Search My Blog!

Use the Search box below to find keywords that you're looking for quickly and easily!

Search Feature

Friday, January 3, 2020

Pound Cake... Coffered Ceiling and Lighting Plan

Back in 2014, I was too busy in my life to have a mini project on the go. It was weird because when I allowed myself to become mini obsessed again in 2012 (after having completely stepped away for 9 years), I knocked out 5 projects in just two years! I was making big plans in my mind, though, and buying supplies and saving ideas for future endeavors.

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!


I am not going to attempt to install the ceiling piece until it has cured at least a week, but it was set well enough to add the black Dresden detail pieces and the round bases for the pendant light canopies.


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!

xo xo,
Jodi

45 comments:

  1. OMG! What an amazing ceiling. First I read, "A simple stepped molding. . .seemed the way to go," and then I saw your ceiling. 😊 It may have started simple, but with all the embellishments you added, it became magnificent. Bravo!! This is going to be a wonderful project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deb! I hope all of the elements will work nicely with each other the way they look in my mind. I'm nervous, but excited, too!

      Delete
  2. Your complex ceiling for Pound Cake is SUPERB and the lighting fixtures are going to look SMASHING once they're installed- WOW!
    Your work never fails to impress me Jodi and I can see that 2020 is going to be a VERY GOOD YEAR for you: so keep it coming! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Elizabeth! I hope Pound Cake will continue to hit your sweet spot, lol! 😃

      Delete
  3. I am so impressed! Both you and Deborah were quiet during the holidays and then resurfaced with fully formed concepts. Thank you for sharing so much of your process. I’d love to be your shadow as you flit from Cricut to table saw and back. I know my Cameo 4 can do those tasks, but I am still very low on the learning curve. I’m going to start calling you the queen of embellishments, your treatment of the coffers is simply beautiful. This is so fun to follow, and I’ve suddenly got a craving for pound cake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sherrill! It feels like I have not had a good long mini session but many short bursts over the last several weeks. I am hoping now that the holidays are behind us that I can get in a couple really good productive days. I am still on the steep part of the learning curve with my Cricut, too, and have just had to accept that things are going to take several attempts and lots of practice material while I learn. I can't wait until you start to play with the Cameo 4 because we will all be amazed by what you discover with it's uses!

      Delete
  4. Tu techo es precioso,me encanta el diseño,de ser un "simple techo escalonado" ha pasado a ser un bello y original artesonado,me gustan las pequeñas molduras con las perlas en las esquinas,le dan un aspecto muy interesante!
    A seguir diseñando! Muy feliz año nuevo!
    Besos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gracias Pilar! Quiero tanto capturar algunos de los detalles y el cuidado que tenían los edificios de principios del siglo XX. ¡Espero poder ver todas las oportunidades y hacer que funcionen con el kit y el tema!

      Delete
  5. Thank you for showing the work of the Cricut machine, ofwhich you told us about in a previous blogpost. This is really a magical machine, Jodi! I've ever heard about it, and I thought it only worked on paper, but as you now showed to us: this chipboard can be used too, that's awesome!
    You said: "It takes a lot of time and patience to make miniature buildings!" Yes, I fully agree, but the results is worth it: WOW, the coffered ceiling is gorgeous!!
    I'm always impressed by the 'speed' you have in building/making miniatures, it makes me feel like a a very slow going snail ;). These two past weeks I was too busy with my job, babysitting on my grandson during the holidays, so making miniatures?? None ;).
    Happy 2020, to you and yours, dear Jodi!
    Hugs, Ilona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ilona! I am so happy that you like the ceiling! Tools like the Cricut really make it easier for the ideas we have to become a reachable goal. It is a lot to learn, though, and it will take me time to realize and utilize all of it's potential. But when something works out, it sure is fun!
      It feels to me like I have had so little mini time, to the point that I have begun to get cranky and resentful of all of my household chores!!! :O)
      When Russ was working out of town I had lots of time to play and so much less cooking and housework. But it seems that era has come to an end and I will have to adjust to the new way of life where minis wait for weekends. :O(
      So to you it seems fast but to me it feels like torture, lol! :O)

      Delete
  6. I love sharing in the idea of the vision ahead of lifting a single item and then to see it all come together is simply magical. As always we see a lot of work and talent but its a bit like an iceberg; for everything we see there has been a mountain of thought and preparation beforehand. I am wary of offering such an expert any tips but..... I learned very early on that if I was going to wet one side of wood in any way...paint, paper etc... it paid to wet the other side too at the same time. It stops most and usually all desire for the wood to warp as each side is pulling against the other. Even after the event if you don't do that you can still usually use the principal. So, if this piece is still misbehaving when set, just lightly prime the other side and weight the whole thing down again. Cover it completely with a board and add a ton of weights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Marilyn! It is so much more fun to share the process with the people who really know how great it feels to reach these milestones in the building process. I love the feedback and suggestions as I go, because you are all my peers and the people I look to for inspiration and advice!
      Your tips on introducing moisture to both sides of the wood at once is the best advice and I should already have it in me as part of my DNA. I made assumptions about the gel adhesive that I know better about now. I did apply gesso on the opposite side and weight it down, though it was after the fact. *facepalm*
      I did a little test on scrap pieces with the gel and the mucilage. It is interesting to note that the gel actually severely curled the paper and the mucilage paper dried flat. I guess if you need significant shrinking the gel is the way to go. But I will be sticking (lol) to the mucilage from now on. :O)

      Delete
    2. I should have realised you had already had it all tested and covered.... that's a relief. Sometimes even being clever like us 😊 doesn't help. Just had similar issues making roller blinds - all to do with the materials, not the artist of course. 😂🤣 I only hope my blinds come out of the production line as well as your coffered ceiling did.

      Delete
    3. footnote because I forgot to tick the notify me box on the above comment - oops

      Delete
    4. Lol! Yes it could not possibly be that us "experts" don't know everything or that we still have things go horribly sideways now and again! 😂🤣

      Delete
  7. Happy New Year, Jodi. We always learn so much from you, such as a doing a ceiling before you assemble the structure and letting paint cure. Sometimes we get in too big of hurry to pay attention to such detail and then regret it and can't go back and fix it. You are putting the Cricut to great use; I'm still pondering whether or not I should get one. It will be amazing watching you make your vision become reality as you build Pound Cake. Already I am in awe over how you have designed the ceiling. This is going to be a fun project to watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ann! I feel like I should have a disclaimer that says I am not an expert and this is not necessarily the best way to go about building a kit, lol! :O)
      But for me, trying to do so much detail with the ceiling already installed would be a nightmare (and probably less successful). I just have to hope that I have accounted for all of the variables and have not made a future nightmare when it comes time to install it.
      I am so glad you're here to help me learn while you learn a little, too!

      Delete
  8. Como siempre, un trabajo excepcional !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gracias por el aliento, Eloisa! ¡Mantengo oraciones en mi respiración mientras avanzo!

      Delete
  9. First of all, congratulations on your son's engagement!
    I see this is going to be one more eye candy to follow. The ceiling already looks amazing. Very interesting to see what you can do with a Cricut machine.
    About the lights I have no worry, I know you are an amazing electrician, having admired your previous works.
    Hugs,
    Drora

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for all your well wishes, Drora! I think that after dating my son for two years my future daughter in law is finally getting used to my bear hugs each time I see her, lol!
      I am going to take your confidence in me forward to bolster my bravery as I meet the challenges ahead! Hugs!

      Delete
  10. Espectacular ese techo Jodi, y ver el proceso es increíble, gracias por mostrarlo.Felices Reyes,besos:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gracias rosa maria! ¡Me alegra que haya disfrutado el proceso y que le guste la forma en que resultó el techo!

      Delete
  11. ¡Has hecho un trabajo precioso!

    ReplyDelete
  12. A lot of work for a perfect result of the ceiling.
    About the lights, I say "Good luck!".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fabi! And I need all the luck I can gather for the lighting! Definitely nerve wracking and complicated work!

      Delete
  13. First a happy new year and that you can enjoy everything that is mini again. The ceiling looks beautiful and all the projects you have made are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year to you as well, Gonda! Hope it's off to a great start so far!
      Thank you for the lovely sentiments, too! The encouragement helps me keep dreaming and trying!

      Delete
  14. Happy New Year Jodi!!! I hope your Family is blessed with much joy! It looks to me like you are off to a great start with the new project! The coffered ceiling is looking awesome! The many layers of detail are finicky to make but make all the difference in the end! The Victorians did like to load up on trims and decorations, so it is perfect for the period of the building! I am impressed with all your layers and precisely measured cuts... even with the help of the machinery, it still takes setting it up well! And Bonus to using all those cut-out middles! Well done! I am eagerly looking forward to seeing more! :):)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year Betsy! Hope you're off to a promising start and are beginning to get caught up! I am still digging my way out here!
      Starting on the bakery has been slower than I'd hoped but I am beginning to make decisions that will help me move forward. The math is hard!!! But if I ponder things long enough I seem to be able to fake my way through it, lol! I don't think I'd have the willingness to try many of these ideas without the Cricut!

      Delete
  15. Happy New Year, Jodi and congratulations to your son on his engagement. Exciting times ahead! I really love how your ceiling has turned out. What a beautiful job. I so totally agree with you about the fun of planning - often one of my favourite aspects of this crazy hobby of ours. I'm planning for some new projects myself - but MUST set time aside to finish all the ones I have already started! Too many ideas, not nearly enough time! - Cheers - Marilyn D., New Brunswick, Canada

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Marilyn! I am super excited about Ande's engagement and one of the best things is that I truly enjoy Alexis' mom Tamera! I know we will make awesome grandma partners! Combining family holidays is also in the plans so that is a huge bonus! We have a great relationship with our daughter's fiance's family, too, so we are extremely grateful!
      I always have the best intentions to finish off all my nearly finished projects but I lack the discipline! If there is no inspiration or excitement, I just can't get started! I admire you for getting those finished up and can't wait to see and hear about your plans! Hope you find lots more free time in 2020!

      Delete
  16. Wow Jodi, that is an incredible ceiling. I am in awe. I got a maker for Christmas and cannot wait to learn its amazing capabilities.....Good job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carrie and I am so excited that you got a Maker!!! I have learned a lot by watching tutorial videos both on the Cricut site and by the wonderfully generous folks who give so much time to teach us via YouTube! The FaceBook group is also full of teachers, so if you haven't already, join!

      Delete
  17. First of all: Happy New Year to you and yours! And what a start into the new year - with such a wonderful post. ;O)

    I really loved to follow the whole process of developing and creating your stunning, beautiful ceiling. It's always so amazing to see how simple embellishments like sticker lines or half pearls can be turned into something looking like carved wood or stucco with "just" paint and the genius of a miniaturist with visions. Speaking of this, I'm impressed about your "Pound Cake Drawer", so clever to save all the items needed to be ready to go when the time has come - including the electrical items. And even better - you're already prepared for certain and very special family events... you really made me smile about the kit being saved for a grandchild in a hopefully not so far away future.

    Not to forget - your earlier projects are stunning and I am impressed by your productivity. 5 projects in 2 years… hmmmm… in my case perhaps 2 projects in 5 years… *tweet* Oh, and another thing I really need to mention: It's always fascinating what you and your cricut are able to do together - and I really like how you're thinking ahead using every piece and avoiding waste.

    Hugs
    Birgit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Birgit and I hope the New Year is off to a tremendous start for you, as well!
      I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the process of figuring out the coffered ceiling! It thrills me to find simpler and less expensive ways to achieve my goals!
      I definitely tried to make up for lost time when I finally got to get back into minis! Doing so many projects so fast was a great way to learn - especially what not to do, lol! 2 projects in five years sounds like the perfect pace!
      The idea of someday having a grandchild to help raise makes my heart soar! I think I will find that to have been my purpose in life, lol! But I have also been very careful to put no pressure on my kids. If they decide not to have them or not to adopt (my daughter;s spoken preference), I may just adopt a grandmotherless family myself, lol!

      Delete
  18. Hi Jodi. Well, the ceiling looks fantastic! This build is really coming along. I love all the black and white, especially the exceptional job you’ve done with the floor. Lovely. And happy 2020!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Shannon! It's fun to see the elements beginning to come together! Hopefully in the next couple weeks I can actually get the ceiling installed!
      Lovely and Happy 2020 to you, as well!

      Delete
  19. So fancy! I love how it looks. Especially once it's all painted one color. It's so elegant and pretty. I can't imagine the amount of flour and dust that would cling to the ceiling though.

    Of course that's why miniatures are wonderful. The tiny bakers are safe from insane cleaning schedules and you get a gorgeous ceiling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sheila! Yes it was beginning to resemble a Russian Palace with all of the gold and various colors going on! The paint only left the monotone detail, which I love. Growing up we had a very fancy Sears department store and once the ceiling was finished I had flashbacks of their fancy ceiling and flooring!
      I think back when buildings were more form than function the architects would not have given a thought to flour particles. But cleaners were affordable when execs didn't earn 7000 times their salary. :O) Thank goodness for mini license!

      Delete
  20. Uh, how nice! You have started a new project!
    I really like this coffered ceiling, and I'm excited to see how you used the half pearls, because I own a lot of them (I used them a long time ago for scrapbooking) and I didn't really know how to use them now! You gave me an interesting idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elenè! Glad you like the ceiling and that you've left with ideas on how to utilize the half pearls! Since my fancy molding supplies are running low it was necessary to go through the supply drawer to find alternative materials. Turns out is was an awful lot of fun, too!

      Delete
  21. Those lights are just so perfect!!! Ooohh!!!! Love the ceiling!

    ReplyDelete