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Thursday, May 26, 2022

New Life...

After finishing the Beachside Bungalow, I looked around at my work room and thought about how it had evolved over the last ten years. You see, in 2012, it was still very much a dining room.

It was in July of that year that, after an excruciating nine year absence from minis, I began a mini project again. It made sense to work on the dining room table, as we rarely ate in this room. I could leave my "in progress" work there for months without inconveniencing anyone. After deciding to tone down the yellow, this was the first blue paint I tried. It created a soothing atmosphere while I worked on my gas station kit.

My first storage system for minis in this space consisted of boxes on the floor
and filling the hutch and buffet to overflowing.

Over the years we eventually edited out the carpet in favor of very inexpensive laminate flooring. With the carpet, I always had to worry about keeping it nice, and regularly cleaned it with the Bissell steam cleaner. What a lot of work and worry! In 2016 when we replaced the carpet with the laminate, it freed me up to craft in the room with no concern about the flooring. 

At that time I also exchanged grandma's buffet with many drawered storage units. This really revolutionized my ability to organize, find things and put them away with ease. I painted the room too, for the third time, though it was not a charm for me. I really dislike the "new" blue, too. Someday, when I feel really ambitious, I'll try painting it again. But maybe not blue this time.

Upgraded storage system in 2016.

With the bungalow finished and ready to display, it was time for another upgrade to the work room. Since this mini obsession doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon, I needed lots more storage. Luckily, I have Russ. He is the sort of husband that is ready, willing and able to help me construct what I need as my needs grow. 

And when it comes to supporting my many mini dreams, he's the wind beneath my wings! 💗

On the room's left wall, we added another 97" shelf, along with two 40" shelves on the short, far wall. This allowed me to gather my houses from around the house and display them in one convenient "neighborhood". I am working on getting them all plugged into the surge protectors and will be able to turn the lights on with the press of a button. If I need to work on one, I can just pull it down to the work table.

Speaking of table, I pivoted the table the long way into the room. There is still plenty of space to move my wheeled office chair around, and my body won't cause so much shadow from the light fixture onto my work. I can also have three "stations" on the go and just move my chair around to them as I am waiting for glue and paint to dry.

The far right corner of the room got wrap around shelving, too. Now my kits have a place of their own. The Cricut Maker and the sewing machine share the lower shelf on the other side of the window. I'll just pull them down whenever I need to use them. See how the top shelf is empty? This will allow for future yeses! 

I have wheeled carts filled with categories of tools and supplies for various tasks. When I am working on a specific task for that specific dollhouse, I just pull it close. Then my table space is freed up to work on things. Rusty appreciates the open space under the table, too, because he can lie on his comfy bed at my feet while I work. He's a great helper!

When the time comes to sell our house and downsize in our golden years, we will replace the laminate floor with nice new carpet for the new owners. And I can craft worry free in the meantime. 

My goal was to get this room upgraded, deep cleaned and ready for the next project. The one I picked has been left unfinished for nine years!!! Upon first inspection, it needed a lot more "finishing" than I had anticipated! But with the New Life given to my work room, I should be able to accomplish almost anything!

This was all made possible because of Russ and his endless support of my ideas. A very heartfelt ~Thank You~ to my amazing husband, without whom, I could never achieve the things I dream. He is truly my greatest and longest lasting dream come true!

xo xo,


Thursday, May 19, 2022

This Ship Has Sailed...

The Beachside Bungalow is officially finished! And as you can see, it didn't take the girls long after I placed the last item to get the celebration started!

There was a surprising amount to do for such a tiny area, but I decided to start with the seating. I looked around online to find outdoor chair styles that I liked and ended up on the Ikea website where I found their Bondholmen chairs. Since Ikea provides detailed measurements and diagrams, converting the measurements from metric to Imperial and then scaling them down to 1/12th was simple. I made a few design changes just to keep them similar to the bungalow's other furnishings. I had the Cricut Maker cut the chipboard. 

Unfortunately, once I'd assembled them, they seemed a bit too short for the occupants to see over the porch railing. They are meant to be low and are very stylish, but aren't good for placement behind porch railings. I finished them anyway, just to have fun, practice with the upholstery and possibly use them in a future build.

A pair.

And a spare.

Back to the drawing board for the bungalow's chairs. I added 3/8" to each of the legs, and then they were perfect to sit and watch beachgoers pass by. When I first dreamed up this project in 2016, I ordered several of Brae's pillows. I am so happy to finally display them - they are perfection!

I made some other furniture pieces out of chipboard, too. The shoe bench and the table between the deck chairs are the same interchangeable design. I made a shelf, as well, but the porch seemed a bit too crowded with it. Another piece to save for later!

I made a couple crates out of chipboard, some wall art and and the wave coat rack, too. The boat cleats I 3D printed last week are used as the hooks. I debated with myself about the shutters for a long time but in the end decided I could not pass up a chance for more detail.

Here is the result of the address plaque I made on the 3D printer. There's just no end to the accessories that you can come up with!

I'm really proud of myself for sticking to my commitment about not buying anything new for this project. But I was sweating it a bit when it came time to provide the girls with party snacks and beverages. I'm just about tapped out of spare glassware, but I did manage to find a plastic pitcher stashed away, as well as some plastic pilsner glasses. To create Arnold Palmers (half iced tea, half lemonade) for the girls, I mixed UV resin with a few drops of Honeycomb alcohol ink, I added it by toothpick drops into the pitcher and glasses, layering in "ice cubes" and lemon slices. I had a little bit of a lemon cane left, so I also added sliced lemons to the rims of the glasses. Looks refreshing!

For the crackers, cheese and Bundt cake, I had push molds which I filled with Paperclay. Chalk dust colored the crackers, and the cheese was painted with orange paint and Mod Podge. The cake was painted brown, then topped with puff paint frosting. I'm not a very experienced or proficient mini food maker, but Rose seems happy enough.

Kairi wanted to be sure to send out new house announcements to her friends right away. You all know Fiona and Enoch from past projects, but Alice and Goldie haven't had a proper introduction on the blog yet. They are both the inhabitants of a future project which I hope to begin someday. I used the Maker to score and cut the envelopes for me, then just printed these teeny labels to be applied to the tops. The font size is 2, so they are very tough to read.

Here they are in the mail box just waiting to be picked up by the mail person.

This next section should be labeled "The Things We Do For Lights". Deciding to add in the two lighted ship's lanterns to the front porch was going to be a challenge since I'd already "finalized" the wiring by heat shrinking everything together and to the power plug. But sometimes, ideas seem like good ones. Until you're sitting under a table, trying to tuck your head under metal bracing and a dollhouse. All while carefully removing previously shrunken heat shrink tubing so as not to cut any wires. Then adding in two more wires and re-finalizing. Sweat was literally running down my nose by the time I'd finished. But, it was worth it.

By removing the table leaf, I was able to span the dollhouse across the opening to get access to the underside where the wiring can be accessed.

This was my view from below. I stopped counting how many times I hit my head (and glasses) on the metal bar which is part of the support from the table.

All buttoned back up again!

And here was the payoff...

At "night"...

And here are some exterior shots of the Beachside Bungalow from different angles...

The right side of the porch is decorated with some wall plaques on anchor hooks, a crate and a watering can for the tropical fern plant.

Betsy mentioned in her comment last week that she heard the faint sound of a windchime. It must have been this sailboat windchime kit that I made. My string was not a very good kind to use, so it wants to stick to itself. This task might get a do-over. Want it nice? Do it twice!

Kairi and Roxanne look happy and relaxed, just like you should be when you're spending time on a beachside porch!

Remember how I still needed to trim out the back opening? Well, that task is completed, too! I had a few random pieces of lattice left over so I had to get creative with how to use it. Since the last piece I had left was a shortened piece, I decided to make an "access door" to the crawlspace.

And just to put the dot at the end of this very fun project and this post, I leave you with more interior photos...

And now that this ship has sailed, what's next? I have a little work room reorganization planned and also want to keep the momentum going with unfinished projects. There are several to choose from, so we'll see which one is pleading with me the loudest!

Thanks so much for being here with me on this joyful journey!

xo xo,