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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!



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

My Dollhouse Interior


Greetings friends. Today I am back with a peek inside my dollhouse.  The photo above is an overview of the entire inside.  I am still missing one light fixture and many little decorations, but the house is coming along nicely.


I am going to start at the bottom and work my way up.  On the bottom floor is my open floor plan kitchen and dining room.  I deleted the stairs from the design as well as the room divider. I liked having more space to decorate.  I also like that you can see the stained glass front door in the dining room. The dining room is papered in miniature wall paper with wainscoting beside the fireplace.  The kitchen is painting with Magnolia Market paint, with one wall bricked for a more rustic look.


There are many detail already in the kitchen: the plates on the wall and counter that I made, the mini mixer, the cookware, the baking set, etc.  And many more small accessories are still in the mail (additional canned goods, glassware, etc).  You cannot see from this angle, but you may be able to see in the photo below that there is a plate rack over the sink full of plates I made.


Below is the dining area. I made the plates, the platters, the dishes in the china cabinet, the wall decor and curtain, the mantle decor, and the rug which matches the kitchen rug. I also painted and stained the farmhouse dining table.

I printed all of my rugs onto canvas and backed them with interfacing.  


The middle floor of the house is dedicated to the large living room.  The white furniture blends nicely with the shabby chic tables and the Magnolia Market paint on the walls.  The light fixture is a casual drop light with a crown piece that I made from clay to match the wall color. I made the window treatments and the pillows from fabric I printed.  I still have a corner bar coming for this room as well as a lot of tiny details. Incidentally, two of my favorite house pieces are in this room - the clock and the large Gothic framed mirror.


I love the fireplace in this room.  It was fashioned by Benedictine Monks, based on a real fireplace. The dog on the sofa is a small breed representative of our little dog.  I made the lamps and many of the aqua and teal accents in this room.


The third story in the house has two bedrooms, a pink master bedroom and a smaller blue room.  I actually like both rooms, but wish I had left a bit more space in the blue room.  Alas, first build error.


The pink room features decorative wall panels and pink silk drapes that I made.  I also made the quilt, lamp shade, pink ceiling wire cover, and rug.  All of the accents on the vanity are homemade.  I had such a good time with them.  



The blue room is papered in dollhouse wallpaper - blue toile and mini stripes. I added chair rail molding in addition to crown and base molding. I made the quilt in this room also, as well as I built the bed, side table, and chair.  The bed head and foot boards have panels of the same toile print fabric inset.  I made the ceiling lamp shade in this room as well as the table lamp.  The wardrobe was purchased unfinished and painted and detailed.


The rooftop tower room is a fun getaway.  It is The Beatles music room.  This room was so fun to create. I painted it with Magnolia Market paint and added a shelf for all of my (yet to be purchased) 60's memorabilia. I built the bench in the back of the room using the shutters I did not use on the house.  I printed a teal and orange rug, then an orange cover for the bench.  I ordered the teal, orange, and white pillows from Australia.  There is a turntable on which to play the Beatles LPs and an over sized lava lamp in the back corner.  The drum set was actually a Christmas ornament.  I added The Beatles drum logo to the front of the bass drum.  I found the guitar on a miniature site and was delighted to find the guitar stand on a different site. The room contains three Beatles posters from three different time periods in their career.  I still have candles to add to the room and some other details.


Now that the house is built, I realized that the miniature collecting will not be over for a long, long time.  There will always be a tiny something to add someplace.  Oh, and then there are holidays to prepare for.  Yes, miniature collecting is going to be a long term activity!!

Thank you for stopping by my blog today.  

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Dollhouse Build Project



Greetings friends. Today I am going to give you peek inside my non-paper crafting hobby life. Dollhouse miniatures. I first loved dollhouses as a young girl. I still remember the Christmas that Santa brought my first dollhouse! I think two factors crossed paths and contributed to my re-venture into the world of miniatures. First, for the last year my granddaughter has been playing with Calico Critters and their houses.  Apparently I am THAT grandmother who wanted her to have more than one house and one set of furniture. And then there is my friend Marti.  For what seems like two years that gossipy Internet site, Pinterest, has been showing me the miniatures that Marti has been pinning (because Pinterest is a big gossip and tells all of your friends what you are up to). It finally all got to me and I wanted my own dollhouse!

I spent several weeks (read months) looking at dollhouses on Pinterest and sometime last winter I decided that I wanted to build a dollhouse of my own.  After much serious looking I began to narrow my choices and select a house kit.  I wanted something not too complicated, with GREAT directions, and yet stylish design.  I also did not want a huge house, like The Pierce house I built 34 years ago.  I finally chose The Alison Jr kit by Real Good Toys (available at Hobby Lobby with your 40% coupon).

But you know me, well a lot of you do anyway. I could not just go with the set kit design. Oh no. I spent days reading the construction instructions and looking at Pinterest again for Alison Jr hacks. I knew I wanted to personalize the house and make my own mark on it. I made a number of notes on the plans, brainstorming ideas.

The two photos below show the basic Allison Jr kit house.


To set the stage, when I first decided to build the house I did five weeks worth of Bitten By the Bug 2 and The Merry Christmas Blog projects, thinking I would finish the house in about a month. In the meantime I ordered the parts I thought I would need for the build. Then I put away my Cricut and most of my scrapping toys. Little did I know, that was not enough time. Well, to be fair, if my international vendors had quicker shipping it would have been plenty of time. But alas it was not.


So what changes did I make from the original kit? The first change was to remove the single entry door and add French doors to the main entry.  I ordered the the doors and when they arrived I traced where I wanted them to go.  Hubby cut the enlarged doorway for me and I installed the door.  The other alteration I made to the exterior of the house was I added a window to the tower.  I measured and traced the window from onto the tower front, then I drilled out the the window area.  I also decided not to use the porch rails and shutters that came with the kit.


I made some design changes to the inside of the house as well. First I went with an open floor plan (watching too much HGTV perhaps?). I also decided not to use the stairs. I did not like how much floor space was lost to the stairs on both the first and second floors. I will tell you more about the interior changes when I post on the interior.


I purchased shingle dye and dyed the roof shingles a dark gray. The photos above and below do not show the true color of the house or the shingles.  Please refer to the first photo in this post for truer colors.

I used Magnolia Market paint on the exterior of the house (thank goodness you can purchase 8 ounce cans). I chose the color Soft Linen for the exterior and one wall of the kitchen. I used white paint for all of the trim.


I painted and added my own porch rails. I chose a painted wrought iron look. I also added the balcony on the top bedroom window.  Lastly, I added stained glass panels to the front doors and to the lower left kitchen window.


No dollhouse is complete without landscaping. I added the window boxes filled with pink and purple flowers. I also added a flowerbed and a small lawn. There is a potted palm tree on the porch, and as soon as they arrive in the mail, I will be adding three hanging plants to the front porch openings.  


I have to tell you that I have LOVED building this house.  In all I only had two frustrating days where I had to walk away and start again the next day.  One of those days involved the dreaded electrical installation. I only had to ask Doug for help on one wiring issue - positive and negative wires I connected to the transformer (I did not want to get that wrong).


In addition to the plants, I am still waiting for a number of inside accents as well as two more light fixtures.  When those arrive I will make quick work of installing them and then I will share the house interior with you.

How much did I love building this house?  I have already ordered another, more challenging kit.  I will have to get much further ahead with my paper crafting this time!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Noel


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



This is my first time using a die and stamp set where only part of the paper cuts with the die.  It was easier than I thought, though I confess that my card design was sadly lacking.  I also used my stitched circle dies to add the Noel sentiment.  I finished the card with silver sequins.


Have you been by The Merry Christmas Challenge Blog this week?  Go check out the inspirational Christmas cards, then share your own card with us.  

Monday, April 9, 2018

Donut Know How Special You Are


Hello friends! Welcome to my project for this week's Bitten By the Bug 2 Cricut Challenge. I am hosting this week's Cricut Cut Challenge with a super simple theme - Spring Anything Goes!  That means you can use any Spring themed cut, color, event, etc. on your project this week.

My project features both sweet Springtime colors AND a spring event.  I made these cute covered mini cups for my daughter's second graders.  The children had a program and their parents were invited to attend, as well as visit their classroom afterwards.  Bethany wanted to have a treat for the children, but also something for the parents.  I suggested donut holes and that I craft these cute cups for the students.


I used two Cricut cartridges for the cups, Close To My Heart Artistry and Basic shapes. My other supplies included the sweet Donut cardstock from Close To My Heart (retired), the Donut stamp and die set, CTMH ink, and the cute cups I found at the Stamper's Convention in Columbia. 


I cut the donut backgrounds using a basic circle.  I cut the yellow banner with Artistry. The donut tops were cut with the CTMH die.  I created a template to cut the cup wraps - probably the most challenging part of the project.  I tied the tags to the cups using pink and white twine. 

Bethany put donut holes for her students in the cups, but also had loose holes for the parents.  I understand the donuts were a hit as was the children's program!


I hope that you are able to find some time this week to join us at Bitten By the Bug 2 .  This challenge is especially easy so hopefully you can get your crafting going! In the meantime, please do go by the BBTB2 blog and check out the design team's fabulous work!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Oh, Christmas Tree


Hello friends! Welcome to my Christmas project for The Merry Christmas Challenge Blog, where every challenge, every week, is an Anything Goes Christmas challenge. I made this Christmas Tree shaker card.



Forgive my poor photography on today's card.  It is actually quite nice, made with Anna Griffin's Christmas Shaker Card dies, available at HSN. There are four or five shaker sets included with the set (to be honest right this second I cannot recall if it has four or five), and each is a different holiday themed shape. Today I used the tree set, but in future weeks I will share they other shapes as well.

I used Close to My Heart Christmas card stock from last fall along with gold metallic glitter card stock.  I finished the card with a red banner with a Merry Christmas stamp in white ink.

I hope that you decide to join us at The Merry Christmas Challenge Blog this week.  We do so love seeing your Christmas projects throughout the year.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Sorry You Are Under The Weather



Hello friends! Welcome to my project for this week's Bitten By the Bug 2 Cricut Challenge. My sweet Design Team sister, Caroline, is hosting this week's challenge.  Caroline asked us to use umbrellas on our projects to represent April showers.

I had fun with this challenge.  You all know "that I do love me some" Hello Kitty.  Her cute little expressionless face just makes me smile.  (You'd never know I am a dog person).  Well Kitty with her umbrella was just too tempting to pass.

Using the Hello Kitty Greetings cartridge, I cut Kitty and her umbrella, and added some rain clouds, rain drops, and a puddle.  I thought this made a perfect "Under the Weather" card, so I added a Get Well Soon stamp to the puddle. I kept the card simple with a white background, and finished with white sequins.

I hope that you find some time this week to join us in the April Showers Umbrella challenge this week at Bitten By the Bug 2.  In the meantime, pop over the the BBTB2 blog and check out the design teams' fabulous projects.