Saturday, October 1, 2011

Colonial Revival Update 4

Even the most organized among us lose track of time every now and again, and I don't count myself among the MOST organized!  That said, wow, last update was in June and here it is October 1!  Fall is in the air, football is in full swing, baseball is in the playoffs and yet another professional sport is on strike (NBA).  Ah, thank goodness for the stable world of miniatures!!!!

So, here is where we last left off.  The entry hall is coming together nicely and I told you we would be moving on to the living room.  So let's do that.

This is the back side of the stair wall in the entry hall.  You will notice the tape  wire has been placed to support two sconces above the living room fireplace.  The square with the cut out will provide a framed location above the fireplace to hold a picture.  Again, the tape wire terminates at the floor so a connection can be need underneath the house to some switches.  More on that later.

Here a shot of the fireplace in progress.  I have added a faux marble surround and painted the grate.  I will close in the back and add working embers.  Can't decide if I will do more but this is what I have so far.

Here I have added the sconces to the picture surround that will go above the fireplace.  I am really enjoying this (new to me) technique of layering in texture in the construction of the room.  Here to fore I just went with the flat walls.  I may be going a bit overboard but I am learning quite a bit about the process which will definitely help me with future projects.

OK, progress!  The sconces have been wired to the tape wire and the picture surround attached to the wall.  The columns are of the same material as the wainscot that I added to the hallway.  I just placed them here for now to get a feel for the look.  You will notice a small line just above the base of the column, that is where I chose to cut them down to fit the ceiling height.  They came pre-made about an inch too tall.  After some sanding and paint, these should be far less visible.

Here, the columns have been painted, the capitals have been painted gold, and the fireplace has been added to the wall.  I plan to paint the column bases black to match the baseboard moulding that will be added.

I took this shot to get some perspective of the fireplace wall from the "floor" level.  I am liking where this is headed.

Now the walls are painted a taupe color, the column bases are black, and the tape wire on the floor will support some plug in sockets, either in the floor or on the walls.

Here I am piecing in the wood floor since my sheets are not quite long enough to span the depth of the room.

As promised, here is a shot of the area where I intend to add push button switches to control the various electrical items in the house.  I used this technique with my scratch built contemporary dollhouse with good success.  The switches are push on/off switches I purchased from the local Radio Shack store.  I used crimp and connect connectors from the wire to the switch and tape the wires together at the origin.

Here you can see the wires coming through the floor waiting to be connected to a power source and the switches.  You can see by the bits of masking tape that I have begun labeling them so I don't lose track of which wire goes to which item.

As we approach completion of the living room, the downstairs portion of the main house is nearly done. I have started the construction of the two story addition kit that will house the kitchen and master bathroom.  Perhaps we will focus on that next time.  Until then, thanks for checking in on Minibydesign!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Colonial Revival Update 3

Wow time flies when you fit a wedding into your schedule!  My younger son was married on June 11th and all went perfectly well.  The planning and preparation leading up to the wedding and the recovery period after has made the last month fly by!  I can hardly believe it has been a month since my last update to this blog.  Fortunately, I did fit in some work on the dollhouse and took plenty of pictures to provide fodder for this update.

When I left you last we were moving from the dining room into the hallway.  I envision a fairly formal and grand entry way to include light colors and plenty of light (a large chandelier included).  To begin, I selected a wallpaper and started it around the front door.

I purchased some ready made wainscoting that is a resin material.  It is my first time using this product and I have to say I am quite pleased with its look.  It cuts very easy on the scroll saw, it is easy to sand, and holds paint very well.  I decided to cut pieces of the wall paper to accent the inside areas of the squares on the wainscot.

Below you can see a close up of the wall paper in place.

In this next shot you see the wainscot on the complete hall wall.  Notice the wires are in place for the two wall sconces yet to be added.  Also notice the wires at the base of the wall feeding into some holes in the floor.  These will lead to some switches on the back base of the house to control the lights.

In the next shot you see the other hallway wall that supports the stairs.  The wall is papered and has the wainscot in place.  The tape wire will be hidden by the staircase.  This tape wire supports a light on the wall under the stairs.

In the next photo is a close up of the outside edge stair panel that I am cutting from some basswood stock.

Now the stair is in place along with the treads.

Another closer shot of the stairs.  Also notice the wood floor is down and stained.

 And lastly, a shot of the completed sconce wall with the sconces in place.

When I return, it will be time to move onto the living room.  Until then, thanks for checking in on Minibydesign!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Colonial Update Part 2

When I last reported the basic shell was in place and some of the planning was coming together in the form or pencil marks on the wall.  Well, much has been accomplished since then, despite a 10 day hiatus to attend the wedding of some very good friends daughter in Texas.

Shortly upon my return from Texas, the mini shop was a whirl of sawdust and paint once again.  Next up the bump out wall for the fireplace.  Here you can see the basic structure with the fireplace temporarily in place.

Next I added some moulding to form two recesses on each side of the wall above the mantel.  These recesses will highlight the sconces to be added later.

Fast forward to see the paint and wallpaper have been added to the fireplace wall and surround.

In the next shot you can see the wall sconces have been added and the chair rail and skirt board are being secured until the glue dries.

Here the fireplace wall is essentially complete and the wires for the working fireplace embers and the wall sconces have been fed through the holes below the floor.  There is an extra wire to support the circuit that will connect to the chandelier to be added to this room when the ceiling goes in.  I have learned through the years to plan 3 or 4 steps ahead to make life a little easier down the road. :)

You will notice in the above shot, the wood flooring is in place.  While working on the fireplace wall as a separate piece, I was able to continue work on the room itself.

Here you see the fireplace wall as a work in process while in the background, you can see I have added the wall sconces and wall paper to the far wall.

Now the wall paper has been completed on the front wall and the section below the chair rail line has gotten its first coat of paint.

A close up of the sconces, wall paper and paint job.  Looking good so far!

And now the floor goes down.  It will get at least 3 coats of clear stain to shine it up a bit.

Next time, we will move into the entry hall.  Until then, thanks for checking out Minibydesign!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Colonial Revival Time!

I have been deeply engrossed in the making of miniature modern, Art Deco, and Frank Lloyd Wright inspired furniture for the past 2 years.  Along the way I did two Art Deco inspired room boxes.  About 4 years ago I purchased the Montclair Kit by Real Good Toys on a 50% off sale!  Since then the 4 boxes have been sitting on a shelf waiting to be opened.  Well, my friends, two weeks ago, the boxes were opened and I am off to the races!

I went all the way and acquired the two additions that go on either side of the main house.  The two story addition will house the kitchen downstairs and the master bathroom upstairs.  The Conservatory will house a large garden room off of the main living room to take advantage of all the light the walls of windows will let in.

Here a shot of a few of the pieces out of the box.  I was relieved that after four years there were no missing or damaged parts!

OK, on to some assembly........

First the foundation.  In the first shot, the plywood you see underneath the framing is not floor, it is a spare piece of plywood I am using to expand my work spot for the house.  The second shot shows the floor going on over the framing.  It is a long journey from here but at last it is started!

Here the first wall is going up.  The door will be the entrance between the dining room in the main house and the kitchen in the lower floor of the two story addition.  The braces are in place to insure vertical alignment at 90 degrees.

Now the other wall and the front are in place.  Notice the main entrance in the center and the symmetry of the windows on either side.

A quick shot of the front of the main house.  One of many nice things about RGT kits is the clapboard siding is already milled into the outer walls.  A nice detail and a big time saver!

Here you can see I have carved two wire slots to run electric to two wall sconces.  These will be filled in with wood putty and sanded smooth before the wallpaper goes up.  Also, you can see the line I have marked for the chair rail height so as to not bring the wallpaper down so far.

Next time, a fireplace wall with a bump out to add architectural interest to the dining room.

Thanks for stopping by to Minibydesign!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Art Deco Bar The Unveiling

At long last, the Art Deco Bar is done!  As it is just opening I am afraid it is woefully understocked but time will take care of that!  Also, I am on the prowl for a top notch 1940's era bartender who knows how to make the driest martini in the land!

Without further adieu here are a few pics:

This is taken from one of the two open sides.  Gives a good overall view of the bar and seating.  Thanks to Dale of Dalesdreams ( for the wonderful work on each of the seats on the bar stools.  Also, Dale is responsible for picking out the fabric for the carpet and sending it to me!  Whoot, thanks Dale it is perfect!  A wonderful artisan, please check out her shop soon!

Here you see some of the art work I pieced together from some old advertisements in the art deco era.

A close up of the storage under the bar and part of the bar work surface.

Here I opened the cabinet doors under the corner cabinet to reveal yet more storage space waiting to be filled with bar goodies.

Notice the lights over the clear shelves in the back corner cabinet.  Also, you can see the color bands over the bar which are lit from within with LED lights (4 total inside the bar canopy).

A shot of the other side of the bar showing more storage shelves loaded with a few "wine" bottles.  I love the art deco piece on the wall in this shot.  Also, notice the black and white checked floor tile behind the bar area.

Nice shot from seat high level with the lights on.  You can get a good sense of the contrast of aluminum, mirrors, and black and white colors.  Notice the black and chrome footrest along the base of the bar.

A special thank you to Lisa of Everydaygourmet ( who custom made this wonderful garnish tray at my request.  Wonderfully real looking orange, lime, and lemon slices along with olives and cherries and toothpicks too!  Thanks also to Lisa who made all the cocktails scattered around the bar and tables.  Amazing work and you should check out her shop soon!

This has been a very gratifying project and I hope soon to tackle the third room box in this series, the art deco era dining  room.  With the anteroom and the bar in place, I need a place for folks to dine.

Until then, thanks for checking in with Minibydesign and happy mini-making to all!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wow Time Flies

My friends, I am so sorry that I have been so delinquent in updating my Blog.  After 8 plus months of being unemployed I started a new job in January 2010.  At first, keeping my mini world and my real world in sinc was OK.  But things quickly unraveled.  I am sure most, if not all, of you know of what I speak.

Anyway, the deco bar is nearly done and I hope to soon post an update of completion.  Other projects are slowly underway.  Thanks for following me and for your patience in my delayed progress.

Happy mini-making to one and all!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Art Deco Bar Update 5

Wow, winter really kicked the mini-making community in much of the USA this year and North Carolina was no exception!  Finally, the weather has begun to warm, the snow is melted, and the mini-shop is inhabitable once again!  YAY!

I took advantage of the recent good weather to finish the bar stools courtesy of some fine cushions prepared by my fine Team ETSY teammate on TeamMIDS.  Dale of DalesDreams does wonderful work, visit her shop at  Thanks Dale!

Here you can see a couple of pics where the cushions are clamped and glued to their base on the seat post.

When I first opened my shop this morning the sun was shining on the Art Deco Bar like it was waiting for opening day.  I snapped a couple of pics just using the natural sunlight coming into my shop.

You can see the washers on the floor that form the base of the stools.  I drilled up through the bottom of the floor to secure the stools to the floor.  Worked pretty well and I think the results speak for themself....

Now all that is left is to add some art on the wall, a few drinks on the bar and the bar accessories to the shelves and bar workspace.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I will have final pics next weekend.  Thanks for checking in!