Sunday, 21 October 2012

Red wall

This is the view of the study and the adjacent sitting area, with the front wall removed. The wall is painted red, like the wall in the sitting area. Since it is a removable wall I cannot put any heavy objects on it, but I made several semi-flat pieces. 

First, I made a fake bookcase.  It is just a flat piece of wood with rows of books cut from a magazine and "sideboards" of lolly sticks, which produce a sense of depth.

Then I made a sewing table, also flat, with a flat sewing machine and some other funny flat things I bought in a hobby shop - they must be for scrapbooking. Since the tablecloth and the rug match the furniture they create a sense of additional space.

 This is the whole wall, removed from the house.

Upstairs sitting room

After I have made the study, there was still half of the room on that side of the house. I had a rather ugly sofa and armchair from a flea market, and I thought that if I refirbished them I could have a sitting area adjacent to the study, for the writer to relax with a cup of coffee or talk to her publisher.


When I put the furniture into the house I realised the area was hazardous, a stairwell without railing.


 I made railing with grill sticks and a bit of squate dowel. It felt much better.

This is what it looks like today, with yet another sofa, a rug, some coffee tables (one made from a transparent paperweight and a plastic box lid), curtains, ornaments, knitting and a tea tray. Across the hall you can see the bathroom behind the CD box and the opposite blue wall. The bedroom is behind the partition with the bookshelf.

My doll

My modern house didn't have any dolls for a long time because I couldn't make up my mind who should live in it. But after the study was finished I realised who would have a study like this: a young, successful female writer or journalist. 


I bought three identical porcelain dolls from ebay at some point, without having any particulat project in mind. So far I have only dressed one, but the idea is that she will be in different rooms, in different moments of time. I don't know her name because she hasn't told me yet. I know for sure that she is not me.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Modern study

In the middle of the upper floor there was a square hole, the size of a window. I have no idea what the creator of the house intended it to be. I considered building a winding staircase, but there was already a staircase, and it would take too much of the floor. So I just sealed it. I wanted this corner of the house to be bright green, but I didn't have green paint so instead I papered it with colour printer paper. Remember, there also was a window in the wall which I had sealed (the bedroom is on the other side). This room is a study. I first wanted it to be an artist's studio, but then I remembered that magnificent shelf I had in the cellar of my original house and realised that its time had come. The shelf was twice as large as I needed, so reluctantly after all these years I sawed off a bit. 


Then I put some ornaments in the shelf. Some of them immediately looked wrong, as in the left picture. I started filling it with books. I was lucky to find a magazine with a whole page of books. I cut out each square individually and pasted on card with flaps that I could shove into the square in the shelf. I made the mistake of cutting the upper edges straight, but it didn't look natural, so I had to take them out and cut again, with uneven edges.

This is how I made the swinging chair. The base is a plastic door handle, and the lever, a bit of a spray bottle. The seat and back are made of cardboard, lined with padding and covered with fabric.

 I made the writing desk from my famous venetian blind and strong wire. The CD player, speakers, remote, the computer keyboard and mouse are cut from a catalogue, while the computer screen is a lid from a little plastic jewel box. The blind is cut from a placemat. The wastepaper basket is a bottle cap. In this pictire the floor is still bare.


Bedroom and bathroom

The whole upper floor with the bedroom. bathroom and a hall in between, with an armchair and coffee table, so after your bath you can cool down with cofee and cake. Through the large opening in the wall, you can see the other room on the upper floor, which I will tell about next.

Modern bathroom

I built the bathroom on th same floor as the bedroom, with a little hall in between. It took me a long time to decide how to make the bathroom walls because solid walls would make the whole floor too heavy and crammed. Finally I used a CD box, which became quite an interesting solution.

Just as I started on the bathroom I found this marble bathtub in a thrift shop. The wash stand is a makeup box glued onto a plastic tube. On the right you can see that I have started tiling the floor, the tiles cut from a fancy shopping bag.

The tiling is similar on the floor and the wall. I made the shower from two spice-jar lids (the lid for peppar has small holes in it, just right), and the taps are plastic beads. I later moved the tub and the shower into my Victorian house because I found a fabulous bathroom set in a shop on Portobello Road in London.

It is an original Barton set (which means it is wrong scale, since Barton is 1:16, but all scales are slightly wrong in this house). It was in porr shape and I strongly dislike the 1980s green so I painted it a bit more daring - but also authentic: I have seen exactly this colour combination on Barton bathrooms. It was a very delicate job since I didn't want to remove the taps and the toilet seat.

Some further details in this bathroom: the little dressing table is made from an unidentifable plastic object, the same I used for the kitchen table. The scissors, razor and comb come from party crackers. I made the mirror holders from clothes hooks. The toothbrush mug is a ballpoint pen cap, and the brushes are made with tiny bits of Velcro. The toilet brush, which you cannot see very well behind the tub, is a makeup brush in a plastic medicine-bottle cap. The towel rings are made from the sealing rings in cooking-oil bottles.

Bedroom wall

As I said before, it is difficult to take good pictures of the outer walls in this house so this is the best I can do. The picture below is the wall removed from the house. I used acryllic artist's paint that I had bought cheap in a thrift shop. The opposite wall is white so it makes an interesting contrast.

The left window is frosted because it belongs in the bathroom.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Modern bedroom

The upstairs floor of this house only has one wall that goes one third across, and for some reason there was a window in the wall. I thought for some time how to use this feature, but eventually decided to close it up. But I still used it in the sense that I made a Japanese tokonoma out of it. The picture comes from a set of Japanese paper a visitor from Japan gave me. (She didn't know I was a miniature-maker). I made the bed from cardboard and used wooden beads for legs. The headboard is a piece of wooden strip that I drilled holes in to insert grill sticks.


I then felt that the bed was in the wrong position for best display so I turned it. I painted the headboard and made lights from ear-rings.

Then I made two night stands to match the headboard. I made them very simply from two wooden blocks with beads for legs and a bit of wire for handles.

I wanted an interesting fabric for the bedspread, and I found a pillowcase in a thrift shop. From it I made the bedspread, pillows and curtains.

Some further details of the bedroom: the vase that matches the colour scheme perfectly - from a thrift shop. The flowers are real dry flowers from my garden. The wall lamp is a LED battery light because it is impossible to wire this house. The clock face is cut from a catalogue. The mirror and the tissue box are from ebay. I made the books, and they are here because I always read in bed, and I like the cat to sleep in my bed. I like this bedroom. It is very unlike my own, but I know that I would feel good in it. 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Modern kitchen development

This is what the kitchen looks like today (I have tidied up a bit, just as you do when you expect visitors). The chairs are made from champagne wire, which I learned from a friend. I thought they fit perfectly in my kitchen.

I made most of the details and utensils myself. I made kitchen shelves from bits left after I made a big bookshelf in another room. I made the coffee machine (that looks a bit tired) from a bit of plastic, a dead battery and a bottle cap. I made the orange press from a bit of a perfume spray bottle. I made the kitchen towel holder from an unidentifiable wooden peg, and the kitchen towel - from kitchen towel. The pie trays come from an eye-shade box. I cut the front of the micro from a catalogue and glued it on the front of a little box I made from card. I also cut the clock face from a catalogue and pasted it inside a spice jar lid. The fridge handle is a bit of a ball-point pen. I made all the jars, tins, boxes and bottles in a variety of ways, which I will explain in detail shortly.

Likewise, I made most of the utensils on the table. The big black bowls are cut from chocolate boxes, and the Japanese bowls, from medicine cards, painted black on the outside and red on the inside. The square Japanede plates are air-drying clay. The mugs are cut from a pencil, with half of a plastic bead for handle. A grandchild made the sushi. The eggs in eggcups, the caviar tube and the Coke are from ebay, and the sausage from a German toyshop.

The right side of the kitchen is more like a utility room. The fire extinguisher comes from a key ring. The garbage bin is a pencil sharpener. I made the bucket from a hotel milk container. The flower pots are thimbles. And the heating element is cut from a chocolate box.

It is very hard to take a good picture of the inside of the front wall because I can only do it through a door opening from the other side. Since it is a removable wall you can't put heavy things on it, but I made a semi-flat shelf with groceries.

Here is the wall removed from the house, just to give you an idea of how it works.You may have noticed that I have put in windows, and I will tell you how I did it in due time.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Modern kitchen

I have said repeatedly that kitchens are fun to make, and modern kitchens are no exception. Since I by now had so much faith in my abilities I decided to build a modern kitchen myself, using my old favourite material, the venetian blind. First, I made a model from cardboard and put a wooden worktop on. I cut an opening to make a sink.

For sink, I used a plastic container of the kind you get jam in for breakfast in hotels. I painted it metallic. I used a lid from a spice jar to make a washing machine door. I know that you'd probably have a dishwasher rather than a washing machine in this place, but the lid was too good not to use. 

Meanwhile, I also painted the stairs white and made a railing, which is very difficult to make, as anyone knows who has attempted. 

I glued bits of venetian blind onto cardboard and scratched them with a craft knife to imitate gaps between drawers. For handles I used tiny things on wires the purpose of which I don't know. I got them from my dollhouse-making cousin. I drilled holes and pulled the wires through, fixing them at the back. I glued a bit of glossy paper on the top to make a hob, and painted rings with a gold pen. I made the chimney hood from a hotel soap-dish lid and glued small bits of Lego for lights.

I made the kitchen table from yet another piece of venetian blind and used unidentifiable plastic clips for legs. The fancy mugs are cut from a pencil, with half a bead for handle. As I have already mentioned, the fridge is a tin tea box.