Sunday, June 3, 2018

Storybook Mini Multi-Tasking

Our camping trip was wonderful - the skies were blue, the sun was shining and the daytime temperatures were in the high 70's with a pleasant breeze. Nothing like enjoying a campfire under the stars on a warm spring night...

Though it was a short week, I managed to get quite a bit accomplished on the Storybook by having several tasks going at once. While paint, stain and glue dried, I had something else queued up to work on. I guess that's called Mini Multi-Tasking! Russ was back up north for work, so aside from the puppies giving me dirty looks, staying up late to work was guilt free.


I finished installing the interior window trim and front door, then permanently affixed the stairwell, front and left walls to the first floor. While this was setting up and drying, I made the pattern for and stained the wood floor for the living and dining rooms.


During it's drying time, I began to make the tiles for the kitchen floor. I wanted to get a glazed saltillo tile sort of look using illustration art board, paint and glaze. It's amazing how the board curls up when wet, then dries completely flat. Once it was dry, I began cutting 1/2" x 1/2" tiles.




I drew lines from corner to corner to find the center of the room, then began laying the tiles on the diagonal using 1/16" spacer boards and securing each tile with Tacky Glue.



While that set, I installed baseboard and other trims into the living room.



To make sure none of the tile's white edges would show after grouting, I gave the entire floor another glaze and paint treatment. Then I sealed with a heavy coat of semi-gloss glaze and let that dry overnight.



The next evening, the floor was completely sealed, dry, and ready for grout. I mixed about two teaspoons of Vintage White in with about a half a cup of DAP DryDex Spackle and pushed it into the cracks with my finger. Several times during the application, I removed the excess spackle on top of the tiles with a sponge and a soft touch. In the past, using Mod Podge as a sealer over egg carton stones, I had issues with moisture penetrating through the sealer. Wiping the spackle removed the top layer on the stones and left it nearly ruined. From now on, I am using a gloss or semi-gloss glaze or varnish to seal before I grout. It leaves a tougher, non porous shell. Then once the grouting is done, I can seal again with the finish sheen of my choosing.


Since I wanted the glazed saltillo tile look, I sealed with a good coat of Triple Thick and let that sit nearly 24 hours. I love the way they came out, though it is hard to get a good photo of the shine.



Meanwhile, during all that drying time, I printed some art work I've been collecting, as well as some patterns and matting for frames. I had a variety of frames, some finished, some pot metal and some plastic, all of which got a treatment of gold paint marker. I made some art hangings using chipboard tea pots and laser cut letters. I assembled art work and installed them in places that will be too difficult to reach once the structure is permanently assembled.









I have so many more wall decor items to make, including clocks, flower swags and signs, but with Russ home for the weekend I wanted to put them aside for now.

I did begin the stairwell... Just the wood floor and stained trim pieces. I am looking forward to trying a decoupaged look on the stair treads, and have many things to make for the stairwell wall.


Russ will be away again, this time for a week. I'm fortunate to have plenty to keep me busy, because missing him is slightly tempered if my mind is very occupied. Hopefully, I'll make the most of my free time, and have more mini goodness to share this week!

xo xo,
Jodi


33 comments:

  1. Wowww
    todo esta maravilloso...los suelos, los cuadros. Las baldosas de la cocina han quedado fantásticas y los cuadros con esos colores tan suaves me encantan.
    Un abrazo

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    1. Gracias Marian! ¡Estoy tan feliz de que los colores y el tema también te atraigan! ¡Me estoy divirtiendo mucho jugando con este estilo femenino!

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  2. I love your kitchen floor! It's so striking and suits the space perfectly!

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    1. Thanks Sheila! I am really happy with how it turned out, too! It's nice to know that it's so fun and easy to make your own custom tiles rather than having to search for and buy tiles that "almost" match!

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  3. Ooohh.. Fabulous! *claps* Love those tiles! They're fantastic.. and such a professional laying job too.. with the spacers etc. :) Your attention to detail really paid off in the finished product. The trim is looking good. I think it's always so satisfying to get the trim in. It just really finishes the room off. Love your door hardware and hinges too... BTW, How cute is that wall art!.. So creative.. You always amaze me with your creativity Jodi.. they are so fun.. Do you use your cricut to cut mats? Since I've taken up mini painting.. I've been consumed with thinking about how to cut mats.. lol.. So glad you had a wonderful trip and I hope the pups did a lot of singing in the woods.. lol.. It's nice to have distractions while your man is away.. and the bonus is we are going to get to see the fruits of your labour very soon. :D

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    1. Thanks Sam! I'm glad you like the newest steps in the cottage! I have been saving inspirational artwork for so long now, and each time I look in my folders I get re-inspired with decorating ideas for this style.
      I did use the Cricut to make the mats and the back pieces for the frames that were backless. I could never make such perfect cut-outs by hand! Another reason for you to buy a Cricut - your paintings would be next level magic with mats! I just printed them on white cardstock then painted them to match the art. You'll also have to pick up some frame molding and perfect your frame making skills, too! When you get to the US, you can make and sell minis and stay home in jammies! :O)
      The puppies did so much singing and exploring, and they got to sleep with their dad both nights instead of with Russ and I. It was great for all involved!

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  4. Un gran avance Tanto el suelo como los cuadros quedan muy bien-

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    1. Gracias Isabel! ¡Me alegra que te gusten!

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  5. Looking great Jodi! I must say the tile floor grabbed my eye instantly. It looks great. And love all your cute little pictures and artwork. The rooms are coming alive. I hope your Russ-free week goes quickly. I am not so good being on my own anymore either - my husband has to go away sometimes, and when it is a 7 day tour, it really drags. If you need some virtual company, we’re here!

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    1. Thanks Shannon! It always amazes me just how much stuff it takes to fill a mini home and make it look alive. I'm happy you like the style of things!
      I do get lonely for Russ, and without the puppies I might just go mad or do too much online shopping! :O) I am so glad to have you all to share with and reach out to - it really does help to stay feeling connected!

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  6. That tile floor is gorgeous!! I love the colour you chose, it´s perfect. And thank you Jodi, for once again, showing us how you did something. I am sure this information will prove to be very useful to me in the future. I love your wall art too. You are a very clever girl, those the tea pots art pieces are genius! I am glad that you enjoyed your camping adventure. And I hope you don´t feel very lonely this week and that you can make a lot of progress on this lovely project.

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    1. Thanks Alex! I am so happy that you like the colors, too! I am really enjoying this girly and feminine style!
      I love to experiment with new techniques and ideas - makes the builds so much more interesting to work on, and it's nice to use up my art supplies instead of buying new stuff all of the time. I am happy to share the successes and failures, too!
      I will do my best to avoid getting lonely and that means keeping really busy! Now where is my To Do list...

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  7. I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed and came back refreshed from your camping trip! :D
    AND your progress on the cottage is astounding even after "a short week"! All 3 of the floors turnout out GREAT and I like the way you have transitioned from the darker wood in the living room, to the light tiles in the kitchen and then back to the wood floor in the stairwell- very effective. Your method for making and laying the tiles was invaluable both in finding the center, using the spacers, repainting and sealing them and then how you applied the grout. ( As you can tell, I'm busy taking notes! ;D

    ALL of your wall decor is ADORABLE Jodi and looks Perfect for the theme of this Scrumptious cottage My only question is- will the eventual occupant of that cosy window seat, be able to lean against the wall to read without her head disturbing her precious art work?

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    1. Hi Elizabeth!

      I am so happy you like the floors and hope you can adapt something from the tile method to make your own fabulous version! There are so many ways to go with them! They were a lot of fun to do, and I think they will be a frequent resource in my future projects, too!

      I'm glad you like my artwork and when you mentioned that my little lady might find them a hindrance to her reading and napping sessions I got concerned. We can't have that! I tried to hang them high enough to accommodate for the cushion and throw pillow height, but didn't think about her head. Soooo, I had to set it up and take a photo. What do you think? A little low?

      https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HLa9PXOez5I/Wxavb5WeRPI/AAAAAAAAHfM/y9Ua6eaWqMwcZRkscOdLaijie_KyppYcACLcBGAs/s1600/IMG_9049.JPG

      Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention!

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  8. The kitchen tiles are beautiful.
    I liked the wall decorations.

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  9. Hi Jodi! You managed to get a lot done with your mini multi-tasking!!! The floors look wonderful! I Love the colors of both of them and the way they temper the pink and tone down the warmth but not too much! The artwork you tossed together fits the house "to a 'T'"!!! :) I think all the careful planning and trim work you have done ahead has made the assembly look so easy! (But we know it has required fantastic planning skills and huge amounts of labor!) This is such a fun project to follow.... I am loving all of it!!!

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    1. Thanks Betsy! I am happy you like the floors and the combination of colors. It is really hard to find a balance, and once I begin adding in all the little accessories, it could become very busy!
      I'm glad you like the artwork - I have always loved crafts of all kinds, and getting to incorporate so many ideas into miniature things is so much fun. Once I had the tea theme in mind, it was easy to find inspiration and tea related supplies. Remembering all those ideas and them figuring out how to make them is the biggest challenge!

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  10. That's one gorgeous floor! :D

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  11. You're making fantastic progress, and you sound so organized and productive. I usually go and rummage in the fridge for something to snack on while I wait for the glue to dry...
    I love the kitchen floor, and the wooden floors. The wall hangings are awesome too.
    Don't be lonely while Russ is gone, you can always write a blog and chat with us ;-)

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    1. Thanks Megan! The week has been full, and thankfully, gone by incredibly fast! The loneliness doesn't come at me full force until right around bedtime, and thankfully again, I've been so tired I fall asleep right away. Busy is the saving grace!

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  12. The kitchen floor is stunning! Both floors look good together. I love the hangings too.
    Hugs, Drora

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    1. Thank you Drora! It makes me happy that you like everything! :O)

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  13. Hi, Jodi - Your kitchen floor tiles are wonderful! I love the soft color, and the sheen is perfect. Thanks for taking the time to let us know the techniques and products that work for you. I do love the way the tiles turned out and would like to try making them sometime. The pretty artwork, too, enhances those small nook-and-cranny walls, and the tea motif seems just right for the cottage - it's growing cozier with each new addition. I understand your need to keep busy with Russ away. Robert spent the last five years before his retirement working half the time in another country, so he was gone much of the time. Loneliness was a big issue, but I admit that in his absence, I was able to accomplish so MUCH, so FAST - that made up for some of those lonely times!
    Marjorie

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    1. Thanks Marjorie! I am really enjoying the colors going into this build, too! I would love to see your version of the tiles because you always come up with such wonderful ideas to make things even better! Perhaps in this new build we are all anxiously waiting to hear about?
      Having Robert away so much made you a true lonely war veteran! I am learning that if I can stay really busy on something that I enjoy, the time passes pretty quickly. But it is a blessing to be able to focus on something for long stretches, so I try to dwell only on the positive aspects and make the time we do have together really count!

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  14. Wow Jodi, so much accomplished! So great learning about how you did your tiles. They are beautiful and have a great shine. I've noticed the same thing with the modge podge not giving enough of a barrier, so I used an epoxy resin on mine... it's like for jewelry making? But it's a bit of work to get it set up and takes days to dry but it is super thick and shiny which is perfect. That said whatever you've been using looks like a great option too, I love the gloss effect. They look just like real tiles!! And the artwork is darling!
    I know you've done so many dollhouses now... do you usually glue it together before or after electrical? I've been wondering when I can glue mine together and I noticed you have a lot glued together here.
    Hope you have a great weekend, I'm so glad you have your minis and pups to keep you company!

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    1. Thank Kristine! I LOVED the tiles you did in the contest build, and almost used Chris Toledo's method of using the Pour On resin, too. If I do tiles in the New Orleans, I might just try it.
      Each of my dollhouses seem to require a little difference in the way they go together. I am doing many dry fits, thinking through the next steps, the items I'll have to reach in and place, the structural support requirements etc before I take each next step. I hesitate to advise you on how you should construct yours, because you are the architect and engineer! Your rooms are so large, though, and the geometry pretty straightforward, that I think you'll be fine to go with the traditional method of constructing the structure and decorating after. It is really scary, though, applying the glue!
      Good luck with your next steps! I am really looking forward to your next progress post!!!

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    2. Thanks so much for the advice Jodi! Your thought process makes sense. I feel much better about glueing now.

      Part of me thinks it would have been better to have a least done one real dollhouse kit before I started scratch builds. Even the contest kit last year was so kit bashed I didn't get to do things the traditional way. Last year I know I glued it too late. Like you said the geometry is pretty straight forward so I might just be okay.

      And yes I totally got inspiration from Chris's method! I don't know the exact brands he used but I definitely got the idea from him. He does it so well.

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    3. The "normal" process I read about has you build the structure, prime, run the electrical, wallpaper, flooring and then trims. But I am not normal, lol, and by no means an expert! I am using up all the battery lights I've accumulated "on sale" over the last few years, so running wire is one slippery slope I get to avoid with this one!

      Building a couple regular dollhouse kits may have helped you in general, but the heart wants what it wants. I think it is brave and creative of you to design and build your own! There will be challenges with any project, and depending on your personal level of granular detail, things you don't like or have to re-do. Don't be afraid to make a mistake - almost everything is fixable, and you learn so much more from the failures than the successes. And don't let pressure or criticism from readers discourage you. Just do you and let yourself have fun doing it. We are all on a journey, we are all learning, and we are all in different places in our experiences.

      Big hugs and a great big pat on the back! You'll do awesome!

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  15. Hello Jodi,
    It just keeps on getting better! I love the way the floors turned out. the kitchen tiles are beautiful and work so well in the space...definitely worth all the work. the wood floors are beautifully stained and compliment the lovely wallpaper of the room and the window seat and bay window really stand out. You also did a great job accessorizing your walls. Well done! I have missed following your posts.
    Big hug
    Giac

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