Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gothic House Introduction

Getting started on my double Gothic House woodcraft doll house kit build. My intention is to build one "normally", and the other in a backwards, mirror, or "inverted" build, so that the two will appear as two halves to a whole. The "backwards" half will omit the staircases, so that only one side of the house has them, and it allows more floor space on the other half.

Busy day. My daughter decided to spend most the weekend at grandma's .. so I had the advantage of spreading out all my wood pieces and directions all over a cardboard box on the living room floor and brainstorming and planning. Getting really excited about this. I dry-fitted a sheet of the 1/2 scale furniture kit I had to get an idea of size and finishing ideas - things like making fabric "pads" on the chairs, and using shiny foil for the mirrors. I have a woodcraft playground set coming as well as a couple of misc pieces of woodcraft furniture - a grandfather clock, fireplace, overhead cupboard. I was sort of hoping the scale would be right for my daughter's miniature "polly pocket" dolls, but it appears the scale is about an inch too small, so I may end up having to splurge on half scale dolls - but I'll wait on that and accessorizing until after it's built and finished. I thought about putting it on a board and getting landscaping stuff - but the storage size of it goes up quite a bit with that, as well as cost... and since it'll be used for play, there's no need to have everything fastened down onto a board... especially when she'll likely have more fun spreading it all over her bedroom floor...

Looking over everything, I have to say I'm utterly glad I started on this NOW... I have the advantage of putting the whole cardboard building surface in my walk in closet (hopefully my husband will forgive me on this one... haha!) and simply working on a little bit at a time with a goal of getting it done by next christmas, or the earliest, her tenth birthday in august. Doing a little dry-fitting and experimenting, I'm very sure I can do the "second" house in the "backwards" or "inverted" build with little to no problem - building the two identical houses at the same time will definitely help there. (I'm building the gothic house for my daughter, and putting all my energy into that, saving the fantasy villa for later, perhaps she'll even want to help on that one.. plus it appears to be a much more difficult puzzle build.) Also pretty sure I won't have any problem hinging the two together and perhaps using some sort of clasp so it can be fastened when closed. I also went craft store shopping, got some tools, and paint, and scribbled a little on the picture on the instructions getting an idea of color scheme. Ordered some miniature carpet, roof "paper" - shingles seem like WAY too much work!- and some 1/2 scale stone walkway I thought would be really nice for the porches. She's a sucker for pink, so I picked a very light pink for the main color, and a bright fuschia for the trim. Will do some of the trim in white, and the bottom of it in black to make it darker and less noticeable. Since it doesn't have interior trim on windows, I think I'll use the skinny sticks to make interior trim and possibly a window sill effect... and while I was measuring and experimenting there.. it occurred to me it would be very easy to take those clear plastic transparency sheets and glue them under the inside trim to make "windows". I'm going to do the ceilings with white paint, perhaps using the texture idea on the drying paint, perhaps not. I'm not going to fuss with wallpaper, the interior walls are too small, but I can do different color paints, and maybe stripes, as long as I paint before assembling. I figure I'll carpet most of the interior, and wood stain a couple rooms - for bathroom / kitchen - because who wants carpeting in there..?! I may even use the skinny sticks as baseboards .. the thought occurred to me they'd make a nice "chair rail" as well..

Ack.. I'm babbling. Spent a lot of time today researching and getting an idea of plans and such, did a little sanding and dryfitting/testing and prep work. I think I drove my husband nuts bouncing ideas off him (while he just nodded and played along .. haha)... finally decided I'd mail you and bounce them off you instead, you have more experience at building and crafting! This weekend, I think I'm going to do a good bit of sanding, organizing parts, and prep work while I wait for the carpeting, and stone work, and a couple extra tools to get here from the miniature company... and then next week I can start on painting and building the frames. Will definitely be using my hubby's digital camera (or recruiting his photo expertise) to document the whole thing - it should be a really neat first build as long as I can be patient and take my time with it .. which I have allowed myself plenty of time to do! Definitely an ambitious first project - but with years of crafting, sewing, puzzling, painting.. and even helping my mom build some miniatures when I was little, I should be okay. (fingers crossed!) The cat seems unimpressed with the current use of the living room floor - I had to move her toys to put the stuff down.. but she'll learn to deal with it.

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