Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm Leaving...

On a jet plane...

Off to San Francisco tomorrow to visit my son and daughter-in-law. I'm looking forward to the visit, but not the trip since I am not a happy flier.

Before leaving, I wanted to take the Lily back down again. I had moved it around a bit and the walls were getting somewhat out of alignment. I didn't want to have the wood warp in the humidity, especially when it was off kilter. Before taking her down though, I wanted to mark where the wiring would go, should I accept the challenge, and measure the height of the fireplaces I want to build for her when I get back from San Francisco. 

I think it will work to have the housing under the porch and have the wiring come in through the kitchen.

I'm planning to build fireplaces for the end of the bedroom wall and for the attic wall just above it, so the chimney will come up through the center of the house.

Now that that's all done, she's re-deconstructed and tucked back into her box until I return home.

One of my objects for today has been to stay busy and distract myself from fretting about flying, so I also worked on the exterior of the Fairy House. I still need to put moss on the side eaves and hinge the doors. and of course there is endless landscaping and yard work to be done.

I am hoping TSA lets me bring my embroidery as part of my carry-on. I guess it's up the the individual TSA officer. I have been able to bring my knitting along on previous flights. While I was working on my punch needle rugs, I thought that would be a great way to stay concentrated and occupied on a long flight. Then I realized how much I could get into the personal space of whoever has the misfortune to have the seat next to mine as I separated the strands of embroidery floss. So, in preparation for staying entertained on the plane, I have been separating the floss in advance and putting the precut, pre-separated strands in little plastic bags.

I have more colors to do this evening. That should keep me busy!

~ Chris

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Why we aren't making progress on the Lily

The state fair is coming soon, so that means I had to get my projects done if I wanted to enter anything in the fair. What's interesting about the Tanana Valley State Fair is that every year they have a new theme for it. Better yet, the themes are puns. I really like this year's theme, which is, "Salmonchanted Evening." Last year's theme was "The Age of Asparagus." 

I didn't enter anything that had to do with the theme last year, but I will this year. Here are some of the things I've decided to enter:

This pillow that I made is supposed to go with the fair theme. It's called "Salmonchanted Pillow."

This tunic-like shirt has a tie that ties in the back. My mom is thinking of making a dress for my niece out of the same pattern and fabric.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Physical progress on building this Lily is slow because the planning stage keeps having set backs in terms of knowing what to do before I disassemble the dry fit.

The Lily would look lovely with lighting, but the whole concept of installing the lighting is well and truly intimidating. I am starting with reading the manual that comes with the wiring kit, hoping that it will make sense to me.

So as I read the tape wiring manual, it appears that I have to put the wallpaper and flooring in after I wire? Is that right? If so, how does that flooring get in there and how to wallpaper that tiny enclosed front hallway after the Lily is assembled? The floor plan and wall shapes look tricky enough. 

While I have always papered before construction, I understand making templates of the walls and floors first, but I'm not so certain of how to get the wallpaper and flooring in there after building. 

Yeesh! Just thinking about putting the wiring in gives me the heebie jeebies, much less how to get the flooring and papering in after the build. My head hurts!

Another thing that is holding me up is that I would love to add a fireplace or two, but the layout doesn't seem to accommodate the addition of fireplaces. I can't see a logical place where they would connect to a chimney. The lovely side opening and the bay window seem to preclude this.  I haven't puzzled out a place for one; perhaps there just isn't and I'll have to abandon the idea for this build. 

Pondering, pondering, pondering....

~ Chris

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

One Hall ~ Four Designs

I don't have much to show in terms of progress. All of my recent progress has been mental, making design decisions. It will be fun when I take the Lily back down and start papering and working on the floors. 

For some reason, the tiny hall~entryway is hard to make decisions about.  It will be very enclosed, and mostly visible through the front entry with double doors, and through the hall window. I liked the first mock-up I did, but worried that it would look too dark.

It looks a little lighter here because of the sun and also the flash from the camera.

This isn't the furniture that will be living here; I just borrowed it from Chez Erma so it didn't look completely bare.

So, I went with a lighter combination. I'm not certain about the wainscoting choice here. The one I had in the first mock-up may well look better in terms of color.

This is a very rough mock-up of wood wainscoting. It's painted, but would be stained. I think it's going to look far too dark, although a creamy colored paint that matches the creamy stripe in the wallpaper might be attractive.

Or no wainscoting with the stripe?

What to do, what to do....

LOL! I am laughing at myself; I am every bit as bad making decisions with my Real Life house.  All opinions welcome!

One accomplishment today was giving Stella her summer cut. It has been just too hot for her bracelets, topknot, and tail pom. Off they came! I think she likes it; she has to feel so much cooler.

~ Chris

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dry Fit ~ Again.

I did not want to do another dry fit of the Lily. It is hard to put together and harder yet to take apart. But I found I really needed it back together to clearly plan out my wallpaper schematics. Since I have it up, I think I'll go ahead and dry fit the roof and dormers.

A couple of days ago, I used wood filler to fill in the larger gaps in the plywood that would show up through the wallpaper.

I am not happy with this partition, I think I need to file the tabs on the top or make the slots bigger... or both.

I don't remember this gap in my first dry fit. It's highly likely I got some primer on the tabs.

Once the dry fit was done I went through the house with a pencil and did a better job of labeling. Part of the problem was that when I primed the walls, it covered some of my labels and I was unclear where the walls to each room began and ended. 

I like the way the completed staircase looks installed.


A view of the entryway and 1st floor staircase from the exterior.

And from the interior.

I think this is going to be the living room wallpaper...

The kitchen...

                                          The library....

The playroom....

I forgot to take a photo of the bedroom paper. I have some plans up my sleeve for the bathroom, but need to tryout some techniques before deciding for sure.              

The wallpaper makes it feel like it really will come together!

~ Chris

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rainy Days

What to do on rainy days?  Sand, sand, sand!  

Hannah likes this part of the process - carefully labeling, sorting, and poking out pieces.  She also likes the sanding part.

I, on the other hand, am anxious for the actual build!  We are hoping to get to the dry fit soon, and are glad Chris is ahead of us to give us tips. I sanded for awhile but had to stop due to tendonitis in my elbow (really!). 

In the meantime, we are getting some much needed rain that is helping to put out the wildfires as well as making my outside flowers happy. Inside, I harvested and ate my first cherry tomatoes of the year (my tomatoes plants are in the background of the photo below - they like it better in the atrium than outside because it gets too cool at night where we live).

Hannah sands as the rain pours down outside.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sweet and Unexpected Rewards

On our local virtual yard sale Facebook page, a friend tagged me in a response to a listing of a Rosedale Dollhouse kit that someone was giving away free, so I would be aware that it was there. Alas, I got there too late; someone had already gotten it. I did not know her, but I sent her a private message via Facebook letting her know that it might be a challenging kit for a newbie and if she wanted any help or pointers to just call; I'd gladly help her out.

That was last month. Yesterday, she sent me a message saying that she didn't think she would ever get around to building it and wanted to give it to me. Needless to say, I went right over to pick it up, and made a new friend in the bargain. What a great day!

The box looked like it had been stored where there was some moisture, so I gave it a quick look-over when I got it home and everything seems to be there and in good condition.

It looks like a great one to build for the next scholarship fundraiser. It has a lot of character, but isn't nearly as complex as the Lily. For now, it is tucked away for a future build while I concentrate on my Lily.  The wallpaper is ordered and on the way. Unfortunately, I don't have a good source for dollhouse paper here, so I had to order it. It would be nice to actually see it first, but most of it is from Itsy Bitsy Minis, so I am confident that it will be good quality. It is hard to tell about colors though. They don't always show true in photos.

Speaking of which, I got a photo of the little rug in natural light today. The colors are much more true to life than the picture I took last night using the flash.

It is really a silvery gray background, not tawny browns. The pattern is from Miniature Iron-on Transfer Patterns which I bought used after seeing that the transfers could be used multiple times. It has been a great investment of $.99! The transfers work perfectly and there are some very sweet projects in it. The oval rug pattern is from the same book.

Have a great week!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ready for Prime Time

Well, maybe not quite ready for prime time, but ready for priming.  I got the walls and partitions primed on both sides this afternoon.

Now I need to carefully prime the ceilings without getting paint on the floors. I am going to try to score and stain the floors instead of installing flooring. It's a no-lose proposition; if that doesn't work, I can install flooring on top of them.  I had stalled out a bit on construction while trying to make wallpaper and flooring decisions, but Hannah has inspired me to get back on task. She is having so much fun punching out and organizing the pieces and has been hard at work.

This morning was taken up with poodle grooming. Poor Stella was getting a little too hot under all of those curls so I got out the clippers and scissors and went to work on her. After and clip, a bath, and clipped and dremeled nails, she felt very happy and frisky. She feels so much better!

Yummy~ black raspberries!

This evening, I finished the little punch needle rug I was working on to go with the bath tub I got for the Lily. Unfortunately the colors are not true in the photograph. They photographed brown; actually they are blues and silver grays. The silver grays are more like the colors of Stella. I'll have to take a photo in natural light instead of with a flash.

The Fairy House and Chez Erma were taking up too much space in my workroom, so they moved into the front entry way for a while. 

Oh, look ~ there's Hannah in the window!

~ Chris

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Waiting...waiting... set... GO!

This is Hannah, and it's my first post. In fact, the whole concept of blogs is new to me, so posting me and my mother's progress on the Lily is going to be interesting, as well as fun. 

Today, we finally got to take the Lily out of her box and start working on labeling the many pieces, then popping the pieces out after they were labeled. We don't have the luxury of infinite work space, so we had to work on the table in the atrium, instead of the kitchen table. From the last experience of working on the Orchid dollhouse, we had very limited space when winter came.

Sorting is very important for organization so you don't lose pieces. If you're lucky, (unlike us) a large workspace will do you wonders. That's another thing that helps you not lose pieces. So far we've gotten 7 sheets done.  Another helpful hint is to check off the sheets you've already done on the sheet diagram.

Me getting ready to open the box 
(my mom and I were a little bit scared!