Preparing for the overhaul...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bricks, Lead Glass Windows, and Cats

I've been working on this dollhouse while my real house gets torn apart.  I took advantage of the fact that our kitchen wasn't long for this world to get the grouting done.  Awesomely, I didn't need to worry about dropping bits of grout onto the floor.  Huzzah!  Now, as my kitchen goes the way of the dodo, I'm hiding in our new den (home of my new aboveground workspace) and updating you on my (somewhat questionable) progress...

I fitted a pattern for the panes.

I used my table saw to cut the plexiglass.  I don't really recommend this approach, unless you're proficient with power tools.  There's a lot of backwash, and it can be dangerous.  And wear safety goggles!  Another practical tip is, please don't remove the protective backing until after you've cut your pieces to size.  It's there to protect the plexiglass from scratches, but also to keep it from fracturing while it's being cut.

This is the same pattern I posted the other day.

I taped the half-done window back in place, while I worked on the others.  Just like I did with the stained glass window, I'll trim the lead after I've added the "glass".  But, in the meantime, I don't want to get dust on anything...and there's been a LOT of dust.  I went down to the basement today, after everyone had wrapped up for the day, and was so discouraged.  There's this horrible, thick coating of construction bits on everything.  It'll be horrendous to clean.

I did half of the larger window while watching Little Fockers, which was hilarious.

I grouted this wall--which was quite difficult, as it had so many nooks and crannies--and then glued in the oven components.  I used a piece of scrap wood to press the top of the oven down, because it was showing a tendency to pop up.

I attached the fountain bit by bit, letting each piece dry before I attached the next one.  The weight of the individual components meant that they tended to bow out otherwise.  For, essentially, gluing, this was a challenging project.  If you'd like one of these fountains for yourself, by the way, it's made by Henry Bart and available at Swan House DIY.  It looks even more beautiful in person than it does in these pictures.

It's getting there!  The pediment came, so I'll have to work on that, next.  I'm still not entirely sure what I want the door frame to look like...and I'm still looking for the perfect door hardware.  Any suggestions?

And here's the fountain.

And now I'm back to working on the chimney column.  Hopefully, I'll get a chance to work on it tonight after dinner.  It's nice, having a space where we can get together as a family and pursue our separate hobbies!

This is "my" end of the room.

The cats love it.

London has made very special friends with this house, and spends a good portion of every day guarding it.

"What are you looking at?"

He literally spends most of his time with it--wherever it is.  He seems to approve of the new location, although he spends more time looking at the dollhouse than out the window.  So go figure.  I guess he came to the right house.

My downstairs work area, which is currently bathed in construction detritus.  I have a lot of stuff, and a very small space in which to both store it and work with it.  Good organization has been key.  If anyone is interested in a post on organization and space-related challenges, let me know!

I've laid everything out, in the fond hope that I'll actually get to do something.  That little basket is actually meant for scrapbooking, but I find it's perfect to carry around all my basics--craft knives, epoxy, rulers and speed squares, whatever paint I'm currently working with, etc.  It's truly amazing how much one of these things holds!  I also particularly like the fact that I can keep everything organized, and, if anyone makes an unexpected pit stop (which has happened quite a bit lately, actually!) I can quickly pick it up and hide it, er, put it away.


Giac said...

I just wanted to tell you how helpful your blog is. I very much enjoy reading about your techniques. You do beautiful work!

C.J. said...

Thank you so much! :-)

Michelle said...


I love the stuff you've used between your beams! What is it? :o)

Is your Tudor House 1/12th or is your cat large? lol My cat normally tries to get into my houses and shops, tis why they are in a place he can't get to now. I have a couple of good websites for Tudor etc hardware, but my favourite is:

Michelle :o)

CJ said...


In the interior, I'm using simulated plaster paper, which is vinyl and quite easy to work with. I prefer the off white to the white, but both are available. I buy mine on I believe it's also available on Amazon.

On the exterior, I'm using Greenleaf stucco powder mixed 1:1 with craft paint. I prefer DecoArt's "antique white", but any craft paint will do. It can be a little tricky to work with, but the learning curve is steep and it's worth the effort.

And, yes, this is 1:12 scale. Both our cats are enormous; they weigh several stone each. London i is something of a mutant, but he's our mutant! Henry, like his namesake, our (very) former king, is also quite heroically proportioned. He's also still growing! Both like to get into the houses, although I haven't gotten a good picture of it yet. Since they're so lavishly proportioned, it's only when I'm working on a really big house that they can.

Thank you for the hardware suggestions!!!