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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hi there! I’ve been busy with little odds and ends for my San Franciscan. It’s amazing how quickly I got back into the joy of miniatures. During my absence from working on miniatures I still visited my favorite bloggers, but I really got the mini fever back by watching Julie Warren’s You Tube videos. I’m rolling now and having a blast!

Sometime ago I found an image of a window pie cooler posted by The Farm Chicks. I loved the idea and filed it in the “things I need to build” part of my brain.

Cool, huh? I love it and the staging possibilities are unlimited.

I’ve been focusing my time on the first floor staircase I designed for my San Franciscan and had some glue drying. So, I pulled out the kitchen window from my Houseworks window stash and jumped right in building my own window pie cooler. I found some molding for the outside frame, a bit more decorative than the photo since this is a Victorian. Then decided on 3/4” bass strip wood for the body and single shelf. I carefully measured the area inside the exterior frame of the window. This is a two window double hung unit. Because of this, the top, bottom, and shelf pieces needed to be notched to fit snuggly around the window framing.

Once the pieces were cut, I marked the shelf placement, and glued the side pieces together to form the box and set it to the side to dry. I use Gorilla glue on my life size building projects and my minis.  Next, I cut the miters for the frame that the screening would be glued to. I had ordered fine screening from Julie Warren’s Etsy shop along with the hand miter cutter she sells. I love it much better than my previous cutter. I glued the frame together, cleaned any excess glue, and put a small piece of low tack masking tape on each corner. My final glueing for the day was placing the shelf in position and placing 1/4 round molding strips under each side to add to the realistic aspect of shelf support. I also decided to add a bit of gingerbread to the upper inside corners of the frame. I ordered 1:24 scale Victorian corner brackets from Vintage Victorian Dollhouse Woodwork. The are perfect!

The next time I visited my pie cooler, I sanded and painted all of the pieces. I used very thin coats of ivory craft paint. Once the pieces dried, I sanded them again with very fine sand paper and repainted.
When the paint had dried over night, I went over the painted sections with paper from a brown paper bag. I forget who I learned that from but it works great to give a really smooth finish.

Now to add the screening! I took Julie Warren’s advise and used Gorilla Super Glue, just running a fine line where the end of the screen would be attached. The screening was carefully placed and I actually didn’t glue my fingers to it! That dried overnight and the frame was finally able to be glued to the sides. I cut and glued 1/4 round molding to cover the raw edges of the screen, touched up paint, and woohoo!, I was finished. Aging and any other color changes will be completed when the pie cooler is installed and the rest of the exterior of my house is aged.

I couldn’t be happier with the results! Until the next time, take care.

Friday, March 22, 2019

My new adventure

Hello, my name is Karen. I have a confession. I am addicted to building things. Well, in reality, building things both real size and miniature, redesigning, remodeling, decorating, critiquing, power tools and multiple projects going on at the same time, which take a heck of a long time to get completed.

Take for example, my Dura Craft San Franciscan dollhouse. I've only had it for almost 29 years. Is it finished? Heck no. Now to be fair to myself, I had a three year old and a newborn when I received it as a Christmas gift. Regardless, I jumped right in! I had the walls and floors installed in now time and then the big glitch occurred. I found a miniature shop just a couple miles from my house. Oh no! You mean I could buy beautiful prebuilt windows and doors that were architecturally accurate? What about all of the wood moldings that were available? You mean to tell me there was wallpaper too? Holy cow! This was a previous interior design student's dream! But, the kicker was I could electrify it. Wowzers! I was in heaven.

Let the craziness begin. I bought a lot of new windows and doors. Unfortunately, the San Franciscan has a lot of windows. That was quite an expense. Of course, I had to buy a tape wire kit, and that was where all construction stopped. I chickened out. Got cold feet. Freaked. And so, my beautiful partially completed Victorian home spent years under stairs at one house, in my bedroom at the next, and finally in the attic of the home I live in now. Poor neglected baby.

Years and years later, my oldest son bought a home and moved out. Woohoo! Now I could have a craft room! I created the dream work area. Finally the special day arrived and my youngest son climbed up in our nasty attic and brought my baby down. Hello, beautiful! Oh, but wait, gee, those rooms are awfully small. The stairs look really dorky. Here it comes...remodel time. I took that poor house apart.

Documented proof that I had it partially completed. So, the story continues. Thanks for visiting! Karen