Study progress, part 3

by brae  

In order to decorate for Christmas, I had to get the study in nearly complete order.  I installed the windows with newly cut acrylic inserts to replace the printed ones that came with the kit.  I had previously upgraded the windows to include Yorktown pediments by Houseworks on the exterior, but these needed to be cut down for the window located on the angled wall since they were too wide to fit between the connectors.  I will have to cut down the pediments on the bay areas of the main house as well for the same reason.

Here's the view on the exterior.  Even though the side pediments are cut down, they don't look incomplete.  Nothing is glued in place yet, so the gaps and imperfections will be sanded and painted further before I glue them in permanently.

I sprayed the wood flooring with matte sealer (two coats).  I like how it warmed up the color and brought out the detail of the wood grain. [UPDATE BELOW]

I used Houseworks baseboards along the perimeter; each board has a groove on the back to hide wires.  I think this has been my least favorite part so far.  The main problem is cutting around the wall connectors, which results in a lot of little pieces with angles on either end.  But, it really adds a lot of realism to the room, so I just keep cutting and cutting and cutting until I get the pieces right.

I used Houseworks trims around the interior of the windows to match the Traditional Block & Trim interior door, also by Houseworks.  The windows and their related interior trims are not glued in place so I can remove them to continue the build without any worry of damaging them.

Update 01-15-10:
Since this post, the spray sealer has broken down and the finish has become mottled (below the old floor is shown on top of a fresh sheet of flooring).  I removed the old flooring and replaced it with a new piece, but I won't be using the same spray sealer again.

Update 02-20-10:
I sprayed the second piece of flooring for the study with Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic protective finish in clear semi-gloss, and the results were perfect.  It too warmed up the wood tones and stayed even and smooth after two weeks.

Garage door improvement

by brae  

I had previously posted an entry on my addition of vellum paper jewelry findings as window covering for the garage door.

I didn't care for the fit, so I bought some larger jewelry findings to use instead.  These were also made of thin metal, so I was able to cut them to fit into the window openings instead of sitting on top.  The result is a cleaner look and more in line what I had in mind.

Christmas tree skirt and study décor

by brae  

The next item I made for Christmas was the tree skirt.  I used Word to create a circle 4.5" in diameter and then added clipart trees around the edge.  I printed it on fabric and adhered it to sticky-backed felt.  I then sewed some silver trim around the edge.

click image to enlarge

While prepping the room for Christmas, I also added some permanent décor to the room.  As you can see, the study has an interior exposed brick wall just like the kitchen.

The mini bookshelf is actually a half-scale Houseworks unit.  I popped it into the microwave to loosen the glue, removed every other shelf to accommodate 1:12 scale books and knickknacks (though I have none currently), and then painted it.  The books are by the wonderful shop The Miniature Bookshelf.  They provide excellent quality mini books with decorative scale type inside.  The artwork is Little Owl by Albrecht Dürer.  I found a large size image of the work online and then resized it to fit the frame I bought from HBS.  The statue came from eBay.

I also made some more Christmas wrap.  I bought a bag of random minis from craigslist, and the grocery bag was part of the loot.

Study progress, part 2

by brae  

The painting above the fireplace is a cutout from a catalog I had years ago.  Unfortunately, when I ripped it out, I didn't get the full name of the artist, only the first name of Leigh.  From what text is there, I think the title of the work is called Jeweled Cove (or at least begins with those words), though I haven't been able to turn up anything on the internet about it.

I glued the paper image to a thin piece of balsa then cut and painted a wood frame to surround it.  I bought the clock on eBay, and the elephants I've had for over twenty years.

click image to enlarge

To finish off the fireplace, I made a marble-look hearth out of a piece of cardboard.  I used the technique shown in the DVD by Master Miniaturists called Faux Finishes.

The cut cardboard before....

And, after....

click image to enlarge

The fireplace fence is by Town Square Miniatures and was originally brass that I painted with acrylic paint to make it look like wrought iron.

click image to enlarge

Christmas wrap and presents

by brae  

Furthering my plan to get a room in the Newport dollhouse decorated for Christmas, I made some wrapping paper for both presents and rolls.  I found images of wrapping paper online and then used PhotoShop to replicate the design into larger sheets and then resize to an appropriate scale.

For the rolls, I cut the paper into 3" wide strips of varying lengths, rolled the paper into tubes using a small dowel and glued the edge in place.

For the presents, I took scraps of wood and wrapped them in paper.

For some of the presents I added textured thread or ribbon; the bows are plastic beads (one is topped with a tiny pompom).

click image to enlarge

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