The Deck - part 1

by brae  

Before I can finish the front wall of windows, I need to work on The Deck.  This is going to take some serious engineering.  The deck will fit into the slope of the landscape and be only partially supported by firm ground around the building itself.  You might recall my previous mockup.

Image from Trex

I'm going to do a bit of reverse engineering here since while the deck needs to be solid, it doesn't have to support actual weight other than a mini chaise or easel.  I figured the simplest approach would be to build the surface of the main and side portions first and then create the framing that would support this surface.  From there, I would create each leaf separately and attach those to the main deck.

I bought five sheets of basswood by Revell measuring 1/16" x 3" x 24" for the lighter boards.  I will use walnut for the vein detailing and outer accent.  I bought the sheets to cut my own boards instead of the precut strips because I find that the brand of basswood the stores around here carry is always so fuzzy.  These sheets by Revell are less so and easily sanded smooth.  And, I have a good eye for measurement when cutting by hand.  :]

I cut lengths of 5" and then measured 1/2" intervals.  I put an X on the back so I would know which side to face up.  These Revell stickers came off the wood easily, but I didn't want to risk having future finishes react differently due to any glue residue.

I applied a length of double sided tape to the landscaping board for planning purposes.  Without some sort of adhesive, one small bump would lead to resetting every board.  Using a T-square, I lined up my individual boards and pressed them to the tape.

There are 35 boards for the main deck.

The main deck can be shifted to the side in either direction depending on the fit needed to join the side deck.

For the side deck, I had to add a small piece of cardboard to support the boards during the mockup phase.  It won't be part of the final framework.

These pieces measure 1/2" x 3 1/2" and begin at the forward edge of the main deck.  There are 37 of these boards.  I continued them far past the door so there is room for the firewood box that will hold the wood stove switch.  Plus, that means I can use scraps of landscaping materials instead of buying new.

You can see the space between the top of the boards and the lower edge of the door.  This will allow plenty of room for the framework, and I may or may not need a front step under the door.  We shall see.  :D

With the leaf mockups in place, it's starting to look like something.

There will be steps in the open area in front of the side deck.


Next up, building the frame for the main and side decks.  In the meantime, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the framework for the leaves.  :O

image from CFC Fences & Decks

Who wants freshly baked cookies?!!

by brae  

I suppose that is a bit of a silly question.  Who doesn't want freshly baked cookies?!!  :D  Grandma knows this and has been hard at work.

I won this lovely cookie baking set from Creating Dollhouse Miniatures.  The pieces are so well made and realistic.

My mom makes the best chocolate chip cookies.  No kidding.  Every family gathering has people hoarding the cookies she brings, even though she brings dozens!  I know chocolate chip cookies, and these minis are just like hers!  :D

Cookies in progress certainly warm up a kitchen, don't they?  :D


Another recent acquisition is the whistling tea kettle by Ulus Miniatures - purchased from Mainly Minis when I replaced the fire in the wood stove.

We had one of these in real life at my childhood farmhouse.  Mom still has it and uses it, too!  Next time I'm over at her house, I will snap a photo of it.

The mini version is just as well made and quite heavy.

Progress on the windows and doors

by brae  

I painted the living area window Warm White by Americana.   Before painting, I added trim to the window since it was built for a depth of 1/2" but the walls are only 3/8" thick.  Before installing the window, I sanded the siding and added satin varnish.  It's a subtle change, but I like it!

I added a corner trim sill to the interior since the precut interior trim never seems to fit right and I wanted a place to display a good Scotch after a day's worth of painting.  :D  Ahhhh....

The window handle is by Houseworks and was originally brass.  The window sash lock is by Realife Miniatures - vintage stock purchased from another member on the Greenleaf forum.  This was also brass now painted silver.

They are wonderfully detailed.  I had to look one up to see how it worked since I have different mechanisms in my home. The locks come in pairs - just like the real deal - here I'm showing the tops and bottoms of two pairs.

Since this is a working window and there's not enough room on the window to install both pieces, I used only the one with the round lever.  I glued it so that it would not interfere with the window operation while still looking like it might just work.

The exterior door is painted Slate Green by Americana and won't be installed until after the siding is up.  The door knob and keyplate are chrome pieces from Clare Bell Brass.  I wish I could find more of these.  I used satin varnish only on the exterior door (inside and out) and the exterior door trim.  I didn't like the matte finish on the green, and I thought the exterior door frame should match in sheen.  I liked the matte finish on the remaining windows, interior door and trim, so I left them as is after painting.

I had added trim to both doors to block out the light around the inside.  It's a simple and subtle change that makes for a more realistic door jamb.

I had to flip the direction of the bathroom door.  This door has a simple white knob.  The removable wall is papered on the bathroom side with Canson Ivory paper.  I added the door trim to the interior side but still need to finish the top edge of the wall.

Since the left wallpaper seam is larger than I had hoped and will show when viewed through the window or skylight, I'll add a length of trim from floor to ceiling.  This will also help align the removable wall when it is in place.

I installed the octagon window technically backward.  Considering one wouldn't be looking at the back of the Studio most often, I thought the routed detailing would be best served sitting on the interior.  :]

With the addition of the siding, the wall was thicker than the depth needed.  I added a cardboard octagon cut to fit.

I glued this piece to the now exterior trim, then painted it to blend.

Now there's a seamless fit for the trim on the exterior.

I'm still working on the clerestory windows and skylights.  Doors and windows take a lot of time, but I think it's starting to really come together on the inside.

Can you feel the cool breeze coming in through the window?

Shutter garden

by brae  

To hide the open wires on the door side of the Studio, I painted a Houseworks shutter to make a vertical garden.  The base coat was Lemonade by Folk Art followed by two washes of Asphaltum and Slate Grey both by Americana

The idea came from this image of a shutter holding flower pots.  I found the image on pinterest, but I think I've traced the original source to here.

I painted some wood pots with Robin's Egg Blue by Joann followed by a wash of Foliage Green by Americana, also with a satin varnish.

I used jewelry wire to attach the flower pots to the shutter, using a pin vise to make small pilot holes and attaching the wire holders with super glue gel.

Here is the siding propped in place showing the hole to access the wires.

And, with the completed shutter garden held in place with mini hold wax.

I made the plants and flowers to add to the pots.  I had leftover Bonnie Lavish leaves from the sunflowers I put together.  I added some orange dried flowers for a pop of color.

I painted a laser cut fern kit by Jeannetta Kendall with a variety of greens followed by a satin varnish on the darker of the two sides.

I shaped some impatiens purchased at one of the local mini shows from Small Talk (no web address).  I colored the middle with a yellow pencil.  I added the impatiens to thin stems of floral wire and set them into the leaves.

I had some leftover lavender stalks and Erica moss from The Miniature Garden, when I had made the plants for The Aero Squadron Lounge.

The last plant is a dusty miller by Bonnie Lavish.  All of the pots are removable.

These would make lovely party favors or place cards, no?  :D

Clerestory windows, part 1

by brae  

When I lowered the ceiling height of The Artist's Studio, I had originally thought to fill in the lower portion of the original side windows.  After a dry fitting of the roof in place, however, I decided I liked the odd shaped windows.  A happy accident.  :]

Of course, there are no readymade windows in this particular shape, so I would have to improvise.  I had extra Houseworks 8-light windows, and they fit well in the existing hole.  These are the same windows I'll be using for the skylights.  I marked where the window should be cut, leaving a little give for proper fitting.

I used my scroll saw to cut along the lines and removed the interior pieces.  I was able to cut both clerestory windows from one 8-light window.

I tested the fit.  You can see the pieces of strip wood I cut to fill in the groove in the ceiling over the window opening.  This groove is what allows the roof board to attach to the walls.  They aren't glued yet, which is good since I need to adjust this one.  :D

The removed interior pieces left cutouts in the outer frame.  I used strip wood to make patches.

A little spackling added will give a smooth surface under the paint.

The acrylic sheet allows you to cut any shape or size window.  These particular windows don't come with acrylic inserts.  I'll leave the protective film on until I'm ready to install the windows.


I tested the fit again.

All good!  :]

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