Master bath planning

by brae  

While I had the second floor up during the dry build, I worked a bit on the layout of the rooms.  The rooms will be from left to right: the guest bedroom (in the two story addition), the stairway, the master bath (which is technically shared with the guest room), the master bedroom and then the conservatory (over the garage).

Since I flipped the stairs on the first level, I will need to close up part of the original hole in the ceiling to have room to put a door to the guest bedroom.  The second floor stairs will then go on the opposite wall from that door; you'll be able to see only the back of the stairs, except through the front windows.

In order to fit the second floor stairs in that position, I had to move the far wall forward over the porch.  This gave me more room inside the second floor and eliminated having a huge flat roof over the front porch extension.  Adding this extra space made planning the master bath difficult.

Can you actually have too large of a bathroom?  :D  Apparently so.

I placed the second floor walls so the two doorways were toward the open back.  The master bedroom wall has a second doorway leading into the middle of the bathroom.  I won't be using the porcelain pieces here (not a fan of the floral design on them), but they helped me figure out the layout.  They were part of the lot I bought from craigslist some time ago.

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The problem with this layout is that it leaves dead space toward the open back and an awkward set of doors, one on either side of the loo.

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This gave me the idea of putting in a removable wall, as I had done for the powder room, creating a hallway between the stairs and the master bedroom.

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Problem solved!  And, it created a cozy layout I was rather pleased with.  :D

There will be a door in the removable wall, a door leading to the master bedroom at the end of the hallway, and a door from the middle of the bathroom into the master bedroom.  The doorway from the stairs will be an open arch.

Newport dry build

by brae  

Since I am getting further along on the first floor, I decided to do a fresh dry build to see if there was anything I needed to address before attaching the second floor.  I am still far from that part, but I figured it was better to know ahead of time.

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There will be railings around the porch and more detail to the trim on top of it.  The conservatory will be made from plywood; I have the basic pieces cut but still have to mark the window openings.  The foam core mockup is shown in the photo.

I put a 7-UP can in the bottom photo so you can see just how huge this house is with only two stories.  There's one more full floor and a tower room on top of that.

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1920s wicker furniture book

by brae  

The second story of the Newport dollhouse has a conservatory, and I wanted some wicker furniture for it.  I did the usual Google search for ideas and ran across a blog entry from Casey's Minis referencing a book called Art Fibre Weaving by Grand Rapids Fibre Cord Company published in 1925.

I borrowed a copy through interlibrary loan, though the one I received was published in 1927.  What a fabulous little book!  It's written about real life size furniture, but the techniques could easily be adapted for minis.  The history of the book itself was also interesting.  It was repaired in the 1950s but was in overall decent condition.  Of course, it had only been checked out three times before my request.  It still has its original date due slip, which notes that a 2¢ per day fine will be levied against the delinquent borrower; the first checkout stamp precedes a note of a 4¢ fine.  Tsk tsk.  :D  I found it especially interesting that the last time it had been checked out was in 1974.

I liked the book so much I've been searching for a copy to buy.

Needlepoint in miniature and my first book

by brae  

Since I started the Newport, I've been checking out books from the library to find ideas for projects and to generally drool over all of the beautiful minis out there.  One of the better books I found was Embroidered Projects by Sue Hawkins.

It has rugs, screens and pillows in a nice array of styles.  There were a few lovely items worth spending the time stitching, but there was one in particular that caught my eye: the Mackintosh chair cover.  I already had the chairs...and the design in the book fit perfectly with my modern living room.

In the past, I've done quite a bit of counted cross-stitch but very little needlepoint.  However, needlepoint on 32-count linen is pretty close to counted cross-stitch.  The project called for 32-count silk gauze but I had a hard time locating it.  I also changed the colors from what was listed in the book because the pinks were just too bright for my tastes.

My eyesight has always been good, but wow were these tiny stitches!

The first one took a little over five and a half hours of work, and I did it without the aid of a magnifier.  For the second one, I flipped the design to have a mirror of the first and bought a magnifier with two LEDs.  The second one (at the bottom of the photo below) took about the same amount of time but it was much cleaner since I could actually see what I was doing.  :D  Since I already had enough fabric in the hoop, I decided to make another like the first one; it turned out much better the second time around.

I had to remove the glued-on chair pads, which was a scary task since the chairs were expensive.  I popped them into the microwave to loosen the glue, but it still wasn't easy removing them.  While the cushions were off, I gave the chairs a couple of coats of Bittersweet Chocolate paint by Americana.  The original finish was uneven and a bit too red for my taste.  I then sealed them with satin varnish.

I removed the original fabric from the chair pads and used the needlework to upholster the chairs.  I finished the edges with twisted embroidery floss.  I think they turned out pretty well for my first attempt at miniature needlework and fit in rather well with the modern style and colors in the living room.

Another project I worked on this week was creating a miniature book from my own photographs.  I did the basic layout in Word, including a UPC and some lorem ipsum text on the back (it's so small you wouldn't be able to read it anyway).  Once printed, I glued the cover to some heavier paper.

I cut the book out using the crop marks and scored the paper to form the spine.

I used a piece of balsa wood for the pages, scoring the edges to look like individual pages and painting them white.

This one was created just using what I had on hand at the time, but I really like the way it turned out.  Creating it was a lot of fun and I have some ideas for more books.

Dining floor

by brae  

Since the Greenleaf tiles I used in the kitchen area were thicker than the Handley House wood flooring I planned to use for the dining room, I had to start with a cardboard template to even out the difference.  To get the proper outline, I used paper to create an exact template of the room.

I then cut cardboard pieces to fit the area under the wood.

The wood is not yet glued in place since I need to seal it first.

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