Monday, June 18, 2012

New Door, New Floor And More

I LOVE Tiny Hinges!

I Wanted a New Door, Dear Readers, that would be the more Formal Front Door and open into the Main floor of the Tree House, rather than into the below ground Kitchen level. I don't know how it is in your neighborhoods, but around here in New England, people almost Never use their Formal Front Doors! Sometimes they are even nailed shut against the cold Winter Winds and are never opened again! But nevertheless... there IS a Front Door.... and so I wanted one for the Tree House! Figuring out Where it would fit in was a bit tricky and required quite a bit of odd angles and tiny spaces... but I have managed it! It opens at the top of the kitchen stairs into a tiny vestibule off the "Salon" (which is what I am calling the Formal Living Room!) Here below you can see the door and the tiny bit of vestibule flooring....

And here you can see the door from the other side.....
I have made the door handle out of a bit of root.. 
and the end sticks out to act as a lever so I can operate the door from the outside of the house.... !

The tiny vestibule wall is "hung" with a piece of the Unicorn Tapestry.... 
which is Just visible through the door into the Salon....
And the floor of the Salon is made of a marquetry patterned paper.......

Here below you can see the outside of the vestibule wall with the door on the left..... 
and you can see I have started to add the paper mache to the lower level for the roots of the tree...
(I have put a layer of plastic wrap between the damp mache and the wooden floor while I am working...)

More of the paper mache being added to the Kitchen level........
This is not the final shaping of the mache but more of a strengthening base layer.....

And more of the mache layer.... 
this will form a level base for the next floor to attach....

And here you can see the rough framework of the Salon loosely set in place for fitting purposes.... 
nothing is attached yet! You can see the front (opening) wall has a window cut in it....

And I just HAD to add Shutters!!!
These are interior shutters as were common in the eighteenth century around here....
Please forgive my crooked hinges and the ratty edges to the wood... 
But can you Believe there are Hinges that small?!!

See, they open and close!!!!

And here you can see I have added more of the interior wall layers, creating a deep window embrasure.... 
It will eventually be painted, hiding some of the flaws in the wood.... 
and there will be more paneling at the bottom of the wall for wainscoting....

And here you can see the window "glass" panes have been added! 
I used the same technique as before with the painted gold mesh, only this time I used a lighter gray paint and lined the panes up vertically so they would look more like the "sixteen over sixteen" type of colonial window frame which is typical of the elegant older houses in this area.

Here is a view from the outside with the interior shutters partly open....

Meanwhile, for the interior of the Salon I have built a fireplace and mantelpiece in a style I think is sort of "Georgian" what we call "Colonial" over here! It sits on a diagonal wall between the door to the vestibule and an alcove on the left hand wall which is not yet built...... and on the opposite corner there will be an ornamental "Niche" for some statue or elegant china.... whatever I can come up with in such tiny scale!!

Here below you can see the mantelpiece in slightly better detail...
 made of tiny bits of wood and tinier bits of thin cardboard....

And here below you can see the Mirror I will be using.... 
I know it is a bit much... but I will probably tone the gold down a tiny bit.... 
and I think it will do well enough...! 
I also added a "marble" hearth... painted cardboard of course.....
And would you just look at those Tiny Hinges on the door!!!!

Here you can see I have added the painted brickwork to the fireplace...... 
yes, there will be a fire!!!

Here is a slightly closer view of all those painted bricks....!

And here is a view of the "Front" Door from the outside....... 
it will eventually be much more closed in with tree roots....

And an overhead view looking down at the opening wall with the window.... 
this will not be viewable from this angle once the ceiling is in place....! 
But I love how it makes me able to imagine standing at that window looking out at the little brook down below.....

And a view from the "front" where the walls open... two floors tall...
Eventually these opening doors will be covered in paper mache "tree bark" to match the rest...

Oh, and I almost forgot to show you the last Tiny pieces I made for the Kitchen......
I had to make a copper Tea Kettle.... (for how else can one boil water for tea?)
I also made a tiny trivet for it to sit on in the fireplace.....

And here you can see them by the fire......

And there HAD to be A Robins Egg Blue Teapot on the kitchen table.....!

So there you have it...
A New Door, a New Floor and a Whole lot More!


  1. Las bisagras pequeñas son increíbles Ö
    Y la pequeña tetera es ADORABLE!
    Un abrazo

  2. All the teeny weeny creations and matching hinges!!!

    Bets, love the landscaping ! That's how my rocky terrain should have looked like :):):). Those hinges are so small it must have been a pain to screw them in? How do you do it?

    1. Hi Sans! The tiny hinges have nails instead of screws. So I use my awl to poke the guide holes and then I PRESS (Not Hammer!) the nails in using the flat side of the metal pliers.... the needle-nosed pliers that I use to pick up the tiny nails!!! The nails are less than 1/8 inch so it doesn't take too much pressing. And I add a drop of glue to the hinge before I put the nails in. The trickiest part is getting them lined up straight.... which I did not manage very well... but they work anyway!

  3. Betsy, I have so much fun looking at your progresses. I could never do anything that small and I just love look at it.Have a lovely day, Rosanna

    1. Rosanna, I am sure you Could do things this small.... I have seen the tiny Stitching you do! But I know what you mean.... I didn't think I could until I tried! Now the regular 1/12 scale seems Enormous!!!
      I am SO glad you are enjoying this! :):)

  4. wonderful that you post all this, it is fantastic to follow and watch how everything developes!!

    1. Thank you Anna! I am glad you are enjoying it... because I sure am, and I like to share the fun!!

  5. Hi Betsy! I like the progress of your tree project: all those tiny details, it is amazing! All looks so great! Will it be a mouse house? Or who is going to live there?
    Greetings, Ilona

    1. Thanks, Ilona! I am enjoying the tiny details! As for who is going to live here... I think it is a Mystery!!! I will be sure to let everybody know when I have it figured out!!! For now the House is just developing by itself....and the ideas keep coming!

  6. Well done, it looks great, and it must have taken ages. I think I might take your advise about starting a new house everytime I change my mind LOL x

    1. Hi Simon! For now this is the project I am obsessed with... all others are on Stand-by! (Maybe you better think TWICE about taking my Advice...LOL!)

  7. Lucky for us we only have one door over here.;D
    I don't think I would ever want to work in this small scale but watching the progress of this project I think it must be a lot of fun! Of course to achieve what you did one must be as gifted Artist as you are Betsy! And a very patient human being too!;)
    Great great work!

    1. Thank you, Ewa! I promise you it is just that everything is so SMALL you can't SEE the Crooked parts LOL!!!
      And because it is Inside a Tree... EVERYTHING is Crooked!!!

  8. hi Betsy,

    I love this tiny project of yours, can't wait to see it all finished! the front door is a nice touch, and I really like all the odd angles of the walls. The salon will look good with the fire lit and some nice little bits in the niche, plus a cosy armchair to curl up in maybe!!

    Keep up the great work!!!

    Andy xx

    1. Thanks Andy! I am having SO MUCH FUN with this project!!!
      I think the "Cozy armchair" will go in the Library.... the Salon is going to have the "Elegant armchair"!!! :):)
      Stay Tuned!

  9. I like your project. The door and window are fantastic.
    Bye Faby

  10. I used to go into my house through the garage all the time, helpful in the rain, of course, and helpful if you're trying to avoid talking to a neighbor too! But not a good way to go in, not really. Your return to your nest should not be greeted by a washing machine. I agree with you one hundred percent as to the importance of a welcoming, interesting door, which you have achieved grandly.

    Is the tree house in 1/12 scale or smaller? Of course it must be smaller, that is a tiny little miracle of a tea pot! So would the residents be smaller than small people, like hobbits are to us, or woodland habitants, domesticated?

    1. Old Habits die hard, Amy... I use my back leads into the kitchen...! I think I would feel like a Guest in my own House if I used the Front door, LOL!
      The scale of the Tree House is 1/4 inch to the foot! (Or 1/48th scale) It is Truly Small!!!! I think that is part of why it ENCHANTS me SO MUCH!
      As for who is going to live here... I am not sure... they will have to be "non-human" .... because in my mind the Dolls are the "Humans" for this piece of landscape! They might end up being story-book characters (Like maybe Wind In The Willows...).... but I doubt I will make the actual creatures themselves... just have them as a "presence".... felt but not seen! We shall see! I have learned to Not rule things out early on in a project!!!

  11. Betsy dear, this part of the project seriously threatens to overshadow everything else!
    You are doing fabulous job (as usual), worthy of a medieval illuminator :-)
    Mini lovely hugs

    1. Oh, Flora! I think you have seen Right to the HEART of this project!!!! It IS as if I am constructing a Tiny Illumination in Three Dimensions!!!! (I could not begin to Count how many times I have Painted pictures of little Inhabited Tree Houses...!) NOW I understand WHY I am So Enchanted with this Project! Thank you!!!

  12. "a whole lot more" - that's so true... you've made amazing progress. All those lovely details, it's incredible - and such a fun to follow!


    1. Thank you, Birgit! I am So glad you are enjoying it!!! I am having So much Fun doing it .... I really Love to share the fun!!!!

  13. How many news! I am delighted with your project. I'm anxious to see the next steps. ;)

    1. Thank you Eliana! I am glad you are enjoying it! Thank you for commenting! :):)

  14. The copper tea kettle is the best yet!
    Are you going to have a chimney for that fireplace?
    Lovely ...

    1. Thanks, Mom!
      I haven't decided whether the chimneys will be "Visible".... but they will have to exist in SOME form....!
      The complexity of the outer layer of the Tree is still in the design stages..... so we shall see!

  15. Replies
    1. Thank you, Victoria! :)
      I think the Magic is in the project itself..... it is leading me down an amazing path!!!

  16. I love this tree house! Everytime you make it more beautiful!!! Using a root as doorhandle is such a great idea, it looks wonderful! I wish I could come and visit to see everything with my own eyes :-) But I'm glad I can enjoy everything here ;-)

  17. Hi Betsy,

    how sweet and tiny your little house is.So much work has gone into it and that tiny tea pot is just adorable, I love the glass pains, they add a nice touch and the door with the root handle is a great idea.

    Fi x

  18. Hi Betsy

    I am new to the world of Dollhouses etc but you truly are an inspiration. You take such care over the smallest details like hinges and shutters! You have a great site and a great following. Keep it up and well done. PS love the bird song in the background as I type this :-)

    Kind regards

    Brian Kirby