Monday, April 24, 2017

Day 121: Le Petit Palais 1/48th Scale Kit from Petite Properties

As a finisher of projects, I hate to share projects before they are 100% complete.  Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes will share teaser pics, or pics of projects from within a project, because really when you think of it, 1 entire house project is made up from many many small inside projects ….was there a pun in there someplace?  The draw back to not sharing much until a project is done is that sometimes all that’s left is something small (again with the puns) and yet I for some reason procrastinate on that 1 last item.  Well this project was completed with everything done except the upstairs hall table and chandelier, about a year ago!  In fact, it went into storage for the move with only those 2 items needed.  It happened kinda on purpose, I felt the house would pack better and be safer if I didn’t put the chandelier in until after the move.  But somehow hanging the damn chandelier took 7 months!  Well I finally took a little time, by little time I mean like an hour, because nothing ever seems to just take “a little time”.

To give proper credit, this house was built from a kit made by Petite Properties, as was quite a bit of the furniture in it.  If you aren’t familiar with them, check out their website and their blog, they make absolutely wonderful kits in 1/24, 1/48, and 1/144 scale.  They also have a line of paints that are crazy awesome!  No, I’m not affiliated, I just happen to be a great customer (read addict of all their products, if they’ve made it, I’ve got it, used it or will be ordering it with the next order)!  

I think I may have shared when I finished the outside at one point, because it was the 1st thing I finished.  I struggled with the roof, wanna know why?  Cause I suck at following directions!  So Petite Properties put out a book a few years ago, it’s a wonderful source for learning techniques for finishing houses (buy it, read it (better then me) and you will be happy).  Anyway, there is a section in there that talks about how to do the roof, there are also instructions that come with the house on how to do it, but when I decide to tackle part of a project (like this roof) sometimes I get too excited, and then I look at the instructions and I think ‘Well that’s too many words to read, I just wanna do!’  So I skim it, then figure I can do this my own way, and sometimes it works and sometimes I think it would have taken me less time to read the damn instructions and just done it right!  Or instead of doing dumb stuff like surfing Facebook to see who’s complaining about what, I could have used that time better and read some more of that book so I know for next project.  Back to topic…what was the topic?  O’ ya.  Did I share the outside front at some point?  Here it is again if I did. 

One of my favorite features I did on this house was to add the iron balconies.
After much research online I came across
 They have balconies and other items,  I believe they make them for the train world, but they worked great here, all I had to do was solder some pieces together, which got me doing something I want to learn and do more…solder….then I spray painted them.  I love the detail!   FYI, the brick is painted on, I used a 1:48 Bromley brick stencil.

I like to do the entire inside walls, ceiling and floor before I put a house together.  I find it’s easier then working in tiny spaces.  Here is how I tackle that (I should take pics along the way..if your interested in that, let me know and next project I could show step by step pics…actually I have an upcoming project that I was considering blogging from inspiration to completion how I work…maybe you might enjoy that) for now, I get the kit, and I dry fit it together.   I place the walls where I think I want them and then I take a sharp pencil and mark where the walls and ceiling hit, then when I take it back apart there is a gap, between where say the 1st and 2nd floor goes, and I wallpaper to the middle of the gap, that way it’s 100% covered and perfect.  The floors are easy, just go to the edge on the sides, but just past the pencil line a snitch if your using a flooring that has any depth to it, as will effect your wall.  Once all the walls, floors and ceilings (don’t forget the ceilings, I just paint mine) are done, you can put it all together permanently.  I then like to add trim, it gives depth and realism.  

I’m a multi-tasker, so usually I’m working on multiple things for a project.  I usually start with whatever i’m most excited about, and for this project I knew from the minute I laid eyes on the bare wood kit pictures how I wanted the main floor to flow and what I wanted for a kitchen.  So while I’m waiting on some steps to say dry…or come in the mail because I’ve all of a suddendecided something is needed but I don’t have the perfect thing one hand, I am always working on furniture, etc for the project.  So the kitchen came first!  I was going for a mix of updated yet french inspired.  Like my own home, I’m not a fan of clutter, so I tend to make my projects more “clean”.  If you were to walk in my home and I’m not currently cooking or cleaning, you would find it like this.  While some say it’s missing “details”, I say it’s real for me.   

The table and chairs in the center of the room helps give the open concept I was going for. 

I believe the writers desk is a kit from a Robin Betterley kit.

You may notice my little Yorkie in the corner, I try to incorporate a Yorkie in most my homes because I absolutely love them, but until we grow old and decide to stop traveling so much and stay home, a pet doesn’t work for us in real life, so I get them in my mini homes. 

The living room is again french inspired.  Again I used kits from Petite Properties for most of my furnishings.  I create and print my own fabrics, rugs and art for the walls, so I can make sure the scale and color is exactly what I want.  

I’m kinda in love with this nursery!  I always find it odd how I get inspiration for a project and if it’s got kids or babies room in it, I just get a sense that it should be boy or girl, and this house just needed to be a boys.  Maybe it’s all the pinks in the other parts of the house, I don’t know, but I had found this wallpaper and since my husband and I are both in the aviation industry, I just knew an airplane themed room was coming at some point.  

The master bedroom 

Guest room 1

Guest room 2

Here is how the house sat for the last 7 months…..

Without the final 2 details….

And where is that pesky chandelier and table that kept this project from being called “complete” all those months? 

Why here it is!  
The finishing touch!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Day 120: Millie's House

Here is one of my downfall’s, when I’m sitting around watching tv (which isn’t often, but often enough) I can’t just watch tv, I have to be doing something else also.  Usually it’s surfing the internets for stuff I don’t really NEED.   Well one day last year I was on Craigslist doing my normal searches and up pops an ad for a partially built dollhouse, the same exact dollhouse still in the unopened box,  a box of cheaper furniture and some misc supplies…I think everything was like $25.  So of course I jump all over it, with no need or even real desire for it, as it’s a tab and slot house and not to be all “mini snobby” but I hate working with tab and slots; and with houses put together fact there is a Hofco shell sitting in my garage still!!!!  Anyway, I pick it all up.  Then inspiration hit, I have a niece that lives close by and she’s like 2.5, too young for a real dollhouse but I could use the partial built house as a “challenge” for myself.  My goal was to finish it as quickly as possible (knowing it’s going to probably get demolished by kids (she has 2 older brothers) and as cheaply as possible.  So to my stash I went to see what supplies I could sacrifice.  

Since the house was glued together, I decided to start by spraying the entire house with paint, that way I didn’t need to use wall paper on all the walls and since it’s going to be used for play, I thought this may be a good way to “seal” any sprinters there might be in the wood.  I guess I forgot to take a picture when it was completely sprayed...oops

This was a picture of some of the supplies I got with the score...I mean purchase.

 In my stash I found enough shingles for the roof, so I did that.  And since keeping costs at a minimum is the goal, I decided to brick the outside.  I have the Bromley stencils, so all that was needed is some wall patch.  I like wall patch because it’s the correct consistency to work with and I added paint directly to it, thus saving time painting it.  Also the brink adds stability to the house, again important with kids. 

To add a “pop” of color, I decided on a red door. 

1 Challenge I found was I had a kitchen set I had found online (another tv surfing purchase) but when I put it in the house the cabinets went over the windows, so to conceal them and add some detail, I made a little flower box for the window and added their last name to it, thus personalizing it also. 

For decking I again went to my stash and found some iron on wood strips, I’ve used this product lots and always been happy with the result.  It’s in the lumber section of stores and it’s meant to iron on the edge of wood to give it a finished edge.  It’s super cheap, easy to work with and stains or paints well.  I chose to not put the railing around the deck so little hands could easily reach in and play/

In the kitchen I modified the clearance kit I had by cutting off some of the uppers over the stove, then I painted the counter tops and stove top and added a border.  I had the wallpaper in my stash and the floor was meant for a previous project that never made its way out of the planning stages.  As you can see I ran into some issues with the paper, part of the drawback to working with a house put together, but since it’s not meant for show, but for play…who cares. 

In the living I had my 1st real expensive for this house, I had to purchase a piece of wood flooring, but luckily there is a Hobby Lobby close to me, so I went and used the 40% off coupons to buy a piece of flooring. All of the furniture in the house were items from my stash that I’d either accumulated on clearance or that came with this purchase.  

The bedrooms again were done with stash stuff, I recall getting the white carpet on clearance at a shop for like $3-4, and it was perfect in here.  

All in all this project took me maybe 20 hours (compared to most projects).  The biggest time spent was on the roof and brick siding.  And the best part, I took the unopened kit, put it on Ebay and sold it!  And it not only covered all the items I took from my stash to do this, the original $25 and the wood flooring….so really it was completely free except for time.  

My little niece Millie seemed to really like it….and I found out immediately it was built well, as it got stood on within about 15 mins :)  Not sure if it’s still in one piece today or not (I gave it to her about a year ago) but it doesn’t matter, it was a great challenge for me, and proof that this hobby doesn’t need to break the bank.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Day 119: WOW were did 2016 go???

Wow, I know time goes by sometimes but over a year??  I actually can explain...We moved...AGAIN!  But this move was different then the last 4, this move is to put down roots and actually have a permanent place to call home!  But once again, this move required everything we own to be put in storage for months while our new home was being built, and then once we moved in, we actually had quite a bit of remodeling to do (Yes you read that correct, we built a new home and then remodeled it immediately) For anyone that has ever worked with a track home builder, they refuse to do much modifying, their options for coverings are limited and extremely expensive!  So we took the build and remodel mode, so from Aug of 2016 for 6 months instead of working on houses in scale form, We were actually working almost full time on a 1:1 scale home for my husband and I.  I won't bore you with tons of before and after pics or explaining all the changes we made, but I will share what some of it looks like now: 
Since this blog is geared toward my miniature hobby, the 1st room I'll share is my studio. 
It has actually changed a bit since this pic was taken a few months ago, but enough is 
the same.  

It's so darn hard to get good pics in some rooms...
space and lighting just work against ya!

This is the loft area

Guest room 

Guest room 

Guest bath

My husband helped me make this table, 
we have built quite a bit of the furniture we have, 
both because I like things to fit the space perfectly 
and because I'm cheap....example the inspiration for this piece
was a piece I found in a catalog, it was much shorter and about $1700,
We built it to fit the space perfectly and it cost us under $300 
(it's the caster wheels that made it that expensive)

The backyard started from husband and I built the backyward
kitchen entirely from design to creation.  My wonderful father in law helped
with the pergola.

O here' is a Before and After I posted on my FB to share with 
friends.  It shows not only the power of paint, but 
not being afraid to go dark....even black!

My entry is close to complete.  I have bench on the
other wall I need to finish, maybe I'll remember to update wth a picture, 
it was made using a headboard.  The table was another custom build, the 
inspiration table was again much short and about $700, we built this
one for under $90. 
The 9' Cross was a random idea I had, it is hard to see but it has many of the names of
Jesus written on it.  It still needs a thorny crown around the top, but it's
close to done.  

I hope you've enjoyed a little tour of our 1:1 scale house.  
If I ever get caught up and super ambitious I'd love to start a blog with all the projects we've
done and continue to do.  Just yesterday I made 9 different things for walls, all $5 and under.
But until then....