Friday, December 5, 2008

Demolition of Stair railings...

I did some demolition on the stair railings today on the third and second floors; those scraps of carpet and stair railings were nailed in, as I feared, with long nails. This will affect how I do the floors, and is a little disappointing. Getting some of them out is next to impossible, so I may just put the floor coverings on thin cardboard cut to fit the room layout.

I started sanding on some of that glue and carpet matting, that is another reason I have rethought the floor coverings. I also thought out the girls' bathtub and room layout for the small bath off of the bedroom. One of the things I had struggled with is I wanted a clawfooted bathtub, but the Barbie my house tub was too modern, and would take up a great deal of room. Searching on Ebay and other places, I finally settled on the Bratz New world bathtub, via a trip to Walmart one day.... The 2008 Barbie bathtub I may still buy if I decide that the bratz tub just will not do, but it was so much more elegant than Barbie's, even though the Barbie tub would probably fit the FR girls better. Right now, I'm going more for the illusion than the fact that the tub will not fit exactly. I had thought of putting the bratz tub on a raised dais, or platform like one of the tubs in the previous posts I did on the layout of planning the bath. Most of all, it had to look elegant, like a fashionable woman's bath in an old manor house or mansion, which would have had antique fixtures such as this tub. I once had a tub like this, and loved it. Besides, Eugenia was quite insistent. (I think my snobbish girls just like the idea of their tub being on a dais, like a throne. )

Shown at left are the two pieces of mdf I am thinking of using for the dais where the Bratz tub will reside. I plan to tile the two steps with tile, cut into one and 1 1/2 inch squares to match the floor, all in white- I bought my 2 white tiles from Home Depot last night for 98 cents each. I found a wonderful tile how to in the past issue of October 2008 Miniature Collector magazine, page 31, called Easy Marble floor. The tiles should have the peelable sticky back on them, and you measure and mark the tiles off in 1 inch squares, then cut with your cutting blade and ruler, then snap them apart. The author used a spackle compound for grout and glue to adhere them to cardboard template that fit her floor for her dollhouse. I liked this quick and easy method for a marble tile floor, and it will really match the picture of the floor in the French Country decorating magazine I saw. I want the bathroom to be all in white, maybe with puddle drapes at that window, and looped chiffon pouf drapes above the tub.

Ah, luxury for dolls. Here is a picture of the issue of Miniature Collector I am using for reference when I do get to the point I start the floor.

Here is the issue where I found the tile tutorial. I love this magazine, and am a dealer of it; I carry it on both my website, also my Ebay store, Pumpkin Hill Studios . We currently have November & December and January 2009 issues still in stock.

For the stairs I have also thought of a couple of alternatives, given the odd stair opening placement. Another which my husband, Chris likes is the idea of the spiral staircase. We have assembled these from kits in 1:12 scale, but never created one in playscale before. As a child, my dollhouse cabinet my father made me had two of these spiral staircases, one made from a broom handle, with the steps screwed into the broom handle, then inserted into the openings, to sit just so. I still have that staircase, but it would not work for this since the stair openings are not directly underneath each other. Two sets of spiral stairs would have to be made, not impossible, but would have to be thought out. My original plan was to use a classics staircase kit, which had a width of 3 3/16 wide on the stair width, but would fit the stair opening. However, the drawback is the stair might look small in playscale. So I am still thinking on the stair dilemna, but happily, since I haven't begun the priming and sanding yet, that can safely be put aside.

The only thing that needs to be done now that I'm dreading is pulling up the carpet on the bottom floor. One problem is it has been very cold outdoors and kneeling on that cold ground in the shop isn't appealing. Before I can begin the painting after the carpet is removed, I have to find a stable place to keep my Maison de la Royale so I can work on it. I have some very impatient dolls that I did some consulting with as their decorator, and Agnes was not happy.....

I found the dolls lounging about the Christmas tree, critiquing my work....As usual, they were not really concerned about anything except their own small world.....

Agnes: Thank you for arriving in so timely a manner, I greatly appreciate it. I was admiring your work on the Christmas tree.
Me: Thank you Agnes, er Your Highness. But I am not finished decorating the tree...
Agnes: Oh. That's why it only has lights and I'm standing in green branches covered in lights. Well, how does the work progress? Will we be able to move into the manor soon? I'm planning a houseparty to welcome my friends from the Moods Collection.
Me: Hold on here. You said I had as much time as I needed...
Agnes: No, as much time as I need, to change my mind. We want to have a party- and they will be here any day now!
I will need to re-schedule another audience with the Baroness, as she has flounced out of the room.....
Vanessa then decided to add her two cents worth-

Vanessa: Please understand, we just can't change our entertainment plans at the drop of the hat. And by the way, can you also hire us a French maid from that company called Silkstone?
Me: What???I'm supposed to buy another doll, (gulp) the Silkstone maid no less, to wait on you and Agnes & Eugenia hand and foot! You must be joking! And the French maid is not inexpensive missy....
Vanessa: I know. That's why we want her- she's expensive and wears that cute maid outfit. It would look so nice when serving us Re-ment champagne with our friends from the Moods collection. You will have my bedroom done won't you? Remember, I want that nice, really nice wallpaper...
Me: Yes, I remember. Now, what if I bought the silkstone french maid outfit and let one of you wear it? Wouldn't that work? And that nice, really expensive wallpaper?
Vanessa: You must be joking darling. Me, Vanessa- wear a french maid outfit? What a Marvelous sense of humor you have- those fumes from that ghastly carpet really got to you this evening, didn't they? And of course it is expensive. You weren't really thinking of using that shelf paper were you?
Me: Sigh.....
Eugenia, on the other hand, was only intent on posing in the leather chair. She had raided Highland Fling's pajamas, (she's a little bustier than Maeve) and wanted her picture taken...

Eugenia: Don't I look stunning? Who would have thought I would look so fetching in this little peignoir number? Maeve won't mind at all.
Me: So aren't you upset I haven't yet finished the house?
Eugenia: Of course! But right now I just want my picture taken underneath the Christmas tree for Santa.
Me: Oh, okay. Here ya go-
Eugenia: I wasn't ready! No fair! I hate that picture- it looks like my arm is broken!
Me; stop being a drama queen.
Eugenia: I'm not. Agnes has that as one of her titles. Hey, my toenail polish matches this outfit.....
Me: Sigh......

Eugenia: Look, my tan goes perfect with this set. Now you need to stop worrying about the house. Just get on with it, we want to have a party.
Me: Okay, okay, I'll get to working. Just don't rush me.
Eugenia: Hey we also need some new wardrobes for Christmas too. We can't keep wearing the same old thing, everyone has seen us in these same clothes. Why don't you learn to sew?
Me: Hey, I need new clothes too. And I don't sew...often.
Eugenia: Why do you need new clothes? Aren't you working on the house? And don't you have to paint the house, and tile the floors and cut wood? What do you need to wear new clothes for that for?
Me: Because I go to parties too, hey it's Christmas. I should be on vacation, not working on mini construction projects for dolls.
Eugenia: There you go joking again. You don't need new clothes, just finish the house. Besides, Vanessa really wants that nice, really nice wallpaper in our bedroom. Do you think it will match my outfit, or will I need a new one?
Me: Sigh.........DOLLS!

So thus was my conversation with my divas in miniature. My husband Chris saw the dolls sitting about the tree and liked that decoration better than putting ornaments on the tree. Only in a household devoted to miniature divas who live in one sixth scale........LOL.

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