Moving continued

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The dollhouses are moved! I will display them throughout the house, once we get the rest of the house unpacked and organized (ha!). Then this will become my workroom. I transported all of these in my car (and my husband’s) and nothing got broken! Yay!

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Dollhouse Moving Day

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It’s Dollhouse Moving Day.

Pack all the things away ….

La, la-la-la, la-la-la, la la.

Plastic shoe boxes and smaller boxes from Container Store work wonders to pack furniture and accessories. I’m moving these in my car, a load a time.

This is the easy part. I’ll need a truck for the Big House. Yikes. But it once crossed the Pacific, so I’m hoping it survives a transport of 3 miles.

Moving and Mini Show

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I haven’t posted a lot lately, because I’m getting ready to move! Not far, but that means packing up all my minis and transporting them a few miles. I’m sweating.

Meanwhile, our local mini club had their annual show and sale. I shopped! Found some lovely things as well as practical ones. I highly recommend the Small World Mini Show in Phoenix.

Enjoy some photos I snapped of the exhibits. These are from local miniaturists.

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More Microscale (1/144 scale)

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My love affair with this tiny scale continues. Here are some projects I have done / have been doing.

I’ll start with the “Secret” books by Robin Betterley. (I’ve been doing a lot of her kits lately because she has some very nice microscale kits).

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These “books” which can be used in a 1-inch scale setting, fit nicely into the microscale house by Charlotte Scott. I plan to use this as a bookshelf in a 1-inch scale house.

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Outside, they look like well-worn books.

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Inside is a secret space with a microscale scene.

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These secret books (called Teeny-Weeny Secret books) are fun to make, take an afternoon (most of the time is letting glue and paint dry), and are inexpensive ($5-$14). A great way to learn microscale. Find them at:

http://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/teeny-weeny-secret-books

Next, I finished off the little cafe, also 1/144th scale:

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The bedroom furniture (very, very small…)

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The cafe counter and hutch plus the many teeny cakes.

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Putting it altogether.

The Blue Sky Cafe (http://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/watercolors) is another great introductory kit to microscale. It’s a little more expensive, but you get *everything*–for the cafe: parts for the structure, flooring, wallpaper, fence, landscaping, chimney–you only need paint and glue (and a little time).

The furnishings were probably the hardest–the building itself was fairly easy and painless to make. While the kit for both the cafe and interior says they’re for experienced miniaturists (and I guess I am one), I thought the cafe itself was not too hard. It’s only two rooms without a lot of strange angles or tough-to-fit pieces.

The furnishings I thought were more difficult, only because they are so small. Painting the pieces for the folding chairs and gluing them together was a trick! But not too bad. The interior kit also has everything you see–the furniture plus artwork for it, the bedding, throw for the chair, and all the little cakes cupcakes and accessories for both bedroom and dining area.

However, if you’re going to foray into microscale with the Betterleys’ kits, I recommend doing the cafe or the secret books before you try the “secret” house I just finished (below).

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I enjoyed the heck out of building this kit (Ravenwood: microscale on top, the base is 1″ scale), but I was glad I built the cafe first. This one has many more rooms and more details, more things to mess up! I’ll show more of this house in my next post. (The kit: http://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/secret-houses)

I swear I do not work for them.:-) I’m just a happy customer. I will post about other microscale offerings out there and show other houses I’ve collected or made.

For my next project, I’m going to finish and furnish a Bespaq baby house that I picked up on a discount, doing everything my own self. I’ll let you know how it goes …

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Microscale–When quarter inch scale just isn’t small enough

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Microscale (1/144 scale) is becoming more popular these days, I’ve been noticing. It’s 1/12 of 1/12, or dollhouse sized for your dollhouse.

I’ve been intimidated by this scale (cause it’s so small!!!!) but I have collected a few microscale houses and am feeling my way.

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This is a kit by Robin Betterley. It’s tiny! It fits in a 3″ x 3″ x 3″ cube (the base in the kit is a little bigger than that–probably 3.5 inches. I trimmed it to fit the cube).

I’ll do a post on construction tips for this kit sometime. I found it relatively easy, though handling these little bits gets tricky!

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The kit is called Blue Sky Cafe. There’s a second kit for the interior furnishings. I haven’t attempted it yet.

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This is a 1/144 house I found at an auction, made by Charlotte Scott. It’s 5.5″ wide, 6.5″ tall (including the legs), and 1.5 inches deep. The inside has been finished (painted) but not furnished. I might use it as a cabinet in a 1/12 scale house, maybe with books or wine bottles inside. Or maybe I will furnish it.

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I do plan to furnish this Bespaq baby house that I bought slightly damaged and unfinished. The cabinet itself is 1/12 scale. The interior is a 1/144 scale house.

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I’ve stained the outside and finished it with paste wax. I will attempt to wallpaper and furnish it! Six rooms, and three halls, all teeny tiny.:-) (The house behind it is a 1/4 scale French Quarter house.)

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Another shot of the Blue Sky Cafe house. Everything is included in the kit: structure; art for outside, inside, and roof; doors and windows; base, fence, and landscaping materials. Even the doorknobs.

 

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A shot of the interior. Not the best photo, but you get the idea.

Now to furnish it with tiny stuff.

The advantages of microscale–An entire six to ten room dollhouse takes up less than six cubic inches of space. It can be displayed on an end table or table inside the front door, used as a decorative accent on a bookshelf, set on a small shelf in the bathroom.

I’m enjoying it so far. Tweezers, though, are a must.

 

 

The Big House Updates

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I have updated all the photos in The Big House section of this blog (see top or right-hand menu). It’s just about done! Here is a taste of each room:

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Front porch

First Floor:

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Entrance Hall

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Music Room

Second Floor:

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Second floor hall

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Kitchen (right side)

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Kitchen: Left side

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Utilities room

Third Floor:

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Third floor hall

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Bedroom

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Bathroom

Fourth Floor (not as finished):

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Library

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Artist studio

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Game room

Almost done! Each room (esp top floor), needs a few finishing touches, and that’s it! It’s been a fun overhaul. I wonder if the next house I make will be “normal.” (Nah.)

Musing on new projects

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Now that I’ve achieved some mini goals this year (half-scale Bungalow, the HBS kit that I turned into a garage, and revamping the electric system on the Big House), I’m pondering new projects.

Right now, I’m not in the mood to open another kit and go through the steps. I am debating whether to design a house myself or learn more furniture building from scratch.

Possibilities: A new half-scale house based on real houses I saw in South Carolina.

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A trip to Charleston introduced me to Charleston Singles, houses that are one room wide on the street. You go through the front door to find yourself on a long veranda that runs alongside the house, far back into the property. They’re built like that to catch the winds for ventilation.

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Aren’t they gorgeous? I have to wonder why more dollhouses aren’t designed like this–dollhouses are typically one room deep (for easy play or viewing), and these houses are one room deep too.

The street front and veranda would be the dollhouse exterior; the interior could be viewed through the open back opposite the veranda side (or fully enclosed with maybe both ends swinging open).

Just a thought!

I looked up floor plans on the Net, found some from the olden days:

Basically the downstairs was a drawing room, hall with stairs, and dining room; bedrooms upstairs. The kitchens were in the back of the property, usually not attached to the house.

I’d want to do a “modern” house, with kitchen inside (and a bathroom or two).

Then there’s this one, which I think I saw on Pinterest

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Lovely! This one could be small enough in 1-inch scale to not take up much space.

Pondering!

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