Monday, August 15, 2011

Old meets new

Lately I am obsessed with retro modern decor. Love the look of much of the vintage Lundby, Tomy, petite princess stuff. I was all set to embark on a 3/4 scale house build following the ideas and basic layout of the Ira Grandberg dollhouse in the Womens Day mid October 1976 issue. BUT then my husband sweetly offered to help display my Lilac Hill house in our foyer, with lighting, if I would agree to complete renovations soon. Well, that was an offer I couldn't refuse! So back to Lilac Hill I went. Of course the kitchen and parlor were nearly complete but they just didn't set well with me so, if course, I once again gutted the first floor and knocked out a wall. The wood floors have been patched, sanded, stained and varnished endlessly. The kitchen furniture repainted, a couple new pieces purchased and a faux brick surface placed on the back kitchen wall. Oh, and I built and painted an island cabinet. I love
it!!! Just refinished the parlor, Argyle room and bathroom floors, as well. Now for re-papering the walls. Excellent!!! (but I still follow The retro stuff on EBay. That will still be my next project!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The perfect project!!

Ok, I've had an epiphany and only my "mini friends" can truly share my excitement! Couldn't sleep last night and so I was thinking about my Celerity Corner Store building that I bought a few months back. I had planned to do an Irish Pub on the ground floor but just couldn't get fired up about the details. Then it hit me!! The perfect business---a thrift store!!!! Oh, I am so excited to get started!!! Every mini-nut loves the treasures at a resale shop!! Why not make a miniature secondhand store??? Just the ticket, baby!! I have tons of lovely little things of all kinds that could fit right in!! Now, what to call it?? The Treasure Trove? Nifty Thrift?? Anybody have suggestions???

Monday, June 20, 2011

Check out this giveaway!

Hey, kids!  There is a great giveaway over at Go check it out!  Pei Li has some absolutely lovely tiny treasures!

I have been working on the artist cottage but mostly in my mind. (Ha!)  I did take a whack at a stucco exterior using DAP plaster patch becasue I have read others had used it successfully.  It IS like frosting a cake!  Much thinner than spackle.  Took me a while to get the hang of it but then......What fun!!!  I had a blast getting my hands all crusty and goopy!  I'll try to post some pics later today between loads of laundry!

I stopped by Dollar Tree the other day (don't you just adore that place?) and found a china doll!  She has a sweet face and her toes are pointed so I think I can work with that by making some shoes for her out of clay.  I mean, who wants to walk aroung on tippy-toe all day? Ouch!

I also have "cracked down" on myself to organize my craft room.  I am really bad about stashing stuff in all sorts of places by the kitchen so I can work on mini projects if I get a spare second. My hubs isn't overly happy with this since I already ahve a huge craft room downstairs!!  I see his point...So I have been busily moving all my stashed goodies (there are ALOT) from upstairs to the downstairs room.  And going thru little stashes I find here and there.  So fun tho sort thru my mini goodies!!! I'll take some pics later to show you my progress.  Found a big set of shelves this weekend at a church sale for $5.  Awesome bargain!!  Ok, back to laundrry for a bit!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ideas and inspiration abound!

Hello to my lovely followers!!  Hope you had a bit of time for some creativity and dreaming today.  I am excited to finally have a direction for the cabin!  The answer was staring me right in the face all along. Miss Vivian has been needing a place for her twin sister, Vanessa, to live.  Of course she is welcome at the Big House (AKA Lilac Hill) but it really isn't her style.  She lives more of a free-spirited Bohemian lifestyle (She has aqua hair!!).  Very much a creative soul, Vanessa currently is living in a tent in the back yard.  She doesn't mind it really but she has no place for her artwork.  She loves to paint and sculpt, using all kinds of mediums and finding inspiration every where she looks.  So naturally the cabin would be great for her studio!!  It is on the family property, but would allow her complete freedom and privacy to create however and whenever the mood strikes.  Oh yes, I am on to something now!!  The old Merriweather Family hunting cabin shall be made ready for Miss Vanessa! I have already started gutting it.  The top floor will be cut into a sleeping loft in order to let in more natural light (very important to a painter!). I think the outside will be stucco perhaps.....  So much to do!!

I was lucky today to have my friend, Cassie, come over to work on minis with me!  I showed her how I made the baskets we chatted up a storm.  I wish I had a picture to show you of her latest creations.  She is very talented in making detailed miniatures. I have no patience or skill for the tiny accessories, but Cassie real excels at it!  She made some tiny pencils and small packages of sandpaper for a craft shop she's currently building.  So amazing!! So extremely detailed!!  We decided to do some swapping, which we really should have thought of sooner.  Since she likes my red sofa, I'm going to make her a modern chaise lounge piece. In return, I get some of her tiny "craft supplies" for Vanessa's artist studio!  I promise to post pics of everything. :)

Today I finished a rug that I have been working on lately.  I am amazed by those of you out there that do needlework on silk gauze to make those exquisite rugs!  I am just plain toooooo lazy and impatient (bad combo, huh?) to do that myself.  So  I was looking at that burlap the other day after making baskets and had an idea.  I put some on an embroidery hoop and stretched tight and fairly straight.  Took a big blunt end needle and some embriodery floss and set to work "weaving" a line as long as I wanted my throw rug.  Then just turned at the end and went back. Over under over under and so on. When I had enough lines to look the correct width I wanted, I quickly looped around the end edges and snipped off my floos.  Turned it over, still in the hoop, and smeared Elmer's glue all over the back and pretty heavily around the edges.  Once that dried well, I simply cut out the rug and Bingo!  It turned out pretty well for just winging it (which is how I do most things!).  I think I'll unravel a bit o burlap and glue it to the ends for some fringe.  Man, burlap is cheap and proving to be pretty darn useful!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Livin the mini dream!!

Greetings and salutation, my friends!  I am over the moon excited to have 6 followers!!!  So I bet raise my game and have great entry today!  Well, let's see..... I have recently made a modern type red sofa that doesn't really go in Lilac Hill or any other house I have.  I just have been pondering a sofa for quite some time and I went for it using 1/2 inch formcore.  I loathe cutting the stuff (mostly because I cannot cut straight to save my life!!) but it has a ton o mini uses!  I love the sofa and have been adding to its scene on my shelf the last few days.  Also whipped up some baskets for my porch scene and Lilac Hill (AKA The Big House).  I am in complete and total awe of those able to weave tiny baskets (or anything really) ,such as Casey over at (I simply adore her and have read every post in her archives!), but unfortunately I am fairly certain my own attempt to weave anything at all would prove both frustrating and futile. Oh, I'm also a bit lazy. Ok, maybe more than a bit.......

Anyhoo, I chose to make my baskets with a remnant of wooven ribbon (no idea what the actual name is) and some burlap from the fabric bargain bin.  Worked like a charm!  Hooray for mini baskets!!!

Now, I know that I have set out some clear goals for myself for this month so that I can start my giant Celerity Corner Store Kit BUT, think I'll change up my plans a bit. *Woman's Prerogative*  I few months back I attended a Miniature Garage Sale in St Louis. (The heavens parted, angels wept) Loved it!!! Treasure Trove!!!!!  Ok, so in addition to a ton o mini goodies, I bought a small dollhouse house "hunting cabin" for a $20 charitable donation. Score!!!  At the time I had planned to make it a tricked out man cave/fishing cabin as a project to with my hubs.  Thought it might get him interested in miniature musing.  Well, that didn't really go as I envisioned and the cabin was shelved after some bashing.  I brought it out yesterday and I think it will be my focus for awhile. Could be 2 weeks or 2 days, who knows? (And who cares?! Haha) I love the porch beams and they simply must stay. That is the only plan for now. It was thrown together quickly with a hot glue gun by the looks of it so some peeling and patching is in order. Then we shall see where the cottage leads me.........

Friday, June 10, 2011

Watch out-I'm very motivated today!!

Though I have always loved crafts and miniatures of all kinds, the last 6 months they have become almost an obsession.  If I don't get to work on a mini project each day, I at least read about minis on blogs and in old dollhouse magazines.  I am hooked on several mini blogs and today I decided to become an "official follower" and stop being a lurker! I also posted some pics of my recent projects.  I mean, why not?!  While seeing so many fabulous items out there by true miniature artisans is VERY humbling, I am a proud beginner! I love to create and inspiration is literally all around me.  Looking around with a brave spirit and creative eye keeps me young at heart.  This strange wonferful world of tiny treasures has truly given me a new lease on life and terribly needed creative outlet.  I just love it!!!

So what am I up these days?  Well, I'll just tell you..........The half scale house is nearly complete but I got a bit bored so it is resting in the craft room til inspiration strikes.  The poor Merriweather Family has been ever so patient with me and I am so grateful. The Lilac Hill house continues to be under extensive renovations and will likely be for years to come. The tore out the parlor (that I had JUST finished redooing) and went in a completely different direction.  Woman's prerogative and such. Then I demolished the bathroom I had just framed in. Decided I needed to let that property mellowed for a bit and focus elsewhere.  I have a new dollhouse kit just begging to be built but I am making myself do a few smaller things before I dive into another HUGE project. The new building will have a pub on the ground level, a book/gift store on the 2nd level, small apt on the 3rd floor and then a rooftop garden.  It is all detailed in my mind and looks excellent!!!  I made a list of what I must complete BEFORE I even open the box.  The biggest challenge on that "to do" list is to organize my craft room.  Ugh!  I get motivated, head down there and work pretty well for maybe 30 minutes (at best!) then I get sidetracked into a little project.  Ugh, Cara!!!  Ah well, it is my curse and my blessing. ;)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Break from blogging but not creating!

Hello! I have been very lacking on my blog entries but I have been working on plenty of mini things. I have nearly completed a half scale (1/2"=1ft) house that is based on a Sears&Roebuck kit real life "kit" house from yesteryear. I started this because my Littles dolls from my childhood needed a home. I have nearly all of the dolls and furniture from the early 80s. Anyway, I built this basically from a plan out of an old dollhouse magazine (Nutshell News, 1990). The shell is foamcore and all trim is done with craft sticks. The roof shingles are very coarse sandpaper. I still need to finish the lawn and some front shingling but then my Littles can move in!

I also put together an old porch kit and painted it to match my living room. I needed some minis where I can enjoy them daily. (Lilac Hill is to large and heavy to move upstairs so it has to live down in my craft room.) I am still adding to the porch decor and plan to add window treatments. There is also a crabby old man doll in the works to sit in the porch rocker. My hubs has named him Orville. Great name!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Almost springtime!

    The progress at Lilac Hill is staggering!  The bathroom is completely walled in and the hallway is nearly complete. The black and white room is being furnished currently and there will be pictures soon.  The argyle room has been rearranged to suit an occupant.  Vivian's brother Grayham Merriweather (Gray, for short) has moved in!  He is quite the jet setting playboy but he has promised to stay awhile at Lilac Hill and help Viv with renovations.  While she's happy for the company, Gray has not been much help so far since he rarely is home!  When he's not brokering business deals or checking in on investment properties, he's out on hot dates.  This man about town is very popular with the fairer sex and doesn't he love it! 
    There are a few new pets in the house as well.  Pip the dog has made fast friends with Tick, so they mostly hangout in Viv's attic bedroom.  Once the black and white room is finished, Cousin Prudence and her poodle, Chaucer, will be arriving. The child of missionaries, she grew up mostly in the far east and recently earned her Master's in Asian studies. 
    Viv has been enjoying sewing curtains and pillows lately and is trying to learn to knit.  She loves making things for the house and mending for Gray. She still has no interest in cooking, but hopefully cousin Pru will!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Busy, busy

  Oh, there is so much going on in that old house!  The old master bedroom has been completely redone. New paint, new wallpaper, floor sanded and varnished.  The bed was raised up a bit for comfort sake and all the bedding is new.  The "yo-yo" quilt is quite vintage, as they say, and really gives the room a splash of color and a nice bit of coziness. 
  The bathroom is still not finished but it is getting much closer and all the walls are now up.  Just a bit more wallpapering is needed in the hall and it will be ready to decorate.  Perhaps a small table and some flowers?  Or a corner shelf?  Viv is undecided at the moment.  So many choices!!
  Another twin bed has been redone and lengthened a bit.  All new snuggy flannel sheets and blankets as well as a newly arrived guest.  This old cat has been skulking around the house the last few days and while Viv isn't overly fond of felines, she doesn't have the heart to turn him out.  So the creature shall stay and become part of the Lilac Hill family.  He shall be called Sneaks for obvious reasons.
  You may wonder why all the beds are being made ready suddenly.  Vivian has gotten word that a few family members will soon arrive to assist with the renovation.  Hopefully the bathroom will be completed by the time they arrive!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A bit of shopping

  Viv was able to take a short break from all of her hard work on the house and visit some local shops.  She found a few things for the new bathroom as well as a few plants to scatter around.  Seeing the new bits of green here and there make her anxious for spring to arrive at Lilac Hill!
  Tonight she retired a little early and has curled up with a good book.  It is doubtful she'll be able to keep her eyes open for very long, though.  She thought her fast paced modeling career was exhausting but it was nothing compared to all these home repairs.  Sleep tight, Miss Viv.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowed in at Lilac Hill

  A huge snowstorm today has kept Viv working indoors.  The old furnace keeps the house cozy and there are plenty of projects to occupy her time.  The kitchen is nearly completed, though the fridge is pretty outdated and will likely give out sooner rather than later.  It is so nice to have a useable kitchen that it almost makes Viv wish she knew how to cook!  Oh well.....
  The bathroom renovation is a huge undertaking and ,having no plumbing skills, Vivian chose to contract out the biggest part of the job.  The original bathroom was an afterthought clear up on the third floor and very unhandy.  Luckily, the second floor foyer area was rather large and quite a waste of space so............viola!   The fixtures have all been relocated but the dividing wall still needs to be put up.  Vivian feels she is up to that challenge is so very thankful all the "professional" bathroom projects were completed before the big snow.  Hopefully, she will be able to frame in the bathroom and hang drywall this week. At some point she hopes to have the plumber install a shower fixture on the tub, but for now she is content with baths. With bubbles, of course!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Miss Viv

  Currently there is only one member of the Merriweather Family staying at Lilac Hill.  Miss Vivian (Viv for short) has left behind her successful high fashion modeling career and returned to the homestead for good.  Viv plans to do most of the renovations herself although she is quite a novice.  She has already updated the parlor with new wallpaper, paint and an attractive area rug.
  Viv has decided to stay in the attic bedroom for now since the old bed up there is the only one she finds comfy.  She is rather tall which made her terribly self conscious as a young girl but later served her well as a model.  The bed in the Master bedroom is just a tiny bit too short for her and the furnishings aren't her taste.  The old attic room was her favorite place as a child when she visited Lilac Hill during summer and holiday vacations from boarding school in New York.  You may notice her dog, Tick, tucked in his bed in that room , as well. 

A gift made by my friend, Cassie!

A gift made by my friend, Cassie!

The burlap rug

The burlap rug