Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Here's a photo of Edie two years ago as a pup.  We brought her home on Good Friday that year and I just couldn't resist posing her in the Easter basket.  Look how tiny she was!  And to think we almost lost her a few weeks ago...ugh! 

Not much to report on Merriman Park.  I did manage to get all the windows painted (the eight side windows, that is)--except I somehow neglected to make the mullions for one of the windows.  Not sure how that happened.   Also our crazy, new neighbor (who would seem to have a bit of a problem with the bottle) managed to break one of my new sconces that were on back-order forever.  MESS ALERT!: I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of a loud thud followed by a crash onto my piano then another thud and when I rose to investigate, I found the aforementioned, crazy, new neighbor passed out on the floor with my new sconce --eerily glowing its unnatural, blue light, globe smashed to bits-- laying next to his head (which had a huge lump on it, btw).  I had gone to bed early that night because I had to take a fashion show stage down the next morning before the store opened and I guess I missed all sorts of drunken shenanigans.  Is this all TMI I'm hoping he'll read this and at least have the decency to offer to buy me a new sconce, but I won't hold my breath. 

I'll probably not be blogging much now that the weather is getting warmer.  It's supposed to get up to 60 today, but I'm not getting my hopes up, because every time I do it snows!  I'm afraid to put the snow shovels away because it might cause some bad juju and we'll have a blizzard!  For real.

I've got tons of outdoor projects planned for the summer, mostly landscaping and lighting.  When you live in a hundred year old house, there is always lots to do...I'll be checking in from time to time, so stay tuned. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monticello Collection

So I've been meaning to post about the new Monticello Collection of miniature furnishings.  How thrilling for me, as an ardent Thomas Jefferson fan!  This small collection of dollhouse furniture is copied from the real antiques which grace the well-proportioned rooms of Jefferson's Monticello.  As many of you already know, my own beloved Merriman Park was inspired by Jefferson's architecture.  Here is a chair that I picked up during HBS Miniature's annual 40% off sale.
This Louis XVI style chair is half of a pair --the other chair comes with a rectangular back.  I would have snatched it up as well, but we're still reeling from the $4000 vet bill!  I rather like it sitting on my marquetry table --I imagine the floors of Merriman Park will eventually be finished similarly.  I also have my eye on a walnut card table from the collection.

The woman in the framed photograph is my  mother.  Mother hate, hate, hated to be photographed and always shied away whenever a camera was brought out.  She dodged  the camera as adroitly as the movie star eschews the paparazzi. So most of the photos that exist of her show her face turned away, or partially obscured behind her outstretched hand.  But she thought this particular shot, which is actually her drivers license photograph, was absolutely brilliant and she even kind of showed it off --which was so unlike her.  Though I cherish the photo today, I used to not care much for it, because she was sick when she posed for it and I guess I preferred to remember her when she was well.

But I think maybe her illness forced her to reexamine her issues with camera-shyness and maybe she realized that she had been silly to dread having her picture taken all those years when she was so healthy and so vibrant (and, yes, so beautiful).  So off she went to the Department of Motor Vehicles that day and this time she stared right into the camera and she served them face!  She died of cancer shortly after the photograph was taken in 1977.  Today is her birthday. 

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lead Roof Ridge

Here's the real lead roof ridge. I made a little finial from a pearl-headed pin.  Not sure if it's historically accurate but it just seemed to want it.  I think the faux-lead paint job on the roof turned out pretty sweet, even if I do say so myself.  I didn't get around to flashing the chimneys because I decided to make them a little taller.  Thomas Jefferson's renderings show he favored chimneys like these above: a smaller cube on top of a larger one.  I have to pick up some more crown molding to finish them up.  I couldn't etch the bricks in, yet because the humidity went sky-high today and the paint won't dry.  As I feared, we're moving from winter directly into summer.  Tornado watches out today here in Minneapolis.  (And the snow is not even all gone yet)!
 This photo is a little washed out and you can't really see the streaking effect I did to the lead roof.  Oh well, I will be sure to post some daytime shots, which seem to turn out better.

Weird Weather Alert!  I just went outside and though it was hot and muggy an hour or so ago, the temperature just plummeted and I think we might get more snow tonight!  Awesome!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lead Roof

Phew!  It's been a tough week!  Miss Edie is now out of the woods and thanks to all for your concern.  I didn't mean for this to turn into a "dear diary" sort of blog, but I guess it's inevitable that sometimes non-Merriman Park stuff is going to creep in here and there.  (If you're interested, I posted daily updates regarding Edie's recovery on my last blog entry).

And now, back to business...

While the Edie drama was unfolding, my lead flashing and roof ridge arrived from England.  So the goal for today is to get the roof painted.  It's funny, but I realized a while back that I could have saved myself a lot of money by simply gluing wood ribs down to the plywood roof instead of using the ribbed roofing material, which was fifteen bucks a sheet (times four)!  Really, I have to paint the roof anyway so what was I thinking?  I mean, I get it, live and learn and Merriman Park is, after all, my first dollhouse --But DUH!   Oh, and while I'm at it, if you ever decide to use real, lead flashing on your model, don't bother getting the "roof ridge" because all it is is a strip of flashing wrapped around a thin dowel --you can easily do that yourself.  I guess I thought it would be, I dunno, more than just that.  But as Mr. Brady used to warn: caveat emptor --let the buyer beware!

So I decided after all that I am not going to bother with the hip roof since it really won't be seen anyway.  But I think the chimneys do need to be raised so I am making extensions for them.