Monday, September 23, 2013

Abalone Tiles

Ah, Baloney...!

Tiles Tiles and More Tiles, Dear Readers, is what I have to show you for this week! And a little bit of confusing structural expansion details because I had to extend the basic Framework for the Tree to make it taller! Here below you can see the Tree House as it now stands next to The Folly.....

I know it looks kind of awkward and rough like this with all the wires dangling and the outer skin not applied... but it gives you a sense of the placement and scale of the structure. And if you look closely at the top on the right you can see the "corner post" sticking up... this is what all the doors are attached to.... but it was not tall enough so I spliced another length on top....

You can see it closer here... 
and it also allows me to build the doors on the side 
for access to the two small rooms off the bathroom... 
one will be a dressing room and the other will hold the toilet....

And as with the Dressing Room on the level below.... 
the door to these side rooms will need to be somewhat curved! 
At least there is now a post to attach it to!
And these tiny rooms also needed the Tiles fit for their floors...
Here you can see the view from above with them partly tiled... 
with me testing the walls in place to make sure the tiles still allow the walls to fit....

And here you can see the walls have their paint 
and the tiles are mostly in place...
A Lot of fiddly fitting....

Here the doors into the bath room are open....
And you can see the shells and tiles I have added to the doors....
But I am getting ahead of myself here....
First I must tell you that at least a Dozen years ago, before I had allowed myself to start making miniature dollhouses, I bought a book that was all about Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle Dollhouse. I couldn't believe my eyes looking at the pictures of what she had made... and I was just enraptured by the whole idea of a Fairy Castle Dollhouse! I think it was at that moment that I started to believe that Someday I would make my own dollhouses! Amongst the many images from that book that stuck in my head, one was the floor tiled with Abalone Shell tiles...... I was smitten... and ever since I have wanted to make an Abalone Shell Tile floor! So when I found pieces of abalone shell in the jewelry section of Michaels... I had to buy it....
Even though it was not cheap... and there wasn't much of it!
As you know from previous posts, I decided to use a different shell for the floor after all....
So the Abalone pieces are being used for the walls....
which requires some fancy fitting to make them work with the space!

The doors required their own special treatment too....
I had several pieces of white tile identical to the dark ones I used for the fireplace surround....
they fit the doors quite nicely, 
especially when topped by a scallop shell which matches the shape of the door!
These are real scallop shells I have collected on the beach over the past few years!

Here you can see that I am trying to fit the different sized pieces of Abalone shell
trying to make them work with the overall design... and just put them where they will fit!
And I am using the small scrapbook tiles to fill in around the Abalone shell.... 
again trying to make a coherent design from disparate pieces!
And on top of that I am running out of the small tiles! I couldn't find more of them 
(I bought them several years ago before I had this planned!) 
so I am just patching it all together the best I can!

Here you can see I have filled in with the pale blue tiles.....
And if you look closely you will see that the unevenness of the design left tiny gaps between the rows of gold and blue tiles.... And here I decided to take advantage of this gap by inserting tiny LED lights and making sconces...... (which had not been part of the original plan....!)

Sorry it is so hard to see... if you poke the pictures they enlarge.....
I attached sequins below the bulb....

And more behind the bulb to act as reflectors......

And then we test the lights..... Wowee!!! They are Bright!!!!
So I added the Perfect shades.....

More scallop shells!!!
Isn't that Incredible???
We Have to see how it looks in place....

It is so difficult to get the lighting and focus right inside these Tiny rooms...!

You can sort of see the effect I am trying to achieve.....
It really isn't an Abalone floor after all.....
And I am running out of Tiny Tiles.....

One might be tempted to say "Ah Baloney!"
But I am going to stick with Abalone!
Tiles, Tiles and More Tiles....


  1. Ah I know now!! This is a Venus Lucky Cocoon! I am in love with all the colours and shells! I don't really know why even in miniature most popular colour for rooms and furniture is white? When colours give it all to rooms even so so so tiny! I can't wait for more tiles! The photo with lights on is really Incredible!!! I want shell lamps home for me now!

  2. Blogger is still hungry :-(
    Trying again.

    I Love the fire surround and the lights!! They are to die for! And the shells on the doors! This is such a beautiful room, straight out of a fairy tale!

  3. I am wordless and stunned! Congrats!

  4. I am so impressed by your Tree House. Seeing it next to The Folly, it suddenly strikes me how small it is! Your rooms and furniture are made in a really small scale, yet they look so detailled, lively and radiating. Your work is very, very(!) special.

  5. Hi Betsy! What a inventive and most creative process you're in now with the tiles and shells. The bottom picture is my favorite, the swimming pool has a kind of depth due the shell you used and the whole looks so warm with those colored shells on the walls. You filled the pool with exactly the right color of water. WOW, it is magic, it really looks like a fairy tale that's for sure! And above all you worked in such a small scale, it is a miracle!
    Hugs, Ilona

  6. Love the colours and the scallop shell lights look amazing.

  7. Betsy, this is Wonderful!!!! Totally magical and sumptuous! That pool has so much depth and the wall sconces may not have been originally planned but Oh,my!!! They make the room otherworldly! The wall tiles reflect all the colors of the water and give the room so much atmosphere. I am Floating on the surface of the pool staring into space! What have you got planned for the ceiling, Betsy dear??? You ALWAYS do the most Fabulous ceilings, and I expect that this one will be just as unique as the rest of the room! Love It! :D


  8. What amazing colors! You got a magic atmosphere!

  9. Oh Betsy, what wonderful use of materials and colours! The room is gorgeous and the addition of the shell sconces makes it sparkle. Beautiful.

  10. I really like the tiles and the original fireplace.
    This atmosphere is magic!

  11. Oh Betsy!! You always impress me with how much work you complete. I love the tree house next to you big house. It gives it a better sense of scale, and the slopes are genius.
    You certainly have found some beautiful thing to decorate with, your shell lights are lovely and would work well in 1:12 scale too.
    Well done my dear, it all looks wonderful.

  12. The abalone tiles are stupendous! I just love the design you worked out with the shell lamps. Ingenious. I've long-admired Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle and got to see it on my last trip to Chicago. So beautiful and like you, I was particularly smitten with the mother-of-pearl floors.

  13. Привет!
    Это фантастическое зрелище! Свет отражается в бассейне! Так переданы переливы воды! Восхитительная работа!

  14. This is breathtaking... this is going to become a room that comes directly out of a fairytale... not dedicated for a clear purpose like kitchen or library but only dedicated to beauty. And you are incredible as always... having a tiny gap because the tiles don't fit any better and you solve the problem the Betsy-way: Creating the most wonderful shell lamps that look simply gorgeous. Noone not knowing your treehouse would believe that they are so tiny!


  15. Wow, this is so beautiful!!! The refelction of the light on the abalone tiles is just stunning and the shell lights are wonderful. I love it!!!

  16. Oh that we could all have abalone shell tiles in our bathrooms! And scallop-shell sconces. I love the sconces particularly - the kind of light that filters through the "shades" is perfect. I think I would spend a lot of time in that "bathroom."
    Love, Mom
    I'm late this week 'cause my internet went down, but now, thanks to a splendid new techie guy it's back better than ever!

  17. OMG I would be a mad woman if I had to do all the fiddlywork at this time in my life, you have more patience than I do the tree house is coming along really well ;)


  18. At first I thought this looks fantastic, and then, when its all in place and with lights on, it looks even better =) Great room!!!

  19. Oh those shell sconces, Betsy!
    I also saw a booklet about Colleen Moore's dollhouse, way way back when I was still stuffing the cat into my fiberboard house with the pop out plastic windows. It had, I remember, running water. I couldn't understand how that was possible. But I never forgot. And to see you taking your dreams and making them actual, it's looking so beautiful, with the glowing walls and fireplace and shell sconces....

  20. Hello Betsy,
    It is incredible. It is such a wonderful room to escape to and reflect. It has a wonderful water feel to it. the way you used the tiles and your composition are just wonderful.
    Incredible as always!
    Big hug,