Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tasty Tasty Foot

Mmmm......there is nothing like the taste of foot, you know? As in, I've put my foot in my mouth. Again.

So last post, I was all "hah! I can finish this Fling in no time flat! I'm the best procrastinator in the world!" And I was so on track to finish it.

And then I got a part-time job. I wasn't necessarily looking for the job, but the job found me and to be honest, it was such a great opportunity for future growth and skill building, that I just had to take it. And I absolutely love it.

But it also means I have 10 less hours a week and my free nights (when the husband was in class) are now filled up with working.

So here we are - me with too much to do on the Fling before the October 31st deadline. And I could try and rush and enter something half done, but I really don't want to hurry and throw something together just to enter it into the contest. So I guess I'm out for now. Which is sad.

That being said, I'm still going to try and give myself the deadline of end of December, because I'm dying to enter Undersized Urbanite. And the upside for you is now I can make it a public build. So I'll hopefully be back within a few days with some pictures of where we are and where we're going.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Procrastination - It's Fun!

So here we are - September 30th. Meaning I literally have 32 days to finish the Fling. Now you probably assume that I've been working diligently on it behind the scenes and that it's nearing completion, right?

Hah! Unfortunately, I am a procrastinator by nature. I've always been that way. I just finished my Masters degree last year and I could not bring myself to write my major papers earlier than a few days before they were due. There's something about procrastination that helps me to feel more focused and work more efficiently. (probably because I'm staring down the barrel of a deadline, but that's neither here nor there.) And I've tried to change, but if I can make it through my Masters program and graduate with honors, then my system must work, right?

So it's crunch time on the Fling. But I'm ready. Oh, I know how many things I need to build. And maybe I won't get them all done by the deadline. But I'd like to think I will.

Yesterday, my dear loving husband decided to clean the house and suggested I go work on the Fling to stay out of his way. Seriously. And because I'm a giver, I did exactly as he requested. (as an aside, he loves cleaning and does most of it around the house. And if we're being honest, he cleans much more thoroughly than I do. And yes, I realize I am a VERY lucky girl).

And it was such productive time. After weeks of peeking into the workroom and doing a few minutes of work on odds and ends and then giving up, I was in The Zone yesterday and saw a clear plan to finish this thing.

I built and/or dry fit all of the doors and windows and they are lovely. Here's a sneak peek of a window that I just absolutely fell in love with at my local dollhouse store before I ever knew what I was doing with my Fling.

And once that was done, I was able to draw a template for the floor and started laying the boards down. It took some time to get it all done (and quite frankly, I'm a little sick of Skinny Sticks) but I love it. Here it is, in all of its glory, ready for sanding and painting.

Tonight my husband is off doing yardwork for both of our parents, so I have another night to crank out some more work and I can't wait. I'm thinking the exterior will get finished tonight.

So cross your fingers with me that I'll get this all done, because I'd love to finish it by the deadline.
Oh, and have you seen Keli's sneak peak or Brae's reveal? Holy Amazing Work! These are two of my inspiration sources and their level of detail is incredible.

See you later!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My next build - thanks Craigslist!

Thankfully I was able to spend a lot of time on the Fling this past weekend, and got it all wired for lighting (and it actually works) and primed/painted. I also finalized and trialed the floor and exterior work, so I'm moving right along.

Right now, I just need to build the windows and door frame so that I can dry fit those and then begin doing the exterior paint and finish.

And thanks to Craigslist, I already have my next build in mind. I can't believe the deal I got on this. $30 and it's the brand new never opened Glencroft, a Cir-Kit lighting kit, a wooden kitchen set, and a light. That's a steal. And although I would have never pictured myself doing a Tudor, I've been researching and pinning and have found some GORGEOUS contemporary Tudor homes and I can't wait to start this one.

Just as soon as the Fling is done.

I'll be back with pictures hopefully after the weekend.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Well, my dear dog Gracie had emergency surgery yesterday on her glands, which led to 2 unexpected days off from work to be with her as she adjusted to her pain medications and her 2 cones (since she figured out how to get around just 1). And although skipping work and spending time with my girl were bonus enough, so was the time I got to spend in the workroom while she was doped up on pain pills.

And yes, I realize this might be long overdue, but I finally have it all glued and assembled, with the exception of the roof.

And once I got it all together and sat and stared at it for several minutes, I realized that my floor plan needed some changin'. Oddly enough, my first idea that I really really wanted looks like it just might be the perfect idea for the space. And once I had that, the ideas just started flowing. And like a flash, I thought of the perfect resident for the space, which made it even easier to come up with decor and the next steps. Oh man, I'm in love. I can't wait to continue making progress.

Oh, who's the resident? Well, she doesn't have a name yet, but she has spent the last 15 years in New York City, working as a chef in high end restaurants. Due to a life changing illness she had, in combination with a nest egg she's been building for years, she decides to leave the city life behind her and move to a small beachside town to open the restaurant of her dreams.

I'll leave it there for now, but suffice it to say, just knowing who she is now has completely focused my design ideas, which makes it so easy to just start working - something I've needed to do for weeks. (BTW, is it weird that I have such a detailed back history for this resident?)

Okay, that's all for okay folks! I have some plans to work on it this weekend, so I'll post some updates again soon!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oh hey there!

Wow. It's been a long time, hasn't it?

I'd love to tell you that I've been crazy busy behind the scenes working on the Fling, but to be honest, summer sort of got in the way. My husband and I have been trying to take advantage of every second of the warm weather and have been camping and kayaking and bike riding to our heart's content. Sadly, last weekend was our last planned getaway for the summer, so it's back to reality.

Which means it's also back to mini land. The Fling deadline is October 31st, which means that I have a TON of work to do over the next 10 weeks. Like almost a crazy amount of work to do. But I'm ready for it. My husband is starting his Masters program and has classes 2 nights a week this fall, so I'm seeing a lot of mini making time in my future.

I figured out what I want to do with the exterior and spent an hour or so this morning working on my spreadsheet of tasks (oh yeah, I'm that sort of nerd) and I can't wait to get back into the workshop to start.

So I'll be back soon, hopefully with some pictures of progress. That would be nice, wouldn't it?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Using Microsoft Word for Templates

So things are clipping right along in the old workshop. The mini table saw arrived this weekend and man, is that fun! Not only is it the cutest little thing I've ever seen, but it also made cutting the final pieces for the structure much much faster and easier. There was a tiny bit of a learning curve as I learned the best way to hold the wood and the speed to cut it at, but other than that, it worked like a little charm. Look at how cute she is?

I bought the Harbor Freight one, since it was in my price range at the moment. (oh, and because I'd like to add a scroll saw to my collection sooner rather than later). I was able to build the final wall pieces, as well as the platform for the raised portion of the house.

Now that I have the pieces finally taped together, I can start thinking about layout of furniture and appliances inside the house. I have a pretty good idea of the furniture and kitchen things I want to build, but wanted to double check the sizes I had figured out on paper. I started making my own templates using a ruler and cardstock, until I realized I was sitting in front of my laptop, that could probably do the job much easier. Turns out - I was right!

So let's say you are making a small table that is 3" L x 2" W x 3" H. Simply open a blank word document and set the page to Landscape orientation (a fancy way of saying on its side instead of up and down) and Legal size (8"x14"). That will give you enough space to work.

Insert a square into the document. You can then modify it using the handy little size tool.

Then you do a layout exactly like this. You can make any template you want, using this format. You just simply change the size of the box to the dimension of your item.

Cut out each shape on the lines, making sure to leave room for the flaps at the end. (as marked on the diagram as "flap for assembly") Score each line so that it folds easily. I usually lay a ruler right on the line and then fold the paper up around it.

(grrrr - can't get the picture to turn the right way)
Tape the folds and VIOLA! You have yourself a perfectly sized box that matches the dimensions of your intended furniture piece. Once you get the hang of it, you can easily make modifications and print out new pieces until you have the right size.

There you go! I'm hoping to get wiring done for lights this weekend, as well as begin to work on the outside (stucco, siding, etc). And I think I've fully decided to show what I'm doing on the Fling, so I'll be back with pictures very very soon.

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Some more finds

So things are clipping right along with the Fling. I've ordered several things which should be arriving in the mail any day now. (Honey, just ignore all of the boxes that are being delivered this week! Mmmkay? Thanks!) I had to order some pieces for the door I'm going to construct, as well as some other odds and ends. However, my most exciting purchase is of a mini table saw. I can't wait to learn how to use it and finish cutting the final pieces of the structure of the house.

I also cleaned up the workroom last night and finally organized all of my supplies. The room looked so good that I just had to stay in there a while, so I painted the wainscoting. I'm still in love with it and my dry fit worked out perfectly!

I've been toying with the idea of lighting and finally decided to go for it. Of course, I'm more inclined to make my own light fixtures, so I've been researching (aka. Pinning) all sorts of neat ideas. I needed to pick up some bulbs, but didn't have time to run to the larger dollhouse store, so I decided to hit up my local store.

This shop is very close to me, but is somewhat......shall we say dusty? The owner is very nice and never seems to remember me when I come in, but she's very helpful. There isn't much of anything modern, but she does have some different styles of things and all sorts of little odds and ends that she's collected over the past 30 years. Although it isn't my first choice, what I do really like about the store is (and she'll gladly tell you this) that most of the pricing is the same as it was 30 years ago. The newer stuff seems to have updated pricing, but everything else is priced as it was when it walked in the door however many years ago. Even the newer items are still a few bucks below what I could find on the Internet.

Wanna see what today's purchases were?

Most of it is just boring lighting components that I'm hoping to make into lighting for the house. Oh, and check out the bricks I got today. I was initially going to make my own, but found this nice container of real clay bricks for $10. You can't beat that price!

But check out this gem! It's a heavy metal light (with bulb and all) and will be perfect for one of the outside fixtures. See that little price tag up there? Only $4.50.

Well, that's it for today! I'll have to do a post to introduce you to my new cutting baby.