Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dining Room Progress

While not-so-patiently waiting for back-ordered accessories to arrive to complete the Drawing Room, I have busied myself with the Dining Room.

I have decided that I really, really like using illustration board as a backer for all the flooring, wallpaper and wall moldings, and even the ceiling ornamentation.  It's so much easier working on the boards flat on my table as opposed to trying to stick my enormous, lummox head and ham-fists into the little box of a room!  BONUS:  The illustration board hides all the wires!  So I first cut illustration board to fit the floor, then the ceiling, then the back wall and then the two side walls.  It's very important to get a snug, accurate fit at this stage so I took my time and made several dry fits as I moved around the room.

Then, with all the pieces of illustration board cut perfectly and in place, I traced the window and door openings and cut them out.

The floor came next:  Merriman Park is my first dollhouse, but I have learned lots of clever tricks from all my fellow bloggers!  So instead of using an expensive, commercial floor (as I had originally planned) I made my own with iron-on, wood edging tape.  

I won't spend too much time explaining how to do it, since this seems to be a fairly standard practice among the miniaturatti.  You just cut the strips to the desired length and press them down with a hot iron.  And voila!  My only tip would be to mark on your illustration board where the floor joists lie and have all your 'plank joints' end on these marks.

We mustn't have willy-nilly joints!

I'm debating on whether to put wooden 'peg marks' where all the planks butt together because I guess that's how they would have attached the flooring down to the floor joists, right?  I mean they would not have simply nailed the floor boards down in a fancy house.  I haven't applied a stain or anything to the floor, yet...because of this dilemma plus I'm a little anxious about mucking it up!  Whatevs, I'll figure it out...After all, I am both pretty AND smart! the meantime I slipped the floor in place and went on to the walls...

I chose a period, circa 1804 wallpaper from Chinioserie.  I am very impressed with the high-quality of their papers.  I really like the pattern of unusual, stylized flowers arranged in stripes.

Next, I started on the back wall and after lots of stewing and dry-runs, I nervously started cutting up my paper...This step caused a considerable amount of anxiety as the pattern has since been discontinued so NO screwing up!

I know that some people simply abhor spray adhesives (Honey Badger)? but I have great luck with the stuff.  It seems to bond perfectly on illustration board.  My trick is to spray lightly on both surfaces, wait a few seconds, apply and burnish with a credit card.  Instead of trimming the excess wallpaper, I fold the paper around the back of the illustration board and adhere in place with white glue.  Ain't gonna go no place, children!

Then I went on to the other two walls: first the outside wall with the fireplace chase...

And then the opposite wall.  This one has an alcove where I plan on fitting a sideboard or buffet.  The interior of the alcove I upholstered in a contrasting silk stripe, which I plan on using for the draperies, too.  OMG!  That reminds me: My Pretty Pleater should be arriving any day now!  Pretty Pleater!  LOL! I LOVE that name!

After this I fit everything in place and started on the moldings.  I bought all my moldings from the Lawbre company.  They have an amazing catalog of stock, and they are so helpful...(hi, Teri!) I decided to try making my own door surrounds using stock moldings.  This is what I came up with:

I still have gluing, filling and painting to do, but you get the idea.

I then went on to the ceiling...unfortunately my camera's battery died and I can't find the charger at the moment.  But here is everything, so far...

The mantle is from Braxton Payne Miniatures.  His fireplaces are so superbly wrought. And what a nice guy!

This is not the chandelier I'm using for this space.  I'm actually considering installing a 'shoo-fly' or 'punkah' over the dining table.  This was a large fan, usually elaborately carved or upholstered that swung from pulleys by servants slaves.  (This is the South --don't judge me)! The only thing that's keeping me from this idea is that I think it would look weird that this room would be the only one without a glamorous chandelier --and it's the dining room, for crying out loud!  So I thought maybe I could have two smaller chandeliers flanking the shoo-fly, but there is no historical reference for that.  So I don't know...what do you think?

 The dining room of Melrose in Natchez, Mississippi with its slave-powered 'shoo-fly.'

CONFIDENTIAL TO HONEY BADGER:  I still feel bad about your spray-adhesive nightmare!
But I still LOVES me your aw-sum YouTube video!


Iris March said...[Reply]

I have thinking and thinking about the 2 chandeliers and the "fan" and I don't know -- is your table large enough so that the 2 chand. and fan would be over the table? Could you have one fan on the ceiling and 2 (electrified) table-top chandeliers on the tables?

What is the dimension of this room?

I love your idea about the illustration boards covering all the room. I think that Mulvaney and Rogers do that -- does seem so much easier working flat. Are you going to use spray adhesive to attach the boards to the walls?

The room looks great so far!

I guess I haven't been too much help--I guess I asked more questions than I answered-- but I am always here for you!

Is it too early for a drink?

Cheers and hugs,

John said...[Reply]

Hi Iris, The room is only 16 X 12 and I haven't a table yet so there is that to consider. I did get the illustration board idea from M & R! Their book is like my Holy Bible!

It's Happy Hour somewhere in the world, but for now I'm sticking to my cafe au lait...but 'cheers' back at you, my dear!

Daydreamer said...[Reply]

I LOVE the Wallpaper in your Dining Room, John! So No Messing up!!! And remember to leave enough for your Front Wall!!! I am so used to Houses that are open on the fourth wall... that I forget to buy enough for Four walls!!!!
Your Home-made Door surrounds are Great... Riffing off the Fireplace with those columns! I Love the View through your big windows in this room... This is looking BEAUTIFUL!!

Catherine said...[Reply]

It looks BEAUTIFUL!!! I love everything you have done.

you are in for a treat!!!! you must go see Scott Hughes at the show in Chicago. He makes the best light fixtures I have ever seen. Even if you don't buy one you don't want to miss it. That will be the first table I visit.

Speaking of tips we read in blogs... I read you should always spray your wallpaper with a matte UV protectant. I think that it was George The Mini Guy that told us that. He showed a room in one of his houses that had faded rather badly. Evidenced by removing pictures on the walls and furniture.

John said...[Reply]

Thanks, Betsy! I was planning on finishing the swinging walls in a plain white, treating them more like cabinet doors than an extension of the house. But I don't know, I've changed my mind so many times already...

John said...[Reply]

Great tip, Catherine...though Merriman Park does not sit in direct light at present, that may not always be the case. I LOVE chandeliers, so I may be right behind you in Chicago! You don't know of a miniature 'shoo-fly' shop, do you? ;)

Catherine said...[Reply]

I am not sure I know what a shoo-fly shop is? I have a feeling you won't miss it though. It is going to be brain over load in Chicago.

Ray W said...[Reply]

Hi John!
Your Dining Room is looking "Superb"! I am looking forward to seeing the "exquisite" window treatment you will do as well. Door surrounds are great! My "Chandelier" vote is for "Bling"..........the "Blingier" the better! But that's just my humble opinion............You should be very pleased with the way this room is going.
Catherine is right Chicago will produce "miniature" brain overload so medicate well before or better yet "libate" well after your first day there.
BTW......just saw "youtubes" from your last post. Soooo funny, I love Lesley Ann Warren!
Cheers from Ray

nibrob said...[Reply]

The answer to the lighting issue is candelabras on the tabletop. They were good enough for Liberace so they should be good enough for your house. You could put in a shoo fly and then have tiny flies suspended off invisible thread out at the edges of the room so people understand what that strange thing hanging over the table is for.

The floors should not be pegged. That is just for log cabins and huts it is not what one does in a mansion but since you don't live in a mansion and never will how could you know the finer points of fine living? Therefore I forgive you your faux pau.

I thought everyone knew that fine floors are installed with toe nails. Just save your clippings next wait that is too gross to consider. ...but toe nailing is a real wood working term for invisible nailing on floors, they nailed them through the tongue...ouch and still disgusting isn't it? Nailing a tongue with toenails only happens when you put your foot in your mouth and how often is that likely to happen anyway?

nibrob said...[Reply]

The answer to the lighting issue is candelabras on the tabletop. They were good enough for Liberace so they should be good enough for your house. You could put in a shoo fly and then have tiny flies suspended off invisible thread out at the edges of the room so people understand what that strange thing hanging over the table is for.

The floors should not be pegged. That is just for log cabins and huts it is not what one does in a mansion but since you don't live in a mansion and never will how could you know the finer points of fine living? Therefore I forgive you your faux pau.

I thought everyone knew that fine floors are installed with toe nails. Just save your clippings next wait that is too gross to consider. ...but toe nailing is a real wood working term for invisible nailing on floors, they nailed them through the tongue...ouch and still disgusting isn't it? Nailing a tongue with toenails only happens when you put your foot in your mouth and how often is that likely to happen anyway?

nibrob said...[Reply]

Of course you could put a wind up clockwork shoo fly on the table then hang chandeliers overhead and still have all that lovely bling you so love. Lots of mirrors too darling to quadruple the bling..

Andy said...[Reply]

This room is looking wonderful! I love it! Great paper, like the door surrounds, and that you've used the same to finish off the alcove.

If you like the fan/shoo-fly then go with it, I'm not sure what I would do, but can see some nice wall lights either side of the alcove, and candelabra either on the table as Iris suggested, or on the sideboard in the alcove.

A gilt framed mirror above the fireplace would reflect more light back into the room and add some extra glitz, you might not even need a chandelier in this room.

Your mini-decorators have also made a great job on the floor, what a good idea! I think a few small holes to suggest pins where the boards meet joists would look good, but you could get away with not doing them too!

Just imagine all the lovely stuff you'll be buying to fill the dining room soon!

Andy x

John said...[Reply]

Thanks, Andy! Your suggestions are exactly just what I had in mind...

Hi Nibrob! Thanks for your excellent suggestions. You certainly are a clever varmint. Good boy!

Hello, Ray! Thanks for the kind words. I think you're right about the chandelier. Best of luck to you and Scott in Chicago!

Giac said...[Reply]

Hi John,
Like everyone else has aid, the dining room is looking great. I love the wallpaper and you did a beautiful job on the floor. I worry that the peg marks might be a little much since you have a patterned paper on the walls.
You really have done a terrific job putting together molding and architectural elements. Everything looks great, and your rooms are interesting!
I am partial to chandeliers in the Dining Room. That's me.
I love your work John. You're doing a great job and I find it hard to believe it's your first miniature.
Honey Badger.
P.S. Spray adhesive is evil!

John said...[Reply]

Thanks, Giac! Your opinion means so much to me!

Gosh, I've already had comments from a dog and a honey badger, could an expressed opinion from a certain snowy-white, polar bear be far behind?

Karin Corbin said...[Reply]

You are moving right along on that project. No one would believe you are a first timer.

John said...[Reply]

I've got my mojo now, Karin! Each room seems to go faster than the last. I just made the hearth and marble surround and it took half the time as my first room!

Elga said...[Reply]

Love the dining room!!!

I think I would go for a chandelier to fit in with the rest of your house, I am sure your servants are quite able to get rid of the flies without the fly-shoo.

Have a great week.

John said...[Reply]

Thanks for the input, Elga. The whole punkah/shoo-fly idea seems to be going over like a lead balloon...

MiniLover said...[Reply]

Totally agree that illustration board is the way to go! This is a trick I learned from Ray Whitledge in his classes and it has saved me countless hours of do-overs. If you don't like what you've done, no harm, no foul--just take it out and start over. Much better than tearing up floors or wallpaper inside the house. Right now we are working on wall panels on illustration board; so much easier to see.

Sionchi said...[Reply]

Me encanta cuando haces algo nuevo en tu casa, siempre estoy impaciente por ver tus progresos porque me encanta tu casa y todo tu trabajo. Las paredes te han quedado preciosas, la araña me ha encantado y la puerta has acertado es precioso ese arco que has hecho. Besos

Troy said...[Reply]

The room is looking great John. I love the pilasters and the wallpaper. I toured a really great plantation house a while back with a giant fan above the table - It was quite the conversation piece. I will try and post some pictures. I am going to try the mat board method of doing a room in my next house. I am too big to contort myself in the cabin project.. its wearing me out! Great Post as always.

Simon said...[Reply]

Hey Buddy. Sorry Im the last one to the party.
The Dining Room looks superb, well done. I LOVE that wallpaper and stripes always look good in a formal room. You certainly seam to have the Gods smiling on you with that spray adhesive, it never works for me LOL
The fan sounds like a great idea, I know you'll pull it off wonderfully.
Thanks for the long post, I love readsing indepth updates on your progress.
Hugs from over here,

John said...[Reply]

Why, Simon, you're merely fashionably late...Maybe it's the brand of adhesive I use: 3-M Super 77, made right here in Minnesota...I think I'm gonna bale on the shoo-fly: I just can't see the room without a chandelier.

Hi Troy! I'd love to see your photos of the shoo-fly, the ones I found were not so hot. I love your cabin --any progress on that fireplace?

Hola Sionchi! Usted siempre tiene esos elogios agradables, querida, pero esta vez la traducción volvió que le gusta a mi "araña!" ¿Fue así? Tal vez había una araña en una de las fotos que me perdí ... oh well! Gracias por visitarnos! Abrazos!

I will certainly find you at the show, Sophia, and stop by! I am getting so excited...hope to take one of Ray's workshops, someday!

Fi.P said...[Reply]

OMG I have to go Honey Badger first!!! That is hilarious I have had my first laugh for the day and it was a good one! I will be showing Jay as soon as he gets up (School Holidays) he will love it!!

Now back to the serious stuff,you are a LEGEND not only does it look beautiful but I love how you have explained the proses of using the illustration board. I have left it a little too late for my kitchen (Yay I got my range hood in with you on my mind as you reminded me to make sure I could remove it to change the bulb and i came up with a rather ingenious plan) it's so great to have your tips on the process. You have done an amazing job and i think the spray adhesive thing is a display thing.......putting on all those Decals over the years!!
(Honey Badger ) As for the shoo fly I think it would be great as a point of difference, I read a book recently where a young Australian Woman lived in India (sixty lights Gale Jones) and they referenced these operated by servants and I imagined they would really add to the atmosphere.

I just adore the wall paper and all the mouldings, just stunning!

Well thats it for my epic comment, love your work HB

ML Fi xxxx

Anonymous said...[Reply]

Love the room, especially the soft tones in the wallpaper.
your door surround works out wonderfull too.
what i most like in your rooms is the fact that they don't bore me; i get bored easily and most rooms i see are boringgggg.
in your rooms the eye wanders all around.
that's why i personally would not go for a shoo-fly. i think it would stop the eye from wandering, cos a shoo-fly is quite big.
I go with Ray... the more bling the blingier and as there can never be too much bling, i'd go for a chandelier, or several small ones.
having said that...
i'm a ferm believer in you do as you like, you already have proven to have excellent taste!

John said...[Reply]

Oh, Gee, thank you! I SO needed to hear that after my entire Visual staff at the Department Store where I work in Display was called out on the mat for dressing our mannequins too costume-y!' --essentially saying we have no taste! So THANK YOU!

FI DARLING! Just to be clear, the honey badger is what I compared Giac to because he NEVER STOPS! Sculpy Clay not working? Giac don't care, he's BADASS! He don't care: Look at him, he's dropping the Sculpy Clay and picking up a KNIFE and whittling a VICTORIAN SCULPTURE from MEMORY! He is the Honey Badger of Miniaturists!

Anyway, thanks for the compliments. I think I am going to ditch the shoo-fly...Or not...I don't know...I need a cocktail....

Anonymous said...[Reply]

you're welcome, John :) You know and I know you don't need me to tell you that!
As far as that strange people at the Department Store is concerned: let them talk; they didn't hire you for mediocrity now did they.
you can tell them i said so! :)

jeffry said...[Reply]

Hi John,
Your diningroom looks wonderfull allready....and working with the illustration board is perfect...
I just ordered some cornices for my diningroom so I hope to start working on that one pretty soon.
Ooh.....and no no chandeliers when you use a fan in that would look weird! But it would be interesting to some fancy carving for such a fan don't you think?

John said...[Reply]

Hi Jeffry! You're right about the fan/chandeliers --so I'm pretty sure that I won't do the shoo-fly,, after all. (If I could carve as well as you it might be a different story)!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

I have been thinking about the shoo-fly idea over and over the last couple of days and I was sooo wrong!
Though I'm very much a bling-bling person, bling does not always add in the right way to a room.
Thinking over miniature houses it came to mind that there appear to be a lot of copy cats, better or worse. so what makes a house outstanding, besides craftmanship and good taste?
it is something that makes you remember a house, something extra ordinary.
Now, there is not much room for play or thinking out of the box when building a historical house.
And most people don't .
And just that makes the shoo-fly idea outstanding.
I had never seen a shoo-fly before and if that would be the only argument to put it in your house, it would be sufficient for me.
So again, I was wrong, I reacted too quick and without thinking it over first.
I hope you will reconsider, please do :)


John said...[Reply]

Hi again, Gee, and thanks for your thoughtful follow-up comments. Funny, your reasoning in your last comment was precisely why I wanted to do a shoo-fly: because nobody else had one! And it would be appropriate to the period of the house. I should have explained this in my post but it seemed to be getting long-winded enough...

The main reason I don't want to do the shoo-fly is because I have concerns that when you look at the house in its entirety --all six rooms together-- I fear that it will look unbalanced if the dining room is the only room in the house without a chandelier.

The other reason against the shoo-fly is that I don't know how to carve wood. I would have to sub-contract the job, I guess!

Thanks again for your input, Gee...I still have not made up my mind 100% so I will weigh your comments carefully.

Karin Corbin said...[Reply]

Honey Badger would never let not knowing how to carve wood stop him from having a shoo-fly if he truly wanted one. And he might well want one to shoo the flies over to him but only if he did not think it way more fun to jump up on the table and eat the flies and the food they landed on.

Honey Badger would get some plastic or metal object or embossed paper or even use a raised embossing powder detail made from a stamped impression or some object stamped into Fimo and then he would faux finish it to look like wood. He would be so fearless he would not care if it was a fake.

Karin Corbin said...[Reply]

Another option for a real wood punkah without having to do any carving other than rounding over edges of detail trims with sandpaper so that it takes away the nasty burns and to make them look hand carved instead of made by a nuclear reactor accident.

cobble it together from laser cut trims. Use corbels and brackets for the ceiling support and paste other details onto a thin board for the fan itself.

John said...[Reply]

Darn it, I really should me more honey badger-like in my miniatures thinking, Karin! Thanks for the --er,-- pep-talk...I think?

Anonymous said...[Reply]

i once bought a lovely piece of seems to be hand carved wood, about 3 by 4 centimetres in a toko of some sort, people from indonesia were running it. going to use it in my dh somewhere.
maybe thats an idea of where to look, john, a toko or shop like that?
love to search all kind of obscure shops whenever i get the chance in order to find something special for my house.
and when i find such a treasure it just makes my week !

John said...[Reply]

Another great idea, Gee, I'm constantly doing the same. I'd love to see photos of your dh,do you have a blog or website?

Patty said...[Reply]

John, The dining room is gorgeous!!! LOL @ Giac....aka HONEY BADGER

I love that video.

John said...[Reply]

Thanks, Patty! Honey badger --I know, right? I still titter every time I see that video!

I love your little babies, Patty --they are incredible,'faerie magic!'