|Starbuck's, CannaBliss, Mom's Beach Cottage Lamp|
Encounters Gifts & Grub, Dad's Fishing Cottage Lamp
One of the projects was an old fashioned bakery/ice cream shop with a "Gone By Era" feeling. That's when the idea for Pound Cake was conceived and merged with the Brimble's kit that I had always wanted to do. I loved it's old time, kind of western town feeling. Since I was busy with other things, I figured that the next best thing to building a project was planning for one, right?
As I was sourcing supplies, I came across a web site that had loads of old Chrysolite lighting kits. When I saw the Zenith Hanging Lamp Kit, I knew it would be the perfect fixture for the bakery with it's old time charm,. A couple years later, when I saw how amazing they looked in Brae's 2016 Creatin' Contest Taxidermy shop window, I knew I had made a great choice! She did an excellent job of finishing hers!
Over the years I kept an eye out for good bargains and perfect pieces to add to the 'Pound Cake Drawer'. One of them was a local Craigslist ad for an unassembled Real Good Toys Victoria's Farmhouse kit and a brand new Cir-Kit Concepts Deluxe lighting kit. The guy only wanted $100 for both of them, and the lighting kit alone sells for $140.00. So long story short, I have a mega transformer that'll handle over sixty 12 volt bulbs. I can go nuts with lighting, if I want to! This is great because there are ten of the Zenith pendant lights slated for the first floor alone.
I have most all of the other lighting fixtures I'll need for the project, and some materials to make more if need be. Having everything I need makes me a lot more secure in thinking I can finish the project close to the vision I have my heart set on.
An added bonus to the Craigslist deal is that I have the Victoria's Farmhouse dollhouse kit here and ready to be assembled if ever a GrandBaby should come along! (Our 30 year old son got engaged in November so the 'Hope Meter' is spiking!) :O)
In order to decide on the layout of all of the lighting, including the Zenith pendant lights, I first had to make some decisions on the first floor ceiling. I knew I wanted some type of old fashioned coffered ceiling, but I didn't want to spend six months mitering dozens of pieces of expensive moldings. Instead, a simple stepped molding, using chipboard cut with the Cricut, seemed the right way to go. To add detail, I thought I could add supplemental wood moldings and/or embellishments. I drew up a rough design in order to help me work out the measurements.
Then, I was able to make the framework in the Cricut Design Space software. I tried to think ahead about what my future chipboard needs might be in order to use every square inch of the 11" x 11" sheets.
Because of the 11" dimension limitation of the Cricut chipboard, I had to divide my ceiling pieces into four sections - 2 squares and then two half squares.
I decided to make the grid in three layers - two the same width, which when stacked would reach a 4mm depth, then one 2mm layer just slightly narrower to create a stepped look. The first cut layer would have whole center squares left over to be used in the center of each coffer later on.
There was a whole pile of pieces to keep straight during the cutting process. To maximize the use of the chipboard, I made extra 3/4" circles in the waste areas of the second layer cuts. Some will be used as a base for the hanging pendants, the rest can be used as cake layer bases later on when it's time to fill the bakery shelves.
Remember the whole center squares which were leftover from the first layer cuts? I discovered that the chipboard material could be easily cut with my mini table saw. I was able to use the square center off cuts, cut down a little, to make a layer in each coffer as a base for the frame molding pieces. It is so thrilling to use every scrap and not let any pieces go to waste!
This gives you a better view of the pieces that are layered to make up the design. The fancy raised black detail piece is one I had from a set I purchased from Alpha Stamps a while back. I'd share the link but when I went to find it at Alpha Stamps, the page was gone! It used to be sold as "Large Sheet of Black Dresden Borders". The white piece you see in the center is the ceiling canopy for the pendant light. I promise I'll center it better before the glue comes near it. It needs paint, too.
For the stairwell opening, I was able to cut and reconfigure the coffer segments to outline the opening.
Gluing the chipboard to the ceiling went smoothly. I created an issue, however, with the ceiling paper. You see, I used a different kind of wallpaper paste this time. A gel rather than the old faithful Wallpaper Mucilage. I found the gel dried faster than I was able to get it applied on such a large ceiling area. To combat this, I applied an extra heavy layer. This may have caused the paper to pull/shrink more than usual, which resulted in the ceiling board curling slightly. I applied heavy weights overnight a couple times, and at every step between applications of the chipboard. Thankfully, it has mostly started to behave. If there is still a slight upward curve when I install it into the wall tabs, I will have to engineer something to push the second floor downward. Or disguise it in some way. Fingers crossed...
The coffers came out nice, but they definitely needed more detail!
I used some Dresden molding strips to emulate carved beams and frames. At the corner intersections I added bead caps, no hole beads and flat back pearls for extra detail. Luckily, the color I had in my stash didn't matter. Since everything would get a nice covering of spray paint, the color would be covered up anyway.
Before the painting commenced, to avoid excess handling after painting, I made a jig for the interior square so that I could get precisely centered, pre-drilled access holes for the pendant light wiring.
I sprayed several light layers of semi-gloss white in all four directions. There's a lot of detail to cover and the chipboard's raw edges tend to soak up the initial layers of paint. I let each paint session dry overnight before adding the next layer. I wanted to be sure that the paint was really set before I added the next layer. It takes a lot of time and patience to make miniature buildings!
Meanwhile, I am prepping the walls and window frames, adding wallpapers and in general making decisions about the details. Like my other kit builds, the instructions act as a guideline but the order of things gets reprioritized based on ease of access in later steps. If I forget something now, I will have to suffer the challenge later on!
Wishing Each Of You A Truly Heartfelt, Happy And Blessed. 2020!