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Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Completed Willowcrest Estate


Hello friends! Guess what? I finally finished the Willowcrest dollhouse I have been building. I have been doing a happy dance for a couple of days now.

The last time I posted I promised to share the inside of the dollhouse.  I am doing that today as well as sharing the newly completed landscaping.

Below is a photo of the entire house interior. There are six rooms, an entryway, and a second floor landing.  Unlike my last dollhouse, this one actually has stairs! I did not leave them out.  Ha.  I did, however, rearrange the floor plan.


As I said, above is my version of the dollhouse interior. Below is a Pinterest photo of how the dollhouse was designed to look.  

(Note: Not my photograph)

As you can see, I took several redesign liberties with the interior. Beginning with the first floor, I removed the wall dividing the original kitchen from the entryway.  My thoughts were WHY put so much effort into the winding stairway and entry if it cannot be seen. I also removed the door between the kitchen and living room.  The middle wall on the bottom is designed to have an angled wall beyond the door.  I hated that angled wall. Not only did it make no sense, it was designed to have a fireplace on the backside, which really is not visible. So I not only removed the door, I built a completely new STRAIGHT-ish wall to divide the kitchen and living room.

In my new design it made no sense to have the entryway lead into the kitchen so I switched the living and kitchen areas, and built a partial wall to add a dining room behind the kitchen. Come in and check it out.



More of my living room and entryway.


The open stairway.


My blue and yellow kitchen and the pink dining room beyond.


In the photo below the stove, oven hood, and shelf are on the newly built almost straight wall. You can also see the divider wall I added to create the dining room.


The photograph below was taken from outside looking through the kitchen bay window.


The dining room.

All of the first floor windows feature decorative toppers on the molding.  I made the decorative elements myself using clay and molds.  


A view of the dining room arched opening leading to the entryway.


I made structural changes on the second floor as well.  If you look at the photo of the house as designed (second floor image below) you will see a large visual impairment near the middle-left side of the second floor. I did not like that little wall at all. I felt like it closed the view of the house.


By removing the little wall I took out the linen closet and the stairs to the third floor.  I almost rebuilt the stairs, using a square design similar to the first floor, limiting them to the left front corner. Instead, I omitted the stairs. 


Above is my version of the master bedroom. The cranberry micro print wallpaper coordinates with the cherub mural on the ceiling.


By deleting the stairs and the linen closet, my bathroom is larger than originally designed. I like it much better. I had to build a new wall to divide the bathroom from the landing. I moved the bathroom door further to the right to create more usable space on the bathroom wall.


Above - a view though the bedroom window to the second floor landing.

Below is the third floor of the house as originally designed. Again, I did not like it. I hated the chimney running up the middle of the room, eating up floor space, as well as the stairs opening and railings being in a awkward place. It left very little usable space in that large area.

Not only did I ditch the chimney and stairs, I made three additions. I added three window seats. The third floor windows each had a small alcove, again that I thought of as wasted space.  By building window seats the areas became more useful.


My version of the third floor.  At first I visualized this as the billiards room. And while that is still possible, it will be a decision made by the eventual owner.  I did, after all, build this house to sell. My version of the room leaves a large open space that can have many uses.


I am sure that as you looked at the rooms you noticed the ceilings. Each of the ceilings in the house is embellished on some way.  I like the interest this adds to the interiors.


I hope you liked the interior tour, including the descriptions of the changes I made to the house. Now let's move on to the landscaping.


I mounted the house on a 19" x 23.5" board. I painted the board gray to match the house trim. Once the house was positioned, I added grass around the front foundation to create a small lawn.  I also added a flowerbed to the front foundation. The right side of the house has ivy growing up the bay area.

Each front windows has flowers, as does the balcony. I added two planters to the front porch and affixed flower arrangements in them. A small cart rests at the end of the porch. 


I added a few battery operated light fixtures to the house. The carriage lanterns flanking the front doors match the style of the house. The lights, like all but one on the inside, attach to the house via magnets. In the living room the sconces attach to magnets behind the wallpaper. The magnets were affixed to the walls and ceilings, making the lights removable for moving the house.


Thanks for checking out my Willowcrest Estate dollhouse. If it does not sell before, I will be offering it for sale the first week of December at a Christmas craft show.  I hope to have four houses and many Christmas miniatures to offer.

Before you ask, yes, I do already have my next house planned. It will have a completely different look than anything I have done before. More on this later...

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Dollhouse Build Update - Exterior Views


Hello friends! Welcome back for week five of my Willowcrest dollhouse build project. This week I am going to focus on the exterior, which as you can see in the the photo above, is completed. Before we start, you might also like to compare my version of this dollhouse with the actual kit I used. Below is a photo from the manufacturer of the kit. 


I removed the entire front porch roof, supports, and trim.  I also chose a different siding than the one used in the photo.  I used two packages of Magic Systems Magic Miniature Masonry - White Block pattern to create my exterior.  It may not have been the easiest choice, but I do like the end results. 

I made some additional changes to the window trim on the house. I wanted a more unique look so I molded, baked, and glazed my own window and door trim pieces. 


I also added a white "iron" trim to the tops of the bay windows as well as a garden feature to the side wall.


Another design change I made from the kit was to add a neutral colored  brick/stone masonry foundation. I like this additional texture and colors better than just a solid painted foundation.


I used slate colored vinyl floor tiles, cut with a craft knife, to create the slate roof.  And while overall I like the effect, the corner pieces are being difficult about gluing as tightly as I would prefer.


Finally, I made flower sprays and landscape edging for the house.  I think the flowers really dress the house up.  I also like the coach lanterns.  They are battery powered so that I did not have to wire this house.

And there you have it - the exterior of my Willowcrest dollhouse.  Next week I will share the details on the interior with you.  I confess that I still have several small tasks to complete on the inside of the house.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Dollhouse Build Project Update #4 - Very Late


Hello friends! Welcome back for week four of my Dollhouse building project update.  I have come a long, long way on this house, but there are still a lot of little details - plus the roof - to finish.  I am still debating with myself about a couple of decisions, but it should be finished in the next couple of weeks!


I have finished the majority of the stone work on the exterior, except for the quoin corners and the back of the house. I added the roof trim and the balcony just this week. 


Hello friends! Welcome back for week three


Let's enter through the front door and you 


The entryway leads to the stairs, then the living room.  If you turn left in the entryway, you will end up in the pink dining room.


The kitchen is 97% complete, but I am still working on the crown molding in the dining room.


When you go up the stairs you will come out on the landing outside the bathroom and the master bedroom.


The colors in the master bedroom look a little dark in this photo.  The paper is a very pretty burgundy print.  I love the mural on the ceiling.


The third floor is still coming along.  I have to build three window seats and add all of the molding, as well as finish the dormers.  This attic is painted a cream color, though the light makes the color appear more where here.


In addition to the other moldings I need to finish, I need to add white trim across the back edges of the floors and walls. The white trim will create a finished look.


I will give you one more look at the overall house.  Hopefully the next time you see the house the roof will be finished.


Not only do I need to finish the stonework on the foundation, I also still need to build the stairs and do a bit of landscaping.

Thanks for stopping by today to take a peek.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Dollhouse Build Update - A Little Late



Hello friends! Welcome back for week three of The Willowcrest dollhouse build project. This last week and a half I accomplished a great deal.  I began building the second floor and now it is almost completely finished.  Both the first and second floors need base molding, but that will not be in until next week.  



The photo above shows the early part of the build on the second floor.  I decided to omit the bathroom closet and the stairs to the third floor because I really disliked their placement.  The create a 2.5 inch visual block on the middle of the floor.  I wanted this house to have open rooms and views, not a hunk of wood blocking part of the view.

I started by building a new back bathroom wall.  The wall moved the door farther to the right, just where the wall meets the bedroom wall. I papered the wall with the bathroom print wallpaper on one side, and the cream landing paper on the other.

With the second floor ceiling open I tried to finish as much of the landing as possible.  I papered the walls, installed the flooring, and added the stair rails around the stairs opening. 

I also wall papered and added flooring to the bath and master bedroom.  I added all of the door trim and crown molding to the three rooms, though I ran out of crown molding in the bathroom (I foresee a Hobby Lobby run today). I do, however, need to finish the window trim in the master bedroom.

Before moving on, I added the second floor ceiling/third floor to the house.  I used a glossy ceiling tile effect on the bathroom ceiling, and added a beautiful mural the the bedroom ceiling.  The landing ceiling is painted a soft gray.

The photo below shows the ceiling effects throughout the house so far.



I love the dental crown molding in the entry way and living room areas.  I used this same molding in the second floor rooms (until I ran out in the bathroom).  I used different crown molding effects in the kitchen and dining room.  I am waiting for one more strip of the dining room molding to arrive.


Last night I added the rest of the exterior stone work to the house.  I mixed the stone mortar a bit to wet, and I can see a slight difference in the applications.  However, over all I am please with the stone look.


Later today I will begin construction of the the third floor.  It is a complicated build with side attics and dormers.  I suspect this will keep me busy for several days.  Also, I am still deciding which wallpaper to use on the third floor.  So many decisions.

Thank you for stopping by.  I will be back next week with a third floor and trim update.








Monday, June 4, 2018

The Willowcrest Weekly Update



Hello friends! Welcome back for week two of The Willowcrest dollhouse build project. This last weekend I accomplished quite a bit. I had a surprise three day weekend to work on the house. Avaleigh was ill on Friday so she and Jude stayed home with daddy, allowing me a surprise free day.

In the photo above you can see that my stair railing parts arrived. I was very happy to see them because I could not move forward until the stairs were finished and installed. Fortunately they arrived on Friday!




After completing and installing the stairs, AND slicing away part of the door frame trim so that the stairs would fit, I moved back into the dining room. I finished the pink wall paper and painted my door and window trim.  In the photo above you can see the installed door frame, with my handmade molded flourish on the top (see second photo above). The molded accents have been added to all of the dining room inside window moldings. There is a bit of wood filler on the right side of the arch frame where I found an eighth of an inch gap to be annoying. I will retouch that with white paint before I reinstall the front doors.


After installing the stairs and finishing (for now) in the dining room, I added the two side walls and the two bay windows. The windows are both bays, but are constructed differently from one another. I actually like the living room bay best (see top photo). I gave the bay exteriors a coat of the blue-gray paint - yes from Magnolia Market. (I like the quality of their paint, and the color is mixed with kilz as a base).


On Sunday afternoon I decided to start the exterior stone block work. The way this product works is you unroll the block tape and adhere it to a clean painted surface in straight lines.  You mix the mortar to resemble frosting and apply that to the surface of the dollhouse, spreading over the tape.  There was a learning curve here.  First, is do better math.  I purchased the kit before I opened the house kit and I thought the four square foot package would cover my house. Ha. Only if it had been four cubic feet.  As it was, I had to order a second kit. My second lesson really could be 1B, as it deals with the shortage of mortar and tape materials.  You cannot leave the tape on the house for days, but rather for hours.  So after I started applying the tape I had to finish the job or risk ruining the house surface and the tape.  The next lesson deals with the application of the mixture.  Try to keep the mortar mix smooth and of even thickness, otherwise, like me, you will be sanding the block surfaces.  That process began tonight.  Sigh.  


As you can see in the photos above and below, I have more sanding to do. However to reward myself for what I have done so far, I permanently installed the front door, including three of the molded trim pieces I made for the house exterior. There are many more homemade trim pieces that will be applied as the house nears completion - which is a few weeks away.



I am going to end this weekly update with a photo of the front door.  I am very pleased with how this door turned out.

Thanks for stopping by today. Check back in the near future for more updates.