The ARC III is Ready!

Woot! Finally! I didn’t think I’d finish this on time. Probably a good thing…because as I’m typing this…I’m sick as a dog. 😦

But I guess it was bound to happen. My office mates have been in and out with whatever bug has been hitting the area. Add that to the stress at work and lack of sleep – well, it was a recipe for disaster. Not gonna complain though – at least (crossing fingers) it’s not the flu.

Sorry, digressing here….let’s get the meat of this post alright? Advanced apologies for the numerous (and probably grainy) photos. I took these kinda early in the morning and I don’t get as much natural light as I’d like. Despite this technical setback, hope you guys enjoy the pics!

Exterior of the ARC III

Exterior of the ARC III

Similar to the ARC II, I did a stucco finish for the exterior walls and did some landscape on the front. To create the textured walls to a reasonable 1:16 scale, I used a packet of modeling dust from Richard Stacey. It’s designed to create a “stone” effect on 1:12 scale wood trims like windows and such. I think I got this on eBay awhile back since it’s a UK based product. [Update: found the eBay vendor that I bought the modeling dust.Still has them, and in different colors]

For the ARC III, I mix the packet with equal parts water and tacky glue until it had the consistency of paste. Then dabbed it on the walls using a sponge brush. But the dust I had was a grey color, so after putting on about three layers (I wanted to use up what I made), I let it dry completely before painting it with Americana’s Light Buttermilk craft acrylic paint. To help break up the cream stucco, I installed some wood trim painted in steel gray to add contrast (and to hide the slots that attached the second floors to the walls).

Side shot of the ARC III.

Side shot of the ARC III.

For the front, I kept the landscape simple. I had extra diorama supplies from Michaels that I tend to stash in my craft drawer. The grass was installed by sprinkling this grounded turf over a layer of Modge Podge. The small and large bushes were purchased from miniatures.com. The stones in the walkway were also from miniatures.com, while the gravel in between them was some model ballast I had from a long-ago project. The toad statue was a splurge purchase from Manor House Miniatures (supposed to be for 1:12 scale…but it was too adorable to resist).

BK thinks the lawn is too manicured. Eh, I’ll update it later.

A slight spin of the lazy susan here (BK got this for me to go with the ARC)…and here’s the finished interior.

Interior view of the rooms

Interior view of the rooms

Just another shot. Please ignore the mess behind the ARC....

Just another shot. Please ignore the mess behind the ARC….

In terms of furnishings, I wanted to deviate a bit from how I decorated the ARC II. So it was a combination of vintage Lundby items, a few vintage items that I rehabbed (am sure I’ll be scolded for this), pieces from my awesome gift courtesy of 3StarStudio….and a new miniature vendor I found on Etsy (Monsieur Orloff of Multiforminiatures). And of course, whatever I could find in my collection.

So let’s begin the tour shall we? Before Cilla and Rowen get back and boot us all out of their house.

The Kitchen/Dining Area

Stove and sink are vintage Lundby. Dining table and chairs are a custom order by Multiforminiatures. Accessories from Lundby. Plants from Suebee’s Miniatures.

Since part of the fun challenge with the ARC is figuring out ways to decorate the spaces, I had to be really strategic with what I wanted to use. I definitely wanted to use a Lundby kitchen set, but I wanted the more vintage stuff from the 60s and 70s. I did an intial search via eBay and Etsy, but it was either there were crazy bidding wars or I had to pay overseas shipping from the UK (where there are more 1:16/1:18 scale items). And I dunno about you all, but the exchange rate between the US dollar and the British pound was enough to give me pause.

I went back to the “We Love Lundby Club” website and found that they have a section that sells vintage Lundy pieces available for purchase. Another bonus? The lady that sells the pieces is local (she literally lives in the same neighborhood my best friend M grew up in). So for $22 (including shipping), I got my kitchen set. From there, I started to flesh out the room.

Close up of the kitchen.

Close up of the kitchen.

To solve the storage issue for Cilla & Rowen, I needed to create a cabinet above the sink to store their tableware.  I was about to cop out and construct a simple shelf unit until I saw this miniature roombox on eBay. Think it’s supposed to replicate a roombox for 1:12 settings. But when I compared the dimensions against the Lundby sink….realized it might make the perfect cabinet to use.

Check it out! A sliding panel to keep the dusts out!

Check it out! A sliding panel to keep the dusts out!

I picked up a couple (along with other supplies — the seller offers free shipping if your purchase is $25 or more. Had to use up my eBay bucks anyway) and once they arrived, I sanded and painted one in white before installing it on the kitchen wall. I put a wallpaper to decorate the back…which you’ll see again later.

The dining set.

The dining set.

As for the dining set…this was one (of 4 sets) of furniture I requested a custom order from Monsieur O of Multiforminiatures. I came across this Etsy shop back in October, was excited to see another artisan making modern miniatures. But what fascinated me with his shop was that he seemed to specialize more on 1:16 scale (though he does 1:12 and even 1:6 scale). At the time, I had the ARC II completed so I couldn’t justify a purchase. But the minute BK gave me the ARC on Christmas morning….all bets were off. I knew for my new house, it had to have one of his creations.

Will admit, was very nervous sending an inquiry to Monsieur O about ordering pieces. At this time, most the items he had in his shop were sold, and given it was the holidays, I wasn’t sure how crazy his production schedule was like. But Monsieur O made the process pretty straightforward. He even provided me updates and an opportunity to pick out fabrics if the pieces needed it. But in the case of the dining set…I knew I wanted a walnut finish and a roomy seating for four. And boy did he deliver.

Close up of the dining set - with "padded seats".

Close up of the dining set – with “padded seats”.

When I got the set (along with the pieces in the next set of photos), the chair originally didn’t have cushions. Rowen seemed fine with it, but Cilla had other ideas. She wanted cushions in the chairs — and the fabric had to fit the mid-century theme. Lordie, talk about pressure!

Luckily, it was a straight forward task. For the cushions, I used 3mm thick cellfoam and sliced out a pattern that matched the shape of the seat. Then with some tacky glue and a toothpick, did the slow (and somewhat messy) task of wrapping the cellfoam shape on a square piece of fabric. In terms of fabric, there’s a shop on Etsy called WeeWovens that sells squares of hand made modern patterned fabric. The shop sells 4″ squares of it starting at $1.00. For the dining set, I managed to cover all four seats using just a single square. Am seriously crossing fingers that Cilla liked how these chairs turned out.

As for the table runner — I cut a strip of scrapbook paper that looks/feels like canvas cloth. To make it “drape” like actual fabric, I cut a piece of foil, which I then folded and trimmed so that it’s the same length as the scrapbook paper, but a few millimeteres thinner width-wise. Then glued the resized foil in the back of the paper — which allowed me to bend the paper and drape it nicely.

Now that we’ve covered this room, let’s head to the next one on the first floor.

Living Room

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Midcentury living room set (sofa, table, credenza and chair) is a custom order by Multiforminiatures. Plants from Suebee’s Miniatures. Plant stand is actually a side table from the 1/24 Butterfly House furnishing set from 3StarStudioArts. Wall art components also purchased from 3StarStudioArts. Pillows by Otterine’s Miniatures. Accessories from purchases and private collections.

This is one of BK’s favorite rooms in the ARC III (he’s pretty proud of the end result when I showed it to him). The pièce de résistances are definitely the living room set from Multiforminiatures. I loved the play of the warm walnut wood stain against the nubby champagne/cream fabric of the upholstery. Adding Miss Brae O’s adorable pillows helped provide a punch of color. Yeah, I know they seemed big, but in 1:16 scale…they look like they could pass for 24″ throw pillows. Besides, it’s my house and I’ll furnish it with what I like darn it!

This and the dining room table/chairs were the first set I ordered from Monsieur O. In a way, I got the pieces of furniture I’ve dreamed of owning. Except it’s smaller, and I don’t have to break my back moving them when it comes to dusting them. Win!

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In terms of the wall art – I didn’t want to hang a painting above the credenza. The brick wall kinda screamed for something unique — and light colored, especially amidst all the dark colors. A quick rummage in my drawers came up with these laser cut beads from 3StarStudio Arts got me thinking. Perhaps Rowen and Cilla want an art installation of some kind?

Close up of the finished  wall art in the living room.

Close up of the finished wall art in the living room.

I ended up directly glueing the maple beads to the wall. And in true fashion, BK stopped by to check the progress — and we had the following conversation.

BK: What are you doing hun?

DK: Installing wall art. What do you think?

BK: What’s it supposed to be?

DK: I have no idea. Do I look like the smart one here? Maybe the Big Bang? I mean, the bead in the center looks like it explored and all these galaxies are forming…

BK: That sounds really artsy. Or fartsy. Or both.

DK: Hey, I’m just pulling that out of my butt  – I never said I was Neill Tyson de Grasse! Since you’re the genius in this conversation, what do you think it is?

BK: (peers at the layout) It looks like an animal. Maybe a dinosaur?

DK: What is it with you and dinosaurs? Just because I said “no, we’re not buying chicken nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs” last week, we always come back to dinosaurs in every single conversation we’ve had.

BK: But it does look like a dinosaur! Maybe like a pterodactyl face! <makes weird squaking noise>

DK: ……am I being punished for not getting you dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets?

BK: No. But if you let me get some in next grocery run, I’ll consider you forgiven.

Three years of marriage, and apparently the secret to making my husband happy are dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. Pass the word.

After forcing me to pinky-swear to BK that he’s allowed to add the darn chicken nuggets in our next grocery list, we settled on calling the artwork “Orbits” (as in planets/asteroids orbiting the sun). Frankly, I don’t think either Cilla or Rowen are going to see that. But hopefully they’ll like the artwork in the end.

The Study/Office

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Office set (credenza, chair, and desk) is a custom order by Multiforminiatures. Plants from Suebee’s Miniatures. Wall art is actually part of the chandelier that came with the ARC kit from 3StarStudioArts. Fabric from chair from WeeWovens. Grey wallpaper from PoppetsDollyBits. Accessories from purchases and private collections.

The second floors have literally smaller floor plans, so I really had to be careful with what I used. Funny thing is, the furnishings on this entire floor were the second order I placed with Monsieur O. I was so happy with the outcome of the living/dining sets, I came back to ask to be put on queue. And as always, Monsieur O delivered in the pieces.

I wanted the office to be something that both Cilla and Rowen could easily take turns using. So I tried to make it neutral while being as stylish as possible.

Close up of the workstation.

Close up of the workstation.

For the second floor rooms, I actually decided to try out an Etsy shop I discovered called PopptesDollyBits. The shopkeeper’s based in the UK, but she specializes in making wallpapers in various scales — including 1:16 scale. I couldn’t pass up trying it out so I ordered the white and grey parquet for the study. It’s supposed to be used as flooring, but it actually looks good as an accent wall. As for the wall art — the ARC kit actually came with parts to create non-working chandelier. But for here, I just applied a light cherry stain to one of the pieces and stuck it to the wall as art.

And of course, like the dining room chairs, I installed padding and upholstery to the office chair. This time a I chose a mod green pattern to compliment the renwal lamp shade and the green plant. The rug is actually a 1:12 scale rug, but instead of trimming off the fringes (which would just create more fringes), I just folded the white edge/fringe part under the rug and secured it with glue.

ARCIII-23The Bedroom

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Four poster bed is a custom order by Multiforminiatures. Bedside table is a rehabbed Strombecker 3/4″ scale nightsand. Lamp also a vintage Strombecker. Wallpaper purhcased from PoppetsDollyBits. Accessories from purchases and private collections.

Sorry again for the fuzzy photos. I might need to ask my sister for suggestions on better lighting tips when taking photos.

I wanted to keep the bedroom simple but still playful. The bed I think is actualy meant to be a child’s size bed. But given the size of the bedroom floor….I think it fits the space perfectly. The wallpaper is also a 1:16 scale piece from PoppetsDollyBits that I had to trim to size to fit the side wall. If you look at the wallpaper closely….you’ll notice it’s the same paper I used for the upper kitchen cabinet downstairs. Hey, might as well use my purchases are much as possible I guess….

In terms of the table…it’s actually a vintage Strombecker night stand. The piece is meant to be 3/4″ scale (or 1:18), but it was the perfect height to house a lamp (also a vintage Strombecker) and an alarm clock. I found the table and lamp at a yard sale over the summer – actually, it was two of each. And was able to buy all four pieces for about $5. Heckuva lot cheaper than what I’m seeing on eBay lately.

But there was a huge downside though to my victory find. For starters, the tables were in bad shape – the paint was chipped, and several areas had rough edges. The second — both tables were of a different color. One was a nice celery green color which I didn’t mind. The other was a weird salmon color. Luckily, the two lamps matched (green base with a yellowish-cream shade) and were in good shape so I left those alone. For the tables though….I can almost hear some screaming over here, but I ended up sanding both down and repainting them with a red acrylic paint and sealing them. Figured the room needed a pop of color — plus, it would make the green lamp stand out better right?

Unfortunately, by the time I took this photo, I had to revarnish the second table. And it wasn’t dry enough for me to move into the ARC III. So until that’s dry…I’ll post an updated pic later.

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Since there were alot of patterns going in the bedroom (from the bed and the walls specifically), the wall art had to make a statement. And seriously, what could be a better statement than hanging a picture of a giant robot above your bed?

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The art was something I’ve used in the Victorian Mod Cottage from long long ago. It’s actually a travel poster of some kind. It always cracked me up.

Art from the Victorian Mod Cottage

Art from the Victorian Mod Cottage

It actually works pretty well here. And it makes the red nighstand(s) appear to belong more in the room. The room’s still pretty barebones compared to the rest of the house. I’m still going back and forth of installing a rug, or something. Guess I can mull that over while I recover from my illness in the next few days.

Close up of the bedroom art.

Close up of the bedroom art.

Rooftop Terrace/Patio

I have to save the best for last. This has always been my favorite area in the ARC kit. Mostly because I don’t have this in real life….but man, the opportunity would be awesome though. Besides, Cilla and Rowen will want a place to enjoy the outdoors….and entertain guests once the weather starts to get warm.

View of the rooftop terrace.

View of the rooftop terrace.

As I mentioned in the last post, I wanted to use the chairs and table from the Butterfly House furnishing gift set I received. To follow the theme of all the chairs in the ARC…these got upholstered with a fun yellow fabric from WeeWovens. Think I might need to start stockpiling on these…

Midcentury living room set (sofa, table, credenza and chair) is a custom order by Multiforminiatures. Plants from Suebee's Miniatures. Plant stand is actually a side table from the 1/24 Butterfly House furnishing set from 3StarStudioArts. Wall art components also purchased from 3StarStudioArts. Pillows by Otterine's Miniatures. Accessories from purchases and private collections.

Plants from Suebee’s Miniatures. Chairs, side table, main table, and credenza from the 1/24 Butterfly House furnishing set from 3StarStudioArts. Wall art components also purchased from 3StarStudioArts. Fabrci on chairs by WeeWovens. Accessories from Lundby Stockholm set (private purchase).

The “stone” flooring was actually a 1/24 flagstone paving sheet I purchased online. It was a splurge on my end, but I love the effect it gave on the rooftop. Plus, it makes the furnishing stand out even more.

Close up the chairs. Love the fabric pattern!

Close up the chairs. Love the fabric pattern!

Now that we’ve toured the ARC III, why don’t we let Cilla and Rowen come in and scope out their new digs. So far, so good.

The couple checking things out.

The couple checking things out.

Looks like Cilla’s trying out the bed. It might be a bit cozy for the two of them during bedtime, but it doesn’t seem like they’ll mind that.

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In the meantime, Rowen’s up in the terrace. Given how he’s manging the plants…looks like the greenery are in capable hands. If you’re good Rowen, I might give you a lift to the local nursery if you need to do a supply run….

Inspecting the plants on the terrace.

Inspecting the plants on the terrace.

So you guys…how do you like the new place? Any thoughts? Guys?

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Uh…is it me or is it getting hot and heavy here?

Rowen & Cilla enjoying their new living room.

Rowen & Cilla enjoying their new living room.

Ack, seriously guys?? Get a room! Or better yet, go upstairs! There’s some impressionable folks reading this entry. Like this blog writer <covers eyes with her hands>.

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Well, given neither one waved an angry fist at me, I guess I did a pretty good job! Onwards to the next project I guess!

Correction from BK: Onward to the next project after I recover from my illness. And based on the thermometer, BK thinks I have the flu. Cad-nabbit!!!

So folks, if you’re interested in any of the stuff I’ve posted, I tried to put links to the vendors and places. Hope those help, and to the vendors I’ve showcased here — thank you so much for your awesome creations. Now I have a dollhouse I can proudly install in my dining room — and not give away to my mother*. 🙂

*Still love you Mom. And yes, I’ll still continue to give you little gifts to furnish your little home as well.

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5 thoughts on “The ARC III is Ready!

  1. Cheers to the completion of this incredible project! It. Is. AMAZING.
    I loved walking into every room. So tight. It’s delightful in each gloriously cute room. What fabulous and fun choices you made with this one. Nice nice nice NICE!

  2. Wow wow wow. You have been busy!! This looks fantastic. I’m tempted to get one, but I hate to stray from 1:12. I love your fabrics and finishes. So much to take in. Fantastic work!!! Now you can relax and enjoy until your next masterpiece. Congrats! 🙂

  3. I think you should do what you want with vintage minis. They should get their time in the sun, even if that requires a nip and tuck. 😀 I love the dining set!!! The trio of plants there, too! Marvelous. The brick turned out perfect! eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! My pillows!!! 😀 It’s just a blast to see my minis in motion in other people’s scenes. It never gets old. haaaaaa I think the scale of the minis on the second floor is perfect.

    *starts making shopping list*

    Feel better, my friend! :]

    • Thanks for the support Brae! I was really hesitant about rehabbing the pieces given how these tables especially get snapped up on eBay — in any condition. But they sure look nice in red! 🙂

      Am so happy you got a kick at seeing your pillows in the living room! I love the patterns and thought they’d really stand out amidst the walnut and cream tones. Definitely have grown fond of citrus tones in home decor. 🙂

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