Friday, April 26, 2013

My Email From the New York Times

I  received an email from the New York Times!!  They want to do a little story on the Shabby Chic dollhouse that I built after I saw Sandy's "My Shabby Streamside Studio."
So I need to build a new Shabby Chic dollhouse and send it to them to get photographed.  I'm so excited!! This story should come out at the end of May or early June.  I'll let you know for sure when I find out.

This means the Little White Cottage will have to wait a little bit. Hopefully, just about 1 week. Then I'll get back to showing you how to make the rest of the cottage. 

I'm making my way to everyone's blogs who left a comment. I'll get there I promise. I just have had so many things to do lately. But I'm thrilled to be good busy!!  For the new followers- If you leave a comment and don't have your profile enabled please leave me your website address or email. I love to reply to everyone. 

And finally, I want to take a moment to thank all of you for your great support.  I wouldn't be getting emails from the New York Times if it weren't for all you sweet souls out there. Your encouraging comments have really meant the world to me.  Thank you.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Little White Cottage Dollhouse

First off, Blurb(the publisher of my Shabby Chic Dollhouse book) sent me a coupon to share with all of you. It's another $10 off coupon.  The code to enter at checkout is
The link to my book is:
This offer ends May 2, 2013.
I just heard it's only working on paper books and not the PDF version. :(    

O.K. back to building this Little White Cottage!
I am putting a little porch light above the front door.
I use this battery operated light kit from Evan Designs:
They are a fabulous company to order from!  Keep the bulb  and wire on hand because we need to place it under the cardboard part coming up next.
I am putting cardboard on the outside that will look like siding.  I used the box the kit came in for this.  I traced the front of the house, marking the windows and door openings.  Then peel off one side revealing the corrugated/ridged part.
I like my dollhouses to be strong. So I butter the house with this pre mixed concrete patch.  This will be the glue for the cardboard as well.
Spread the concrete on with a spatula(artist spatula).   I'm going to thread the wire and bulb under the top window(see picture below). Apply the cardboard to the wet concrete.
I used a little piece of wood for the porch roof.  Doesn't really matter what size. Mine is 4 5/8" x 2 1/2". I used regular 3/8" dowels as my porch posts. I put them next to the porch roof and marked the angle I wanted to cut.
I drilled a whole wide enough for my bulb in the porch roof.
The porch floor is all left over pieces of wood.
 For the top of the porch(the floor), I used 3 boards that are 1" x 11" long. Glued them all together.
Then I built a simple skirt for the underside. My pieces here are 1" thick. The long one is 10 3/4" long. The side ones are 2 3/4" long.Glue on leaving a little lip/edge.

Glue onto front of the house.
Moving to the side of the house.  I cut more cardboard to use as siding. I left 1 1/2" at the bottom to carve a stone foundation which will extend to the front porch.

 The back is all concrete. 
 On the other side of the house I am doing a patchwork of corrugated siding.
 Inside, I put in a chandelier.
And added a set of keys. I found these online. They are for jewelry making. Too cute!
Time to paint the house exterior.
 Don't do a perfect paint job! It has to look like an old cottage.
 Some of the brown cardboard shows through.
 I also painted all my "stones" white. Actually it's a cream colored paint.
I like the cream better between the  stones. The gray of the concrete looks too sterile and cold.  I'll show you how I paint the stones next time.
I also had a very exciting email. I'll let you know all about it as soon as I'm sure about this
 development.  :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Little White Cottage Dollhouse

Let's keep building the Little White Cottage dollhouse.  It's time to put on the plastic film windows.  You can use the pieces that came with the kit(there's not enough for all the windows.)  I buy transparent copy sheets. They are also used for overhead projectors. I buy them at the office supply store.  I use white glue to stick each plastic window on the house.  Don't put on the upstairs window just yet.
For the upstairs window, I'm doing more stained glass on the perimeter.  This time with a little color.  Prepare your window by drawing your design with a pencil.

Cover the pencil marks with silver latex paint on both sides of the plastic window.
I'm using the same water based gloss and the latex robin egg blue paint I used on the door. Dip your paintbrush in the gloss and drop it onto the window pane. Then dip the very tip of your brush in your paint. Apply that to the drop of gloss and spread it in the pane. For some panes I used more color. The ones with less color I just didn't dip the brush back in the paint. You have enough color to do at least 3 panes without getting more paint. This way you get a nice variation of color.

Once you are done with this side, let dry, flip over and apply only clear gloss.  Glue to the front of the house.

I'm jumping over to the ceiling now.  I am using jumbo craft sticks to cover the ceiling.  Let's start with the first roof piece. This is the whole roof side without the cut out.
I glued my roof on right away. And then I started to hot glue my sticks on from the bottom up.

The other side of the roof has a cutout. This was the original back of the house with a cutout for access.
So let's fill that hole. I'm using cardboard.  Just trace the cutout part

and glue into place. You now have another whole side.  I did not glue this piece on yet. It's easier to put the jumbo sticks on the ceiling when it's flat in front of you.

Place the roof on the house and trace the space that needs to be filled with sticks.  And glue your sticks on the ceiling.

Paint the ceiling(both sides). I chose gray. I dipped my brush in gray and then into water. This made a very loose paint that was easy to spread and also washed over the planks letting the wood grain show.

Let's move outside. I use left over pieces of wood and Popsicle sticks to frame the windows.  I lay out all the wood pieces around the windows, cut them to the right size, paint them white and glue them on. 

Then my window panes are craft sticks cut in thirds lengthwise. I paint them white and glue them into position with white glue.