Tranquil bathroom

by brae  

One of the best things about miniature builds is the fact that you can try all sorts of things you might not try in your real life home.  This beautiful tile mural shower is so lovely, but it would likely be pricey to install and so specific that you might turn off buyers if you decided to sell your home.  Of course, you wouldn't worry about the latter if it was in the dream home you finally managed to achieve.  :D

image from Fine & Country, original designer of the bath unknown

I thought something as expressive as a mural shower would fit right in at The Artist's Studio.  If the original above came from an existing art source, I couldn't find it after numerous image searches. If anyone recognizes it or knows of something similar, please let me know.

In the absence of being able to replicate that image in miniature, I did find some fun things along the way, from wallpaper borders to scrapbook paper to desktop wallpaper images.  I printed the ones I found online and made color copies of the scrapbook papers to make mockups for your viewing enjoyment.  The shower base from The Dolls House Emporium measures 3.5" square, so the tile mural will be 7" overall, with an inside corner.

So you could get the full effect with the bathroom color, I cut the Canson Ivory drawing paper for the bathroom but haven't glued it in place.  I'm using a pedestal sink instead of the wall sink for now.  I don't know where the sink will end up on the inside wall, and I don't want to mar the paper by taping the wall sink in place.

Option 1 - Fish-o-Rama

This is scrapbook paper called Turmeric by Jillibean Soup. 

I moved the paper around until I found a fun grouping.  The subtle dotted pattern doesn't show in my color copy.  It's definitely quirky and cute, but even still, the fish seem too sparse on this small sampling.

Option 2 - La Cage aux Folles (the birdcage)

Has anyone seen the 1978 French film by that name?  I just love it.  The American version The Birdcage is good, too, but the 1978 film is simply awesome!  :D

Anyway, this is scrapbook paper called Hummingbird By Kaiser Craft.

I used the upper right corner with the birdcage.  Again, the color copy loses the subtle stripes in the background.  With the cut, there's a design on only one side and I'm not sure birdcages work with a shower.  It would make a lovely wall mural in a regular room, though.

Option 3 - Hummingbirds in full color

This is a wallpaper border from Wallpaper - Inc.  I've printed from the thumbnail, so it's very blurry.  You can get samples, and if I decide on this option that is what I will do.  Maybe too out of scale.

There are a few groupings along the pattern repeat, so this is another option.  Seems too busy.

Option 4 - Chinoiserie inspired hummingbird

This is actually an iPad wallpaper.  :D  I miscalculated and made this mockup too small, but it works well enough to show the concept.  The bird will be slightly larger when printed to the correct size, though it would be better if there were more flowers.

I like this one for its similar tone of the original, but I don't know how I feel about those silhouetted boaters eyeing me in the shower.  :O

Option 5 - Hummingbird in green

This is a desktop wallpaper called Hummingbird on White from  This one is lovely for its simplicity, and the green goes so well with the Ivory paper.  This is another close but not perfect solution.  I wish more of the branches fit into the sample and that the bird's wings were more defined.

Thoughts?  Do you prefer any one over the others?  Should I scrap these and keep looking?  I might have to draw it myself.  :D


As this year comes to a close, I offer my sincere thanks for all the warm wishes and generous compliments you've sent my way.  Being part of this worldwide community is another great thing about minis, and you've all brought so much happiness to my life!  Happy New Year!!!!  :D

Bedroom ceiling, part 1

by brae  

The original kit attic floor was a poor-fitting board to begin with, and it was pieced over the bedroom causing a noticeable seam on the ceiling.  Additionally, since I added two walls on the second floor not originally intended as part of the house, I needed an attic floor that covered more area than the original.  Trying to cut one board to span the entire house without having any fitting issues didn't seem like something I wanted to attempt.  :]  So, I cut each ceiling board individually, having the seams over each new second floor wall.

The bathroom ceiling had its wiring channels cut prior to installation.  All wires lead to the outer wall and will be hidden inside the chimney.  The notch on the left side is where the back roof piece sits.

To make a template for the bedroom ceiling, I used a spare piece of Cellfoam 88.  It's the same thickness as the plywood I would be using for the final board, and it was easy to cut and adjust.  First, some rough measurements.

I snipped and angled and adjusted.  I was still off in the end, so I marked where I needed to add more.  I also marked where the tabs should be.  Since there were slots on the front and side, I figured I might as well use them.

I traced the foam template onto a new piece of 1/8" plywood and cut out the ceiling board using a utility blade.  Here you can see my foam template was just of the front cuts...I projected the full length back from there.

Here are the notches I cut for the foyer light and bedroom table lamps previously installed.

The hallway ceiling has been started, too, but it remains separate.  It needs to be installed last since it is a snug fit between the two outer sections.  Here are the hallway and bedroom boards in place.

I made minor adjustments until the new ceiling board fit...mostly.  I have to tell you, this is the most lopsided board I've ever had to cut for a build.  That ought to tell you just how out of square this house is.  Haaaaaaaaa!  Even at that, it's still not a great fit, and I cannot figure out where the rub is that's causing the problem.  So, it stays its 95% self and I will add flat molding along the edges of the ceiling.  Crown molding on all those angles makes my head hurt just thinking about it, so flat molding it shall be.

With the ceiling in place, I plugged in all the lights for the room.  The lantern on the dresser is battery operated.  :]

The Ray Storey ceiling fixture adds a good overhead glow to the room.   I had thought about using a smaller, simpler ceiling medallion here with the fixture, but when I looked at the resin piece more closely I just didn't like it.  It was rough and uneven, and spending a lot of time to get it in paint-ready condition wasn't something I wanted to do.  Besides, it is a relatively short ceiling so it's probably not a good idea to lower the light fixture any more.

I had also thought about putting in a lamp over the comfy chair, but I think there is plenty of light in this room.  Besides, grandma might just have a clip-on LED lamp for supplemental lighting just like I do when I cross-stitch.  :D  Once I get the ceiling painted bright white, it will reflect more light as well.

Next up will be the remaining wire channels, cutting out the right side notch for the back roof piece, then priming and painting.

Slippers for grandma and me

by brae  

I spent the better part of today cleaning and organizing, so there isn't much to show in the way of minis.  But, I am hauling out five large cardboard boxes whose former contents are now consolidated and packed in a more sensible manner.  I can actually walk into my walk-in closet now...and find things!!!

Now I'm packing away the Christmas scene and organizing the dining room where I work on the Heritage.  While shopping for some lights for The Artist's Studio, I bought grandma a new pair of white fuzzy slippers from The Dolls House Emporium for Christmas.  They're quite cute.  :D

On my mom's side of the family, the adults participate in a gift swap.  You buy something for your gender to put into the swap and take out a gift from that pile when your number is drawn.  I ended up with an insanely cute pair of bee slippers that came with a scrub and lotion set for soft feet.  Haaaaaa!

They are a little bulky like clown shoes, so I have to watch what I'm doing when I wear them.  Jasper isn't quite sure what to make of them, so I make sure they are locked in the closet when not on my feet.  :D

And, no, I'm not that pale...I had hosiery on when I modeled them for Jasper.

Bespaq bed makeover, aging the paint

by brae  

I started aging the Bespaq bed by removing some of the Krylon Almond satin paint using a sanding stick.  I picked up a package of these at Hobby Lobby.

I went for a little less wear than my inspiration photo.

image from European Paint Finishes

Detail of the wear patterns on the inspiration bed.

Detail of the wear on my bed.  I wanted to emphasize the lines and details of the bed without overdoing it, especially since miniature finishes tend to work best when they are subtle.

I dry brushed some brown paint into the grooves and recesses, again using only a little.  It added some nice depth.

I cut new foam core board pieces to replace the original mattress.

We're ready for bedding!

The bed looks heavier now than it did in plain almond, don't you think?  :D

Rustic crate bookcase

by brae  

Of course, I can never fit all the items I want into any particular build, so things get pushed out and saved for later.  One item that I love for The Artist's Studio is the unique rustic cabinet.

But, I've had this image in mind for the Studio all along, so out the cabinet must go!  :\

image from Recaptured Charm

Could I have made nine identical crates?  Yes, but why do that when Minimum World offers perfectly suitable ones already made?  :D  I bought these for $2 each instead of trying to make a bunch of identical crates, which would have taken days.  With the angled front wall, I thought an offset stack would look best.

A set of nine in straight columns is not as interesting, and twelve (as shown in the original photo) wouldn't fit in the allotted space without crowding the daybed.

For reference, here's a narrow configuration in the main living area.  Again, the full stack of twelve would not have fit.

With the rustic cabinet in its original place, it's just too crowded in my opinion.

I stained the crates with two washes of grey, black and brown.

Already much better.

Once dry, I sanded them as needed.  There was slopped glue around many of the seams, but that was easily masked by stuffing the shelves full.  :D  I put my wheat back penny in the bottom row for size reference.

I'll make some additional items appropriate for a studio, but I love the way they look so far with some minis I had on hand.

In fact, many of these items will have to stay...they just look so completely at home.

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