Tuesday, December 10, 2019

So Little Time.....




So Much To Do....

Once Again, Dear Readers, the Same Old Tree has been put up in the living room of The Lovely Old Dollhouse. It seems such a short Time ago that I promised I would show you the ornaments up close and in good light! But I fear I shall have to postpone that promise for another day. It is dark and the lighting is poor.... and the Tree has already been put up!

And Helen and Charles are enjoying the
 beautiful lights and shiny ornaments.
 It seems that no matter how many years go by, 
every year the thrill is the same,
  that burst of Joy when the little lights go on!
I will never grow tired of seeing the little Tree!

And over in The Shabby Sister House, 
Chip has put up the same silver tree.... 
Sally May Loves it, but Chip thinks it needs
 a little something this year....

His Father agrees.... 
but they have no idea what is needed!

Meanwhile over at The Cloud Palace,
Blue has lit the Same Silver Tinsel Tree...
 
And all the Fairy Bears have gathered around to admire it!
 

It looks just Perfect!

I Wish I had more to show, Dear Readers,
 but I spent the weekend rushing around
 to get ready for my Sister to visit
 and then traveling to her Grandchildren with gifts.
There is just so Little Time
 and so Much to be done...
And I haven't even started the Christmas Card!


Monday, December 2, 2019

Decisions, Decisions.....




Kit Bashing Continued....

You Might recall, Dear Readers, that I was hesitating to add the stones to the exterior of the Dollmaker's Studio ground floor while I had not decided how to fix the warped floor. After much thought and second guessing my original plan, I decided that I did not want to raise the floor level by adding any thickness to it in the hopes that thickness would defeat the warp. I think that eventually I will be firmly attaching the building to a base and that will have to be the "warp reversing" moment. Until then I have too many other parts that still need to be wrangled, and I am choosing to ignore the floor. It is supposed to be an "Old" building, after all! With that non-decision made, I continued to add the "stones" around the opening for that lovely door. At least I was certain that I could do this without getting too far ahead of any of the other "corrections" I needed to make to the structure.

I added the keystones next so I could be sure
 they were mostly centered above the door...

I needed to pad the opening at the left shoulder.... 
my cutting for the opening was a little off...
and the stones need to be snug against the door frame.

I was trying to keep the stones roughly even in size...

I think they ended up okay.
And now the door looks like it was made for this opening
 instead of the other way around!
And because I had last week off from work, Dear Readers,
 I was able to take the time to fiddle 
with the frame work of this structure.

I apologize for the dark pictures... 
I was just testing ideas and not taking good pictures.
I wanted to see the "whole" structure
 so I added the kit roof panels.
You can see that the side walls of the upper floor are not straight...
 since the kit has been "expanded" the floor
 no longer holds the shape of the walls properly.
I was going to need to add a "framework"
 to tie the walls together sturdily.

Then I thought maybe I could reverse the end wall
 so the little porch balcony was on the opening wall side
 instead of on the back wall.... 
this would allow more solid wall space in the interior...
So I gave it a try....

It would also make the extension created by the "Vignette" kit
 look less cluttered and more like an old Tudor building...

This really is a small kit.... 
the ground floor with the warp ignored....

Upstairs room with the door closed in 
where the balcony would have been... 
now there can be a wall for shelves of some sort...
And the large window on the end wall 
temporarily placed using the kit pieces...

And the attic.... 
still in the very undesigned stage.....

The frame I will be using for the end wall window....
just propped in place for testing...

I might still keep the little dormer 
on this side and add a tiny window....
We shall see!
But meanwhile it became Obvious that
 I needed to extend the sturdy framework
 of the front opening wall....

Because the upper storeys would also need to have hinging doors to close...

There was only the small upper section of 
the plywood wall to attach the posts to.....
So I used extra screws.

And once the front posts were in place, 
I could properly measure for the crossbeam 
needed to join them at the ceiling height.

And I could see that I would also need to add
 another support post at the back corner where the 
Tower stairs would join the building...
 which also required correcting the 
warped corner of the plywood 
with More Screws!

Here you can see the two posts where the Tower will attach.
 The left hand door is the entrance to the tower stairs...

And the crossbeam that will brace the upper floor 
and the frame for the opening side doors...
Firmly screwed in place!
And after all that jostling and bumping....
I decided I better glue those stones onto the floor...

Before I lost track of how they fit...

See... I am ignoring the warped floor for now!

But here you can see the upper walls propped in place
 with the new sturdy posts... I just have to trim off all those tabs...
And I really wanted to get the rest of the front opening wall doors cut...
 I just forgot to take any pictures.

Here it is being tested for fit 
before drilling and screwing it in place...

Here the rough panels are attached. 
The little balcony will attach on the opening panel
 and the door will open inward....

Here the door has been added... 
the size of the balcony will need to be carefully fit
 within the opening part of the front wall.

That is as far as I got on the Dollmaker's Studio, Dear Readers...
Every step required three times of taking everything apart and thinking again...
but such is the Nature of Kit Bashing!
You get to take everything apart....
 and throw out the instructions....
But you need to be prepared
 to make lots and Lots of Decisions!

And in case you wanted to know... 
the day before Thanksgiving...
 all the leaves had fallen from the Lilac at The Folly...

And the low winter sun reached way into the room...
and then Last night it Snowed!

I could not resist having a little Snow Day....
But Alas... there was no sun to shine in....
I will be sure to let you know when it does...!


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Time To Gather.....




And A Time To Feast.....

I am Sure that Many of you, Dear Readers, will not be surprised to find that the Family is Gathering at Sally May and Chip's house for Thanksgiving dinner. It is something of a Tradition because Sally May loves to cook and their house is large enough to hold everybody comfortably, even though a few of the windows are still needing replacing. (Chip is working on it!) We will not count how many Times the same meal has been brought out and the same folks have gathered because Thanksgiving is an Ageless Tradition. Whoever it was who First decided to give thanks for a good harvest and bountiful meals has long been lost to time. But it is certain that people have been celebrating their Harvests and Giving Thanks for their blessings for as long as people can remember.


 And as you might imagine, the gentlemen of the Family
 have gathered in the living room for drinks and snacks...
(they are Not turning on the TV)

 
 while the Ladies of the Family have rushed to the kitchen
 to help Sally May finish preparing the meal. 
It is tradition, after all!

Arthur is so devoted to Pollyanna 
that he is asking if she needs any help...
She assures him she has things under control.....

So Arthur joins the Guys in the living room.
Chip's Mother, Blanche, has a sore ankle
 so she is excused from the kitchen... 
and is helping the Guys keep
 the conversation interesting. 

Joanna and Sally May are admiring the Turkey
 which has just come out of the oven...
It is Huge and smells delicious!

Helen is arranging the tableware, 
while Pollyanna and Joanna begin to carry in the dishes... 
It is the same menu every year and always has been....

Sally May carries in the Turkey...
Are they forgetting anything...?
 
"I'm hungry" declares Annabelle..... "when can I eat?"
"We're almost ready..." replies Helen.....
"Is it Time to call in the Gentlemen?"
 
They all Gather around the table...

Chip is ready to begin carving the turkey... 
but first he asks his Father to say the Grace...

They all hold hands and repeat the blessing.....
 and then they fill their plates.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, 
the dogs are "guarding" the dessert...
 
"Do you think they would notice one little nibble...?" thinks Oreo.....
 
"You have so much to learn..." sighs Honey.

Well, Dear Readers, I am sure
 you will think you have been here before... 
witnessing this same ritual... 
And probably you are right! 
For the Time to Gather and Give Thanks is upon us...
I hope you all are surrounded by those you Love
 and that your Feast is Bountiful!
Happy Thanksgiving!
 


Monday, November 18, 2019

Warp Wrestling....




A Twisty Business.....

I Left you last week, Dear Readers, with the unfinished repairs to the base of the Dollmaker's Studio and the woeful discovery of my dead drill. You can imagine my happiness when I happened to mention the dead drill to a co-worker the next morning and she said "You can have the one Randy (our boss) gave me when I moved here. I'm not using it!" And she brought it to work the following day! So I was able to tackle the Warp Issues on the weekend without having to purchase a new drill! I wish I could say the rest of the repairs were that easy. The plywood I used is quite thin... only 1/4 inch thick, so any screws used need to be pre-drilled quite carefully right along the edge of the facing board. This is hard to do with a bent and twisted board! I decided to get the less warped side done first and screw it in place (not yet with glue so it was still removable) and then wrestle the warped side, one screw at a time until all of them were aligned correctly.

This is what the base looked like to begin with... 
the front panel not attached. 
(Sorry for the blurry photos....! My camera
 is getting old and the light is not the best...)

And because I did not remember to take photos
 of the Wrestling match in progress.... 
here you can see the front panel
 with screws on both ends... still not glued.
The next step was to add the cross-beams
 at the front and back which would tie
 the warped walls firmly together at the top.

Here you can see both of them added, 
making a sturdy framework at the top of the room.
This required screwing a longer screw through
 from the outside corners into the long beam. 
The front panel is still removable.....

Because it is easier to add the hinges to the doors
 while the whole panel is unattached...
(And the newly added cross beams are holding 
the warped wall in place... for the moment!)

And this time when I attach the panel, 
I added glue to the joined edges.

Here you can see a close-up of the more warped side.... 
wrestled into alignment as best I could!
And yes, there are a Mighty mess of screws involved!
These will be covered by the "stone" facade of the base.

But first I needed to add primer to the doors....
And even though the walls are straightened out... the floor is not!

Here you can see I am testing the upper floor added onto the base.
I have increased the ceiling height of the upstairs room
 by extending the walls of the base above the floor level...
The junction of the walls will require some finesse... 
still in the "development" stage!
But the floor does help hold the building "square".

Meanwhile, I have begun to make the egg carton "stones" for the floor....

I am not attaching them until I figure out
 what to do about the warp in the Floor!
Should I build a framework to go under the floor... 
thereby raising the whole structure?
 Or should I just screw the floor 
to the base board now.. and forever...?

I don't really want to do either!
I am reluctant to raise the floor... 
it is supposed to be stone on the ground....
 

And I don't want to attach the whole building 
firmly to the base at this early stage of the build....
Hmmmmm...... this will take some thinking....!


Even though, without thinking it through...
 I started to attach the "stones" 
on the outside of the wall by the door!
(Which will make the courses wrong
 if I add a framework under the floor...!)
Aiy-yi-yi!!!
I declare, Dear Readers,
This Warp-wrestling is a Twisty Business
That might just have me tied up in knots!