Break from Beacon Hill but back soon

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This time I did have to take a break from the Beacon Hill. Too much!

I turned to other kits I had bought and stashed. First, a microscale flower shop:

I think one appeal of microscale is that you can build a whole house and landscape it in a weekend! That and it doesn’t take up much display space.

These both are kits from Robin Betterley: https://www.robinbetterley.com/collections/watercolors

Next, I started a quarter inch scale kit from Suzanne and Andrew’s that I’d been hoarding for a year or so.

This kit is called  “Creekside Studio”  in 1/4″ scale. Very small, a first floor and a loft, the first floor divided into two rooms by a cabinet. (I see this kit still for sale on Suzanne and Andrew’s site, so if interested, grab it. Their kits get retired.)  Creekside Studio by Suzanne and Andrew’s Minis

I’m almost finished with the structure. I’ll post pics when I’m done. This one is taking me about a week to finish (maybe two).

But I’m still plugging away on the Beacon Hill. I now have interior trim done for the second-floor room (will be the bathroom):

and the left half of the top floor, which will be a bedroom.

One reason for my slowdown, other than dollhouse fatigue, is having a lot of work to do at my job (real life). Minis had to go on the back burner for a while, always a bummer.

It’s also nice to do simple kits to step back from a more complicated one. Suzanne and Andrew (http://andrewsmini.com/miniatures/ ) and Robin Betterley (https://www.robinbetterley.com) have fun ones that look great when finished. (I promise I don’t work for them or do endorsements for them; I just like their stuff!)

I hate to admit it, but I can’t resist a great kit. I keep telling myself I will design my own houses, and then I see a fantastic, well-designed kit, and in it goes to my stash. But I swear I will make them all! I decided a few years ago that there’s a difference between collecting and hoarding …

More Beacon Hill anon.

 

Small Projects

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After a big project like the half-scale Bungalow, I like to calm down by doing short-term, easy projects. Plus I’ve been working like crazy on a new book, which is now winding down (whew).

I did two projects–finished the cute spice tin, then did a fun, spooky one for Halloween that inspired a whole room.

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Completed 1/4″ scale spice tin I’d started a while back. This is a kit from Robin Betterley called “Mayblossom Morning.” (At her site, find under “Our Products” then “Holiday Vignettes–1/4 scale.”)

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I went for the whole shebang–spice tin kit plus three kits to furnish it. I did not use all the furniture from the kits–had a table and chair leftover, which I’m sure will find their way into another project.

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The tin kit comes with the lighting (LED with battery) that rests between ceiling and lid.

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I was attracted to this kit because of all the birdhouses. Love them.

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I set the mini “tin” with a real antique ginger tin in my kitchen.

Ok, spring is out of the way; now it’s onto dark, fun stuff.

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This is a kit, in 1-inch scale, by Ginger Landon Siegal. I did her diner kit a while back, saw this one on her website, and couldn’t resist. Working on it served as a nice break when I was writing and wanted to throw my computer across the room (I didn’t).

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The kit inspired me to build an entire Halloween room and scene for it. I had a roombox kit I’d bought at a deep discount a long time ago that’s just been sitting in my closet. Waiting for the perfect moment, I guess!

The bare bones:

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Next post, I’ll go through how I’m building and lighting the box–hopefully I will get it done before Halloween! It will be filled with potions, skulls, caldrons, and other creepy stuff.

Quarter inch scale–taking a break

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Taking a break from dollhouse building to indulge in this cute kit from Robin Betterley. I intended to buy the “tin” only and decorate it myself, but I really liked the interior furnishing so I got those kits as well.

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The “tin” is made of wood, painted, and with art to look like a large spice tin.

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Everything comes with the kit–wallpaper, flooring, outside art, plus an LED light and battery box (with instructions) to light the tin’s interior.

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Tin lit up .

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This is one of the kits made for this tin. You get everything–hutch and chair and all the accessories (birdhouses, baskets, postcards, seed flat, etc), including a rug.

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The kit inside the tin.

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I have two more kits to put together to finish the inside. Any quarter-inch scale furnishing will fit, though, or it could be a display box for any kind of collection. Neat!

This kit is part of a line that looks like it will have a tin for each season. This one is May (Mayblossom Morning)–I liked the spring theme.

When I get the hankering to do the next two kits, I will and post the finished pics. For now, it’s time for the half-scale Bungalow, and to keep going on the one-inch scale garage.

Shoe House Landscaping

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I had a little challenge with the final exterior on the Shoe House, because I had wires to hide. I had purchased this wooden base from Michael’s a while back, and realized that the hole in the bottom (the base came like that) would be perfect.

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I gathered all the wires (splicing on more wire where they weren’t long enough), stuffed them through the hole, then pieced artificial grass around it (the German grass sheet bought at Hobby Builders Supply).

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Ready for landscaping and finishing.

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Shoelace is a piece of grosgrain ribbon that came with the kit. I painted it black and dabbed on polka-dots… or rather, Mrs. Mouse did. She didn’t like it plain.

The most amazing thing about this ribbon is that it was lying about loose while my entire real house got packed up and then unpacked (for reflooring). When I needed the ribbon, I found it right away! That will never happen to me again.

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The rest of the landscaping is model railroad supplies, painting, and glue.

Bushes around the base, which hide the wiring and hole are clumpy green model rr landscaping stuff. I tore pieces to the size I wanted, dipped in quick-dry tacky glue, and stuck it around the house. Then I dry-brushed blue, pink, yellow, and red for flowers.

The vines: I used vines to cover the wires coming out of the house. Here’s how I did it:

I took 0000 steel wool and pulled it apart until I had very thin strands but still a bit meshed together. I painted them green. You could spray paint these, but slathering on dark green acrylic craft paint worked fine.

I glued the painted strands of steel wool to the house where I wanted them (over the strands of wires). Once that was dry, I dribbled tacky glue on the strands (a small area at a time), and sprinkled loose green model railroad landscaping foam over them. When dry, I shook off the excess. Did this until I had fairly uniform green all over the vines.

For flowers, I dabbed the vines with tacky glue (I use Aleen’s Quick-Dry tacky–it’s a white bottle with a silver label), and then dribbled on colored loose model railroad foam. I’m finding that mixing colors (blue with white, red with yellow) makes the flowers look more natural and realistic.

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And that’s it! The inside still needs finishing touches, but I’ll get there. I can never build a house in one go .. I have to work to a point, put it aside, and come back to it. That way I stay excited about the project instead of burning out.

I have another 1/4 scale project I’m working on, then I think I’ll return to 1″ scale for a change!

Shoe House

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Now that I have a workspace, I can finish some projects that got pushed aside. Scroll down for the furnished interior of the shoe house, which is inhabited by Mr. and Mrs. Mouse (Mrs. Mouse likes polka-dots and pink).

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The kitchen is enclosed in the base of the shoe. I’m keeping it very simple, because you will only be able to see it through the front door and window once the house is fixed to the top.

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Kitchen viewed through window (before I glued the top part of the house on).

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The living room with the furniture placed, waiting for accessories and decoration.

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Bedroom. Hard to see, but the bed cover is blue with polka dots. Pillows are a cute kit from The Quarter Source.

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A glimpse of the bathroom, with lights.

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Front door with kitchen beyond. Because this house has two rooms that are more or less hidden, I put in LEDs to make them easier for viewers to see. All rooms have indirect lighting except the living room, because I really liked the ceiling light.

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Lit-up kitchen through window.

Now I need to disguise the wires, landscape the small base the house is on (which will help hide the wiring), and put all the finishing touches on the inside (accessories, plants, pillows, pictures).

Workspace / Honeysuckle Cottage (Quarter Inch)

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The flooring is done, walls painted, baseboards in! My real house looks fabulous. I took the opportunity to update my workspace. I replaced an elderly table nearly bent in the middle and boxes of stuff everywhere, to new table and tower of sliding drawers (Container Store had a big sale). I took a picture while it was all nice and neat, because it’s not going to stay that way!!! (Already isn’t)

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New project–dabbled on this while waiting for flooring, because it was easy to put away in a shoebox when I couldn’t work on it. This is Honeysuckle Cottage, a kit by Sue Heber. As you might guess, I’m fond of her kits (have done four of them now). She’s retired this one (which I bought about a year ago; her kits don’t last long–if you’re on her site and see a kit you like, grab it now!).

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Everything was provided for this house, including all landscaping materials, doors, windows, shingles, tiny wishing well, walkway (though I made my own), flooring, and wallpaper (I chose to use other wallpaper, and the wallpaper for this house ended up in another house).

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The interior waiting to be finished and furnished.

Sparrow Cottage

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I’m going absolutely nuts not being able to work on minis. Someone hand me some wood and a glue bottle!!!

In lieu of making minis, I can post pics of them. I am working on posting final pics of all my projects (and I have many). Today it was Sparrow Cottage, a 1/4″ kit I built in 2014. The pics are here:

https://jennsminis.wordpress.com/quarter-inch-houses/sparrow-cottage/

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