Sunday, March 31, 2013

Flooring Day!!

This week's task was to begin the process of laying flooring. I had a few things laying around in my stash that I used.

These are linoleum - like tiles that are very flexible and easy to cut with a craft knife.

I adhered them to the floor using spray adhesive.I thought the splattered design would be perfect for a kitchen floor. Could be 1950s or 1960s era so great for a house of no specific date.

 I'm really happy with the way the living room floor came out. The genuine red oak strips come backed on sheet of paper. You simply use an adhesive (again I used spray adhesive) to adhere the flooring.

I chose to darken the floor a bit by staining it with MinWax cherry stain/sealer.

I am debating whether to use this room as a living room or dining room. Normally, one would enter the living room or parlor from the front door. But, then the room to the left would have to become the dining room. Food would have to be brought through the living room from the kitchen.

I'll have to think on this...

I really love the product I used for this room. (dining room????) It's called COVERALLS and is made by Savvi Products, Inc. ( They have a great catchphrase: "Clever products for clever people."  Oh yeah.....that's me...clever.

It's kind of like a cross between a decal and really delicate contact paper. I bought it years ago. The product is not created specifically for dollhouse, but when I saw this design, it yelled out to me, "Hello!!! I am a parquet floor!!!"

After cutting to size, you remove the protective backing which exposes the adhesive. Lay the sheet down then wet the entire surface with a sponge. Wait a respectable amount of time for the paper covering to dry a bit so you can separate the covering from the decal.

Of course, not surprisingly, I didn't wait a "respectable" amount of time. So I accidentally scratched some of the decal while rubbing off the wet protective layer, leaving some white spots. I patched those spots. Good. Now it's a little messy looking....happy hoarder house.

The bedroom was almost too easy. Leftover dollhouse carpeting. Cut to size. Spray adhesive. Done.

So.....five floors done! Next week I will begin working on the wallpaper.

But......I do have something to decide. The third floor divider walls are obviously crooked and the rooms on the left and right are pretty small. I am considering removing the walls to create one large attic space.

If I do that, this becomes a 1-bedroom home. Not very good for resale  ;-)

I also wanted to have a craft room in the house. Will have to give this some thought.

Until next week......

Sunday, March 24, 2013

It's easier to build than to rebuild....

"It's easier to build than to rebuild." That's the phrase our town planners used in hopes of swaying votes for building a brand new middle school in town. In some respects I do agree. Especially after attempting to refit the upstairs balcony on the Hoarder House. I pushed. I shoved. I squeezed. I wanted to blow the house down! (Sorry to steal your words, Big Bad Wolf)

I could not get that thing back into place. I figured the problem had to do with the tab-and-slot construction. Once the building was constructed, it was impossible to fit the tabs into the slots - there was no "give" to allow the needed movement into the slots.

So.....I sliced off the tabs and used extra glue to secure the base of the balcony. I think it looks pretty good actually. Some of the arches don't quite fit and there are several missing gingerbread supports. Not sure how I'll deal with that.'s the Hoarder House - it's not supposed to be perfect!

I located the box and examined the picture. What? There's supposed to be a cupola on top of the round porch area? Don't think I have any pieces for that. But it does explain why there are some slots up there! I'll work on that next weekend.

Another issue...should I electrify the house? I originally started to - using a Cir-Kit kit. I vaguely remember struggling with those tiny brads and getting "slightly" miffed.....might need to reconsider that.

I also purchased some goodies: some tiny scissors (for the scherenschnitte) and a ladder from Janice at Feather My Nest (on eBay she's candylamb) Mom and I used to buy from Janice all the time. She's from Brimfield, MA and is often at Molly Cromwell's Sturbridge shows.

Since I decided to use the Hoarder House as a showcase  for the hobbies that both Mom and I enjoyed, I purchased some stamp and coin kits from Ann Vanture at PaperMinis. I also got kits to make a doll scrapbook and a set of house painting items. Looking forward to using this coming Good Friday to make those items. If I can make those tiny items look as good as they do on her website, it will be a Good Friday!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Don't Be a Hoarder"

"Don't be a hoarder." These were some of my mother's last words. Surprisingly, the warning was not directed at me, but to my sister, Jeanne. (Ok....truth be told: I wasn't in the room at the time.) Mom wasn't a hoarder - not in the classic sense anyway - but she loved her "collections". Dolls, dollhouses, tiny tea sets, books. She was a crafter, always working on or planning a project.

Mom built this house for my girls in 1997. Caitlin was 12 and Meghan, 8. The house, the Granville by ArtPly, was built in my mother's typical manner - quickly. As a result it was a bit lopsided and not quite as sturdy as it could be. Mom also committed the "cardinal sin" of dollhouse building: DO NOT install  windows or porches before painting the shell of the house.
The girls and I  moved the completely built structure to our home to paint it. What a pain! Trying to negotiate between porch railings and avoiding paint on the plastic windows was near impossibe. We left the house in the dining room and took a break.Then we had a house fire.

The dollhouse sustained some minor damage. Plaster from some holes punched in by firemen while putting out the fire in the wall littered the roof. Some larger pieces of plaster knocked off some of the porch railings. Just enough damage to put the project on hold - for 16 years.

Mom passed away in December of 2011. I am the "keeper" of her collection. Slowly but surely I am finishing projects. Last week I finished the 40s room box which features a dressed mannequin I won at one the last miniature shows Mom and I attended together. Now, I have hit on the PERFECT solution for this far-from-perfect building: The Hoarder House!!

The Hoarder House will be chock-full of items that reflect Mom's hobbies as well as mine. I hope it will be a fitting tribute to the woman who built this house hoping to share her love of miniatures with her beloved grand-daughters.

No worries, Mom. I won't be a hoarder.....but thank goodness I saved all  your stuff!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 10, 2013: The 40s Room Box

FINALLY finished the 40s room-box I've been procrastinating for quite some time. I took some photos and sat down to upload them to my "Dorette Creations" website hosted on Couldn't log on. Couldn't view the website. Couldn't get anyone to answer the question WHY?? I am, attempting a blog. We'll see how it goes. At least it's Free ;-)

This is what started it. I won this beautifully dressed mannequin at a local miniatures show.

Here's the backstory:

It’s Spring of 1944. Gladys is eagerly awaiting her big night – attending the Freshman Prom at Yale. She has been invited to the big event by family friend, Herbert.

She lives at the Hotel Garde, a slightly run-down place where one can rent a room. Gladys recently moved into the hotel after her mother passed away from a long illness.  Hotel Garde is a 14 minute walk from her place of employment. The Prom is being held at Woolsley Hall, a 30 minute walk from her residence.

Gladys works as a salesclerk at Shartenberg’s, a department store on Chapel Street, just a block away from the New Haven Green.

Gladys is excited about her special night.  Her grandmother, Vera, a seamstress for a tie company in New Haven has created a beautiful dress. Herbert has arranged to borrow a car for the evening. Her program lays on the floor with dance card inside, ready to be filled in by unknown fellows on. What she hopes will be a magical night in her otherwise humdrum life. Too excited to eat, she has just finished reading the most recent copy of Coronet magazine, before heading to the bathroom to get ready.

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