Monday, 29 April 2013

Bungalow Exterior Windows and Doors

Today I made some progress on the bungalow. Before I glue the bottom floor walls up I need to finish the exterior and interior walls. This meant I had to finish all the outside walls and windows first. 

I decided I wanted more windows than the kit provided for, so I cut some holes in one of the side walls. These will be small ornamental windows on either side of the mantle piece in the lounge room. This meant I had to make these windows from scratch. I first made the inserts.

Then I set about making the outside architraves in the same style as the large windows.

Next I did the interior of the windows - being the small glass pane dividers. I "dove tailed" them for a neater and stronger fit. 

I used some spare bits of wood underneath when I glued these pieces in, that way they ended up in the middle of the frame uniformly - avoiding a lot of cursing and stuffing around!

I didn't like the front door provided by the kit, so I decided to improve it. 

I picked it apart, and turned it upside down. 

Then I used some spare base wood to patch the base up, which weighted it correctly and stopped it from looking like it was upside down. 

Then I added a solid divider in the centre and parallel dividers on the top window. I also turned the door frame around so that the external architraves are now internal, and made a new frame which matched the windows for the exterior. 

I finally got the right colour combination too, a deep forrest green/blue with a yellow tinted cream for trim. 

Soon I will glue the walls up, but for now they are just balancing so I can get a feel for the finished product. 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A New Side Project

I don't have a workshop in Melbourne where I live in a tiny apartment. I do most of my work at my parent's house where there are power tools and wood working supplies galore. All of my dollhouse operations take place there where there is space and equipment. 

However, I have decided that it is time to set up a proper work space in my apartment (despite the lack of space). So I invested in a solid pine trestle table. 

This decision to set up a work space where I live also coincided with a Real Good Toys bungalow dollhouse turning up on Australian eBay for a bargain price! Postage to Australia for US made houses is FAR too expensive normally, so I was very happy. 

I love the craftsman style bungalows (the US and Australian bungalows were fairly similar). 

US bungalow:

Australian bungalow:

The Australian bungalows tend to have more (and wider) gable ends and less roof facing front, also Australian bungalows don't have dormer windows usually. I intent to give my bungalow influences from both styles, ie: basic shape from US, tapered window architraves from Australian. 

I also intend to give the house a realistic interior.  

I have already begun trying to improve the house/make the house look more "bungalowey". I plan to taper the porch posts, taper the window architraves, change the glass in the windows and add exposed joists under the eaves. 

I have already started with the windows. The kit window architraves were plain and straight.

 So I embellished them by adding extra pieces to give a tapered  effect. 

I got rid of the acetate window glass provided by the kit because it had painted leading on it. I am now using toothpicks instead.  

So far so good (although I have lost one toothpick when I tripped and dropped the window!). 

This is also a colour test, and I am as yet unconvinced by my own choice!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Painted Tiles

I have been very busy at work lately, and so my blog has suffered from neglect! I did find the time to work a little more on my swedish tiled stove over the weekend though. I looked around for some inspiration, and found this picture of a neo-classical swedish room:

I chose a blue-green scheme (as per the room). The walls will be two shades of light blue grey, and so green blue tiles seemed to fit well. I used acrylic paint.

Painting the same pattern over and over again was quite a challenge, but I was able to get enough consistency, plus I told myself that real hand painted tiles are never all quite the same. I also painted the legs grey (because these were not tile, but wood).

After the stove was painted I sprayed it with a high gloss clear spray paint. This gave the shine of tiles, and worked very well. 

The photo below does not do it justice, but I will get a better one once I have finished the door to the stove. 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Commission Arrives for the Swedish House

A little while ago, while browsing on Etsy, I come across a store which sells miniature european type pastries and other interesting food. The shop is called 2Smart Miniatures.

I asked them to make me some typical swedish desserts for my swedish house. They obliged, and the result is great! Some bullar, and a princess tort, two typical (and wonderful) swedish treats.

Looking forward to placing them on the tea table in the parlour when it is finished!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

A Small Theatrical Interlude

These past three weeks I have not done any blog posts because I have been turning my attention to other things. Another of my hobbies is making miniature working models of theatres. I make them out of ply and MDF, hand paint them and make miniature sets and props for them.  

This is a theatre I made as a wedding present for my cousin. 

This is a smaller theatre I made for myself. 

I had a lot of fun painting the proscenium. 

A friend of mine who is also a lawyer likes my little theatres. He is heavily involved in the performing arts scene and in the past year he has been working very hard as the director of a comedy production called the "Law Revue". The Law Revue is a sketch comedy act presented by members of the Melbourne Legal Profession. It is being preformed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year. All the money raised is going to the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation, to support those suffering from depression and anxiety in the Legal Profession. 

My friend asked me to help out with props for the cast. I made a few items in larger than life size out of cardboard and black paint. Some of the stuff I made includes a cloth for an "infomercial" sketch:

A death certificate:

Horns and a staff for the "Dark Lord":

A hamburger:

And a whole host of other random items. 

The show is fantastic and very funny, with some very talented actors (who managed to do all of this and still work as full time lawyers). It was a lot of fun, and I am very glad to be involved with the production!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Little Kakelugn off to Market

I have decided that since I do not have anywhere for my first kakelugn to live, I will have to part with it! I made it last year and was hoping to house it, but failed, so now I have listed it on Etsy to see if anyone else can love it like I did!

Check out my listing here!