Saturday, June 28, 2014

So close and yet so far!

I've hit a small glitch or two in the reconstruction process today because of the extra internal walls, not fatal but time consuming so I'm not sure if I'm going to get the house finished for tomorrow :(  Just posting this so that anyone planning on going to Penrith especially to get a first hand look at it is aware that it might not make an appearance. If that changes and I do get it together I'll post very quickly tomorrow morning to confirm that - so watch this space for last minute news!

UPDATE - It's now 6 am Sunday morning, SHOW DAY and I'm up early to get my bits and pieces together and looking forward to meeting new people and having a fun day - without the house. I do thank you all for your encouraging comments but by the time you were so kindly writing them I was in bed fast asleep. 

It was early evening when I called 'tools down', my thinking process was getting fuzzy (not good when decisions are about drilling holes) and I was beginning to think along the lines of saving time rather than producing the best result. When I realised that speed not quality had become my priority I decided it's much better to allow more time to make it the best that it can be than keep going on that basis just for the sake of meeting a self imposed deadline. My commitment was to do my very best to have it at the show today and I certainly did that so I am totally fine with my decision. 

I'm off on a house-sit for 10 days from tomorrow (taking care of a super cute Maltese dog and a pussy cat) so won't get back to it for a couple of weeks but when I do I'll enjoy finishing it to the standard I really want it to be rather than the standard time allowed. I've got a table booked at the Sydney Northern Districts Doll and Bear Guild Fair on 20 September so there's ample time to achieve that before it's next 'engagement'.

Thanks so much everyone for coming along for the ride, it was a bit wild, and it hit a rather large speed bump at the end, but it's been great fun and we're all still alive to tell the tale. Now I have to run and get organised for today's show. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Two week transformation challenge - interior colours

Even though the house hasn't been reconstructed yet this 'mock-up' will let you see the interior colour palette. Doors are painted with Citadel Skull White (same colour is used on the outside for doors, windows, columns and balcony balustrade), the wallpaper is white with very tiny (almost indiscernible) flecks of blue/grey, floors are painted with Taubman's Silver Charm, a pretty French grey which has been applied with a roller so that has a slight texture to it. The colours combine to create a neutral background suitable for a range of furnishing styles from dark stained 'traditional' furniture to French Country/Gustavian, and anything in between. (The armoire is a custom order ready to send off to its new home).  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Two week transformation - Part 7

Sometimes the tiniest things can make a big difference - the new front door hardware makes it look a little bit special rather than the same as every other door in the house.

I've nothing more to show you now until the house is put back together which probably won't happen until the weekend because it's a job that requires more than one pair of hands. Anyway, let's see how that goes... 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two week transformation challenge - Part 6

More progress to report - yay! One of the jobs I've done today is filling in the stairway holes in each floor. The original design has stairs on the right wall on each level but although they make a nice feature it means that each of the right end rooms are exposed to foot traffic so it limits what they can be used for. My solution to that has been to redesign the layout, removing the stairs, patching the holes, adding an internal back wall to create a hidden backstairs void. 

Other steps completed in the last couple of days are papering all the internal walls, painting the doors (all 7 of them!) and painting floors and ceilings as a temporary measure because I'm unlikely to get those surfaces lined before the weekend and the stairway hole patch doesn't look too pretty. 

Not long now and the reconstruction process begins! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Time is flying by!

I didn't accomplish anything like as much as I expected to over the weekend so now I'm seriously behind schedule but I'm still working hard so please be patient and remember - all good things come to those who wait! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Two week transformation challenge - Part 5

I promised you the colour reveal so here it is, a bit late and not the entire facade, but that's coming soon I promise. The contrast between the roof and walls is a bit greater than it looks here, the walls are a shade or two lighter in reality.  

The paints used are Taubmans Beige Ash (roof) and Quill (walls) complemented with Skull White (windows) which is a Citadel brand paint used by model makers which I borrowed from my son - once again Warhammer meets dollhouse! It's very similar to Whispering Winds, the shade suggested by Taubmans to compliment the darker 'greige' shades, but I used the Skull White because of the advantage of being able to spray it on which makes it much easier and quicker to deal with the intricacies of the window frames. 

It's almost time to turn my attention to the interior which involves making new dividing walls - one job that I won't be doing myself but will be delegating to my younger son who, unlike his mother, can saw in a straight line! I'm unlikely to post over the weekend but hopefully there will be quite a bit of progress to reveal on Monday. 

Thanks again for all your comments and email messages - they're definitely the petrol in my tank! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Two week transformation challenge - Part 4

I love a nice grey, a glance at my header will confirm that, but the manufacturer's grey on this roof (still visible on the dormer recess) was just too strong so it had to go. The replacement (Taubmans Beige Ash - not quite grey, not quite beige) will give you a hint of the exterior palette which hopefully will be fully revealed by the end of today. 

Thanks for following along - I can't possibly give up knowing you're watching over my shoulder :) 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Two week transformation challenge - Part 3

Goodbye Yellow!

Today's task is undercoating the exterior in preparation for the new colour. I don't want to risk any of hint of the yellow showing through and changing the look of the new paint colour so although it's a bit time consuming and unnecessary in a way in that the original paintwork is in good condition I think it'll be time well spent. (The patchy grey bits on the side are where I took the quoin strip off - I've decided now that it's going to be the same colour as the wall rather than an 'accent' colour as it was originally so could have left it in place after all).

I've also been to my local Bunnings hardware store and purchased the new exterior paint. (I think I nearly drove the unlucky paint company sales rep mad with questions about all the different paint choices but she managed to smile through it all.) I can't wait to get it on the walls now but there's more undercoating to do first...  

Monday, June 16, 2014

The two week transformation challenge - Part 2

How lucky that the sun is shining today after a dismal weekend. Perfect weather for painting. The inside surfaces now have a good layer of undercoat to seal the surface ready for the new wallpaper. 

I decided to follow the manufacturer's process of using a real wallpaper as it has the advantage of durability and speed of application. I went to the local wallpaper shop expecting quite a range of options to choose from but nothing on display was suitable at all. I explained to the owner that I only needed one roll, or even a part of a roll, in a light neutral colour with no, or a very fine, texture. When she returned from the backroom I didn't know whether to laugh or cry - 3 of the 4 rolls she had were almost exactly the same as what I'd stripped off! Yes they were light and neutral in colour but the texture was totally out of scale. 

The saving grace was the roll of almost white Scandinavian design paper from Fiona Wall-design in Poland. It has very tiny blue/grey specks that give it a bit of warmth. This paper will pick up any grey or blue in furnishings and accessories while at the same time providing a nice neutral backdrop for other colour palettes. And if will, of course, be possible to add another layer of paper over it in the future if desired. 

The next job for today is painting all the windows and doors, they don't really need it but I figure that if everything else is getting a 'face-lift' they deserve a coat of paint too.  

Thanks for all your encouraging comments so far!!  Now it's back to work for me ... 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The two week transformation challenge - Part 1

Two weeks to transform a big house with 7 rooms and an attic?!

Have I finally (and completely) lost my mind?! 

I've booked a trading table at the Penrith Dolls Bears Craft and Collectibles Show on Sunday 29 June - just two weeks away - and I've committed to do my very best to present a BIG house for sale. But what's a challenge if it's not a REAL challenge so I'm also hoping to get it furnished (at least partly) as well! I'm going to be the only miniaturist trading there so even if the house doesn't sell hopefully it'll be a point of interest and maybe even convert a few doll collectors to our mini world. 

For some of you out there who are fast workers this would be a 'walk in the park' but I'm one of the slowest builder-decorators in the world. However I have a secret weapon - a flat pack house I bought just before I started building the French shop and apartment. It's been sitting, in pieces, near my work table waiting patiently for attention and it's sure going to get it now! 

Step 1 - Removing the manufacturer's wallpaper

No pics of the original wallpaper sorry because I was in such a hurry I didn't think to take any but trust me, it HAD to go. What a mission that was! As per usual with wallpaper (this was the real stuff, not dollhouse paper) the outer layer came of easily but in spite of using what I think is the best wallpaper stripper in the universe the bottom layer pretty much refused to budge. Obviously some unknown adhesive from hell had been used here so I gave up on the plan to remove all traces of the original paper removing only what did lift and sanding back the rough edges of what was left once it dried. (Foolishly without wearing a mask so a lot of sneezing followed). 

Step 2 - Preparing the exterior for a new coat of paint

The main exterior colour of this house is too yellow. It needs a more neutral colour scheme in order to be able to blend in with the widest possible range of potential new homes so a repaint is a must.

I didn't fancy having to work around all those windows, and the balcony railing posed a real problem, so off it all came!

I was a bit shocked at how easily the windows in particular popped off. They'd been attached with hot glue which as you can see was only holding in a few places. They'll be way more secure when I put them back on again.

Well there's no going back now! I hope you'll have fun following along on this renovation journey but be sure to 'buckle up'  because it's going to be a wild ride!