The Roof! The Roof! The Roof is —

….definitely not on fire. And I’m referring to both my actual house and minis. Because the latter would be bad, but the former would be….definitely worse.

Sorry, in a weird mood this evening. Think it might have been due to work. Even though I worked from home today, the stress levels were high enough to give me a headache. I was pretty relieved when my shift officially ended – I just wanted to walk away from my laptop and get a breather of sorts. Luckily, all it took was to curl up on my couch, and read a few chapters off a book I got as a holiday gift. After that, I was back to (as BK likes to put it) my oddball self.

Which was good…’cause I wanted to do some minis. Or more accurately, do some additional work on the Neville House.

Given that there were really only two parts left — the roof and the rails for the front — I decided to at least finish the first one. Correction — the first one was the only part I could work on, given I had to wait for supplies to arrive. But luckily, the roof should be straight forward.

To start, I started to measure and cut out the materials to cover the roof. In this case, I had some corrugated black cardstock that from a splurge purchase at Michaels last November. I measured the gaps between my wood strips on the roof, and transferred the measurements onto the cardstock. Luckily, I only had to use one 12″x12″ of cardstock — I only needed two strips that were about 2 inches wide, and another two that were about 2 3/16 inches wide.

Cutting the cardstock to size.

Cutting the cardstock to size.

After cutting out the strips, I did a dry fit to make sure they fit perfectly between the wood strips. And they all fit perfectly! Score!

Dry fit run.

Dry fit run.

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After that, I removed the cardstock and wood strips from the roof. Just to make sure none of the roof’s wood surface peeks out, I was going to paint the roof a solid black. So I pulled out some painter’s tape to protect the roof’s sides.

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Prepping the roof for painting.

I ended up not taking pictures in the process because 75% through the painting….I realized the painter’s tape was starting to peel away from the roof sides. And the black paint started to seep. And in true fashion, I started cursing profusely like a sailor as I removed the tape – and began to paint the sides. So much for Plan A. Now it’s Plan B — having the entire roof painted in black. Guess in the end it worked out since I only needed to apply a single coat.

While the roof dried, I sanded the wood trim and painted them black as well. And again…did not take pics of the process. (sigh)

Once everything was dried (I ended up reading a few chapters from my book to pass the time), I sarted to put the roof pieces in place. I started by installing the outermost strips first. I used Brae’s suggestion of applying the tacky glue first, then adding a few drops of super glue every couple of centimeters along the length of each strip…then pressing it down into place. And the pieces stayed put sans gaps!

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After the far left and right strips were glued and secured, I attached the 2 inch wide cardstock strips using a thin layer of Tacky Glue. I carefully moved the cardstock strip to make sure it’s fully flushed against the first wood strip. Then I waited about ten minutes before installing the second set of wood strips. Then the other set of cardstock strips were installed.

Waiting for the glue to set before installing the second set of cardstock strips.

Waiting for the glue to set before installing the second set of cardstock strips.

Before I knew it, I was installing the center wood strip….and I was done. Capital!

Tadah! A finished Neville roof!

Tadah! A finished Neville roof!

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Am pretty happy how it turned out. I had thought of applying a glossy finish on the wood strips at first. But looking at the roof…am glad my laziness overrode that idea. This definitely matched What I had initally thought for the Neville house.

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The Neville House. Sorry for the fuzzy photos.

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Was worried the black roof would be too stark….but in a way, it seemed to provide a nice break from all the waxed wood tones of the main house.

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Guess all that’s left now is the glass rail….which I can start once the final parts arrive in the mail within (hopefully) the next few days. And even though the interior is pretty much done….I have to wait for certain items to arrive too. (sigh)

View of the interior.

View of the interior. It looks so empty….

I know folks…I feel your pain. I’m getting impatient too. But for now…hopefully this might help whet the appetite. Or not (you can shake your fists at me. Just don’t throw random stuff in my direction. Not sure if I want to get clocked in the face at the moment…)

A sample of what's moving into the Neville House.

A sample of what’s moving into the Neville House.
Mid-century chairs created as a custom order by Multiforminiatures

The Neville: Sunday Rush

Finding it kinda ironic that in the last couple of posts….the times I was able to cover alot of ground with the miniature projects….always occurs on a Sunday. It also doesn’t help that the last couple of weeks have been fully of consistently crappy weather. Which in a way is sorta good news – I can work on said projects. It’s nice how logic works itself out in the end.

But before I begin…I want to apologize if the photos look kinda crappy. I do most of the work in my dining room, and my vintage chandelier doesn’t provide the best of light when it comes to taking photos. And second, apologies if my descriptions sound rather incoherent. When it came to doing work on the Neville, it did sorta feel like I was all over the place.

So disclaimers aside…time to provide an update of what’s been done. And as of tonight, this is what I’ve accomplished so far. I went from this Sunday morning….

Photo of the The CBS Neville. Please pardon the mess....…to this as of Sunday evening.

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The photo might be a little hard to see, but I did complete making the upgrades to the exterior, as well as the interior. And I have to say, because of the Neville’s size, and the limited access points I had (i.e, the side doors and the front window/patios)….this had definitely been a challenge to my wrists. It really did feel like you had to be an absolute contortionist to get any work down.

Okay, time to get down to business. What I started working on first were the exterior walls. The bottom side walls were pretty straightforward – so straightforward, I forgot to take pics of it except the end product as shown below. (facepalm)

For the recessed panels, I just measured and cut out pieces to fit. Though for each recess, it called for two pieces. Which was a bit of a challenge mostly because I had to make sure it looked as seamless as possible.

Installing the beadboard panels.

Installing the beadboard panels.

However, the top part of the side wall (the area that connects to roof) was not exactly straightforward. Mostly because of the funky shape and the limited space to work around in.

Uh-oh. How the &%$# am I supposed to cover the top part of the side wall??

Uh-oh. How the &%$# am I supposed to cover the top part of the side wall??

My solution? Making a paper template of course. I used some scrap computer paper and used it to make as close an accurate shape of the top wall. I tried to make sure the edges of my paper were the straight-edge ones to ensure I was accurate as possible.

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Once the template was completed, I carefully pulled it off the Neville and applied it on my sanded beadboard….

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…and voila, an exact template!

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I had to sand the edges a bit to make sure they were as level as I could managed. Or use my X-Acto blade to slice off any excess. I then did a dry fit to make sure the piece slid in place before gluing it down with Quick Grip (to reduce any warping while it dried).

Woohoo! It fits!

Woohoo! It fits!

Once the glue dried, all the beadboard on this side were sanded and wiped down thoroughly. Then I went back and repeated the same process on the other Neville wall. And applied another strip of beadboard on the upper part of the front. Which I yet again forgot to take a pic (dude, seriously…).

Close up view.

Close up view.

Once the exetior beadboard was glued (and masking tape applied in place to keep the pieces still), I fipped the Neville on its roof to give both my hands better access of the interior. Which was good, because I wanted to start installing the wallpaper first. I kept the side walls as-is (did a quick sanding and wipe clean with tack cloth). But the rear wall, I measured and cut a final piece from my Orla Kiely wrapping paper from Paper Source (the same one used in my 1:6 diorama).

SundayRush-9Because the room was so small (I relied on the side openings as access points for my hands), I ended up attaching the paper to the rear wall using permanent glue dots. Was pretty impressed how quickly the adhesive secured the paper in place. Though the catch I’ve realized is that you need to make sure the sheet fits the wall first before applying the adhesive.

Close up of the wallpaper.

Close up of the wallpaper. Flipped it right side up to take the pic.

Once the wallpaper was installed, the Neville was flipped on its back….so I can begin the dread task of installing beadwork and wooden beams on the ceiling. To do that, I cut, painted, and sanded a couple strips of wood….

Waiting for the paint to dry before sanding them smooth.

Waiting for the paint to dry before sanding them smooth.

….as well as measure and cut some more beadboard paneling to fit the width of the ceiling. Because the wood is so thin, and I was using some water-based paint…I ended up painting both sides. Then flattening the panels between sheets of wax paper — and the heaviest books I own. Most of which were cookbooks.

The beadword ready for installation.

The beadboard ready for installation.

I had originally thought of painting the panels a solid white. But after the initial sandings…I found myself liking the faded/semi-opaque look.

Close up.

Close up.

Once everything was prepped to go…I steeled myself to begin installation. Starting from the rear/accent wall, I glued one of the strip woods first using fast-grip tacky glue….then the panel was attached using Quick Grip. As you can see, my fat claw of a hand is pressing down on the panel to make sure it’s fully flushed against the ceiling surface.

Installing wood strip #1, panel #1.

Installing wood strip #1, panel #1.

Of course, as I started to add more panels, I noticed that despite my pressing down firmly on the panels (and putting a good amount of Quick Grip), the panels started to curve. I tried to use one of my full bottles of acrylic paint as a roller to tamp the panels down…

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…then I resorted to using my heaviest (aka unused) tubes of paint and used them as weights.

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But in the end….it seemed to have worked out. I used more 1/8 x1/8 inch wood trim to fill in any gaps.

The finished ceiling. Sorry for the flash.

The finished ceiling. Sorry for the flash.

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After the walls, I tackled the flooring. I had scraped my knuckles against the sandpaper “carpet” the Neville practically every time. It was time to do something about it. So I used some more scrap paper to create yet another template of the floor.

Creating a template of the flooring.

Creating a template of the flooring.

I was going to apply the template for a wood flooring….but decided to use a linen cardstock from Michaels instead. Kinda almost gives a carpet appearance right? Because the cardstock is so thin, I used glue dots once more to firmly secure the paper in place.

The new floor.

The new floor.

As a final touch for the interior room, I installed some baseboard trim. I opted to just sand and apply beeswax polish to maintain the natural look the Neville is conveying. Though my camera’s flash made the molding look too golden…. :(

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The Neville thus far...

The Neville thus far…

If you noticed, the porch railing that originally came with the Neville is missing. I decided to just go ahead and install a type of “glass” railing.  Mostly because I found this small sheet of clear acrylic paneling at Home Depot for under $3. Though the downside is that I need to order some components to built the rail. And replace my acrylic sheet cutter tool (d’oh)!

SundayRush-31That’s it so far folks. I still need to finish the roof and maybe repolish the exterior. But once these parts are done…I can start the decorations.

Okay, it’s almost 1130 pm. Time for this crazy gal to go to bed! Talk about a busy day!

Oh WOW!

Given that the Gatorboards have arrived for me to start working on the Retreat – this video definitely a refreshing boost of encouragement! The whole cabin was made using foam board.

Special thanks for Mme. Russek for creating this amazing cabin — and for Insh Miniatures for posting it on her blog! This is so cool!!!

Mme Russek even created a video about how she created it — I LOVE her work rooms! It’s worth watching, as she gave excellent ideas and tips on what to use when working with foam board. Definitely applying them to the Retreat (like using shoe polish as a stain medium for wooden components like flooring)!

(Instant) Neville Crush

Yeah I know – not sure if I understand the title myself. But I’ve started using the IHeartRadio app on my phone to play music while I work on my minis. I usually try to vary my music selections depending on my mood, and for this weekend, I wanted to hear all things Daft Punk.

And oddly enough, I found myself bopping along to this particular track the most. Warning: the video is kinda bizzare, but heart aching in an odd sort of way.

Now that the roombox is complete (yay!) – and the Gatorboard arrived today (double yay! No wait – crap! Need to finalize my schematics!), I figured I’m gonna try to finish the Neville House. Am afraid you all will have to bear with me — I was honestly making the game plans up on the spot. Mostly because my dining room/workroom is absolutely a mess, and I was blindly digging around for stuff.

Despite Rowen’s protests (and to Cilla’s elation), I wanted the Neville to be occupied by someone else. I don’t know who yet….am sure the answer will come to me. Usually in the middle of the night. (sigh)

Since the building’s overall shape looks like a ski chalet, I was going to continue that theme. But apply a few details/modificiations to make the place my own. Mostly to add some textures and colors to make the place pop some more.

For starters — the roof. I love the slant, but I wanted add some kind of enhancement. Then the idea of simulating a snap-rib roof came to mind.

Example of a snap-rib metal roof on a cabin. Photo from Watertight Systems Ltd.

Example of a snap-rib metal roof on a cabin. Photo from Watertight Systems Ltd.

To help me mimic the look, I sawed to size a couple of 1/8″ x 1/8″ wood strips. Then, using my quilter’s ruler and a pencil, started figuring out how far apart I wanted the strips to be from each other.

Making the measurements.

Making the measurements.

Because the roof’s width didn’t allow for an even spacing of the strips, I decided that the outer and mid beams be about 2 inches apart. Then on the center of the roof, I found a 3/8″ wide strip of wood (that also had the same thickness as the other beams) and applied that in the center. I had to constantly remeasure, but I managed to make sure that for this center beam, it was exactly 2 3/8″ away from the mid-beams. Maybe the technical part of me was being a jerk a pain in my ass inflexible, but I was intent of making the roof as symmetrical as possible.

The final layout for the roof.

The final layout for the roof.

Once I was happy with the layout, I took one end of each of the beams and sawed it at a 45-degree angle. I know this is unnecessary, but I wanted the beams to continue the angle provided by the roof. It’s a miniscule detail I know, but am happy with how it looks.

Close up of the wood strips on the roof.

Close up of the wood strips on the roof.

I haven’t decided on the color yet….I know the beams and the roof will be painted. But the spaces between the beams seems to need some kind of texture. I’ll figure that out later – I have to do a run to either AC Moore or Michaels this week, so maybe something will come up and inspire me.

For the interior walls…oh boy, talk about a challenge. Give the only ways to get inside the room is either via the front patio doors/windows (?) or the openings on the side….and the roof doesn’t pull up….or the back….the options are kinda limited.

So I decided to do a compromise. The side walls I’ll just simply sand to remove any rough edges. While the back wall, I’ll attempt to wallpaper using my leftover sheets from my first 1:6 roombox

Wallpaper for the Neville's rear/accent wall. This is going to be a challenge!

Wallpaper for the Neville’s rear/accent wall. This is going to be a challenge!
Orla Kiely Multistem paper is actually wrapping paper from Paper Source.

…while the ceiling…I’m going to attempt doing something like this.

Exposed wood beams with white painted ceilings.
From the RBD blog

A challenge you ask? Why yes….yes it will. For my wrists especially. <facepalm>

For the exterior walls – I did a late night run to the storage unit a few days ago, and actually did some digging through my bins. I found several sheets of beadboard which got me thinking…maybe the Neville should have some beams incorporated. Especially on the exterior.

Exteior plan - install beams.

Exteior plan – install beams.

I’ll have do some light sanding on the exterior walls , but in the sides where there are recessed panels…I’ll need to cut the beadboard panels to fit to size. I’m still planning to keep the side openings alone — trust me, now I completely understand how the others who own the Neville house found it challenging to position things inside the room. >_<

So far, so good. I got a gameplan for the roof and exeterior walls.  Then BK brought up an interesting question – was I planning to do anything about the front? More specifically, the front railings.

Photo of the The CBS Neville. Please pardon the mess....

The CB2 Neville. Please pardon the mess….

As you can see in the photo above, the Neville has a basic rail for its front deck. It’s cute and all, but when I took this photo, I realized that the railings were actually tilting backwards. I’ve currently put some clamps to see if that might help straighten it and all. But then again…I don’t exactly hate the rails, but don’t exactly love them either.

I had thought of maybe removing the wooden rails and doing something like one of these examples. But is that considered sacrilege? What do you guys think?

Glass Deck Railing Panels. Photo from Houzz.com.

Glass Railing. From STAR System International website.

In the meantime, I’m going to see how far I’ll get today. Before BK and I attempt to brave a trip to our local IKEA store….

Moving Day for Copeland

Oh lordie…so glad it’s the weekend! Work had been crazy with the constant deadlines. It got to the point that I’d be working nonstop at the office, then come home to only spend dinner and maybe an hour or two with BK. Then locking myself in my workstation to finish up stuff. Think it’s one of the those cons being both a project manager and somewhat of a web developer — the minute you find your groove in a project, you kinda don’t want to let that up.

At least by Friday, most of the projects have been deployed thanks to my teammates manning the fort during my self-lockdowns. Hopefully they won’t mind me bringing them some homemade cookies as a thank you — and for something to nibble during our weekly team meetings.

Anyhoo…now that it’s the weekend….this crazy gal wants to play!

Since the roombox was technically completed as of the last post….I was finally able to move Copeland the Wonder Piano in his new home. It turned out, I even got some help setting up the new digs.

Hey awesome! Setup help!

Hey awesome! Setup help!

Looks like my dolls Monica and her new beau – our little Michael McDonald lookalike (eh, wha??) decided to have dibs on the place.  Guess that works out to my advantage, given Monica really knows how my brain works when it comes to decorating my minis.

Monica bossing poor Michael around.

Monica bossing poor Michael around.

To be honest, I’m a little surprised at this pair up. Monica is my resident divorcee from my cast of dolls (and a mom of three grown kids….and a grandma. All at the age of 47). And Michael (aka “Lil Mac” as I like to call my Michael McDonald lookalike)….well I seriously thought he was gonna be a confirmed bachelor.

Then again…when I moved my bin where my doll cast are currently stationed…I noticed that these two were always together. I even shook the bin and still, they’re within arm’s reach of each other. Guess it’s their way of letting know that I’m to allow this hookup to happen.  Plus, at least Monica got him to update his clothing to something more fitting! <insert laugh here>

The happy couple taking a break.

The happy couple taking a break.

After they took a break (and my yelling “get a room! gross!” each time I caught some PDA action between them), we resumed moving everything into place. Correction – they bossed ME to put things in place.

"Keep backing it in! You're good!"

“Keep backing it in! You’re good!”

"Easy...easy...okay shift it slightly to the right....no YOUR RIGHT!"

“Easy…easy…okay shift it slightly to the right….no YOUR RIGHT!”

Lordie, I thought Monica was bossy. Michael’s worst! Then again…he did put major dibs on Copeland. Especially since he needs to write up some new songs.  I won’t gripe about it though – he looks really happy to finally have a piano he can play.

Admiring his new musical companion Copeland.

Admiring his new musical companion Copeland.

Okay, so while the two went out to lunch….let’s take a look at the new room shall we?

Tadah! The finished room!

Tadah! The finished room!

The main focus of the room is really Copeland. I wiped him down and used a diluted mix of murphy’s soap and water to really make him as polished as possible. Granted, that was overkill, but I wanted him to forget the sorry state he was in when I got him from Monsieur Z and Mme KP. Talk about a transformation!

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Angle shot of Copeland. Piano was a gift from awesome friends. Stool is actually a beat up sewing bench. Cushion covered by fabric from WeeWovens.

On the right side of the room, I used an arm chair I found at a garage sale for $5 (score!). BK suggested putting the guitar in this setting in case Monica or Michael wanted something to else to play.  Behind the chair is a Chapman Bookcase from miniatures.com.

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The Chapman bookcase was a splurge purchase, but I couldn’t resist. It looks exactly like the one in my home office. Took it as a sign — and that’s the story I’m gonna stick to. :D

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

In terms of the contents, this is what I can recall. A few were things I had already, but others were things I found online that I couldn’t pass up.

The canister and bowls were an accidental find, and was surprised that the eBay seller actually hand makes these wooden pieces. Suffice to say, I’ve been ordering whatever he’s been creating from his store since. So if you want some unique wood pieces, definitely worth checking him out. And so long as your purchases are under $50…shipping’s a flat rate of about $2.20. Plus he does do sales (bonus!).

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

For the walls, because I was trying to replicate a Martha’s Vineyard/New England feel, BK suggested that I should look into well known regional artists. I think he intentionally put this suggestion into my head, because I immediately thought of artist Ralph Cahoon.

In terms of who this gentleman this, Mr. Ralph Cahoon was an artist and furniture decorator that resided in the New England region. Because he grew up near the Atlantic Ocean (and apparently he grew up sailing and fishing in the coast), his artwork reflected the local culture. His marriage to Martha Farham, who came from a well-known family of furniture decorator, introduced him to furniture making.

What I adore about Mr. Cahoon’s works are the whimsical themes he goes for. Given he practically lived by the sea, he incorporated details like sailors, mermaids, ships, whales, and even air balloons.  And often, he uses scenes from Cape Cod for his settings, so BK and I tend to recognize the places. I know it sounds silly, but do a Google image search. I personally find them very whimsical and endearing.

I managed to find some images to use (been bugging BK to take me to the Cahoon Museum — it’s apparently near where my in-laws live. I want to stock on books showcasing Mr. Cahoon’s work). After scanning and sprucing them up with Photoshop, I resized the images and printed them on some canvas textured cardstock. I wanted to simulate the impression of looking like actual paintings.

On the side where the piano was positioned, I applied this painting. Think it’s the hats that totally amused me to no end. Plus, I can only imagine the kind of topics these ladies would be discussing during afternoon tea.

Yeah, I think I’m putting some Ralph Cahoon books in my holiday wish list. I can’t afford one of his paintings, but chance to pore over the works at any time will suffice.

Uh-oh, looks like the couple are back. And based on Michael’s expression, looks like he’s ready to belt out some tunes on Copeland. Guess this is our queue to beat feet and have them enjoy their new room!

A quiet afternoon of music.

A quiet afternoon of music.

Sunday Lazing (Sorta)

Given the fudge up I committed last night over the roombox…have to say I was relieved I stuck to my gameplan of just working on applying mortar to the bricks before going to bed. Granted, I only slept my usual 6 hrs…but at least I woke up (somewhat) clear minded. And a little more calm in case something else came up during the roombox’s construction.

For starters, I did an inspection of the bricks. Everything appeared to be completely dry (I placed the roombox near one of our vents so it’d be exposed to the heat) so I sprayed a layer of Lysol over the masonry. Once that was dry, a thick layer of Modge Podge was applied.

Close up of the finished brickwork. Not too bad I guess.

Close up of the finished brickwork. Not too bad I guess.

While the bricks were drying, I set the roombox to rest on its back so I can work on sanding the upper part of the side walls. A couple layers of white craft acrylic paint followed (Americana’s Whitewash) until the walls looked opaque enough.

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To add some interest to the exterior walls (and to provide some kind of break between the brick and the painted sections), I dug around my (now anemic) supplies and found some 3/8″ wide stripwood. Some quick measurements and cuts later, I had some lumber ready to be stained in dark walnut. I used some new Minwax wood stain pens as a finishing medium. Is it just me, or did the formula in the stain markers changed or something? The colors didn’t seem to flow evenly when I was using them. Am sure hoping maybe I’m just using a fluke pen….

Exterior wood trim.

Waiting for the exterior wood trim to dry.

While the trim was set aside to dry, I started to work on the interior trim. Luckily, I didn’t have to do much cutting — just the baseboard, and a single cornice to grace the rear wall.

Sorry for the weird angle -- was trying to utilize as much natural as possible to take clear shots.

Sorry for the weird angle — was trying to utilize as much natural as possible to take clear shots.

By the time I glued the last baseboard in place, BK and I decided to head outside to dig our cars out from the snow. Luckily it didn’t take too long — the sun was out, and the temperature rose to a comfortable 42 degrees. Just enough to soften the snow/ice mix — but heavy enough to still be a concerted effort. At least we’ll be able to get our cars out for Monday’s commute <sigh>.

Once we got back inside the house, the walnut stained trim was dry and ready for installation. Which was peppered with some mild cursing because the tacky glue I was using wasn’t holding the pieces in place. Last time I’ll consider getting the cheap kind. :(

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The trim on the right started to slide a bit when I was taking the shot. Ugh, last time I’m buying generic tacky glue.

Once the wood trims were FINALLY set in place (thanks to painter’s tape, more cursing, and a cup of hot tea prepared by BK. Thanks babe!), began to prep the picture window. I picked this up awhile back on eBay for some projects that I can’t remember anymore (facepalm). It looks pretty huge, but I wanted to give the roombox the illusion of overlooking an actual scene.

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As for that scene….I went through my files of pictures I took of Grandma Ellie’s house over the summer over at Martha’s Vineyard. Technically, this wouldn’t take long…but BK saw me looking through the pictures on my laptop. So we ended curling up on the couch together most of the afternoon, pouring through the pictures I took. And basically reminiscing our almost week long stay with his grandmother over the summer.

When BK asked me why I was looking at the photos, I told him I wanted to incorporate one of them for the roombox. We ended up settling on this photo of Grandma’s garden as it was perfectly showed why we loved coming here. It was the perfect place to get away from the stress…and just find your center once more. Methinks this was as close as paradise as possible.

Actual photo of my grandmother in law's house and garden at Martha's Vineyard.

Actual photo of my grandmother in law’s house and garden at Martha’s Vineyard.

I remember taking this shot with my smartphone the minute we pulled up on the driveway. I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough so I opened the passenger window and stuck my phone outside to take this shot. Usually, BK and I visited the Vineyeard during the winter months (it’s off season, so it’s a little cheaper to transport the car over by ferry. Plus no tourists to contend on the roads). So the chance to actually come to Grandma’s during the summer months was an absolute rarity to us.

Once the photo was selected, I edited it on Photoshop by increasing the dpi to 300, and resizing the photo to a height that fits the window’s opening.  Once I printed it on photo paper, I glued the photograph onto some cellfoam to provide a stiff base before it was trimmed down to size.

And in true fashion, I got so focused in prepping the window that I forgot to photograph the process. But I did manage to take this shot to show the final product. I tilted the roombox again on its back to make sure the window stayed in place until the glue is completely dried.

Installed the window with its "scene".

Installed the window with its “scene”.

A slightly fuzzy closeup of the window

A slightly fuzzy closeup of the window. Think curtains are in order….

Once the glue dries….I’m officially done constructing the roombox. Huh, and I almost did the work over a weekend (give or take a couple of hours). I guess that’s not bad overall right?

Ugh, I’d move in the stuff and take the final photos, but my dining room light doesn’t make for good pictures. So we’ll have to wait until I can take some photos during the daytime. In the meantime…I’ll provide the following as a teaser. Mostly to say thank you for reading my ramblings. :)

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Sample of what’s to come. Ack, the darn lights in the dining room is making my wallpaper look yellowish and weird!

Don’t worry folks, I’m just as impatient as you are. I really want to move the furnishings in – and the new occupants. Stay tuned!

 

Making Strides – Then an ARGH! Moment

Saturday was…a productive day of sorts. Mostly because I was either trying to finish things before the snow…or during. Will back up a bit to explain.

The local news reported that for today, the Washington DC metro area was going to be hit with snow. The original report said snow would appear in the afternoon, then switch to a freezing rain/wintry mix of sorts. Given how batshit crazy the drivers around here tend to behave at the presence of ANY precipitation on the roads, I knew whatever errands needed to be done….it had to be completed before the snow struck.

So early Saturday morning, BK and I loaded my car with the last of my miniature stash and made our way south to where the storage facility was located. We had started to rent a storage unit this past January to help with the storage issue at the house. Though given the picture below, most of the storage unit is being occupied with my apparently large miniature collection.

Holy moly - talk about alot!

Holy moly – talk about alot!

I ended up moving almost all of my bins o’ crap  (that were originally stored in the master half bath) and my dollhouse kits (all of which I managed to store under the bed — on my side of course) into storage. BK managed to find a cheap IKEA table on Craigslist and placed it in the storage room so I can have a designated area to place the ones assembled. Yes, the vintage Lundy stockholm, the Sedona, and my old Winston Cottage are now in storage. Even the CC I had to make the difficult choice of moving. At least until I can finish the other stuff. Like cutting up more bricks (insert groans of agony here).

The good news though is that as of this morning – I had officially moved what I needed to move into storage. The only mini things left in the house…are seriously the ones I have to finish. The ARC III was an exception — that’s considered part of the dining room decor, so that’ll never leave the house. Which is good — given I’m so ridiculously proud of it. :D

After the storage run was completed, we took a detour at our local IKEA before we really hustled back home. At this point, the snow started to fall…and honestly, the drive home was a little bit hairy, given that even the major highways weren’t fully treated at this point. Luckily, by the time we got home and settled in, the snow was falling fast and hard.

Once we were fully settled in (and BK made us some hot cocoa to enjoy), I padded over to the dining room and hunkered down. To at least start on what will soon be Copeland the Wonder Piano’s new residence.

No, this isn't a breadbox...

No, this isn’t a breadbox…

While this appears at first glance like a breadbox, it’s actually a corner roombox I purchased from eBay awhile back. I had forgotten about it until I started pulling my supplies out to be stored in plastic bins. It was a good size…and it gave me an idea on how I wanted to display Copeland.

For starters, I applied a thin layer of paint on the interior walls/floor. Then sanded it down once everything dried to create a smooth finish.

SnowDayMadness-06

After the walls were sanded and wiped down with tack cloth (crud, I’ll need to get more once the snow clears), I started to install flooring. As usual, I pulled out my wood edge veneer bands. Though instead of picking one veneer and installing them as planks…thought I’d try something different. I put the walnut bands (from the ARC II) as a border, then installed the sapele bands (the ones I used in the ARC III). The wood was then sanded and wiped clean before a thick smear of beeswax polish was applied.

The floors installed and sanded and wiped clean.

The floors installed and sanded and wiped clean.

The floor after it got waxed.

The floor after it got waxed. Sorry for the fuzzy pics.

With the flooring done, I started on the walls. Because the roombox was relatively small  (and because majority of my wallpapers are in storage), I ended up using scrapbook paper. Not sure why, but I wanted the display to have a bit of a nautical/vintage vibe to it.

Sea Creatures Paper – Ahoy There – Carta Bella
Image from A Cherry on Top site.

Wallpaper isn’t my strong suit (along with most things), but I try to follow some basic rules. For starters, when measuring the size needed to paper the rear wall, I always add an extra 1/2 inch to the overall length. Once the paper is cut, I measure a 1/4 inch border on the left & right side paper and fold it. Basically make the flaps to extend past where the rear and side walls meet. That way, the seam between the walls doesn’t look too obvious.

Cutting the paper to fit the rear wall.

Cutting the paper to fit the rear wall.

Once the rear wall is installed, the side papers were applied. Because the walls were curved, I just measured and cut two 8.5 x 8.5 inch squares and pasted them directly to the wall. Then I cut along the curve of the walls using a sharp X-Acto knife.

SnowDayMadness-11

The side walls cut to size. Not bad!

Unfortunately, I realized I made a mistake once the walls were installed. It occured to me that I should have done the exterior first. Cad-nabbit!!!! <starts to curse profusely and wave her arms in the air> Ugh, and I was in a groove and stuff! <curses some more>

Then came mistake #2: I guess in my panic about not doing the exterior first….I started to install egg carton bricks. Oh sweet lordie, what the heck is wrong is me??? What other fudge up am I gonna do next???

What the hell???

What the hell???

I decided before further hell breaks loose, I’d only do about 9 rows of bricks on each side, then maybe paint the rest of the sides and install some wood trim. Ugh, am so darn mad at myself! For now though, I need to paint the bricks, seal, let it dry, then spray the surfaces with Lyson before the mortar can be installed later tonight. <sigh>

Ugh. Note to self: do only the mortar tonight. And then bed. Starting to turn into a Cranky McCrankster. :(