Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bathroom nearly finished

Since the bathroom is the smallest room in the house and easy to reach, I started there with the interior decorating. The wallpaper is left over from a real life bath. The wainscoting, pieces of real life paneling, was painted white and a decorative quarter-round trim added. The doors were installed. The flooring is a piece of foam shelf liner. It has a nice texture. The bathroom fixtures are Reutter Porcelain. Can you believe I won them in a grab bag from Hobby Builders Supply? One handle on the sink had popped loose, as had the drain plug and chain in the tub. Both were easily glued back on after this photo was taken. I think there should be a corner shelf in the back right corner with towels, etc. This is both the bath for the apartment and the necessary room for the shop. There will, of course, be wall hangings. Not sure about a rug.

Not wanting you to think I'm working in total chaos, I took this photo after a minor clean-up in the craft area. There's a way to go, but at least I can find most things now.
And here's the houseboat with a skirt to hide the boxes stored beneath. In this picture you can see the wonderful Mardi Gras wall hanging done by the ever-so-talented Deb of Deb's Minis. And how appropriate, for today is Mardi Gras. Laissez le bon ton roulez!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Year's Resolutions ... Really!

More exercise and better display for minis ... those were the resolutions. I know it's now mid-February, but sometimes one needs to ponder before acting. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! We have a TV room in the basement, adjacent to my craft area. It wasn't functioning very well. I'll spare you the before photos, but here is the result of my efforts with major help from friend NJ. (Thank you, dear heart!)

The problem of how to view both sides of the houseboat was solved by putting it here, in the entry to the room, and screening it with a light screen that can be moved for viewing. A white extension cord isn't obvious on the white bricks of the fireplace and provides power for the boat. Now that the boat is where it can be seen easily, I need to do a major dusting. Not looking forward to that ... all of those little 1:24 accessories ... ugh. Two bookcases that were not holding much but junk are stacked and now serve as display for some of Lloyd's mini sculptures and ceramics. It faced the basement stairs, so is the first thing seen when coming down. Nice. (A light green skirt has been added to the boat table. Finishes it nicely and provides hidden storage for minis-in-waiting.) The exercise part is the Gazelle, pulled out of storage and recommissioned. Putting the sofa at an angle made room in the corner where the Mardi Gras float used to be. Marie Laveau's Creole cottage can be seen from both sides and also is near an outlet so it can be plugged in for viewing.
The Mardi Gras float did a 90-degree turn and slid down the wall to another corner. To the left, out of the picture, is the TV and a white brick fireplace wall. The pictures need to be moved, but I'll leave that up to Lloyd. We've been enjoying the Olympics in this now cozy area.
I didn't show you what the TV area looked like before, but this is what my craft area looked like when we finished up the TV room. It took me a whole day to gather up courage to face it. I'm pleased to report that improvements have been made. It is still in dire need of a deep cleaning and reorganization. I'm telling myself that will happen with the quilt shop is finished and all of its bits and pieces can be cleared away.
When the bulk of the debris had been dealt with, I was able to work on the quilt shop. The ground floor will be covered with linoleum left over from our real kitchen. It will be held in place with double-stick tape so it can be taken up if someone ever wants to turn this back into a residence. I was surprised to discover that it cuts easily with a pair of scissors. In the photo below, the front room (at left) has been done. The original house had a shag carpet cut in one piece that made a very nice template for the linoleum. I'm preparing to make a template for the dining room. That worked out well. The ugly part was making the template for the kitchen (behind the dining room). I'm not looking forward to wallpapering the kitchen. Three of the four walls can't be seen from this view -- the only access -- but they can be seen through the windows. Here is the lino cut and in place. It's not stuck down yet. The inside needs one more coat of paint on the walls before it goes in permanently. At the moment the pieces are lying flat with weights on top to remove the slight curl that can be seen here. I want them as flat as possible before taping them down so as not to have to use much tape. The front edge will be covered with a quarter round trim. The section inside the front door had to be cut out in order for the door to open. Those edges will also be finished with quarter round trim and the open area will be painted -- faux flagstone or something to resemble a sturdy entryway flooring. The door is original and opens inward. I don't want to mess with taking it off its hinge to trim away the bottom. The shag carpet was also cut away.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A firm foundation ... or not

The outside of the house has been painted. The chimney was in great shape; it didn't need painting, just a gentle cleaning. The green and white are both interior, satin finish latex house paint. The front door got a coat of red paint, as did the front and back steps (missing from this picture). If you look carefully at the bottom edge of the house, you'll see a rough edge where bits of plywood chipped off, probably when the house was slid across the rug or bumped in moving. (Poke the photo for a larger view.) Before the house was painted, this bothered me. I looked for ways to cover it up.I thought about making faux foundation boards by painting stones on 1 x 1/8" basswood strips and tacking or gluing them around the base. I kept the stones more cartoon-like than realistic to fit with the somewhat unrealistic nature of the house itself. Doors and windows are not to scale, although the overall look is very pleasing. (The realism will come with the contents.)
But -- now that the house is painted and the paint camouflaged the chips and sealed them, so they won't split any more, I think I'm going to leave it as is. I can repaint the strips to use them elsewhere. Of course that means I have to add corner trim at the bottom; when I replaced the broken trim, I left space for the foundation boards. No problem that a little time and paint won't cure.
I bought a 2' x 4' piece of quarter inch plywood to use as a base. It will extend a couple of inches beyond the base of the house and give some protection to the porches, which are just stuck on and vulnerable. I was thinking to put faux grass on it, but now I'm thinking to paint it with the same green as the roof. Cartoon grass for a cartoon house, eh? The house won't be attached to the base. It's big enough and heavy enough to be difficult to move as it stands alone. And the couple of inches will be enough room to display some quilts outside. :)