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. 🙂

Chicago Show–Workshops

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To say I had a blast at Chicago International is an understatement. I hope to return next year.

I could not stay the entire week because I had to do a reader event in Milwaukee, so on Friday afternoon, I left (after shopping until I dropped), and drove from Chicago north.

Workshops I took during the week:

Magic of the drill press with Tom Walden. Who knew? You can use a drill press for routing, carving, shaping–all kinds of things!

We made a table, which I did not put together all the way. I need to fix and finish it. I took Tom’s beginning class, but would love to go to the advanced class another time.

A radio made by Tom Walden using a drill press for everything except the knobs. (An example he passed around in class). Behind it you can see the holly and ebony table I’m working on.

Second class: Electricity!! Carl Sahlberg (Creative Reproductions 2 Scale: http://www.cr2s.com) taught this one. I of course went to his table the next day and bought all kinds of supplies to try out, including strings of LED Christmas lights.

We made a working fan with a light!

All the fun tools! We didn’t keep these–but all supplies for the class were provided. I learned to solder! Much easier than I thought, though I’m sure I’ll set the cats on fire if I do it at home.

The basic fan put together. The blades were laser cut for us. The board with electric tape was for us to practice laying and working with tape runs.

Bottom of the fan. The light socket has been threaded through (you can just see the tiny socket waiting for a light).

Lightbulb installed with globe over it.

It works!!!!

These two workshops were all day (9-5) with a short break for lunch. Intense, but I learned so much.

In my next post, I’ll give highlights of the show and things I bought. Before I went I feared I’d end up broke and having to sell the cats, but happily I found many lovely things without going over my budget.

 

Beacon Hill–Left Side–Garage

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On with the Beacon Hill!

As I’ve talked about, I set the left side of the Beacon Hill on top of the Houseworks garage.

 

I decided to proceed finishing this house from the bottom up, which means finishing the garage first.

Touched up outside paint, finished inside paint, and painted the floor.

Houseworks has a garage door to fit this kit, so I painted and installed it. Tip: Do not paint the rollers or the roller tracks if you want the door to work (it rolls up and down). I used this same door kit in the Mechanics Garage I did a few years ago.

Outside finished and trimmed.

I didn’t construct the garage exactly to the specifications of the kit, because I needed a flat roof, and the kit has peaked sides. I could have simply cut the peaks off the sides, but in the absence of a good power saw I decided to use other pieces of the kit to create the side walls.

This leaves me with a hole in the upper left side, because that piece of wood was supposed to be a floor with a hole for a ladder or staircase. Now it’s a window!

I went back to my own “Windows Tutorial” (link below) and did a custom-made window. First lined opening with 3/8 strip wood.

Making the two window frames from 1/4″ strip wood.

Frames ready for plastic or micro-glass in between. I imagine most people’s windows will be neater than mine.

The finished window with outside trim and sill (I haven’t trimmed the inside yet).

The Windows Tutorial post shows in detail how I put together custom windows. This method will let you make any window for any size of opening. Very convenient when you have an odd-sized opening or want to make different styles of windows without relying on what’s commercially available.

Now we have the garage! I need to do more trimming on the bottom.

While looking at this house head on, I made the decision not to do the entrance stairs up the side. I like how it looks, I can pretend there’s a way up from the garage, and it will be easier for me to display in a tight space, which was why I cut the Beacon Hill apart in the first place.

I will most likely put the left bay window in where it’s supposed to go.

My decision is not set in stone–I might change my mind again. But I like the simple appearance of the house as is.

If I do put in the bay window, I’ll prep all the parts.

Next thing for me, though, is the Chicago International Show! I am going this year for the first time! Signed up for workshops and everything. Let’s hope I don’t spend too much money. 🙂 I have $ set aside and a budget. Really.

Hopefully I’ll be able to take some photos of exhibits of cool minis. Which I of course will share!

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.

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