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Thursday, April 27, 2023

Fastidious Floral Fairytale Fireplace

I got a little sidetracked and engrossed on something which was completely unplanned for the fairytale treehouse, and it took all week. Surprise! Surprise! 😜


I had intended to work on getting the balcony assembly installed. In fact, I earnestly started that goal by attaching the flowering vines to the balcony posts. 

Repainted vines from last post.

Flower vines wired to balcony before filler flowers were added.

I even filled in empty areas with supplemental mulberry roses and buds. All was going well...

After mulberry roses filled in.

Until I put it in place for a dry fit. Then I began to ponder whether I needed more vines adorning the panels or if there was enough going on on the posts. What about the structural beams holding the balcony up from the first floor? Maybe just green vines there? Yeah, but despite it being two weeks since I ordered them from the Etsy shop, they hadn't even shipped yet. So, I put that decision aside and carried on with the dry fit instead. 

Dry fit with wall and floor/ceiling to decide placement of fireplace.

I had questions about how the girls' fireplace wall would tie in to the balcony. I had always intended to have a railed portion so that you could look down into the great room, but on which side? The balcony or the back of the treehouse? The wall, being a couple inches short, would need to slide one way or the other. In order to know for sure, I had to look at the actual wall, floor and ceiling in place - not just imagine it. Once I saw it in place, my ideas for the fireplace began to bombard my brain. From past experience I know to seize this kind of creative momentum, lest my ideas float right on out into the nethersphere, never to return. So, the balcony got put aside once again until my vine order and solid ideas for it are at hand.


As per my M.O., I designed the structural pieces of the fireplace in Design Space and cut them with the Cricut Maker. Straight cuts? Cheap chipboard? Yes, please! I covered the kit's wall with scrap paper leftover from the girl's cubbies. Because the kit wall is only 1/8" thick, to give a more realistic chimney feeling, I also made a chimney breast, covering it with another scrap. The fireplace itself has a top, a hearth, a back, double layered front, and sides. To the inside, I added egg carton bricks in a herringbone pattern, just for fun. To detail the fireplace, I had a few packs of resin column fronts with an artichoke frieze. They were the perfect size to flank the firebox. Dresden appliques adorn the front, edges and sides.


While the fireplace assembly was drying, I worked on the fire basket. I made a log holder with firedogs out of kraft card. 

No need to point out anything salacious about the firedogs. Believe me - Russ already has. 🙄 

Resizing things down to 1/12th scale doesn't always translate well.

Double layer firedogs, log basket, bracing.

Layers glued to create thickness and detail.

Bent, assembled and painted.

It's always a perfect fit when you make it custom, lol!

For the fire, I placed a half water bottle cap (it's translucent so the light comes through) under the fire basket/log holder and placed a red LED chip light inside. Like the Log Fire With Glowing Embers tutorial, I surrounded it with glowing "ash". I used hot glue to make Sharpie colored orange/yellow translucent flames to go between the wood logs, but it didn't work out as swell as I'd hoped. I need more practice and patience. At least one of the glue strips worked as intended - it almost appears to be flames due to the other three chip lights under the logs.



At this stage I had the fireplace assembled to the wall, toned down with washes, aged with washes, added trims, put the fire logs in place, added sconces and of course - installed a mirror. But it still wasn't nearly finished yet!


It had to be adorned with flowers. A swag above the mirror, a swag on the mantle and then a vase with buds just popping. The carousel horse is pot metal painted with gold to tie in the mirror frame. Accessories will likely evolve later as I switch my concentration from structure to accessories.

Testing the lights.

With the room lights off.

And at the same time, there were also flower vine valences created for the girls' cubby windows. Fairytales are full of flowers, especially fairytale treehouses!

Alice's Bed Cubby

Goldie's Bed Cubby

But fireplaces need other things, too. Not just pretty things, but useful things. I wanted to make a fireplace screen for the girls and I was fairly certain I could find something to make them from this hoard of mine. Sure enough, I had a set of six half scale chipboard gothic windows from Alpha Stamps


I applied Fast Grab Tacky Glue neatly to the back of three of the windows, then placed them on top of some very thin acetate from Cricut Chipboard packaging. Once set, I carefully cut around the edges. Then, to solidify the panes, I filled in the windows with Crystal Clear Gallery Glass.


Once the Gallery Glass was clear and dry, I glued the other three windows on, sandwiching the acetate between them. Then I wrapped them in 1/8" kraft card strips to smooth out the edges.


I painted the frames with a Krylon Gold Leafing Pen, then filled the other side of the glass with more Gallery Glass.


I added some purple and green polka dots with the Sakura Glaze Pens. To attach the window panels together at the correct angle (so they'd fit on the hearth), I sliced 1/8" quarter round in half, making it 45 degrees instead of 90 degrees. Then I glued each half to either side of the center window. When that was dry, I attached each side window. Sorry Betsy - hinges and chipboard do not good bedfellows make. 😊



I also painted a set of fireplace tools and added a basket of logs. The fireplace wall is ready now to help me make my railing side decision.




And it is ready to install into the girl's room.

After flooring, of course!


Unfortunately, my real life house could really use some fastidious focusing. See ya in a couple weeks!

xo xo,

Jodi


P.S.A. On Blogger Issues:

Sometime in mid 2022 the comments I leave for others on their blog posts were mysteriously disappearing, even days after they had been posted - I saw them post! After many searches, I finally found a thread that confirms that I am not (crazy) the only one this is happening to, and a reason for the mystery. Apparently, if your comment disappears from someone's blog, it has to do with their spam filter within the Comments section of their blog. So, it is ultimately up to the blog owner to resolve - nothing you can do.

If you receive comments saying this is happening on your blog, go to your blog dashboard and click on the Comments page. You may see the comment there which has been spontaneously marked as "Spam" for unknown reasons. You can manually approve the comment.


If you don't see the comment, click the question mark symbol at the top right of the page to tell Blogger about the problem. Apparently, they will reset your spam filter which eliminates the problem, at least for a while.



Some others have reported the cause as security settings on specific browsers or a need to clear your cache. Because I have also been unable to backup my blog content since last summer (stalls out and does not save), as well, I suspect that as things are broken in Blogger, they are just no longer being repaired. I hope it is not the case, but I recommend you look into Google Takeout to protect your work. I have mine scheduled to automatically export quarterly and they send my backup files to my email. If ever Blogger ends or starts to charge for hosting, at least we'll have our archives to decide what to do with them.

34 comments:

  1. !!! Maravillosa ¡¡¡
    Ha quedado divina. Esos colores son tan dulces, ideales para las niñas.
    Un saludo

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    1. ¡Gracias Mariana! ¡Me alegro de que te guste!

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  2. Thanks for the notice on disappearing comments and backing up the blogs. I'll be checking those suggestions out. I don't know what I like best this time--the fireplace is so realistic and the gothic screen is wonderful. I always appreciate you detailed description of supplies and products that you use. The girls and Wayne are anxiously awaiting move in day, I'm sure. And the colors are so romantic and pretty--I'd move in easily.

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    1. Glad to help, Ann! The thought of losing all our work is devastating!
      And Thank you! I am glad you like them! It makes me so happy to have an idea and be able to find things in my stash to make it happen. Hopefully, after I get the real life spring cleaning finished, I'll be able to pick right back up with the same momentum.

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  3. Hello Jodi!
    I love the fireplace you've made - it's marvelous! And thank you for your tips about Blogger - they were very helpful. I love the gothic screen you made and the balcony is fantastic, too!

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    1. Thanks Julia! Happy to help about Blogger and I am glad you like this week's progress!

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  4. Oh Jodi, that beautiful fireplace took my breath away! Love the colours and all thr details you've added, especially the fire screen . . . you're a genius!
    The tips will come in handy, as I have had that problem myself, thank you.
    Big hugs,
    X

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    1. So happy to help, X! I absolutely love your scenes and I think they are adorable and inspiring! Even though they are "technically" not minis, I have added you to my blog roll (finally), as I know, even though they aren't "technically" mini dolls, your work will be appreciated by everyone! I can't wait to see what you are working on!

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    2. Thank you for adding me to your blog roll, you know you will always welcome to visit. As for my dioramas, I'm afraid 1:6 scale is about all I can manage. I'd love to go smaller but my hands just don't cope well with teeny tiny. Keep up the good work Jodi, you inspire me!

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  5. Your fireplace is absolutely dreamy, magical, delightful - there aren't enough words to describe it! I love the colors, the flowers, the fire, the little details! And then you go and crack me up with your firedogs! You inspired me and made me smile - thank you for that, Jodi!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! I am glad you like the minis and the humor! The world need more of each! 😊

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  6. I love the fireplace! And that fireplace screen is gorgeous. Now I need to rethink a few things for my own fireplace fire dogs and log holders. Can't wait to see how the fireplace and balcony work out together!

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    1. Thanks Sheila! I am happy to have inspired you! I hope you have more patience with your fire than I did with mine. When I get to the great room fireplace, I am going to commit to getting it exactly how it looks and works in my mind.

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  7. Dear Jodi, I don't call it "side-tracked" when the results are as wonderful and enchanting as they are with this lovely fireplace! It is purely following the Siren Call of Inspiration! And we should all be so lucky as to get that call as often as you are with this project! LOl!! The results of your work are perfect for the girl's room and wow, that was quick! I love the fireplace screen (that does Not Hinge!) and know that there are many useful models in RL that are like that! And what a creative use for those half scale window frames! The whole fireplace and the surround are elegant and substantial but so pretty and feminine. I know the girls will love to fall asleep to the flickering firelight! As for the Balcony trims.... those vines are looking gorgeous and I look forward to seeing what fairy magic you sprinkle around next! Lol!
    As for the blogger comment issues... I am flummoxed all the time by the comments problems. It is disappointing and frustrating. I went to the page on my blog and did not see anything missing and did not find a spam folder either! ? (I am not tech savvy and hate these problems! :( ) I will keep looking into it, but I have no blocks or approvals needed for commenting on my blog. I actually printed out all my posts last year, worrying that it could just disappear one day! I need to print the recent ones... thank you for the reminder!

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    1. Thanks Betsy! I'm so glad to have your endorsement for the girls' fireplace! My momentum has been good, just a good chunk of time where my real life responsibilities were few and easy so I could dedicate a lot of time to the treehouse. I am afraid that's changed this last week and demands for my attention will continue to pull me away from the mini world for a bit longer. But I'll be back with renewed enthusiasm soon, I hope!
      As for the Blogger PSA - glad to help! Us beggars can't be choosers, I guess, though I would be willing to pay a reasonable amount every month for more function and less frustration. There are just no good alternatives at this point and Google seems fairly uninterested in moving the platform forward in any meaningful way. At least we are all learning to be patient and many of us haven't given up trying yet!

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  8. The fireplace looks great Jodi, and the whole build is really tied together with the colour scheme and rose vines. The girls are gonna be pretty comfy here in their treehouse palace! And interesting advice on the google takeout - never heard of it, but will look into it. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks Shannon! I am really trying to keep things cohesive, but it's challenging! I hope Takeout will be useful for you, as well!

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  9. The fireplace looks amazing; I really like the colors and the flowers. The fireplace screen is just beautiful.
    I think blogger no longer works as well as it used to...

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    1. Thanks Faby! Glad you like everything! I wish Blogger could be bought up by someone who has been a user from the beginning and would really help it reach its potential! Until the last lights are shut off in the building, I hope to remain here with all of you!

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  10. ¡Preciosa la chimenea! La flores y el colorido da una buena ambientación .

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    1. ¡Gracias Isabel! ¡Estoy tan feliz de que te guste!

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  11. Only you, dear Jodi, can create a totally gorgeous fireplace like this one. It's an eye candy and perfectly in style for a beautiful dreamy tree house.
    Thanks for the tips on blogger.
    Hugs, Drora

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    1. Thanks Drora! I am really having fun with this style! It reminds me of the 80s when crafting was all about romantic florals and glue guns!

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  12. Sidetracked you may have been this week, but it stil results in a great addition to the tree house! I love the fireplace. I also like the combination of the lilac and mulberry roses. very charming. As usual you are on lightning speed. What will be next?

    Huibrecht

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  13. Love it!! This house is a fairy dream ❤❤❤. I really love all your ideas and delivery, you are such a talented lady, Jodi. And also thank you for the advise about Google Takeout, I´m not working on my blog lately but certainly I don't want to lose it.
    Big hugs.

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    1. Thanks Alex! I am so happy that you are enjoying the development of the fairytale along with me! 'Unabashedly Unafraid to Indulge' might be a more fitting adjective for what I do than talent, but there is nothing more fulfilling in my life than playing with miniatures! That may seem sad to some, but to me it is a blessing beyond all measure! If my kids ever decide to make me a grandmother, I imagine my compulsion would shift to that little human. But until then... 😊

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  14. Birgit 💗

    How apropos that just as I write about the comment issues on Blogger, our dear friend Birgit would experience the exact issue. I am so sorry, Birgit! I know the loss and frustration it is to pour your most heartfelt thought to a dear mini friend, only to have them disappear. And I am so appreciative at your willingness to keep trying! BUT - you have helped me to learn that while the comments do disappear from the blog page itself, I did receive the emails of you comments and they do still exist in my Blogger Comment user interface screen!!! So I am reposting them for you right here:

    "What a wonderful post! ;O) And if getting sidetracked leads to results as beautiful as this fireplace I never want to keep a straight focus on anything again. (Well, except for finally finishing a certain furry project at my work desk... but that's another story and I'm on my way to a hopefully happy ending... eh... where was I...) But I fear there's one big problem now for the inhabitants of the tree house... honestly... who would ever want this beautiful, awesome, pretty, stunning, gorgeous fireplace to become dirty with soot and ashes??? It's much too pretty to be used!!! Even more as the protection shield itself is drop-dead-beautiful! *LOL*

    I hope your material arrives soon and that you can go on with the balcony. Until then... have fun... and please thank Russ for doing the commenting job for us. *grin*

    Hugs
    Birgit"

    "Another day, another try... perhaps this time... (so proud of me that I saved my comment yesterday *tweet*). Here we go... AGAIN:

    Noooooooooooooooooooo!!! Now it happened to me... incredible, life is the most creative one in making up situations you would never have thought to happen. *deepsigh* Yesterday I (finally *coughcough*) left a comment... and today I'm dropping by to see if there is already a reply from you just to find out that my words have switched to blog nirvana. Or is it the fault of my once more weak internet connection? I could not swear that my comment appeared after I sent it... but I'm pretty sure it was there!!! Or am I getting old??? Aaaahhhhrrrgggghhhh...

    Oooookaaaayyyy... calm down... so once more: Oh, what a wonderful post! ;O) And as I already said yesterday - if getting sidetracked leads to results like this absolutely stunning, drop-dead-beautiful, awesome, breathtaking fireplace I never want to keep my focus on anything again. (Well, except for concentrating on something furry at my work desk which will hopefully experience a happy ending soon *quick, knock on wood!!!*)

    As always your work is amazing, even more regarding how you did it, all by yourself with the help of your machine park and with "simple"materials. In case I might never have told you this before but you have a great talent in creating the most stunning pieces with "simple" stuff turning it into something awesome with paint and loads of creativity. I only foresee one big problem now: How could one ever risk to make this pretty, lovely, beautiful fireplace dirty with soot and ashes??? *LOL*

    And please thank Russ for making the job of commenting on the firedogs to save us time... although they reminded me more of the space rocket drawn by Hergé in "Tintin on the Moon". *teehee* Have fun with whatever you're up to next... and fingers crossed for your material to arrive soon.

    Hugs
    Birgit (who is going to copy and save this comment... just in case)"

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    1. Dearest Birgit... I must apologize, for after I read "finally finishing a certain furry project at my work desk" no other words, though I read each one, permeated my consciousness! My heart leapt out of my chest and all I could think about was how badly I wanted to put all this spring cleaning aside and start working on a very special place for that "certain furry" soul to live!!! When I had finally calmed down enough to realize there was more information imparted to me, I had received your second and third comment emails and was horrified that you, most delightful, encouraging and self sacrificing friend, were experiencing the very trauma that I had pointed out in the PSA section of my post!!! I am so truly sorry that this happened to you, and that I did not get back here to my desk sooner to allay your fears! Please accept my apology, and my gratitude!!!

      I am so happy that you like the fireplace! As for soot and ash cleaning, maybe that "certain furry" soul knows an enchantment she can impart where this fairytale treehouse and all its fireplaces have an automatic cleaning feature? Surely Magica de Spell knows a good cleaning incantation she can share.

      In any case, thank you SO MUCH for your efforts to comment - I look forward to them no matter when they arrive and I hope that this issue no longer troubles you! 💗💗💗

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  15. La chimenea ha quedado espectacular, me encanta ver el proceso. Un beso

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    1. Gracias Matxalen! ¡Estoy tan feliz de que te gusten los resultados!

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  16. Querida Jodi, he estado tan ocupada poniendo en orden mi casa después de las obras, que me había perdido tu post!
    Que maravilla de chimenea, es más que bonita, me encanta todo, sus colores, su forma, las flores...todo parece sacado de un cuento de hadas, como tenía que ser!
    Y esas vidrieras tan coloridas, cada día te superas!
    Espero que hayan llegado tus materiales y estés trabajando duro para volver a sorprendernos con tu arte e imaginación!!
    Besos.

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    1. ¡Muchas gracias Pilar! Los compromisos de la vida real también me han alejado. Espero volver a mi mesa de manualidades la próxima semana. ¡Tengo tantas ideas que me hacen estallar! ¡Espero que toda la construcción esté terminada para ti y que ahora puedas disfrutar de tu sueño hecho realidad!

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  17. Oh wow Jodi, it's beautiful. I love the windows. Thank you for the fire tutorial, I was going to buy one but I will try making one now :-)

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    1. Thanks Polly! That is awesome! I hope you have fun and end up with a fireplace that you love!

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