Kitchen and dining area

by brae  

I've started cutting the wallpapers and flooring for the kitchen and dining area.  In the kitchen, there is flooring in Cream Diamonds by The Paper Studio and the wallpaper in Geometric Fa La La by Making Memories.  I plan to add a varnish to the tile.

There will be a casement window above the sink and a double working window toward the bay.  Both will be trimmed in wood painted Vintage White by Folk Art, matching the baseboard trim (not in place here).

In the dining area and bay, I've used some scraps of walnut wood flooring left over from the Newport instead of continuing the rather busy black and cream checkered tile.  It breaks up the areas and tones down all the pattern going on in this room.  I'll be aging the wood and adding a varnish.

I also opted for a solid color in the bay and adjacent walls: the aged green printed on the reverse side of the Geometric Fa La La pattern used in the kitchen.  It's meant to coordinate, so the color is spot on, and it has thinned out portions printed in the design so it looks like it could use a touch up.  :D  And, it ties in perfectly with Keli's Hoosier cabinet!

The table and chairs are borrowed from the Newport.  I will be using a lighter wood set in similar size and shape.

Nothing is glued in place just yet since I still have install the pocket door wall as well as the remaining outer wall, but I can see the room coming together nicely.

Foyer to kitchen pocket door, part 2

by brae  

Continuing work on the pocket door between the foyer and the kitchen, following KathieB's tutorial.

I decided to use 1/4" thick wood for the inner connectors and pocket door mechanism instead of foam core board, using wood glue to create an especially strong bond.  The reason for this is that the wall will serve as a structural wall and I want to cut down on the amount of give and warping it might have.  Unlike Kathie's tab and slot house example, this wall just sits inside the house and will be glued at contact points only...so I need a straight, strong wall.

I asked Kathie what she would have done differently, and she said she wished she had built in a way to open and close the door from the outside, like a string.  As it is, she has to reach in to show that it works, and that requires the removal of furniture.

That got me thinking!  :D  How about a lever that comes out of an opening in the back of the pocket door wall.  You would push the door closed and pull it open like a pop-up book.  The lever itself could be hinged to lay flat when the door is open.

I added a piece of 3/16" strip wood cut to the distance between the edge of the door assembly and the open back when the pocket door is open, with a little to spare.  I added block supports to the end where the lever attaches to the door assembly to strengthen the connection.

I added a hinge at the end of the lever and added more 3/16" strip wood cut to the amount needed to make up the difference when the pocket door is closed.  Even though there are tiny hinges on the market, I opted for a leather hinge instead.  It's flexible and won't be damaged with some turning and bending the way a tiny metal hinge might be over time.  I used brass brads for additional security after gluing the leather in place.  To finish the lever, I added a sewing pin glued into the end.

I used scrap bits of 1/4" thick wood to create a channel for the door lever, a guide above the door and a stop to keep the door from going too far back into the wall when open.  I also finished off the back with 1/4" thick wood, leaving a larger opening than necessary for the lever.  I will cover the back of this wall with a single piece of wood in the end, so these pieces are merely structural and not meant to serve as a clean finish for the back edge of this wall.  Before final assembly, I'll add some more 1/4" thick wood scraps in the open areas to make sure the parlor wall has enough surface to bond to.

Here are the inner workings with the door closed...

And with the door open...

A close up of the hinge in place.

I taped the parlor wall to the assembly and set it in place.  The mechanism needs to be treated gently, but it works!  :D

Here is the lever pushed in for the door closed, with the head of the pin showing.  It is angled down for now since there is no finishing wood to keep it propped up.

Here is the lever pulled out for the open door, with the hinge allowing the lever to sit flat against the back of the wall.

I need to paint the lever, prime the walls and finish the door before I can glue the wall together permanently, but I am so pleased it works!  :D

Update: see this post for details on how I stabilized the hinge.  Final trimming is shown in this post.

Kitchen papers and a Shaker step stool

by brae  

Just trying out the papers in the kitchen.  The flooring is Cream Diamonds by The Paper Studio and the wallpaper is Geometric Fa La La by Making Memories, both scrapbook papers.  With them is the tall baseboard molding painted Vintage White by Folk Art.  I love the whole effect!  :D

I am thinking of putting wood flooring in the bay for the kitchen table.  I do like the black checkered tile for the kitchen but it might be too much for the entire length of the room.

I also assembled a quick kit I bought at the Wee "C" Miniature Show a couple of weeks ago.  It's a Shaker step stool kit by Miniature Wood Creations.  The wood is so nice I just sealed it as is with satin varnish.

It's not necessarily for the kitchen, but I was itching to put a furniture kit together.  It was fast and easy and settled my craving for now.  :D

Foyer to kitchen pocket door, part 1

by brae  

I wasn't opposed to putting in a regular swinging door from the foyer leading to the kitchen, but I've wanted to try making a pocket door for some time now.  I had originally planned one for the bathroom of Baxter Pointe Villa, but there wasn't enough room for it with the roof angles.

There are two excellent blog posts on dollhouse pocket doors that I found while researching.  First, a fine set of pocket doors at Myrtlewood Manor where an upper track was used to keep the doors in place.  Second, KathieB's single pocket door where extra wood was attached to the door and foam core used to create the pocket.

I ended up choosing Kathie's guide to follow since it seemed the easiest for me to figure out and I already had the materials on hand.  It was also exactly the type of setup I wanted with a single door.

I added the extra pieces to the door and cut two outer wall pieces from 1/8" thick plywood.  I'll use 1/4" foam core board as the inner layer, just as in Kathie's example.  I've started painting the door Vintage White by Folk Art to match the trim I'll be using.

Putting in a pocket door wall also allows me to tackle another problem.  My parlor ceiling will be a different height than my kitchen ceiling.  However, the board for the second floor is a single piece that spans the entire area of the house.  By having a wall made from various layers, each outside layer could be built to act as a support for its adjacent ceiling and I could cut the floor board into two separate pieces.  :D  Oh, that sounds so simple on paper.  Ha ha.

My parlor wall is 9" tall to accommodate the new Houseworks narrow stairs.  I have the stairs as close as possible to the pocket door while still allowing for proper trim around the new doorway.  If it were back much further, it would encroach on the bookcase and leave very little at the top of the stairs on the second floor.

My kitchen wall is 8 1/8" inches tall as intended for the original kit.  The pocket door will be hard to see in this room with Keli's fabulous Hoosier cabinet next to it.  As you can see, there is just enough room for the Roper range, the Hoosier cabinet and the door.  :D

There are two remaining issues concerning the second floor board: the interior trim around the front door will hit right at ceiling height and the placement of the stairs presents challenges for fitting in a door to the bedroom (the room above the kitchen).  I knew these would be issues to address when I chose the new front door and decided to place the stairs in the middle of the first floor.

My plan is to have a two-story foyer to address the trim around the front door.

It seems a grand element to add, though it might not be possible since there is an exact area where the bedroom door must fit - in the space toward the front of the house.  There wouldn't be enough room at the top of the stairs toward the open back of the house.

This door would have to sit right on the edge of the overhang, with just enough room for a railing.  It would also leave a rather small stair hole in the parlor ceiling.  That's not necessarily a problem, though I don't want the space to look awkward.  I briefly thought about leaving the bedroom door out altogether (GASP!), but I'm a stickler for realism and prefer having a door.

I could create new trim for the front door and eliminate the two story foyer.  Now, the pitch of the roof on the second floor also dictates where the bedroom door would need to sit but it would give me an inch or so of flexibility.  But, I really like the idea of a two-story foyer.  :D

In keeping the two-story foyer, one option would be to use a Houseworks narrow door instead of the regular door in the same place shown above, which would open up the stair hole in the parlor ceiling a little.  If I used a narrow door for the bedroom, I would likely use one for the bathroom across the hall for continuity instead of having one thin door opposite a regular sized one.

Or, I could try to squeeze the narrow door in at the top of the stairs or even put in another pocket door at the top of the stairs.  Either of these would allow me to open the stairway ceiling into the foyer and make for a larger two-story foyer.  How grand!  :D

My decision?  To just forge ahead and worry about all this when I get to installing the second floor board!  :D  It'll work out, one way or another.

Baxter Pointe Villa - a pictorial review

by brae  

Here is a compilation of the best of Baxter Pointe Villa.  To see a list of posts showing details on how I made things or what materials I used, as well as more pictures, click this link.

Baxter Pointe Villa was built for the 2011 Greenleaf Spring Fling contest.

And, from the back.

Here is what the original kit with the side addition looked like on the Greenleaf website.

Mine's a bit different, no?  ;]  I took a front wall from a second addition kit to make a deck on the second floor of the main house.  I also added depth to the side addition.

Cut, cut, cut...is there any wood left?!!  :O

Below is the initial mockup of my idea...before I found the wind turbine or realized the cupola would not work on my redesigned roofline.  I also hadn't thought about a chimney yet and therefore didn't flip the stairs.  I still think I came pretty close to what I initially imagined.  :D

The cottage is named after my current dwarf hamster companion who won the lottery by being featured in the Greenleaf Gazette's Critter Corner as Hamster in Half Scale (well, to a hamster, $25 worth of yogurt yummies is decidedly a jackpot).  :D  Baxter is now an old timer (nearly three years old) and has retired to a luxury beach cottage right on the water.  Here he is in his younger days...

The scene in the background for some of the shots is appropriately captioned On the Beach.  Though I am a hobbyist photographer myself and I've been to the beach many times, the only photos I have seem to be in mid-autumn or have a lighthouse in the background.  Not necessarily a bad thing but not what I was going for.  And, any 'sunlight' you see in the photos, well, that's just my dining room ceiling fixture with its GE Reveal lightbulbs.  :D  Even I can't believe how well this fixture lights this house from outside!

I tried to make as much as possible and used some tried and true techniques from the Newport as well as diving into some new territory for me.  I'm very pleased with how the build turned out overall, but I must say the aquarium is my favorite!  I used the Greenleaf tutorial for it, adding my own sculpted polymer clay fish and LED lighting.  :D

The LEDs make the fish glow.  :D

I also love the way the lights pick up the bubbles in the resin.

I would love to sit in this living room, honestly.  It has such a serene quality to it.  That's real water in the pitcher, and yes, I spilled it three times while photographing.  :O

The artwork is Racing with the Moon by Jacqueline Penney printed on Art Canvas by The Crafty PC.   It has a canvas texture that really brings it to life.  I installed a NovaLyte can light over the fireplace to illuminate the artwork. 

The candles in the fireplace are polymer clay and are lighted.  They have a very soft light and this photo is a good approximation of what they look like in person.

I made a lot of the books myself but supplemented the collection with some from The Miniature Bookshelf and other miscellaneous suppliers.

The starfish planter is a replica of one I saw on The Lettered Cottage made from a vintage cricket cage.

The sea sculpture is a cross section of a shell attached to a gar scale from Timber Ridge Studio.

Other accessories include a whale lamp and a half scale non-working clock that I bought some time ago.  The sailboat bookends came from Manor House Minis, and I painted them silver (they were brass).  The basket is from Glenda of Peppercorn Minis, and the large plant I made some time ago.  There's also a seal statue on the side table that came from Manor House Minis.

Another early project included the Millie August sofa and chair.  I found these at a hobby store liquidation sale and had them stored in a box since then.  When I first started figuring out the beach decor, I remembered these and thought they would be the perfect addition.

The white wire coffee table is from Manor House Minis.  It was a closeout and the last one!  The pitcher, glasses and lemon slices were sold as a set that I bought at the Bishop Show.  That's real water in the pitcher, and yes, I spilled it three times taking photos.  :\  I made the tray previously.

My side table is a replica inspired by the Oly Studio Ichibad Side Table.

I scratch built the table lamp from a ceramic bead, a wood bead, a metal bead and a NovaLyte LED.  The base is made from polymer clay (shown here in the original brown before I painted it black to coordinate).  Two jewelry findings hold the shade in place.  The shade is a strip of drawing paper 7/8" wide by 3" long glued with a overlapping seam.  I made the sunflower lamps and bedside lamps for the Newport in a similar manner.

I made a mock outlet out of 1/64in wood veneer to disguise where the wire enters the wall. There's a plastic bead to serve as the plug and the open side of the outlet has a drawn on receptacle. The wire then runs through the wall and into a channel as part of the hard wired system.  For my tutorial on perfectly mitred baseboards, click here.

The entry table is borrowed from the Newport and is a Concord Miniatures side table painted black.  I bought the vase at the Bishop Show, and the flowers were made from a Bonnie Lavish kit.  The camera and film box were from my childhood dollhouse, one of the few remaining pieces I have from back then.  The barometer was purchased from a fellow Greenleaf member.  I changed the bottom sticker since the original didn't fit well.  I still need to replace the thermometer sticker on top for the same reason.  The light switchplates throughout the house are actually stickers from miniatures.com.  They photograph wonderfully!

The rug is called Sand Dollar and found at Shor Home.  I printed the image on Velour Card Stock by The Crafty PC.  I love this paper, though my printer put a nice streak down the middle where it flattened the pile.  :\  At least it's not really noticeable.

The aquarium divides the living room from the kitchen, and there's a breakfast counter in front of the tank that I made from a curved scrap piece from the kit.

Here's the door I made and posted about earlier...it's a means to feed the fish!  The counter stools are modified versions of the side chair pattern found in the book Finishing Touches by Jane Harrop.

This is an efficiency kitchen with only a range top and a half fridge.  When you are vacationing on the beach, you don't need to be indoors cooking.  :D

I added 2 1/8" to the depth of this addition, which gave me a lot more space to work with in the end.  With the addition's window wall flush with the main house front wall, I was able to open up the space between the living room and the kitchen.  I padded the wall separating the two rooms with 1/8" plywood to aid in supporting the ceiling and to give a little more thickness to the walls surrounding the opening.  It wouldn't have looked realistic to have a tiny wall separating the two rooms.

The sink was made in a similar fashion as the one in the Newport kitchen, minus the last step of spraying it with Krylon gloss white.  Time will tell if I need to spray it due to yellowing of the Triple Thick Gloss Glaze (yes, it says non-yellowing...riiiiiiiight).  ;]

The faucet is by ELF Miniatures.  I offset it from the sink for two reasons.  I was unable to center the sink with the windows so I figured a centered faucet would make this more obvious (I've seen this in real life houses as well).  Second, it would have been a tight fit to get the faucet between the sink and the window behind the sink.

What a view!

I used Houseworks cabinet kits that were partially assembled but unfinished.  I cut the bases off the cabinets since they were going to be too tall with the added countertop to sit under the window trim.  I added a new base from 1/16" thick balsa wood to raise them back up just a bit.  The counter top was made from 1/16" thick bass wood painted to look like stone using a similar method to the one I used in the Newport kitchen.  I started with a cardboard template to check for fit and then used those pieces as patterns for the bass wood.

I primed it with Folk Art's Tapioca and then just spattered a bunch of paint all over it.

I set it aside until almost completely dry and then dabbed it with a paper towel to take away any huge clumps.  I covered the pieces with wax paper and pressed it under magazines overnight.  The next day, I sanded the surface smooth.  I brushed on a thin layer of Delta Ceramcoat Satin Varnish, which I rubbed around with my fingers until I achieved a slight luster resembling stone.  The Houseworks range top was plain metal that I spray painted gloss black.  The fish trivet is from The Dolls House Mall.

Rounding out the appliances is the Meile half fridge (love mini Meile appliances - so realistic).  Though there was probably room for a full size refrigerator next to the range, I opted for this smaller unit.  I also omitted a full oven.  This is a luxury vacation villa...you don't need an oven or a huge refrigerator!  :]

After coming up with the best layout possible for the kitchen and padding the dividing wall between the kitchen and the living room, there was still extra space between the fridge and the sink unit.  To bridge that gap, I installed a built-in wine rack (shown here before countertop installation).  :D

I found the adorable semicircle rug image online but have no idea who makes it or where to buy the real deal.  I printed two of the same on Velour Card Stock by The Crafty PC.  I love this paper!

For artwork, I used two images by Steve Terrill, one of which has very long title: Sunflowers Displayed in Enamelware Pitcher, Willamette Valley, Oregon USA and Window with Sunflowers in Vase.

Some of the accessories I had on hand and don't recall exactly where I got them.  I bought the mini watercan above at the Bishop Show.  The light switchplates throughout the house are actually stickers from miniatures.com.  They photograph wonderfully!  I've had the copper tea kettle for some time, and the trivet under it was also bought at the Bishop Show.  The crocheted sunflower potholder is by Blohm Design.

Upstairs is a minimalist and serene bedroom.

The bedroom gave me absolute fits!  Not in the structural changes but in the bed dressing.  :D  It's still not really the way I wanted, but I do like it for the most part.

There was still very little usable room in this part of the structure because of the steep roofline in the back.  I was able to put in a bed, two tiny side tables, a small dresser and not much else.

For the bed, I started by using my two artist's models (I need to give them names, I think) to determine the smallest possible mattress size that would still accommodate them.  It had to be a bit smaller than exact scale, but I didn't want it to look completely out of proportion.

I took that piece of foam core board and cut five more pieces the same size: gluing three together for the mattress and three for the box spring.  I covered the mattress with thin batting that is meant for millinery.  It’s similar to felt and can usually be found in fabric stores.  I covered the box spring with striped fabric from Hobby Lobby.  I ended up putting 1/2" wood cubes on the corners and painted them black.  For the sheets, I used a very finely woven cotton poly blend.  It's so soft and photographs wonderfully true to scale.

I used this process for the Newport guest bedroom and master bedroom.  It was probably unnecessary to do these steps, but I know it's there and I like realistic details even if ultimately unseen.  :D  I also wanted the option of showing the sheets and box spring fabric, just in case I liked it that way as I put the bed together.

I opted to add a headboard at the last minute since the room is so tall and there was so much blank space on that wall.  I used a scrap of plywood to make the basic shape.  I added a bit of padding to the top and then upholstered with Hanami Circle Dots Onyx cotton fabric.  I apparently cut the board too small, so I added a 1/4" strip wood border painted black to make up the difference.

I dug through my stash of fabric, found some lace I've had for years and cut a piece to size.  I pressed the pleats at the end slightly to keep it in shape.

The folded blanket was made from a poly cotton blend, a remnant bin find.  I sewed two pieces together, pressed into shape with an iron and then tacked together with a tiny bit of glue.  The leather purse and shoes were made by Patrizia Santi.

For the pillowcases, I used white cotton sateen since the sheet fabric was a bit too sheer for believable pillowcases.  The peacock pillow was made from a resized image of tiles by Jerusalem Pottery which I then printed on fabric.  I fill my pillows with seed beads to give them some weight and to make it easier to shape them.

The dresser was made from a House of Miniatures Bachelor's Chest kit.  I painted it black and used scrapbooking brads for the hardware.  It's the perfect size to sit next to the narrow door.  Not a lot of storage in this room, but we'll just pretend the closet is behind you on the open wall.  :D

The flowers are Bonnie Lavish dahlias in orange.  The vase is from Manor House Miniatures and is the companion to the bee vase I used for the sunflowers.

The side tables were made from precut wood shapes for the tops, scrap kit wood for the base and Houseworks legs.  I kept them simple since the overall décor of this room was meant to be minimalistic and serene.  :]

On either side table I have modest decor.  First, the sailboat I made based on an original from White Flower Farmhouse that I first saw on on The Lettered Cottage.

And, second, a tiny laser cut wooden whale from Pepper Sprout Designs.  There is a larger companion piece, but it is out of scale for this house.

I had originally planned to make two bedside lamps from metal beads, but they were very uncooperative during the creation phase.  :\  I didn't have time to order and wait for a shipment of any ready-made replacements, so I dug around in my Newport box and found two Reutter Porzellan copper lanterns I was saving for the conservatory.  They actually ended up being better than my original idea.  There is so little color in this room, they really pop.

The artwork is Zhen-Huan Lu's Days Gone By.  I printed the image on regular paper in a few sizes to determine which size would work best in the space.  I then sharpened the image in PhotoShop before printing on Art Canvas by The Crafty PC.  It has a canvas texture that really brings it to life.  The frame is made from mass produced matchstick craft wood glued on a bass wood backing.  The sunlight through the window effect in the painting is actually part of the painting, not a light reflection.  :D  The light switchplates throughout the house are actually stickers from miniatures.com.  They photograph wonderfully!

Adjoining the bedroom is a bathroom with a soaking tub under skylights.  I love how this room turned out especially!

 As much as I like to zoom in for realism, this house has some nice "dollhouse views" when you show the open back.  :D

This was a tiny, dark room when I first started planning.

I cut out two skylight windows, which completely changed the feel of the room.

I added 2 1/8" to the depth of this addition, which gave me a lot more space to work with in the end.  This allowed me to install a working narrow door (shown here just propped in place before cutting the opening).  I padded the wall separating the bedroom and bathroom with 1/8" plywood to solve the problem of the wall being too thin for the ready-made door.

Because the room has a steep angle on the window wall, I built a wall shelf from basswood and foam core board that I then primed with white paint.  I covered it with pieces of clear plastic tile sheet that had 1/4" squares embossed in the surface.  I used Krylon gloss white spray paint on the underside of the tile sheet and glued to the basswood base.  This is similar to what I did the in Newport bathroom.  I added tiny wood trim around the edges to finish it off and hide any gaps.  I think it makes for a more realistic backdrop for the bathtub.

And, it's the perfect place to keep bath related items.  :]

I made the towels, bath products, scrubby and magazines.  The basket and frog figurine were purchased.

The bathtub was made from an unfinished EuroMini's kit.

To get the white porcelain finish, I first spackled the best I could to fill in the more obvious defects.  I then painted numerous generous layers of white acrylic paint to build up the brightness and even out the surface.  In between each layer, I sanded the paint down to a completely smooth surface.  Once I had the best finish possible, I put on two coats of Americana Triple Thick Gloss Glaze, letting the first coat dry overnight before adding the second.  The inside is still a little rough since there was only so much I could do with a flat bottom tub, but the outer surface and the overhang turned out as I had hoped.

I sprayed two brass taps with Valspar Odds 'n' Ends Fast Dry Enamel in Chrome and then dabbed on Testors gloss white on the tops.  I like how this photo makes it look as though there's water in the tub!  :D

Had I not widened the side addition, the original window would have been right over the bathroom vanity.  Looking out the window is not helpful when you're brushing your hair.  :]  I would have had to close up the window.  But, with the additional piece in place, I was able to turn the one small window into two skinny windows instead.


the original wall, cut in half, before the insert was added in the middle

I made the vanity mirror from a metal scrapbook frame by K&C Company that fit just perfectly in the open space.  I built up the back a bit with strip wood and used plastic mirror sheet by Darice to make the mirror.

The vanity is a Mackintosh sideboard and the sink is from ELF Miniatures I dabbed a bit of black paint on the end of the faucet to make it more realistic).  The wall sconce over the sink is by Heidi Ott.

The eucalyptus plants were made from a Bonnie Lavish kit.  The vase is by Alex Meiklejohn, purchased at the Bishop Show.  The soap and dish were also purchased, but I don't recall where I got them.

The shell shadowbox was made with bass wood and tiny shells and starfish from Timber Ridge Studio.  The shells are approximately 1/4" and the largest starfish is about 1/2" in size.  :]

 

The candle is polymer clay with a sewing thread wick.  The candleholder is a half-scale cake stand. :]

The toilet started out with a wooden seat that I refinished with Testors gloss black spray paint.  I like the retro vibe of the gloss black seat.  :]  I made the tissue box from a 3/8" wood block, Martha Stewart self-stick ribbon and a tiny piece of real tissue.  I wound some actual toilet paper around the holder as well.  The hook and hangers were purchased.

The flooring is by Old World Tile, a high quality printed paper you finished with a sealer.  I reviewed this product in an earlier post.  I used Triple Thick Gloss Glaze by Americana that ended up giving me a perfect linoleum finish.

The rug is Seaside Seahorses by Nantucket Brand, printed Velour Card Stock by The Crafty PC.

Outside the bedroom is a covered deck inspired by an Amanda Nisbet design.  I painted the ceiling Lilac Love and reproduced the brown and white fabric in her original design using Illustrator and having it printed by Spoonflower.  The journal is by Glenda of Peppercorn Minis.

The cedar shake exterior with white trim was inspired by Catskill Farms.  They have countless beautiful cottages on their blog that are perfect inspirations for miniature homes.

Once upon a time, I had a Dura-Craft dollhouse that never got built and whose pieces were lost to a flood.  Some pieces survived since they were stored elsewhere, and included in those miscellaneous parts was a huge bag of cedar shake shingles (say that phrase ten times fast).  So, no need to buy materials for the exterior!  :D

I had to hand split approximately 1,700 1:12 scale shakes to get the right proportion for the build...first lengthwise and then across the grain.  The end result was a better scale match and well worth all the work.  This is also one of the most forgiving finishes I've worked with so far.  Unevenness in application and splits in the wood add to the realism instead of detracting from it.

In addition, it was easy to remove and then replace a section of shingles when I accidentally cut my wiring while installing the kitchen floor.  With siding, I would have had to tear a lot more out than the 2" x 3" section that I did.  After the repair, the new shingles just slipped right into place as though it had never happened.  :]

I put the roof of the addition on and shingled that with grey asphalt shingles by What's Next before applying the cedar shakes on the adjacent wall.  There are a number of cedar shake houses in my area, so I was able to see some real life examples of how to handle some of these structural challenges.

The back roof piece of the addition was a challenge.  I don't know if it was my alteration of the design or just a stubborn warp in the outer wall of the addition, but I could not get the main house roof, the new flat top roof I put in and the addition roof to square up.  Finally, I just attacked it with duct tape.  It worked!   There is still glue at the joins, but the duct tape is the main support for the bond.  I used Quick Grip glue to attach the shingles and cork piece of the upper roof and had no problems with those things adhering, which was my only concern in using it.

I then created a parapet on the flat top portion using some of the left over kit wood from the stair posts.  Inside this wood frame, I painted a piece of cork sheet to simulate the tar and gravel covering.  Now, I can't take credit for even knowing what a parapet was...that was all mom's influence.  :D  I had no idea how to finish this part of the roof until she came up with the idea.  Hooray for mom!!!  The wind turbine I added later is from ELF Miniatures.

The front porch structure is a purchased frame.  When I'm on a deadline, I love shortcuts that cost $1.49!  :D  I covered this with skinny sticks stained IKEA antique pine.

Here are the original Greenleaf stairs. :D

I flipped the assembly of the stairs upside down to get the stairs in a different configuration and cut down the deck portion to make room for the chimney.

The lower side deck is made partially from the original Greenleaf stairs kit.  In order to have the side deck meet up with the front deck, I added a piece of 1/8" thick balsa wood to fill in the missing areas.  I then continued the skinny stick coverage on the entire lower side deck.  Since skinny sticks come in predetermined lengths, I used some strip wood to break the deck into areas and tried to create a nice pattern for the boards.

To finish off the front deck and lower side deck, I added strip wood stained to match along the outer edges and curved the last board down just under the first step (stairs obviously not shown here).

I upgraded the front door and eliminated the recessed entryway of the original kit.  The color is Robin's Egg Blue from Jo-Ann Craft Essentials.  The planters on either side are from Manor House Minis and were originally pale green (I bought two sets to have matching pairs of each style of planter).  The flowers are a mix of Bonnie Lavish kits held in place by a styrofoam ball stuffed inside, held with a bit of glue.

The entry light is a NovaLyte LED.  These require a 3/8" depth for installation, so I glued two 1" by 1/8" precut wood circles together.  I painted them silver followed by a wash of black to dull down the color and glued them where I wanted my light.  I then drilled the hole for the LED in the middle of the circles.  Well, it's not exactly in the center, but we won't look that closely.  :D

The grass door mat with daisy is from A Little More in Miniatures, purchased at the Bishop Show.

Around the side behind the bicycles, I have a wheelie bin from The Dolls House Emporium and a recycle bin that I've had for some time now and don't remember where I bought it.

The biggest change I made to the base kit of Baxter Pointe Villa was to replace the upper portion with a taller front wall to create a wraparound deck.  To get this porch in front of the second floor bedroom, it took a lot of kit bashing.  :]  I used the front wall of a second addition kit I bought to make a new front wall in the bedroom, and that change created enough room for a small deck.  Here you can see how I sheared off part of the outer wall all the way to the floor, making it flush with the new bedroom wall.  I had to piece the wall around the door since this originally had three window openings.  I ended up leaving the mullions out of the French door since I wanted an unobstructed view of the beach!  :D

With all of these changes in place, this is how I managed the roof pieces.  I used the original roof piece for the bedroom ceiling, cutting it off flush with the side walls from the peak to the top of the new front wall.  I also cut it flush with the side walls. I then used 1/8" thick plywood to make a new top roof and a flat soffit board for the porch that I later covered with strip wood and painted.  The white pieces are foam core board cut to fill in between the original house and the new front porch roofline.

I then cut trim to follow the new roofline.

One of the best aspects of the inspiration design is the fabric.  Since it was a pretty basic design, I drew it out in Illustrator and uploaded the sample to Spoonflower, a place that prints fabric.  I could have printed it myself at home, but computer printed fabric can be damaged by water contact and I wanted something more durable.  I cut and sewed 1.5" squares and stuffed the pillows with seed beads.

As an aside, you used to be able to resize prints on Spoonflower even if the design wasn't yours, so you could have any of the fabrics available for sale in mini scale if you wanted.  They changed this and personally I think it was a bad idea to remove this option.  There were a lot of fabrics I wanted for 1:12 scale and unless I contact the designer and they are willing to resize for me (which is a messier process than it sounds like), I won't be buying the fabrics.  Cuts down on sales, if you ask me.  I think they should have this as an option the seller can choose to allow or not.  I contacted Spoonflower to voice this opinion, and they said they are working on the option.  But, who knows when it will happen.  :\

The purple cotton fabric is from Hancock Fabrics.  I used a double layer to upholster the bench seat since the cushion was originally white and showed through the single layer.  The journal is by Glenda of Peppercorn Minis.

The sunflowers were made from a Bonnie Lavish kit, and the vase is from Manor House Miniatures.  I borrowed the stool from Baslow Ranch and used it as a side table.  I like it so much here that I'll likely just reproduce one for this space.  The glass of tea was purchased in a lot from craigslist and the metal coaster is a finding from Bindels Ornaments.

I really love how this deck turned out and wish I could sit there myself watching the waves hit the shore.  :D

Though I've outlined the chimney build in previous posts, I didn't get to the flashing until I put the roof on.  It's just made of black-brown paper cut to fit.  You can also see that my topper came apart (the chimney did a nose dive off the table one too many times).  I decided to leave it as is due to time constraints.  :]

I kept the landscaping modest, using white sand from the dollar store mixed with Aleene's tacky glue that I spread on with a palette knife and a few tufts of sea grass by Woodland Scenics added later.  As the glue dried, I used my knuckles to press footprint indentations around the front of the deck and the bottom of the stairs.  I also created lines with an awl to simulate bicycle tracks.

Nighttime shots are always wonderful and make the effort of wiring a structure all worthwhile.

First, the living room with the artwork, aquarium and outdoor entryway lights on.  I like an aquarium at night in real life, too!  I like how the exterior light illuminates the background photo and makes it look like the last light of the day is just over the water.

The kitchen has been cleaned up from the light dinner and now we're out for a walk on the beach!

Sunset has just ended, but the night is so lovely we'll sit out here on the deck awhile longer.

The vanity light really illuminates the bathroom quite well for a non-LED fixture.

Just about ready for bed.

And, my personal favorite...the entryway.

This was easily a six- to nine-month project crammed into three.  Even with all of the things on my idea list left undone, I still think I accomplished a lot in the time I had.  Lots of long hours and late nights.  :D

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Update 12/28/13:

The Yes paste failed terribly in the kitchen and bath.  It was partially the paste and partially due to the dehumidifier that the renovation crew ran in my condo after the lightning strike.  It was the one house that had the most damage, but the paste failed in others as well.  I now use only Mini Graphics Wallpaper Mucilage.

After removing the wallpaper, kitchen trims and aquarium.

Update 4/20/15:

I finished the renovation earlier this month.  You can see the full write-up here.

Even though I didn't make changes to the exterior, I did take some updated photographs all around.

I made a new aquarium for the space.

I had to replace the living room paper around the aquarium base and to the right of it.  I used Mini Graphics Wallpaper Mucilage.

I also finished the baseboard trim that I never got around to the first time around.

I was able to finally photograph the candles in the fireplace in a more realistic manner.

The kitchen cabinets had no damage -- just the wallpaper, so now it's all back together.

I raised the breakfast bar and bought two barstools from Just Miniature Scale to finish the space.

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