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Thursday, September 23, 2021

A Thrilling Custom Order

This week I received an email with an exciting and challenging request! A fellow mini enthusiast is the lucky owner of the Majestic Mansions Park Avenue dollhouse kit. She is planning to pay homage to the movie Breakfast At Tiffany's by recreating a close resemblance to the famous facade. She's asked me to do my best to replicate the arched doorway pediment, trim and corbels. Those are a job for the 3D printer, but the main and basement doors, which she has also requested, will be a job for the Cricut Maker. This will be the most complicated design and print work I've taken on, so far, and it is so thrilling!

Park Avenue Kit and Breakfast at Tiffany's Brownstone

Because I am a novice at 3D designing, my knowledge is limited to Tinkercad and what I can do with it's basic library of shapes. Luckily, there are a host of web sites like ThingiverseCults, and others. Some designers offer their amazing .stl files for free! Once the files are downloaded, I can import them into Tinkercad. I turned to DavidG7 for his excellent and generous leaf corbels, and was able to figure out the rest of the pediment and frame with Tinkercad's shapes. It's helpful when searching if you know what architectural term is used for what. I had to bone up on them!


I know if you haven't ever taken any time to play in Tinkercad, it's hard to believe that with just four basic shapes, two free corbels and a free fig leaf you could make historic looking architecture for your dollhouse in about five hours. But I swear it's true! I encourage all of you to go have a play and see what you can make! You may just be putting a 3D printer on your Christmas or Hanukkah wish lists!

Square hole, square, half circle, pyramid, free corbels and fig leaf.

Here's what the assembled pediment and doorframe trim will look like. 

8" tall x 5-1/16" wide x 1-1/8" deep.



Close up detail.


Side detail. The real test will come when it's time to print.


One of the challenges we miniaturists face is trying to work with the space we've got while still replicating the look of real life homes. This was especially challenging here because the real life BAT doorway is so much larger than the doorway on the kit. The ceilings in the BAT house are 12 feet high so the windows and doors are huge. The doorway opening is around 11 feet. I'd need an 11 inch opening to create a true replica in 1/12th scale. In the kit, the ceilings are only about 8". I had a 7" doorway opening to work with (4" less!), and then there was only 2-5/8" to the bottom of the window opening above. With these limitations, I am unable to create a true replica that still allows a 5.5" dollhouse doll to fit through the doorway without looking like a giant. But with what I had to work with. my results are pretty stellar!

Here's the real life version and my effort side by side.


The customer is also considering having me design replacement windows to look more like the BAT house. The challenge here is that the kit window openings are much, much slimmer than the real life windows. It takes space to make a curve, and the openings for the windows are square. Ideally, you'd cut rounded window openings and then create chipboard frames. But a lot of us don't yet possess the skill or the tools to fulfill all our dreams exactly. Adding a curved pediment to the tops of the frames might just give a close enough resemblance to the look she wants. 

1 9/16″Wide by 5 1/16″High = about half as wide in scale.

That's about all I had time for this week. Dad left today to make his way back home to Arizona. I feel so lucky that I got to spend time with him in person twice this summer - once to kick it off and once to finish it. Enjoy the first days of fall! I'll be back next week with who knows what!

xo xo,

Jodi


38 comments:

  1. Wow. Impressive. You have taken on quite a project, which you are handling in grand style. The neat think about this project: it allows to grow and expand your skill and knowledge. The house will be amazing.

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    1. Thanks Ann! You are so right! By taking on something just past my knowledge or comfort zone, I find the motivation to learn new skills by solving issues I hadn't had to face before. What a wonderful way to to take the next steps! And yes! This is going to be an amazing dollhouse when she's finished!

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  2. Wow!
    Beautiful!
    Can't wait to see it completed!

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    1. Thanks Minicosmo! Me too! I am hoping she'll send photos of the finishes facade and allow me to share them here!

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  3. What a great project!!! Fun times ahead for sure.

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    1. Thanks Carrie! It is such a great ideas for a project, and such a great kit! I almost decided to buy one so that I could make replacement doors/windows and trim kits in several styles for the kit. Then I reigned myself back to reality and reminded myself of all my unfinished half built and in the box kits. :O)

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  4. Que maravilla!! estoy tan emocionada como tú, me va a encantar ver como creas esa mansión!! Seguro que la diversión va a estar a la orden del día a día!
    Besos.

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  5. I am so impressed with your giant learning curve with all this stuff. The door trims look superb and really capture the original. I did an homage to Chocolat - the movie - and absolutely loved trying to get the look and feel I wanted whilst being thwarted by various compromises demanded by the building itself. I understand how pleased you must be feeling to have solved the first and major challenge. Onwards and upwards.

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    1. Thanks Marilyn! It's such a great way to stop procrastinating and move in deeper to see what's possible. I am so grateful for the opportunity!
      I love your homage to Chocolat! It's such a marvelous build with all the built ins! It seems there is always something we have to give up or compromise on in these projects, but you did a superb job given the limitations! I think she will with this homage, too!

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  6. Congratulations on this commission! As thrilling as it is for you, it is also thrilling for us. Your design process is so helpful in demonstrating the possibilities for us. I had no idea that free shapes existed and the way you have incorporated them into your design is nothing short of amazing.
    I’m glad that you got to visit with your dad. I’m still hesitant to fly to Arizona to visit my daughter and her family. It is almost two years since my last visit. Luckily my daughter and the kids came here last summer.

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    1. Thanks Sherrill! It makes me so happy to know that maybe folks are really encouraged to try 3D designing and printing. All you have to have is an idea and a strong desire, be willing to invest a little time here and there to watch and learn, and then you can make your dreams happen. We are all capable!
      I completely understand your hesitancy to fly at this point and I think it's smart. We are all still babes in the woods when it comes to Covid and vaccinations and boosters etc. that caution is prudent. I hope that by next spring we'll have enough data and experience to feel safe about travelling and being around our loved ones, again!

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  7. That is such a beautiful doorway, what a great project. You get to do some exciting projects. I would love a cricut and 3D printer but I know I wouldn't use them enough to warrent the cost.

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    1. Thanks Polly! I just love this kind of architecture on dollhouses, and wish I'd had the skill to make my own when I worked on the New Orleans project! If you see yourself as a maker or really wanting to become one to make most of your own minis, it really is a wise investment. You'll have no trouble learning things fast, because you are a smart lady and there is so much help out there for the taking. Don't let anything stop you if this is something you really want to try!

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  8. That’s so awesome Jodi! Well done! Your prowess with the drawing and printing certainly are inspiring. And thanks for the link - that will certaily be useful!

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    1. Thanks Shannon! It's so exciting when you realize what is possible! I am glad that you'll be able to utilize the links! Have fun!!!

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  9. ¡Menudo reto y menuda energía con la que has empezado! ¡

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    1. ¡Gracias Isabel! ¡Estoy tan emocionada! ¡No puedo esperar a ver estas piezas en su casa de muñecas!

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  10. That's amazing! I'm so excited for you. And I love how it came out.

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    1. Thanks Sheila! :O)
      I really think this 3D thing is meant for you! You could be creating amazing things in no time. If ever I can be of help to get you started, you let me know!!!

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  11. Un trabajo impresionante, todo un reto. Gracias por la información.

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    1. ¡Gracias Rosa Maria! ¡Eres bienvenido y espero que encuentres algunas cosas que te ayuden a hacer realidad tus ideas!

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  12. What an amazing job to be asked to do!
    It intrigues me to no end what you manage to make on that 'wonder-machine' of yours Jodi. The entry way looks amazing and I can't wait to see pictures of it printed.
    I don't think I will be attempting that kind of thing anytime soon (spend too much time in front of a screen as it is) but a detailed glimpse of the possibilities is so interesting.
    Anna

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    1. Thanks Anna! It is practically addicting once your brain clicks in on how to make something from the shapes! I am really nervous about the printing part of the job. There are so many things to consider and it's where the rubber meets the road. To actually end up with a successful print will be a major victory!
      I know what you mean, Anna! If it's not something that moves you, why bother. But you have already found your hobby holy grail, so you are lucky!

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  13. Si sé de alguien que puede conseguir lo que se proponga esa eres tú.
    No hay nada que se te resista.
    Esa fachada es impresionante, un gran reto, pero lo conseguirás.

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    1. ¡Muchas gracias, Eloisa! ¡Compartimos esa tenacidad y amor por los desafíos! ¡Espero no decepcionarte al final!

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  14. Hi Jodi. While looking at real houses to buy one time, we found one with outside curved windows. Beautiful-when inside the windows were the regular rectangle. Just saying it would have been easy for curtains and quite aceptable in a dollhouse. We didn't get the house :(

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    1. Architectural features like rounded windows are just fabulous and have a way of making us yearn for them! I am sorry that you didn't get the house! :O(

      Hopefully, the solution we've come up with will still imbue the feeling of the original, while being a feasible installation for the owner. I can't wait to share it with you next week!

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  15. Congrats! It's a great project and you are the right person to make it happen. The facade is just beautiful.

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    1. Thanks for your confidence in me, Faby! I am so grateful for the opportunity, and am really having fun solving all the challenges!

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  16. Well now I am really convinced, you're a genius!!
    Big hugs,
    X

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    1. Ha ha! I wish, Xan! Then I could stop having to learn from my mistakes! But thank you for your confidence in me! I hope this encourages other regular Jodi's like me to seek their dreams and explore all the ways possible!

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  17. Ah yes, the compromises we have to make in scale to accommodate the limitations of space in RL. How big would my Castle be if I really had the room??? You have done a marvelous job balancing the shape and grandeur of the original with the need for smaller proportions... not an easy thing to accomplish! This does look and sound like a fun project to be a part of! If only we all could have twelve foot ceilings! :):)

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    1. Thanks Betsy! My performance in designing will truly reveal itself once I begin to print the pieces and put real eyes to the scale and detail. Hopefully today, though I seem to be thwarted by technical issues over the last few days. Is mercury in retrograde again? I don't follow astrology but it seems like a great thing to blame when all the computer stuff goes wrong!

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  18. What a great challenge! How generous of you to share with us your plans and ideas in doing this. This commission is so right for you. your customer couldn't have chosen a better person to meet his requirements. I love what I've seen so far of your plans and, btw, I'm learning new English architectural words.
    Hugs, Drora

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    1. Thanks Drora! 💗 I am learning new terms and correcting old assumptions, too!

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  19. Oh what a nice project, I saw your 3D printing and it looks great and the sea bungalow looks great too.

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    1. Thanks Gonda! I am looking forward to getting back to the bungalow, though this is a fun and exciting interlude!

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