Friday, 2 August 2019

The Third floor - A living room

Wheee.. I made it to the third floor! I have big plans for this floor but let's start with the living room. Like the dining room it will have a fireplace chimney breast in the middle of the wall and this time instead of cabinets it will have "built-in" bookcases either side. I love symmetry in design and my gustavian inspired theme loves it too. :)

In anticipation of starting the living room I decided to renovate this little broken chaise I got in an HBS grab bag. Red Velvet! Oh no, no, no.... tsk tsk..

Firstly I removed all the velvet and gave the piece a sand on the area's I wanted paint to stick. The next order of business was to glue the broken off leg and arm back on.

Add some taupe-y coloured paint antiqued with wax and white paint. And crisp pale taupe linen as a fabric replacement.

Then I added the tufting.. to the seat cushion.

 And then added little cardstock buttons to the divots.. sorry, bit of a blurry picture.

And then glued the seat cushion on. I might add some embroidery floss or cord along that bottom edge for a neater finish.

I started working on the room by making sure all of downstairs lighting had it's wires extended and was fed through grooves in the floor and down the holes I drilled where the chimney breast is.

I haven't decided if I'm feeding the porch light up the wall or down it. Probably up.

Then I started to lay out some stand in furniture (some pieces may stay, some may go) and cutting the front for the chimney breast. I'm blocking your view of my messy craft room with some brown paper.. lol... I gave up on this in later shots.. :D

The stairs will come up behind the couch and my mini people will have to walk between the coffee table and couch to get to the next flight of stairs. Not ideal but this room is narrow and other furniture arrangements weren't working. I could lose the bookcases and the fireplace but I don't want to. :) And as I'm using my chimney breasts as a receptacle for my electrical, it's a must have.

The bookcases will be filled with some books but also with a collection of sculptures, decor pieces and natural items that I feel the occupants have collected on their travels.

So of course I got side tracked and started playing with styling options. Look at the mess I was making!

And a closer look.

Left Side

Right Side

Taking pictures like this is helpful.. I already see a bunch of things I'm going to edit. lol

I then made a template for the floor and constructed it of... take a guess.... popsicle sticks! They've been working in the other rooms so far so why change now.

And in the room.

I was originally thinking of keeping the shelving their natural colour with just a clear coat.. but my gustavian leanings won out and I gave them a very light whitewash and some aging. 

I had already made the shiplap wall a while ago.. so as you saw earlier, I taped it up and tested it in place. I need to add a little bit more wall on the other side of the door as I've changed to narrow ones. but it's a still a pretty good fit.
Having this wall continue up the stairwell provides continuity and means I don't have to think of ways to transition from one finish to another. It will likely go the entire height of the house into the attic space. But in these upper floors it's not going to go all the way around like it did in the dining room. It will be more of a structural feature wall. :D

Then it was time to stain/paint the popsicle stick floor. I'm going for a kind of aged oak that is quite popular over here in Oz at the moment.

While I waited for stain and paint to dry, Shawn and I took the pups for a walk.:D I think Ferris has spotted a cat. *rolls eyes*

That little blue dot at the end of the footpath is Moreton Bay which leads directly out to the Pacific Ocean. :) Our house is the little speck of white fence you see almost at the blue dot. 

I'm liking it so far but I think it needs a bit more white dry brushed on.. job for later.

It looks better with the furniture in but still in need of a little refining. You can see by now I've also finished constructing the chimney breast from foam core and cut out the opening for the hearth. I think I'll employ egg carton bricks in this one also.. now if I could just find the other marble hearth I made! I clearly put it away for safekeeping and the only thing I'm keeping it safe from is me. *rolls eyes*

Tried a different rug, I don't like it in here... it's all a bit to pretty, I think I need something a bit rustic to keep the room from becoming too girly.. I'll likely move it to the bedroom, where girliness can reign supreme! :) 

Look there's Deborah's childhood jug on the coffee table. :D

I bought a little desk that I thought might look good in the bay window and paired it with a bespaq chair from my stash.

 I like it for now, but it is another pretty girly element so I need to reserve judgement for a while.

I'm in the process of building an armchair in the same style as the sofa (both are millie august kits) and I've taped it together here to see if it will fit the space. I like that it has a lower back than the wing chair I had sitting in before. It allows a view of the desk behind. The other option for a single chair is a french occasional chair or a slipper chair. I'll likely make up a few kits and/or transform something ugly from my stash until I find the right fit.

So this is where the room is so far. Of course as always, furnishings are subject to change, but I'm really liking my foundation pieces so far.

I need to think about what finish to do on the front wall. Patterned wallpaper? (probably not), paint or plain wallpaper? (more likely) but what colour? I need to go and troll around pinterest for some ideas.. I'm thinking it will be something neutral and may just end up being white. I don't want a bunch of competing patterns and colour. This room is meant to feel serene like the dining room.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Some wonderful gifts from a treasured mini friend. :)

This post is long overdue but better late than never, I say!

So a while back you may have seen on Deborah's excellent blog, The half of it , that I had sent her a couple of mini gifts I'd set aside for her half scale projects.

Well Deb being the wonderful person she is decided she must return the favour... in spades! It was completely unnecessary, given my parcel was unsolicited and we hadn't agreed a swap, but nevertheless was very much appreciated. :)

My package arrived and oh my, what did I do to deserve all this mini fabulousness! Deborah was so generous and I'm not sure I could ever repay the kindness.

Let's have a tour of all the wonderful goodies she shipped halfway around the world to me. :D

Firstly and probably my favourite item of all, (if that is even possible with all this mini goodness) this amazing cushion featuring two dogs hand stitched by Deborah herself. Oh, my heart hurts it's so much adorableness.

AND.. There is the sweetest sentiment stitched on the back.

As a Mum of two fur babies present and several past and with my soul mate pooch, Wrigley, passing away this past year, this little doggie embroidery warms the cockles of my heart.

Truly, the most thoughtful gift. I've earmarked a place in the San Franciscan's bedroom for this sentimental piece.

Next in my mini surprise package was this precious metal jug from Deborah's own childhood collection. Deborah remembered my love of metal minis and was incredibly thoughtful to include one of her own. She found this piece herself as a child while out antiquing with her Mum. :)
I love metal minis and I love the story behind this little jug. It's a very welcome addition to my metal mini collection and will have pride of place in the San Franciscan.

  I tried out a couple of different mini flowers in it but I've settled on some pink & white roses and a place on the coffee table.

Deborah also included a replacement copy of the readable Moby Dick she sent me back when we did a "book for a painting" swap.. There is a funny story to the addition of this book in this gift pack... Back when I posted about the original swap, it was noted (not by me!) that there was a minor error in the cover. Deb wanted to send me a new one immediately, but I was not perturbed by this development, in fact I was delighted! How great is that! My mini Sea Captain was now going to be the collector of rare Maritime themed books and the highlight of his collection was going to be his rare misprinted, Moby Dick. :D One of the best happy accidents ever, and a whole new detail in the story of my imaginary Sea Captain, (who I'm yet to build a house for, I might add, but it is slated as my next project. :D ). Well, with a memory like an Elephant, Deborah has prevailed in her wish and sent me an amended copy, and who am I to turn down an immaculately made, readable mini book! Now the Sea Captain has both versions in his collection and he is very happy.

 Another incredibly generous gift  is this commissioned Phillip Nuveen bird sculpture from Deborah's personal collection. He comes complete with a branded gift bag. The bag alone is an awesome gift!.

 But then I opened it up and found this incredible, sculptural, very modern, very fabulous bird! This post has reminded me just how fabulous he is, and inspired me to get him to make an appearance in the living room bookcases (this will make more sense when I blog about the living room. :) ) He is just the type of sculptural item sophisticated San Francisco dwellers would have on display. Ooh, he might even end up on the mantle. :D  Deb now works exclusively in half scale so the bird was too large for her scenes, and she has generously passed him on to me. :D

In a nod to the fact that I'm building a San Franciscan and Deborah is from the bay area, she couldn't resist adding a kitschy bit of tourist souvenir gear. You don't get more San Francisco that a boxed Cable Car :D

And it's personalised. So cute!

Then, in a fit of inspiration, Deborah came up with the most amazing gift idea ever! A mini gift basket themed to the city of my dollhouse, which, as it happens is also her home city. What's brilliant about that is, she knows exactly the kind of gourmet San Francisco region items should go in a great regional gift basket.

I think these might become a bit of a Debsrand signature item. I know Keith (Smallworldproductions on Instagram) has also received an awesome Northwest themed one. But I will be forever proud that I received the first and I'm telling myself, my dollhouse was the inspiration that started off what I'm sure will turn into an iconic line of minis that people will be clamouring to get personalised for their own dollhouses. :D I know I want one for every house I ever build :D 

 Look, there's the "I heart San Francisco" mug from my last post. :D

All wrapped in cellophane with the perfectly scaled ribbon and even a little "Thank You" tag! What an amazing idea.

Unwrapping was like having another whole gift inside a gift. Kind of like the joy you get from seeing a dollhouse in a dollhouse. Genius and the gift that keeps on giving. :D 

Once open I could see all the wonderful contents a Miniature San Francisco themed gourmet gift basket includes: 

- An "I heart San Francisco" Mug ❤️
- A round of Marin French Cheese - Brie - Boxed
- 2 x Peets Coffee packs - French Roast ( my fav) and Cafe Solano ( a nod to Deb)
- A bottle of Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon
- A bottle of Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay - say that three times fast after a couple of glasses.. lol
- A loaf of Boudin Bakery Sourdough complete with branded bag.
- Three bars of Ghirardelli Chocolate - Sea Salt, 60% Cacao & 72% Cacao.
- And the most amazing readable coffee table book - San Francisco, A Photographic Portrait. 

Extra content - You can watch my unpackaging and listen to my wierd croaky monotone accent in my highlights on instagram :D

Deborah also provided me with an additional bread bag from Acme Bakery, apparently a much more acceptable establishment for locals than Boudin which is apparently a bit touristy. :) So now I have sourdough options. :D  (speck of dust on packet provided by me, lol)

I've decided to put the gift basket sans cellophane and mug (which is now on the coffee machine) on the kitchen table for now.. But as the San Franciscan evolves, I'm sure one by one these items will show up individually elsewhere. The basket is just too cute to break up completely just yet.

 I did have a little play on a Friday night though.. :D Our mini inhabitants decided to crack out the cheese and olives and that bottle of Cab Sav for a little after work snack... as you do. :P

 I hope your weekend has been filled with gourmet delights also. :D