Sunday, December 27, 2009

Princess Gets Her Dollhouse!

Pictures in this post....videos to follow when I get a faster connection!

The dollhouse as it looked when delivered to Princess Lauren....
Lauren showing off her upholstered couch, courtesy of friend Lesley. The color scheme of pink-purple-silver-gold was carried out in the furniture upholstery.
The house looking much smaller once the massive collection of furniture was added.
& Looking at this picture I am sure anyone can see why Lauren (Lo Lo to us) is our Princess. She picks out all her own outfits and wanted this regal look for Christmas morning.
The dollhouse has now been moved upstairs in the log home to Lo Lo's room where she is playing with it.

I managed to get the furniture mostly done during the few days here prior to Christmas. I have a few odds and ends to complete now and I am done with "The Princess House!"....

I'll publish more detailed pics of individual rooms of furniture, including the grand piano in the next few days.

For now we are in full celebrate Danish-style mode as "Bedstemore" (the kids grandmother on son-in-law's side, and as pronounced in Danish) celebrates her heritage. Lots of special pastries all the way from a Georgia bakery. Monday we celebrate, a day early, the birthday of Daughter Teri and then Tuesday morn bright and early Roadhouse towing SiderRoad Suzie will begin the trek home. We have a New Year's Party at the Elks and then New Years Day is football and my birthday as I turn a pleasant 67!

Hope one and all enjoyed the holiday as much as we.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Excuses....YesIt Was Delivered, and Yes I have Pics/vids

I have the complete crud for the third time since October....I am really not well!

Dollhouse was a giant success. Granddaughter "Princess" was dumb-founded! She is busy arranging furniture, and I still have more to go.

I will post pics/vids soon as i can....and as soon as I feel well enough to edit and learn more about the vid cam which will post direct to YouTube.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Near The End.....Tomorrow is The Last Day!

DEADLINE.....N-O-W!!!!! Tomorrow Duchess will be reactivating her surgical nurse, not in surgerybutin a support role as Daughter Noelle has an operation. I'll be doing final things on "The Princess House".

The usual reaction I get when someone sees it for the 1st time up-close-and-personal is "It's Huge!"
The house, built as a castle for our 6 year old grandchild has rows of what seem to be small crowns atop the roof...all painted in antique gold.
A closer look shows the chimney with its silver and gold bands and the roof of real cedar shingles (each placed lovingly by "Papa")...all 1300 of them!
The front of the home (depending upon your point of view) has this view of a small picture of our "Princess" Lauren Marie from her red dress of last Christmas in place of one of the oval windows of the castle, plus the embroidered trim I found to accent the house.
Later tonight I'll post a pic of the metal plaque which I ordered and has the declaration of:

"The Princess House
Built for Lauren Marie Little
By "Papa" Paul DeLand, II
Delivered, Christmas 2009"

I should have all done when we leave here in "Roadhouse", our motorhome...towing SideRoad Suzie, our little Suzuki Jeep, with the Princess House in the back of the will not fit through the door of the motorhome!

I still have furniture to build, but will do some in Texas this coming week...the rest to be finished in the next few weeks and sent to our "Princess"!!!

I placed the lighted Christmas tree on the dash of "Roadhouse" tonight and it is cheerily greeting all who drive by our home.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Gingerbread Preparation

I went searching for a crown/tiara for the silver oval on the front entry gable...& found this! Love it! It is embroidered material with adhesive.
Here is the actual crown that was part of the set. Now "The Princess House" has it's title on the front wall below the picture of my princess.
Lots of painting in antique gold and silver as I begin to place the gingerbread which comes with the house.
The doors will be double-layered and with windows in place. These are the front door frames.
Closer and closer, but lots still to do including the main roof (one side), ladder to the attic, front porch railings and trim.

Going to be a busy weekend as I try to finish....Cooking tonight at Elks Lodge; party tomorrow night; cooking at the Lodge Sunday where I am "the egg man" doing eggs, omelets and such.

Tired, but the end is in sight!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Porch On & Roofing Being Applied!

We Have Porch!...Installed it in a remarkably short time. Of course, there were a few hours of pre-assembly stuff.
Part (the major part) of the pre-assembly was this porch gable located over the main entrance to the "castle". The color scheme follows the castle motif with gold and silver. Trying to locate a small crown to use on the silver disk.
The shingling I am getting much better at than when I began this. However today I have already burned two fingers and one thumb when hot glue hit them as I either fumbled on the way from glue gun to roof, or the shingle buckled in the middle which leaves you with hot liquid plastic on both finger and thumb. OUCH! It is quite apparent my huge "meat hooks" are not too balanced for such small things as shingles with hot glue attached.
However, with perseverance, and at-this-point a beer, one achieves the goal of a completed roof section. I still have another large section of the porch roof, and the gable to complete. They will be done today.
Time is slipping by, but I am convinced i will prevail and get it done.

Oh, and another first today....a blister on my right pointer finger from the hot glue. That was fun peeling the still-hot, but setting up glue off the blistered area. Ah to be more coordinated....In fact i believe I was much more so at age 20-30 than I am at 66!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

S-H-I-N-G-L-E-S !!!!!

Today was "International Shingle Day" at the DeLand household. I managed to cover all the remaining roof except half the main roof where the large tower is located. That is for tomorrow. Here is a partial picture of the old guy himself setting the individual roof shingles with a hot glue gun.

Only burned about five of my ten fingers and thumbs so far when shingles, freshly-glued flipped in my hand. Nothing like a little melted plastic to get your attention. Then pulling plastic off burned skin is a secondary joy!

Ah well, it is worth it. Of course, just three days ago I ordered 2 more bags of shingles which will now, it turns out, be unneeded. The plans called for 8 bags. I thought that a bit much, and ordered 3 then 2 more. I probably spaced my shingle rows more widely than some would.

Here is a view of the various roofs, except the undone side. Even managed to finish the tower top roof for the kitchen tower.

It now seems I may actually get the house done by my planned date of Sunday. However...That being said I still have the three-section porch roof to install and shingle. It goes around two sides of the house, and has a large gable decoration which I have already completed as a sub-assembly. The porch has a LOT of railings and posts also. Then I still have to build and install the doors (two sets of double doors for front and dining room), and also assemble the ladder which allows attic access, and actually is supposed to be set to fold up into the attic for storage.

The not-likely-to-get-completely-done is the remaining furniture. I plan to do what I can next week, however gassing, loading and setting up the motor home for the trip will take a lot of time and our daughter has a surgery next Thursday, the day before we leave. Mom will be there with her. I will take the furniture with me as I have 5 days in Texas to build in the motor home.

Spent a lot of hours on the house today and now going for a great Glenlivet on-the-rocks so I can relax!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chim-Chiminey, Chim-Chim-Cheroo!

The chimney...a 16-piece construction is added. Now the main rear roof can be shingled....the rest of the way....part of it was involved in the front middle roof shingles.

Now on to fireplaces which are done except for mantle painting. They will be permanently installed as will some pics/clocks/etc.

Moving rapidly as time dwindles down. Tonight the roof around the chimney!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Roof!

I today completed the rear middle roof shingles. The work was tedious as is much of what is involved here, but productive in that I love the result.
The kitchen tower top is under construction also. It will soon be ready for shingles.
I also completed the form for the chimney, and painted the bands around the chimney (the chimney has 16 pieces!) Tomorrow the completion of the kitchen tower top and the chimney and then the roof for the rest of the house will be ready.

In addition I will be adding the porch and glue will be used to make it permanent. I love this thing, and really hope I am ready for the trip West to Texas for Christmas.


Saturday, December 5, 2009


The roof gable is in place and glued....

I have completed the shingles on the 1st major portion of the roof...Consumption of singles indicates I may be short....2 more bags ordered!

The process of shingling....two piles; the complete shingles for the easy part, and the pieces and shorts which I use for corners, etc.

A chimney is a chimney...except when it is comprised of 16 pieces! I am painting, and about ready to assemble the huge chimney for the two fireplaces which are also ready to be painted and assembled. The steps now are smaller, except for the remaining construction of the porch and all the railings, trim etc.

I began at "A" and am now at "L" enroute to "V", however the last steps, as I have noted, are shorter and faster.

Lots of roof still to shingle, and then the touch-ups....and I am certain some of the furniture will not be done in time, but will be an add-on later!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Shingles.....Not A Disease, but Close! this case 1 1/2 by 1 inch shingles...are now one of my priorities as time dwindles down. We depart the morning of December 18th for Texas, and the house must be complete. This shot shows somw shingles installed, and the guide lines drawn on a section of roof for more.
The shingles which remain whole go on quickly with a hot glue gun. The edges, and particularly the corners where roof sections join, provide much more opportunity for cutting (with scissors, thankfully) and filling.

Here is picture from the open rear of the house showing all the roof sections in place...well, except for the large gable, and the tower top for the Kitchen two-story tower.
Duchess is sick today...some form of flu, so I am dedicated to the dollhouse and taking care of her. We will most likely not be going to the Elks Lodge for dinner. I hope she is better tomorrow as we are slated for a Christmas party with The Krewe of Sir Henry of our Gasparilla Krewes. One of the 800 vessels that invade Tampa each year!
For those who don't know Gasparilla, you have never been in Tampa in late January to March when we are annually invaded and subjected to drunkeness, revelry, and rampant parades, bead-throwing, etc. Think Mardi Gras in Tampa...complete with pirate ships and thousands of pirates. The large ship above is the pirates primary ship, the Hose Gaspar....It is actually a barge with masts. The thing is towed by one tug and pushed by another. It is home to hundreds of pirates with miniature cannons which fire frequently. The entire thing is a hoot!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

As The Dog Said......Roof, Roof!

As anyone who has ever done a dollhouse will tell you, the project is like having 8 or 10 projects running simultaneously! Here are a few as i race toward departure for Texas December 18th....1st, the initial fitting of the "Main roof"...this house has three roof sections, plus lots of added peaks and gingerbread trim.
A side shot of the full tower in place...minus the roof singles. The tower top, I believe I mentioned before, will remain removable so little hands can play with furniture in the tower room.
In true fashion, the attic is floored in sections using up the flooring I had. The flooring is now complete on all three floors.
A friend of ours, Miss Lesley, developed an interest in my project and came over to do the cushions, pillows, bedspread, etc. Here are some in-process chair, bench, and couch cushions. I'll post the final product when they are completed.
I currently have the small roof painted and in place, but not glued (pics to follow), and am painting the middle roof. Next we move on to dormers, etc and begin the tedious process of shingling.....each measures 1.5 by 1 inches and they have to be cut to fit and then hot glued in place using pencil lines drawn earlier to keep them straight.

Still to come....chimney, porch roof, doors, all trim for porch, roof, etc.

Busy, busy!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Moving Faster....Tower, Kitchen Bay, Tower Shingles

Now progress is easily seen. The crawling of window frame preparation, and the time-consuming items such as the week i spent on the 1st to 2nd floor 3-section stairway are behind me. Still lots and lots to do, but now things are moving and I feel more confident of finishing. Here is the inside look at the 3rd floor (attic) tower room. The room now has a tower top which will stay removable for access by "Princess" to whatever furniture she places there. The floors are in in the tower part of the 3rd floor.
This is a view of the 2nd floor master bedroom tower area to show the view from inside.
Here is the tower top with the 1st side shingled. The shingles I am leaving natural and will provide to Princess Mom & Pop a number of spares for when accidents occur!
The opposite end of the house and the 2nd tower which is actually a bay for the 1st floor kitchen and 2nd floor kids bedroom. The tower stops at the 2nd floor instead of topping the house as does the main tower.
Other completions today (in spite of the addition of a pesky 2nd in a month): Flooring complete on 1st and 2nd floors including the kitchen bay and the bedroom bay. Tomorrow I tackle the dining room doors and its extended entry onto the porch. This will be followed by beginning the roof install which is 5 steps in the construction. It is a complicated roof with lots of gables, etc.

Saturday will be a busy day as Duchess and a friend of ours will be addressing both some paint touch-up on the house and making cushions for the chairs of the dining room and library plus the living room couch, and a bedspread for the master bedroom.

I also did the grandfather clock today....well, I finished it. Printed the clock face with roman numerals, plus the pendulum and chains for the lower window. Looks good to me.

Hope you all have a quite nice Thanksgiving! We are cooking here for one daughter and her fiancee plus grandson, my brother and the parents of daughter's fiancee. Cajun turkey!

More later folks!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tower Time!

Next step.....3rd floor attic is in, and now the tower which is three stories with a quite large room in the attic. The tower is 7 parts forming an octogon. For those just confused, the 8th part is the access to the tower room.
The windows were pre-installed and painted (by me of course). As one can see there will be a lot of patch and fix to do when construction is complete.
I keep having flashes of what furniture should go where, but that decision will be made by Lauren, the owner, upon delivery Christmas morning! (Yes, there will be pics of the 1st view, the unwrapping of furniture, etc...actually I plan a book of pics and a disk of the complete picture set to her parents for future presentation to her.)

For those who might feel I am nearing completion.....The HUGE set of instructions has sections A thru V. The tower is F. Got the picture? Of course, the steps are not all as large and complicated as these at 1st. (I HOPE!)

It goes on!


We Are Movin-Movin!....3rd Floor (Attic) In; Much More!

Movement quickly now as the job seems to be going smoother....or perhaps I am just getting more knowledge about what I am doing! This post is again sort of in reverse for purposes of allowing my viewers to see how things come together. This is the current dollhouse (not really as I have added the last wall (kitchen wall) today already and am flooring again.
This is a picture of the front corner of the house. When adding floors, one begins at this corner...working the walls and floors together until it all fits. The process can take quite some time. This shows both the glue in the corners, and the small "Princess" picture I placed in two-sided form in the upper oval window. It is actually last Christmas' picture of my Princess in her red velvet age 5. I am, as I have mentioned, trying to personalize this house to her.
When placing the floor I have learned that just setting the piece in place, not really attached, and then allowing it to "settle" by not doing more for an hour or two seems to work wonders. If it sits there the parts seem somehow to then fit better when I actually begin the glue process.
MESS....Yes, even at this point in construction the mess on the day bed in our small bedroom is considerable. Remember, I am now working in two spare bedrooms. The small one for actual construction and the corner bedroom (as we call it) for assembled parts and furniture.
The project has literally taken on a life of its own. My life will pretty much be the dollhouse until mid-December when it will hopefully be completed.

While having the walls in place may seem a lot, let me list some of the jobs remaining....

Flooring on the rest of the 2nd and all of the 3rd floors.
The three-story tower section must be assembled and sealed.
The kitchen bay, just two stories, must be assembled and sealed.
Then the porch and its railings and trim, the roof and its trim, and a few hundred wood shingles to be manually installed one-at-a-time!

In addition, there is paint touch up where construction marred my original paint, or where slots in the walls now contain unpainted, or not-finished tabs which must be smoothed and painted to match.

Lots to do, but I now feel I have a pretty good chance of getting it done.

I may have to take the following month off, however!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

2nd Floor/Stairway installed & More Flooring

Installing the 2nd floor in my dollhouse...which involves also matching and installing the massive stairway simultaneously...proved to be job any 8-armed wizard could handle easily. For we mortals, it proved a challenge. The job is done, though I have not yet applied the glue gun as I am making final adjustments. Here is the look, post install, with some flooring ready for the living room/front hall area.
A closer look at the flooring being readied, plus the stairway in place. Now the actual size of this thing seems even more massive than I had anticipated. It is a good thing I measured the rear door on "Sideroad Suzie", our tow vehicle in which Princess Castle will ride from Tampa to Texas for Christmas. The thing would absolutely NOT fit in through the door of our motor home, "Road House"....
Fitting the "wood" (actually vinyl) flooring for the living room. The stuff can be cut with scissors and comes with some really, really heavy-duty glue on the back. When I pulled off the paper covering, the boards separated, and I ended up installing most of the floor board-by-board!
Here is the finished flooring. The large area was easy...the front hall more of a challenge.
Here is the front hall. As you can see from the picture there is a passageway beside the stairway from the dining room to the front hall. Laying that tile was also a bit of a challenge.
Now in the weekend, I am down to about a month to complete the project, and lots to do. Work will be on-going daily!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WALLS...Plus a Floor!

These pics reflect my construction as the walls are being raised...this is a bit into construction as three wall sections (plus Kitchen wall divider) are in place...NOTE: I am amazed as I look at the pics and find the colors of various walls appear different...probably due the use of both incandescent and photo flash.
This is an outside view of the 1st 2 sections in place.
This is kitchen flooring, plus front wall, plus kitchen wall...
This is the kitchen in place with wall for front also around. The basic beginning....actually these pics should be reversed, but....
It finally begins to be a dollhouse. Please excuse the walls leaning out, and the disconnected pieces in these pics....the process is....glue the 1st floor, wait for the arrival of the 2nd floor and placement of it, then glue next some parts are quite loose at this point.

HOWEVER, there is progress, and the shape begins to emerge....