The Haunted Heritage - Entry, staircase and hallway

by brae  

The entryway and upstairs hallway are relatively small and minimally decorated, but I thought they deserved their own post.

First up is the elegant entryway.  It's a small area but there is just enough room for some fancy miniatures.

Here are a couple of work in progress shots before the permanent installation of the final floor and staircase.

The lion doorknockers are from Sussex Crafts.  The doorknobs and plates were originally brass.

The stained glass inserts are printed designs from MD Doors.  They are printed on transparency film, which was slid into the openings with the original door inserts right behind them.  It's not a tight fit but it works well enough to keep them in place.

Adjacent to the front door is the working pocket door that leads to the kitchen.

I had had other stairs in mind at first, but this is the final mockup I decided on.

The entryway floor was planned and installed to coordinate with the parlor.

I assembled and painted a Phoenix Model umbrella stand kit to hold the two beautiful umbrellas by Fran and a walking stick.

The wall vase is a cornucopia shaped jewelry finding with Bonnie Lavish flowers.  Any artwork added to this side wall would have been hard to see, so I thought a three-dimensional piece would suit the space best.

To give Fran a sense of what I was looking for with the umbrellas, I had to give her the backstory on the Heritage build.  I told her I was leaning toward an old woman living in the house she's always loved, but she can't get around as well anymore and the place has fallen into disrepair.  I didn't want the umbrellas to be crazy tattered, just maybe a bit worn and well loved.  I was thinking the umbrellas would be treasures in the house, even with - or especially because of - their age.  One would be her lost love's umbrella that didn't feel right being anywhere else but still waiting by the door and the other would be the one he bought for her.

The stand has so many beautiful details - a true quality kit.

Just enough minis to make the entry inviting....

The kit staircase was meant for the right back of the house, but took up a lot of space and blocked the view of the lower room.

kit photo

I didn't use the kit parts and installed a Houseworks narrow staircase instead.  I added laser cut trim, dry brushed bronze paint and stenciled detailing.

I upgraded the stair railing, painting the spindles and staining the railing to match the floors.  Assembling the railing was a huge challenge, but it all worked out in the end.  :D

The stair assembly fits so snugly that I didn't bother with glue along the wall.  I did glue the foyer newel post to the floor and the railing.

I think it suits the entry and parlor very well.

My favorite part?  Something that can be seen only with the camera...the way the stringer meets the baseboard trim at the base of the stairs.

I used anaglypta -- paintable textured wallpaper -- to create the trim between the foyer and the upstairs hallway papers.  It's not a perfect solution, but I needed something flexible and fancy to finish the seam between the papers.

I glued the foyer light in place with the bulb facing downward.  With the light on, the bulb would be distractingly bright when viewed through the open stairwell.  I can still reach the fixture to remove the shade and change the bulb as needed.  It's just enough illumination without looking out of place.  :]

Come on upstairs...

The cameos that hang in the stairway are pendants from Fairy Tale Fantasies.  One is a retro kitty and the other a beautiful vintage lady.  I cut the loops from the tops to use them as framed art.  I love their ghostly appearance.

The upstairs hallway is large enough for only a modest table, some artwork and a mirror.

The original plan was what I stuck with in the end.

The balcony railing was challenging but I love the way it turned out.

And, from overhead.

There was a lot of customization between the parlor ceiling, the new stairs and the balcony, but it all came together in the end.

There's a simple vignette that occupies the area to the left of the bathroom door.

The table is a House of Miniatures Hepplewhite Side table with hand painted designs and added elements inspired by a real life sized antique table.

I added some books from the many I made while filling the parlor bookcase.

The vase and bird figurine were purchased awhile ago, but I'm no longer sure of the vendor.  The flowers are Bonnie Lavish red dahlias.

I made the tiny red alarm clock from a rounded wood cap from Hobby Lobby, two silver brads and a gunmetal head pin.  The feet are Tiny Turnings.  The face is a printed image from The Graphics Fairy with a clear cabochon sticker to simulate glass.  I had made a set of vintage table clocks for another miniaturist through my etsy shop, and I liked the red one so well I knew I would need one for the Heritage.

The artwork is a photograph from artisan Natasha Fadeeva.  She makes the most amazing little animals.  I just swoon over her mice!!!  :D  I contacted her about using the vintage mice photos in the Heritage, and she graciously gave me her permission.  I haven't yet framed the other.

To the right of the door is a House of Miniatures Chippendale Pier Glass painted ivory with a tan aging wash to give it an heirloom quality.  I replaced the mirror with Darice plastic mirror sheet since the original glass was in poor condition and rather heavy to hang on the wall.  It is a large piece, but the space needed something and mirrors tend to add to a space instead of subtracting from it.

You know me; I am all about the realism.  So, I added some 1:12 scale insects inside the globe.  :D  Lyssa egged me on when I joked about it to her, so she is to blame!  It's just a little dry-brushed brown and black paint, but it's rather convincing.  ;]

For The Haunted Heritage pictorial recap post, please click here.  Click here for a full list of Heritage posts, including how I made things and the materials used.

The Haunted Heritage - Grandma's fine parlor

by brae  

Grandma's fine parlor is the other first floor room in The Haunted Heritage.  There are so many elements of this room that I just adore.  My real life home is much simpler in its décor, but I do so love the high society vintage style here.

This is the first dry fit to determine furniture placement.  Nothing really changed in the end other than the staircase (detailed in this post).

The fancy parlor floor was a labor of love but so worth the effort.

It adds just the right amount of extravagance to a room filled with subtle color and high-end ornamentation.

On the left side of the room is a large fireplace.

On the opposite side, the stairs lead to the second floor.

All the lights in this room are Chrysolite except the Clare Bell brass hurricane lamp on the bookshelf.

I assembled the wall sconces above the fireplace as well as the gaslight chandelier.  At first I thought the ceiling medallion was too much, but I love the way it frames the chandelier.  This particular chandelier is a little temperamental since I wired it to have replaceable bulbs.  The slightest movement makes the globes teeter.  It's not easy to adjust three of them with two hands.  Haha!  :D

The table lamp was purchased already assembled and is wired with one of my signature faux outlets.  The side table is a Bespaq piece purchased at a local mini show.

The frame was a gift from Annie at Gypsy Boudoir Miniatures.  I bought a grouping of her miniatures which you'll see in upcoming posts.  This frame is the perfect little something for the space.

The white stone griffin fireplace was made from foam core board, wood trims and polymer clay, then painted to a faux stone finish.  I love how spooky the fireplace looks in low light.

The marble hearth started out as cardboard.

It was partially inspired by a Lawbre fireplace and the griffins were cast from molds made from metal earrings.

A close-up of one of the griffins.

The resin coals are held by the Phoenix Parlour Hob Grate.  I painted it Burnished Copper Metal by Rustoleum, then aged it with layers of black and grey acrylic to get the look I wanted.  I installed a flickering LED to light the resin coals.

The painting above the fireplace is by Giovanni Boldini of Elizabeth Wharton Drexel, 1905.  I printed the image on regular paper and painted the purchased frame to tone down the original gold finish.

One of the finest (and most expensive) miniature purchases to date: a pair of sterling silver griffin candlesticks.  These were crafted by Don Henry for Small Treasures Miniatures.

The detailing on them is incredible.  They stand just 15/16" tall without the candles.

The purple lidded dish is from CW Lubin Wood Turning.

I made the bird statue a long time ago from a wood bead and jewelry charm with the loop removed.

The beautiful Bagnall clock was made from a House of Miniatures kit.

The Chair was made by Kris of 1 Inch Minis.

Buying this piece set this whole project in motion.  :D

I opted for a single side swept curtain for the sole purpose of not hiding that little outlet I took the time to add.  Though The Chair will block both the curtains and the outlet for the most part, anyone who looks for the details will find them.

Miss Kitty was made by Pamela of PamelaJunkMinis.

The Sofa was my second “from scratch” upholstered piece and made to match The Chair.  :D

The knitting was purchased from Small Talk at a local miniature show.

The beautiful rug is by Katie Arthur of Dollhouse Littles.  The texture of it is amazingly lifelike.  This rug will live in the bedroom going forward, but I haven't found or made one to replace it just yet, so I've borrowed it for the photos.

The coffee table is a refinished Bespaq piece.  I made the book, but the candy dish was purchased.

Jane of MiniFanaticus made the tiny candies for me in a swap.

The bookshelf was purchased, but I made all the tiny books that line the shelves.  The top shelf holds a matched set of orange acrylic turned items from CW Lubin Wood Turning, two vases and a bowl.  They were advertized as quarter scale or half scale items, but I often find those smaller scale items look wonderful in full scale scenes.  I arranged the two shorter items on either side of the taller vase to make the most of the space on the top shelf.

The hurricane lamp is battery operated.

I added a baseboard heat register (my bash of a tutorial by Kris at 1 Inch Minis).

Next time you are invited for tea, don't let the bedraggled exterior of the Heritage scare you away.  :D

For The Haunted Heritage pictorial recap post, please click here.  Click here for a full list of Heritage posts, including how I made things and the materials used.

The Haunted Heritage - 1920s inspired kitchen

by brae  

The 1920s inspired kitchen was the first room I completed in The Haunted Heritage.  It's a large room with a dining area and vintage kitchen appliances.  I tried to not add too much clutter, but just a few added accessories really make a difference.  Feels like home. 

The furniture arrangement didn't change much from the original dry fit.

Structurally, I upgraded the side window with a Houseworks working window and added a casement window above the sink.  The flooring is Cream Diamonds by The Paper Studio and the wallpaper in Geometric Fa La La by Making Memories.  The back of the wallpaper is aged green, so I used that in the bay window section.  I went with subtle white patterned curtains and simple fabric pelmets for the window treatments.  It softens the look of the room without being over the top.  The potted flowering plant is from Michelle.

The casement window curtains ended up being a little too short, but I liked them well enough to leave them as is.

The front bay window is part of the original kit, and considering the age of the kit wood I was happy with the way it turned out.  One window assembly is completely glued together and the window is shut since the wood for these pieces was beyond repair.  But, guess what?  The other two windows actually work!!!!  The second window is set partially open, and though the window slider isn't glued in place, the wood for this assembly is not in the best condition and doesn't allow for very fluid raising and lowering of the window.  But, it works!  The third window, however, works so well that I need a dowel to keep it propped open!  How positively wonderful!  It's just like a real life old house - one window is painted shut, one window sticks and one won't stay open!!!  :D

The curtains in the bay window have a custom made rod to hold them in place.

I used fairy lace tiebacks on the outer panels but I liked the look of the inner panels left straight.  This way, grandma doesn't have to reach over the table to untie them every time she wants a little privacy.  ;D

With the table and chairs in place, it really sets the mood.  First, with the curtains in focus.

And, then with the furniture in focus.

I love through-the-window photo views.  :]  The autumn fruit basket is from Hungarian Miniatures.

In this photo, I feel as though I can hear the crickets and see the fireflies outside.

I also replaced the interior wall, adding a working pocket door.  There is a lever that operates the door from the open back so you don't have to reach inside to open the door.   It has a leather and Tyvek hinge to fold flat when the door is open.

I really love the way the crown molding completes the room.

My original thought for heating the Heritage beyond the parlor fireplace was to place painted radiators in the rooms.  Even though the rooms are somewhat spacious, radiators do take up a decent amount of space.  Then I ran into a fantastic tutorial by Kris at 1 Inch Minis: gravity baseboard registers.  Perfect!

I used diamond canvas instead of square and added a metal headpin for the lever.  I placed the register under the Roper range so it could be seen, though it's one of those details that's mainly for me.  It's not strikingly obvious, but I am glad it's there.

The cast metal Roper range is by Jacqueline Kerr Deiber.  It's a heavy piece with lots of character.

The metal Monitor Top Refrigerator was also designed by Jacqueline Kerr Deiber.

It has wonderful lines and is also very heavy.

I love the shelves and the ice box.  :D

The kitchen sink is one of my favorite minis!  The dish drainer is from The Dolls House Mall and it came with a mop, too.  The laser cut stainless steel has wonderful detail and looks great for scale.

It's a 1920s porcelain Kohler kitchen sink by Jacqueline Kerr Deiber.  I've always liked the look of this sink but never thought I'd build a house to use one.

Grandma has her cleaning supplies and some extra baskets under the sink.  Lyssa made the beautiful white and brown baskets

I made the duster from a Silly Sisters tutorial.  I added a cord loop on the end for hanging.

The chick in the nest was made by C. Rohal.

The flower in the milk carton was made from a true2scale kit.

The pint of perfect cherries is from The Garden Path, purchased at a local mini show.

This wonderfully made basket is from Lidi, and I made the Bonnie Lavish flowers from kits.

Keli made this amazing Hoosier cabinet for me - such a wonderful and generous gift.

I had to set up the vignette outside of the kitchen to get a photograph of the details since the kitchen is a little tight to fit the camera.  The tea towels throughout the kitchen are from Marlene.

I won a 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?


The whistling tea kettle is by Ulus Miniatures - purchased from Mainly Minis.  We had one of these in real life at my childhood farmhouse.  Mom still has it and uses it, too!

There is a white ceiling fixture above the dining table.

The kitchen area has a lovely Ray Storey pendant gas light.  If I had had a larger budget, I would have bought the matching 3-arm down light for the dining table.  But, the white ceiling fixture is still a beautiful piece.  The gas light is very well made.  I love the way it highlights the textured ceiling.  It's the perfect vintage touch.

I don't suppose in reality this dim fixture would do much good in the kitchen for nighttime cooking, but it casts such a wonderfully soft light over this part of the room.

The dining table was made from a House of Miniatures kit, and the Lilje chairs kit came from Art of Mini.  For the upholstery, I chose a brown and ivory print.  I think it is close enough to the dark red to tie in well with the wallpaper.

The banjo clock was made from a Cynthia Howe Miniatures kit.  Love it!!!!  :D

The artwork fits the kitchen décor perfectly, and the cabochon clock face is very realistic.

My grandparents had lovely vintage clocks in their home, one of which now hangs in my real life kitchen.

Kelly made this wonderful artwork called Ghosts of the Past.  I think it works wonderfully here in the kitchen.  Maybe it's an old faded photo of grandma's childhood home.  :]  The lovely pitcher is from Caterina.

I made a wall calendar using the image of my childhood home, the lovely place from my dreams that inspired this build.

The tiny paper months of October, November and December were cut from a mini desk calendar and pasted to a piece of cardstock along with the printed photo.

The cat bowls are from D's Miniatures and Collectibles, and I made a mat for them from paw print fabric.

The only place I had for them was under the side window.  :D

I love the way this room turned let's have some cookies!

For The Haunted Heritage pictorial recap post, please click here.  Click here for a full list of Heritage posts, including how I made things and the materials used.

Final trim details

by brae  

One of the small things that can make a big difference is finishing the back edges of an open dollhouse.  I haven't needed to do much besides paint these edges in the various houses I've built because the wood was nice and clean...or I covered it with another material that eliminated the need for finishing.  For The Haunted Heritage, there was channel trim on the outer edges but none on the inside edges.   Additionally, some of the inside edges were warped or comprised of multiple layers of wood.

You can see from my previous post on the attic, that the second floor ceiling board is rather uneven.  This is due to the fact that I made the board from three pieces, the bathroom wall might be slightly shorter than the bedroom wall, and the parlor ceiling is sagging ever so slightly.  Being an old house, it actually works in my favor, but I wanted to tone it down when looking at the open back.

One long strip of corner trim across the back edge of the attic floor helps disguise the minor warp between the three boards that make up the second floor ceiling.  The back surface of the trim is painted dark brown, but I painted the top portion to match the attic floor.

For the remaining back edges, I used various widths of basswood to make a clean finish.

I painted these dark brown to be less obvious when the open back is viewed as whole.

Over the next week or so, I'll be posting room by room finished settings of The Haunted Heritage.  Of course, no dollhouse is ever completely finished, but it's time for me to wrap this one up and move on to the next great thing!  :D

I love the silhouette of the black cat on the roof.  :D

Grandma's attic -

by brae  

The remaining rafters and beams needed to be installed to finish the attic.

To save myself aggravation and ruined trim wood, I used paper strips to measure.  I learned to cut the long pieces first since if they are too short, you can still cut your shorter pieces from those lengths.  :]  I cut each piece a little long so it would need just a bit of sanding to fit in place.   The paper patterns worked especially well.

The layout I used was mainly to give the illusion of structure without much concern for how rafters would actually be placed for support.  I needed to finish the edges of the cross boards and corners, and this configuration accomplishes just that.  In fact, I can see I missed the short vertical boards above the main cross beam in the middle.  I have enough scraps to fix that tomorrow.

Love the tiny bit of chimney in the attic.  :D

The last item in the attic was the faux stairs.  I put one of these in Baslow Ranch based on the Greenleaf tutorial.  I altered the upper portion a little, making the door taller than the sides.

It's not yet glued in place since I need to determine where the lower door will be on the second floor.  Most likely, it will end up installed in the bedroom since that room has the largest ceiling expanse.   I had originally planned to have this in the bathroom but there was no room there to realistically have stairs that pull down.  The same issue arose in the hallway.  That leaves the bedroom.  It's a small detail and should be not at all obtrusive.

I love the atmosphere of this space.

Even empty it exudes character.

Hmm...looks like I need another vertical board in the front gable, too.

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