Thursday, May 17, 2018

Storybook Dreaming and Doing

I decided while I had the cabinet building fresh in my mind, I better continue getting the built in stuff made.

To refresh your memory, here's what I am working with in the Storybook's layout...


I bought the resin fireplace because of it's detail and super slender 5/8" depth, knowing I'd build a breast for it to sit in front of.



I wanted a built in bookshelf next to the fireplace, so I got out the graph paper again and drew the concept I'd been mulling in my mind. Then, I employed the Cricut Design Space again to help me get the arched openings right.






I made the side and center supports, top and shelves out of 3/4" basswood, then made a hearth and mantle top.




The hearth and mantle got the same "stone" treatment as the kitchen countertops, but in softer shades of vintage white, cameo blush and sandstone.


I added more dimensional stickers and moldings before I painted it vintage white. If you notice in the firebox, you can still see the striped wallpaper. That's because my little lady doesn't like messy wood or coal. She wanted to keep the fireplace and the cottage feel, but we are going to be placing a radiator in the recess. Still warm, no mess! :O)



If you notice in the background of the above photo, you can see the "built in" cupboard with drawer under the stairs. For these elements, I also employed the Cricut. To make them more interesting, I added some metal embellishments, another dimensional sticker and more aged bronze hardware including the half scale door plate and knob. You may notice that most everything, built ins and trim, will be vintage white. All the wallpaper is colorful enough!






The window seat got backrest and sides, then a few coats of paint. Can't wait to make the butt cushion, pillows and baskets for the cubbies!



Next I moved upstairs to the landing where both Sheila and Keli suggested I make a built in window seat. To make this one, I did it the old fashioned way with wood and lots of swearing - no, just kidding. Once I made a template to get the right angles, then drew out the design, it went very quick and easy.




During construction I checked it against the pattern several times to make sure it wasn't going awry. Like my hillbilly scaffolding? It was easier to glue against a brace on one side then add the angled end panels last. To keep it tied into the rest of the built ins, I added lace shelf edging, dimensional stickers, crown/cornice trim and aged bronze hardware, then painted it vintage white.



I did another partial dry fit of the upstairs to make sure it all fit. I like it - thanks for the suggestion ladies! More butt cushions and pillows on the way!


I added some trim and a little shelf to the weird little recess created from the stairs in the dining room - something small can sit on the shelf with a framed picture behind it.


I also started on a shelf for across the front wall. This is as far as I got because I am not 100% sure about the size of those brackets, and, I just need a little break from painting.


Once I had the ceiling over the rooms, I got excited. I just love the feel that is happening here.



So much nicer than what it looks like with my harsh overhead lights...





I don't anticipate making any built ins for the bedroom - just the bed that came with the kit and a couple furniture kits I've had saved away for a while now. I am not solid on any ideas for how to outfit the bathroom yet, so I can't do anything in there. In other words, who knows what I will do with my mini time next week. This weekend both my house and my husband will get all of my attention, leaving time to mull it over.

Hope your weekend is full of dreaming and doing!

xo xo,
Jodi

41 comments:

  1. Hi Jodi! I Absolutely LOVE the built-ins you have built in!!! Especially the added little ones under the stairs and also the window seat at the top of the stairs! They could not be more perfect!!! I remember making a "club-house" out of the closet under our stairs when I was young.... it was in a tiny space like that! (Which reminds me I need to complete that closet under the stairs in my Lovely Old Dollhouse!!!) All the little embellishments you have added are so charming and delicate... like lace edging on a handkerchief!!! The fireplace is gorgeous with the added shelves.... maybe you should save room on one of those shelves for a mini room-box of this room! LOL!!! I am so enjoying your transformation of this kit! Keep up the Wonderful work! (But only after enjoying your time with your husband, of course!) :)

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    1. Hi Betsy! I am so happy that you like the built ins and the little details that add a feminine touch! I just love secret places that make you wonder about their mystery, and a real old cottage would have had many of these secret spaces. A club house under the stairs would have been so cool!
      I have a 1/144th house kit for this project, and I hope to find a place for it somewhere - I just hope I don't ruin it trying to put it together! I have heard the more complicated ones are difficult. But I'll try!

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  2. I love the built-ins! The window seat turned out great, but I think my favoriteist thing ever in a dollhouse is your under the stairs cupboard.

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    1. Thanks Keli! I thought about making it either open shelving or a hinged door with real access, but where it is would make it extremely difficult to get to. So, just a suggestion of something seemed fun, and I like the way it came out, too!

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  3. Hi Jodi, I am loving watching this cottage take shape. It is like a gingerbread house, but a happy one with a kind fairy in it instead of a mean, child-eating witch. Being pretty new to all this mini-ing, today I had to google both the Cricut (what you do with that 'thing' is just fabulous) and where to go and stock up on dimensional stickers here in Adelaide.
    I am so glad people like yourself take the time to share so generously with pictures and descriptions, to fill the heads of newbies like me with ideas.
    Thanks Heaps,
    Anna x

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    1. Hi Anna! I am so happy to have filled your head with ideas! It is a big part of the fun to inspire each other's creativity and share the many mini breakthroughs we learn as we go. What to use and where to get it was a big challenge for me when I came back to minis, so I am happy to share whatever I think folks may find interesting.
      If you haven't heard of Alpha Stamps, I recommend going over for a look and signing up for their emails. Lots of inspiration there, and a good source for supplies that aren't always available in local craft stores:
      http://www.alphastamps.com/index.html

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  4. jodi, you are going great guns! love the details you are incorporating :-)

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    1. Thanks Marion! This one has been a lot of fun and a great testing ground!

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  5. The fireplace and shelves and all the other things you created are lovely! It's going to be such a beautiful little house, great work! :-)

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    1. Thanks Millicent! I am happy that you are enjoying the cottage, too! The ideas for this one seem to come flowing pretty easy. It helps tremendously when you know what you want and have a direction to go in. The "what" is sometimes more difficult than the "how"!

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  6. Hello Jodi,
    To say I love this would be a gross understatement. It looks incredible. I love, LOVE, the built in bookcshelves and the nook overmantel you created. It is perfect with the feel of the cottage. I think you should get an award for best use of wasted space under a staircase. It looks fantastic, as doe the built ins in the attic floor. You have really maximized the space you had which makes it even more realistic, and you also added an incredible amount of charm. Pure awesomeness. You're good!
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Awwww... Thanks so much, Giac! It makes me really, REALLY happy that you like the cottage and the ideas that are coming forth for it! I am completely enamored with old houses and the creative way in which they utilized every nook and cranny. We lived in a giant old 3 story Craftsman with a basement for a short time in 1998, and it was a fascinating place to discover. I hope I can "see" every opportunity in this little structure, and I am sure enjoying the process!

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  7. You're doing great. I like the cupboard under the stairs. Hugs

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement BurSel! It makes me happy that you like it, too!

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  8. I love your hillbilly scaffolding! That just cracked me up. But all the detail on your shelves and built ins look wonderful. Are you going to wire lights into your bookshelf and niche above the fireplace?

    The shelf in the living room... The brackets look a little clunky compared to all the delicate lacework you have around the room. I'd suggest using something else...maybe a simple wood angle bracket you're prettied up with lace?

    Overall though, I love how pretty everything looks. It reminds me a bit of a jewelry box, not over the top but everything embellished just enough.

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    1. Thanks Sheila! I don't know if you could technically call my ancestors "hillbillies" because they came from North Dakota and Montana, but they were an inventive bunch, especially my maternal grandpa, so making what you have work is in my DNA!

      I had a pretty good supply of various battery lights, so in an effort to use what I had that is the direction I am going. I hope I do not live to regret it, but it will have 9 to 13 of them depending on what I settle on. I am not 100% sure on placement yet - I will hold auditions and see what works.

      You are nailing my sentiments on the brackets. Every ready made version I have is either too chunky or too delicate. I am going to live with the chunky ones stuck in there temporarily for a few days and see if an epiphany happens. But I will likely have to fashion my own out of something.

      I am happy you like the embellishments! I am really trying to add detail without getting to gaudy. This is where my "staring sessions" are invaluable!

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  9. EVERYTHING is Enchanting and the built-ins are IDEAL Jodi!
    You are getting some Amazing Milage from your Circut machine. The cubbies and the bookshelves and window seats increase the feeling of realism and depth perception not to mention how much extra storage and display their providing.
    The views in from the window and the way the natural light falls is SO EXCITING to see!
    I'm loving this cottage MORE and MORE with each new thing you do! ❤ :D

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! It makes me really happy to know you like what's happening here!

      I am enjoying the cottage's opportunities to add special features and pray that I do not miss any. Having it in dry fit is really helping to get the measurements and test fitting "right". The big challenge is going to be making all of the final trim work look neat once the structure is all glued together.

      The Cricut is such an incredible tool, limited only by my imagination. I would not have done near as good a job on all of those arches without it! Hopefully, as I continue to learn, it will become even more valuable!

      One of my favorite things about the layout are all the little peeks you get to the room beyond. And I am hoping that all of the windows and dormers make for nice light distribution in the end!

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  10. Your use of dimensional stickers has opened my eyes and my mind. They add a richness to your built-ins that I want for what I build.

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    1. Hi Richi! I am so happy that you have found inspiration from some of the materials! Sometimes one idea can open the floodgates! I hope you have fun trying out all the new ideas!

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  11. Bravo as always. Love the initial concept of making lots of built-ins - instead of just struggling to furnish a fairly small space. it is not only space-saving but it provides loads of nooks and crannies for stuff. Like Sheila I think the brackets are too chunky .... but you already spotted that yourself, every other little inch is just perfection. Marilyn

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    1. Thanks Marilyn! I am really enjoying the building part, too, so it's a bonus for the space and for me! Yep - it's good to put something in place before the glue goes on. Sometimes, it's just not right in the space. I'm going to have to look at Pinterest and see what kinds of things I have in drawers to make something appropriate. Maybe just cutting these brackets in half might do the trick?

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  12. Wow! You are flying through this build.. You must be really enjoying it and that makes me grin! :D I'm loving all your choices and that fireplace was a great find. How great is the cricut! Such lovely professional cuts. Was it hard to learn the software? I think your built-ins are all fabulous! But the upstairs one in the eaves is an engineering marvel. I'm amazed at how accurately you have measured. It fits perfectly! Bravo! Well, no mini's for me today.. I'm watching the Royal wedding! ;p

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    1. I am really loving this build, Sam! I hope there aren't too many corners that I have painted myself into once I begin the structure gluing, which shouldn't be too far away now! I think the majority of the time spent on this one is going to be when I start making all I want to make for the inside. So finishing the foundation stuff will seem quick in comparison.
      The Cricut software was not at all hard to learn, and there are a series of How To videos produced by Melody Lane that make it even easier. Here's the link if you'd like to look before you decide to purchase one:

      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPvqhFCBvwhuoEk2Ju8DlBYyTRI6BP64W

      Also, I have the Explore Air 2, and if you buy you might upgrade to the Maker model - it cuts thicker material and also wood.

      I'm excited that you like the built ins! All the mistakes I've made making furniture in the past are helping me know the pitfalls to avoid here, and it's so nice to have things work out!

      OMG I remember watching Prince Charles and Diana's wedding. Man I feel old!

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  13. Looks great Jodi. So many fun little spots for decorating. This is one interesting little house!

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    1. Thanks Shannon! It's going to be so much fun filling all those little spots with tiny, precious things!

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  14. I'm a Cricut (Maker) newbie and a wannabe miniature maker. This post is so inspiring. Is that matboard you used for the arches?

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    1. Hi Fribble - Oh the Maker sounds like so much fun to try! I am glad the post has inspired you to make something with it for minis!

      I purchased what is called Chipboard online from Joanne's, though I believe Cricut makes a lighter version. Mine is heavy and very stiff, 1/16" thick. I have found even the heavy duty Cricut mat does not grip it well enough. To make it stick better, I use Aleene's Tack It Over & Over Liquid Glue. I also use the deep cut blade, and have found that rather than have the Cricut make more than one pass, I have it do one pass on the Heavy Cardboard setting and use my Xacto to finish the cut on my own. Until I can afford the $7000 laser cutter, this is my work around :O)

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  15. Big WOW! You have done a marvelous job on the built-ins. Such perfect fits!
    I love the fireplace. Your idea of using the dimensional stickers for wall decoration is fantastic. I love the results.
    Hugs, Drora

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    1. Thanks Drora! I am happy you like the new additions! This style is just so much fun to work in!

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  16. Hi, Jodi - Another amazing post showing more amazing work! You're making fast progress on this project, and it's all looking good. You have such a talent for searching out the almost hidden nooks and crannies and making seats or storage space or shelving where it seems impossible that they could exist! But all those things are lending the Storybook Cottage an enchanted charm - just like in a storybook. I do love those arched openings in the overmantel and the bookcase, and the way they echo the arch in the fireplace opening. One of my favorite things is the new window seat on the landing - that would be my personal cozy corner if I lived there. It's brilliantly done. Actually, everything in the Storybook has been brilliantly done, and you deserve congratulations for your successful efforts.
    Marjorie

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words and praise, Marjorie! It makes me so happy that you are enjoying the Storybook too, and all of it's potential! I am really enjoying the challenge of making the most of every inch, and doing my best to be brave and try the things I have not yet dared before. The trouble with having this much fun is, you don't want to do anything else, and thoughts of what's next really dominate your mind. The coming week will be a challenge, as a good deal of my "free" time will be relegated to preparing for the holiday weekend's family camping trip. Can one have too many good things competing for time? Gratefully, YES!

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  17. Me gusta mucho como está quedando. Haces tan fácil la construcción de los armarios!!! Preciosos todos los detalles.

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    1. Muchas gracias, Isabel! Realmente intento ser valiente y hacer un buen esfuerzo para hacer cosas nuevas y desafiantes. Hasta ahora, ¡la suerte ha estado conmigo! ¡Estoy tan feliz de que te guste la compilación hasta el momento, y realmente aprecio tus buenos comentarios!

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  18. Wow Jodi, you are making so much progress. To me you are now becoming the queen of the built-ins and furniture making! It´s amazing how you can transform little corners in charming spaces. Love what you have done so far, the little cupboard under the stairs, the window seat, but the book shelves around the fireplace and the window seat on the landing are my favourite ones, they are superb!!

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    1. Thanks Alex! You are too kind with the praise! I'll feel accomplished one day when I learn how to make dovetail joins at best and actual working doors and drawers at least! :O)
      I am glad you like the built ins! I am really happy with them too and am having so much fun with the challenges!

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  19. Love the way you designed the fireplace built in. It has such a big impact without taking up too much space. And who doesn't love window seats? I can't wait to see the cushions on these. Everything is looking so dainty and pretty Jodi!

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    1. Thanks Kristine! I hope when I pull out that sewing machine I still remember how to use it, lol! It's been two years since I've used it! I am going to gather everything in the house that needs sewing and do it all at once. I hope I can remember how to make pillows!

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  20. Hello,
    First let me say I think your work is outstanding! I have a storybook cottage kit too and wanted to extend the front but had no idea how to do that. That is how I stumbled onto your blog. I see now what needs to happen but can you please advise me on how you are adding the extra wood? Is is just glued along the thin edge? Or do you brace it in some way? Thanks so much for your time! If you ever have a question in mini quilting, feel free give me a shout!

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