Lisa’s Country Cottage–Part 3

The fun part–stocking the antique shop. (Click on photos for larger versions).

IMG_1566 (960x1280)

I’m still working on the structure, but I wanted to stop and place everything on the inside now that the three main walls and the porch are put together. You can see where I wired in the coach light from outdoors–that will be hidden by a hollow beam.

IMG_6722 (1280x960)

The wraparound porch will house more antiques.

IMG_1567 (960x1280)

It was fun to go through all my boxes of *stuff* and pick out things I’ve always liked but so far have had nowhere to put. I’ve got old, new, and blue–I don’t think I borrowed anything, unless it was from houses I remodeled.

IMG_1568 (960x1280)

I bought the plates on the Welsh dresser from Ginger Landen-Seagal (I’m sure I butchered that spelling) at the NAME show in Tucson. They are made of paper! Punched out and gloss coated. A great way to fill a cabinet.

IMG_1570 (960x1280)

The owners sell everything in this antique shop, including the Shaker table and bench the owners use as their checkout counter. The table, bench, and ladder came from the auction last fall.

IMG_6698 (960x1280)

The tiny tops in the pink bowl really spin. They were a table gift at NAME.

IMG_6707 (960x1280)

The owners keep track of sales on the very modern laptop, but use an old-fashioned land line phone to take orders from their customers.

IMG_6699 (960x1280)

Another shot of the plates and things on the dresser.

IMG_6700 (960x1280)

Here’s an example of how I mashed up old and new. The lowboy and the mirror above it I put together from House of Miniature kits ages ago. The lowboy still looks great–a lesson on what a good finish can do for furniture. The mirror was sad and falling apart–I took it to pieces, restained it and replaced the old, heavy glass with a lightweight thin mirror. You can see that I repainted the Chrysnbon Victorian chair and gave it a crisp new cushion.

The lamps are old: The rose shaded kerosene lamp still works–I have wired it in. The other two are old lamps from who-knows-where (non-working). The spatterware is from the boxes I bought with The Blue House, but the pink bowls are a recent purchase I made on Etsy from MiniatureMakerSupply. The china cat is a bead I bought from a bead store in Sedona, the minerals on the little stands from the goody bag from NAME.

IMG_6701 (960x1280)

On the other side of the shop is another table full of goodies. The tea set is Rueter, the lamp a dollhouse shop purchase, the table, another House of Miniatures kit I painted. The pitcher and bowl on the floor is one of the very first purchases I made for a dollhouse, way way back when I was about twelve or thirteen.

IMG_6702 (1280x960)

More old and new with cheap mixed with pricey. The stool is a Bespaq harp stool, with a leather book by Marilyn Crockett on top of it. The tavern sign I bought from Laura Craine at NAME. No idea where the little aspic molds came from, or if they’re even meant to be minis.

IMG_6703 (960x1280)

Old office chair (a commercial piece), with various objects I found in my supply boxes–a carpetbag, plastic flip-flops, the hats from the Chrysnbon hall tree kit.

IMG_6705 (960x1280)

On the dresser is leftover, mismatched silverware tossed onto the decorative plates.

IMG_6706 (960x1280)

The round pillows on the old Victorian sofa came from a coat my mother had when I was a wee, small child (she called it her “car coat.”)

IMG_6720 (960x1280)

On the lower shelf of the dresser are more plates, a basket full of the blue spatterware, and a fish poaching dish.

IMG_6721 (1280x960)


I crammed the tiny attic by leaving the bedstead bare and putting things in the space inside it.

IMG_6718 (960x1280)

Within the bedstead (another House of Miniatures kit) is a House of Miniatures three-drawer dresser, ladderback chairs I bought in Hong Kong, a plant table I’d had in The Big House bathroom, topped with a hatbox, which came free in the goody bag at NAME.

IMG_6710 (960x1280)

On top of the dresser is another old oil lamp (non-working), again one of my earliest dollhouse purchases, along with two kits I put together specifically for this shop project.

IMG_6711 (960x1280)

This neat little toiletries box was a mega-round-table kit by Lisa Engler at NAME. (I bought another from her, called Napoleonic influence, which you can see in my post here:

IMG_6712 (960x1280)

This is a spool box kit I got from Debbie of Dragonfly International at a mini shows. Fun and easy–I put it together while watching TV one evening.

IMG_6719 (960x1280)

More old + new. The jewelry box is a Rueter Porcelain piece I got from Hobby Builder Supply only a few weeks ago (hey, I had bonus dollars to spend). It’s on top of a “painted” trunk from the Realife miniatures colonial bedroom kit. I didn’t put the trunk together–the ladies I bought the Blue House from did.

The Clare-Bell Brass Works wine decanter and goblets set I bought in the 80s. To say it was tarnished is an understatement, but doesn’t it look pretty now? The secret? Lemon juice and salt! Who knew?

IMG_6708 (1280x960)

A very familiar paperback novel sits on the trunk as well.

IMG_6709 (1280x960)

Ah, The Care and Feeding of Pirates! That has to be my all-time favorite cover from that publisher. Though when I wrote the book, it wasn’t that small!

I didn’t create this mini book, however. It was TreeFeathers, selling it on Etsy. She’d made a set of pirate romance novels, and mine happened to be one of them! I was alerted to this fact by a blogger/reviewer of romance novels–I thought it was so cool I bought the set!

IMG_6722 (1280x960)

The porch. Plenty will fit on the side porch, which I haven’t finished yet.

IMG_6697 (1091x1280)

An overview of the downstairs room.

I fixed up most of the lighting yesterday (and it all works, whew), though I need a few more supplies before I’m done with that. I’m using round wiring and hiding it under the porch roof. I’ll show how I do that in a later post. (Need to take pics).

Almost done with this house! The structure itself is not very complicated–recommend for a beginner. Though the house kit is off the market now, Houseworks has similar ones.

Lisa’s Country Cottage Part 2

IMG_1360 (960x1280)

Onward. (As always, click pics for larger versions).

I decided to side the house with clapboard siding. Because I’m bent on recycling what I pulled off of and out of the Big House, I used some large intact siding pieces, having to buy only a couple new ones. House is painted Americana Warm White.

IMG_1488 (960x1280)

My original color plan was to have the trim pink, to match a cute pink and white full-size house I saw on Pinterest (it was a tiny cottage, charming in pink and white).

But… when I was riding my bike around, I saw a little house that had been newly painted in soft white with a bright red to red-orange trim. It looked wonderful! I came home and rooted around my old paint box, and found most of a bottle of Crimson (Folk Art brand paint by Plaid). I tested it and really liked it, so this is the house’s trim color.

IMG_1485 (960x1280)

The top floor, with flooring in place (flooring is the commercial sheet flooring; this one red oak). You can see a Victorian-style sconce in the corner, which was originally in the Big House.

Because this will be an antique shop, the owners will sell antique lighting as well. And because it’s a shop, I can stick the lights anywhere I want! 🙂 (BTW, if you watch the Murdoch Mysteries, you can see full sized versions of this type of sconce on the walls of the police station–at least in the earlier seasons.)

IMG_1484 (960x1280)

The first floor with some of the furniture and lamps I’ll use jumbled in. I’m roughing in the lamps here. I had a “stained glass” window left over from The Big House, which I put in the front window here.

IMG_1483 (960x1280)

To finish the inside, I used sheets of board-and-batten siding painted with Ceramcoat Antique White. Much trimming will come.

IMG_1489 (960x1280)

The dormer cut and painted. I’ll shingle it when I shingle the roof.

IMG_1487 (960x1280)

The porch ceiling in place, but the porch roof off. You can see the wedge porch roof supports, which are supplied in the kit. A lot of the wiring will go under here.

IMG_1486 (960x1280)

Porch mostly done. I used the board-and-batten siding on the porch ceiling, painted Warm White to match the outside wall color. The sconce is a Clare-Bell Brassworks sconce I had been using in my colonial house. The porch floor is Americana brand acrylic, Medium Gray, mixed with a little terrarium sand for texture (to simulate cement).

I’m surprised at myself for daring to go red. I’m usually so subdued with color–going for pale yellows and white and greens–earth tones (as I did in The Big House, the Fairfield, and the quarter-scale bungalow). But I think it looks sharp! Perfect for a little antique shop you’d find on the side of a back highway.

More to come.

Cool Auction Find #3 — 1/144 scale houses

IMG_1355 (1280x960)

The one scale I don’t have much of is 1/144 (1/12 of 1/12). For one, my eyesight is bad! And I’ve never come across anything in the scale that excited me.

That changed when I saw these two charming houses by Charlotte Scott in that big auction last fall. (BTW, the auction has been covered in Miniature Collector in the latest two issues–the pieces written up in the magazine were on the high end; I’d dropped out long before!)

Be sure to click on these pics for bigger versions!

IMG_1351 (960x1280)

This is a Georgian brick cabinet dollhouse, finished inside and out. I love how she put the dollhouse on legs.

IMG_1352 (1280x960)

The middle is one solid piece (doesn’t open), and the roof doesn’t open either.

IMG_1353 (960x1280)

Detail of the front door. So pretty (click photo for close up).

IMG_1354 (960x1280)

Side and back of the house with more details.

IMG_1356 (960x1280)

The Tudor house. The Georgian house was the one that had caught my eye, but when this one came up, I couldn’t resist. Terrific details.

IMG_1357 (960x1280)

Each floor opens separately. Top two floors.

IMG_1358 (960x1280)

Bottom two floors.

IMG_1359 (960x1280)

Side of the house with great decorative details.

New Project–Lisa’s Country Cottage

IMG_1262 (960x1280)

I decided it was high time to put together a new dollhouse kit. Right?

This one is Lisa’s Country Cottage, from Houseworks. I no longer see it for sale on the Hobby Builders Supply site, and I believe it’s been discontinued (why? it’s a great little kit!). But it’s available secondhand, and it’s similar to other Houseworks kits, such as the garage and the “charming cottage”.

IMG_1263 (960x1280)

I pulled it out of the box and started in.

The first thing I do with a kit is take out all the parts and tape it together with painter’s tape, which is easy to pull off.

IMG_1265 (960x1280)

This kit (or one of Houseworks’ similar kits) would be terrific for a beginner. There aren’t many pieces, and everything is rabbeted to fit together precisely. Mine is made of MDF, which is lightweight and smooth (no splinters!). I was able to cut it easily to modify a few things.

IMG_1264 (960x1280)

The cottage has one room downstairs and one upstairs. Windowless wall is the back of the house, handy for placing against a wall of your real house (RH) for display.

IMG_1266 (960x1280)

I purchased a dormer window, which will go on the front side of the roof. After taking these shots, I cut a hole in the roof so the window can be seen through. I suppose I could have done it as a false window, maybe with something inside.

IMG_1267 (960x1280)

Generous frout porch

IMG_1268 (960x1280)

What the front will look like with dormer in place. The porch posts fit into post holes on bottom, and slots in the porch ceiling. Sturdy construction.

IMG_1269 (960x1280)

Porch wraps around to the side.

IMG_1270 (960x1280)

Putting windows and door in place to see what it will look like.

IMG_1271 (960x1280)


IMG_1272 (960x1280)

Side w/ windows.

IMG_1273 (960x1280)

I have both a Dutch door and a single French door, so I am trying both to see which I like better.

IMG_1274 (960x1280)

French door.

IMG_1275 (960x1280)

Dutch door.

I thought the Dutch door looked more rustic, which is what I’m going for in this project, so I’ll use it.

The cottage will be an antique shop, to house odds and ends of my collection–old furniture I took out of The Big House; new furniture I’ve bought but has nowhere to go yet. I’ll take stuff out of the shop as I build other houses and add new things as I go. Kind of a storage space, but in a display I can enjoy.

More photos as I build.

My philosophy is: Life is short. Build more dollhouses.