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,