Thursday, April 20, 2017

New Orleans Kit - First Challenges...

Before I could continue working on the Real Good Toys New Orleans kit, I needed a little organization. My very kind husband hung the new melamine shelf on the wall and added four very strong braces right into the wall studs. I have confidence that I can display a number of heavy projects up there with no worries. So, because I am organized everything in my little dollhousing world should go very smoothly, right? Oh brother...


I'm sure many of you are like me - going around in circles trying to figure out if you need to start with the chicken or the egg. I finally just decided to solve that riddle as I went. I jumped right in with the wallpaper, opting to go the round wire method instead of potentially dealing with another MDF/tapewire nightmare (search for "tapewire" in the blog search for all of the gory details). Opting is the semi unthruthful word, and I really just forgot to do the tapewire. I'm calling it a serendipitous save from the universe.

I had some textured ceiling paper sheets in the old wallpaper drawer so I thought I'd give it a try on the living room walls. I was worried about having too many wallpaper patterns competing, so this was a great solution. Solid matte color with a little texture. It has a vinyl coating which is great for wiping off any seeping wallpaper mucilage without damaging the paper. I applied it to the walls first, then painted with two coats of acrylic paint.

Before and after painting.

This photo shows the texture better.



I used the same textured paper in the kitchen, except painted it in white chalk paint. For the dining room, I used a combination of two complementary wallpaper patterns. Off to a great start, right?


I couldn't wait to do the dry fit with the poly-resin arched door frames. Finally, I'd get to see them against the finished walls and then congratulate myself an a well planned build. That's when the trouble began...


Remember the chimney breast/false wall I built? Well, I made the fireplace and bookshelf openings based on the amount of space I had left over after fitting the one arched door frame that I had on hand at the time. The other two I needed were on the way... But they are from molds and therefore should be exact, right? Um, no. Not even close!



So my homespun fireplace is pushed over too far to the left and sticks out from the wall...


And the door hole does not exactly accommodate the arched door frame. Hrmpf.



And, my measurements of the dividing wall between the kitchen and the dining room were off... because in the drawing program where I carefully laid out all of the walls (so that I would be able to use the already on hand kitchen cabinet kits), I FORGOT TO DEDUCT THE 1/8" WALL MATERIAL and I measured the wallpaper width from the end of the wall and not from the end of the trim. Duh! Rookie blunder 101! Not to worry, after all I am a professional, right? Ha! Keep dreaming. Well, at least I am a problem solver and if things get too funky it really is just a dollhouse, right?

So we trim back the wallpaper.


Modify the arched doorways by cutting off the parts that stick out and remove the part of the door frame that is now too wide for the dining room to living room side.


Mark and sand down the doorway to accommodate the much differently sized, newly arrived poly-resin arched door frame.



Glue and clamp...


Fill, sand, fill...


Fill, sand, fill...



Still more filling and sanding...


And still more filling and sanding left to do...

And just when you are ready for something to go right, you look at said homespun fireplace and can no longer kid yourself because you HATE it! It's too tall, too squished, the Michael's hutch top on the mantle is out of scale and the whole space is too tight with the bookshelves! Your sconces are just going to look stupid! So there is no other choice but to re-build the entire thing from scratch. And in some weird way, you are actually relieved because you did not settle for "meh".



A good thing to do when you are pouting trying to work through a problem is to paint. Sand and paint, sand and paint.



And stain stair treads,


And start on window trim.


And then spend the next three days helping your elderly parents pack up their entire lives because they bought a new house in Arizona and while you are so happy and proud of their bravery you have no idea how you will cope with how much you'll miss them.

xoxo
Jodi

23 comments:

  1. And things like this are why I made no progress in the entire month of March. Seriously I feel your pain. But you'll be happier with a fireplace you don't want to rip out after you've put it in.

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    1. Let's wish each other a very productive and satisfying May, Sheila!

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  2. Wow, Jodi - you have so much on your plate right now I am even more amazed you were able to think your way through the many problems you were facing with your project! It does feel rally good though, doesn't it, when you get past the problem and come up with a great-looking solution - like the "pro" you really are. I'm loving watching the progress of this build. Here's a hug to help you to the next stage (()). - Marilyn D., Oromocto, NB, Canada

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    1. Thanks so much, Marilyn! I'll take all the hugs I can get. The rest... It will work itself out. Eventually!

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  3. I'm so glad to see you managed to find a way through! I find it so difficult to move forward when all I can see are little issues and fixes that really in the end need re-doing. But you did it! And it's going to be so worthwhile! I love the arches, they look so stately since being filled in. Looks like you're on your way again :D

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    1. Thanks, Kristine! The saving grace is that funky little things in dollhouses have funny stories to go along with them, and that makes them even more special. I am going to go with the flow, find the best solutions possible along the way, and enjoy that I have the privilege to indulge my mini passion!

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  4. Hi Jodi. Wow, it has all been going on at your house! How sad for you with your parents moving - I would hate to be away from my mum too. Are thse door frames from Unique Miniatures? I have had issues with their products being different sizes and thicknesses too. You live and learn! Still, it looks good after all your efforts!

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    1. Thanks, Shannon! I am visualizing many visits to AZ to explore and discover with my folks. I hope they come true!
      Yes - the door frames are Unique Miniatures and I am normally very pleased with their products. I think in the end, like all things, these challenges will turn out to my benefit. Living and learning is our whole purpose, right!

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  5. We all have been there but it seems to me that you approached it like a pro. Good for you!! Love the colour scheme, the patterns and textures, It promises a beautiful result. Can´t wait to see it :)

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    1. Thanks Alex! I am going to enjoy it and love it no matter how many challenges it throws at me! And I hope you'll follow along and find it interesting, too!

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  6. All that hard work, is going to pay off in the end, but oh, how frustrating that the arches aren't the size you planned for and the size they should have been.

    Big hugs for you about your parents moving away. Thank goodness we live in the age of text messaging, email, Skype, etc...

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    1. Thanks for the hugs especially, and for the good words! I have a sneaking suspicion that if minis weren't so challenging, we'd all just get board and move to rocketry or something, lol!

      Yes the age of communication! My mom is slowly coming over to the dark side - I get to set up her email and Craigslist accounts this weekend and teach her how to use them. We are going to need vodka, lots of vodka!

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  7. Heel mooi en duidelijke uitleg over de genomen stappen voor dit deel van je project.
    Groetjes Thea

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    1. Bedankt Thea! U bent mijn eerste Nederlandse commenter! Ik ben erg enthousiast om je blog te lezen en je creaties te zien!

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  8. Hello Jodi,
    You have done some great work to the house! I'm happy the universe helped you go the round wire route...I really have nothing good to say about my experience with tape wire. The textured paper is perfect and looks great in the pictures. I feel your paint about the arches. There is nothing more frustrating. I hate waiting, but now I always make sure to have all my elements for a space before I fit them in and make openings. I must say your solution for the doorway is a good. It is a shame about your fireplace, but I am happy you did not settle. Even though you insist one reminded yourself you are not a professional, I think your work is at the professional level and settling is not something you would have been happy with in the end. Well done you!
    I can't wait to see your next post. I am really loving the esthetic you are creating in this beautiful house.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Thanks so much, Giac! I am glad to know that I am not the only one who has struggled with tape wire. You are exactly right about waiting for the parts to arrive before going to the next step. Sometimes I struggle with knowing just what the next step should be, then realize too late that I should have done it differently, lol! I am so glad that you are here with me - your encouragement always makes me feel good! :O)

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  9. Dear Jodi, So much work to correct what should have gone in seamlessly...your determination to "get it right" is admirable. Love the painted embossed wallpaper on the walls...the colours are beautiful and soothing. Progress is often painstakingly slow when you strive for what looks right to your eye but when it is done the redoing process is worth it. It is all looking lovely and will be even more so when you redesign and install the fireplace. It will be a joy to see the finished result...can't wait! Cheers, Alayne

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    1. Thank you, Alayne! I am hoping that the elements from each room will end of complementing each other, but you never know! I will keep going as many times as needed until it feels right. And you are so right - slow but sure is the medicine for impatience when you really care about a project!

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  10. Hi Jodi!
    It will be difficult for you to adjust to your parents living farther away but now you will have a place to visit and I'm sure that the warm dry heat will be more healthy for both of them. My mother's arthritis was no longer an issue when we'd vacationed there. But I agree that it IS a very brave move on your parents part.
    Meanwhile, your troubles and your solutions regarding the arches and the fireplace will be WORTH the effort in the end. I'm GLAD that you decided not to settle for "Meh" and are going to do it right, because given your high standards and the quality of work you Always Do, and any shortchanges would BUG YOU FOREVER!
    This New Orleans house is back on track and On It's Way! :D

    elizabeth

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I do hope to visit often. This has been a dream for my mom for years and years, and I am so excited for her! My dad is another story... It is really hard for him to accept change. It feels scary for him. I hope being there often will help him transition more easily.
      When something doesn't go easily on a build, I am so grateful to have you and other miniaturists' project chronicles to read. It shows me that often a problem is actually a great opportunity to do something you were afraid to try or you find a better idea altogether. I love Green Dolphin Street and how you made the best of each challenge!

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  11. You give me courage because I go through the same processes of "darn it I mis-measured or "why doesn't that fit? Right now I am working on an old Duracraft kit, the Bellingham Farmhouse. I am doing it as simply as possible to reflect a modern Texas Farmhouse, or a Colorado one (where I live). I love your idea of using ceiling paper on the walls, so I must check my stash to see if I have enough to do the living room. You will find me at annsdollhousedreams.blogspot.com.

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  12. I have a theory that shelves to organise a room turn into another surface to fill with mini stuff...or is that just me? :0P You know the arches are half the reason I started making my own things. It aggrivated me no end when two of the same item, from the same supplier didn't match >-< but you sussed it out perfectly. We're problem solvers first, miniaturists second yes? Hope next week everything works without a hitch :0)X

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