The Neville’s Done! Woot!

Today was a bit busy. With my brother and sister-in-law coming to visit us in a few weeks, I spent most of Saturday cleaning the house. Mostly packing up more things to put in storage, and begin the long process of scouring things from top to bottom. Figured it’s best to break up the tasks into manageable chunks versus trying to do everything at the last minute.

Luckily, I finished what I wanted to do around lunchtime. ..which was perfect because (a) I need to take pics of the Neville because (b)….I was officially done in its modification. Well, from a technical sense I was complete. Whether or not I’m satisfied with the outcome is a subject of debate.

For starters, I finally completed the “glass rail”.

The Neville House with its new "glass" rail.

The Neville House with its new “glass” rail.

If you look carefully at the above pic…yeah, you can see some fudge ups on my end. The big one are the rails….if you look closely, the top rail looks bowed in the center. And on the bottom rail….you can make out where the glue seeped out. Ugh, the more I look at the railing, the more I’m mad at myself. It just seems….sloppy.

Side view with the "lopsided" railing. Urgh!

Side view with the “lopsided” railing. Urgh!

The second photo above….(sigh). You can see How phow the railing not only appears bow-legged (for lack of a better term), but also the entire thing is tilting towards the front. I might need to step away from this and rethink the process….and just redo it. Otherwise, that’s going to bug the crap out of me. 😦

BK thinks I’m being too hard on myself. Perhaps I am…but I guess I’m more disappointed in myself not thinking it through.

Tilting railing aside…at least the rest of the Neville is done. And I can safely start putting the pieces in place.

Putting the cabinet in place.

Putting the cabinet in place.

Have to say…it’s challenging positioning one hand to help put the miniatures in place, while the other hand tries to focus and take the shot with one’s smartphone.

Securing the statue in place.

Securing the statue in place.

After the cabinet was moved in, I had to contort my wrists a bit to install the wall decorations on the foreground (more on them later). Then the chairs were moved in.

Steady...steady...

Steady…steady…

Soon…the first set of furniture are in place. I wanted to take a pic of this set before moving the next ones in. The minute I got notification from eBay that I won the Neville House, I quickly made a beeline for the  MultiforMiniatures shop at Etsy. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the items in Monsieur Orloff’s shop were sold.  And I had just marked them as favorites less than 48 hours prior!

Was sweating bullets when I contacted Monsieur Orloff to see if I may be added in his queue for custom order requests. Once again, Monsieur Orloff not only added me in the request queue, but cranked out the items I was hoping to buy before they got sold. I picked the green fabric because I loved the white and mustard “dots” against the green. It really worked out well against the Orla Kiely wrapping paper that I used as wallpaper. 🙂

So Monsieur Orloff, thank you so much! And you’re right — the brass legs look WAY better in the chairs.

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Credits: The cabinet was created by Monsieur Orloff of MultiforMiniatures. The green chairs were also a custom order made by Monsieur Orloff (thank you!). The dark pink and reddish wooden bowls were purchased from Oppi’s Store Miniatures & More. The Buddha statue, books, and book end were random eBay purchases.

Just another angle shot of the chairs and cabinet.

Just another angle shot of the chairs and cabinet.

Given I was relying heavily on the sunlight coming from the dining room (where I was taking the photos), I was snapping as many pics as possible.

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After I took enough pictures, I started to move the next set of furniture in…

Yeah....please ignore the fat claw known as my hand. Thank you.

Yeah….please ignore the fat claw known as my hand. Thank you.

A few minutes later, everything was officially in place.

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Tadah!

Close up of the dining set.

Close up of the dining set.

The table and chars were also from MultiforMiniatures – I actually saw this still available at the shop (along with the cabinet in the back) and immediately asked Monsieur Orloff if I could reserve them for purchase. Looks like I’ll need to act quick next time I visit his shop — his stuff’s flying off the shelves! :O

On the table, I found some aqua blue dinnerware pieces on eBay. But given the pieces were being used in a 1:16 scale setting, I had to nitpick through the selections. I ended up getting plates that were about 20mm, and the bowls were about 11 mm in size.

The platter and tureen were the smallest serving items I could find in the store’s collection — though it looks like they worked well enough on the table. The drinking glasses and pitcher were also purchased from eBay — but they’re actually 1:24 scale. As for the place mats, I cut them out of cardstock.

For the next hour, I was trying to shove my smartphone in every spot I could imagine around the Neville House to get as many interior shots as possible. The following were the best ones I could get out of at least 4 dozen shots. At this point…I wonder if it’s worth sucking it up and getting a good camera. If anyone has any recommendations…am all ears.

Angle shot of the dining area.  Wooden artwork on wall is actually a walnut laser bead from 3StarStudioArts

Angle shot of the dining area.
Wooden artwork on wall is actually a walnut laser bead from 3StarStudioArts

Another angle of the same area.

Another angle of the same area.

View of the dining area from the left side. Artwork on the walls are actually beads from 3StarStudioArts.

View of the dining area from the left side. Artwork on the walls are actually beads from 3StarStudioArts.

For the outside, I placed some plants on the outside porch. Might end up swapping them with something else. But for now, they’ll do nicely in providing color for the Neville House.

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I was originally going to have inhabitants for the Neville, but BK thinks I should leave this unoccupied. Mostly because he asked to have this displayed in our living room’s bookcase. Then again…I got the following delivered by the USPS dude. My dolls for the Djeco furniture playsets have arrived!

Family Milo and Lila dolls by Djeco.

Family Milo and Lila dolls by Djeco.

I purchased these dolls from French Blossom a couple of weeks ago. Which makes sense, given most of my receipt appears to be in French. Huh, maybe it was good my parents made me take French all through high school and college! I could still read the language and get away understanding the verbal basics. But conversing in it….that might be a different story….

Back view of the package. For 4-10 years old? Hah!

Back view of the package. For 4-10 years old? Hah!

Based on the photos on the back of the box, it looks like the dolls are super poseable. Time to find out!

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Wow, they look so cute!

Once I pulled them out of the box, I was immediately impressed at how well made they are. The painted features look really crisp, and the clothing’s much more intense in color compared to what the package displayed. Again, it totally puzzles me why toys like like aren’t easily available here! If someone from Djeco comes across this….might you please consider having this available in North America? Even Amazon? I’d totally buy more from your miniature series…

But enough rants crazy blogger girl! Time to test them against the Neville!

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The kids are checking out the front porch….

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…while Mom and Dad check out the interior. Looks like the mother’s enjoying the chairs immensely!

Well, they’re definitely poseable. The knees bend very well, and the leg joints move smoothly when I moved the dolls into a sitting position. Though it’s a bit of a bummer than their arms don’t bend at the elbows.

Nevertheless, that was the only con against the list of good points the dolls provided — and seriously, I can live with that. Definitely happy that I got these dolls to go with my Djeco sets — now I just need their future home to arrive.

What is it you ask? Well…I’m not sure either. It’s definitely experimental that’s for sure!

(yeah I know that was mean of me. I’ll make it up to you all soon. For now…please don’t hurt me)

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Childhood Love Achieved

Warning: The following post is not about 1:12 miniatures. So for all you mini fans who aren’t into 1:6 scale….avert your eyes!

My childhood was actually spent in two places – I grew up in the provinces in the Philippines until I was about age 7. By then, my mother – who took the risk to come to the United States to pursue the American Dream – returned to take my siblings and I to this strange new world. Which has now become more home to me than my native land.

But in both places….I remember the toy I commonly played the most were Barbies. I remembered loving the idea of dressing them up, coming up with stories of adventures they’d have. But outside those things…I guess something never seemed right with my dolls. Even when I came to the U.S., and my mom (and future stepdad) gave me more Barbies to play it..it always felt like something was missing. I could never put my finger on it.

I guess my parents picked up on it because the birthday and holiday presents got a little more elaborate. I remember receiving furniture sets, fashion sets…even a townhouse with a elevator for my dolls to live in. They were awesome and stuff from what I remember (thanks Mom and Dad!)….but still something was missing. It wasn’t until I started working with miniatures that I started to realize what it was.

I was trying to insert the wrong things in the worlds I created. In a way, my dolls didn’t fit in the environments I worked so hard to envision.

Have to say, was relieved I didn’t come to that realization until I was older. At that point, I knew what my preferences were. And I definitely realized that while I love miniatures and dolls…I couldn’t connect with Barbies. Maybe it was their body shapes and proportions. Maybe the choice of fashions weren’t my thing. Or maybe I thought Barbie should be dating GI Joe versus Ken with his weirdly molded hair and kinda sketchy smile/leer.

Then along came Lammily.

Lammily Doll.
From the official Lammily Doll website.

I actually came across Lammily in early 2014 when its creator Monsieur Nikolay Lamm set up crowdfunding via Kickstarter. I was intrigued at Monsieur Lamm’s idea of creating a “fashion doll” but using actual healthy human proportions. In a way, he wanted to create a doll with realistic dimensions to provide children with a positive view of one’s body image.

And given how many of my friends and I struggled with self-image perceptions and what not….it was refreshing to hear it. Plus, I was sold seeing the denim button down and shorts Lammily was wearing. I could totally relate to that!

Without hesitation, I donated the minimum requirement. I figured, why the hell not? Next thing I knew, I got the emails saying the fundraising was a complete success…and that I’d be getting my Lammily in the mail. Looking back, I think it was the latter part of the previous sentence that officially made me consider entering the 1:6 scale realm. If the Barbie playsets of my childhood didn’t reflect the realities I wanted to conjure…then I was going to make my freakin’ own stuff. Which I managed to pull off I guess with my first 1:6 roombox.

So remember those crazy piles of boxes I got in January? Yeah….Lammily was one of them….and what I (finally) just finished setting up as her bedroom. The way I would have imagined it. Once again, advanced apologies for the poor lighting. My work schedule pretty much restricts me to doing most mini work, blogging, and photography during the evenings.

Welcome to Lammily (now Ana's) bedroom.

Welcome to Ana’s bedroom.

When I got word that thanks to my donation, I would be getting my doll in the mail, I was already formulating what she’d be like. That her name would be Ana Letizia Reyes. That she was born in Madrid but attended college in London and got her masters in journalism in New York. That she decided to move to Washington DC to work for CNN as a journalist. And that she lived in a small but cozy studio apartment in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. And is not a fan of the city’s Metro system. <laughs>

And I thought of all the above while I was sitting in a meeting at work. Ah well, at least I wasn’t the only one day-dreaming during that particularly long event. 🙂

But enough rambling — onward to sharing the wealth!

The roombox was purchased from Minimagine’s shop on Etsy. If I’m not mistaken, this might the same roombox Mlle Milena posted on her blog. I thought it was a weird case of providence given how I fell in love with this specific roombox. Who knew several months later, I would be purchasing the same exact one! I love everything about this room – the wide wooden floor planks in white, the pink fabric wall. And most importantly – the big window. Where Ana could place her plants to get as much sun as possible.

Left side of Ana's bedroom.

Left side of Ana’s bedroom.

Along with the roombox, I purchased a wardrobe that Mlle Milena painted white per my request. This type of wardrobe was something I had dreamed of having when I lived in my studio. But after meeting BK…and seeing him gradually move into my place…I had to give up on the dream and resort to installing a closet system to accommodate our stuff. So while I was $^@# out of luck on having such a piece….at least I can provide one for Ana’s needs.

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Close up of the stool from Minimagine. Wardrobe also from same shop. Bags are part of Lammily’s fashion packs. More on that later.

Little did I know that along with the wardrobe, I got a cute little wooden stool! Again, talk about providence — I can see Ana using for extra seating. Or maybe to help her reach the top of her wardrobe. Above the stool, I hung Ana’s bags on the wall by pressing some white map pins to act as hooks.

Ana's (current) fashion selections.

Ana’s (current) fashion selections.

Inside her wardrobe, I took a huge splurge in December and purchased a couple of fashions available for the Lammily doll. While I didn’t get all of them (I only got all but two), I thought it was enough to populate Ana’s closet. Heck, her collection of shoes is way more impressive than mine! It’s a bit hard to see in the pic above, but you can see a shelf near the bottom of the wardrobe — she has a total of 5 pairs of shoes. That is way more than what I have in my own closet!

But again, it goes back to what I thought was missing in my childhood: now I have a doll that I want to dress up in the clothes I want to wear. Seriously, I’d love to have a yellow jacket like hers! That is if I could ever pull off that color tone….

Good thing I have plenty of extra hangers on hand. If my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me, I think I caught Ana on my laptop scouring Etsy for more clothes. Oi…that crazy gal. I’m not paying for her dry cleaning bill that’s for sure!

Close up of the top of the wardrobe.

Close up of the top of the wardrobe.
Wooden artwork on wall are actually laser cut beads from 3StarStudiosArts.

Because Ana does a good amount of travel (either for work or to see family/friends), she needed luggage. I picked these pair of suitcases on eBay, while the plastic bin was actually a clearance bin find at my local Office Depot (think they’re called “Really Useful Boxes” – used the 0.14 Liter size to simulate a rubbermaid container in 1:6 scale). It was the right size to store Ana’s growing collection of books.  To the wall on the right, I purchased some laser cut beads from the ever awesome 3StarStudiosArts. I want to add more to the wall, but BK thinks this  is plenty.

Close up of the wooden art on the wall.

Close up of the wooden art on the wall.

For the window, I had initially thought of putting some kind of window treatment. Am now glad I went against it. Think it would have detracted on how big the windows look. Opted to keep it simple by putting some plants from Minimagine and It’s Perfectly Petite.

The bedroom window. Sorry folks - didn't have time to put a backdrop image behind the window.

The bedroom window.

Sorry folks – didn’t have time to put a backdrop image behind the window. I had some street view windows of the Adams Morgan neighborhood that I meant to print out and use as a backdrop. But I guess the excitement of setting this up got the best of me. 🙂

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Check out the cozy looking bed!

In terms of the bed, I came across this piece from Mlle Seiler of It’s Perfectly Petite. I fell in love with the colors used in the frame and the linens. And I even loved the pink and white rug. You can actually purchase just the bed or the set (you’d get the bed, the rug, table, a lamp, and a plant). For Ana’s room though, Mlle Seiler was super cool to let me purchase just the bed and rug. And it looks perfect in the room.

Close up of the awesome bed from It's Perfectly Petite.

Close up of the awesome bed from It’s Perfectly Petite.

Above the bed, I wanted to put something as decoration. I had originally sketched out the idea of maybe hanging framed photographs of places Ana might have traveled. But apparently she had other ideas in mind because I found her pointing to some other laser beads purchased from 3StarStudiosArts. So I took what beads I had (but reserved some key pieces to use on the Neville later), and started playing around with them on my living room coffee table.

Hmm...nope.

Hmm…nope.

*Yawn* Nope, nope.

*Yawn* Nope, nope.

Once I started to add other beads, things got more interesting. BK came home seeing me staring intently at my arrangements. He said I looked like I was playing chess with Grandmaster Bobby Fischer or Boris Spassky. Or something remotely nerdy like that.

Okay....we might be getting somewhere.

Okay….we might be getting somewhere.

Okay, getting warmer...

Okay, getting warmer…

Hey...am liking this...

Hey…am liking this…

Tadah! Insert trumpet fanfares here.

Tadah! Insert trumpet fanfares here.

I had to refer to the above photo to make sure I could replicate the setup in Ana’s room. Though I accidentally switched the “leaves” around. Ah well.

New art installation above Ana's bed.

New art installation above Ana’s bed.

Close up.

Close up of the untitled wall art installation.

Next to the bed, I got a travel poster from Shed a Little Light. Have always loved this travel poster. As a nightstand, I found this Rement table lamp on clearance online. I was intrigued by it because if you click the switch at the base of the lamp….

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….it glows! There’s a compartment behind the nightstand where you can put 3 AAA batteries. Given that the CC is the only dollhouse I own that has working lights….am willing to take this as another victory in that department. And man, was I glad to find this on clearance — this sucker has gotten crazy expensive!

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Providing some nighttime illumination….

Once the room was finished, I let Ana come and have a look-see of her new room.

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Relax Ana, I have no plans to borrow your clothes. I can’t exactly fit in them, you know. I like food too much.  But the clothes are cute and all though.

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Then again….do you have a book I can borrow on the Metro ride home? I read all the books BK got me for Christmas….

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Sweet! What do you have that you’d recommend? It better not be one of the 50 Shades of Grey books…dude, the first one was just (makes a face)….

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Okay…History of Byzantium? That actually sounds good – may I borrow that copy? Hmm….Out of Time? Ana, is that another one of those cheesy historical romance stories? It is? Yeah, I’m gonna veto that recommendation. You know pretty darn well the only fromage* I’ll only accept are the ones we get at that fancy deli down the street!

*Fromage = french for cheese. Or in the case of my sister and I….that’s what we call cheesy romance novels.

What the…Living with Linux? Hey, that’s my book! I was looking for that!

Close up of Ana's books. Book set purchased from MiniPlacesStudio.

Close up of Ana’s books. Book set purchased from MiniPlacesStudio.

Of course, before I could say anything else (or even ask how the heck she got my Linux book), she boots me out of her room. All because her best friend from Italy Giovanna is in town with her boyfriend Jotaro (one of my most favorite Japanese anime characters growing up).

Ana meeting her friend Giovanna and Jotaro (Giovanna's boyfriend). Giovanna is a J-Doll Via Appia doll. Jotaro (jojo) is a Real Action Heroes Jotaro Kujo figure by Toys Medikomu

Ana meeting her friend Giovanna and Jotaro (Giovanna’s boyfriend).
Giovanna is a J-Doll Via Appia doll. Jotaro (jojo) is a Real Action Heroes Jotaro Kujo figure by Toys Medikomu

Lordie, what is up with my doll cast giving me the boot? And after I finished building their places of all times! Do I need a bath or something? (sniffs her shirt to make sure)

After being unceremoniously booted out of Ana’s place, Giovanna stopped by my work desk at home to apologize. Not sure why she has to do that, but I guess that’s how she is. Giovanna’s so ridiculously sweet and polite to everyone. It’s kinda scary sometimes.

According to Giovanna, Jotaro made friends with someone that worked in a neighboring office building. And this person might be a potential boyfriend for Ana. And because of that…might I be open to welcome a new cast to join my miniature/doll world?

Huh, imagine that. Like I have a choice in the manner. Well, techically yeah I did. Given this “mystery man” will be arriving from overseas pretty soon due to an interesting find on eBay. Let’s hope Giovanna’s right that this match up works out. Cause I’m not gonna lie — I really don’t know if I want to be on the receiving end of Ana’s temper if the introductions go south….

The Roof! The Roof! The Roof is —

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

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

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

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

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

Cutting the cardstock to size.

Cutting the cardstock to size.

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

Dry fit run.

Dry fit run.

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

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Prepping the roof for painting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tadah! A finished Neville roof!

Tadah! A finished Neville roof!

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

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The Neville House. Sorry for the fuzzy photos.

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

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

View of the interior.

View of the interior. It looks so empty….

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

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

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

The Neville: Sunday Rush

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Installing the beadboard panels.

Installing the beadboard panels.

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

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

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

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

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

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…and voila, an exact template!

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

Woohoo! It fits!

Woohoo! It fits!

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

Close up view.

Close up view.

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

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

Close up of the wallpaper.

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

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

Waiting for the paint to dry before sanding them smooth.

Waiting for the paint to dry before sanding them smooth.

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

The beadword ready for installation.

The beadboard ready for installation.

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

Close up.

Close up.

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

Installing wood strip #1, panel #1.

Installing wood strip #1, panel #1.

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

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

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

The finished ceiling. Sorry for the flash.

The finished ceiling. Sorry for the flash.

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

Creating a template of the flooring.

Creating a template of the flooring.

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

The new floor.

The new floor.

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

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The Neville thus far...

The Neville thus far…

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

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

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

Oh WOW!

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

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

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

(Instant) Neville Crush

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making the measurements.

Making the measurements.

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

The final layout for the roof.

The final layout for the roof.

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

Close up of the wood strips on the roof.

Close up of the wood strips on the roof.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exteior plan - install beams.

Exteior plan – install beams.

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

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

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

The CB2 Neville. Please pardon the mess….

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

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

Glass Deck Railing Panels. Photo from Houzz.com.

Glass Railing. From STAR System International website.

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

Moving Day for Copeland

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

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

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

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

Hey awesome! Setup help!

Hey awesome! Setup help!

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

Monica bossing poor Michael around.

Monica bossing poor Michael around.

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

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

The happy couple taking a break.

The happy couple taking a break.

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

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

“Keep backing it in! You’re good!”

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

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

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

Admiring his new musical companion Copeland.

Admiring his new musical companion Copeland.

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

Tadah! The finished room!

Tadah! The finished room!

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

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

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

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

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

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

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

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

Close up of the Chapman Bookcase

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A quiet afternoon of music.

A quiet afternoon of music.