Big House–Fourth Floor

I’m determined to get the fourth floor of the Big House under control. Here’s what I’ve done to the largest attic room, which will become a library. (For the middle attic room, see:

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The furniture out and some of the trim pulled off.

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The walls re-papered and re-trimmed, new sconces by J. Getzen installed. The table holds a Jim Pounder sculpture lamp. The wallpaper (click the pictures to see close-ups) I’ve had sitting in my scrap cabinet forever, waiting for something to use it on. It’s called Sheraton I believe by Minigraphics, and I’ve always liked its elegance.

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A closer look at the lamps. Ain’t they pretty? I’m amazed at how affordable artisan lamps can be. I paid only a few dollars more for these hand-made sconces than I would have for similar-looking mass-produced lights.

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This is a rough-in of what I want to do to this room. I thought it would be fun to have the bookcases frame the back, and put in a few secret areas that can be seen only if you look in through the front windows. I might change my mind, depending on how much of a pain it is, but I like glimpsing things beyond the room.

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This desk is called a bonheur du jour, which basically means a lady’s writing desk, which was introduced in the late 1700s. Apparently, it’s meant to be moved around the room (wherever the lady of the house wants to write her letters), though I have it against the wall here.

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Beautiful Wooten desk I found at an auction. The burlwood veneer is amazing. I’ll do another post soon with some of my cool auction finds.

I have one more attic room to refinish, then I can start putting finishing touches on all the rooms.

Quarter-inch Accessories–Avalon Bungalow Revisited

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I’ve finally been able to do some more finishing on the 1/4-scale bungalow. I told myself I wasn’t allowed to build new houses until I finished my old houses (I’m no fun!)

The hardest part of quarter-scale for me is accessories. Accessories make scenes real, but it’s hard to do something so tiny! But here are some things I came up with. (Click on photos to see larger versions. Some of this is hard to see unless you do!)

In the living room:

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I decorated by taking each piece of furniture or corner of the room and making it into a sort of still life.

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The mantelpiece has “postcards” that I reduced on my computer–hard to see here, but they’re pictures of Sedona. Added candlesticks made from findings, a bowl of flowers (bits of greenery stuck into a mini bowl and drybrush dabbed with paint).

The lovely fireplace accessories are by Pierre Luigi, which I bought from Suzanne and Andrew’s Minis.

To the right is a bench with another plant; to the left a large fern, which was a kit.

Everything looks a little crooked in the picture, but it doesn’t in real life–don’t know how that happens.

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Took the piano out to show the large bookcases–another kit from Suzanne and Andrew. It’s hard to see, but there’s books, a tiny teapot bought from Debbie Young, and a picture in a frame (reduced on computer by me). Click photo too see it larger–better detail that way.

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This is a closeup of the hanging shelves that go over the sofa. How I made the books:

1. Photograph of a row of books (find on the web or take one yourself). Reduce to quarter-inch scale. Mine were about 1/4″ high by however long I wanted the row. Vary these a little for interest.

2. Cut a piece of 1/4″ square stripwood the length of the row of books. Paint Ceramcoat Light Ivory or equivalent off-white.

3. Glue row of books photo to one long side (I sealed the picture with clear nail polish).

4. With X-acto knife, score lines in the painted part of the wood strip to correspond to width of books in the picture. I went over these lines with a fine-leaded pencil just to give it depth.

Voila, books.

The photograph, again reduced on computer, is one of my wedding photos–me and my sweet husband sharing an “Awww” moment.

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On the coffee table–a bowl of fruit by Desert Mini Makers. The books are by me–this time I found book printies on the Internet, printed them, then folded them around 1/16″ thick pieces of matte board.

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Everything in situ.

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Kitchen. I need to add more to the kitchen, but I have a plate of watermelon plus a pie making setup (on the worktable) from Desert Mini Makers. Pot on stove is by Debbie Young. I made the dish towel, and the bottle of “Palmolive” is from a set of plastic bottles and so forth I purchased from Suzanne and Andrew (comes with five colors of a bunch of bottle shapes you can turn into what you wish).

I had another little rush-seat chair in here. But I found out what happens when you step on a quarter-scale wooden chair with your bare foot. Crumples like a dried leaf (the chair, not my foot). Ah, well.

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Bedroom. Again, I need to do more, but here’s a start.

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On the dresser–Vase purchased from Pearce Miniatures. I filled the vase with greenery (model train clumpy green stuff) and topped with punched paper flowers.
Vanity tray–plate is made from card stock. I wet it, pressed it into a small circle on a circle template, let it dry, drew a larger circle around that, cut out the whole thing, painted silver. Bottles are from the plastic bottle kit as I used in the kitchen.

The mirrored vanity–I’d bought some frames from Debbie Young at the NAME show. I cut out mirrored paper to put in the frame, then mounted the mirror on a piece of quarter-inch wood strip.

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The dresser in the scene. The iron rocking chair is another piece by Pierre Luigi. I just love his stuff, and it’s so affordable!

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As you can see, I have the whole house lit with indirect LED lights. I’d originally put in the kind on a strip that you stick to the ceiling, but I didn’t like it. Light wasn’t quite the right color, and they kept going out (when ends of wire were jiggled). I took those out and replaced them with warm white Nova Lytes. I love Nova Lytes!

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Outside the house, I added a grass sheet, some shrubbery (green clumpy stuff plus paper flowers, watering can, and a couple potted plants I bought at shows).

That’s it for now. I have more to do (e.g., need things for nightstand in bedroom, plus window treatments, plus want to make the porch cozy), but I’ve satisfied the stickler in me that I’ve done enough, and can start a new quarter-inch house whenever I want. 🙂

Terrific DIY site


Do you know about One-Inch Minis?

A great blog with tutorials just about every month on how to make a variety of furniture and accessories, much of it from card stock and matte board. You won’t believe it’s card stock and matte board!

I’ve tried a couple of smaller projects and like the results very much. Above are the “enamel” ewer and mini books.

I’ve also adapted Kris’s instructions on the plates for the two tiered dessert tray to make a makeup / cologne tray in quarter inch scale (that was one weeny-tiny plate).

Subscribe to her updates to be alerted when a new tutorial is posted, or scroll the left-hand menu for access to many projects. I’m looking forward to doing some more of these!

Big House–Attic

Finally I’ve begun a face-lift on the top floor of The Big House. I’d never really used this room before–it’s the middle of three, no windows. I’d stuck unwanted things up here, using it like a real attic, but I never truly decorated it.


It occurred to me that with a skylight, this could be an artist studio. I was going to build my own skylight, but I dug through my box of extra windows (how I collect extra windows, I have no idea; they just seem to breed). I found this twelve-light window from Houseworks and decided to re-purpose it as a skylight.


I kind of like the “newspaper” wallpaper from the old room, so I didn’t rip it out. Covered matt board with a photo of an ocean view which I’d taken on vacation, and slid the photo in place, not gluing it. This way, if I decide I want the old wallpaper again, it’s there.

A bright white Nova Lyte provides the daylight outside the window. The window itself is in a matt board wall–1/4″ strips sandwiched between two pieces of matt board for sturdiness. I put shingles on the outside so it looks as though you are looking out through a roof wall.

The rest was repainting the walls and door and putting in new trim. Voila, the artist studio waiting to be furnished.