Proof of Life (aka “Slowly Getting Back on the Saddle”)

Okay, so BK originally wanted me to title this post after SugarHill Gang’s “Apache (Jump on It)”. Mostly because he’s been sending all this week YouTube videos that use this song. Ended up settling on this given my (guilty) love watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reruns…

(This never fails to crack me up. Poor Carlton!)

Anyhoo, I did promise in the last post to get some pics up on a small project I did work on during my illness(es). Compared to the time it took to build the first Neville House, this project was particularly difficult for me. Mostly because I knew I could work on it on the same amount of time if I pushed myself. But my body decided to give me the flying birdie instead. That, and I had BK to contend with. And let’s face it – my husband’s my biggest kryptonite. 😦

Advanced apologies for the somewhat blurry shots. Now with fall upon us, my house doesn’t exactly get alot of good natural light. So I had to make do with the the afternoon rays yesterday in my living room to take snapshots.

The Neville House II

The Neville House II

To keep things simple, the main exterior parts (the roof and walls) were done the same way as the first Neville House. I used corrugated black cardstock and painted basswood to simulate a tin roof. While the exterior walls were covered with the same board and batten sheets. Have to admit, was relieved to have saved my cardstock templates – it made cutting the pieces to fit go so much quicker. Especially since I had to sneak around to work on this house.

Just another view of the CB2 Neville II House

Just another view

Much like the Neville House I, doing the rails for House II was a pain in the ass challenge. This was the first time I wore a mask when I was sawing the wood pieces and cutting up the plexiglass. It was definitely sobering when you realize that even the little things are suddenly restricted. Like now, I have to be absolutely strict in making sure I swept up all the dust and small particles after the work. Though on the bright side, it did mean BK finally got me a Dyson to use for clean-up. 🙂

Even better, know that I knew what I needed to do, the assembling the railings moved quickly. Though if you look at the far right of the rail…the top rail isn’t fully attached to the corner post. Urgh, I’ll need to get back to that this weekend to repair.

Close up of the rails.

Close up of the rails.

Not sure what possessed me to do this, but on the photo below, the Neville House II originally had a step where the rails now stand. I managed to pop it off and close up the balcony with the railings. But in order to get inside the house…I used some scrap wood trim to build a makeshift front step leading inside.

New steps

New steps!

Close up of the steps...

Close up of the steps…

Alright, alrighty – I’ve blabbed about the exterior long enough! Onto the interior!

Close up of the interior.

Close up of the interior.

While the first Neville House was more of a sitting/dining area….I wanted the second house to have more of a private oasis vibe. Plus, I saw this bed at MultiforMiniatures’s Etsy shop and couldn’t pass it up. This was one of the dangers of me being stuck in bed — I’m an absolute terror when it comes to online shopping. I had an idea in my head how I wanted the room to look…and boy, was relieved to be able to replicate that mental image!

Side view of the interior.

Side view of the interior.

For starters, I used a teal colored cardstock (Freestyle Gulf from A Cherry on Top) to decorate the back wall. The floor I used some fabric cardstock I found on sale at Michaels to simulate carpeting. For the ceiling, I mimicked what I did at the first house and installed painted batten board.

As for furniture, I had to keep the pieces sparse given I really had a small amount of space to work with. Given my fondness for Petite Princess furniture…I had to install a chair and matching ottoman. While it’s out of scale, I put one of Miss Brae’s adorable pillows to provide a pop of color. Which reminds me…I need to stock up on more of these cuties! 😀

Left interior view from doorway.

Left interior view from doorway. Chair and ottoman are a vintage Petite Princess piece from eBay.
Pillow purchased from otterine’s miniatures (Etsy).

On the right side, I installed a small side table topped with a few accessories that I found in my one remaining miniature bin at home (everything else is in storage). And of course, I can’t resist using beads from 3StarStudios.

Right side of the Neville House II.

Right side of the Neville House II.
Side table purchased from Multiforminiatures (Etsy).
Walnut “wall installations” are walnut beads from 3StarStudioArts.

And the piece de resistance — obviously the bed! I couldn’t find my new camera so I could take a central shot of the bed. Had to make do with my aging smartphone’s camera….and some ibuprofen in order to contort my hand to get this shot. This bed was part of a special order I requested from M. Orloff of MultiforMiniatures during the spring.

BK was a pretty sore at me at the time for using part of my tax refund to get this bed…but after he saw it inside the Neville House II, he agreed it looked perfect. Hah! Victory!

A (difficult) shot of the bed.

A (difficult) shot of the bed.
Bed purchased from Multiforminiatures.
Lamps are vintage Strombecker lamps.
Alarm clock purchased from Manor House Miniatures.
Walnut “wall installations” are walnut beads from 3StarStudioArts.

And last, but not least — what’s a vacation home without showing off some suitcases right? I can’t recall which eBay vendor I found these (need to dig through my emails to find the invoice)…but I know they were meant to be 1:24 scale. Oddly, they work really well in this setting right? Kinda almost want a set of my own….

View of the suitcases.

View of the suitcases.

For the moment, both of the Neville Houses are atop my living room’s bookcase. I have a piece of MDF board big enough to hold both…but I need to figure out how I want to set these two. I was thinking maybe a two wing cabin in the woods, but BK thinks a beach setting is more appropriate.

But whatcha all think? Beach or wood setting? I almost imagine an outdoor patio between the two houses with some outdoor seating…maybe a grill if all goes well in my eBay bids. But don’t tell BK that ok? <insert toothy grin here>

For now...

For now…

It Has Been Awhile – Time for Baby Steps

First and firstmost….I am so sorry for neglecting this blog. As I type this, my brain’s still cringing at the realization that it’s been…almost 7 months since the the last entry. Egads, where has time gone?

Second…I was originally going to title this entry “It’s Been Awhile”. But then I realized that’s the same title as the Staind song. And I really, really don’t want to get some kind of cease and desist from Atlantic Records. Or something of that sort. Though ironically, was listening to this song during those 7 months as well.

I won’t bore you with the details, but…my AWOL was really because of numerous things. If it wasn’t stress from work, it was illness. Or bouts of illnesses brought about by stress from work. Given the worried state I put BK through, it seems like this is year (so far) has given me more illnesses than I could remember. Which in turn seriously put the brakes on almost everything that didn’t involve either illness or work.

The good news (currently) is that I seem to be improving. But from hereon, I have to make certain changes to my lifestyle. Most of it involves changes in my diet and trying out new activities. But in terms of my hobbies….let’s say I need to learn to be intimate with a respirator each time I work on my minis. And invest on some fancy ass air purifiers to use in the house.

With these recent developments…I will try to post on my blog. But it really might be sporadic. So again, apologies to everyone who’s been following my blog.

In terms of what’s on my queue:

  1. Yes, I’m still doing the HBS Challenge regarding the DCC. But given I’m now resuming where I last left off…I want to be upfront to the ever awesome folks at HBS that I might not finish on time. However, I’m a woman of my word, so despite missing the deadline I still intend to finish the build. Besides, I don’t want M. Bangalter and M. Hohem-Christo going after me with a Sharpie marker because I didn’t finish their pad. Or ransack the storage unit even more for stuff they want to use.
  2. I’m apparently involved in heavy negotiations with (of all folks) BK and some close friends about participating in this year’s Undersize Urbanite contest. I’ve stayed in the sidelines since the contest’s inception mostly due to time. And also, my discomfort about pitting my work against more talented miniaturists. Plus, I already feel terrible for being behind on the DCC build.

    BK, on the other hand, thinks I need a good shove to get back to my hobby. He’s right in a way — being bed-ridden was awfully sucky. Because I couldn’t do anything besides read, nap, or watch the occasional show online. As he put “…you’re happier when you’re around your minis. I just want my wife to be happy again.”

So will see. I don’t want to promise anything. At least not yet. 🙂

However, I am happy to report that I did complete a project. It was a sneak job (sneak in that I snuck downstairs to work on it for an hour. Before BK made me go back to bed and rest). But was happy at the outcome.

Yes! Another CB Neville House!

Yes! Another CB Neville House!

I’ll try to write the next post about this new build. Mostly because I have to redo the photos (gah!).

Again…thank you all for your patience.

 

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.

SundayRoombox-3

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. 😦

SundayRoombox-5

SundayRoombox-6

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.

SundayRoombox-7

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. 🙂

SundayRoombox-10

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!

 

Holy Crap, Where’s the Off Switch??

Okay…I’m seriously glad I’m recovering from the flu. Because I’m realizing a couple of things in my inboxes.

For starters…apparently I DID CAVE IN and bought this. And it’s en route to me from the Netherlands. <facepalm #1>
Good lord, what was I thinking???

Actually no…I KNEW what I was thinking. I couldn’t pass this up. Especially with all the ideas I have in mind for this beauty.

Half scale dollhouse made of cardboard.
From Melissasminiwereld shop on Etsy.

And second….I paid a pretty hefty amount to win the following on eBay. <facepalm #2….and 3….and 4….>

Djeco dollhouse miniature furniture set. Used with permission by eBay seller.

Djeco dollhouse miniature furniture set.
Used with permission by eBay seller.

The above set is created by a French toy company called Djeco. Apparently these pieces are part of their “Petit Home” series. These are set in 1:18 scale – similar to Lundby sizes (and can fit in the ARC III) – and are made of plastic and wood. I got more intrigued by the designs of the pieces – especially the dining and living room sets. Definitely has a bit of that modern vintage vibe in the shapes. Plus, the yellows and blues and reds just screamed fun to me. 🙂

Djeco dollhouse miniature furniture set.  Used with permission by eBay seller.

Djeco dollhouse miniature furniture set.
Used with permission by eBay seller.

I was curious why this hasn’t been heard of here in the US — apparently it’s because we can’t get it anywhere in the US (at least from what I could find online). If you wanted to buy these — you’d have to order them either from the EU (like in France or Spain) or Australia. Talk about getting sucker punched, given how $$$ shipping can be from these locations. At the moment, I found one online site that has the series in stock.

Granted, I put a hefty amount to win the bid on eBay. But in the grand scheme of things…the price I paid ended up being comparable had I decided to suck it up and buy the pieces from the EU.

I’m so looking forward to when these pieces arrived. I haven’t figured out how to display them. Djeco does offer the following two to house the pieces – a traditional home style dollhouse. Or a modern style home for those enfants with modern tastes. They even have different selections of what doll families you want to occupy your dollhouse!

Djeco Cubic House.
Photo from the Bilboquet website.

We all know I’m leaning towards the Cubist style, but I have to admit, the home style version is just as adorable….and a bit of a spacesaver, at 40 cm x 40cm x 36.5 cm (about 16″x16″x about 14″)

Djeco Color House.
Photo from the Bilboquet website.

Or…now that I have the jigsaw and a source for Gatorboard….do I risk attempting a scratchbuild? I found someone who posted instructions (and schematics) on how to build a vintage A-Frame dollhouse that’s collapsible. And it’s in 1:16 scale. But then again….I should see how I turn out scratch building the retreat. I think I’m set with the interior layout. The exterior part I seem to be fluctuate a bit from my original concept. Not a good sign methinks.

Either way….I’m going to be super busy. A super busy idiot that is. <facepalm moment>

Until then…and until the Gatorboard arrives….I need to move to another quick project. Maybe something involving Copeland the Wonder Piano perhaps?

Copeland + Corner Roombox = Next Project on Queue

Copeland + Corner Roombox = Next Project on Queue

Well, given that as of tonight (2/16/15), most of Washington DC will be getting between 5 to 12 inches of snow….am going to guess alot of the offices will be closed. I sure hope so — it’ll be nice to work on this while watching the snow pile up outside. And if the federal offices are closed…that means I’ll get more snuggle time with BK! Win!

With my implements of war...

With my implements of war…

Victorious Dilemmas – Oh Noes!

Given the last entry was on the cathartic note…hopefully this one will give you all a chuckle at how inept I can be sometimes.

A few weeks back, someone posted a listing on eBay on the CB2 Miniature Neville House. I was pretty excited when I saw it because I had meant to get one when Crate & Barrel’s more mod sibling store released it around 2011. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a CB2 anywhere near me so it was definitely a no go.

Anyways, so once I saw the listing, I put a max bid and left it at that. Next thing I knew, a bidding war erupted. I gave up in the end because the price just got too high for me to justify it. So the listing ended, and off it went to its new owner. Until a new listing showed up. The start price was a bit high at $75, but I put a low bid thinking that I’ll probably get outbid yet again. That is until a few minutes ago — and I got the notification from eBay saying I won it.

Finally! Ye miniature gods, thou hath answered my call!

Picture of CB2's Neville House. Photo found on Houzz.com

Picture of CB2’s Neville House. Photo found on Houzz.com

I saw blog entries about this house from Call of the Small and MiniModern (which inspired me to keep an eye for it). Granted, it looks like it can accommodate stuff from 1:16 down, but given BK and I are moving things into storage….I’m only allowed to keep smaller scale minis to display around the house. Yes, the ARC III is safe — that’s permanently taken residence on my dining room table as part of the decor. That’s partly why I’m trying out other scales to circumvent the whole space issue going on at home. Yeah, sneaky on my end. But hey, it’s an obsession — and sometimes, ones does desperate things. 🙂

[Update: Modern Mini Houses shared her entries about the Neville House since she owns one too! Thanks for sharing the pics with us!]

Sorry, digressing here. Back to the post!

So while I’m shaking off my stunned surprise that I won the Neville House (really, really thought I’d be outbid at the last second)….I also came across this beauty on Etsy.

Half scale (1:24) DIY cardboard dollhouse.
From Melissasminiwereld.

During my hunt for half scale items on Etsy (just to see what’s out there), I found this shop called Mellisasminiwerld where Mme. Sipma creates 1:24 and 1:48 scale minis out of cardboard. Talk about intriguing! I love the details around the windows and door. And the fact it’s cardboard….it almost screams a delicious challenge to find ways to decorate the exterior.

I contacted Mme. Sipma on the dimensions for the half scale version, and the lovely shopkeeper told me that it’s about 30cm high x 18 cm deepx 23 cm wide (about 11.8 x 7 x 9 inches).  Hmm…I can definitely fit that atop the bookcase….

Egads! I want this house too! But now I have the Neville being shipped here soon….and I need to flesh out The Retreat! What am I gonna do??? Even more, how am I gonna explain to BK why there are more kits coming home when I’m putting a good bunch of my currents ones into storage?

Curse this obsession! No…wait – yay for obsessions!

But I guess there’s only way to settle things. And that’s playing rock paper scissors lizard Spock!

Schematic of the game.
Image from The Recidivist.

Though Sheldon definitely explains it way better (sorry, my love for the Big Bang Theory knows no bounds).

What do you guys think? Should I go for the cardboard house? Maybe use that as the Retreat? Or as a counter to it? Ack, this and the flu’s making me loopy again!

Meanwhile…Weird Nostalgia

I’m not going to lie to you folks. Being stuck in bed sick…actually sucks.

BK was right in guesstimating that I have some kind of flu bug. Getting the tell-tale aches and pains, the fever and chills. It totally, utterly, completely sucks. While I initially enjoyed sleeping in a bit (versus getting up at 5 am every day to get ready for work)…it got old fast. Luckily, BK put a pile of books on my nightstand, some bottles of water to go with medication, a sleeve of crackers….and my laptop before he left for work. Talk about best nurse ever.

That was until he sent me a message from the office. Well, more like a directive.

Sweetie,

Hope you’ll feel better soon. Take your meds, stay hydrated, and munch on the crackers if you’re slightly hungry. You need to eat.

Also, I want you to stay in bed and rest. You can go downstairs to watch some TV or make your ramen if you want. But no working on the minis.  I know, I’m a stinker for saying that. Just want you to rest.

My brain did do a mental pout, but BK was right. The aches and pains will make it a little hard for me focus on the minis. Especially the next project now that the ARC III is done (still doing decorations, but the main work is officially done).

Then again, not sure if the flu’s making me somewhat loopy, but…I kinda found myself thinking back to my past. Bear with me though – it does end up being connected to the new project.

About 8 years ago, I had been dating a guy for almost 3 years. We moved in together, practically ran a household together….I seriously thought, in my (retrospect) naive self, this was the guy I was gonna end up marrying. He was nice, smart, and definitely hit my wish list at the time of what I found physically attractive in a dude (tall, dark, and handsome). But just as I thought things were going in that direction….he suddenly announced over dinner that he and I needed to live separately. Suffice to say, things went extremely downhill after that. I later found out he was seeing someone behind my back….that he referred to me as just a “female roommate that’s moving out”. And later on, after I finally had the strength to confront him, admitted that he just didn’t see me attractive anymore. It literally felt like the world exploded, then got sucked back in to the point it imploded.

When I finally moved out, I stayed at my sister’s place. In my haze of trying to keep myself together at all costs, I made the crazy choice of buying a place – a tiny studio apartment in the relatively expensive area of North Bethesda, MD. My friends I could tell were shocked at the decision, but they supported me, and in their way, tried to keep me busy by visiting me. I threw myself — and my savings — to renovating the studio while I worked longer hours at the office. I guess in a way, I wanted to focus on something else other than trying to fix the hurt.

It wasn’t until my best friend MC came over one night, and (ever being the movie nut), commented that “you’re doing exactly what Frances did in that movie, Under the Tuscan Sun.”

I actually have that movie, as it was one of my favorites flicks to watch. So we pulled it out, and watched. And by the time the credits rolled, I was sobbing uncontrollably. At that point, I knew I couldn’t hide from it anymore. And that I needed to move on.

In a weird sort of way, things started to perk up after that movie. I started to sleep in my new place, and actually rested fitfully. I started thinking less of my ex (and was actually distant when I returned the last of his items). My studio became more and more like the home I wanted to return to after work. I continued making improvements of the studio. Though it was my uncles who helped me, not “…the muscular descendants of Roman gods.” Ah well.

And after allowing myself to lose a bet, my friends pushed me to try meeting someone online….and I met BK. Soon, what started as a nervous Friday night dinner turned to a July 4th holiday weekend together…to him and I practically taking turns staying at each other’s studio apartment. Until he suggested two years later that perhaps we should get a place together. At this point, he was practically living with me in my tiny retreat…and we needed more space for ourselves and for our pet rats.

I did end up selling my studio…and we were both teary eyed about it. Think for the both of us, the place helped BK and I meet and cement our relationship. It gave us a place to help me mend and become the person I turned out to be. And for BK, who moved from his home state to DC for work…it gave him a chance to establish roots.  In weird sort of way, it was just like indeed like the movie. The place helped us find the happiness we were looking for, but in unexpected ways.

Then it hit me…maybe for the new project, I should build a such a retreat. Not an Italian villa (they’re not really to my taste actually)…but perhaps a cozy cottage where a recently single, brokenhearted soul is trying to start fresh.

For starters….it’s definitely going to be a different scale. Half scale (1/24) that is. And am using this as my base.

JJ’s Cottage from Real Good Toys.
All rights reserved.

Instead of using the base and foundation sides, I might see about getting an MDF base cut out. If you look at the image above, the parts create what looks like could be either a front porch — or a somewhat narrow base at the front of the house. Not sure if I’m feeling that though. Maybe it was from the landscape work at the ARC III, but I want more space at the front to set up a garden. With a patio, bushes….maybe flowers….and definitely a tree or two.

I started to search around for images to help me flesh out features. Then I recalled BK discovering this website called www.circaoldhouses.com when he was searching for historical homes for sale. The listings here are amazing — definitely worth checking out if you need some ideas. Or dream.

And from this site…I saw this house and knew this was going to be my muse.

Gingerbread Cottage in the Woods  Photo from  www.circaoldhouses.com. All rights reserved.

Gingerbread Cottage in the Woods
Photo from www.circaoldhouses.com. All rights reserved.

Gingerbread Cottage in the Woods-2

Gingerbread Cottage in the Woods
Photo from www.circaoldhouses.com. All rights reserved.

I’m hoping to give the exterior a shabby, quaint feel…as if the house too is being renewed as its new occupant.

For the interior, a sample of the pieces in use (I can’t wait to use the bed and the pieces assigned to it). I definitely want wallpaper, but on the fence about going for something shabby chic, or stick to more modern/neutral patterns. I definitely see the new owner as someone from the nearby big city, but who’s also experimenting on some new tastes….

Bed, table and credenza are part of the Butterfly House furnishing set from 3StarStudioArts. Couch was an eBay purchase.

Bed, table and credenza are part of the Butterfly House furnishing set from 3StarStudioArts. Couch was an eBay purchase.

Just another angle. Sorry for the use of flash.

Just another angle. Sorry for the use of flash.

As for who will be lucky occupant of this place (calling it “The Retreat” for now. Yeah, I know, talk about creative huh)? We’ll have to wait and see. Well, I’ll have to wait and see, given it’s coming from overseas. Stayed tuned.

In the meantime…I think I’m gonna play “Under the Tuscan Sun” on my laptop to help me get sleepy. Methinks someone is due for a nap. <yawn>

Sharing the Wealth

There are many (as in many^infinity) things I love about the miniature hobby. Among them are how fellow miniature bloggers are willing to “share the wealth”.  Not just tutorials, but also a chance to show their loot to the admiration and cheers of those who follow their blogs. For this entry, it’s gonna be one of those “share the wealth” posts. But also a warm shout out of appreciation to one of my favorite online mini shops.

Ever since I bought the ARC, the ever talented folks at 3StarStudio have been awesome. Not only have Monsieur Z, Mme KP, and Mlle. Luna generate awesome dollhouses (I will get you soon Reversible Dollhouse!), but they’ve been so helpful. Especially after some douchebag took my ARC I during a party at my house. They were responsive and have to say, included the funniest notes when they shipped the ARC II to me to resume my project. Just the fact they’re so proud of their work and are willing to share their love for miniatures. I dunno, just find that to be awesome.

Of course, the minute BK got me the ARC III as a Christmas gift, I rushed to the 3StarStudio shop to purchase a few things for said house. When I told them that BK bought the kit from them, they threw out a suggestion for me to try on the ARC. I was totally game with it, so they told me they’ll add it along to my order.

When the package arrived (as it was amongst the pile of loot I picked up from the post office), not only did I received what I purchased below:

The BUTTERFLY Furniture Set in 1:12 scale – Baltic Birch Plywood
Photo from 3StartStudioArts’ Etsy shop. All Rights Reserved.

But also this:

The Butterfly Dollhouse Furniture Set: Solid Walnut
Photo from 3StartStudioArts’ Etsy shop. All Rights Reserved.

Mme KP and Monsieur Z offered for me to try out the above set on the ARC III. From their experience (am guessing seeing Mlle. Luna play with them), even though this set is 1/24 scale, it apparently works very well on on the ARC’s 1:16 scale setting. I was seriously stunned that they gave this to me to play with. The set is seriously adorable — and it doesn’t hurt that the walnut wood used looks amazing when waxed and polished.

Suffice to say, I assembled the chairs, a table, and two of the smaller tables for Cilla to enjoy. And they were right — it looks great! I mean, you all know I go absolutely ga-ga over anything mid-century when it comes to miniatures!

Cilla modeling some pieces from the Butterfly Walnut Furniture set.
Set created by 3StartStudioArts’ Etsy shop. Plants were purchased from SueBees Miniatures on eBay. Cilla is a U-Woman figure kit from Mr. Props shop on Shapeways.com.

For the ARC III, am definitely going to use the chairs, one of the big tables, two of the side tables and one of the credenzas/sideboards. For the rest of the pieces – they are going to be showcased in my next project after the ARC III.  Let’s just say I found a couple of things that prompted me to delve into the 1/24 scale….

JJ’s Dollhouse Cottage in 1/24 Scale
From the Real Good Toys website. All Rights Reserved.

If the walnut furniture set wasn’t enough, Monsieur Z and Mme KP included the following in my package too.

Everyone, meet Copeland

Everyone, meet Copeland

 

I’m not sure where this piece was acquired, but it’s definitely made by an artisan based on the signature and number underneath the body/case. But it’s definitely a beautiful piece. Granted, when I got it in the mail, one of its legs and the part where the foot pedals are located was broken off. And the hinges holding the top part of the piano was loose. But still…I fell in love with it.

Monsieur Z and Mme KP included a note with this piano (whom I’ve named Copeland. Don’t ask me why, but the name came to mind) saying that Mlle Luna wasn’t ready to handle delicate pieces like this one. And that if I didn’t have a space for this piece, that I’m to pass it forward.

Oh don’t you worry you guys. Copeland’s found a home here with me. See? I even managed to fix it. All thanks to some tacky glue, a few clamps, and make shift riggings using rubber bands. Just have to hunt for a piano bench.

I was initially thinking BK’s 1:12 counterpart Bryan would be commandering this instrument (as BK actually plays the piano. Though he hasn’t been keeping up in playing some pieces for me after dinner *cough, cough*). But my gut’s telling me someone amongst my miniature dolls wants dibs on Copeland….