Thanks Everyone!

Given that my last post was an off-tangent rant (really sorry about that folks), I wanted to at least provide a follow up on what I ended up choosing as my door/window combo for the CC. Based on the comments on my post, random emails, and to my surprise, getting sidelined by coworkers who found my blog….I chose….

The Victorian set. I don't what they're called, but we're calling it this because I'm too lazy.

The Victorian set. I don’t what they’re called, but we’re calling it this because I’m too lazy.

Yes, BK initially chose this combo. And no, it wasn’t because I caved in to my husband. Most of the comments pointed that this set worked better with the bigger windows. And the more I looked at them, it did make sense.

When I did tell BK that his choice got some pretty solid backup from you folks…all I can say is that his reaction was the spitting image of this.

This…pretty much is an accurate representation of my husband’s reaction. From http://thedarkemerald.deviantart.com

After leaving my husband to bask in the glow of marital victory (I let it slide….because again, he knows his limits if he wants to be fed), I did want to do something about the door. Granted, I like the “glass” part of the door and all…but the design wasn’t flying with me (ebmagpie, if you’re reading this entry, I totally agree with you on the window leading!).

So what I did I do about it, you ask? Well…I replaced that bad boy with this.

New window leading

New window leading

Work the last 2 weeks really took a beating on me. If I wasn’t swamped at the office, I was equally swamped during the evenings. So ironically, the only times I could really devote time to the hobby were either early in the morning….or during my lunch hour on the weekdays. So for the door, I bought this “stained glass” window pane on eBay….and actually brought it to work with me to cut down to size during my lunch break.

After installing the new window, I set up the door and windows into the CC…and it looks better right?

But what made me happy though, was when I turned on the lights…

Man, those lights are bright.

Man, those lights are bright.

…folks, you have NO idea how eager I am for the weekend to start. I want to jump back into working on this and the ARC. Even continuing my 4th Circle of Hell (aka, making more egg carton bricks and stones)….

So again, everyone who gave me feedback….thanks so much! I’ll need to come up with something as a form of gratitude…..

Roadtrip!

Because the work week pretty much forced me to spend my evenings finishing up additional office work, I didn’t make any progress at all with the bricks & stones for the CC. Suffice this say, this entire weekend was spent in my dining room, cutting them out of egg cartons in between other things. Bummer. :(

And this post is going to be one of those “between other things”. Hopefully you’ll get a good laugh out of this.

While as much as I’d love to house my modern minis in structures like PRD Miniatures’s M112 PODS, or by the Contemporary Home in Miniature, or even the Lake View Kit by DHEMinis (to name a few), I tend to gravitate towards the more “traditional” kits by Real Good Toys, Duracraft, and even the ones from Earth & Tree Miniatures. Particularly kits that are no longer manufactured.

Typically, I resort to eBay to find these vintage kits. But I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve noticed sellers are selling kits are rather crazy prices. Heck, some of the listings have prices that are more than what the actual manufacturer actually sells! >:(

Sorry, I digressed there. Onwards to the post.

So while I rely on finding vintage kits on eBay, I will occasionally check Craigslist. Most of the time, I’ve managed to score some pretty items there…and have in the past been willing to drive up to 2-3 hrs to pick up my finds. Despite living in an area where it’s been ranked as having one of the worst traffics in the country (#10).

And it’s from the above paragraph, my dear readers, that I will begin my tale…of what should have been a relatively easy drive became an observation of how dumb drivers can be in my area.

(Yes, this is a rant. And yes, I know not ALL drivers in the DC metro area are this stupid. But it seems like competent drivers are in a minority here…)

It all started when I found an ad on Craigslist of someone selling a bunch of dollhouse kits. A bunch of them I knew I could easily get anywhere. But the seller had some vintage kits that really caught my eye — and I really wanted them. So after a couple of emails were exchanged (and even got a quote to ship them — it wasn’t worth it), I was given the address for the pickup and a time to meet on Saturday morning. That was great and all…until I found out on Google Maps where it was (north of Baltimore, MD), and how long it was going to take me (about 1.5 hrs).

But I figured, hey this shouldn’t be too bad, right?

When I told BK of my gameplan, he reminded me to be careful. Why you ask? Because in his view, whenever I go on a solo drive to pick up things (be it miniatures, dollhouses, or a piece of mid-century furniture for our house), he sees my road trip to be either an episode like this:

Or like this:

I will have to say though, I do experience weird things while on the road sometimes. But at least I NEVER get lost. That’s the more important thing. Oh yeah, and coming home alive.

Anyways, back to the story.

Because I had to meet the seller around 9:00 am, I left my home around 7:00 am in order to fill up my tank and get cash at the ATM. According to the directions, it should take me about 1.5 hrs. That wasn’t bad…until I got onto the highway to begin my journey.

During the course of my drive, I encountered the following. (Images are from Cracked.com and other random sources). The titles for the type of drivers….these what BK and I personally call them  during our drives. We probably have at least a dozen or so types we’ve given names, but these were the ones I encountered during my drive.

1. Jerk Jumpers
These are the drivers who will do whatever it takes to squeeze in front of you. Even though you’re already caught in a cluster of traffic. Nice buddy! It must feel good to know you wasted a couple of dollars of expensive gas and probably had to do some crazy maneuvers for what — maybe moving an inch?

In scenarios like this, I do wish I had a carton of eggs to chuck at such drivers. From Cracked.com

2. J@ck-Snoozers
More than likely you’ve experienced this when driving on the passing/left lane. You’re behind a driver that’s going either at or below speed limit. So you find an opening to go to the adjacent lane, intent of passing and getting in front. But the minute you drive past the J@ck-Snoozer in order to complete your manuever, it just seems like he/she just woke up….and proceeds to drive faster to essentially c^ck-block you.

And what’s worse? If you do end up getting behind them once more…they go back to driving slow again. Ugh, what j@ck-@asses.

BK said to not confuse J@ack-Snoozers with the drivers who are on the left side of a two lane and are driving at the same speed as the car on the right lane (and hence causing a cluster behind him/her). We refer to these folks as the Cluster Corkers.

A good visual explanation of a J@ck-Snoozer in its natural habitat.From Cracked.com

3. Slow to Start (StS)
These are the drivers who, the minute the light turns green, it seems to take them 30 minutes to a couple of minutes to realize that “hey, I should start moving”. And sadly, by the time they finally move, the light has turned red….and left the rest of us to sit and wait for light to turn green again.

So you StS’ers….remember that adage your driving instructor told you? You know, that adage “Green means go, red means stop?”. Please pay attention to the first part. Lest you want my shoe up your butt.

4. The Careener
You must have seen this….you see a driver on the far left lane on the highway, who realized “oh hey, my exit’s coming up on the right.” And proceeds to literally careen through all lanes of traffic in order to get to said exit ramp. And probably give you a heart attack in the process as you try to not swerve and hit somebody else.

And my the last one I dealt with…

5. Multitask FAIL
This pisses the crap out of me. The folks who apparently are on their phones or scoping out their GPS screens while doing one (or more) of the actions listed above. It’s not just dangerous, but just ridiculously stupid.

And I have to say…this is the most common site I’ve see on the road when I drive around. Especially in Maryland — where ironically, they have a law where you can be fined if caught driving while using a mobile device. Granted, I’m sure there are folks out there who can use their mobile devices while driving like badass bosses. But from what I’ve seen around my area? Fail. Absolute fail.

Say it like it is Dos Equis dude! From Chucklesnetwork.com

Thanks to the above – my 1.5 hr drive to the pickup point became 3 hrs. Mostly because after almost being broadsided by three drivers who were a #4 & #5, I ended up getting off the highway once I passed Baltimore, MD and getting to my destination via local roads. Which didn’t exactly help at all, because now I dealt with drivers who were either a #2 or #3, combined with #5.

Suffice to say, when I got to the pickup point, I was seriously considering finding a strong drink to calm my nerves.

But it was all worth it — because I met with the seller and I was proudly stowing away the following into my trunk.

A Tamarack dollhouse kit from Real Good Toys.

The New Neighborhood....

And a Bayberry Cottage from DuraCraft.

And the best part? I got both for under $100. Score!!

And even better? The place where I picked up the items — it was in a shopping plaza that had a cafe serving Amish food. Amish breakfast! Oh hells bells yeah! The nerves definitely calmed down after tucking in a meal of bacon, eggs, and fluffy pancakes. Oh, and a slice of pie. Hey, I’m not turning down homemade pie!! :)

Once I had my meal (and profusely thanked the staff for their hospitality and giving me directions back to the highway), I made my way back home. Figured maybe this time, I will get home in 1.5 hrs.

I was so, so wrong.

Why you ask? Because traffic was crawling through because everyone had to slow down and gape at three “accidents”. And these “accidents’ were just simply folks who were changing their cars’ tires. Seriously, if I hadn’t filled my stomach with the awesome meal I just ate, I’d probably start screaming and banging my head against the steering wheel.

(I didn’t get home till almost 4 pm. Instead of 1.5 hrs, it was a 4 hr drive through hell to get home).

So note to self. If I see an ad for kits being sold outside my area — I need to slap myself. Or someone else has to do it.

Throwing This Out to the Peanut Gallery…

Despite what WordPress has reported on my dashboard on the number of views my posts have had, and the number of followers to my blog….it’s probably safe to say that I’ll forever be mystified as to who reads my stream of consciousness rantings postings.

Okay, time to get off the soap box and proceed with the post.

On the weekends, I have this awful habit of getting up early at 6:00 am.  It doesn’t matter what time I went to bed – at 6:00 am, my eyelids fly open, I give out a HUGE yawn, and I need to roll out of bed. Staying in bed doesn’t make me fall asleep — if anything I probably drive poor BK crazy with my constant shifting around.

Anyways, once I’m up, I typically make my way downstairs to the dining room-turned-craft station and continue to work on making more stones and bricks. Also quickly becoming known as my 4th Circle in Hell (what can I say, I LOVE Dante’s Inferno). This morning, however, BK decided to come downstairs shortly after to make our morning coffee — and have the following conversation with me.

BK: Are you using those doors and windows on the house? (points at the CC)

Me: (measuring and cutting strips) I think so. Why?

BK: It doesn’t look right….I mean, wouldn’t they look weird once you put the stonework?

BK is referring to these windows and doors. I had originally bought these from the Real Good Toys website when I bought the CC.

Queen Anne style windows and doors. Purchased from Real Good Toys.

Queen Anne style windows and doors. Purchased from Real Good Toys.

When applied to the CC, they look like this. It doesn’t look bad right?

This is how the Queen Anne style look...

This is how the Queen Anne style looks like…

Conversation went back and forth for awhile. While BK didn’t exactly say that I’m being ridiculous (he knows if he pisses me off, he won’t be eating for a week. Because he knows who is the cook of our household), he thinks if the upper windows are more rectangular in shape, then so should the bottom windows and doors. It was kinda funny, now that I think about it — I mean, I have to give him credit for wanting to argue with someone who’s wielding a sharp X-Acto knife. And she ain’t afraid to cause some damage with it. :P

So to appease him (and I really didn’t want to commit homicide before my morning coffee. Again, because I can be such a lazy-ass), we trooped back upstairs to my “storage of shame” and after fishing around my bins, I pulled out this combination.

The Victorian set. I don't what they're called, but we're calling it this because I'm too lazy.

The Victorian set. I don’t know what they’re really called, but we’re calling it this because I’m too lazy.

I don’t remember who manufactured this (Alessio? Any ideas miniature fans?) — all I remembered is that I bought it from one of two miniature shops that’s within driving distance of my home. So we trooped back downstairs and I set it up against the CC.

Windows-OptionA-Applied

There BK. Happy now? Now gimme my %$@& cup of coffee…

The odd part? This is nice too. It’s more traditional looking, and it would be more classic against the masonry. As soon I get through the hell that is cutting and prepping the pieces and actually installing them.

What do you guys think? Which do you prefer? Be curious to hear what you think. I figured I’ll need to sit on it for awhile before I make decision. Also known as flipping a quarter and praying for the best.

 

More Goodies for the ARC

While most of Saturday was spent on cutting up egg carton stones and bricks…thought I’d try to break things up by reporting on some new arrivals for the ARC dollhouse.

For the kitchen, I found the following find on Ruby Lane…and at a fantastic sale of $12 (thanks Time in a Bottle)!

New Kitchen Set

New Kitchen Set

It’s a vintage kitchen set made by Tomy toys. I haven’t delved into the historical background so I’m not quite sure on the official details. All I know was that Tomy created a line of miniature dollhouse furniture back in the 1970s (or early 1980s) called the Smaller Home and Garden series. According to the website I found labeled A History of Dollhouses & Furnishings from 1890 to 1990, the items were originally manufactured in Japan, and were built to simulate materials like wood despite being made of plastic.  The series sold the furniture in sets and at the time, were deemed quite modern and realistic.

In the case of the kitchen set, it definitely reminded me of my old home back in the 1980s. Granted, my parents’ kitchen didn’t have the lemon veneer cabinet doors, but I remember the black dishwasher and the butcher block countertops. Funny how that’s been back in vogue….

I had originally thought of putting the set on the lower left side of the ARC, near the front door. But the fact the sink and stove sections were in such excellent condition…I had to use them both somehow. So imagine my surprise when I set them up on the opposite side of the ARC.

ARC-Goodies3

ARC-Goodies2

Guess this will be its new home. So far so good!

The next package I received in the mail consisted of the set I bought for the bathroom. I purchased it via eBay, and while I knew it was going to be green…but man, this is definitely very Crayola green. I love it! This set was manufactured by Fisher Price in the late 1970s.

ARC-Goodies4It was a bit of a snug fit in the ARC…but I’m not complaining. I actually like it how it looks. Of course, now I might need to adjust my plans on how to decorate the bathroom (lolz).

ARC-Goodies6

The last package…well, it was more of packages. I try to make it a point to snag as many Reac Designer Chairs as possible. And I managed to score a bunch of them from a seller on eBay. I meant to keep them stored for a future project, but I guess curiosity got the best of me. So I took out two of them (since I bought a pair of each) and tested them in the ARC to see how they’d look. Technically these guys are meant to be 1:12 scale, but….it seems to work well here right?

Well that's definitely a surprise.

Well that’s definitely a surprise.

The blue chair on the left (if memory serves me right) is based on a Charles Ray and Eames design back in the 1950s — a DAW I think. Not sure though — I get these guys mixed up like crazy.  The green chair on the right….I’m pretty sure that’s modeled after a Bofinger-Stuhl.

I kept going back and forth between the two of them I decided that I just need to grow a pair and make a decision. I did the old reliable standby of “eeny, meeny, miny, moe”. And it looked like the green chair won.

The chairs in their new home.

The chairs in their new home.

And I guess the chairs worked out since they complimented my very sunny kitchen. Now I just have to wait on my furniture set from 3StarStudioArts and I’ll be all set with the furniture pieces….

Though in the meantime….anyone in need of a TOMY refrigerator? It came with the kitchen set, but alas, I don’t have room for it…..

ARC-Goodies10

 

She’s (Sorta Not) A Brick House

Sorry, I couldn’t come up with a snazzy title for this post. Given that this is going to cover a rather tedious challenge I’m having while building the CC. But I had a nagging suspicion that I should write about this because

a) I’ve been asked by friends why I haven’t made “progress” on the CC
b) During my morning errands, I heard these two tracks play in my car tracklist: “Dazz” by Brick and my favorite Commodore’s track  “Brick House”

Okay, the last part was more of an excuse to share my growing fondness for classics. But the first part is definitely the main reason for this post.

As I’ve said in previous posts, the CC’s exterior will consist of two types of masonry. The bottom part will be more of a stone finish while the upper part will be encased in brick. I chose egg cartons as my medium of choice to replicate both finishes — the rough texture is perfect for replicating the brick or stone surface. The downside? It’s ALOT of work just prepping them. I decided to follow the steps Brae did on her Haunted Heritage (which she in turn based on tutorials provided by The China Doll and Victoria Miniland). Brae provided me some pointers as well, so I sorta knew this was going to be a big endeavor. Little did I know how much until I got started.

Don’t believe me? Hopefully these shots will provide a good visual (all you miniaturists who use this medium, I’m open to suggestions if there’s a better/efficient way to go about this).

Taking an egg carton (I saved the bottom part for a future project), I sliced it up into two parts: the flat bottom and the sides.

BrickMaking-1

Putting the side part away for a bit, I cut the flat bottom part into 1/4 inch wide strips using a quilting ruler and pencil. I decided for each egg carton lid, I’ll use the flat bottom part to create my bricks.

BrickMaking-2

 

BrickMaking-3

Then proceed to cut the panel into strips with a sharp X-Acto knife. Definitely keep a steady supply of blades. You want the blade to be sharp so when you cut through the layers of paper that make up the carton, the edges has fewer chance of being fuzzy.

BrickMaking-4

Once the strips are done, this is where I sorta deviate from the tutorials. I knew for the upper part of the CC, I would need two types of bricks: ones that would be the “standard” size (at least in 1:12 scale), and the other would be slightly longer (so I can use them in the corners). To ensure that I produce enough of each, I alternated each strip to one of those types.

So for the first strip, I marked it at 3/4″ intervals. Then with a sharp pair of scissors, cut the strips to form 1/4″ x 3/4″ rectangles…

BrickMaking-5

..which I then snipped at the corners to make them slightly rounded.

BrickMaking-6

Once that strip was completed, I go to the next strip and repeat the process. Except this time, I measure and cut them into 1/4″ x 1″ rounded rectangles.  Once I got started, I stored the bricks into some extra freezer bags I had — and added a label on them with the dimensions. More to help me identify what the bag contained, but also to help me figure out what sizes I’d need to make in case I ran out.

BrickMaking-7

Then I just kept repeating the above process until I’ve used up the strips.

As for the side part of the carton I saved…well, I used that to make my stones. I guess Yorkshire Stones to be more exact.

Yorkshire Building Stone. From the Calder Masonry website (http://www.caldermasonry.co.uk/products/building/)

M&M Yorkshire Stone. My inspiration for the CC. Photo from http://www.mmstone.co.uk/products/walling_yorkshire.htm

From the second image, you can see that the stones seem to consist of three sizes: a longer one, one that’s almost square in shape, and an even longer length to use to wrap at the corners. So with my X-Acto knife, I cut the side portion of the egg carton lid into flat panels, and cut them into 3/8 inch high strips.

BrickMaking-8

After cutting out the strips, I again alternated. The first strip was measured and cut into 3/8″ x 3/4″ blocks….

BrickMaking-9

Then the second strip into 3/8″ x 1/2″ blocks…

BrickMaking-10

And the third into 3/8″ x 1″ blocks.

BrickMaking-11

I kept repeating this until I’ve used up all the 3/8″ strips. Which were also stored into their designated baggies.

BrickMaking-12

And that’s what I do on one egg carton egg. Average time it takes me to do all the above? About 1.5 to 2 hrs. So long as I’m not distracted by an apparently needy senior dog. Or a husband who’s hungry and wondering what’s for dinner.

Crazy right? You know what’s even crazier? I ordered more egg cartons — another whopping 50 cartons on top of the 18 17 cartons I’m working on.

(starts to swear profusely)

Ah the things we do for our obsessions. :D

Something for the ARC that’s made for a Princess

Despite the slight change of plans with the ARC in terms of furniture, decided to proceed forward with whatever I could do in the meantime. Which wasn’t much for today unfortunately. But that’s perfectly okay – I mean, the weekend’s coming up, so surely I can make it up on those two blissful days right?

(Meanwhile my brain decided to go to a corner and laugh hysterically at the above statement. Man is she a pain or what?)

While I managed to make some progress in making my egg carton stones and bricks for the CC (my order of egg cartons arrived today – yay!), the highlight came when my local USPS and UPS dudes arrived with a slew of packages. And yes, I stand by the word “slew” — think I counted about 12 packages in total. A couple of them involved some minis that I will write about later. The bulk had to do with the CC (yet another post), and the last two were specifically for the ARC. It really felt like Christmas morning opening the boxes — so much so that I did a little jig similar to the video below at 0:37.  Wasn’t as smooth or epic how this dude did it though.  :-P

Yeap, you guys are next.

Yeap, you guys are next.

But before we get to those ARC-centric packages…onward to the house itself.

After much hemming and hawing, decide to also apply the LED lights to the ARC.  Given the amount of success I had applying the LEDs to the CC, I was basically planning to repeat that same process. Granted, it’s a small house and all. But something about its windows that’s screaming for some warm light to come illuminating out of it. Plus, I still have these remaining kits to use. No point of getting more if I have these around.

Due to the curved shape of the second floor/first floor ceilings, I ended up winging the measurement process.  So if anyone is thinking of following this….do it at your risk ok?

To start, I needed to figure out where to install the lights. So rather than dismantling the ARC (and I was just lazy), I took off the roof’s railings and basically flipped the house upside down. Like literally.

What in the world--???

What in the world–???

Once it was flipped over, I took a ruler and pencil and started figuring out where to drill the holes for the LED bulbs. Because the ARC’s floor partitions are more curved, I ended doing measurements based on where the windows were located. I figured so long as the lights are no more than 2 inches away from them…that should work out.

Marking the marks.

Marking the marks.

I just then repeated this on the other floors. Since my remaining LED bulb kits combined meant I had a total of 10 bulbs (5 with a 3mm wide bulb, and the remaining five with 5 mm bulbs), I really had to be careful with how many bulbs  I wanted each room to have. It turned out the number worked out perfectly — the right side of the ARC (where the bedroom & living room are located) will each get 3 bulbs while the left side (the kitchen and bathroom) will get two. In terms of which room will get which bulbs — I’m not sure yet. From what I’ve read, both LED bulbs will give the same amount of light…

All set and ready for drilling. Just not right now though.

All set and ready for drilling. Just not right now though.

After the spots were marked….well, that was all I could do. It was too cold outside (damn pseudo winter-spring snow!) to take the pieces out and use the power drill. Plus, the floor partitions are of a certain width — I’d rather have BK do the drilling since he’s got more of a steady hand on this. Plus, I’m terrified I might break the partitions — and I’d end up contacting M. Zak and Mme. KP of 3StarStudioArts for replacements. I’d like to avoid that if possible thank you very much. :)

So with a heavy heart, I flipped the house back on its proper place — went back to making more stones for the CC.

A few hours later (cause I had to feed BK and our 4 legged children), I went back to the ARC but this time to try out the new goodies I got in the mail.

I mentioned the last entry that due to the height of the rooms, I had to resort to using more vintage 3/4, 1:18 scale miniatures. I scoped the miniature section on EBay and found a few things, but nothing jumped out to me. But at least it gave me some brands to look for  via Google– notably Petite Princess, Fisher Price, Tomy  and Strombecker.

Through Google, I found this vintage trading area called Ruby Lane — which is basically a virtual antique mall. It took some getting used to, but thanks to its search feature, I was able to find some vendors who had some pieces that I was looking for. And one of them arrived today.

Ain't she cute? And comfy looking too!

Ain’t she cute? And comfy looking too!

This occasional chair belonged to the Petite Princess line, which was manufactured by a company called Ideal (aka the Ideal Toy & Novelty Corporation) during the early 1960s. The idea for the line was to create a series of high end doll furniture — and apparently, Ideal’s concept of “high end” meant pieces that were hand painted, or used materials such as satins, porcelains, brass etc. I can definitely see the company wasn’t joking around with the quality. This chair is in excellent condition — the corduroy fabric is still brand new and plush to touch.

Sadly, the Petite Princess line didn’t last very long. Ideal kept the line from 1964 till about 1968. I’m not sure as to why — some sources I read said that sales for the Petite Princess line weren’t high compared to Ideal’s more popular (and affordable) Patti doll furniture (which was also on 3/4 scale).  Others said that it was meant to be limited time product. But whatever is the actual reason, Ideal only manufactured a certain amount of the Petite Princess furniture — and collectors are snapping them up left and right. So I felt ridiculously lucky that I found this chair and ottoman on Ruby Lane for about $24 — and another matching chair at Etsy for a little bit more. While I like this beige piece and all, a blue one would have been pretty awesome too. :)

The second piece of furniture I got for the ARC is something more of the current. But adorable nonetheless.

ARC-2G

Come to Momma.

I found this on eBay (hey, my last entry said I was going to need to shop for stuff for the ARC. I do not kid when it comes to mini shopping) and was surprised at how quickly it got to my house. It’s a Lundby set and from their more recent Smaland line. Was initially hesitant about opening this, given how I couldn’t fit my Brinca Dada set in the house…

…which turned out to be unfounded. Because the set looks perfect on the ARC’s rooftop patio. Success — one of the places in the ARC is complete furniture-wise!

ARC-2H

Looks pretty relaxing

 

Sheesh, even I want to sit here with a cold beverage and a book!

Sheesh, even I want to sit here with a cold beverage and a book!

Oh man, weekend, please hurry up and get here. I really want to get back to working on the houses. Yes, that means continuing to cut more bricks and stones <sniff>.

So far, so good

So far, so good

Setting My Atomic Heart A-Fire

At the moment, I’m still cutting more bricks and stones for the CC. It’s definitely a tedious process, but hopefully by the end of the week I’ll have enough to start applying. At least that’s the theory. :-\

But for this entry…I wanted to share a special delivery I received in the mail this past Tuesday. I had to wait until that evening to open it up, play around with it, revel in its glory….before coming up with a coherent draft to post here.

I have to profusely thank 3StarStudiosArts for sending me my order of the ARC Dollhouse so quickly. I figured it was made to order and all. But seeing how I bought it on March 19th and it was at my door by March 24th? Talk about mind-blowing! :D

This was close to the actual expression….

Actually, it was excellent timing that the ARC arrived that day — had a seriously rough day at the office, and the thought of cutting more stones and bricks for the CC…well, let’s say I was planning to fix a couple of strong beverages to go along with that. Yeah I know,  alcohol + a sharp X-Acto knife = not exactly brilliant by any standards.

After opening the package and pulling out the contents, I automatically went into dry-fitting mode.

The ARC in a dry fit status. Fastest assembly ever.

The ARC in a dry fit status. Fastest assembly ever.

I apologize for not taking pictures during the fitting process. But in all honestly, it was a breeze to assemble. Yes, the kit came with very easy to follow instructions – you can literally just glance at its graphical schematics and know exactly what piece goes where. A T-square is pretty handy to use to make sure the panels are square with with each. But then again, the notches fit perfectly with each other so it’s pretty hard to not make the panels be square with each other. Unless of course you were roaring drunk prior to assembling this.  :P

(No I have never been roaring drunk prior to an assembly. Because I’m a classy gal like that)

Once I did the dry fit for the main structure (I gave up using painter’s tape for any dry-fittings and resorted to plain ol’ masking tape), I slid the floors in place…and it was done. Time it took to put all of this together — about 15 minutes.

Interior view of the ARC from the right side.

Interior view of the ARC from the right side.

Interior view from the left side. Swoon!

Interior view from the left side. Swoon!

Once the ARC was set up, I did a test fitting using my Brinca Dada sets (scored these on eBay awhile back). The bathroom worked perfectly on the second floor (on the left side of the house).

But when I tried the kitchen set on the first floor….the ceiling clearance was short by about 1/8″. Bummer! If my Brinca Dada kitchen can’t fit…then there’s a chance some of my Lundby pieces (at least the ones made in the last 5 years like their Stockholm, Gotland and Smaland series)…won’t fit either.

Moment of truth...

Moment of truth…

I was debating about sanding the upper floor to accommodate the kitchen set, but was reluctant to do so. I didn’t want to do anything that might affect the ARC’s overall structure. Plus, the thought of ruining the baltic birch plywood that was used to build the kit made me cringe. I wasn’t going to offend its creators by doing something that I cannot repair in case something goes wrong.

Then it hit me. I noticed on the ARC’s page on Etsy that the shop posted a photo of it having some vintage miniatures displayed in its room – which actually worked out really well.  So if I can’t fit my more modern pieces in the ARC…maybe the vintage 3/4 and 1:18 scale miniatures might.

Actually my brain did the following sequence:

If modern Brinca Dada + Lundby = does not fit in ARC
but
vintage Lundby + Fisher Price + Ideali/Petite Princess + Strombecker = do fit in ARC,then
ARC = excuse for this crazy gal to go vintage toy shopping!
and
ARC = yet another reason for this gal to either get a Lundby or Brinca Dada house for the other minis!

Woohoo! Let the games begin!

But in the meantime…back to cutting more bricks and stones…. <sigh>