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



Daydreamer said...[Reply]

Hee Hee, I LOVE it John!!!! The Crazy Cords that is...! Actually ALL of it!!!! The Brilliant hallway Extension Project... the raiding of old tired Pumpkins for night lights.... Hee Hee...the Gorgeous glimpses of hallway rooms...!!!! This is A GREAT IDEA!!! I have just added piping to my tiny chair.... what is it... a virus going around? Lol!!!
Really, your new hallways are Beautiful additions to your already Stunning Rooms!!!!

miraclechicken said...[Reply]

John I LOVE the hallways!! Great idea, great look. Wonderful piping too. I love your style of writing you crack me up!!!!!!!

Catherine said...[Reply]

The hallways add so much realism, depth and mystery to the rooms. I love the soft lighting there. OMG this is such a BEAUTIFUL house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your trim turned out great. I really enjoyed talking to you today. XXXXXXXX

John said...[Reply]

Thanks, Catherine! Me, too!

John XO

Anna said...[Reply]

Mulvany and Rogers often put doors on back walls to hint at additional rooms (especially when miniaturizing a palace or other grand building). By building an actual back hallway for all those doors to open into, I think you may have topped that!

Josje said...[Reply]

The hallways are a great addittion John! It will make the rooms look even more interesting. I always love the suggestion that there is more to look at than what you see, although strictly speaking this isn't a suggestion as the hallways are actually there ;-)

Oh how much time I have wasted doing all of my piping without your Crazy Cords! I simply must get me one of them handy tools! Which home shopping channel can I find it on please???

Elga said...[Reply]

Your posts always give me a good laugh somewhere along the way, THANKS!!!

Love your hallways, I started building my house when I knew nothing and did change a few things along the way too.

The cording tool is wonderful, now I will have to go on a hunt and see if I can find one on this side of the globe.

Sionchi said...[Reply]

Oh! Qué idea más buena la del pasillo, ha quedado ,muy bien. Me ha encantado la decoración de la sala, tan llena de cuadros y con esa tonalidad azul tan bonita. Las cortinas han quedado divinamente. Todo me gusta muchísimo. Ya sabes que tu casa es una de mis favoritas. Besos

Teresa said...[Reply]

So cool! The halways doors really make one feel like the house is deeper and even more interesting! (never thought that was possible in one of your houses, as wonderful as your houses are already). Is that sentence wierd grammer or what?

latchkey and jonquil said...[Reply]

Hi John,

this post made my day! Hilarious, yet informative - a win-win combination! Thanks for making me laugh out loud and spill hot coffee on the cat (Edgar is not pleased)...

also great heads up about the crazy cord thing, I always get in a mess trying to do it with a hand drill and sticky to speak!

And I love the hall box idea, it gives the house a good sense of anticipation. Plus I kind of like the eerie lighting, it is nearly halloween, after all,


Simon said...[Reply]

Hey John
I was in the throws of writing,
"I love your back passa.." and realilsed it would probably read rather differently to what I intended!!
So to clarify, I love the view and depth you have created, it really adds to the whole atmosphere. Why not put a secrest doorway behind a bookcase in the Library room? I'm sure you have a ton of ideas already.
The piping will really set off the chairs to a T.
Have a great week

Wanda said...[Reply]

Okay you just can't tease us with the crazy cord machine thingy and not tell us where it can be purchased! Please do tell.

Now about that Jack-o-lantern, being an interior designer by trade I always have a tendency to look at the entire room and not one item in the room, what am I seeing behind the jack-o-lantern.....oh please do tell

Ray W said...[Reply]

Hello John!
I love the glimpse of additional space that your rear hallways offer. They really draw you in and make you want to know where they lead.
I will have to look for that cord winder! We have used the old manual drill type thingy for years and this one looks like a lot more fun!
I am doing a post in the near future about some lights that I will be using in my own house to light up obscure areas. Drop me a note if you are interested in knowing what I will use. You might very much like them.
Looking forward to your "Library"!
Ray -X-

Giac said...[Reply]

Hello mon cher John,
I am so happy you decided to make the hallways. it will add so much life, realism and create a feeling that the house is so much bigger then it is. The wire hidding is just a plus. Once again, a great decision and a great "face-lift" to a wonderful, grand home! The piping will add lovely detail tot eh chairs and make them look even more finished. Merriman Park truly is a masterpiece John, keep it up my friend, you better work!!!
Big hug,

John said...[Reply]

Hey, everyone!

Thanks for all the great feedback! Here's where I picked up the CRAZY CORDS machine, hot off a tip from Kilmouski & Me:

Sorry, guess you can't put direct links in comments. BLAST YOU, BLOGGER! I'll edit my original post.

Confidential to Wanda: That's Miss Tina: she is such a hog for the camera!

Steinworks said...[Reply]

Hi John
I love the back rooms and the crazy cords machine!

and yea you cant post links to blogger I guess thats to keep us from sending other bloggers to pron sites

does Miss Tina know she forgot her pants?

Marisa :)

Wanda said...[Reply]

Thanks for the chuckle John, sorry it had to be at Miss Tina's expense. Best laugh I've had today.. Thanks for the link as well!

rosanna said...[Reply]

Love your work and I want that Crazy Cords thingy, I need it. Thank you for sharing the tool. Rosanna

Gee said...[Reply]

Laughing from beginning to end reading your post :) :D
Thanks for the tip on the crazy cords, now I just got to get one!
I made an addition of small backrooms to my house, in a similar way you made the hallways.
And I so agree with you, it adds so incredibly much more to a house, suddenly the house starts to live; you did a great job!
And what a scary, big step to actually make changes to your house!
IMHO it adds to every room, with one exception, if you don't mind me saying, that being the music room.
If that door would be set ajar (is that the correct term?)it would add much more to the picture instead of the door being wide open.
Oh well, just my two cents.
Anywayz, great post, great improvement and thanks for making me smile :)

Andy said...[Reply]

Hey John,

the cross passage from the hall works a treat, adds greta depth to the rooms and makes you want to explore all the more!

Nice to see all those rooms again, exquisite darling!!

Now what kind of crazy stuff do you keep in your basement? The pumpkin I can sort of get, but whose the corpse? another freebie from work? Great fun! You don't need a pumpkin light come Hallowe'en, You can just stick the model out on the porch, that should scare the kids away! ;)

I'm sure I have seen that name Iona Trailer before somewhere..... LOL, you do make me laugh John!!!!

great stuff!!

Andy xxxx

Fi.P said...[Reply]

I must have been hiding under a rock and missed your post!!

The hallways look fantastic and really add that extra dimension. You are such a wiz at every thing you do, the crazy cords gadget sounds great, I must get hold of one. And I love your RL chandelier and the pictures in the background. I'm such a snoop, hehe!
I'm with Andy, just how big IS your basement, I can't believe the stuff you pull out of there!!!

Oh, and I don't know if this happens to anyone else, but when you write in the coloured text with the black back ground and white lettering I get this wired magic eye thing happening and I feel like Im on LCD and the text just jumps right off the page at me like 3D.....weird!!

ML Fi xx

John said...[Reply]

Thanks for all the great feedback, guys! I really appreciate your comments...

Confidential to Andy:

You crack me up! 'Tina' does make an appearance on the front porch for Halloween, dressed as Marie Antoinette one year, Cleopatra the next...I also have several 'headless' mannequins --that's where the fake jack o' lanterns came in... It's pretty much a HUGE flea-market, down there...

Confidential to Fi:

Did you mean LSD? I've never tried LCD but I'm sort of out of the loop...

Confidential to Marisa:

Tina once had a fab, vintage, gold-lame gown that was ABSCONDED by my frienemy, Katherine, who was shamelessly SNOOPING/SHOPLIFTING in the basement during a cocktail party! (One minute Katherine is sporting a ho-hum, casual skirt and blouse and the NEXT minute she's lapping up the kudos in TINA'S DRAG)! AND she refused to change back into her Cinderella rags after the party was over! I've never seen the dress, OR that CONFIRMED THIEF, ever since! And that makes me sad, Marisa.

Irene said...[Reply]

Just catching up here after my weekend away and your post DID make me laugh! I too was curious about the female lurking in your basement and now you've cleared up that little question!

It was a great idea to create the halls at the back (I'm not going down the route Simon nearly took!). It works very well indeed. As for the Crazy Cord, I'd never heard of it before so I'm on the lookout now!

Fi.P said...[Reply]

Hahahahahahahah, now I told you that text had an effect on me!!

I think you should try LCD I have pumped out some pretty impressive paintings with that blasting through my head space!! I have left you some links of my favourites but you really have to hear them pounding into your eardrums, it's just not the same through Youtube (i'm sure you have heard of them any way, they ARE from your neck of the woods)

Ilona said...[Reply]

Hi John, nearly missed your hilarious post, omg, the was laughing. Afterwards I read all the comments too: I had to laugh out loud, I don't tell you what nearly happened then :D!! But now serious: to add the hallways is a very good idea, the depth will be much more or how can I tell you this in proper English, you certainly know what I mean ;)!
Nice to meet Miss Tina, should like to see more of her and her dresses :D!! I agree with Fi, the red text is not doing any good for my eyes too.....
I wish you a great weekend, John.

akissfromthepast said...[Reply]

wonderful details and elegance!
i love this style- this would be somethign i would consider as my home would look like ;)
have a great sunday evening!