pretty authentic painted white and it's a bit different in style. I wasn't sure what style the Fairfield kitchen should be, but as I'm using a vintage-looking "tile" floor, this will fit well. Photos will be coming of the papering so far. I like the colors I'm choosing though the rooms may be somewhat "normal" in style but the furnishings will be spooky. I do plan on making the outside more aged, though.

Unfortunately, she was out of the vintage sink kit (which is just like the real-life sink that was in the first floor apartment in the two-flat I grew up at in Chicago), so I plan on designing one myself.  Pretty intrigued by this challenge! She used earring backs as faucets so will have to figure how those will look. I have a vintage Tootsietoy monitor top metal fridge I've been hanging onto for years for the right project, too.

Some Ideas:

* Otterine has the larger sink and fridge in her 1" scale 1920s kitchen on her blog, so I'll be looking for some inspiration! Here's a real-life vintage sink at Old House Journal. Btw, in real life these old cast-iron sinks are going for big $$ on ebay - $650 to $4,000!

* Here's what they call a "farmhouse sink" on legs. Looking at this. The real-life one I used had steel legs with a drain board on left and a large sink on middle/right.

* Saw a perfect sink at this Instagram post

Odds and Ends:

Couldn't resist this tiny dinosaur toy and the baby. Plus these miniscule alcohol bottles!

Just because: 

Even tinier jars and a bottle for the FF kitchen. Yes, the lids come off the jars!

Bargain of the day:

Cool printed vintage-looking rugs for $1!

More to come once I make some progress with the FF /Fairfield. (Putting trim and ceiling in parlor; just cut the dining room floor. Those rooms are a neat black/white theme. Have to trim that room too.) 

I have to try to get some things done as garden planting time and cleaning up outside is coming soon!  We get our plants at the sale Friday. Already! But we usually can't plant for a few days with rainy weather... we'll see. 

I do have to plant my Morning Glory seeds and get my sunflower seeds in. But I'll still be working on things once summer is here, too. I like to sit on the deck and work on stuff out there once it's warm.

Here are a couple of the real-life flowers from a previous year:

Thanks again for visiting! Until next time!

May 01, 2022

The Annual Spring #Dollhouse #Miniature Shows!


Lots to see at the two shows, the Bishop International Show in Chicago by O'Hare Airport and the Spring Showcase show by T&D Miniatures in Schaumburg, Ill. (Click photos for full size.)

This year there were some cool displays at the Showcase show.  Of special interest was this roombox above called The Frasier Project by Kentucky miniaturist Preston Poling, "The Bearded Miniaturist." The replica details the Seattle apartment of psychiatrist/radio host Frasier Crane (played by Kelsey Grammer) on the Frasier TV show, which aired from 1993-2004 on NBC. 

Lots of great detail in this down to the dog "Eddy" in the chair -- but I have to say that chair really looked way rattier on TV. haa! Very cool project. There's also a Facebook group for the project. (And  his YouTube - oops! Repairs were needed!)

Kitchen and side view:

Also of interest was this mini Seattle-area Record Shop, also by Poling. I love that outdoor sign and the electric meter caught my eye as did the realistic a/c unit on the roof!

Check out the console!

Another interesting project were these theater rooms. I'm showing just a few. (I'm trying to find the information on these. I believe they were to be auctioned off for donations to St. Jude Children's Hospital.)

I found some neat kits at the Bishop show, too. I was looking rather than taking photos there this time since it's a much bigger show. More on some of my finds from both shows in another coming post. All in all, it sure was nice to be able to see and shop for minis again. And luckily we got home early enough as there are some pretty bad storms and tornado warnings coming as I wrote this Saturday.

Until next time!