A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:

The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:

Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment. I assure you I always read and appreciate everything you have to say. Unfortunately, thanks to Blogger being, well . . . Blogger, I can not respond to comments nor leave any on your blogs. They simply disappear into the ether. Occasionally I will remember to respond in the next blog post I put up, but usually these good intentions slip my mind. So if you want to ask a question or get a response to any comments you may have please leave an email address or other contact method in your comment and I will get back to you.

I have also added a separate page to the blog for the Tower of Magic with a brief summary of all the rooms of the ToM in the one spot. The link is just below this and above the main body of the blog, or you can just click here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

. . . Every Room

It's been a busy week with changes, or at least additions, to every room of Bellerose House.

In the Second Bedroom, the previously empty dressing table has been filled with accessories.  There are a number of pots made from polymer clay last week as well as a few bottles made from crystal beads.  Cut outs from an old dolld house magazine were used to make the magazine and postcards and mail slipped into the mirror frame.

The bathroom is now almost ready to be used by the residents as it has been fully stocked with clean towels, soaps and unguents.

 The shelf unit at the back of the room has been filled with a mix of towels and bottles.  The white towels are made from pieces of felt, cut and folded to size while the green towels are pieces of carpet left over from the bedroom next door.  The bottles are again made from beads.

Over the sink a narrow shelf has been added which holds yet more bead bottles.   Soap made from polymer clay sits in a jewellery finding soap dish.

I've removed the fretwork panel that was over the loo and rearranged the brackets that supported it.  Ths resulting ledge and the top of the loo have been filled with yet more bead bottles.

The reason the tub is missing from the bathroom photos is because I'm working on putting a bather in it.  The bather is a cheap doll who has been glued into position in the tub after being hammered (literally) into pieces in order to fit.  In the tradition of all old time Hollywood movies she will be covered in lots of strategic foamy bubble bath

In the main bedroom, the furniture is still being rearranged . . . and I still haven't gotten it right.

 The dresssing table has been filled with accessories, most of which are again bottles made from beads and polymer clay pieces.

The Rec room furniture is also still moving about with the ghastly arm chairs moving out and the desk and two new side chairs coming in.  Just like the bedroom above it, the furniture is still not quite right in here.

The side chairs were made from a House of Miniatures kit which I bought many years ago at my first dolls house fair.  This was also the last time I've seen HoM kits available locally.  The desk has been accessorized with a range of items including a not-quite-finished gramaphone.

 Next door in the Sitting room, Dan has found time to take a load off and read through the newspaper.   He can't put his feet up on the coffee table anymore as that has been filled with a vase of flowers, a silver tea service and a few books left behind by a forgetful reader.

When he finishes reading he can admire the displays of collected sea shells and gemstones on the book shelf or browse for a new book to read.

Or maybe he'll just sit back and admire that emormous sideboard.

Even more details have been added to the kitchen witha new high shelf for trays and platters above the oven.

The hutch/dresser has been filled with a mix of bought canisters and crockery, polymer clay pieces, boxes made from printables and one scenic water jelly.

The housekeepers desk has been covered with papers and the shelf above filled with ledgers and mail.

The Dining room is currently the least finished looking room in the house.  I've cut a piece of fabric to use as a table cloth but after pinning it into position to drape nicely I discovered I was out of spray starch to make it stay in place.  So I haven't been able to finish the table cloth or arrange the table.

 The console table by the entry door has been adorned with an arrangement of flowers.

Beside the table sits an umbrella stand currently filled with a range of walking sticks.

 So that's it for a big week in Bellerose House with something new in every room!

Monday, July 22, 2013

King of the Castles

Most nights I hear a rustling from the corner of the bedroom.  It's the sound of three quarters grown kitten Charlie scrambling onto the top of the Dancing Dragon Inn for a nice nap.  The Inn is made out of foamboard.  Nice, soft, going-to-collapse-under-the-weight-any-time-now foamboard

Durring the day he prefers the top of Highcroft Castle's tower.  Notice the centre window on the main castle is broken?  That's due to it being constantly impacted by a cats back feet as it takes a flying leap onto the top.

 For evenings, he likes the top of Dawncrest Castle where he can chew on the soft balsa wood crenellations.

 Now, remind me again, why exactly do we keep cats?

When not following Charlie around with a camera, I played with fabrics and had the polymer clay out this week and was busy making dozens of little bits and pieces for Bellerose House.  Most of these pieces still need painting, embellishing or otherwise finishing before they go into the house.  The fabrics are piled up in the various rooms as I try and decide what I like in which space.  In short, the house is a bit of a mess without much noticable progress.

Most of the change you can see is in the kitchen where preparations for the evening meal are in full swing.  On the right one of the cooks (currently invisible) is tipping a bowl of beaten egg whites onto a base of lemon curd to create a lemon merange pie for desert.  On the left is a "copper" fish kettle complete with fish ready for the oven and a saucepan of peeled potatoes ready to be boiled.  A "copper" kettle is boiling on the hotplates and the ice box finally has some handles.

 In addition to hand made accessories, there is a scattering of new shop bought ones too.  In the Dining room there is a new vase and a pair of ornamental ladies.  These items were all made by the Dolls House Emporium and they all had truely appauling paint jobs.  Having repainted all of them I can tell you that it isn't easy to paint such small items, but I would have expected a big name supplier like DHE to have higher standards in what they produce.  As you can see in the close up of the trophy vase for the Dining room dresser, my paint job is far from perfect but it is an immeasureable improvement over the original.

In the main bedroom, I've made a start on dressing the bed.  The pillows and cushions still need to be stuffed and I want to add a throw over the foot of the bed.  Given the frantic pattern of the wallpaper and the designs on the bed itself, I tried to keep the bedding as simple as possible.   You might notice that the door now has a handle.  This is another of the few polymer clay items that has been installed.

Next week, there will be lots of new things ready to be unveiled (at least that's the plan).

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fully Furnished

I spent this week finishing up work on the furniture and can now state that Bellerose House is Fully Furnished.  The house is now ready for the mini residents to start moving in their personal nick-nacks and then eventually they themselves can move in.

In the second bedroom the dressing table has been repainted to match the bed.  I added tall legs under a 1/24th scale tallboy to create a 1/12th scale lingerie (or maybe jewellery?) chest and painted this to match as well.  As I've been re-arranging the furniture in the main bedroom again, the polyresin chair that I had been going to use in there has instead moved into the second bedroom and been repainted to suit.

Next door in the bathroom is a new towel rail which is rather lopsided, but will be hidden under a burden of towels.

The Master Bedroom has been re-arranged again.  This time it will stay this way.  Hopefully.  My next challenge in this room is trying to find some fabric to recover the bed that will work with the patterned wallpaper and painted bed.

In the Rec Room the armchairs are . . . well . . .just plain ugly.  They would look better upholstered in leather, but I haven't found a source of thin, supple leather that ships to Australia at a reasonable rate, so they are stuck in velveteen for the forseeable future.

Next door the Sitting  Room suite has been recovered in a forest green velveteen.  I'm thinking of using the same fabric to create a rug for the floor in here.

A new addition to the room is a firescreen.  This was made from a simple rectangular scrapbooking frame with some feet cut from balsa wood and a mediveal style tapestry print.  Sadly, the screen isn't quite large enough to totally hide the ugly fireplace.

 Now it's time to fill up all those shelves and cover up the blank surfaces with lots of accessories and ornaments.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The King of All Sideboards

Lots of work done on all the pieces of furniture for the house this week and I'm still no where near finished!  In the second bedroom, the bed has been painted and assembled and a simple bedspread in pink with a white lace overlay has been added.  I made the obvious choice and said the huge dresser was too big and dominating for the room and moved it down to the Dining room where it looks right at home.  In it's place I've currently placed a beat up old table which will be turned into a dressing table to suit the room.  Um, unless I change my mind again.

 Next door the bathroom has been rearranged again and the shelf unit has been painted.

The Main Bedroom has also been rearranged.  Again.  And again.  I'll stick with this layout.  Absolutely, definately maybe . . .  proabably not.

The chairs for the Rec room had a slight setback and need a bit of revision before I show them to you, but here's the rack for the pool cues.

And now for the king of all sideboards, the Sitting room sideboard.

Not only must it be one of the largest single pieces of miniature furniture I've ever made, it is also one of my personal favourites.  To compliment the hint of gothic style in this room I used the last of my supply of gothic laser cut panels to create the lower cupboard doors.  After staining the wood I filled in the panels with faux leadlighting paint for a lead-lit look.  I still need to clean up where the red ran a little across the front of the panels.

The upper cupboards were also treated with some faux leadlighting.  For these I used some black outliner to create a diamond pattern and then lightly frosted the "glass" (plastic) of the doors and backed this with a piece of mirror paper.  A big piece of mirror paper was used for the main mirror with scrapbooking corners glued over the top of the mirror to finish it off.

Countless toothpicks lost their heads to create the galleried top for the sideboard.  The sideboard really makes this room start to look good,  I can't wait to see this room with the chairs recovered (hey, you didn't think they were going to stay that icky pinky colour did you?).

If the Sitting room has the King of sideboards, then the Dining room must have the Queen.  As this started out life in the bedroom it was painted the same dark chocolate brown as the bed.  Not sure at this point whether to repaint the rest of the dining furniture to match the sideboard or leave it all mis-matched.

 Mirror paper was used for the central mirror with another scrapbooking corner ontop.  The fancy heads of more toothpicks decorate the back of the upper shelves.

In the entry hall part of the room, the settle has been upholstered in a burgundy velveteen and a shelf and mirror have been added to the left wall in place of a proper hall stand.

 And finally for this week, the kitchen furniture has been painted.

In the scullery area at the back of the room the shelf unit has been painted and installed.  Either it or the back door is crooked.  You can see the gap between them in the photo, but not with the naked eye.  On the right wall the sink from the original house has been reused and the new dish rackhung over it.

Along the right wall of the main kitchen the various furniture has all been painted except for the desk chair for which I'll make a slip cover to go over.

On the left side, the dresser/hutch looks more unified now it's all one colour.

 Still lots of painting and upholstering to get done, but overall, the house is starting to come together.