Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 25th and into July 26th: Trim and a chandelier

I spent Sunday night catching up on trim in the house. I put ceiling trim up around the living room and dining room and trimmed out the window in the dining room. I think the walls only look completed if there is a divide between the wall and ceiling. Guess I am destined for crown molding in RL, eh? I also painted the ceiling medallion for the dining room and I have great plans for it!

While flipping through some pictures of dining rooms on BHG's website ( I came across a fabulous idea for a candle chandelier! They had a lovely piece of black wood suspended from chains directly over the table, and on this board were dozens of white pillar candles. It was amazing! I just knew it was something that I would have to reproduce in the Highland.

I decided to go with a rustic round design, instead of the steel clean lines the original designer used. I used a top to a single serve yogurt container as a template. When I had installed the diagonal wood floor the day before, it needed some trimming. The scrap from that was exactly the right size to wrap around the outside of the lid. I secured it with white tacky glue. Once it was dried, I flipped it over and laid craft sticks across it. I then trimmed them to fit the circular pattern and glued them into place. After this application was finished drying, I stained and washed the wood. It first got a coat of the same walnut color used on the floors, followed by a coat of mahogany and then a white wash. I had some hemp cord in my pile of goodies and I used this to make 3 like sized braids to act as my rope. After several attempts to fasten them on with tacky glue (and oodles of swearing and grunting and stamping of my little feet) I finally PERMANENTLY secured the ropes with super glue!

Then there was lots and lots of trimming of birthday candles. I cut them into various heights and stripped the top part to expose the wick. Once I had what seemed a respectable amount and they all looked satisfactory, they were glued in place on the base. I glued them in the a randomized fashion around a mirror I had placed in the middle. Once all candles were placed and dried, I poured actual beach sand around them to fill in the space between the candles and the edge of the base.

Now, remember the medallion I painted? I punched a hole in the middle of it and then used a needle threader to pull the hemp cord through and secured it with some super glue. I love it!! It is now permanently suspended from the ceiling in the dining room. Glorious little contraption! I am hoping to get more pictures (better ones, really) when ever we get a new camera.

Weekend #3: July 24th and 25th Modern sofa, white wainscoting

It hardly seems like only a few days have passed! I have gotten a lot done this week. For starters, over the weekend I was a bit bummed and I let my mini obsession take over and work it's magic to cheer me up. The result was the following:

I made this while listening and sometimes even glancing up to see, Supernatural. LOVE that show! I had absolutely no idea how to go about this really, so I just sort of tackled it. I knew I wanted a couch with the chaise extension and the ottoman was an afterthought. I went off the tutorial that is on Jennifer's Printable's site. ( It seemed fairly easy. I used foam board for the construction and some of that foam wrap stuff that breakables come packaged in. I wrapped it all tightly with that fabric and used Tacky Glue to secure it. The base is made out of mahogany stained craft sticks. The pillow was hand stitched and filled with bird seed. I love this sofa! And it did an amazing job at cheering me up.

After some work on the house itself (cutting of many more craft sticks for the paneling) it got a home in the house AND accompanied by some art work. I really like the "paintings" that I put on the wall above the couch, for they aren't really paintings at all! They are scraps of wallpaper.

Art work joins the sofa!

Originally, I thought the back portion of the house would get carpet, but this house decided it wanted something else. We went with some more hard wood flooring. this time, a diagonal pattern of wider craft sticks. I used gold embossing foil that I had laying around, to cover up unsightly gaps and to use as a spacer between the changing layouts.

Here is a shot with it freshly installed, no stain yet:

And here are a few of the living room nearly finished! I say nearly, because I have YET (even as I am typing this) too tackle the wainscot that goes around the bookcase. It will take a bit to work up the nerve (and the time) to do that!!

And a final shot with finished floors and furniture! Trim to come!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 21st and 22nd: Living Room, extreme makeover!

Surfing the web, I came across more inspiration for the house, thanks to the HGTV website. (That channel is literally, the only reason I want cable. ;) ) Anyway, this time, it was a minty green with white trim and wainscoting. Loved it right away AND, again, had the right paper. Fate, I tell you! So up went the paper:

and the windows and ideas for an accent color. Don't you love the tiny art that will be in there?! And my sweets camping out upstairs. hehehe

I also got a floor done for this room. Walnut stained skinny sticks in traditional layout and a "stone" entryway. Took two solid episodes of Supernatural while the kids napped, to get that one done! There was a lot of cutting, measuring, sanding and flying skinny sticks involved.

Then I cut a bunch of thicker craft sticks and made paneling for the walls along with floorboards and trim. I really like how that looks:

The top trims and the window trims have also been painted white (guess I didn't take a picture of that before I uploaded). I think that the two rooms are going to look very nice together. The area in front of the wood floors is undecided right now. Perhaps I will do wood all the way out, but what I am really leaning towards is a nice ivory colored carpet.... Now to find some of that cheap!

Now the plan for tomorrow, if time allows, is to finish the trim and such in the living room and dining room, along with the paneling and maybe the stairs. I should also go ahead and put up the trim in the craft room.... then it is on to the bedroom and study/library. I am leaving the bathroom and garage for last. Eye-yi-yi...they will be trouble. Till then!

July 19th and 20th: Dining room!

I spent these two days coming up with an idea for the dining room. I found superb inspiration in a BHG magazine where there was a layout that caught my eye. Gorgeous blue walls, dark hard wood floors, blazing white trim and white curtains with dark blue/brown accents. Love at first sight I tell ya! And it was fated to be so, because I had the perfect shade of blue paper.

I started out on it immediately, and this is what I came up with:

There will be oversized floorboards where the strip is and they will be high gloss white, as will the thick trim around the window. I am still undecided as to whether or not I would like to put a fireplace in this room.... I am leaning towards yes, but I am not sure if it would end up looking out of place or not. Of course, I would carry the chimney all the way up.... but I think it would end up interfering with the windows upstairs.

I also did the floor for in here. Patterned in an "x" formation, stained walnut and then washed with varnish once. I am quite happy with the results. I will need to find a suitable fabric for the curtains eventually.

Next comes the living room!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend #2: July 17th, 2010 Decor in addition!

On Sunday, I got to put some decor on the inside of the house. I started in the kitchen and did the floors. That tile is a real pain to do, but I think I like how it turned out. James and I picked the colors for this room and I let him decide on the cabinets....they will be stained walnut with ocean blue paper inside. This house will definitely be eclectic! Picture quality will be a bit iffy now since the camera has decided to start dying on us. The visual screen went out and we are shooting blind. Bare with me!

I was thinking about doing the same walnut for all the trim and then doing the counters in a red.... but I'm not sure yet. I will have to kick it around in my brain for a bit.

This technique would be a lot more enjoyable if the knife hadn't been slipping all over the place! In the end, it really does look like a DIY job from real life. If you had to cut all your own tile and grout it, I'm sure there would be areas that were.... let's say, less than even. ;)

The bathroom above, is going to be done in maroon and white with marble grey flooring. It'll feature the colors, if not more, of the bathroom I have always wanted!

Before I went to bed last night, I managed to get the floors and the main wall of the bathroom done. The shelving will be painted white to match and I am thinking about throwing in some black accents and finding some appropriate fabric for a curtain. I need to make the "furniture" for in here and play around with a layout before I can construct the other walls...

Hehehehe.... my snack is hiding out in the dining room!

I really like the red we went with and the grey's in the marble really add some beauty to this bathroom.

Next plans are to do some detail in here and then get started on the floors in the living/dining/study/bedroom. All hardwood floors.... that's going to be a LOT of skinny sticks. :)

Weekend #2: July 17th, 2010 Demolition!

After a nice vacation down to Kissimmee, I was eager to get back to work on the house. A little bit each night, I tried to pull up some more carpeting and chisel off some more of the siding. There wasn't a whole lot of progress until Saturday night, when I managed to rope James into helping me. We got all the carpet out and virtually all the siding off. It was quite a task that we undertook. One room, in particular, was a real pain! It was as if a whole bottle of tacky glue had been used to stick the carpet in! I left that room to James and he was sweating profusely by the time he was done. See the mess it left behind?

A few sections of the siding came off relatively easy, while others were broke away in pieces. There was one section of the house that was just not going to budge, so I figured I will sand it down and go over it. Still not sure how the outside should be. I know that the "pillar" in the front will be stone, and that is as far as we have gotten on that plan. I didn't get any pictures of the exterior. I will have to do that.

We also took the opportunity (kids were in bed) to cut the luan plywood and make the extension for what will be the kitchen and the now, 2 car garage. It was a lot of work to get it all together. But I think it turned out swimmingly well. Only issue: the house is now nearly 5' wide. Oops.

The picture above is from the front side of the house. The bathroom walls will not be completed until I have the kitchen and garage done and the roof put on. I will have to make new custom windows since the other ones were broken during their removal. There will be a foam core board wall put in betweent he kitchen and the garage with a door connecting the two.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekend #1: July 4th, 2010

Demolition was a lot harder than I thought it would be! The person that originally built this house loved their glue and apparently never heard of clamps or tape.... to hold everything in, they secured it with nails OVER the glue. AAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!! All the siding will be coming off the house because I destroyed a good chunk of it trying to get to the bathroom to pull stuff out of it. And I oopsied and *punched* the window out trying to get the center wall out. Currently, that whole side is gone, the carpet is up and the wallpaper is down. Success! And lucky me that I just had a tetanus shot 3 months ago (when Charlie was born) because oh-mylanta did I just narrowly miss, several times I might add, stabbing myself on tiny rusty nails.

Look at those suckers! Totally tried to impale my hand! And they are ALL OVER this house. Ugh.

I also got the kitchen all pulled apart and was working on getting the siding off the side of the house so I can cut the far wall out and start on my expansion! James has reminded me that doing such a thing will increase the width of my house another 6 inches, effectively making it larger than our dining room table. *shrugs* Meh, that's somthing I can deal with later. I didn't tell him about the deck I plan on adding on the other side that will make it ANOTHER 4-6 inches wider. *snicker* What he doesn't know, won't hurt him. Although, it might be annoying when it comes time to *fingers crossed* buy a house next year. I'm hoping to talk him into getting my own crafting area!!!

The fun part of the weekend was getting to put up paper and the flooring in the crafting room. I really love my choices! I still need to replace the plastic in the windows since these have been *sigh* spray painted over on the exterior. I plan on putting up trim, too. White for the large window and a fun color for the smaller ones on the left. The bottom papers and the floor have not been permanetly placed yet because I still haven't decided if I want to put electric in this house.... although, I am leaning towards not, just because I am poor and don't want to wait for the funds to magically appear. The loft needs to go in too, and I am thinking there will be a ladder to get up there. I was originally thinking stairs, but that would take up too much space. I'm excited to see this room finished, but do not want to add items until the interior and exterior are finished. I AM, however, planning on dirtying up the floor a bit to convey the messyness of a crafting room. ;)

Starting on the Artply Highland

This is the Artply Highland. This house has great bones and I totally fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. It definately needs some TLC though and will go through a major reconstructive process. I want this house to have a more modern interior, so it won't be the Victorian girly style that most people think of when they envision a dollhouse.

A quick overview of my plans: Haven't decided on a color for the exterior, but I have decided that the large column section up front will get a stone covering with a large window above the door. To the right of the door, there will be a wrap around deck with patio furniture and a grill. All the lower windows will have flower boxes. I've always wanted flowerboxes in real life, but since I can't have them, the mini's will get them. To the left of the door: I will eventually put some shrubbery around the bottom window. The gaping hole above it is actually supposed to be french doors opening onto a balcony that clearly needs railing. There, you will find a telescope, star charts and a small chair and table. The tiny person that lives here is a stargazer. The room down to the left is, indeed, a garage. Apparently, I can purchase a working garage door from Houseworks. The plan is to get TWO because I will be knocking out that far wall and expanding the garage to a two-car (James is particularly excited about this.) AND expanding the room behind it: the kitchen. There will be windows in the far wall and I will install a door going from the garage to the kitchen.

Mostly, this house will be a reflection of the things that I like and would love to see featured in my own real life house.

Here is the interior of the house:

The room on the left is going to be a crafting room. I will be building a loft for shelving and storage and the tall side. It will feature a picinic table for the messier crafting on, cement style floors, bright colors, lots and lots of shelving, a scrapbooking area, easels, canvas and all the whatsits that I possess in RL. =)

The blue room will be a master bedroom. I am using my wolf tapestry blanket that hangs behind my bed as inspiration. The master bedroom may or may not feature a fireplace.

The room off the staircase and master bedroom is going to be a library and study. A desk, comfy chairs and TONS of books. I am considering wall-wall-floor-ceiling bookcases for this room.

The tiny room to the right is goint to be the bathroom. It is actually TWO tiny rooms that I will be making into one large room. I am pulling inspiration from several designer baths I have seen on HGTV. I'll let you in with this little nugget : stone and garden tub. Exciting, yes?

My favorite features of this house are the windows and skylights. Great light for a bathroom, I think, but there will stil be some MAJOR changes to this side of the house.

The two large rooms on the bottom are the living room and the dining area. I plan on making nearly all the furniture for these two rooms (if not the whole house). Again, think modern contemporary.

The smallest room there will be expanded and turned into a glorious kitchen. It will also feature bright colors to balance out the craft room on the other end of the house. I can hardly wait to get started!

Unfortunately, before I can get to the fun stuff, I have to pull up all the carpeting and wallpaper. This can be a task so I better get started on it!