Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sweet Christmas Cottage - The Backdrop


The idea for working on the Dura-Craft Columbian kit was to get the inside completely wired, floored, papered and trimmed out so I could work on little projects inside as I had the time or motivation. Same with the exterior - as inspiration strikes I'll work on texture, leaded windows and the like...


Just to prove I have nothing against tape wire systems (on non MDF structures), that's what I used to electrify this project. It was a pretty straightforward plan with ceiling fixtures, sconces and plenty of outlets for strings of Christmas lights.


 I made the modifications I mentioned in my last post: adding a kitchen window for above the future sink, expanding the kitchen by an inch, narrowing the staircase etc. I covered the low kitchen windows with a bead board panel to gain some much needed wall space. The windows will still be visible from the outside, likely "frosted in addition to the leading and some Christmas-sy color.


I went with a fun gingerbread cookie patterned wallpaper for the walls - apropos for a Christmas kitchen totally geared for making the stuff of sugarplum visions. The flooring paper gives a nice retro feeling, post war of course, because there is no sugar rationing happening here! I went with sheepskin chalk paint for the trims in here to keep it light and help balance all those patterns.


I managed to cobble together scraps of the tin ceiling I used in the New Orleans kitchen, covering seams with stripwood.


The living room might be a little on the small side, but I think the tree will fit nicely, taking up the front corner and window area, leaving just enough room for comfy chairs and an old time radio. Maybe even a little dollhouse if I'm lucky!




Cutting the stairs down to 2-1/4" gave me additional space in the living room, yet they still look wide enough for cottage standards. As I promised myself I would, I kept them simple. I used Houseworks random plank flooring and stained them with a Minwax Provincial stain marker. I think they turned out nice.





I used a House Of Miniatures fireplace kit as the basis for the fireplace, reducing the width, depth and adding some shelving for display. The log holder is improvised using WireForm Metal Mesh. There are a million ideas for this stuff... My fire lights need some adjusting still, and take no notice of my toothpick shim: the unit will remain removable for easier accessorizing. I see that I forgot my outlet covers, as well.



The bedroom should be just large enough for a double bed, a couple nightstands, a dresser and a chair. I have plans to make a custom bed. Need to finalize the design then dust off the old soldering iron and copper wire. I'll need to make that stairway opening a bit safer, and I see my trim has popped itself away from the wall. One step forward, one step back...


I forgot to mention that I'd swapped out the bedroom and bathrooms from the original kit design by relocating the divider wall to the other side of the stair opening. I thought it would be a shame to have a headboard practically covering up the dormer window.



To indulge my love for making kits, I decided to use the Greenleaf Master Bathroom furniture kit. It's charming style fits right in to the Christmas cottage, but the scale seemed a little on the small side of 1/12th. The wainscoting is 3" tall, so the sink counter should match that.



Not to worry! They make the perfect foundation for a little sprucing up! I made up and cut some chipboard panels with the Cricut. Getting better...





Paint, knobs, faucets, legs, Triple Thick, some ingenuity and now they're just right for the old time-y vibe!


Now the debate begins... Start on the kitchen build out on this one, or the New Orleans? Or the New Orleans staircase rebuild? Or take a nap? Oh yes, my pillow is calling...

Until next time,
Jodi

xxx

28 comments:

  1. Hello Jodi!
    I love your Christmas Cottage. Every detail and arrangements to improve the space are great. The gingerbread wallpaper it's so cute :) I also love working with kits, the bathroom is beautiful! ♥

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    1. Thank you, Amary! I am glad you like it too! Everything about this build is just so much fun! What is it about making up a kit that is so satisfying?

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  2. Looking great Jodi. I like your choice of wallpapers - they certainly are warm and have the Christmas look without being in your face Christmasy. And great work on the bathroom. I agree it was all a bit stumpy, but your magic touch has fixed it and added some lovely detail.

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    1. Exactly, Shannon! Thank you! I am hoping to achieve "in the spirit of Christmas" rather than "Christmas just threw up on my house", if you know what I mean, lol! And this kit is great for this type of house! I am so happy that we all get to explore all the "types" in miniatures!

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  3. It's charming already! I'm going to enjoy watching you put this one together. :D

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    1. Thanks, Keli! I'm so glad to have you along for the fun! I am finding great joy in being able to dial back the perfectionist (and self critical) tenancies and just enjoy the process and the outcome!

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  4. Seguro que ganó la siesta, pero bien merecida. Muy bonita la casa y unos estupendos ajustes.

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    1. Thanks, Isabel! I am happy you approve! I was on a roll to get this finished up last night and stayed up way past my bedtime. I never did get that nap, but I'll sleep like a rock tonight!

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  5. So pretty! I love how the bathroom furniture has turned out. I love your wainscoting too. Rich colors and it's so cozy feeling.

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! I am so happy with it, too! This is a "first" for me in terms of style and theme. It's been a rewarding journey, so far!

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    2. You might be able to fit a dollhouse under the stairs. That'd be really sweet.

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    3. I am hoping so! I have a couple kits in the stash, and The most simple one will have to be modified a bit to work, but I am going to give it a very gentle try!

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  6. Well, you have been a busy bee! This is all looking fabulous.. I agree with Shannon, just the right amount of Christmas in those papers. And who knew greenleaf furniture could look so good! I have got to get myself a cricut! :)

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    1. Thanks, Sam! I am loving each layer, and trying hard not to go too over the top. Russ had many weeks of long hours which meant I got to dedicate a lot more time to getting this one started. The Cricut has been really handy, but I have to say it can be frustrating at times, too. Probably just my learning curve, but if you do decide to get one, I am happy to share my epiphanies with you!

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  7. Oh my goodness, you have been making tracks!!! That is some fast base-camp work! I Love the way you have adapted the small-ish bathroom fixtures, and made small but important adjustments throughout the kit! The colors you have chosen are "Christmas-y" without being too "Christmas-y" if you know what I mean! LOL! I have never used tape-wire, but it looks as though it is designed for exactly this kind of house.... thin walls, but all covered with paper to hide the tape-wire! I really look forward to seeing all those little Christmas projects you aim to include..... Someday I hope to get around to making a "Santa's House"...... but first I have a few other projects needing a little work! :)

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    1. Thanks, Betsy! I do know exactly what you mean about too Christmas-y! I just hope I don't get carried away! :O)
      The tape wire is pretty easy in theory. However, I am always a little nervous when I click that switch. If something goes wrong, it's usually hard to troubleshoot since most of the system is under paper or flooring. I'm just praying AND keeping my fingers crossed!
      Will some genius please come up with wireless and remotely controlled dollhouse lighting already?
      I am really enjoying your Secret Christmas House and you have inspired me to try to include a 144th scale house in my build, too!

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  8. jodi, this is going to be really vibrant with all these different patterns :-) !!! looks like a lot of fun - and start with the kitchen...
    hugs, marion

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    1. Thanks, Marion! Vibrant is a good word! :O)

      I really do want to start the kitchen! Maybe Sunday...

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  9. Hello Jodi,
    I say take a nap, then decide. I am in love with this cottage...it makes me want to take out my Christmas decorations. I don't know if it is the wallpapers, but it feels like the holidays even without decorations. it is so warm and welcoming. Everything is superbly finished and I love the bathroom kit. Fantastic work.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Thanks, Giac! Jo might protest a bit at first, but get them out! The time we get to enjoy the Christmas spirit never seems like enough. Why not start in July? Big hugs back!

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  10. This is so delightful already, and it's just begging to be filled with goodies and the scent of fresh baked goods! :D

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    1. Yes! Yes! And presents and lights and Bing Crosby! If I turn the AC up really high I might just forget that it's summer hot outside!

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  11. I can already smell the gingerbread in this sweet little Christmas Cottage. Bu MY Oh My, you don't let any grass grow under your feet do you Jodi!?!
    Last post this house was still in the box and now it is not only built but move in ready- already!
    I think that Christmas in July is going to be Christmas in August, September, and maybe October ... and by November you'll be onto building a Beach House. ;D
    Meanwhile, I LOVE the direction you're going with this little confection and am Impressed with the alterations you have made with the bathroom kit too!

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  12. Thanks, Elizabeth! :O)
    Ha ha! I would love to be on to the Glencroft around Thanksgiving! We'll see...
    I have all of these ideas, and all of these kits, and should I die before I get to them, well, I would regret that so much! That reminds me, I need to start making a mini will. My family really doesn't love them like I do, so everything should go to all my mini friends! Supplies, kits, completed projects and all the tools. Maybe I should post a sign up sheet!

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  13. I have a surplus of kits too Jodi, and I often wonder where I would be without them?
    When I accidentally stumbled into this hobby back in the early 1970's, kits were next to nil. Then the Realife kits came on the scene and then HOM and Chrysonbon and now thanks to those early pioneers, the most FANTASTIC DIY kits are available for just about anything and the urge to collect and make them just keeps on growing. :D

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    1. I would love to hear that story, Elizabeth! The miniature world would not be the same wonderful place without you! I posted somewhere the other day that having the kits and the supplies to make them is like keeping a dream and the hope of it alive. That makes me happy, so collecting I will continue to go...

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  14. I love your Christmas Cottage! You worked absolute magic with that Greenleaf bathroom kit too!

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    1. Thanks Debra! It was fun to try out the possibilities!

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