Monday, April 19, 2021

Herringbone Floor....

 


 Under Construction....

As you can see, Dear Readers, in the picture above, I briefly experimented with the idea of running the zigs and zags of the Herringbone pattern in the opposite direction. But I quickly decided that the initial pattern was the correct direction. I added a whole bunch of pieces to see if it made sense to try to count and space the rows before starting to glue them down. I estimated the distance from one zig to the next zag and measured a whole bunch of 3/4 inch spaced lines across the floor. While doing this I realized that I wanted to have a border of plain wood strips all around the edges. This would make all those tiny ending triangles less likely to chip and fall off the front edge at the very least. So I started there, gluing the edging in place.

 
 
I also remembered that I needed a hearth at the chimney side of the room,
 and made one to butt the floor up against. 
This is not attached yet so I can remove it to paint
 without worrying about the floor!


There are enough bump-outs and odd corners in this room
 that it makes sense to me to have a clean edge
 to work from with the herringbone pattern.
I made the edge two "boards" wide.
And then I started gluing the herringbone pattern...
starting roughly in the middle.


I made a little "square" out of legos
 (I raided my son's stash!)
which proved invaluable for keeping the rows aligned!


(My son has tons of fancy legos, 
so I was able to add a handy handle!)


There is really no fast way to do this!
Especially since my pieces are a little irregular...
They needed to be tested for fit before adding the glue.
And you need to be very careful to not get glue
 on the "right" side of the wood!


I got this far on the first day.


I love the way it is looking!
But I needed to see how the edges were going to work...


All those tiny pieces by the doorway....
And you have to get the wood grain running in the correct direction...


I'm not sure I'll be able to fill those tiny gaps at the corners...


Oh look! I did fill one of them!


And all the rest of the back alcove is finished too!


But that's as far as I got on day two, Dear Readers.
The herringbone floor is under construction...
and is more than half done!
I just Love the way it is looking!


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Stirring Tale...

 


Of Rescue...

You May or may Not recall, Dear Readers, that this Dollmaker's Studio project is a hodge-podge of leftover and lonely pieces mixed with Special kits (Sandra's kit that inspired the project) and Artisanal creations (the beautiful ook arched glass door on the ground level) to name a couple. It is also a venue for ordinary salvage, in this case a batch of coffee-stirrer sticks from work which were about to be tossed out because they fell on our floor (where barn boots regularly tread). I looked at them and thought "I can probably use those"! So they came home with me. I thought they would make a great rustic floor in some project or another. But there are not too many of them... and I belatedly realized that not all coffee-stirrer sticks are the same dimensions or type of wood. I had no idea what "make" these were, so what I got is what there is to use. It needed a small-ish floor area to work... and one where a different type of flooring one room to the next would not matter. So I started to test these pieces in the upstairs room. And because this is a small-ish project, but one filled with fancy details, I wanted the floor to be special too. I had long wanted to try a "herring-bone" floor, and this would be the perfect place to give it a try.

Here is the interior (sorry for the dark view...!)
with Sandra's alcove placed at the back and the window seat at the right.
(Neither are firmly attached yet.)
The space is about 9 inches by 13 inches give or take a little.


And with the morning sun hitting the spot!


So I started to cut some stirrer-sticks to see if this might work.
At one inch sections, I get seven per stick.
But I have to cut them by hand... and the stirrers
 are not identical or perfect in their dimensions.
(But I think that will add to the charm of the end product!)


Here I have laid out a very tentative section
 to see how the spacing and size will work.
I think they will look lovely!
But I have a LOT of cutting to do!
I estimate about 85 sticks will be needed.... 
each making seven pieces...
And there will be the inevitable spoiled and wrong length ones.


I think this is about twenty sticks.


I think this is about forty sticks.....
I made a system of cutting five sticks at a sitting....
Measure, cut, sand.... each one making seven pieces.
And since I spent so much time in my
 RL Garden these past weekends,
 I did not get much else done!
But it is a start!


I love it, Dear Readers, 
that the sticks that fell on the Floor by accident...
Can become the floor by Design!
A Stirring rescue all around!


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Snowdrops....

 


 And Slippers....

The Snowdrops are finished blooming in my RL Garden, Dear Readers, but they are in full bloom where I work in the Hills of Vermont. And some of you might recall that when I made the mini snowdrops for The Folly garden, under the lilac bush, I was concerned that they turned out a tiny bit too big for perfect 1:12 scale. You can see them in the gloomy morning light in the picture above. And I have a note beside my computer that has been there for a long time that says "Measure snowdrops" on it. This would be so I could prove for once and all what scale my mini snowdrops turned out to be! I thought I had made a measured drawing somewhere... but could only find the one I did for the little Squill blossoms. But the snowdrops have to be in bloom to measure them! 

Last week they were blooming in my garden,
 but I neglected to measure them!


This morning I remembered at the last minute on my way to work....
But the blossoms were all spent...


These stems were the best of the remaining blossoms.
They are not five inches tall... 
you will have to believe me because I did not go get a ruler!

Meanwhile, the blossoms at work are Huge by comparison!


Of course, it is difficult to get a sense of scale from a photo...


You can see by my hand that they are much larger
 than the little ones in my Home garden!
But I needed proof... so I plucked a stem....


And brought it up to my desk where I could measure it....
Nine and 1/2 inches long!
 

And the blossom alone is 1 and 1/2 inches long!
These are Huge snowdrops!


Here it is in a bud vase....
no shrinking violet this blossom!


I think I can safely say that my mini snowdrops
 are  in perfect 1:12 scale!

And what about the slippers I mentioned?
Well, you might recall that I was trying to use all the stitching space
 in the corners of the Christmas Tree Skirt project.


And when I had filled all the corners with "cushions"
 there was still a bit of space along the sides
 that I thought might just work for mini slippers.
I didn't have a pattern, so I made one up...
 

I stitched four pairs of slippers around the edges...
 each pair a little different from the others.


And then because I didn't know what I was doing,
 I made up one whole slipper without taking any pictures of the process!
I think it turned out okay!


I took pictures of the second one...
 but they are pretty boring.
I lined each slipper with a silk charmeuse cloth 
which is very fine and flexible.
I stitched the whole thing, not using glue
 except for binding the edge of the petitpoint before I cut the cloth.
 
The soles are made from synthetic suede cloth.... 
small samples that I was given with a variety of colors.
 

I think they turned out really well
 considering that I didn't know what I was doing!
And that's all I have to show, Dear Readers,
 my weekend having been spent in the RL Garden,
Huge snowdrops and Tiny slippers!
 


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

More Details....

 


It Wasn't Quite Done...

You Might remember, Dear Readers, that the Secret Christmas House has icicles along the roof eaves. It is supposed to also have snow on the roof, but I have not finished that step yet! I gave it a great deal of thought and decided that I needed to try to make icicles for the roof of the Teeny Tiny Christmas House too. It just looked too unfinished to be placed inside a Bell Jar without any snow or ice! The method I chose to try is my favorite "glue trick"! This is where I rely on the solid bulk of the dried glue to be my "item" whatever that is at any given moment. In this case, it is tiny icicles. I ran a long thin line of Aleen's Quick Dry glue onto a plastic baggie and before it dried, I used the point of a sewing pin to drag the edges down into points, like icicles, and then I left it to dry thoroughly. You can sort of see the shape in the above picture... it is really difficult to photograph a clear item on a clear surface! The shadows are what give it away.

When the glue was completely dry I painted over it... 
while still stuck to the plastic baggie,
using ordinary white acrylic paint.
Before the paint was completely dry,
 I lifted the strip of icicles off the plastic baggie.
This was so the paint would not all stick to the icicles (the dried glue)
 except where the glue had been.
(If you wait for the paint to dry, it would all lift with the icicles
 and then they would not look much like icicles!)

Here you can see the painted strip of icicles and the Teeny House.
But before I attached the icicles,
 there were a couple of other details missing.
Like the Chimneys...
And the Tiniest Dollhouse Imaginable to go inside under the Tree...
 
Can you see the house here....?
It is at the top of that scrap of cardboard...
Painted white with a gray roof...
You can just make out a couple of windows and maybe a door...
 

See it here on my thumb....?
It was extremely difficult to get it glued in place...!


It is a little tippy... but it is close enough!


Here the chimneys have been added....
(Don't tell me they are not the same size... )
And the front row of icicles on the eaves...
(I know they are a trifle big...)


Here I have added a little "snow" to the roof.
Clearly, it is a heavy wet snow!
(This was also surprisingly difficult to apply... 
it didn't want to stick at first... 
I applied it with that huge sewing pin...!)


Here it is standing on the table
 while the snow on the "ground" is drying on the Bell Jar base.

Meanwhile, I wanted to see how the lights
 in the Dollmaker's Studio looked with the curtains in place.


(It was a very gloomy rainy day...)
And I wanted to see how the furniture might look
 now that the lights were in and the room was developing some character.


And maybe we could bring the Teeny Secret House in to see how it looks...
 

And then because I hadn't thought of it before...
I needed to try the Big Secret Christmas House in this room...
 

 I was planning to have this house in the upper attic floor... 
and a more "open" display cabinet in this room....
But I might have to change my plan!


I think it looks like this room was made for it!


There is room for the sides to be open without taking up the entire back wall 
(where a couple of other things must go...)


And there is plenty of room for the table...


And room for Lady Cassandra.....


And her needlework....


Well, Dear Readers, I don't know about you, 
But I love it when a room "Comes together"
 in ways you hadn't imagined....
While just adding More details to
 Things that weren't quite done!