Friday, May 12, 2017

Everybody's Catching Spring Fever!

Every day when I come to check out my blog roll, there seems to be new posts! It has made it such an awesome week getting to see what everyone is working on - seems like we all have a touch of mini spring fever!


Russ and I threw a bag in the Jeep Saturday morning and headed for one of our favorite places to camp: Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Skate Creek Road, closed seasonally as soon as the first snow appears, was finally open. It's a beautiful and lush drive that starts just before the Mt. Rainier National Park entrance gate. So many waterfalls, and thanks to record rain and snow pack, the rivers and creeks were running high. We found that several forest service roads had been closed due to severe storm damage, but we were lucky to find a beautiful spot on FS Rd 26 just north of Mount St. Helens. The weather was beautiful, it was so peaceful, and we came home Monday with a full tank of zen!


With the remaining free time since my last post, I was able to make some ground on the New Orleans living room and stairs. Because of the sunny/cloudy/sunny/cloudy light fluctuations this week, I had to use a combination of flash/no flash in the photos. I usually don't like using the flash - it makes the photos seem like they are caught with their panties down in some weird way. Anyway, I apologize in advance for the lighting in the photos.

No Flash

With Flash

I never have built in a staircase, so I wanted to give it a try. It seemed that the best material to use might be illustration art board. It's very sturdy, cuts easily with an Xacto and is made for watercolor, so it's not going to mind moisture from glue or paint. I took a piece and placed it behind the staircase so that I could draw the correct angle to cut.


I planned to box in only a portion so that there was plenty of space to enter the front door. I love how old houses have these quirky little features. When I cut the piece for the left side, I left it a little higher so that it would also become the stair trim on the wall.


Sun is out!

Once all of the pieces were measured and cut, I did a dry fit to make sure all of the angles were right and that the bottom edges were even. Tippy stairs are no good! Luckily, it fit and functioned perfectly! There is no room at the end of the stairs, but it is what it is and I am okay with pretending that the floor extends beyond what is presented.




To make everything square and secure, I added support strips to the art board and to the stairs. This made the gluing and clamping much more stable.




In keeping with the little touches of frou-frou in the build, I added some pre-fab resin wainscot molding. The stuff is easy to cut with a scroll saw, but not at all easy with a razor saw (at least that was my experience). Sanding the stuff is also very easy. I don't have a way or the right tool to miter the edges vertically, so I had to play around with the trims I had until I came up with something acceptable where the corners met. I am okay with the cornice molding, and hopefully when I fill and paint, it will look meant to be. One other note about the resin pieces from Unique Miniatures - I had 5 pieces of the wainscoting and none of the thicknesses were consistent with each other or from one end of the piece to the other. Also, two of the pieces were slightly taller than the other three, and the baseboard relief was a little different. The stock numbers were the same, so maybe they were just manufactured at different times? Anyway, if you are planning to use it, maybe ask when you order for them to check the consistency for you.


One of the changes that I am making to the kit is to eliminate one of the three upstairs dividing walls. I'd also like to expand the staircase opening so that the house has a more open feel. The opening is going to be roughly 10" deep x 5-1/2 wide. I'll add railing around the opening upstairs so that it creates a balcony looking down onto the hallway and stairway.  Because I am removing some of that structural support, I decided to add in a half wall with columns. I am hoping it will not only support the ceiling, but will add visual appeal and more space for displaying decor.







Between the chimney breast and the divider/support the floor space in the living room is getting tight. I'll have about 8" x 12" left to fill. I think it will turn out fine as long as I carefully choose the furniture. I do like the look of a crowded dollhouse, though - it seems more homey and less formal. If I can achieve a nice amount of architectural detail in the background with a lot of lived in too, I'll have reached my vision!




I left the top free from the shelf thinking it would be a good idea to attach the columns to it with glue and nails. Then I'll add some trim where they meet the surface and ceiling.



Next I have a lot of filling, sanding and painting to do before I can begin the ceiling lights. It will be so nice to have consistent interior lighting to help with the touch up and trims. Prudence tells me NOT to install treads and railing to the stairs until I absolutely HAVE to. It will be so much easier  to install the remaining trim work with removable stairs.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who are moms and caregivers! I hope you feel all that love coming back to you, and that you are as treasured as you should be!

xxx ooo.
Jodi

24 comments:

  1. I am impressed! This room looks so awesome with all the additional features. It is even more impressive that you do it all yourself. Amazing!

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    1. Thanks Alexandra - I am really hoping that all the elements come together in the end and look cohesive. I really enjoy the making part and am learning a lot with each new try.

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  2. Looks great Jodi. Your trimming of the edges of the wainscoting looks good. I too have discovered the inconsistencies with Unique Miniatures and don't think I'll be buying too much more of it. For the price you pay, that's pretty poor. And I am sure with some perfectly sized and placed furniture, you will have a lovely space in the sitting room.

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    1. Thanks, Shannon. I've had these panels saved for this project for a long time and wanted to use them up. Since I bought them, I have learned so much more (thanks to our wonderful fellow bloggers) and can probably make something much nicer from scratch now. I have some of the furniture tucked away, so hopefully next playing session I can try everything for a fitting.

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  3. I love how this looks! That little pony wall divider and the columns are perfect.

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    1. Thanks, Sheila - it was one of those almost asleep ideas! I really hope it all works out and ends up looking nice.

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  4. Excellent work all around and a great use of the space. :D

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    1. Thanks, Brae! Learning and trying, learning and trying....

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  5. jodi, lot's of thinking an planning behind all this - so exiting when it finally starts looking like your vision. and it is looking good! supporting the stairs that way is an excellent idea.. and you still have room under the staircase. I think I will copy you..

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    1. Thanks, Marion, but I have to admit that there has been a general sort of idea and a lot of problem solving along the way. Already there are elements that I would change, but overall I am having fun with the project. My challenge is to stay focused on this one and not get caught up dreaming and planning for the next one. I feel like a cheater sometimes!

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    2. Oh! And please do copy me! I know you'll knock our socks off with it!

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  6. I really like how you've divided the floor space with the shelves and columns. I would have angled the bottom 2 stair to make platform steps, but that's just me and I admit I'm anally retentive about stuff like that :o/ I'm so jealous that you have such stunning places to visit for Zen time. It looks gorgeous :0)

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    1. Thanks, Pepper! In the early stages I was going to have a landing and return. When I received the new stair kit it was so much wider than the kit stairs that I just decided to go straight. I wish now I'd cut it down a bit. I had the angle in the first dry fit such that it left reasonable space at the bottom. When I taped the top step to the ceiling/floor to mark for the enclosure, I had not realized it but the stairs had slipped and now I have almost no space. After the realization I had already gone so far as to cut the paces, including the wainscoting. All I could do was to slap my forehead and say "and she had so much potential". This is one of the reasons that I need zen time, lol! I'm so glad it's only an hour's drive!

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  7. I am really diggin' the modifications you are making to this New Orleans house Jodi! Love the way you have filled in under the stringers it has given the staircase a solidity not to mention, better defined the hall from the living room with the addition of the low bookcase and the supporting pillars.
    A Well thought out and livable floor plan!
    Keep it going!!! :D

    elizabeth

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    1. Thanks so much, Elizabeth! Each time I do one thing in that room I think of more that I want to do! Hopefully, I will be able to balance just the right amount of structural elements and not go too far.

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  8. Está muy bien como has hecho el bajo de la escalera. Pero me ha gustado aun más la separación del salón.

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    1. Muchas gracias, Isabel! Estaba tan feliz de poder añadirlo y todavía tengo espacio para muebles. A menudo casas de muñecas son demasiado pequeñas, pero este kit es bonito y espacioso.

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    2. TRANSLATION
      Isabel:
      It is very good as you have done the bottom of the stairs. But I liked the separation of the room even more.

      Me:
      Thank you very much, Isabel! I was so happy to add it and still have space for furniture. Often doll houses are too small, but this kit is nice and roomy.

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  9. Hi Jodi, The watercolour illustration board is genius. I’m going to look for that next time I’m out. And I think you made the best use of space by having the stairs come right almost to the edge of the floor. I don’t even notice it comes to the edge in my mind, I think you alway envision the room continuing. I love the way you painted the interior of the shelves too. Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you, Kristine! I believe it may have been Mike over at the Greenleaf forum who told us about the illustration art board. I am so glad he did! I have not been near an art class since the 8th grade so I know very little about these things, lol! Up to that point I had been using foam core, which I like but sometimes it is just too bulky. And thank you for making me feel even more okay about the stairs! :O)

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  10. Hello Jodi,
    How wonderful. I just loved seeing the house in the first picture. You did a fantastic job on the staircase. It is looking beautiful and very accurate, and the room divider is a terrific idea! The living room might not be huge, but it will be very cozy and welcoming. I am loving this project!
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Thanks so much, Giac! It is so nice to have you following along and commenting!

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  11. Oh Jodi, this is turning out beautiful. Great job on the stairs. I totally agree about the flash(It shows cellulite) I don't know what type of camera you use, but DSLRs typically allow you to reduce the amount of flash you want to use depending on what mode you are using.

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  12. Wow Jodi! Your staircase is wonderful! Such careful details and precision!

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