Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Storybook's New Facade

As you can see, the remodeling of the Storybook kit has continued. A dormer on the right side of the front attic, new windows for the stairwell, and the upper windows of the house have been rounded to match the rest.




Can you still recognize the original?


I continued adding tabs and retrofitting the parts of the kit with new pieces of wood, filling in unnecessary slots, as well. All to make the new plan fit together as smoothly as possible, even adding bracing under the floor for added stability. This will be nice when I get to the final fitting and gluing stage - the floor sits on it's own so the slots in the walls aren't the only support. Ever had a wall come crashing down while trying to glue? Me too, but no more!



I worked a lot on the stairs, the stairwell, and the doorway openings on either end - both rounded at the top to keep with the cottage-y theme. The display shelf is placed strategically across from the upper stairwell windows so you can get a peek. It was very tricky to get all of the angles right, so a good deal of finish trim work will be necessary.





Peek~A~Boo stairs - I can still see you!




This is how the inside looks with the new additions. I got the base for the living room window seat/sofa started - three perfect basket cubbies!





The interior floor plan is a little too open concept for an old cottage, so my next step is designing/building/installing some interior walls. I think I have the first floor figured out. The boxes and furnishings are stand ins, of course!

Looking from the front of the house

Looking in from the back of the house

The upper level is going to be much more complicated, given the limited floor
space and the sharp angle of the roof.


I'd like to use the furniture that came with the kit and see what I can do with it. I'll get the captain's bed taped together to determine size and placement, then figure out wall and arrangement for the bathroom. It probably won't be ideal, but I'll do my best!


Maybe a completely dormer-ed back roof? Hmmm...

Hope your week is off to an inspired and creative start!

xo xo,
Jodi

42 comments:

  1. Me encanta la fachada. El tejado fantástico y las escaleras también.

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    1. Gracias Isabel! ¡Es muy divertido cuando se presenta una idea, y usted es solo un empleado respondiendo a la llamada del jefe!

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  2. It is going to be GREAT Jodie!!!
    I am loving the stairwell and the way you have separated it from the kitchen and given it a room of it's own! The built in window seat in the living room and the addition cubbies underneath it is going to be ideal for storage.
    I am so looking forward to the next phase of this build. You constantly AMAZE me by what you do AS WELL AS,
    how well you do it! :)

    elizabeth

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I am leaning so much on the new table saw and scroll saw, without which, I would have abandoned the ideas after the first few cuts of plywood with the Xacto and box knife - I think the kit wood is petrified!
      Once I figure out the dormer for the upper back wall and interior dividing walls, I can get to the primer, wallpaper and wall treatments. That is the part I am REALLY looking forward to! :O)
      I hope how it comes out will not disappoint!

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  3. Exciting. I'm looking forward to following along with the build.

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    1. Thanks Keli! I am happy that you will be here with me for the unfolding journey. Going by the seat of my pants is so much fun, and where it may lead - we will all be surprised to see!

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  4. I love it. I can't wait to see more. You've made the front elevation so interesting and the inside lives up to the outside.

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    1. Thanks Sheila! It has been a while since a project was this interesting to me, keeping me awake at night working things out in my mind. Keep your fingers crossed with me that it will continue to be fun and interesting, and not an epic fail! ;O)

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  5. The 'bump out' was so worth doing ....more space and more interesting interior and exterior. Well done you. I would forgoe any modern plumbing upstairs and have a tin bath hanging on an outside wall if you feel you need to let us know that the person who lives there does take a bath and a necessary pot under the bed or in a beside cupboard for any caught shorts in the night. Even a wash stand would have been a luxury in a small cottage, the kitchen sink did it all. M

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    1. Thanks Marilyn! I am happy you are liking the remodeling!

      Lol! Hygiene does go a long way in respecting a person, right!?! Good to see they have what they need to stay clean and healthy! Can you imagine carrying a chamber pot down those stairs every day? Yuck!

      The reason for committing to all of the trouble with a bathroom is twofold: I am thinking the cottage setting is post war, and I really want to do the Chrysnbon bath kit. The style for the property is going to be really dollhouse-y cute, and not so much Rik Pierce historically authentic. Just fun and colorful with a tea kind of theme. Plus, to be honest, I am really enjoying overcoming the space challenges! Let's hope I can make everything fit!

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    2. Aha, it all becomes clear. Sounds terrific. We English are famous for lack of indoor plumbing long after the war, especially in rural places.....ask any GI stationed here�� but yes, I get the storybook aspect of the storybook cottage, totally right. I can not imagine your failing to get anything you want to fit.....certainly no quitter Ms Hippler

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    3. Lol! You Brits aren't the only ones! My grandparents (and their first 5 kids) didn't have indoor plumbing until they moved from the Montana woods into town in the late 50's. And they lived in Grizzly country! Can you imaging traipsing out for a wee and hoping not to be the midnight snack of a giant bear? I will surely sacrifice a bit of authenticity for the convenience of my little lady! ;O)

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  6. jodi, you are really sending it! this now looks like something that will work - which is a miracle in such a small cottage. I admire you for being so creative!!

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    1. Thanks Marion! It is funny where needing a staircase leads you, but so much fun to try with the freedom to fail. These Greenleaf kits are so affordable, especially on sale. I was also able to use up most of the plywood pieces in my stash, so I can say "See! I did need that for something"!

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  7. The changes you made at home made it more beautiful. I'm looking forward to the outcome of the home.

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    1. Thank you! I am happy you like the changes and hope you'll continue with me on the journey!

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  8. Hello Jodi,
    This is fantastic! I love the new façade of the building. It has so much interesting detail and the dormer balances out the front beautifully. The stairwell is genius and such a nice touch to have the display shelf. I love the view from the 2 windows...staircases are one of my favorite features in a house. This project is so exciting.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Thanks Giac! Making the frames for all of the windows is going to be a challenge, but I just went ahead and made them, trusting that I'd be able to work that out later. Often, I would not go forward until I had that part figured out, stalling my progress. It feels good not to worry about tomorrow, and just have fun with today! I am so happy that you like the improvements, too!

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  9. It will be hard to believe that this is the same house that came as a kit.
    I love what you've done so far and am looking forward to see your progress.
    Hugs,
    Drora

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    1. Thanks Drora! I think you are right - it's getting harder and harder to see the original with all of the additions! But I do love that it's a one of a kind, and I hope I can fit enough in there for a little lady to live happily!

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  10. Looking great Jodi, and the floor plan is realistic and fits the space so well. I can see upstairs is a bit toght, but I am sure you will work your magic. I definitely think the shed dormer off the back opening would help immensely. Brae/Otterine has one on her haunted Heritage on her blog: http://www.otterine.com/blog/blog1.php/the-haunted-heritage-a-pictorial
    You’ve probably seen it anyway. Hope the week has been as successful as your cottage! X

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    1. Hi Shannon - thanks for the encouragement and for the reminder about Brae's Heritage dormer! It is such a great solution - I got it laid out and cut today, and though there is not much improvement in actual floor space, the head room makes the space much more useable! I'll share photos in my next post!

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  11. Hi Jodi! It is really exciting to watch you plot the changes for this kit! The tiny spaces are screaming "cozy cottage" and the new facade is "storybook on steroids"! LOL!!! I LOVE the windows in the stairwell.... (I love everything about the stairwell!)... and the fact that it dictated the new roof-line and dormers placement is just so much more charm that wasn't there before!!! The practical aspects of window nooks well designed for multi-function and cottage appeal also highlights your design talents!!! Managing to get a stairwell and a spacious kitchen and living-dining area is a huge accomplishment in such a small kit! I look forward to watching you as you refine and accessorize this building! I can't wait to see what you come up with next!!! :)

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    1. Thanks Betsy! It is one of those rare builds where I am able to visualize possibilities, and somehow, without a protractor and a lot of math, find ways to figure out the structure and the angles. I am thanking my lucky stars constantly!Finishing will be tricky, not least of which will be figuring out what order to assemble and glue, lol!
      It makes me confident and happy to have your seal of approval, and gives me wings to keep going! <3

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  12. Yes, I echo the sentiment - those stair windows are awesome. Did you make them? :] I love the roof lines, too!

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    1. Thanks Brae! I found those windows in the discount bin at Aunty Em's in Glendale AZ - one on each of the two trips there last year. I WISH there had been 10 of them cause at $3 ea I'd have bought them all! It makes me so happy that you like then remodeling!

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  13. Jodi, this kit just keeps getting better and better with your adjustments. I too love the stairwell in it's own little room with that bottom landing step and what a fabulous idea to have a display shelf. It's going to be so fun for the viewer to peek through the windows and see delight in the staircase and shelf. I think you can definitely fit all you need in the upstairs space.. My two cents for what it's worth (not much these days.. lol) I'd put the vanity on the wall next to the toilet to give you a flat wall to work with then I'd turn the tub long-ways along the dormer window wall and build a knee wall level with the bottom of the dormer window and maybe even a shelf in the window section for a candle and some useful bath items. :D You could even maybe fit a small chest of drawers in the gable at the top of the stairs. Whatever you do it's going to be wonderful.. I can't wait to watch along.

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    1. Thank you Sam! I think having to look through the windows to see certain things will be one of my favorite aspects, too! Makes it feel like a more authentic house, and adds a bit of anticipation like pulling a flap on a pop up book!
      I love your idea for a knee wall, and it would also help to hide my oopsie cut on that part of the roof line. Once I get the upstairs dormer and partition wall built I'll get out the fixtures and play again - I think the door is going to need to be centered in the wall because of the height, so that's going to eat up some valuable flat wall space. It's always such a challenge to fit everything in!
      I'm so glad you're here with me for this one - keep the great suggestions coming! :O)

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  14. Hi Jodi, echoing many of the other comments - the stairwell and not least the display shelf a strike of genius! I can only imagine how much fun it will be to peek through the little windows to see what hidden gems are displayed by the little people as they climb up and down those stairs.
    I look forward to see what happens next...
    Anna

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    1. Thank you Anna! It is wonderful to have you following the adventure with me! Seeing your incredible embroidered works, I imagine you know what it is like to be inspired by an idea that must be pursued. Did I say your work is astonishing? Truly beautiful!

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    2. Aww thanks Jodi - getting terribly distracted by miniying at the moment though :-) Must get back to the needle.

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    3. There are no "Must's" in our passions - only to do what you're inspired by at the moment. Whatever that is! I vote for the mini-ing, and then the embroidery for things to put into the mini's!

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  15. Wow, I love the changes you have made with all that extra needed space. The staircase and the windows seat are great. You make adding bits here and there look easy but I´m sure it is not. I love what you are doing specially because you are making it your own, one of a kind for sure!

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    1. Thank you Alex! I am so happy you like the changes!
      It would be near impossible for me if not for the mini table saw, scroll saw and a lot of thinking time. Having an idea is one thing, but having the ability to make it happen is quite another. I am so grateful for the birthday saw from my husband!

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  16. The changes are a great improvement! I look forward to following the progress :-)

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    1. Thanks so much and I am happy to have you following along!

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  17. You're amazing! should be designing dolls houses for a living. On the off chance does anyone know what wood I could use to make some dolls house furniture 1/12 scale. Plenty of information about how to make things but nothing basic about what wood to use. Anyway the house changes you've made are fabulous, love the blog

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    1. Ha ha! Thanks Sylvie, but I am not sure I could do this very consistantly - this build has been a rare inspiration, so far!
      I am not sure where you are at, so I will give you some links to whre I get my materials, then you can source the best options where you are at. My local stores are totally hit or miss, so I generally buy wood supplies online. I like 1/8" and 1/16" thicknesses for making furniture. I generally use basswood, as it is easy to cut, sand and finish. I buy mine in varying widths and lengths, depending on price, shipping costs and availability. My two go-to resources are the following:

      http://stores.ebay.com/Manchester-Dollhouse-and-Wood-Works/Model-Lumber-Wood-Strips-/_i.html?_fsub=19&_sid=137160344&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

      https://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Products-4302-Micro-Cut-0-06x3x24/dp/B00CQOQ7L4/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1524174900&sr=8-6&keywords=midwest+products+basswood

      https://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Products-4304-Micro-Cut-0-125x3x24/dp/B00CQOQ82M/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1524174900&sr=8-14&keywords=midwest+products+basswood

      I am happy to help you with any specific questions - just email me! :O)

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  18. Hello, Jodi - I'm so impressed with the work you've done on the reconstruction of this kit. You've made a small space become very functional while retaining the cottage ambiance. The enclosed stairwell with its display shelf is perfect. There's a similar shelf in our RL vacation cabin that the grandchildren use for their "nature" collection. I'm in love with the window seat that you've created - especially with the cubby space for baskets. Perfect! Your obvious enthusiasm for this project is contagious. I can hardly wait to see more and more of this delightful cottage!
    Marjorie

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    1. Thank you Marjorie! It makes me so happy to have infected you with my enthusiasm! Your creativity and ingenuity have often done the same for me!
      I LOVE that you have a dedicated place for the grandkids to display their treasures! What wonderful memories they will have of finding and showing them!
      I hope I can make the most of the newfound spaces - I am awfully excited to try!

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  19. When you started this house I thought it was much too simplistic for your abilities. Now I'm just amazed. You have done so much to make it more interesting. Those stairs are dangerously steep. But I love the display shelf. Looking forward to seeing the layout once you have interior walls fitted.

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    1. I am flattered by your belief in my abilities, Megan! I have to admit that I know very little about very little, but I am never often afraid to try and fail anymore! :O)
      The stairs are off the shelf Handley House narrow stairs, made I think for tight spaces. I did not have to change the angle of them, instead used the angle to decide how much area I would need to make the top step the same height as the lowered floor - 9 inches! I was curious to see what the angle was when compared to a normal set of dollhouse stairs, and found that they are 28 degrees. Normal dollhouse and real life stairs are considered standard at 32 degrees, so I guess they are not too dangerous! ;O) We'll just hope my little lady is careful, else I'll need to make her a little Life Alert necklace! :O)

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