Friday, 20 April 2018

Bits & bobs & thingamajigs plus a couch for the basement

So I thought I'd just do a round up post of things I've been working on lately. I finally got over my phobia of mini hardware application and just put the dang things on the Gustavian Cabinets. Here they are all done.

Meh, I see a couple of wonky hardware items.. I'll fiddle faddle with these until I either make them worse or fix them.

Also I wanted to show you the before and after of my Dining Chairs. They were a serendipitous find in two different places. I found two chairs at the Sydney miniature show and then found the rest and the two carvers at my local dollhouse shop.

They were perfectly fine as is, but I'm not a fan of the satin cushions and I wanted a lighter look for the room.

 Off came the satin covers and after a spray of white paint and new soft faded taupe linens covers..

They got a rub down with sandpaper in strategic locations to give them a more casual look.

Much more in keeping with the Modern Gustavian style I was aiming for. :D

While I was waiting for paint and glue to dry on these furniture pieces I decided to sew some cushions. There is no rhyme or reason to the pattern I chose.. I was just experimenting and trying out some sewing.. I'm not a natural sewer by any stretch so it was good to get some practice in.

 I tried out some nautical themes printed on grey fabric. Quite like these.

 A few neutrals with different trims & fringing. I used some printed fabric and glued or sewed it on. The one in the centre is a stamp, I just stamped straight onto the fabric and then ironed to set it.

Then I moved into some blue prints. These are a mix of stuff in my fabric stash and some of my new ribbons acquired on my recent ski trip. :D

I had a lot of failures in the bunch as well.. but I'm not showing you those! lol

Then I moved downstairs to the basement.

I've been putting off building a couch for the tenant because I just thought it would be hard.. and it kinda was.. well the upholstery was.. but that was of my own doing because I had my heart set on a specific fabric and 1. I didn't have enough of it. 2. It is very thick and 3. Now that I've finished it, I'm not sold on the fabric I so desperately wanted to use. lolol

So I started off by cutting a base in the basic shape from styrofoam.

Yup that's about right.

 Then I cut arms a back and cushions from foamcore and kitchen sponges. I just kind of winged it and made it up as I went along, eyeballing the sizes. I didn't have a pattern and was too impatient to really plan this project.. *rolls eyes at self*

Testing the assembly. I needed to cut down that right hand back cushion.

 Yup definitely needed adjusting and one arm is lower also. I fixed that later.

Next it was on to upholstery. I knew I wasn't going to have enough of the fabric I wanted to use so I decided to do a two tone couch.. I don't know why I decided this because I don't like them in real life but, I plowed on.. *facepalm*

I decided to do the base in this sage green colour upholstery fabric that NellBell from the greenleaf forum sent me. Thanks Nellie!

Suitably masculine.. I quite like this colour.. I should have continued on with it to be honest.. but I'm not sure I had enough of it either. I covered the ends of the back so when I folded that large piece behind the assembly up and over (with hem ironed in) it would look neat from the side. (I need to take a side picture. I forgot.. :/)

I added a layer of felt to the cushions to give them a bit of a rounded effect when covered. Then moved on to the arms.

The arms are covered in the fabric I wanted to use for the whole couch.. I should have stopped here. This fabric is just way to thick and the weave is big.. but I love it's dirty taupe colour so I kept going. 

First I covered the arm fronts then I folded fabric around the arm for a neat finish. Because the fabric is thick I didn't get the crispness I would have liked here. But anywhooo.... *whistles*

On to the cushions. It was my first time using kitchen sponges and I can't say I'm a massive fan. It is too, well, spongy.. lol.. so I couldn't get nice squares. I'd already cut my fabric though.. so I muscled on.

I finished off the base by lining it completely in the sage green (hemed for neatness) and attached the arms. Meh, I feel like the arms could be a smidge thinner.. I didn't account for the thickness of the material in my design (or lack there of.. see where lack of planning comes back to bite you in the butt.).

My cushions are a tight fit because, again I didn't account for the thickness of the fabric when sizing them and they knocked an arm right off. To be fair, in this case I did actually think to cut them down in size a bit but the amount I took off wasn't enough. No worries I reattached the arm. lol

So this is what I ended up with.. A two tone couch with a too thick fabric.

Look, it's not completely terrible but I think my dislikes outweigh my likes.


  • I should have planned this out. The arms are too fat - I think I could fix this problem fairly easily. 
  • Again on the arms.. I should have had the cushion on the left come around the end of the arm like it does on the side with the chaise. I think that would have gone a long way to reducing the look of that left arm. - Unfortunately not an easy fix. I have not a scrap of fabric left to create said cushion and reduction of the arm. Not to mention then the arm on the left would be shorter than the arm on the right.. but reducing the arm on the right would then require a new chaise cushion.. Nope.. not doable unless all the taupe areas get a new fabric.
  • I don't like the pronounced corners on the back pillows. This fabric was difficult to work with and combine that with spongy cushions and getting a crisp corner was impossible. 

Hmm there's not many.
  • I like the overall concept
  • I like the way it fits in the space in the basement.
  • I like the masculine colours. However they were not my original vision. 
Lets look at it in the space, shall we?

I've got to move that ladder. Time I built that wall one I think.

Maybe cushions will help?

A little better.

I think I'm going to have to put a throw over that arm.. lol

I guess when you look at the room as an overall whole it doesn't look THAT bad... Maybe I'll just let it marinate for a little bit and see if I can live with it.

 The Tenant seems to think it's comfy.

All he needs now is a big screen TV on that diagonal wall opposite and he's set for the afternoon! :D

My last little project that I did this morning, you may have noticed in the preceding pictures. I cut a new countertop for the Kitchenette using this melamine sample I found at the hardware store.

I think I like the look.. Nice and streamlined and a neutral foil to the brick flooring.

It's neat and tidy and modern. Just what I wanted. 

I cut it with my mini table saw.. And I'd better like it because, bye bye mini table saw. :(  I think I burnt the engine out on these cuts. It doesn't matter how many times I flick the switch.... no dice... Whaaaaaa!! I killed it. :(

Meh, I need a bigger one anyway.. The little proxxon was never up to the tasks I wanted it to do... I'll have to wait a while though.. a new Saw isn't going to be cheap!

Well it's back to working twelve hour days for me tomorrow.. so my mini time for now is over... See you on the other side! :D

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Basement Bathroom - The custom J Hippler Sink has arrived!!

Well, look what the postman delivered... My new sink made by our wonderful friend Jodi of My Miniature Madness. Isn't it wonderful! It fits perfectly in its new home. :D

Make sure you take a trip through her sink making odyssey... and check out all of her delightful creations

It was so much fun to open up all the little packages inside the shipping box... It was truly like Christmas morning.

**Warning** Photo spam ahead. :D

Side view

Full room view

The door has plenty of swing room.

The Tenant is going to be so happy with this oversized mirror. All the better to do his hair in.  :D


 All the little accessories are so lovely and are just the right touch of class for my sophisticated, city dwelling, man about town tenant. He does live in San Francisco after all, he has high expectations of his studio apartment. Basement or not.

The spectacular hand made flower the soap dispenser (Jodi's own 3D printed design) and cleverly crafted candle look great on the counter. Then there is a box of tissues with a jaunty modern design in coordinating black and white and some crisp white towels rolled up for storage on the upper shelf. I added a glass for the tenant to store his toothbrush in. The twine basket on the lower shelf is lined in a coordinating fabric and is to be used for hiding extra toilet rolls and other unsightly items. I need to make some to put in there. ;) When I do, I'll be sure to share a peek inside at the contents. Jodi even included the very modern rectangular bin you see here between the shower stall and sink unit. Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty. :D

Jodi solved my back splash dilemma by creating a fabulous over sized mirror that props up right on the counter. It's a great idea and keeps the look clean and streamlined.

The only problem is, Jodi's sink and accessories look so good. I now need to accessorise the rest of the room a bit more.. it's looking sadly neglected in comparison. I think I need an art work above the toilet and some modern coordinating towels on the towel rack opposite. Maybe a hook on the door and a rug on the floor in front of the sink. I also need to fill up the caddy in the shower and properly adhere the shower head to the wall. I'm sure it will all come together soon as the sink will provide lots of inspiration. :D 

 I can't thank Jodi enough for this wonderful gift. I'm so proud to have it in my San Franciscan. :D Thank you my dear friend!!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

San Franciscan Dining Room - China Cabinets

So I've been working away on a couple of House of Miniatures cabinet kits for the fireplace wall in the San Franciscan's Dining Room.

I love these kits, they really aren't difficult to put together and if you aren't going for a stain where you would have to be more careful with sanding and glue application, you really can't go wrong. Lucky for me I like painted finishes. These cabinets will get an aged Gustavian grey treatment with a taupe interior.

First up a spray of white primer and a quick sand.

I decided while I had the spray can out I may as well spray the new windows and doors for the San Francisco Townhouse I recently acquired. :D

Then a coat of grey chalk paint on the exterior pieces and both sided of the doors.

This is what they look like after several (many many) washes of Mars Black. Not quite dark enough or distressed enough.

Amazing what a bit more black paint, (I found pushing it around with my fingers gave the best finish for my purposes) some strategic sanding for age and a bit of styling can do! I'm really loving these cabinets. Accessories are just stand in's for now.. nothing is finalised... is it ever though? lol... I just really wanted to see what white china looked like against the taupe interiors.

I just need to add the hardware, which is currently drying from it's coat of Rustoleum Aged Bronze and I'm done!

So then I decided to play with the room to reward myself.. as you do :D

It's just about time to start trimming out this room. I just need to do the horizontal boards in the bay window area and entry door wall and I can start on the cornice, baseboard and window & door trim. I've decided against a door between the dining and kitchen. There just wasn't enough room in the end. There will still be an opening and I'll still be closing in the top of the wall to create a proper doorway, but it will just be without a door. For a first floor with no rooms requiring privacy, I think this is ok. It will also free up some valuable wall space in the narrow kitchen area for a calendar, clock or wall art of some sort. Then I need to sort out the stairwell hole (it's terribly finished) and attach the spindles and rail to the stairs.. from what I've read, that should be a fun job.. said no one, ever!.. 

Oh and I'm contemplating a "tin" ceiling... Something to ponder, while I work my punch list. :)