Sunday, 20 December 2009

Third floor workshop area

I converted a bare wood chest of drawers and a cheap cupboard, to turn them into furniture for my third floor workshop area in my Willowcrest quilting and knitting shop. You can read more about it on my main blog post here.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Dust - the ever present enemy

The problem with American-style open back dollshouses, or indeed with any miniatures not sealed up behind a hinged door or a glass front... is DUST. It is so awful to look proudly in at your creation and suddenly realise there is a light film over everything, including lots of things that will be impossible to dust or vacuum without breaking them or losing them down the vacuum forever.

I've even taken to covering my vignettes and smaller houses with a plastic-bag tent - looks like heck but at least it keeps the dust off. And my Christmas vignette is wrapped up in clingfilm until December rolls around.

So it was inevitable that the Willowcrest would fall victim to the enemy. I am still (very) slowly working on it, but the dust is working on it faster. So it needed a cover. It's too big to put a plastic bag over so I was trying to think what I could do.

On another open backed house, I have screwed screws into the sides so that their heads just protrude, and drilled holes into thin plexiglass so the sheet will hang from the screws and keep the dust out.

But the Willowcrest construction isn't strong enough for putting screws into.

So I had a brainwave and went to the haberdashery store and bought some clear vinyl, and some of the Velcro that is sticky on one side, and the other side gets sewn on.

I cut the vinyl to shape to fit the back of the house from top to bottom, and stuck pieces of velcro at all four corners of the opening. On the vinyl, I sewed on the corresponding velcro, backing it with felt to strengthen the stitching.

Now I can just press the cover on to keep out most of the dust. It doesn't look too bad, and it is easy to remove. I took a closeup picture so you can see the felt stitching on the upper corner.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Office nearly finished

I've been trying to do some dollshousing every week, and have slowly filled and accessorised the sales counter, office cupboard and sink counter for my Willowcrest quilting and knitting shop. This is situated in the area which is normally the kitchen for the kit, only I cut out the wall into the hall to turn it into the office area for the shop.

This is the office shelf. The laptop and printer are from Jim's Printables site of free printies, as are some of the office products, the calculator and tape dispenser are metal minis I picked up somewhere and painted, the basket of quilting goodies on the bottom shelf came in a swap, the filing box is from Jim's site, I made the in-tray from coffee stirrers.

This is the sales counter. I put together the kit I bought at SIMP in Paris, which is boxes of little cards wound with 'Anchor' tapestry yarn. They are a bit out of scale I think, but look nice as a display in my shop counter. I filled the rest of the shop counter with a gift box display I made from a free cut-out in a magazine, and with ribbon wound onto some of the reels I assembled from a kit by 'Lisa's Little Things'. I glued a tape measure onto the top of the counter for measuring the ribbons at point of sale. Now I need to make a cash register and credit card machine, and paint my plastic telephone to go on top of the counter.

This is the sink counter, which fits under the side window. I had two fridge magnets that looked like a photocopier and a filing cabinet, so I have doctored them up (removed the magnet, covered up or painted out unwanted detail, added accessories). And I made a little curtain to go under the sink, which itself I ripped out of a cheap cabinet and glued on top of a whitewood open-shelf display unit.

This is the nearly completed office, although I have since put down a carpet which looks nice behind the sales counter.

You may remember (if you have been reading older posts) that I had an alcove under the stairs which was going to house the toilet until I realised there wasn't enough headroom. I didn't know what I was going to do with it after that, but looking through an online catalogue for something else, I suddenly had a brainwave and realised a washing machine would fit in there perfectly. Now the staff have somewhere to pre-wash their fabric, wash finished quilts etc.

And here is the state of play. As you can see the office and bathroom are largely finished, the knitting shop is pretty much finished, the quilt shop itself is still in flux, and the attic workshop area is awaiting attention.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Finally some work on this house

I apologise to anyone who has been wondering what's happening with my Willowcrest. For several months it was bundled into my bedroom and pretty inaccessible, so didn't really get worked on. But I have now converted the end of my living room into a dollshouse display area using old kitchen cabinets, and most of my bigger houses are now on view and accessible for being worked on. So I've finally done a bit more work on the Willowcrest.

In the customer bathroom I 'frosted' the window glass by stippling it with Fabric Mod Podge quite thickly. Once dry it looks amazingly like frosted glass.

Inside I mounted a wall shelf accessorised with pretty 'bottles' and spare toilet roll, and added an ornamental 'liquid soap' container to the sink. I still haven't decided what I will do with the under-stairs closet - it may be a stockroom eventually, or I may just conceal it with a curtain.

In the knitting shop I have added lots more knitting on display including some pieces that I bought at the London Kensington Dollshouse Festival (like the lace shawl in the window), and generally given it a tidy up. There are still some empty shelves I need to fill with books and accessories. I haven't taken a picture but I also stuck some knitting out on the walls of the stair landing, where customers would see them as they came upstairs.

Still loads to do on this house, on the ground floor quilt shop and on the top floor workshop area.

Monday, 2 February 2009

No, it isn't finished yet

Thank you, Erika, for prompting me to post again. I've been meaning to for a while, just hadn't got around to taking any pics. I haven't been doing much work on the house as my real job has been pretty busy, but I have now filled most of the shelves in the quilt shop. There are still loads of accessories to add, to dress all the nooks and crannies, but here are some pics of the work in progress so that you know I haven't just vanished into the ether.

This is the top floor, which will be an area for quilting workshops, and for quiet knitting groups to gather.

This is the knitting shop, currently in a bit of a mess because I have thrown in things that need to be added but haven't actually placed them yet.

Here is one view of the quilt shop.

And here is a view looking to the left in the ground floor quilt shop.

Here is the sales counter and office, still in rough shape.