Monday, September 24, 2012

This 'n' That 'n' Things

See the little hallway through the door along the back wall of my Entrance Hall?  All six, stately rooms of Merriman Park have a doorway on the back wall --my way of hinting at further rooms beyond.  Originally I meant to have closed, fixed doors and  I only added this little passage off the Hall as an afterthought.  All of a sudden I got a bee in my bonnet and decreed (to no one in particular) that ALL rooms must have this feature, so I unceremoniously yanked off my little hallway and built one, big box to serve as hallways to all six rooms!

Here's the Dining Room with it's new, glimpse of hallway.  (I'm still working on the lighting back there --it still looks like the Ghost of Christmas Past is about to make an appearance)...
I have not yet received the wallpaper for the upstairs hallway, yet.  But here's the decidedly un-glamorous, primed, passage off the Music Room...

I won't even bother showing you the Drawing Room looks pretty much like the above photo, with the sad addition of all my wiring hanging down like limp spaghetti in the doorway.  OH!  That's the cool thing...the big, new 'hallway box' in back will eventually hide all the wiring!

As I mentioned earlier, I'm still working on the hallway lighting.  I want it to look sort of  muted and mysterious, with just a hint of je ne sais pas quoi --and not like the aliens from Close Encounters are running a marathon up and down the damn thing.  I thought maybe a simple, nightlight-type bulb would do the trick, but did you know you can't even buy a nightlight anymore that isn't on some kind of timed sensor for day/night?  I know!  When I was young, we turned our nightlights on and off manually AND WE LIKED IT.

Then I got this brilliant idea:  I have these dumb, fake jack o'lanterns in the basement that have nightlights in them already attached to long cords...sweet!

Boo! Mr. Pumpkin smiles for the camera while Miss Tina the mannequin strikes a pose in the cellar.
Ooh, girls, when that scary pumpkin face popped up on my screen I about jumped out of my skin...spooky!  Don't you just hate fake jack o' lanterns?  I mean, why even bother if you're not going to carve a real one and scoop out the disgusting, slimy guts and stick a real, wax candle in there and light it and smell your house up with burnt-pumpkin stank? Seriously.

Now all I have to do is get me some clear, nightlight bulbs. Because red/orange flame-tip bulbs from fake jack o' lantern make Merriman Park look like there is some pretty funky, weird shenanigans going on in that dollhouse!  LOL!


Don't ask me why, mes chers, but I also recently decided that my newly-reupholstered, Music Room chairs simply screamed for piped edges.  I've seen it used to brill effect on the blog of Catherine of Kilmouski & Me and so now my new mantra du jour has become "must have fab piping!"  (In Buddhist, when I chant it correctly, darling)!

Non-other than Catherine, herself, steered me toward CRAZY CORDS, which make mini piping-making a SNAP.  No more tired, twisting and turning of embroidery floss the old-fashioned, manual way...with CRAZY CORDS you just simply attach your thread into the patented, handy-dandy CRAZY CORDS  tool, press the button and voila!  That's right, folks --just SET it, and FORGET it!

Perfect 1:12th scale piping without the FUSS.  Without the MUSS of tedious, labor-intensive spinning by HAND!  But don't take my word for it, darlings...

"I would have gone CRAZY making my miniature piping without this god-send device.  Thanks, CRAZY CORDS!" --Eileen Dover, Aimes, Iowa

"I've been making dollhouse piping for years, the old-fashioned way.  If only I had CRAZY CORDS back in the day, I might still have the feeling and use of my thumbs..."  --Mrs. Wilma Ballsdrop, Battle Creek, Michigan

"WHOO-HOO!!! We LOVE ya, CRAZY CORDS!!!"  --Miss Iona Trailer & family, Columbia Heights, Minnesota


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chairs! Chairs! Chairs!

So I finished reupholstering my Thomas Jefferson chairs in the Susan Bembridge fabric and I have to say I am rather pleased with the results.  Normally, I am not a 'matchy-matchy' kind of guy, but somehow in this setting it WORKS, as they're always saying on those HGTV shows.

 It was a little touch-and-go with the upholstery job, mes chers, as the pattern on the fabric had to be centered on the furniture backs and seats --so there was a lot of waste.  Would there be enough fabric  to complete the job??? 

The venerable Susan Bembridge herself thought that one piece would do the job, and she was right!  She even steered me toward the cotton sateen instead of the silk, which I originally favored.  She told me that non-other than John Hodgson preferred the cotton --and who am I to argue with  the likes of that?  I'm actually glad I heeded her sage advice because it was tough enough to line up the pattern without the added misery of slippery silk!

I'm thinking about adding some piping to the edges of my chairs, à la manière de Catherine of Kilmouski & Me, a blog I have come to adore.

But for now...I'm calling the room 'complete!'

 Here's another House of Miniatures chair I built for the piano.  It's actually one of the same chairs from the Entrance Hall, but in a walnut finish and gilded detail on the lyre back. 

I decided to do the seat cushion in the red silk to go with the balloon shades at the windows. 

I also, one morning tossed the sheet music into my cup of coffee because it just seemed too white, lol!

I am still looking for an appropriate image to go under the spinet lid...send me one if you think it would fit the odd shape!

There are a few other details I would like to change... but isn't that the way of dollhouses?

I have another chandelier for the room in mind, but it might have to go on my Christmas list.  I also have my eye on a harp.

Did you notice my new, seven-tier candelabras on the tables along the back wall?  They are from Patre's Dollhouse Miniatures, and I just LOVE them!  Of course, what's not to love about gold and sparkles, right?The three-tiered candles in the middle ground are hers, as well.

Then there is the 'little person's chair' in the was actually a mistake-purchase but I almost NEVER return things to stores because --well,--I don't know why...  I was not planning on having any references to children in my house because I sort of have this love/hate relationship with children...and by that I mean I love to hate them, lol!  I was telling Fiona the other day that I believed all children should be shipped out to Military School until they're eighteen and are able to talk intelligently about Art --but that's just silly ol' me talking, so attention must not be paid!

But I decided to include the little chair, after all, and am looking for a 1/24 scale violin to set on it...for a little, budding Mozart, perhaps?  Gods! Am I getting soft in my old --in my-- in my-- as I approach middle-age?