Friday, April 30, 2010

Doing the walls....

Wow. I almost hate to post the pictures from yesterday since they look bad, but I'm going to hope you realize that once all the trim is in place, it's going to look amazing. This level of the dollhouse is just one of those things that gets a lot worse before it ever gets better. We, we are at the worst. LOL

Yesterday I found a small bucket of drywall mud (joint compound) to cover the unsightly plywood. With a sponge I gave a light texture to the surfaces. This seemed to work beautifully and gave a great undercoat to the paint.

The master bedroom is getting it's trim. This is where I left it yesterday when it started getting too dark to see. I've decided to do this whole level in greens and blues, so I started here with a green "woven" look wallpaper. There is a super light green wall adjacent to it, but from this angle you can't see it.

To complement the green in the marble wallpaper in bedroom 2, I have chosen a darker green accent wall. I then added the super light green for the inside of the closet. I do like greens and wood tones together. It really seems to bring the outside in, and with all the glass in this house, the outside seems to have become the theme naturally.

For bedroom 3, I decided to try something a bit more bold by adding a large print, green on blue, wallpaper to a smaller wall and bring out the blue in the background with a blue wall. I painted the inside of the closet a super light blue. The blue wall has a crackle finish on it, and I will be going over it with a gray wash to simulate the crackle finish in the background of the wallpaper.

For the master bath and closet, I chose the super light green since I had the green in the master bedroom. For the main bathroom though, I went with the light blue. The rest of the upstairs will just be varnished once the trim is in, so that the natural beauty of the woods can show through.

So today will be all about trim. I really would like to get it all in place so that I can start with the varnish. I'm on my way now. Until next time....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The walls are in! The walls are in!!!

Good morning. Yes, I know that I normally do this blog in the evening, but since no one seemed to notice that I didn't get a blog up for almost two days when our internet was out, I'm guessing that it doesn't really matter when I get this up. So, yesterday when I finished doing what I did, rather than grabbing the camera, I found other things to do, and took the pictures this morning.

Well, yesterday was another busy day for the dollhouse. That made me feel a bit better since I didn't get anything done on it the day before. Now the last of the interior walls are in. Yay, me.

In this picture, you are getting a view of the master bath and closet, the main bath, and the master bedroom. It's a bit better view of the walk-in master shower. That will look like more when the glass is added! The walls need finishing badly!

From this view you can see that the third bedroom finally has it's walls, and you get a tease of the master balcony.

and here is the master balcony.... railing in! Whoo-hoo.

I know this all looks like a huge mess, but it's really not. Today I am going to venture out to the local hardware store and see what is available here to coat the really poor quality plywood. I'm thinking like a plaster of some kind. With that I could do some interesting textures as well, that could really add to the aesthetics of this house. The big question though is what can I find in a small enough amount to work. This isn't like doing this in the States where I could run to Hobby Lobby or Michael's and pick up a pound container. Here I have to depend on a hardware store.... and in a third world country, at that. So, we'll see what I end up with. One thing I have learned here is that you just make things work. Tim Gunn would be proud.

And for my last picture today, you can see the frame I will use for the wall that will open. In this picture I have it taped and clamped to the place where it will fit when it's finished, to insure that it laid flat against it while drying. It would really suck if I had gotten it all put together and then found out it had tweaked or warped in some odd way and didn't lay flat! It's tight fit is crucial to the finished look of this house and to top it off, it's in the front! From here I can fit in the outside walls and whatnots to insure a perfect fit when opening and closing. It has be be exact for the inside as well as the outside to look right when it's done. It almost has to fit together like a puzzle piece.

So, that's where I am right now. I'll post this and get to work on the next step. So, until next time....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two days in one...

Early Tuesday morning...

Hi. I know I normally do this blog every evening, but it was getting late by the time I took the pictures, and THEN the internet went down. It does that from time to time here, as well as the power, the water and the cable. Nothing is real reliable here, that’s for sure, but then on the other hand, it’s never boring either.

Well, yesterday was super hot and SUPER humid. Right now is right in the middle of the summer here in Belize. From mid February to the middle of June are the hottest months here, and yesterday didn’t disappoint. I think it was one of the warmest and most humid so far this year. That’s not really a huge deal ( I actually love the heat just not the humidity) except that things that normally take about an hour to dry, suddenly take three or four. This slows down progress even more. At this point it becomes an exercise in patience. Leaving things alone until they are completely dry is not my strong suit on a normal day. Yup, it’s true…. I’m one of those people that just has to fuss with everything and try to make things happen before they are ready. I am guilty. –hangs head in shame- LOL

So, there isn’t nearly as much to see today as I would have liked. Still, I have a little progress to show you.

Once again, here is the front of the house. As you can see, all the clamps are holding the beginnings of the support system for the “opening” wall I will be adding. I got the rest of the uprights done, and once they were secure, I added the top bracing that the wall will somehow attach to. I still haven’t worked out all the details of this opening wall, but I do know that however I do it, it will have to have good solid support behind it. I sure don’t need ANYTHING coming loose or rattling once the wall is attached with all that glass in it.

In this next picture, you can see that I put in a few walls. Like I said, it was late when I took these pictures, so I was too lazy to climb the ladder and get good shots from above, but I think you can still get the idea. From the front right moving left, you have the master bathroom, the master closet, and then the bathroom for the rest of the house. They still don’t look like much, but this is the rough layout. I know the main bathroom is still missing a wall, as well as the wall between the closet and master bedroom, but as I said, I spent lots of time waiting for things to dry yesterday. The side walls and support were among them. Maybe I can get them in today. Hey, a girl can dream!

Now, as you may have noticed, some of the plywood used in some of the walls is anything but pretty. I am thinking that a nice coat of paint or wall paper will help with that! This is just one of the things that have to be dealt with when using left over scraps from a furniture maker. If they were nice big beautiful pieces, he would have used them himself, and they wouldn’t have been scrap. So goes life when you are poor and building a “recycled” house. I think if I ever do another house, I will take up a collection first. LOL

Also, in related news… my friend that builds the furniture said that he can probably get my band saw blade from his supplier. Now, I’m not holding my breath since things here are seldom that easy, but it was a glimmer of hope to brighten my day. Actually, now that the weekend has passed, most things seem a little better. That’s good since it is super hard to be wonderfully creative when you are depressed and everything seems to be going wrong.

Tuesday evening….

Today got super busy, and I really didn’t get a chance to work on my house, but I did get to go raid my friends scrap pile, so I have fresh supplies and will be ready to hit it hard in the morning!!
Until then……..

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The building continues in-spite of deversity .....

This has just been a crappy weekend. If it could go wrong, it pretty much has. I haven't been this blue since before I left the States. Still, the dollhouse provides a wonderful escape for me, even if it is slow and clumsy going without my band saw (which you can see in the background of the first picture).

I started today by moving the house away from the wall where it was. This way I can get on both sides of it. It doesn't make for as pretty of pictures, but I'll worry about beautiful pictures when it's all finished.
As you can see, I got the rest of the flooring in, and spent a large part of today sanding. I'm going to wait to do the varnish once all the walls are in so that I can get them done at the same time.
I have decided to try and see if I can get the whole wall on this side open up (put it on hinges) so that I can access the stairs, hall way, both bathrooms, the master closet and the third bedroom. I will have to build the whole wall in a frame, and hang it from a support brace across the top. It should be interesting to see if i can pull it off.

In this picture you can get a better look at how the layout is looking. The second and third bedrooms are closest to you. Many of the walls are still missing, but I'm concentrating on getting some nice heavy supports in so that I can get started on that front wall. There are only two of those in so far, but they'll be in tomorrow, and that will give you a better idea of where I'm going with this.

Now, if you look at the top right of the picture you will see a small section of flooring that is going a different direction. If I had thought to get a close up of that, you would see that it's actually lower than the rest of the floor. That is going to be the master shower. You'll be able to see that better tomorrow too.

From this angle you can get a look at the early stages (framing) of what will be the door from the master bedroom out on to the master balcony.

This picture is taken from the master bedroom end. The blurry wall right in front is the wall between the bedroom and the bathroom. This looks out on to the stair case coming from the first floor.
and this is a closer view. I still need to trim out the opening, but this gives you the idea.

Well, that's it for tonight. It's a slow process, but one I am enjoying.
So, until tomorrow.......

Saturday, April 24, 2010

puttin' up walls.....

Well, I have to start this blog with a note of sadness. My blade on my band saw broke today. The really sad part is that I am pretty sure that I won't be able to find a blade for it here in Belize. It was hard to find one for it in the States. I know this probably doesn't mean much to most of you, but that band saw worked as hard as I do. It is the one tool that stayed plugged in at all times in my work shop. About 95% of all the cutting I do, I did on that saw. I will miss it! From now on, I will be cutting by hand.

On to happier things....

I've got walls!! Well, at least some of them anyway.

^Here is an overhead view....

and here is an explanation of what you are looking at V

Kind of cool, huh? I'm still working on laying the floor, but this thing has gotten big now and I couldn't reach. So, I'm going to finish what I can reach from this side (which is the back side), then I'm going to have to turn it around. At this point, turning it is going to require help.

So, let me show you some other angles.

This is the master bedroom to the right (where the floor is), and the master bath will be to the left. On the distant right (before the end wall) will be the master balcony with a glass door leading out to it.

This is the second bedroom. The plywood I used for the back wall was rather nasty on one side. To me, that means it needed wallpaper!

This is the wall between bedroom 2 and 3, looking in to bedroom 3.

and this is looking into the closet in bedroom 3.

Things are progressing as you can see. More to come tomorrow!! Until then.........

Friday, April 23, 2010

Movin' on up.....

The beginnings of the second floor have started to happen.... at LONG last!

Yup, that is the sub floor for the second floor of the doll house! I was starting to think I was never going to get to this point. Don't you just love how I hold it down tight until the glue dries. You just stack a bunch of heavy crap on top of it. LOL

This is the start of the floor in one of the secondary bedrooms. I'm going to try and do the floors a little different in each room. We'll see how that turns out.

This one is the floor in what will become the master bedroom.

Here you can see the two rooms together. Cool, huh??

And my last picture for tonight is looking down into the stair case.

Well, tomorrow I'll take all the crap off of the top of it, and really get the floor going, so more and better pictures tomorrow night! Until then.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Some final touches on the ground floor...

To the naked eye, not a whole lot happened today, but progress was still made.

I finally got the range hood in place. Pardon my tape. LOL I wanted to get those last minute large pieces in before adding the cross supports which I did right after....

Now that these supports are in, I spent most of the day figuring and measuring and marking. Tomorrow I hope to be putting in the base for the second floor. Whoo-hoo! I'm excited! I am ready to start on a new level.

Not much else to report for today, so, until tomorrow when there will be lots more pictures and something to actually report on....



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not an exciting day....

Today was one of those days when nothing seems to go right. It was super hot and the humidity was through the roof and our water was out all day. Well, that followed right through to the dollhouse. Nothing wanted to dry today, and the glue refused to set up. It took me all morning just to get the upper cabinets to hold together long enough to get them sanded, then trying to install them was a whole other challenge! I ended up having to put big blocks of wood in there to hold them up and wedge them into place until they could dry.... which wasn't until this evening. Having all that in there made it impossible to do much else. I did get the drop ceiling in, and the "cans" for the two can lights, but beyond that, not much else happened. Maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow. We can hope.

Until tomorrow.....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Working in the kitchen...

Today was all about the kitchen.

As seen here, a refrigerator and kitchen sink were added.

Although it is near impossible to tell in a photo, I used a textured paint on the outside of the refrigerator to simulate a texture used on real refrigerators to hide fingerprints.

The kitchen sink was carved out of wood, then spray painted with a chrome paint, sanded, then repainted. The facet and handles are made out bent aluminum pipes.

Here is another view of the kitchen, which includes the double back doors that I did manage to get doorknobs on today. Whoo-hoo!

And the one final picture that I just thought turned out pretty, and shows off my dish washing liquid. I made that while everything was drying. It just seemed like the fun thing to do ….. and something a little different than just the house.

I hope to get the ceiling in the kitchen tomorrow, and maybe the upper cabinets. We’ll see.

Until then…….

Monday, April 19, 2010

The word for today was trim.....

Although it doesn't look like much progress was made today, that is not the case. I spent a vast majority of the day today reinforcing and trimming out the outside, the stairs base and the kitchen.

As you can see the front got a face lift. I finally have stairs and a threshold. I know, there is still no front door, but I still haven't decided for sure what I want it to look like. I have a few ideas, but somehow, they just don't seem to fit the house. It isn't super important for right now anyway. It doesn't HAVE to be there until the whole house is in the finishing state anyway. When I find the perfect door, I will know it. In the mean time, I have added window ledges to the outside of the front windows. I'll have to put some beautiful potted flowers there when I'm done.

I'm liking the "stone" stairs. It gives the feeling of stability. I plan on using the same "stone" look to the plywood parts of the outside of the house as well.

The back of the house also got trimmed out today. These were the windows that were still held in by tape yesterday. I probably won't do anything about steps until this is all mounted on it's final base because I am going to want to do something a bit elaborate for the back yard (cause that's what I like to do), and that will include the entrance into it.

Now, zooming down into the kitchen, you can see a few changes have been made there. I am going to add a slightly dropped ceiling in there, so that lighting can be set into it, and the wires can be hidden. The ceiling will be framed out with the trim that was added today. Once the ceiling is ready, it will be dropped into place and glued in, but I want to get more of the details such as a sink and stuff done first.

This view allows you to see the face of the trim for the ceiling, as well as the trim around the edge of the wall, and the oven stack, that the ceiling will rest on. It should have a enclosed and "finished" look once the next floor is added.

This view focusses more on the breakfast bar trim.

And the final picture this evening shows more of the bar trim and the trim at the base of the stairs.

It's not there yet, but it's sure coming along!
Until tomorrow.....

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Still working on the first floor....

Progress is being made! Whoo-hoo! It's starting to take shape.

You are looking at the front of the first floor. I know, there still isn't a door, but I'm not quite sure how I want the door to look yet. I may sit here and surf the internet for some ideas tonight. Still, you can see that it's starting to take shape. I at least have all the glass in. I also decided how I want the front steps to look, and got them started and they are drying. Hopefully the entry will be a bit more finished tomorrow.

Now if you picked up the house and turned it 1/4 turn clockwise, this is the side you'd be looking at. This is the side I will use to access the inside of the first floor once the second floor has been added. The pieces of glass are sitting in a channel and pinned at the top, so the pins can be removed and the glass pulled out and put out of the way while I work on it. It is my goal that once the outside of this house is finished, it won't be super noticeable how you get inside.

Another quarter turn, and you are looking at the back side of the house. I got the double doors hung on "pins", but haven't gotten the other hardware on them yet. The left window and one over the doors are still being held in by tape, but I'll trim them out first thing in the morning. I haven't decided about steps yet for these doors, and since this will lead to the back yard, I may want something a bit more than just steps down. I'll have to think about it for a while. I may want this door to lead out on to a deck or something.

and the last quarter turn, and you are looking at the other side. This the back of the wall to the kitchen, and a window looking into the living room. It will be much more attractive once it's all finished... but it IS getting there.

Now, I have a special treat..... some pics taken from a dolls view!

This is the view from the front door. Ignore the fact that all the trim work isn't finished. Still looks cool, huh?

And this would be the view from the access off the living room.

and lastly, this is the view from the access off the dinning room.

It's getting there folks! So, until tomorrow.....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Making progress on the ground floor.....

All day long I have had the lyrics to a Pink Floyd song running through my head.
"Hello. Is anybody out there? ...."
I sure hope more than one person is following this adventure!

Well, here's the front of the first floor and the doorway. As you can see, the door is still missing, but at least you can tell where it's going to go now. I figured a wider wooden area around the door would make it appear more "grand". We'll see how that works out when I get the front door made. There's still tons of work to be done, but as you can see, I made great progress. I didn't get the new glass put in today, but it's all cut and waiting for me right there on the table, as you can see. I'll start with that in the morning.

I did my wall treatments before I put the walls in. I figured that these would be easier to do first, rather than try to maneuver in the tight area and protect the wood. For the living room I have chosen a "Stone texture" spray paint in grays, black and white. I like the modern feel it gives to the room.

This is a different angle and from this side you can see the very beginnings of the kitchen. Nothing is glued down yet, and the little cabinets aren't finished, but I wanted to see that everything was going to fit as planned. It does.

And, here is an even better angle to see the kitchen, but it's not the best picture ever taken...... sorry. Still, you can really get the idea of how this is going to look. Also, you can see the first of the two doors that will go in the opening where the door is propped.

So, my goal for tomorrow is to get all this cut glass in, hang my two back doors and start building the front door. If time permits, I would like to get the kitchen finished and trimmed out, but we'll see how that goes.

Until then.......