Beacon Hill–Fireplaces

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The fireplaces for the Beacon Hill are pretty straightforward, but as the instructions are sparse and have few photos, here’s the fireplace construction:

Fireplace pieces laid out. From top row to bottom: Trim, front, firebox back and sides; base/hearth, sides; top pieces (mantel), which get glued together, flush in back–one is smaller than the other.

Test building: Front goes in slots on hearth / base.

The mantel: Glue smaller on top of larger, centered, and flush at back. Have the “good” side of both pieces on the outside.

Firebox from the back. Sides angle from back to front.

The whole thing roughed together. Larger piece of the mantel goes on top.

Trim goes on front. Note that the trim is flush at the top of the front (not bottom).

I finished my firebox and hearth with brick paper before gluing together. Shot of the angles of the back.

 

I glued my trim on before I glued the piece to the hearth. This is how I discovered that the trim should be flush on top not bottom. (Bottom part of trim does not fit in slots.)

View from top with sides added. Edges of sides go against back of front piece.

Sides glued in place.

Mantel added.

Side view.

Front view of finished fireplace. I finished painting after I glued it together, because I didn’t want it to warp.

Finished and painted fireplace in position in house. The second floor fireplace is identical to this one. I’ll show the third floor one when I get there.

I finished the floor and all the trims (baseboards, cornices, trim around the bay openings, trim, trim, trim. Lots of raw edges!)

Note: I did not use the scrolled “bay window trim” that comes with the kit. For what the kitchen bay one looks like see Beacon Hill: Trimming the Interior. The bay trims go into the front and left bay on this side of the house in the same way as the kitchen bay’s.

Staircase set in place. I still need to finish the staircase opening, add an extra step, and a few other details before I glue it in. Plus I want to make a chandelier so I’m not dodging the staircase when I put it in.

Gathering all the pieces and tools for new chandelier!

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Beacon Hill–Catching up

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I’ve been working on the Beacon Hill since I returned from Chicago, in between working hard on about four books at once. I have made some progress.

The left bay window is finished and installed. You can see I have much cleaning up to do.

I also finished the inside of the garage (painted) and added a light.

This gadget is a junction splice between the tape wiring and the power supply. It can be used with LED lights (the black and red posts where wires can be placed), or simply screwed into the tape (which is what I did). I bought this from Carl Sahlberg at http://www.cr2s.com.

A bad photo, but this shows how the inline switch plugs in. The black cord leads to the transformer / power supply.

It works!

Roughing in floor and staircase.

Floor stained and installed. I need to finish it.

I’m trying to decide whether to go with the piano …

Or the harpsichord. I like how they both look.

Staircase is almost finished. I had to take it apart to stain the treads and railings while having everything else white. I broke four of the spindles and had to replace with Houseworks ones. I’ll show more of the staircase when I’m done with it.

Moving to the other side … I have much of the outside trimmed and finished.

  

Playing with furniture placement.

I decided to switch the bathroom to the top floor. The fixtures fit well in here, better than they did in the second floor room. Oh well. They match the wallpaper too.

The other side of the top floor will continue the bathroom. The washing and sitting area.

First floor / ground floor. Entrance hall will double as a sitting room.

This is my reasoning behind building the tall bay window extension–so I’d have more room for furniture! Not sure that the sofa in the window will stay, but it might.

Upstairs will have another sitting area / writing room. I plan to add a desk, either in the bay window or behind the staircase.

This is now the bedroom. Not much space, but it could be cozy. Everyone has a mannikin with a tutu in their bedroom, right?

Kitchen is still empty. I keep putting in the stuff I have for it, taking it out, debating arrangements. I’ll get there.

That’s it for now. Sandy has to make sure all is well beneath, though.

It’s definitely getting there!

Chicago Show–Stuff

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Showing a selection of beautiful things I found at the Chicago show.

An overview of the goodies.

Wendy Swale’s pillows and specimen (shells) tray. I’ve been purchasing Wendy’s pillows for years (have them all over my dollhouses), and it was exciting to meet her. She is the sweetest lady! I couldn’t resist these pillows and also her tiny paperweights and minerals (below).

Mirror in background is by June Clinkscales.

This “fossil” I got from Wendy is paint! From the car factories in Detroit when the cars were spray painted. The overspray built up on the machines, layers and layers, and now these pieces are collected. Apparently yellow is highly sought after.

Another artisan I was excited to meet was Troy Schmidt of Red Dragon Pottery. I’ve been admiring his work a long time. I purchased a Japanese tea bowl, a pot with wooden handle, and an ewer with a dragon spout. Lovely.

This beautiful Celtic knot by Diane Almeyda can be worn as a pendant or hung in a dollhouse window. Best when the light is behind it. I chose this particular one because it goes with my “Shifters Unbound” series of books (the Shifters wear collars with the Celtic knot.)

I love this tutu! From Julie Stewart at Aristocratic Attic.

Laura Crain had a ton of things at her table I could have glommed. I restrained myself and bought this pretty chair and pot of hydrangeas. I am thinking of putting the chair in the bathroom of the shabby chic side of the Beacon Hill.

The standing mirror is by Pete Acquisto. Not only is he very talented, he’s also the nicest guy. Just a regular person (sure), who happens to make amazingly exquisite miniature silver pieces. I love his work.

Couldn’t resist the beautiful captain’s desk, made by Bruce Phillips (BHP Fine Miniatures). It has several compartments and secret drawers.

You can just see the pulls of the hidden drawers beneath the tray. They really are there.

Two Brooke Tucker-style pieces. I liked the bling on the lamp. And bowls for the cat who has everything.

June Clinkscales is another artisan who is lovely in person. I took a picture of this bed I fell in love with then said, what the heck, and purchased.

The color and style will fit perfectly into the top floor room of the left side of the Beacon Hill (which will look much better once I have a floor and a window and other details …)

Last but not least–electrics!

From Carl Sahlberg, whose electricity class I took, I have power supply, circuit boards, and LED Christmas lights, both in color and warm white. I might use the warm white in one of the Beacon Hills.

I was a little intimidated by the circuit boards, but they’re very simple. I’ll have more on that later.

I did make one other purchase (or at least a down payment) from Ferd Sobol. When I get that all paid off and in my hands (or on a table touching it very carefully), I’ll do a presentation. 🙂

Beacon Hill: Add-ons

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Because I cut my Beacon Hill in half, I need to fill in what I took away. In the left portion, I’m leaving the side open for easier viewing, but because I put it on top of a garage, I need a new front door, and a staircase to reach it.

I’m turning the side bay window into the front door. I’ll build up the opening and then put a door in it, possibly with sidelights–I’ll think about it.  A staircase runs up from the ground to reach it.

The opening below will be an archway through which our imaginary people can walk to get to a door into the garage. More realistic if they can park and walk out to the stairs without having to use the rolling garage door.

This is a rough-in of the outside stairs that will run up to the front door. You can sort of see what will become the porch roof as well.

Another view relative to the garage.

I will build the walls, put in the stairs, and then trim it with plenty of moldings, spindles, posts, and lots of Victorian gingerbread.

On the right portion of the house …

I’ve added the outside wall with bays on ground and second floors. The bays give me more room on each of the floors to add furniture–it’s a small space without it. I painted to match the rest of the house.

When I get it all trimmed up with moldings and roof brackets I’ll post more pictures.

The inside of the second floor bay window. I need to wipe the dust off the floor, but this bay extension will let me put in a desk or sofa or something as I decorate. Again, more pics when I get it all trimmed and cleaned up!

Using the large windows lets me have a different perspective of the inside, one I wouldn’t see well if I’d built the house as one unit. This is looking into the upstairs and the French door to the balcony.

Ground floor with front door and staircase. The staircase is intricate and hard to build, so it’s nice to see it!

I have more trimming and painting to do, not to mention the outside staircase on the left house, but I’m getting there!

Beacon Hill: Cellar Window

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I wanted to make sure I used the cellar window. It is supposed to go at the bottom of the the left side of the house. But because I’m putting the left side on top of a garage, and so eliminating the window opening, I decided to relocate the window to the right side of the house, under the kitchen bay.

This meant, of course, that I had to cut an opening for the window. It was fairly easy to cut through the thin foundation piece.

In fact, the foundation piece fell off as I cut it, which turned out make the window easier to put in. So maybe the cellar window should be inserted before the foundation is glued on?

The four cellar window pieces (from top to bottom): Back, sill, window trim, and window frame.

The sill slides under the foundation, the notches fitting around the foundation piece (very much like the window sills in all the other windows in the house).

The back of the window is glued to the sill–the back’s edge is flush with the bottom of the sill. (If you glue the back on top of the sill, it will be too tall.)

The plastic window glued to the back of the frame.

The window frame set in place, resting on the sill.

The window trim over the frame, ends resting on the sill.

Foundation glued back on house with window in place. I added the bricks to the foundation to finish it.

The cellar window done and in place.

As you can see, I’m also in the process of bricking the foundation (textured brick paper).

I plan to finish trimming this side of the house before returning to the left side.

Beacon Hill Left Side: Windows! and Shingles

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I found some time to complete the windows and shingle the roof.

Single window pieces painted and ready to be assembled in the window. See my post on the windows for the first half for more details on how to build them: Beacon Hill: Single Windows

The double window is put together very much like the single window. I like the hole in the trim that will show the window sash beneath it.

Window sill is put in first, smallest sill, then medium sill, then large sill. Top trim is large then medium then small.

I’m painting the window sashes a darker shade of green than the trim but lighter than the house. I came up with this shade by mixing the dark and very light greens (simple).

I decided to go ahead and do the dormer windows as well. (See my post on the first side of the house for more details: Beacon Hill: Dormer Windows

This is what the sill looks like, wrong side up. The wider part of the sill goes inside the house.

The painted sill fitted into the window opening.

Sill from the inside.

Sides and front slid through the opening and glued. It is much easier to fit the windows before shingling, but still it’s tight and not quite accurate. You have to get the roof pieces curved and glued down exactly, or the window pieces don’t fit together. Mine were close, but I still had to trim and wiggle and clamp before they were stable.

“Ls” in place with dormer slats glued in.

Completed dormer window with the arrow trim painted and attached to the front. I went with the same dark green as the house for the trim.

Front of the house with all windows done. I won’t put the window pane in the dormers until I’m finished decorating the inside. Learned that on the first half!

For this part of the roof, I added a matte board to the bottom edge (it was cut away to accommodate the tower), and shingled over it. I’ll have to add a wall or something interesting under it to finish off that side.

This half of the house is pretty much done, except for the final trims (the gazillion brackets).

I want to concentrate on the bottom half of the house now, which is the Houseworks garage kit. I need to build the stairs to the front porch and door (and build the porch) as well as get a garage door and do some trimming.

I am thinking I’ll start at the bottom of the house and work my way back up until it’s finished.

I will do the cellar window that comes with the kit, but I’m going to put it on the other half and cover up the opening for it (you can see it in the photo above). More on that when I return to the first half of the house.

I’m also not going to use the shutters. I thought about it for this side, but I like the way the house looks without them. I might make one and test it–I can always change my mind.

If I don’t post between now and then, have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyous Yule, and Happy New Year!

Beacon Hill Left Side: Bay Windows

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Next in the instructions are the regular windows (narrow and double), but since I’ve talked about those on the right side of the house, I jumped to the bay windows. These use a similar method to the regular windows, but it’s trickier to put them in.

I made the front bay window only, but the method for the left bay is exactly the same.

The sill pieces: three large and three small each for outer bottom, outer top, inner bottom, and inner top of the window openings. The outer sills have the two small tabs that go inside the narrow windows; the inner sills have the long tab in the middle.

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I had the extra challenge of gluing a few pieces back together. The wood on this sometimes separates.

The small, medium, and large pieces for the outside sill. They’re very close in size–the small sills in my kit have the grain running crosswise instead of lengthwise.

The interior sills painted and glued together. It’s easier to see which is small, medium, and large once they’re stacked together.

Outside sills glued in. The largest piece goes on top of both bottom and top sills.

Inner and outer sill. In theory, these two pieces should meet in the middle. In practice, the pieces didn’t fit into the windows at all, and I had to sand the openings and trim down the tabs. This was the best I could do.

Inner sill before I glued it in place. Had to sand and trim to fit.

Next, the window sash and trim pieces. The exterior trim is in two parts, which get stacked on top of each other. The interior only has one thickness. For the front bay, there are two narrow windows and one wide.

Exterior trims glued, thinner pieces over thicker.

Trim added to outside.

Window sashes painted with the plastic panes sandwiched between them.

As it turned out, my windows were too large for the openings. I had to sand the openings and the sashes quite a lot before they fit.

Also, I learned that putting the trim on first was a mistake–windows were impossible for me to get in all the way from the interior. I took off the outer trim, glued the windows into the openings and then glued the exterior trim back on.

Window sashes in place behind the exterior trim.

Also I see that my horizontal trim is off, so I’ll have to take it off and fix it.

Tip: To remove glued-on trim, paint it with rubbing alcohol, wait about a minute, then slide a knife behind it and pry it off. The alcohol is a solvent for the glue and softens it.

This kit can be a big challenge. In some cases, you almost have to tear it apart to make it go together.

When I’m frustrated, I take a look at one of my assistants and enjoy the cuteness.

Next are the rest of the windows (narrow, double, and dormer). I might have to take a short break from this project for a few days. The windows are fairly straightforward, but there are so many pieces to paint! I’m not sure I have the stamina, plus it’s time to decorate for Christmas!

I’ll post again when I have more.

 

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