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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

A Treehouse? A Fairy House? A Storybook Fairy Treehouse?

Yes!!! All those things! And any other style or genre that seems to fit the bill. All I know for sure right now is that this will be the home for a couple rebellious and adventurous little girls that seem to find rejection and trouble in their worlds. They need a fun, safe place to call their very own and a real, true friend to adventure with. This will be a home where the porridge, chairs and beds are made just for them and weird tea parties with strange creatures are encouraged. Beheadings definitely are not! Meet Goldie and Alice and their new home, the Linfield Fairy Treehouse...

Goldie Locks and Alice Wonderland


They are very excited to make your acquaintance and would love it if you could recommend a good dressmaker!

Now that we have the inhabitants to build for, let's talk about the structure...

Since I only have a folder full of inspirational photos as a general guide to the features I'd like to include in their home, I thought it best to work on each of the four main walls in the Linfield kit, one at a time. But I kind of do have to sort of follow the instructions, so it might get challenging quickly.

These homes have features I'd like to attempt to incorporate

Going by the instructions, I needed to construct the base floor first. Already, by step 2, I was deviating from them. I guess that makes me a rebel, so I'm the perfect builder for these girls! I want to incorporate a tree trunk type base for the house, so having a 3-1/2" tall foundation was not going to work. I replaced the kit's foundation pieces for 3/4" basswood strip, and will end up with more of a deck floor incorporated into the tree base. I installed the kit's wood flooring strips as haphazardly as I could with a hot glue gun. The messiest techniques could become the best character features for this treehouse!

Punching pieces, picking splinters from my fingers...

Lots of gaps, just like a treehouse should have!

This floor will need supports once I know where the trunk will fit.

Next, I wanted to start on the wall with the staircase. I always knew that I would create a protruding stairwell for this house. It would take up too much room space if I left it in the center of the house. But the new stairwell would have to fit in architecturally with the treehouse feel. I had the perfect little Carlson's kit to help me.


The gazebo kit is designed to be built in two halves, so if I stacked the halves, I'd have an almost instant staircase tower. Using and rearranging some of the kit's trim pieces in dry fit was promising. I just had to cut the short sections off one of the halves to end up at a good height for the Linfield kit's wall. The opening in the left wall is almost the perfect width for the tower - I'll just need to make the opening taller. The pop out window that is supposed to fit the opening can now be relocated to the right side wall. I am hoping that it will become a bed niche for one of the girls. 


I'll need to cut a slightly wider and much taller wall opening.


Just a little too tall...

Now I had to come up with some stairs and see if it was going to work with only half a stair tower. By stacking three 3/16" foam core pieces it created a good step height. I was only able to fit six steps and still have a roomy landing, so the girls will have a custom ladder to climb the last four inches to the second floor. Fun! I'm still considering ideas for a finish on the stairs. 

Fairytale steps!


Now that I knew the stair tower was going to work I needed to come up with wall ideas. I turned to my trusty Maker and chipboard/kraft board. I decided to make small porthole windows where the stairs winded up, but then open the second section up with windows common in fairytales. The top section of the tower just needed small windows with a fun shape.


First section tower wall/window panels

Second section tower wall/windows

Third tower wall/windows.

By stacking layers of chipboard and kraft board, I created walls for the inside, walls for the outside, and will sandwich the 1/16" Lexan window panes in between. But first, a dry fit to see if they were going to fit and look the way they looked in my mind. You can see in this dry fit photo how I was able to use some of the gazebo kit's trim pieces to create a raised base for the tower. Now the stairs and first floor will meet perfectly.


I envisioned that the tower would look like a tree trunk and that the panels were carved from it. That would mean a lighter color inner wood was exposed and the detail trim would actually be bark. So I painted the base colors before assembly to see if it looked right.


This is the color board for the project, though the girls have something more colorful in mind for their pop out features. More on that later...


Before going any further, a dry fit with the base colors... I love it!


And with the stairs... I think this is going to work!


Now to create some texture! Using layers of regular wood glue, applied with a needle tipped bottle, I created "bark". It shrinks quite a bit after it is dry, so I applied about three layers. I was really hoping this was going to come out the way it looked in my mind.


And then the tower itself needed "bark"...


And paint...





And dry brushed highlight colors, then finished with dirty water washes on top...





Now it was time to assemble the windows. I only have so many clamps, so this was a patient process...


Once one window panel sandwich was dry I could assemble and clamp the next, then sand and fit the previous one into the tower...


And I just love the whimsical look and texture that was achieved with simple chipboard/kraft board, wood glue and paint!



Finally, the panes were finished and installed! 





This "by the seat of your pants" thing is really very fun and the girls are loving the progress! Hopefully, I'll be back next week with the stair tower finished and attached to the left wall. Maybe the girls can even test out the stairs! 🤞 

xo xo,

Jodi

32 comments:

  1. Dear Jodi,
    This is astounding!!!!!!!!! Words can't describe it! This will be such a fun build to follow along with!
    I saw the the image when you had first painted the staircase and I was amazed. Then I saw the staircase with the bark effect and I fell out of my seat!
    Alice and Goldie are so lucky! Are you sure they don't need a companion (me) to join them in your treehouse? I'll supply the shrinking potion!
    All I can say is: WOW!
    The progress you've already made on this is mind-blowing!
    Now, to read it a fifth time!
    Julia

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    1. Thanks Julia! I am so happy to know that you are as excited about seeing this project develop as I am! And if you can find a way to shrink us down to 1/12th scale, I can think of a ton of amazing dollhouses that we could tour together! We might need a working mini Leer jet to get to all of them, though! 😁

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  2. Absolutely amazing. I love Goldie and Alice. Their house will be perfect for them. I love the whimsy, the imagination, the fantasy--the whole concept. And I thank you for your encouragement and support. I send you a big hug!

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    1. Thanks Ann! What I love most about minis is that there always seems to be a new genre to explore and so many encouraging and enthusiastic kindreds to journey with! Hugs right back at you!

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  3. OMG! You never cease to amaze. And we are the beneficiaries because you are giving us new techniques to try on our own builds. I’m excited to follow the mash-up of Goldie and Alice.

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    1. Thanks Sherrill! It is thrilling to discover and share simple techniques that everyone can use to create! I am always tickled to see how the next ingenious mind expands ideas and where it leads our amazing hobby. I have used wood glue as a caulk and filler go-to for a long time, and now being able to do complex sculpting and texturing with it is exciting! Caroline from Cinderella Moments does amazing detail work with her hot glue gun, but my tries aren't so good with it. Having wood glue alternative is awesome! Look ma! No burns! 😊

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  4. ¡Qué imaginación y que paciencia! Me encanta como lo llevas.

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    1. ¡Gracias Isabel! ¡Puede ser muy gratificante poner una variedad de suministros frente a ti y dejar que tu mente se libere!

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  5. Ohhhh!!! yo quiero ser amiga de Alice y Goldie para poder visitarlas en esa futura casa llena de tu imaginación, soy rebelde por lo que también encajaría, necesito urgentemente el aparato de la película: "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"
    Estoy tan gratamente sorprendida de lo que ya has hecho, que cuando termines, sé que me quedaré sin aliento Jodi, tus manos y tu imaginación son verdaderamente mágicas!!!!!!
    Besos.

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    1. ¡Gracias Pilar! ¡Estoy tan feliz de que te guste a dónde lleva esta inspiración! Nosotros, los rebeldes, tenemos que mantenernos unidos, y habrá mucho espacio para que vivamos y aventuremos junto a Goldie y Alice. ¡Traiga la máquina de encogimiento!

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  6. Oh what a wonderful post! (I'm back to my good old habits... *grin*) And so lovely to meet Goldie and Alice now - so far they had "just" been on Kairi's mail list (yes, I do remember these letters). I love, love, love what you're up to... and seeing your first achievements I know these two special girls are already over the moon. You're going to work miracles and you already started with the first of them. The facade... the stair tower... Awesome, stunning, gorgeous, wonderful, beautiful and as I'm now running out of admiring adjectives I would like to mention still that it was a lovely surprise to see that sometimes the promises of advertisement can even be true! They said the Carlson's kit could be everything - and it's really true! This kit can even become the most lovely "shell" for a stair tower in a tree house that will be the most enchanting and stunning place some day. And considering your working speed "some day" might not be that far away anymore... *LOL* I'm already looking forward to see your newest progress.

    Hugs
    Birgit

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    1. Oh good, Birgit! I hope you will actually have time, now that your million generous packages have been mailed and the Christmas Market has been set up, to enjoy the season with less pressure! We are going to a relative's house this year and so I am not decorating at all. Good thing because Russ and I have been down with a bad virus for a week now! Luckily, it's not Covid,

      You are so sharp to remember Alice and Goldie's names being on Kairi's mail! That must tell you how long this project has been a dream for me, and how patiently the kit and the girls have been waiting! Oh I hope I do all of them justice!!!

      Thank you so much for your excitement and encouragement! That is exactly what I'll need to continue to work in a fantasy world that is so far outside my comfort zone! I was making good progress until The Crud hit us. But there is a few hours every day where I don't feel like I want to die, lol! Maybe some of them can be spent on the Linfield. Hugs!

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  7. Que suerte tienen estas dos chicas, van a tener una casa de árbol espectacular. Muy buen comienzo, me admira tus entradas tan dinámicas y bien explicadas, gracias

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    1. ¡Gracias Rosa María! ¡Me estoy divirtiendo mucho pensando en ideas para hacer una casa en el árbol muy especial para las niñas! ¡Espero que se unan todos!

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  8. Wow you’re a machine! I am happy to see you’ve grabbed the bull by the horns and you’re just going with what feels right! The treehouse is a fun idea and is already looking great. Enjoy the build Jodi!

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    1. Thanks Shannon! As long as the ideas for problem solving keep coming, it will be fun! Otherwise, it might end up languishing on my table for quite a while! Nooooooo! 😲😨🤯😵😱😳

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  9. I'm speechless! The tower is a work of art. Lucky Goldie and Alice. It will be super interesting to watch your progress on this project.
    Hugs, Drora

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    1. Thanks Drora! I hope I'll be able to make some progress this weekend! Hugs!

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  10. que bien.
    Tenemos comienzo en las obras del proyecto y además tenemos protagonistas.
    Así cuando veamos el avance podemos ir situando a las chicas en cada rincón.
    ¡¡Que intriga!!
    Un saludo

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    1. ¡Gracias Mariana! ¡Espero que las niñas sean una parte importante para ayudarme a construir y compartir su casa en el árbol! Es mucho mejor cuando estás haciendo algo por alguien, incluso si ese alguien es una muñeca, ¡jajaja!

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  11. Just when I think you couldn't get any more brilliant..........

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  12. Ooh! A tree housy kind of fantasy lair for little rebels.... I love the idea!

    My favorite sentence of your post is definately this one; "Going by the instructions, ... Already, by step 2, I was deviating from them." Priceless! you rebel tree house builder you! ;-)

    But as you say, that attitude fits seamlesly with the idea for this house and the girls that are going to inhabit it. I cannot say why impromptu tea parties with strange creatures would risk to end up in beheadings... But I am happy that you make it clear in advance that these are not encouraged nor condoned. such a relief. ;-) On the other hand I agree wholegeartedly that you establish these rules beforehand. Better safe than sorry and all that. Now where was I?

    Ah yes the glue-bark! what an ingenious idea! I love it and I love how it has turned out. It really looks very good and adds great charm to the walls.

    Good luck with the next step.

    Huibrecht

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    1. Thanks Huibrecht! It was all going so good and then a terrible virus happened... Just beginning to dig out now and hope to be back on the plan after the holidays are through with us, lol! Thanks so much for your kind encouragement! 💗

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  13. Wow Jodi!!!! You are off and running! And with Spectacular Results!!! I am so excited to see that the "Glue trick" is saving the day once more!! Lol! I also found (when trying to make the bark texture for my Lilac Shrubs) that artist's texture paste or "molding paste" can work very efficiently to add texture. It shrinks less when drying! As for the build you are making....! It reminds me of Pippi Longstocking in the fantasy of anything goes and creative wonderment! Alice and Goldie will be over the Moon with their dream house! A staircase that becomes a ladder because... why not? is just the kind of free-wheeling we all need to experience from time to time! I am soooo Looking forward to seeing what's next.... don't forget there needs to be a look-out tower somewhere in there! :):)
    As for RL, I am sorry to hear you caught the virus that is going around... yes, even over on this end of the continent! I am still hacking and wheezing after three weeks..... but at least it isn't covid and I am improving! I wish you and Russ speedier recovery! :):):)

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    1. Thanks Betsy! Yes the "Glue Trick" is wonderfully versatile and cooperative! I would also love to play with modeling paste and so many other texture techniques! It it so much fun to experiment and see where it goes!
      That bug... we tested neg for Covid, too, so it seems like RSV is what got us. We are still coughing, hacking snot monsters and have isolated now for 17 days. We are hoping to attend Christmas Eve family activities but with masks on. It has been awful!
      Hope you are back and good as new, and that the Christmas Card has you creatively inspired! Can't wait to catch up on blog posts and see what you've been up to! 💗

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  14. Great, you already have a new idea, the windows are very nice again

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    1. Thanks Gonda! The problem is that I have too many ideas and not enough self discipline, lol! 💗

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    1. Thanks Sheila! It should be fun to see what happens! 💗

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  16. Oh Jodi, this is going to be magical. I love the bark effect. It's nice to meet the girls, it's a good job I'm not building thier home, they would be old ladies by the time I finished it!! :-)

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