Friday, June 15, 2018

Dollhouse #2 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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Dollhouse Number Two - Under Construction



Hello friends! I know I have been MIA from the blogosphere for several weeks.  I guess that is what happens when you leave your design team and become the full time childcare provider. I am not going to even sugar coat it, I am counting the days until the end of the school year! As much as I ADORE my grandchildren, I am ready to have my free time back.

And speaking of my free time, I had time over the long weekend to really make a start on my latest dollhouse.  I am using a Greenleaf company dollhouse kit, The Willowcrest.  Again, I am not going to lie - this kit is much more difficult than the last dollhouse kit.  I think part of the difficulty in this kit is the poor instructions, and every single piece is still in the thin plywood the cut was stamped into. And the pieces are spread haphazardly over 15 sheets of plywood.  WOW.  

Just like my last house, I am "Susanizing" this house. The real name for that is "dollhouse bashing", where you take an existing kit and change it to make create your own version. In this house I am rearranging some of the rooms and walls as well as opening up the design to better see some areas. I am also removing the front porch roof and creating a total new look for the exterior.


Today I am going to give you a tour of the first floor as it exists so far.  On the left side of the first floor is the living room and open entry way (in the actual house design this was supposed to be a tiny entry way with stairs and the more closed kitchen). I cut the door opening much larger on the front of the house to accommodate the double doors. I wanted for the front entry and the staircase to be seen, which lead me to change the room off of the entry to the living room, allowing the spaces to flow together.


In the photo above you can see the unfinished stairs placed where they will eventually sit. I am still working on the stairs as the new railing I ordered has not arrived yet. I wanted something a bit more detailed than the railings that came in the kit. You can also see the cherry and black fireplace I plan to use against the pink print wallpaper. 


Across from the stairs is the entrance to the dining room. 


This side of the first floor is more open in the kit. I am adding a partial wall to create a formal dining room and a kitchen. I am still debating which wall paper to use in the dining room. I have narrowed it down to two different looks, both of which match the pink marble tile checkerboard flooring.


The kitchen has a very fun tile flooring, complete with border. It features a funky tile wall, and will be papered in denim blue wall paper.  I think it will look very nice when finished. 

Last night I built an upside down U shaped wall to go between the kitchen and dining room.  It has a nice sized opening to allow the dining room to show, but it defines the kitchen area. 

That is where I am to date. I have a long, long way to go on this house. Hopefully once school is out I will make much quicker progress.  And yes, I will keep you posted with regular updates.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Shaker Ornament Card


Hello friends! Welcome to my Christmas card for The Merry Christmas Challenge Blog weekly post, where every challenge, every week, is an Anything Goes Christmas challenge.



This colorful shaker ornament card was created using my Anna Griffin  Christmas Shaker Die set.  Remember I told you that there are five different shape sets in the one set of dies?  This set cuts the ornament shapes.  I still have three more sets to share, as I previously shared the tree shaped shaker card.

I used pretty pink and red cardstock on this card.  I love the Christmas florals! I finished this card with tiny star and snowflake stamps.

Have you been by The Merry Christmas Challenge Blog yet this week?  We would love for you to join the challenge and share your Christmas project.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Announcement Time


Hello friends. Today I have a not so secret announcement to make - it was posted to Facebook yesterday. I have resigned from Bitten By The Bug 2 and passed the baton on the blog. I had been contemplating moving on for some time. I have served as leader of the BBTB2 Design Team and Owner of the blog for five years and I thought it was time for a change, both for the blog and for me personally.

Several factors contributed to my decision.  First, I am loving miniature making and though I will continue paper crafting, it may not be weekly.

Second, as many of you know, my mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease and lives with us. Her condition is, quite naturally, worsening. She needs more attention and I know this is going to get more difficult, not less. 


Third, my daughter and son-in-law have asked me to provide childcare for Avaleigh and Jude through the end of the school year, about seven weeks. And while I know I am super-Gramma, I don't believe that I am super woman and can do it all at once!

While I have stepped away from Bitten by the Bug 2, the blog and weekly challenges will go on.  I have passed the team on to two very organized and extremely creative team members. I see only good things coming for the blog and the Design Team. 


I will be spending my days with my mom and with Avaleigh and Jude (top two photos). I also hope to spend more time with our little guy, Nathan (above), as well.  And yes, I will be building another dollhouse, but probably not as quickly as the first!

Lastly, I will continue to post here, on Busy with the Cricky, my personal blog!