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!

PetalStone: Interior

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Before I ran off traveling all over in September, I finished the interior furnishings of the Petalstone 1/4″ scale house. I made the exterior a couple of years ago and finally got around to doing the inside. Scroll down for lots of photos, and click photos for larger versions.

The overall interior.

Bottom floor: Left to right:

Dining room and front door area.

Zoomed out for perspective.

Front door with bench.

Closeup of dining table and chairs.

Middle area with staircase and room divider.

Kitchen is tucked behind the staircase in the silo area.

It’s a little hard to photograph the kitchen but you get the idea.

Living room area.

Zooming in past living area to front door (there are two front doors in this house). Another bench with stuff in the foyer.

Looking in through the conservatory / greenhouse.

Looking from conservatory into living room.

From living room into conservatory. I think this is my favorite room.

Second floor: Left to right:

The guest room.

Simple, cute, and pink.

This shows how the bathroom and kitchen are situated in the silo. The bathroom is behind an open sliding door.

  

A full bathroom–everything you need.

 

The master bedroom in shades of cool blue-green.

Top Floor:

On the left is the attic, full of old castoffs.

On the right, the writing nook, with a computer set up on the writing table, a comfy chair, and lots and lots of books. I’d love one of these in real life!

 

This is quite a lovely house overall, and it was a fulfilling build.

The kit of the house and all the furnishings is still available from Robin Betterley: https://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/petalstone

 

Way Cool Miniatures

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I want to share some of the coolest minis I’ve found. The first is a box of Lord of the Rings books and maps in Spanish. I bought this from the artisan (who is from Spain) on an online sale that was chock full of wonderful things. I had to restrain myself.

(Señor Anillos means, in literal translation, “Ring Lord”)

The side of the box with the cast of the film version.

Inside are the three main books of the series (Fellowship; Two Towers; Return of the King), plus a secret drawer!

The books are printed throughout. This one is The Fellowship of the Ring.

Inside the secret drawer all all kinds of maps! There is one from the Hobbit and also the ones that lead to Mount Doom.

The craftsmanship on this set is wonderful. I first read The Lord of the Rings when I was about twelve, and nerded out on it big time.

This set satisfies both the nerd in me as well as the miniaturist. It really is beautiful.

Next is the Metamorphic Desk by Ferd Sobol.

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Backing up–When I went to Europe a couple years ago, one reason I booked the trip we did was because it ended in Basel, giving me a day of free time to go to the Miniature Museum there. (I know how to plan…) I’ve posted photos of what I found there elsewhere (Basel Miniature Museum (Spielzeug Welten Museum)

There they displayed a metamorphic desk:

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I loved it! When I saw that Ferd Sobol had built one, I ordered one from him when I attended the Chicago show last year. He makes limited editions and I knew that when they were gone, they’d be gone and I’d regret it forever if I didn’t grab one, so I indulged. Hey, I work hard. I should have a beautiful desk, right?

Here it is in the left half of my Beacon Hill. The chair pulls out, the two halves slide open, and a drawer compartment pops up. (The drawer contains secret letters!)

I got to choose the wood, the inlay design, and the fabric for the chair.

You can see it a little better here, and below:

It’s beautiful, and the workmanship is superb (he is brilliant). Here’s a link to a video about the desk, from Ferd Sobol’s site–you can see it better than in my photos.

These two are so far my coolest minis. Both are displayed in the left half of the Beacon Hill, which is my “show house.”

Beacon Hill: Right Side–Downstairs

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Back to the Beacon Hill. I’ve started adding furnishings and things to the first floor of the shabby chic side.

On the entrance hall side I have some furniture and a few fun things. I’ll put this all together and add rugs, pictures, etc.

The inhabitants are getting ready to go on a picnic.

Slowly filling up this adorable cabinet I recently bought.

On to the kitchen. I am adding things as I go.

I took the baker’s rack from the front porch project (see previous post), and repurposed it as kitchen shelves.

I finally have a place to display all the food I’ve collected! I will paint the table probably dark red or dark green and antique it.

It’s a start!

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.

 

Older Projects: Shoe House–Finishing Touches

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Now that my obsession with the Beacon Hill has been satisfied, I’m returning to older projects and cleaning them up or adding finishing touches.

I returned to the Shoe House (Quarter-Inch Scale) to add decoration and furniture to the downstairs rooms plus overhaul the electric system. It had become disconnected and a tangled mess during my move.

I soldered! I learned this in class at the Chicago show, and now I have my own soldering iron and everything (cats beware…)

Scary stuff! But I am finding that the connections are stronger and more reliable. As in, the lights work!

I had to repair almost every connection, and add new lead wires. I got the green connection junction and battery box from Lighting Bug. It’s an LED kit. For each fixture one wire feeds to the positive, one to the negative lead wire (red for positive, black negative), and those wires are screwed into positive and negative terminals in the junction box. That is hardwired (by the manufacturer) into the black battery / switch box. I now just flip the switch on the black box, and the lights come on!

The kitchen is in the bottom of the shoe, only visible through the door and window.

I added all kinds of decorative touches (pictures, plants, dishes, books, pillows, throws, various accessories) to the living / dining room.

I tend to save accessories that come with other kits that I didn’t use with the original kit, which help scatter finishing touches throughout the house.

Upstairs I added pictures, pillows, nightstand accessories, and a folded throw at the bottom of the bed (you can barely see it–it’s pink).

Fixing the lighting systems lets me get a better photo of the bathroom, which, like the kitchen, is only visible through door and window.

 

I’m pleased with how everything has turned out.

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