Limitations

Turns out I’m really bad at making things square. I had thought I had done a good job of centering the studio in the larger build, but as it turns out I didn’t.

I’m about an 1/8 of an inch off. I know it won’t be too noticeable. When I started creating the facade I noticed I was also pretty bad at getting the floors an even distance from the front. To remedy this I measured 2″ in from the edge and glued a piece of wood along the line.

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This way all the facade pieces will be more even than before. Clearly, as you can see in this picture, I need to work on my measuring and cutting skills too. Well, if I’ve learned one thing during this build is that it’s all fixable. It will get covered later.

 

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I hung door and window templates hung in place so that I could get a sense of what still needs to be done. If you look closely you can see my dog, Bolt, in the background. He’s usually right under my chair. I’m always worried I’m going to roll over his tail. Thankfully he’s pretty quick when I start to move.

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The windows and doors need to be tackled. I’ve tried to put it off as long as I could. There will be 4 full size windows, 8 partial windows, one full size set of French doors, and 2 partial sets. That’s all.

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So, after reading and watching lots of dollhouse window tutorials and a few full scale window tutorials I finally decided to jump in. How hard can it be? With my aforementioned inability to measure and cut accurately its a bit harder than I thought it might be. My first try turned out uneven and crooked. So on to Plan B.

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I broke out my Cricut. If anything can cut a straight line it will be the machine designed to cut straight lines. I designed a couple different window designs to try and spent yesterday cutting them out. I used mat board instead of wood. It seems a bit more forgiving.

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The design on the left was my original thought. It looks good in pictures, but in person it looks a bit flat. So I went back to the drawing board. The design on the right looks better in person and is what I’m leaning towards. With a successful window test done I went ahead and designed the door files to cut out with the Cricut.

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Tomorrow will be a cutting marathon. Hopefully I can get all the windows assembled and maybe one of the doors. I’m also starting to fill in the facade with more wood. Inching forward, cut by cut.

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Balcony Botanicals

I’m making small steps in the creation of the facade. I’ll share pictures when I get a little bit further. For right now most of my facade progress is mental. In the mean time I’ve been working on some adornments.

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The balcony seems sufficiently full. I’m not sure if that’s the railing I’ll be using. It feels too busy. I like the middle part, so I might try creating something along those lines.

 

I thought I’d share how I made the geraniums. The window box was made from wood glued together to create a box, then painted to look vaguely cement like.

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These plastic flowers were found at Michael’s. I thought they looked like a good form for the flower base. Since they were on sale I took a chance.

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The flowers were pulled off and I trimmed the base to be more even. I glued a piece of wire into the bottom of the flower.

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Once the glue dried they were painted with varying shades of red.

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On my last trip to Earth and Tree Miniatures I found a tiny bag of bright pink paper flower shapes. I bought them since they were inexpensive and I figured they would come in handy eventually. I used a ball stylus and some craft foam to shape the flowers.

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The flowers were glued in-between the petals of the plastic flower. I didn’t worry about the paper flowers being pink and the plastic flowers being red. I applied red paint onto the pink flowers once the glue was dry.

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The dirt is styrofoam painted brown. The flowers were glued in first, then I filled in with leaves.

The leaves are from Jeannetta Kendall Miniatures. I used water colors to paint them green. The purple was added with an eggplant colored tombow marker. I added a tiny bit of water to have the marker spread a little so it would look softer and more natural. They looked rough before I shaped them. I used the ball stylus again and a dental tool to create the shape. The leaves were glued onto little pieces of wire and then pushed into the “dirt”.

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I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. The flowers are probably a little bit bigger than they should be, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m thinking this technique would be great in making hydrangea too. However, I have too much other stuff to do before I can try it. I’m feel like I’m so behind on the Creatin’ Contest build right now. I know it always looks worse before it starts to look better. Eek!

This weekend I’m hoping to get a good start on the 12 full and partial windows I need. We’ll see how it goes.

Next Steps

Way back in the beginning I had decided that I wanted my studio to be part of an apartment building. Since I’m not a completely crazy person I need to figure out a way to capture just part of the building.

I decided to pull inspiration from artists like Ichiyo Haga. However, mine needs to open up to reveal the studio. I’ve let the technical aspect of this intimidate me.

This is where I was last week. It was emptied out. I noticed the top was sagging a little so I put in 2 supports to brace it better.

I used some mat board to create a blank canvas. I needed to hide the spaces I won’t be furnishing so that I could get a better idea of what the outside of the building will look like. If that makes sense.

One of the things I’ve been mentally struggling with is how to keep the build looking like the kit. I’ve been using all of the pieces from the kit and adding more to it, but I know it’s possible to look at it and not know the kit was even used. So how do I keep the integrity of the kit while making my vision come to life?

I started with measuring and adding.

And then some sketching. There are a few mess ups, but it gives me a good road map of how to attack the front of the building. I’m aiming to keep the architectural elements from the kit intact. I’ll just expand them to repeat around the studio. There will be a couple of balconies, lots of tall windows, and a few French doors. The building facade will have a stone or brick finish. The windows and balconies will have iron railings. The center doors and flanking windows will be the area that opens up to reveal the studio. All of the windows will need to be custom, but they will look a lot like the windows from the kit. I may even cannibalize the kit windows. The front will be held on with magnets. This is where next week’s projects will be heading. Yay! Finally I have less of a general concept and more of a plan! It might just be 12% of a plan, but that’s better than 11%.