Uh-oh, Quick, Hide the Evidence!

Let’s hope that when this arrives, BK isn’t going to flip his gourd at me.

With the dining room looking like a disaster site as I continue to work on the ARC II and the CC…and the Lighthouse being next on the queue, I should be pretty busy. Especially with the fact that I now have to finish as many projects at my job as possible, before BK and I go on vacation in mid-June.

Oi, you’d think a rational person who think “yeah, this is plenty crazy.” But apparently not this village idiot of a blog writer. Because I put a bid on this and apparently won it as of last night.

My new addition to my obsession

My new addition to my obsession. Photo taken from eBay (from the seller’s listing page).

I don’t know much about this dollhouse, except that it’s a vintage Lundby dollhouse from the mid 1970s. I checked the I Love Lundby club, and it looks like this was the Stockholm (though apparently it was referred to as the “super” or “deluxe dollhouse”). It seemed like they introduced this around 1976, then afterwards, went back to the Gotenburg design that Lundby uses to this day. Then they brought back the Stockholm, but used the modern design (it looks more like those modern lofts you’d see in Miami or the West Coast or something).

I had been curious about this design since it looks pretty roomy in comparison to the current versions. Plus, seeing that there were a couple on eBay that had a low starting price, I just put the minimum bid. Frankly, I thought I’d get outbid at the last second, so I wasn’t going to cry tears if I didn’t win it. Of course, my phone gave its signature chirp last night (whenever I got an update on eBay)…and this was officially mine.

Am pretty excited (I’ve gotten fond of the Lundby/Barton/Lisa of Denmark pieces during my shopping for the ARC II), but again…not sure how BK is going to respond when this shows up. Plus, it looks like I’ll be doing alot of research on how to properly restore/renovate this house….

Wish me luck folks when this package arrives. 😛

 

Monday Madness (Sorta)

Granted, I should have written this yesterday (Monday). But then again, why does the most activity happen on the last day of the holiday weekend?

Memorial Day 2014 overall, was pretty relaxing. BK and I managed to finish errands we kept putting off, and it was just so darn nice to be able to kick back and do whatever we want. Like finally going through the shows we recorded on the DVR. Or enjoy our patio before the mosquitoes will start descending on us. Or in my case, be able to work on my minis. Though I feel like I’m breezing through building the ARC II compared to the tortoise rate I’m dealing with regarding the CC.

Telling you — by the time I finish cutting up the stones and bricks, I’ll probably start bawling the next time I see an egg carton come by way. Or blubbering in terror. Take your pick.

Anyways, back to the story (I do this all the time, darn it!).

Based on my last entry, I needed to fix the screwup mess I made with the ARC II’s front panels. So early Monday morning (thanks insomnia for giving me 3 hrs of sleep), I started the daunting task of resanding the panels and repainting them again. The first layer, I used FolkArt’s Wicker White acrylic paint. But after sanding that down, I switched to using Americana’s Light Buttermilk instead (since I wanted more of an off-white/cream tone).

I did this about 3 times until the panels were not only as smooth as I can get them to be, but also have the paint appear even. It definitely looks a lot better.

After three rounds of sanding/painting...these are done.

After three rounds of sanding/painting…these are done.

Once the paint dried, I put a thin layer of Ceramcoat’s matte varnish to seal it. After that sealer dried completely, I proceeded to finally glue them together. A thin layer of tacky glue was put on the edges before I flushed the panels – wanted to be sure the seams between the panels were fully fused shut (and keeping everything square).

Arc-Monday-3

Arc-Monday-2

But as you can see in the above photo, despite my taping and clamping the pieces together, the walls still formed a slight gap. So onward to Plan B.

Plan B - installing corner molding/trim.

Plan B – installing corner molding/trim.

“Plan B” was essentially covering the area where the panels meet with some corner molding. Typically I use these as an exterior part of my dollhouses, but I had these smaller/shorter pieces lying about. Figured “hey why not?”. So I sanded them, painted them in the Light Buttermilk paint color to match the walls, then installed them once the paint dried. Not only did these guys covered the gaps, but also forced the panels to stay at a perfect 90 degree angle — which how I wanted to them positioned.

Plan B installed.

Plan B installed.

Once that was installed, I went ahead and installed the left wall and the bedroom/first floor ceiling on the ARC II. Despite the pieces sliding into place, I found that I couldn’t get a good seal where the front wall and the left side wall meet. Again, I ended covering it with a quarter round trim that I cut, sanded, and painted to fit.

The corner trim in the living room.

The corner trim in the living room.

The bedroom trim.

The bedroom trim.

Once the walls and floor were positioned, I applied tacky glue along the seams from the outside and clamped the pieces in place using masking tape. So long as any excess glue stays on the outside, will be happy with that.

Now that the left wall is installed, it was time to work on the right wall (the side wall for the kitchen and bathroom). Since I used egg cartons to create a stone/brick effect, it was time to start painting…Not going to lie folks — I was pretty nervous when I got to this point. Mostly because am terrified of screwing this up royally.

The right wall before the painting began.

The right wall before the painting began.

I decided to tackle the bathroom wall since that will more than likely give me the most amount of angst and anxiety. Since I wanted the bathroom wall to look like this (or close to it):

Inspiration for the bathroom. Photo from the Architecture and Design site (http://archinhome.com)

I resorted to using the following acrylic paints in an attempt to replicate the look:

My lineup for the "slate" wall.

My lineup for the “slate” wall.

With the paints, I made my mixes and wash on a chinet bowl…..

Arc-Monday-11

….and started applying them. Again, this isn’t my strongest suit, so you can imagine the number of times I cringed when I worked up the layers. After working on it for 30 minutes, I decided to leave it alone to dry — and frankly, to stop myself from doing something ridiculously stupid drastic.

The "sorta" finished look.

The “sorta” finished look.

With the bathroom wall drying, I moved to the bottom half — which was the brick wall for the kitchen. Luckily, this one was a breeze.

I took inspiration from Brae when she used egg cartons on her beautiful Haunted Heritage. In terms of paint, she used Liquidtex’s Burnt Sienna as her color of choice for the bricks. I was pretty intrigued by this, so the minute Michaels advertised a 30% discount on their paints and brushes, I pounced on picking up 2 tubes (along with a slew of sponge and taklon brushes).

For my brick wall, I put a small amount of the Liquidtext on a paper plate, and using a 1-inch sponge brush, started to dab the egg carton bricks. I have to say, the color is pretty spot on — Brae, you are a genius! This looks amazing!!

The bricks coming to life! Well, sort ot.

The bricks coming to life! Well, sort of.

Some of the “bricks” had more pronounced bumpy areas (yeah I know — but it’s hard to describe) so they didn’t get as much coverage. I initially went back and pressed the brush down a bit more to press the paint against the surface. But awhile awhile, I started liking the unevenness it gave to the walls. So I ended up leaving those alone.

Close up of the bricks.

Close up of the bricks.

So in about 10 minutes, the kitchen wall was done.

Tada!

Tada!

I put this wall aside to dry (the Liquidtex says it’s a heavy body — and because the paint came out rather thick, figured I should give the paint more time to fully dry out). Once that wall is dry, I’ll seal the brick and stones with some Modge Podge before attempting the apply grout. That’s right folks — I’m stressing the word “attempt”. Hopefully I don’t screw this up or something…. 😦

Sunday Line Up

So much for sleeping in this Memorial Day weekend. BK reminded me when I got into bed that we have some company coming on Sunday morning (my parents) — and that I had promised to make breakfast! Guess it’s good I did a huge grocery run on Friday…guess my go-to cornmeal pancakes with strawberries will be on the menu. Along with some eggs and turkey sausages. Hopefully BK will brew a strong pot of coffee….this village idiot is going to need it. :\

Luckily the weather is decent enough that I can move breakfast outside on the patio….mostly because I spent last night cleaning the dining room/work station, and I’m too lazy to clear the minis out from it. Luckily Mom and Pops are so used to my “creative messes” — actually, my father worries when I’m not working on them.

Sorry, digressing again. Onward to the post.

Like I mentioned last night, I made the mistake of going straight to painting the front interior panels of the ARC II rather than putting a layer of gesso on them. So now the walls look uneven…which I’ll have to fix by sanding the surface, paint another layer, then sand it again once that layer dries. Granted, I’ll get a more even wall color by doing that. But it’s time consuming, and I think my laziness/impatience will get the best of me soon enough. The gesso does double duty as a sanding medium and paint primer — apply that, sand it smooth, and you can start painting (usually 1-2 layers will do the trick). And you’d be done.  Despite this slight setback, it shouldn’t be too bad. At least it’s just two relative small walls. And there isn’t as much surface area to sand thanks to the windows and door opening (woot!).

Sunday lineup o' tasks.

Sunday lineup o’ tasks.

You’ll also notice in the photo above that there’s some furniture pieces that I dry-fitted. These are part of the furniture kit I bought from 3StarStudio to go with the original ARC. I only wanted to use the following for the ARC II (and saved the rest for a future project), since I was planning to use some furniture pieces that I purchased earlier. Most haven’t been glued yet, since I have to decide on how to finish them. Have to say, because the pieces were laser cut…they all fit together like a dream. Or smooth as a thong hugging JLo’s famous butt.

(Yeah, that last statement was probably TMI. What can I say – I haven’t had my coffee yet.)

For the sitting area….I pulled out the bookcase and coffee table. The bookcase I actually went ahead and glued together….and realized that I installed the sides in the wrong direction <KP or Z, go ahead and send a virtual slap if you want. Apparently I didn’t look at the directions closely enough). These guys I might paint them with something very bright and cheery to go with the sitting room’s purple wallpaper.….

SundayTask-4

For the bedroom, because the area is relatively small, figured the only thing that would be there for furnishings are the bed and a side table….

For the bedroom.

For the bedroom.

For the bed, I’m seriously debating what to do as a finish. The bedroom wall has a bit of a mod feel to it (think it has to do with the wallpaper), so should I paint the bedframe? Or maybe stain it? Staining might look classier, but since the floor is already a dark walnut…that might be an overkill in wood tones.

So I’m going to throw this out there to my readers — what route should I take?

 

ARC II: More on Archie’s Construction

Saturday turned out to be busier than expected. Rather than being able to continue working on the ARC II, there were additional errands to run, and other household chores to do. So by the time I was ready to sit down and do some work, it was already past 10 pm. Figured I’d let myself work on the house until 12:45 am…and write my progress before going to sleep. So again, apologies if this entry might just as long as the last construction entry.

To start, I ended up changing the layout of the stones for the ARC II’s front courtyard. Because of my online purchases late last night, I had to adjust how the stones were set up in order to accommodate the bushes/shrubs I bought. Once I was happy with the new arrangement, I ended up using a pair of tweezers to dip each stone into some tacky glue, and apply them in place.

The stone path's new arrangement. Hopefully this is a better layout...

The stone path’s new arrangement. Hopefully this is a better layout…

Another view.

Another view.

Since I needed to wait for the glue to dry….I then moved to working on the ceilings. At first, I was just about to paint the first and second floor ceilings with a bright white. It would have been easy and probably fast, mind you. But something told me to use the leftover flooring used in the CC.

Applying the leftover pine flooring for the sitting area's ceiling.

Applying the leftover pine flooring for the sitting area’s ceiling.

I had some sizable scraps of the southern pine plank flooring (talk about a mouthful saying that!) after I had finishing applying them on the CC’s rooms. I couldn’t exactly chuck them away, and luckily I didn’t — the scraps were enough to allow me to piece them together to use on the ceilings.

The process was straightforward enough — I cut the scraps down into segments, and glued those segments to fit on the side where the ceiling would be. I kinda cheated a bit by putting some layers of wax paper atop the glued planks, and ran the iron over them using the lowest setting possible. Then (still with the wax paper covering the part), I piled a stack of heavy hardback books on top  to press it down for a couple minutes.

Waiting for the glue to dry....

Waiting for the glue to dry….

Once the glue dried enough, I turned the part over and trimmed out the excess. Then each was sanded and another layer of my (now favorite) wood polish was applied.

Ceiling-3

I did the same thing for the second floor ceiling (for the bedroom and bath). The area I had to cover was a a rather funky shape, so I had to cut the pine flooring into three medium size pieces and made sure the edges were flush against each other. Just so it looks like it’s actually one continuous piece that covered the ceiling.

The ceiling for the bedroom and bath.

The ceiling for the bedroom and bath.

Once everything was polished (and sanded — the edges were a little bit jagged so I had to spend more time to sand them), I did another dry fit run to see how the new ceiling looked. Not too bad!

View of the ceiling in the sitting room area.

View of the ceiling in the sitting room area.

 

View of the pine ceiling from the kitchen area.

View of the pine ceiling from the kitchen area.

View of the second floor ceiling. Bedroom is on the left side, bathroom to the right.

View of the second floor ceiling. Bedroom is on the left side, bathroom to the right.

To complete the ceiling part entirely, there’s a part of the second floor ceiling that’ actually overlooks the front part of the ARC’s front courtyard. Again, I could have just left that alone – but my worry was that if I glued the second floor ceiling/third floor patio area, it’d be difficult for me to go back and decorate that underside. So I took some silver embossed scrapbook paper, trimmed it down to a smaller rectangle, and did a dry fit to see how much I’d need to cut out.

Applying the metallic scrapbook paper.

Applying the metallic scrapbook paper.

I cut from the 12×12 inch sheet an 8×10 rectangle, and tried to flush the paper’s straight edges to the guides I drew on the ceiling. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t block the areas where the ceiling connects to the walls. After applying a thick layer of YES! paste to apply the paper, I waited until it set enough so I could again cut out the excess (and dulled another blade in the process. Darn it, guess a reorder is needed).

The finished product.

The finished product.

Now that the ceilings were completed, I finally caved in and applied new flooring for the bathroom. I mentioned in the last entry that I had to wait for my order of cork sheets because Michaels didn’t have them in stock. I ended up going back to the store this afternoon to get some more stuff — and found a 12×12 pack on sale on their main center aisle. I used one of the sheets, placed the floor upside down, and cut out the needed shape.

Getting ready to cut.

Getting ready to cut.

The cork sheet is about 1/16 inch thick, so I had to use another new blade to make sure the cut edges stayed clean (otherwise, I’d get jagged/crumbled edges). The cork was then glued using some Weldbond, then resanded the edges again to make sure it’s flushed against the wood.

BathroomFloor-2Then did another dry fit. Not bad I guess!

New bathroom floor.

New bathroom floor.

So in about a day…I’m almost done with the interior. This is what it looks so far. I was starting to get tired at this point – figured I’d better do another dry fit to check things before figuring out my next steps for Sunday. Not bad right?

Day 1's worth of construction completed.

Day 1’s worth of construction completed.

For the front walls of the ARC….I picked up some off white/cream acrylic paint to use (FolkArt’s Parchment). The stuff’s pretty thick which I liked, but after applying the first layer….I might need to let the stuff dry completely and sand the surfaces down to make it smooth. Definitely a reflection of my getting tired and needing sleep…usually when I paint walls (especially wood walls), I put a layer of paint gesso, let that dry, and sand it. That ensures having a smooth surface — and the paint will appear more even during application. Crap, guess we know what I’ll be doing first thing Sunday morning. 😦

The walls. I forgot to put gesso first and sand it. Hence it looking very uneven at the moment. *sad face*

The walls. I forgot to put gesso first and sand it. Hence it looking very uneven at the moment. *sad face*

Things That Make You Go Hmm…

After the last post, I finally went to bed around 2 am. Only to be woken up by my 13-year old dog panting at my face because she needed her potty run. At 6:00 am. Also known in her puppy brain  as “Mommy, take me out NOW. Or I’ll crap on the bedroom carpet again like last time”. Given I’m still reeling from the carpet cleaning bill from that particular episode, I stood outside shivering in my robe and PJs until said canine did her business.

Once that was done (and she made a beeline back to the bedroom to sleep by her dad. Little brat), decided to just stay up and start my weekend. By checking out all the mini related posts from my usual haunts. One Twitter post from Modern Mini caught my eye.

IKEA PS 2014 Storage Cabinet (taken from the IKEA USA site)

How neat is this? Yeah, it’s actually an IKEA wall storage cabinet (actually it’s a component where you can assemble your own storage modules), but the bamboo surface kinda makes it look like an awesome wall texture for a mini scene right?? And for $34 – heck yeah! Can definitely see someone installing these on a wall and setting up displays that way! For some reason, I can see this being set up as a very chic lounge, or maybe a boutique shop….or one of those Pinkberry yogurt branches that apparently keeps popping up in my area (which is great and all. But I want a good old fashioned ice cream shop dammit! I need my dosage of mint chocolate chip on a waffle cone this summer!!!!)

Unfortunately, when I tried to check on its availability — according to the IKEA site, it says it’s out of stock. Which means either a) the stores are out of it or b) it’s brand new, the stores don’t carry it, and I have to order them online. Double darn it. Guess I’ll have to wait. 😦

Okay, I Seriously Need to Sleep…

There are many things that I love about this weekend, being Memorial Day:

a) a chance to honor our veterans – both living and deceased
b) it (to me at least) marks the beginning of summerc) getting an extra day (or two) off to relax
d) time to spend with BK, friends, family….and our pets
e) chance to work on minis – duh

And last, but not least:

f) time to score big deals during Memorial Day sales

I’m not kidding about the last part. My father used to tell me growing up that if I ever needed to buy electronics — like a new TV, or an appliance — the best time to get them was during Memorial Day. Or President’s Day, depending on when said product/appliance decided to roll over and die.

Apparently the sales also apply to miniatures as well. Since this past Monday, I’ve been getting a TON of emails from online shops about their upcoming sales. Which I guess is great given that I’ve paid off all my credit cards save one (guess the perks of a job promotion – a little more take home $$$).

Coupled with my insomnia due to weeks of working late into the night (thanks alot, projects)…let’s just say I’ve started doing my online shopping during these moments. And apparently, I’ve procured the following.

From miniatures.com — purchased some brackets and a kitchen faucet to use for the CC, while I purchased some mini bushes to apply for the ARC II/Archie.

From left to right: Bradford brackets, "Squeeze Me" evergreen bushes, and the Highlands faucet set. From miniatures.com

From left to right: Bradford brackets, “Squeeze Me” evergreen bushes, and the Highlands faucet set. From miniatures.com

From dheminis.com – I had originally thought of getting the Stratford Bakery as a future project. But after seeing the bizarre price on its detail page ($776.25 USD???), I found out from its customer service that the item is actually out of stock. Would have to wait until end of June to try again. 😦

The Stratford Bakery kit. From dheminis.com (www.dheminis.com)

Then again, I did purchase a couple of mini items that were on sale…

Top row: Vert French Toile wallpeper, shower base, shower head Second Row: modern side table, plastic railing, vessel sink with tap. From dheminis.com

Top row: Vert French Toile wallpeper, shower base, shower head
Second Row: modern side table, plastic railing, vessel sink with tap. From dheminis.com

I also received an email from M. Bill – I had purchased some pieces from him via eBay. He does AMAZING hand carved furniture – definitely check out his eBay listing often. Considering he carves and hand stains each piece — it’s worth every penny. Am hoping I’ll be able to furnish a house exclusively with this creations (or at the very least, BK’s and my 1:12 counterparts will be using his pieces for their future home).

Anyways, he sent me a message letting him know that he finished some pieces that match the other furniture I’ve purchased from him in the past (in the same walnut finish). Was I gonna pass this up after seeing this image — aw heck no!

Carlisle wardrobe and matching nightstand. All mine!!

Carlisle wardrobe and matching nightstand. All mine!!

My last purchase (for the night at least) was really a splurge. I really didn’t need this, but something about it screamed possibilities. Behold the Larimer Shop by Rocky Mountain Wood Crafts.

The Larimer Shop Kit. Photo from Rocky Mountain Woodcrafts (http://rockymountainwoodcrafts.com)

It’s essentially a 2 room, front-opening shop. The door and windows are included with the kit, but besides those two components, it’s a kit waiting to be customized. I thought of making it into a Tudor style cottage, but got the impression that it should be a shop of some kind. Maybe a bookstore/coffee house on the bottom floor, and a studio apartment at top? Guess will see once it arrives. 😀

Okay, I seriously need to go bed. Otherwise, I might end up buying a store somewhere without realizing it!
(invoking need for a virtual slap from the readers if that happens!)

ARC II: Archie’s First Construction Day

This might be a rather long post, so I want to provide my apologies way in advance.

Had originally planned to do maybe 1-2 things today on the ARC II/Archie since I got him yesterday. But I guess I’ve discovered a magic equation of sorts when it comes to covering a good amount of ground with my projects.

McDonald’s McCafe + supplies + kit + day off from work  = you’re going to get a ton of stuff done

Granted, it could have been because I took a day off to clean the house, clear some appointments, and finish errands before the Memorial Day weekend. But I’ll stick to my gut instinct that something was put in my McCafe Mocha frappe this morning to put me on Energizer Bunny mode.

Again, digressing once more. Onward to the point of this post.

While I’m still cutting up bricks and stones for the CC (I have started installing said stones/bricks….it’s just so darn TEDIOUS. Why didn’t anyone warn me about this?? Oh wait…yeah, Brae did warn me about that. Sorry.), decided maybe start with the interior of the ARC II/Archie. So I decide to take a stab on the floors.

Walnut wood veneer edge. From Chiquinelly Supplies on Etsy.

Instead of doing my usual route of installing the 1:12 wood flooring, I read about this on a couple of threads on the Greenleaf miniature forum. Apparently alot of the seasoned miniaturist had used wood veneering edging as wood flooring. They’d take the strips, cut them down into sizeable strips, then apply them using a clothes iron. Had been intrigued by this method, but none of the edging at my local Home Depot/Lowes caught my eye. So I went online….and found ChiquinellySupplies on Etsy.

The shop sells various kinds of wood veneer edging in different widths and lengths. Granted, these are meant to be used for edges of kitchen counters and cabinets….but I love the wood selection. I ended up getting the walnut edging, though I might try the teak, mahogany , and birch in my next projects.

In terms of applying the edging…it’s pretty easy actually. First, i cut a bunch of strips long enough to cover the length of the ARC II’s first floor. The edging is about 5/8″ in width, which I should have cut into thinner widths in order to stay in the 3/4 scale. I, however, opted not to do that — not sure why though. Maybe the caffeine from the McCafe got to my brain took quickly.

Applied the first set of the wood veneer edging strips.

Applied the first set of the wood veneer edging strips.

Once I got the strips positioned, I pulled out my clothes iron from the laundry room and preheated heat to its highest setting (for cottons). The edging strips have an adhesive in the back that activates when heat is applied to them (like an iron). But according to folks at the Greenleaf form, the adhesive might ooze out in between the strips as its melts — and get onto the iron. Considering I use this iron to get the wrinkles off BK’s and my work clothes…I placed a sheet of wax paper atop the strips before running the hot iron across them.

Activating the adhesive using my clothes iron. Please ignore the chunky meat claw known as my hand + wrist + arm. Thanks.

Activating the adhesive using my clothes iron. Please ignore the chunky meat claw known as my hand + wrist + arm. Thanks.

I did these a couple of strips at a time. You have to be careful to not run the iron on the strips too much. Otherwise, the adhesive backing will melt enough to cause the strips to slide — and push everything else out of alignment. Whenever that happened, I quickly tried to move the strips back into position. Not exactly fun, given the edging strips were HOT. But then again, BK always joked that I have asbestos hands.

Once the strips were applied, I ran the iron a few more times before leaving it alone to cool. After a few minutes, I turned the floor over and with a new craft blade, trimmed out the excess. Am so glad I got my new stash of blades — the adhesive was still gummy so by the time I finished trimming the excess stuff off, the blade was caked with the glue.

I repeated the process with one of the second level floors (which will be the bedroom).  So in less than 45 minutes….I got 2 of the 3 floors completed. I sanded the edges to smooth out the cuts (and have them flush against the curves of the floors), then did a light sanding on the strips themselves before wiping the dust with some tack cloth.

Installed the edging on the first floor, and the bedroom floor.

Installed the edging on the first floor, and the bedroom floor.

In terms of varnish, I usually use the beeswax based polish from IKEA. But like what Brae mentioned in her blog, the stuff could coagulate if it gets old. In the case of my beeswax polish, think mine went rancid because it smelled absolutely AWFUL when I opened it last month to check. Since I have a dog that follows me wherever I go…I had to find a varnish that I can use that was safe to use around my puppy, and something that wasn’t going to cause me cough up a lung each time I opened it.

Again, I went back on Etsy to see what I could find. And noticed alot of vendors were selling beeswax varnish with some kind of oil mixed with it. Apparently these were designed to polish not just furniture, but also wooden cooking/baking utensils, wood toys that might end up in some kid’s mouth. Got intrigued by it, so I decided to splurge a few weeks ago and ordered Mrs. Honeybee’s All Natural Beeswax Polish as a possible varnish.

Have to say, when I tried it on the ARC II’s floors, I was impressed. I used a clean cotton rag and applied a small amount. You can tell the wood absorbed the stuff quickly. But what made me happy was when I buffed the surfaces with another rag…the flooring not only looked fantastic, but had this very smooth feel to it when you run your hands across the surface. And the best parts? One, no smell – well, there was a faint scent of the beeswax (which I love). And two, some of the polish got on my hands, and my skin actually looked and felt soft! Capital!

The first floor. The left side before I applied the wood polish. The right side after applying and buffing the polish. Nice!

The first floor. The left side before I applied the wood polish. The right side after applying and buffing the polish. Nice!

Again, I applied and buffed the floors with the beeswax polish. And admired the handiwork (definitely getting more of this stuff once this jar runs out)!

Tada! Polished floors!

Tada! Polished floors!

Polishing took about 15 minutes. So that meant in an hour…I finished the wood floors. And it wasn’t even past 10:00 am yet. So I thought “ok…maybe I’ll figure out the walls next”.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for the walls. I thought about painting the front walls (the panels with the windows and door) with either a cream or off-white color to keep the rooms bright. As a contrast, the side walls will either get wallpaper or some kind of treatment. Like bricks or stones of something.

To help me decide, I had to make a decision in terms of where certain rooms will be. Figured at least the bathroom and kitchen should be on the same side…at least for plumbing reasons.

Gameplan for the rooms in the ARC II.

Gameplan for the rooms in the ARC II.

Once the layout was settled, it made it easier for me to wing it plan. And when I mean “planning” – it meant hopping onto my laptop and doing a search in Google images for inspiration. These two grabbed my attention.

Inspiration for the bathroom. Photo from the Architecture and Design site (http://archinhome.com)

 

Inspiration for the kitchen. Love the play of the bright yellow against the red brick.  From House Beautiful (http://www.housebeautiful.com/kitchens/tips/yellow-kitchen-tile#slide-2)

Even though I’m groaning from my 4th Circle of Hell (aka cutting bricks and stones from egg cartons), I just gritted my teeth and proceeded to cut apart another egg carton to build a new set of bricks & stones for the ARC II. Luckily, the measuring and cutting didn’t take too long since I didn’t have alot of surface area to cover.

The right interior wall of the ARC II. The top is the bathroom accent wall; below is the kitchen's brick wall.

The right interior wall of the ARC II. The top is the bathroom accent wall; below is the kitchen’s brick wall.

For the bathroom, I cut out 1/4-inch wide strips from the egg cartons, then cut them into 1-inch lengths. Then for each row, I applied a coat of Weldbond glue and installed the strips. I used a dull craft blade as my “guide” to make sure the spacing is as even as possible. Though looking at this photo, the whole thing looks kinda crooked. 😦

Close up of the bathroom wall.

Close up of the bathroom wall.

The kitchen was the same process. Though I cut each “brick” into 1/4 inch x 3/4-inch strips. A piece of thin basswood was used as a guide since these needed a slighter wider ‘gap” between them for the mortar. also, I kept the area where the second floor (the bathroom floor) will be positioned. I want to make sure that floor will install flushed and even against the walls.

Close up of the kitchen wall.

Close up of the kitchen wall.

Once the stones and bricks were applied, I put that wall aside to dry. At this time, it was 12 noon….and BK surprised me by coming home early from work. And gave me an even bigger treat by taking our dog outside to the patio with him while he read and relaxed. Given that all my chores and errands were done…figured I should see how much can I cover with the ARC II.  Onto the other wall then!

Since the right wall was all about stone and bricks…thought for contrast, I’ll do some wallpaper. And with the ARC being in 3/4 scale….decided to use some 12×12 inch scrapbook paper.  Sorry for the lack of pictures, but hopefully the following makes sense.

First, I choose the papers I wanted to use for the sitting room & bedroom’s accent wall. Then, I traced the shape of the entire left wall on each sheet and cut them out.

Cutting out the shape from the scrapbook paper.

Cutting out the shape from the scrapbook paper.

Once the shapes were cut out, I took my pencil and ruler and measured the height of the actual living room wall. In this case, the living room wall had a height of about 5 3/8 inches. So I took the scrapbook shape I cut out (from the paper that I designated from the living room), and measured out that same height. Then I cut that portion out from the shape – basically, I cut out the bottom portion of the shape to be used for the living room wall.  Then I repeated that process for the bedroom wall. Except that I measured from the top part of the wall, and applied that measurement onto the second shape.

I had to trim the new cut-outs a bit to make sure they fit/flush against the walls’ edges…before I glued them onto the wall using a thick coat of YES! paste. Again, like the other wall, I kept the areas where the second floor would be attached bare. Just in case I might need to apply glue on those areas to secure the wall when I get to that stage.

The left wall of the ARC II. The top is the bedroom wall; the bottom is the living room wall.

The left wall of the ARC II. The top is the bedroom wall; the bottom is the living room wall.

Again, I put this wall aside to dry. Time it took to complete this? About 30 minutes. Which meant….it was close to 1 pm.  From here, I decided to tidy my dining room/work station to pass the time. Especially since I woke really early in the morning to clean the rest of the house. <slaps forehead>

After the dining room was cleaned (aka, crap shoved into the trash can and the floor swept), I checked the walls and floors and noticed that they were close to being completely dry. So I took them to my kitchen’s pass through and dry-fitted them once more to make sure everything fits. And they did!

The ARC II so far....

The ARC II so far….

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The living room so far.

The living room so far.

 

The bedroom. Love the slightly "mod" wall!

The bedroom. Love the slightly “mod” wall!

The bathroom and kitchen. Need to decide on the colors next (yikes!)

The bathroom and kitchen. I used a new craft blade to trim off any excess trim from the walls. Now need to decide on the colors next (yikes!)

In the above photo, you noticed that there’s no flooring on the bathroom. The reason is because I had to order some cork sheeting online – my local Michaels store ran out. I wanted to do a cork floor as a contrast (hopefully) against the stone wall. Let’s hope it works, decor-wise!

And just when you think I’d be done (and finish writing this entry)….was crazy enough to do one more task. And it had to do with the exterior front of the ARC….the “outside courtyard” so to speak.

Before shots of the outside front courtyard.

Before shots of the outside front courtyard.

I knew some landscaping was in order for here, but I wasn’t sure what kind. Think mostly because I still haven’t decided what to do with the overall exterior of the ARC II. The only thing I knew for sure though, was that I wanted some kind of stone path leading to the main doorway.

Enter these bad boys.

Enter these bad boys.

These mini stones were purchased from miniatures.com awhile back to use on the Sedona roombox. I had 3 packages as spares, so I decided to just use them up since they were small enough to work with the scale. So with a pair of tweezers, I started putting the stones randomly to form the path. It took a good hour for me to finally find a layout that I was happy with.

Rough layout. Still playing around with it.

Rough layout. Still playing around with it.

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ARC-Exterior-3Unfortunately, by the time I took these shots, I had to stop for the day and get ready for a dinner out with friends. And celebrate the official kick-off of the holiday weekend! At least this means I got something to do Saturday morning right? 🙂

In the meantime, I managed to take a pic of how the path looks from inside the doorway…

Not bad right?

Not bad right?