French Quarter: Finishing the Interior

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A while back I put together this house from Karen Cary’s miniatures. This is 1/4″ scale (1:48 scale).

I love the exterior, but I never finished furnishing it except for the kitchen. The other day I walked by it, looking all bare and neglected inside and couldn’t stand it anymore. So, I took it off display and back to the “workshop.” Went through my boxes of quarter inch kits and accessories, and here’s what I did.

Overall interior including the roof garden. I also electrified the house while I was at it!

The story for this house: It’s an old set of shops in New Orleans that were purchased and turned into a single house. Downstairs is a kitchen and living / dining room. Upstairs a sun room and bedroom. I didn’t have room for a bathroom or stairs, so we can pretend they’re on the cutaway side of the house.

For the kitchen I used the “pie kitchen” kit from Robin Betterley. I did this a while ago. I think it fills the space nicely. I didn’t use all the pieces, so I have a cabinet and a couple other things I can put in another house.

I bought the pie rack and made the tiny pies. The jars of jam I bought at the Good Sam show this October. The baking pans are a kit by Debbie Young (Young at Heart).

  

Next is the living room / dining room:

I built a lot of kits for this room, and made / found many accessories. Lots of shelves to fill!

Plates and silverware box are kits from True2Scale.

I made the books and the plant and upholstered the sofa.

This little sofa is actually a 3-D printed couch that I covered with fabric. I knew if I painted it, it would look horrible (lack of skill and good paint), and I thought, “Hmm, I wonder if I can upholster it?”

Lots of glue and determination later, and I had it! I was much easier that I feared. Tacky glue and a sturdy fabric–this is cotton. I glued it right onto the plastic sofa form. I wouldn’t recommend silk for this, unless it’s thick, like raw silk. Also helpful is a pair of small very sharp scissors.

I fitted it on a piece at a time, arms first, then one piece to wrap from bottom front all the away over the seat and around and down the back. Last I put on the fronts of the arms–thin pieces cut and stretched, stretched stretched over the front. Tiny pillows can cover up flaws in cutting.

Upstairs to the sitting room. I really like this room as it’s bright and sunny. I can imagine reading here on a nice day with the windows and patio door open to let in the breeze.

I did not make the gorgeous wicker sofa / day bed. It was another Good Sam show purchase last month. (When I remember who I purchased it from, I’ll post).

I put plants outside the open French door.

Now for the bedroom. It took a long time for me to figure out how to arrange it and what needed to be in it. Once I put the bed on the wall facing the opening and the cabinet in the corner, it all seems to click. (I had it on the right wall before, and nothing was working.)

Filling the room with accessories makes it look lived in. Books, throws, pillows, plants, boxes, and bottles seem to bring it to life. I scour my supplies for anything tiny that’s workable.

The sweater on the hanger came from a “boudoir” kit from True2Scale. (It has hangers, boxes, clothing, tiny pictures, and a couple other cute things).

Another cozy space for reading, this time on a cool winter’s night.

A closeup of the filled cabinet in the bedroom.

Last, the roof garden. The large wall looked bare, so I took a Grandt Line window I had in my stash, painted it to look like old wrought iron, and added plants to it.

The whole thing is put together from bits and pieces I’d bought or made and stashed away.

A few more shots of the finished building. I’ve put this back on display now and am much happier when I walk by it!

Projects: Veneered box and Dora’s Little Loft

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I want to share two little projects I did when the Westville grew too frustrating, and then I’ll turn back to the Westville build.

First, I finished up the box I started in the class with Geoff Wonnacott in Chicago.

I added the hinges myself, plus all the filigree and lock. Papered the inside of the box and then finished the outside with shellac.

The hinge pins were long pieces of wire snipped as close to the hinge as possible and then ground down with a Dremel. I was amazed at how well that worked! New techniques to know.

The second fun project is a kit called Dora’s Little Loft–almost 360 degrees different from the box above.

This is a kit by a Chinese company called Robo Time, which specializes in 3D puzzles and miniature scenes. I’ve seen these kits in various catalogs that come through my house (like Acorn and others), and I purchased this one because it was just cute.

It has a retro feel and is very colorful. The kit contains *everything* in the room–you make all kinds of accessories and little decorative objects, all out of paper, wood, wire, clay, and findings and beads.

Everything here I made from the bits of wire, paper, and fabric in the kit. It’s cleverly put together, even if some of the accessories are a little fiddly.

A tip: Superglue (krazy glue with brush applicator) saves a lot of grief when working with the projects made of wire.

I can put together another post with tips and tricks on this build.

Meanwhile, here’s details of the finished piece.

I used my own pink fabric for the chair, but everything else came from the kit (they include the chair’s fabric, but I liked my color better.)

I chose this kit instead of the plant shop, because I didn’t want to make so many plants. Ha! This one has 19 different potted plants, plus the rose vine and a tree! I cut out many leaves …

I love the details of the cat’s food bowl, milk, and enclosed litter box.

The light fixture with led light and battery box is included–battery box is hidden in a niche beneath the scene. It was one of the easiest lighting hookups I’ve done.

Scale? It’s sort of 1/2 inch, sort of 1 inch. It’s not really exact. But it looks fine. The finished scene is about 8 inches x 10 inches, maybe 10 inches high.

I enjoyed this kit so much (when not cursing at it), that I looked to see what else they had.

HBS (miniatures.com) has four–this one (Dora’s Loft), the plant shop, a kitchen, and a mini camper (I like that one and might get it too).

I searched Robo Time’s website for more, and there are many more. A bookstore, a coffee house, a porch, other shops, all kinds of them. I purchased another one–a music studio–because I play guitar and piano, and it looks cool.

You can purchase directly from Robo Time–they have a U.S. warehouse, so the shipping is from the U.S. (and shipping is free if you spend about $50). They’re also sold through other retailers, and Amazon. Prices are cheapest at the Robo Time site or HBS (miniatures.com)

Anyway, a fun little interlude before I got back to the Westville.

Next post–Westville porch, bay windows, and starting the roof.

Beacon Hill, Left Side–Interior pretty much done!

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After taking a break from the Beacon Hill, I was inspired to go in and finish the left side’s interior furnishings. Except for the garage, I pretty much have it how I want it. Click photos for larger versions.

The first floor music room.

Second floor living room / study, with gorgeous desk by Ferd Sobol. I knew I’d kick myself for not getting this desk that I absolutely love, and I am so glad I went ahead and bought it. It’s amazing, and I’ll do a separate post on it.

The bedroom. The showpiece in this room is the bed by June Clinkscales. Isn’t that beautiful?

June also made the bed stairs, which I turned into a nightstand.

I filled this house with the beautiful things I’ve been collecting either at shows or through auctions. It’s my fancy house.

More shots below! Click for larger pictures.

Below is a cellarette by J. Guthiel and a Lord of the Rings kind of collection of books and maps in Spanish. I’ll put that in a separate post too. (Way Cool Miniatures)

One final thing I did is to use posts to support the side of the house that I cut away. These are Houseworks porch posts, painted and cut to fit.

As you can see, I have much more to do on the garage. I’m going for woodshop-y clutter. I’m looking for and collecting more tools and benches / shelving. The car is a little too small (I think it’s 1:18 scale), but I like Mustangs so I’ll try to make it work.

There we have it! I’ll do a future post on the right side of the house, which too is almost done.

More Nob Hill and Mini Framed Art tutorial

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Before I could put the roof on the Quarter-inch scale Nob Hill and hook up the electricity, I had to furnish the entire second floor.

I needed to finished the bathroom, bedroom, and room in the front–so here’s what I did.

Bedroom before I put the roof on.

Finished with roof and lights. You can see the front room, which I decided to keep simple, like an extension of the bedroom.

The bathroom is a kit created for this house by Suzanne and Andrew’s Minis. I added the towels, bottles, decals, and plants from my own stash and leftovers from other kits.

A peek at the bathroom through the window.

For the pictures: I search the net for vintage pictures or classic paintings and then size them for the house I need. I measure real pictures and posters and calculate the dimensions (easy for 1″ scale). These are quarter inch scale, and about 1″ x 3/4″ and 1″ x 1/2″.

I line these images up in a Word doc file (inserting each image and making columns), and then print on card stock using my color printer (when it has ink, which it usually doesn’t). I do many of these at a time and keep them in a folder. As you can see, I have more than one copy of the same picture, so if I mess it up, I have a second one handy.

For the frame, I cut pieces of molding that I’ve stained or painted. In this case, since it’s so small and informal, I cut straight pieces of 1/16 inch wood strips, stained them, and then glued them around the picture. For bigger pictures, I will use picture-frame molding and miter the corners or, even easier, buy a frame and size the picture to fit before I print it.

I glue the frames right to the cardstock and then cut it out with an X-acto knife.

This makes for quick and easy art to stick on the walls.

So now the Nob Hill has a roof and lights! Next, I need to furnish the downstairs.

Minis last month

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I haven’t posted a lot since Christmas, but I’ve been making minis. Mostly kits, as they are soothing after a hard day’s (week’s, month’s) work. As usual, click photos for larger pics.

What I’ve mostly been doing is decorating the interior of the Petalstone (1/4 inch scale), which is this house:

 

I’ve put together kits for the hall benches at both entrances:

Plus the dining room table and chairs:

In the attic is the writing nook. I am in awe of anyone who can design a 1/4″ scale computer and printer. I never would have thought of that!

The kit makes about 162 individual books. In 1/4″ scale. (Wow.) I have made about 90 of them. I’ll make the others when I can, and use them in other projects.

This is the conservatory kit: Potting benches, plants, plants, plants, pots, crates, etc.

We even have some gardening boots!

I had only planned to do the kits for the conservatory and writing nook (because I loved all the accessories), and then decided, what the heck. I’ll just do the kits for all the rooms.

This is a Robin Betterley house and room kits (Link in my sidebar under quarter inch scale).

I am, though, getting the hankering to do another Greenleaf kit that’s sitting in a box in my closet (the Westville; so much smaller than the Beacon Hill!). I’ll see.

Older Projects–Porch and Wicker

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Next on my “fix-it” list was the porch I made at a NAME State Day. One-inch scale.

I changed the decor a little because I had purchased a wicker set by Uncle Ciggie, and I needed a place to display it. It’s porch furniture–ergo …

I’m picturing a warm summer evening on the front porch. I can hear the crickets.

I also came across this terrarium when I was cleaning out my closet. I’d had a scene in it that I took apart, and I thought–what the heck? This would be another great place for the pieces of the wicker set.

The lovely blue pillow on the love seat is by Wendy Smale.

I’m pleased the wicker furniture now has a home (or two).

Older Projects: Colonial Tavern

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As with the Shoe House, I went back to the Colonial Tavern and added a few new things plus fixed the lights.

This two-room house is one-inch scale.

The device on the right is a wool winder, made by Pam Boorum of Smaller than Life.

I’m always changing up what’s on the tavern table a little. This time added the blue and white pitcher, the silver tankard and basket.

The half door, in theory, leads to a cellar.

Added the carved duck and jug to the shelf over the settle.

Upstairs, the single candle lights up the room.

Pam Boorum made this pretty box on the dresser as well as the spice box on top of the hutch in the downstairs room.

I kept the lighting system very simple: An LED indirect light on the first floor and the candlestick on the second floor. Plenty of light but it’s soft. Wires go out the back to a small strip of copper tape wire at the base, which connect to a small transformer.

This house is a great place for the Early American and Shaker odds and ends I collect. I love both.

I constructed this house eons ago from scrap wood my dad was going to throw away. I’m glad I’ve hung on to it.

 

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