Friday, October 30, 2009

Vacation...Still Working!

At the beach for two weeks, so I could not bring the dollhouse along....Ah, furniture....Off to the construction, but 1st the wallpaper. These are some of mine that will be clear as I progress.This is a pair of walls already papered....Kitchen is lined....Living room wall will have a fireplace in front of it.
Finally, my beach construction....the dining I have done a lot on the library...selected some material for chair seats today....nice gold brocade for the "castle"...pinks and purples for the couch in living room, etc.

Moving on, returning home tomorrow, and then full-tilt til December to finish for my "Princess".


Saturday, October 10, 2009

8. Windows & Trim

Approaching my self-established deadline for having the walls on the house up by time for our beach vacation (one week from today!). The remaining work has to do with installing windows and trim, plus some wallpapering. These tasks need to be done prior to wall installation as the job becomes much more difficult once they are up. This picture is of the many pieces making up only the 6 windows of the three story tower section.
Once painted, and glued in place the exterior frames and sills look like this. I am continuing the castle motif using silver for the exterior frames, and gold for the crown pieces. These pieces are three of the five sides of the main tower. There is a secondary kitchen bay which is only two stories, and smaller than the main tower.
Now the interior pieces (done in white), the actual plastic windows and the tower walls are complete and ready for installation. That still leaves a number of windows and doors to be framed in the main wall sections.

It all takes time. Lots of time.


Friday, October 9, 2009

7. Kitchen Furniture

I mentioned the dollhouse furniture kits. Here is the kitchen group completed in "Cinderella's Castle" style for my Princess.
The stove has been customized with the name, and the clock face is a photo-paper face replacing the black and white one included with the kit.
Now on to other rooms that take more work in things like upholstery, etc.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

6. My Construction Site - "El Messo de Mucho!"

Little ovals...all in a row. These are the 6 exterior frames for the oval windows in the dollhouse. While photoflash light is not kind to colors I believe you get the theme....silver frames, gold crown piece. Bth paints are metallic.

There used to be a fellow here in Tampa who hawked tires on TV. His commercials always began..."Tires ain't purtty!" Well, neither is my "construction zone." The table contains some of the important tools, etc...Dremel, knife, instant glue, small trim paints, some misc. parts.
My work top (a 2nd table) is actually the paper-covered foundation of the house. Here doorway arches, tower parts, etc are in-process. Each piece gets 2-3 coats per side plus a finish coat for the frames of openings.
Day bed is home to parts sheets not yet separated, plus more in-process sections of the exterior of the building.
The construction table again; showing stacks of wall sections below. Believe it or not, there is order here. Left sheets are complete; right pile has wall paint, and awaits frames and openings paint.
The process is quite tedious at this point. Paint a coat....wait...paint a coat. Somewhere in there my "Mouse" sander is brought into play as one side of each wall has a roughness that sands out well after 1st paint coat.

Working feverishly now toward the goal of "walls up"...which will necessarily include 2nd October 17th when we depart for our 19th annual October at Madeira Beach for two weeks. I cannot take house along, but the remaining five furniture kits will be there with me. Hopefully I can finish 1-3 of them while relaxing and enjoying the finest time on Florida's beaches....last half of October.

Back to it folks....


Sunday, October 4, 2009

5. There are different "Levels" of dollhouse building!

I have found an entire community of builders online. Some make this a complete obsession. The following pictures are from one of these. This is the dollhouse I am building, but with probably at least a couple of thousand dollars invested in external trim, trees, gazebo, lights for the porch and inside, etc.
Needless to say, this is not a dollhouse for someone's grandchild. It is a serious collector's house.
Mine will be quite simple compared to this one and sans lights, external plants/shrubs etc.

Mine is to be a dollhouse to be played with by a young girl.

I did find these pics astounding. I cannot imagine the hours involved...however, having checked prices online for lights, wallpaper, and the fancy furniture inside one of these I can imagine the deep pockets needed to complete it.


4. Stairway Complete.....

The stairway took a LOT of painting. Getting it covered in all the openings, under each step, and on the risers was a job. It all took at least two coats.
The gold banisters are part of the castle effect I am working toward. The flash, unfortunately, distorts the gold color a is actually quite bright and metallic-looking.

I am looking forward to the next major challenge....bringing wall sections, 2nd floor piece and stair all together at once...I'll need lots of hands!


3. Stairway To Heaven? - Nope, just to the 2nd floor!

Believe it or not I spent a week on this stairway (NO, not working full time, but probably spending a couple to three hours daily in short bursts...each added piece has to dry prior to moving on)...Here it is pictured still without paint or banisters. There were more than 50 parts to the stairway. Most simple dollhouses have traditional stairs in a stair well. This one is a standalone, and will be located just inside the main front entrance. Note: the yellow you see is glue which has not entirely dried. It does not show when finished.

The fit of the pieces here was pretty good...however, the labeling on the schematics was less than adequate. I had to modify some parts.

That brings up the topic of tools. I happened to have most of what I needed, but still have one to buy. I am using frequently a Black and Decker "Mouse" sander on large wall sections which range from quite smooth to quite rough. I have a sharp model knife, an entire selection of paint brushes for various sized pieces, and both wood glue and instant glue (for those hard to hold together pieces) This stuff sets in 10 seconds, so you had better KNOW where the pieces fit together! I will be buying a glue gun far not needed, but aligning walls and panels will involve some hot glue application. One final tool that Dremel high-speed tool with a variety of disks, tubes, etc. for sanding, cutting, smoothing and so forth. I used this to replace one piece that was missing. Cut the piece from a section of left-over stock from a parts sheet.


2. Every Good House Has A Foundation!

The instruction sheets for this are both interesting, and lacking. They lack some quite simple pieces of information that one must then figure for him/herself...The pictures and the schematics of the nearly 23 sheets of parts help more than the actual instructions.

The foundation....The gray area is porch. The entire rear of the house will be open. At this point the entire under-side of the foundation is painted gray.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

1. Why Would I tackle This?

The "Stock" Pierce Dollhouse!

Why, Indeed....

Well, for one, I had wanted to build another dollhouse for YEARS!

I built two smaller ones (4 & 6 rooms) more than 25 years ago. I enjoyed it then, but until now the time to do so was not available.

Then there is the "who to build it for" stuff....That may prove more complicated than I at first thought.

I have a 6 year old blonde, blue-eyed little grandchild in Texas who is known as "Princess", and who has been telling her Mom she wants a castle.

I decided to plunge in and make a dollhouse for her for Christmas.


9 rooms, plus 6 rooms of furniture in kit form. Gooollllleeee!

Much more than I thought.

The pic above is the usual format for the "Pierce" made by Greenleaf, one of the premier makers of dollhouse kits.

I am "Castle-a-sizing" the thing to match Princess' love of pink, purple, silver, gold, etc.

We will see how that works out....and, I now intend to blog the building as I go.

Keep reading folks.

It may be interesting!