Kitchen progress

by brae  

I knew I wanted painted cabinets, but I had a hard time deciding on a color scheme.  I searched through countless online sites for ideas and stumbled upon something I would never have thought of: red cabinets.  I like the cream upper cabinets shown in this photo I found online, so I am not sure if I will go with red for both the upper and lower cabinets for my kitchen or follow this example.

With red cabinets, the red brick wall I had originally planned for the kitchen would need to be modified.  Otherwise, it would be too much red.  I painted the brick white, which brightened up the entire room.  For the wallpaper, I chose Bazzill Basics scrapbook paper in a light grey/white called Glass Slipper; it has an iridescent sheen to it.  I needed something pale to offset the pop of red.

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The island, sink cabinet and corner cabinets are Euro Mini's.  I filled the hardware holes, because I wanted to put them higher on the doors.  It didn't make sense for them to be so low on the doors of floor cabinets.  For the sink cabinet, I wanted a different look than knobs, like the example above.

I also spackled the wall I had cut and reglued to have the door in the middle of the wall.  I didn't want the seam to show under the wallpaper.

I masked the tops and baseboards of the three cabinets and then applied one coat of Apple Barrel paint in Barn Red.  I liked that the wood grain showed through, so I opted not to paint a second coat.  I am still mulling over color ideas for the countertops and baseboards.  Once fully painted, I will add a coat of satin sealer to give them a shine.

There will also be two or three floor cabinets with drawers, but I haven't completed them yet.  The wood floor is one possibility, but I am also considering other options.  So far, I really like it.  :)

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Miniature area rug

by brae  

I followed the technique on this Finnish website.  I couldn't read the instructions, but the photos were clear enough: glue pieces of yarn to a fabric backing.  I used Red Heart cotton yarn in a variegated pattern and a piece of scrap linen blend fabric.

I measured and cut the fabric for a full size area rug, leaving a little on the ends to create fringe.

Pulling out the cross fibers on each end created fringe.

I taped a piece of wax paper to my work table.  I then taped the fabric backing to the wax paper making sure to cover the fringe on both ends to keep from getting glue on it.  Working on a small area at a time, I cut pieces of yarn longer than the width of the fabric and glued them to the fabric backing.  I measured repeatedly to make sure I was keeping the rows straight.  The fabric stretched as I went along, so I ended once I reached the length I wanted.

I cut off the original bottom fringe and made new fringe below the end of the glued yarn.  Flipping the rug over, I cut the excess from either side of the fabric backing.

Here is the finished area rug. :)

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Faux crochet afghan

by brae  

I know how to crochet real life size items, but I remain in awe of those who crochet in miniature.  I might give it a try one day, but in the meantime, I figured out a way to make an afghan that looks crocheted using premade trims and some sewing thread.

I used Wrights venise lace daisy trim in lavender, light blue and ivory.  There are other colors available as well.  I bought 1 1/8 yards of each and had some left over.  I used regular sewing thread in lavender and light blue.

After looking up the standard afghan size for a queen bed, I positioned my lace against a ruler to determine the amount of rows and daisies I would need to make one in miniature.  At first, I left the rows longer figuring I could always cut off excess flowers.  I sewed the pieces of lace together, stacking each row so that the subsequent row would fit into the previous row.  I made bands of three, one of each color, and then sewed those bands together.

My result has vertical stripes, but this method could easily be converted to make horizontal stripes.

Here the afghan is shown with a chair from Lee's Line.

Update: I now have some of these in my etsy shop.


by brae  

The stairs that come with the Newport kit are made of mdf and needed to be assembled from three individual pieces.  Since I planned to flip the stairs to accommodate the two story addition on the right side, I spackled the back of the stair assembly to hide the seams.

I wanted the look of painted stair risers with stained wood treads, so I painted the entire assembly white (several coats with sanding in between to remove the "fuzziness" that mdf can get when painted) and then masked off the treads.  I painted a base coat of brown and then did three layers of paint and glaze in two other colors of brown.

The faux wood attempt turned out well save for one small problem.  No matter how well masked, the lines between the white and brown were not sharp enough for me.  Any stray marks are especially obvious on a miniature scale and can ruin the illusion.

I looked into buying replacement stairs, but nothing fit as well as the parts that came with the kit.  I still didn't want to give up on the idea of having wood treads, so I first scraped off the front lip on the individual stairs that was meant to represent the tread and then sanded off most of the paint I had previously applied.

I added some fretwork since I didn't care for the look of the plain stringer that came with the kit.

These are delicate laser cut pieces that were a chore to remove without breaking.  I broke quite a few of them but since they were being glued to a flat surface, you couldn't tell they were pieced.

To finish off the bottom edge, I added a piece of 1/8" x 1/4" strip wood.

I painted the entire assembly white, leaving some mdf exposed on the tops.  I cut individual treads from a length of strip wood with a rounded edge and repeated the paint and glaze process I had originally done for the faux wood finish on these pieces.

Once dry, I glued the treads in place.  There will be a railing further along in the build, but I love the way this turned out.  It's exactly what I had in mind.

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

Study with fireplace, part 5

by brae  

The next step in the fireplace construction was the firebox.  I used the same egg carton brick technique as I did for the mantel brick but in a slightly larger size and without rounding the edges.  I wanted it to look like a different type of material.  I didn't line the upper inside edge with bricks.  I had cut the firebox to be taller than the front opening to give the illusion of the firebox opening up into the flue above.

I've found the best way to get a realistic look to the bricks is to do multiple layers of color.  I started with a thin coat of antique white.  I then brushed on a thin coat of light brown mixed with grey.  Over that I painted a layer of glaze mixed with dark grey.  It looks dark and mottled, but the grout will even out the color overall.

I used Andi Mini Brick and Stone Mortar Mix (the same grout used for the foundation) to finish off the look.  I scored the lines between the bricks with an awl to add more definition.

I will blacken the logs and add other touches to lend to the realism when I install the fire lighting.  I will also be adding a hearth, though I haven't decided on a finish for that just yet.

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