Preparing for the overhaul...

Tutorials

As our "tutorials" section has gotten rather large, I thought it would be fun to organize them by house part, and area.

I want to make...

AN AWESOME WINDOW
  1. How To Make a Tudor Casement Window: Here, I demonstrate one way to create an historically accurate, appealing window using commonly available materials. Once you start making your own windows, you'll wonder why you ever settled for store bought!  Creating building components from scratch can be a little intimidating at first, but, trust me, it's worth the effort to learn!
  2. How To Make a Lead Paned Window: This tutorial introduces the basic notion of using lead golfer's tape and varnish to create an extremely realistic-looking window.  The techniques used here are very simple, and can be adapted to a wide variety of other projects.
  3. How To Make a Stained Glass Window: It's simpler than you think!  

ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS

  1. A Medieval or Tudor Salamander Plaque: Learn how to make your own!


THE EXTERIOR
  1. How To Make Plastic Sheet "Bricks": This tutorial teaches you how to make realistic-looking grouted "bricks" with inexpensive and readily available plastic sheets.  All you need is a few inexpensive materials and some imagination!
  2. "A Word on Mortar": provides some "what not to do" advice on grouting your house's brickwork.
  3. How To Brick Your House: An in-depth discussion of what to do, and what not to do, in achieving your best result.
  4. Stucco and Brick Cladding Tips: Here are a few more helpful suggestions!
  5. How To Achieve A Realistic "Stone" Effect: This tutorial shows you how to get your best result using Richard Stacey modeling dust.  There's an addendum to this tutorial here.
  6. How To Work With Stucco: Although this tutorial focuses on half timbering, the techniques could just as easily be applied to another style of house.
  7. How To Make a "Thatched" Roof: This is one way you can do it, that I like.  Parts I and II discuss the interior.  Part III discusses the actual thatch.  This is a mid-level project for newer miniaturists and those who, like myself, really struggle to work with fabric and fibers.

PROGRESS WITH MY DESIGN
  1. Here, I discuss some of the issues I've had with creating a suitably "tudor-looking" roof.
  2. Here, I discuss how I came up with the final design for Patisserie 841.
  3. Here, I share an idea for "kit bashing" a Houseworks window into an historically accurate tudor window.
  4. Here, I explain how I transformed a victorian potter's shed into a tudor bakery.
  5. These are the printouts I used as patterns for a couple of my windows.
  6. Here, I discuss how I came up with the ultimate design for the half timbering on the tudor bakery.


THE WOODWORK

  1. Fun With Modular Finishing: This tutorial provides some time management tips.
  2. How To Make a Really Great "Aged" Floor: This is my favorite tutorial, and the techniques I discuss here are the same techniques I used on the entirety of the tudor bakery.
  3. The Weathered Effect: Learn how to make your wood look old and dirty.
  4. Installing the Woodwork: Here, I share some tips I've learned on how to install--and how not to install--dollhouse miniature woodwork.  


Is there something else you'd like to see?  Something you wish we'd discuss at greater length, or in greater depth?  Let us know!

2 comments:

jenn said...

Can you please tell me if the Norwegian art of Rosenmaling is historically accurate in detailing my English tudor home.I do not want to corrupt my original miniature home with pandering to a my whimsical dalliance into the the brightly colored floral patterns that I have grown up with.The floral designs seem to be a extrinsic pattern, but what of the bright colors decorating them?

C.J. said...

Jenn, I know absolutely nothing about the art of Rosenmaling. I'm afraid that, sadly, I couldn't tell you any more about it than you probably already know. I know something about the history of medieval England (and, to a lesser extent, those areas falling within the modern political boundaries of France), because I have a degree in it. And, conveniently, for much of my life, I've had access to the actual buildings I'm trying to reproduce. This is why I know a bit about American Colonial architecture, too: we currently live in a very history-filled part of America. I'm currently attempting to expand my historical knowledge by researching the history of both Victorian-era England and America. But, really, in none of these areas would I consider myself a true expert. Or even a pretend expert. I'm just a really, really enthusiastic hobbyist.

However, one thing I will say is that this is YOUR dollhouse! One time, I was (yet again) boring my husband to death with concerns about historical accuracy. Actually, on my current project. And he--really, I think, out of a desire to get rid of me more than anything else--opined as how, since it was a dollhouse, it didn't matter whether it was historically accurate or not. It was my project, and my little world; why feel restrained by literal history?

And, you know, he was (inadvertently) right. Much like a writer, a miniaturist is in the business of creating an alternate world: something more kind, more fun, a place it feels good to escape to. Nobody reads an historical novel and thinks, "this book is ruined for me, the characters never existed." Because, really, that's sort of the point. Likewise, here, too, what's to say that your house's inhabitants weren't the innovators of their time?