Thursday, November 6, 2008

Coffee Shop

In the last few months, I've started buying a few things here and there for the coffee shop, including a pay phone, and some sweets. I love the carrot cake because I've made real life carrot cupcakes with little carrots on the top (I love to bake and eat anything sugary). The walls will one day be full of fliers and ads and a menu, of course, but all that is up now is a picture I cut out from an Allposters catalog urging the patrons to "drink coffee". I also put the sign up and named the coffee shop. It's called the 71A cafe, after a coffee shop near my house called the 61C cafe. The 61C is named for a bus route which I take every day. The 71A is a different bus route in the part of Pittsburgh I used to live in, which is cooler and has a "hipper" vibe, and this coffee shop is somewhat inspired by the one near my old apartment, so it is named for that bus which I loved to hate for 5 years.
Soon, for Christmas, I will be visiting my parents in eastern PA. They have an A.C. Moore there and I'd love to get another one of these Houseworks shops because they are so easy and fun to build. I told my boyfriend that maybe we would make a Steelers/ Pittsburgh sports team store and it would be all black and gold and that would be really easy to fill because we could print off alot of stuff from the internet (giant Big Ben cardboard cut- outs and the like!). I'd also like to make a bar, because I am part of the time a bartender.

Emerson Row

A while ago, I found the apparently much sought after Emerson Row dollhouse on my local Craigslist for $20! Luckilly, though I wasn't the first to email about it, I was the first to pay, so the house was mine.

A nearly 30 year old kit is kind of a pain. All of the pieces were there, however, a 1/8" plywood kit and a 3/8" MDF kit are completely different things. Early in the building process I cut my finger with an Exacto, bled allover my parquet floors, and kind of put it off for a while. As soon as it got cooler out, though, I started to work like crazy!

The kit box:
My "work" area (which is mostly the floor!)
The shell, so far (and you would not believe how long it took to get this wood to cooperate!)

My attempt at paperclay stone for a foundation (still needs to be painted):

My attempt at paperclay bricks (still need to be grouted/ aged):

I'm still not quite sure what the inside will be furnished like, though it will be contemporary. I have a wealth of ideas but not really any other wealth so I'm trying to be kind of frugal with this one.

I'm back!

After a break from mini-ing (moving, then summer, and vacation, and getting back to being busy and responsible at work) now that it is fall, I can't stop. We went to the Pittsburgh dollhouse show last month, and ever since then I've been spending a few hours a week on mini things. First, I finally got columns for my Georgetown, which were super difficult to find (finally got a bunch from England) and put up my corbel brackets from forever ago.

Then I painted the edges between th rooms on the back of the house to make the whole thing neater. And then I "varnished" (i.e. modge-podged) the wood floors to make them a little bit shiny. Then I put in all of my new goodies (I got a lap-top, a little bonsai, some food... and my favorite, a stand mixer for the kitchen.)

See the stand mixer? It came white, but I painted it teal to give it that $400 Kitchen-Aid look. In the foreground you can see my espresso machine (from a suggestion from Mini MC).Christmas is coming up! Like my invisible dollhouse people, I had better get shopping!

The bathroom finally has towel racks :

See my new lap top?
A great bonsai plant in the living room and a coffee table stand in until I get a real one (this is the back of some case, but hey, it works for modern decor, right?)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Moving time!

So, this weekend is the big move, and I'm only about 30% packed... which is why I am on the internet, reading stupid things on Wikipedia, and drinking fruit punch.

Anyway, in dollhouse news, I've made a few exciting purchases. I won a couple new ReacJapan chairs on Ebay for a super good price, also, I won some of the smaller-sized Re-Ment items (cute little office-y type things). Also, on my local Pittsburgh Craigslist, I found an old Greenleaf house for $20. It's a house no longer made called the Emerson Row, which I think will look just perfect as a rented city house for some young 20 something types or college students. No pictures, because all of that stuff actually is packed. I'd love to find a really cool, Parsons-esque desk (really straight lines) and some miniature computers that don't look clumpy.

Maybe I should pack my internet and Buffy dvds so I can finally pay attention and pack everything else?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

After a break...

So... I got busy at work... busy watching tv on dvd (who ever knew Charmed could be as addictive as nicotine)... busy drinking after work... busy worried about being busy moving next month... busy reading stupid stuff on the internet and playing video games...

ANYWAY... finally, this week I made a little progress with both projects. This is currently the Georgetown kind of decorated, inhabited by one Christmas treasure troll, 2 free reindeer from DollsHouse Emporium, and a free milkman doll (?) also from DHE.

This reindeer enjoys sitting on the futon in the future home office, watching the tv. His favorite pieces of furniture are the Noguchi table (thanks, Mom) and the entertainment unit from Ebay. The other reindeer enjoys the improvements brought to the bathroom by the Chyrsnbon bathroom accessories kit. I especially like the toilet paper and holder and the little soap dishes. Weirdly enough, platinum nail polish makes a really good brushed steel effect on these plastic kit pieces.

This is an old postcard I had hanging in my kitchen, I think from one of those Dover postcard packs. (The Dover catalogs are really good for this kind of stuff, they're really cute if you group them in painted Ikea frames. I have the Erte fashion designs in my rl living room). Anyway, I love Stuart Davis, and I always liked this painting, so it will be the focal piece of one of the rooms. I have a Kandinsky one I got at the Guggenheim in NYC a while ago that I'll frame, as well. The coffee shop is somewhat progressing. At a show, I got some little fixtures (the soda machine and the syrup/ sauce holders). I finished the Chrynsbon chair kits. They purposely don't match.

This is the milkman chilling in the living room. This room has an awful configuration for furniture... which is pretty true to life in this kind of old house, I guess. I love the mirrors grouped on the wall ($2 from Michaels). The trim in this room is kind of crooked, but it's an old house, right? I still like the juxtaposition of stripey wallpaper and duo-toned walls. This room still calls out for some sweet panel curtains and a shag area rug, but at least it's got trim now.
The hallway got some trim and doors. The stairs are only tentatively in, bc of a mistake I made when building the structure originally. They don't fit in the slot! I'm going to tape and hide the wire behind some sort of large floor plant.
The kitchen got a fridge and some more fiesta ware and a strawberry shortcake. I love this fiesta ware, it is so delicate and pretty. The cake is really pretty, too. The fridge is a new design from one of the major mass produced lines, but it's sleek and moden. They make stoves, dishwashers, and laundry to match.

The bedroom got a little chia pet! It's on the bookshelf. Still needs a lot of books, art, and, of course, a dresser. And shoes.
Also, I got a RGT 333 Franklin Street Kit which I won't start working on until this house is done (HBS half off sale!), but this whole process will make that house even better. I don't know if I will bother wiring that one at all considering how finicky my lights are and how the tape is so difficult to even slightly conceal. But I have all kinds of cool ideas for it ( a modern- baroquey type thing with patterned walls and mismatched, updated antique furniture and very boho.) I know I definitely want "tin" ceilings.

Anyway... until next time.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

New stuff!

A new set of bar chairs and a table for what will one day be the game room in the Georgetown... can't you just see it with some cocktail glasses?
An etertainment set I won off of Ebay, complete with a light up television. This is for the home office/ guest room.
See- now guests can sleep on the futon and wake up to watch the morning weather.
Some cakes I made out of polymer clay, a shelving unit from HBS, and a refrigerator magnet/ mini cappuccino maker (I know it's a bit big, but it still works)
Some Chrysnbon kits, the chairs are for the coffee shop and will be really mismatched and beaten down. The bathroom fixtures are for the Georgetown. Hopefully, these plastic kits will go together well (I even bought the right glue for them!)

I also got a bunch of trim (crown, baseboard, and chair rail) and some doors/ doorknobs to finish up the Georgetown interior.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get to work on both projects soon!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Even more store progress!

While I bake some more clay, here are some pictures of my progress on the coffee shop this week:

The floor is done with cheap, $2.99 a bag skinny craft sticks and some left over varnish. I like how it kind of looks worn out. The stones in the front are paper clay (I've started painting them tonight) and the walls are now embelished with left over trim from my dollhouse and some sale ribbon. The wainscoting on the back wall is made from popsickle style thick craft sticks painted deep purple, then coated with crackle, and painted light greyish-white.

The good news is I finished my taxes today, so I feel a shopping excursion coming on. I am searching still for mini cappucino/ espresso makers. I bid on a fridge magnet that's slightly bigger than scale but detailed and sleek looking. I may even try out the Re-Ment coffee makers, since they look modern (even if they are bigger). If anyone has any other suggestions... please PLEASE write me!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Store progress (Houseworks Street of Shops)

I had a field day at Michael's today (lots of good bargains) and worked a little on the shop after work. The outside is now aged (with a wash of brown paint, crackle medium, and sanding) and I've begun working on the inside walls.

Also, all polymer clay 2 ounce packs were on sale for 99 cents, so I've begun experimenting with it. So far, I suck, and that's ok, but at least you can tell that my coffee mugs are coffee mugs... at least I hope so!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another project!

So, we went on a little roadtrip this weekend and had a great time... incidently, we happened to be near an AC Moore store (none of this in Pittsburgh). I printed out one of their coupons and got a Houseworks shop kit (the 2 window store) and a bunch of paints.

My plan for this is an artistic, city coffee house with a bulletin board, tasty treats, mismatched bohemian style furniture, and maybe a microphone and a guitar.

I'd love to find an espresso or cappucino machine in 1/12 scale, which is so far not happening. I'd also like a commercial style refirgerator with a clear door for displaying sodas and the like.

So far, the front has a coat of paint which I want to grime up a bit... oooh, maybe with some graffiti or something. Anyway, here is what I have so far.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Other rooms

The house has 2 other rooms. The plum room is going to be a game room/ bar (I think the mini liquor bottles are so cute) and the orangish room is going to be a home office/ guest room.

For the guest room, I have a mini futon that I bought from HBS. It's so cute and it really folds out into a bed. I think this room will look really great with a mess of books and papers, perhaps a little tv... Maybe I should start working on my taxes so I can go shopping with my tax return!


This house has a hallway on every floor, right in the middle of the rooms. Each of the hallways is painted in a khaki color and has hardwood floors stained in mocha.

The foyer is something I've been working on. I love the flagstone, unfortunately I can't cut straight lines for anything, but I think with the trim it looks ok. The flagstone is part of a sheet from HBS that was all white. I painted it with washes of acrylic and put a little chalk into the mix. The red light is also from HBS. It had an accident when I was placing the walls and the wires were ripped out of the ceiling. This is as good as I can get it to look right now.

The second floor landing has its bannisters up. I bought a pre-assembled set which was a big sanity-saver.

The top floor landing is going to be a hallway/art studio. My mom got me the little art table, and I made the bookshelves out of balsa, scrapbook paper, and paint.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The bedroom

This is the bedroom so far, I love the bright green walls (I want to paint my real life bedroom this color!). I actually made the bedding with some clearance and sale fabrics from JOanns, and I don't even sew. You can accomplish alot with ribbon and glue. The comforter is actually padded like a real comforter; I glued flat makeup spnges to a piece of magazine paper and glued the fabric around it. Most of the items are once again from Dollshouse Emporium (they have reasonably priced modern miniatures and the best selection of modern lamps out there). The purple chair is from Ebay, it is a Raine Rake A Seat chair. I need to do a great deal of decorating in here, including some wall decor and a dresser of some sort. The issue with these rooms are that they are all longish and narrow, so the dresser is going to have to be pretty small.