Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Beacon Hill Revisited

According to the dates on the progress photos, the Beacon Hill has languished without attention since May of 2013. (The most recent post here is February 2013,) I'm a bit befuddled as to where to jump in to again press forward. I think I will work on the outside first. The minor bashing done inside is complete. (The stairway is removable and the originally staggered wall between living room and entrance hall has been straightened.)

A few weeks ago I pulled out all of the furniture and accessories in the BH box and staged the unfinished rooms to see where we stand furnishings-wise. I've photographed each one to serve as a benchmark for measuring progress. The furnishings will be packed up again while the exterior is finished.

In this overall view of the back, notice the bedroom (middle floor right) and the bed in the box at lower left. This bed is much too bulky for the space. I need to find a more delicately scaled double bed.

Top floor left: Not sure what this room will be. Maid's room? Nursery? If you click the photo to enlarge it, you'll see a sewing machine, basket of yarn, and a water buffalo carving. If that combo doesn't spell indecision, I don't know what would.

Top floor hallway: a doll house, trunk, and stereoscope. More indecision.

Top floor right: The doctor's office. I don't think the term man cave was popular in the 1890s, but this is definitely a hideaway for the doctor who lives here with his wife, the lovely Sophia. They are free people of color (f.p.c.) who live in this lovely home in the Garden District of New Orleans. Sophia is, at the moment, visiting the voodoo sorceress and healer, Marie Laveau, looking for help in conceiving. Their success will likely determine how the other two rooms on the top floor are used.

Middle floor, left: bathroom. The Chrysnbohn  bath fixtures set needs to be assembled. I'm not sure if I'll use the bathtub. I'm thinking a slipper tub might fit better, both space and era-wise.

Middle floor center: hallway.

Middle floor right: the master bedroom. I'd like to use the screen, which I embroidered, as well as the armoire, but each command a presence. Once I find a bed that works, they will have to be auditioned again.

Ground floor left: dining room. This is the set I build last fall. The chairs are not upholstered yet. Waiting to choose wallpaper. I think it will be easier to coordinate fabric to paper than the other way around.

Ground floor center: entrance hall. I think I'd like to see a round rug under a nice pedestal table holding a large bouquet of flowers. Mirrors may make it easier to see details by the front door.

Ground floor right: living room. The octagonal table may move to the entrance hall to hold the vase of flowers. This room needs a settee, tables, etc.

So I'm happy to pack away these furnishings for the time being and work on the outside of the house. Truth be known, I'd like to be working on the Pierce/Bohemian Inn, but can't justify having both houses under construction at the same time, nor is there enough room for them in our small studio.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Haunted Hangout has a new home

Last spring we left our home in Missouri to become permanent residents of New Orleans. Packing the miniature houses was a bit of a challenge. They went into storage with the moving company for several weeks, then were transported bout 900 miles on a large moving van to climate-controlled personal storage a half mile or so from our condo.

How to fit the houses into this much smaller abode is a challenge, but as Halloween is coming, the Haunted House made the move. I was eager to see how it had survived its adventure. The photos show the unpacking process. Much of the accessories and are glued in place, but the skellies were carefully wrapped in paper towels and stuffed inside. I neglected to take photos of that part. All of the skeletons came through perfectly.

The house was wrapped in bubble wrap and buffered with pieces of Styrofoam packing material. 

The house is sitting on Lloyd's mother's hope chest. Its turntable is in another box still in storage, but it is light enough to be turned manually for viewing.  The ceramic and Plexiglas sculpture beside it is one of Lloyd's pieces. The blue yarn pouring out from between the panels gives rise to its name: Cascade.

To view details of the Haunted Hangout, click on the Haunted Hangout link at the side.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

White Orchid (nearly) Finished

I built the White Orchid six years ago and promised to post finished pictures. Well, it is about to be packed up for a move and won't see daylight until about Thanksgiving, so I took some photos to update you. (Click this link to see the building progress. Click on the images to see larger views.)

For those unacquainted with what I did here, I used the 1:12 scale house and fitted it out for its 1:24 scale occupants.

This is how she looks today. The opening above the door is meant to house a cuckoo. His polyclay body is baked but his feathers have not been applied.

I did not install the front door as  it would have taken up too much room inside. I wanted it open so as to be able to see in. None of the folks who have viewed the house have mentioned the lack of a door.  The settee was scratch built. The two thin dowels (plus a U-channel along the back edge) are sufficient to keep the ceiling from sagging, since I also left out the ground floor interior wall.

The landscaping is a mix of natural materials, plastic flowers and polyclay mushrooms. The base is contractor's foam covered with gesso and painted to look like sandy soil. The little men on the step are salt and pepper shakers.

The large mushroom is a Christmas tree ornament, just like the ones that decorated our tree as I was growing up. That, plus the creamy whiteness of the White Orchid's plastic, provided the inspiration for this house in the Bohemian forest.

The left side is fairly plain, as befitting its mushroom appearance.

The right side is a bit more complex with the bay window, so the landscaping has less detail.

The back reveals three rooms. A combination workshop and kitchen on the ground floor with a trundle bed for the one girl elf and a bunk room for the four boy elves and a shared sitting/dining area for all of them. (By the way, three of the elves were out when the photos were taken.)

The landscaping across the back just fills the narrow ledge. The cute little raccoon is a button. The red-capped mushrooms are showing up a bit dull in the photos. I blasted them with canned air but it left some dust behind.

The workshop is on the ground floor. The guys have been busy, with lots of toys already finished. The room divider holds some of the sugary goodies baked in the kitchen. Under the divider is a trundle bed for the female elf. It would not do for her to bunk with the boys.

You can see from the workbench that they're still at it. Look at the plastic stars on the walls. They are each wired with a tiny light. The stars themselves are real life mirror fasteners.

 The kitchen is small but efficient.

The stairway is constructed from contractor's foam painted with gesso. The bricks are ceramic. The little mouse band on the stairs was a set of miniature Christmas ornaments. With the bottom steps pulled away you can see the lever that activates the batter pack to turn on the lights. The channels for the wiring are carved into the backside of the fireplace wall, which can be moved away from the wall for maintenance. 

The common area upstairs has a dining area and some comfy chairs. 

There are books in the shelves built into the center gable. The lamps on the hutch light up,

The doorway leads to the bunk room.

The lady elf keeps her sewing machine upstairs, away from the sawdust and paint splatters of the downstairs workshop. The lamps on the end tables light up.

The wooden floor is a sample of window blind from Lowe's. It covers the lamp wires that feed up to this floor from the battery pack below.

The bunk room is fitted with hammocks. With the sloping ceiling, they worked better than bunk beds.

The closeup of the roof seen here shows what a nice covering the Krylon spray paint provided. It's in keeping with the satiny sheen of the raw plastic. The white spots are cut from craft foam sheets.