woensdag 26 september 2018

Craft of the Month - September

After a long summer break there was a new monthly challenge at (Dutch) FB group Actieve Poppenhuisforum. 

For this month's challenge you had to make something with at least 3 of the following materials:
1. paper
2. some waste material (like a cardboard box or packing material)
3. thread
4. metal push pin

One was optional or could be changed in something else. Paint and glue was free to use.

Since there were four instead of five materials, I wanted to challenge myself and use them all, but the pin gave me a really hard time :)
I also wanted to make something for the cottage instead of just making something that would end up in a corner of my cupboard. After a lot of hard thinking I got the idea to make a miniature painting (my first one ^^). 
Paper for the painting itself, a frame from a pizza box, decorated with embroidery thread and I wanted to cut and bent the top of the pins so they could cover the four corners, but in the end that didn't work as I couldn't cut them :') But first the painting!

I decided on a painting of Hogsmeade
for my Hogsmeade cottage :)

First step

I was a bit unsure about the bright yellow.

After adding the finishing touches.

The frame was made from a pizza box ^^ First layer was a brown oil paint, then after sanding a blue with black watered down acrylic and then I drybrushed with the creme chalk paint I've used for the fire place previously (need to buy more of that!). Because cutting the pins didn't work, I thought I could decorate the frame with it, but it didn't feel right.

I ended up using them on the back to attach a thread (a)

Not sure where the painting will be installed by Bianca and Penny but I'm sure it will look nice in whatever room they choose.

zaterdag 22 september 2018

Baquettes for a birthday swap

Last week the crafting club met again :) I'll tell you about the (Italian) project in another blog, but since we had another birthday girl, I want to show you the swap I've done.
I knew Jolinda likes brocantes and is working on a French doll house. So for inspiration I spend some time on her blog and thought something for the kitchen would be nice. So I started looking for French bread and found this (Dutch) tutorial for a box to store a baguette.

For the baguettes I found these tutorials on Pinterest that were helpful, by thinkpastel and The Enchanted Gallery. In March I'd bought a mould for bread at Stella Que Passa, so I made two loaves of bread with the leftover Fimo :)

I think the bread and baguettes are a bit too yellow, so next tine I'll add a bit of brown Fimo to the mixture, but for a first try I liked it :)

For making the knife this tutorial from SugarCharmShop was helpful. I used little dots of silver nail polish on the handle, and a tiny strip from a peel off sticker sheet.

This is the finished swap for Jolinda:

Happy I made enough bread to fill a basket for the cottage :)

woensdag 19 september 2018

The living room is decorated!

After I had finished the living room floor, all that was left to do was finishing the fire place and then I could get all the removable panels in place.

I painted the bricks on the inside with black, grey/cottage green
and white and repainted the outside and on of the walls
with chalk paint (no 2 van Het Kabinet).

I love the shade so I decided to repaint the
ceiling as well :)

Inspiration for making the fire came from this blog.
The flickering fire is a camp fire block from Nalladris

And then finally I could slide the ceiling with beams and
the fire place back in the room, which wasn't easy because
the chandelier and the wires from the fire place all needed
to get into place at the same time. Getting all the lights on at
the same time was the next challenge but I managed :)

To see the flickering fire - and all the walls - here's a short (and not very good :P) video:

The arm chair won't stay in the living room, but for now Penny can sit very comfortable with Blast in front of the fire, her book about toadstools next to her.

It's so exciting to have finished decorating the first room of the cottage. Can't wait to start furnishing :) I've already chosen a bookcase and a writing desk (from Julie Warren's book) I want to make and put against the back wall but I still haven't found the right furniture for the sitting area :)
And of course I still need to wax the wooden floor (a)

maandag 17 september 2018

The living room floor

I've been really busy working on the living room the previous week.
I'd decided that there would be no wall paper in my Hogsmeade cottage, but then I put some removable wall paper on two sides anyway, just to see how it would look.
I had been afraid it might be too dark and 'busy' with a design on the wall, but with the fire place and the opposite wall still plastered white, I thought it wouldn't :)

Hardest part of the flooring was making the template. I kept cutting a sliver here and one there and then it turned out just 1 mm too much and ... aaargh :')
I guess that's the problem when you build a house from scratch; the measurements of every floor and every wall, the fire places and the door openings, they all differ just micro millimeters (a)

Next was choosing the wood. Well, that was the easy part. I hadn't considered the thickness of the floor when I'd made the doors and thresholds, so those popsicle sticks people often use, were too thick. Which I was glad for because I'd rather work with Balsa anyway ;)
Normally I would've choosen 2 or 2,5 mm Balsa, but because of those doors, I've used 1,5 mm Balsa.

Based on this decorative paper the boards
will be 1,5 mm (just 2-3 mm smaller than
this decoration paper has xD

I've cut the boards at random lengths because I'm going for the rustic look. Well, random meaning not one size, but multiple sizes from 6 to 10 cm ;)
You can lay the boards horizontal or vertical in a dollhouse, depends on the look you want and how narrow a room is. I am going to lay the boards parallel to the longest wall.

After fitting the boards on the template, I sanded the edges of each single board to give them some signs of wear.
I also painted the template dark brown with arcylic, just in case there would be small gaps between the boards that would show the white paper. In hindsight that wasn't neccasary because of the stain.

I tacked the boards to the paper with wood glue. Note to self:
don't blow away the dust while flooring with Balsa :)

The floor is sanded and wiped clean of sanding dust with
a damp cloth. I put four nail holes in every floor board
and tested to see if it would still fit in the living room.

When the Balsa was completely dry I brushed
on the oak wood stain.

You're supposed to let the floor dry for at least 24 hours, but
of course I was out of patience after 14 hours (a) I sanded
the floor again, wiped it clean and gave it a second staining.

I've read somewhere that rubbing the floor with a few layers of bees wax instead of varnish will give it a beautiful natural glow, so I want to try that. Once I've found bees wax. Fingers crossed I won't forget :)

dinsdag 11 september 2018

Square wooden chandelier

This weekend I've made a chandelier for the living room of the Hogsmeade cottage. I had already been planning that but so far I had not seen a tutorial or example for one that I liked for a cottage.
Untill I found a great tutoral from Jennifer's Miniatures and instantly fell in love with that chandelier :)
Since mine would be hanging above the sitting area instead of a diner table, I've made a square one instead of a rectangular. Mine is made from Balsa and measures 5 x 5 cm and I used an oak woodstain to match the beams at the ceiling.

For the candles I used an (old) tutorial or Marike's Magical Miniatures from an old DHN magazine. This time I used even less Fimo cognac to mix with Fimo Translucent White.

Top: old baked ones with a bit more cognac
colour. Middle: the new baked candles. Under:
prebaked Fimo Translucent white with a sliver
of cognac colour.

I put a pin needle in the middle (before baking)
and carefully rolled it like a rolling pin to
make enough room for the wires.

I painted strips of black card board with lamp
black acrylic paint, and then put some
Fimo glaze on it (a)

I mixed a bit of the polymer clay with some vaseline till it
got sticky and then added (a lot of) Liquid Fimo for the
dripping effect on the candles.

I put the candles on a same sized piece of Balsa, covered with
tin foil, hoping I would be able to get some 'drips' hanging
from the wood as well :) And then I crossed my fingers and
wished the paper wouldn't burn ^^

Which it didn't ;) So time to put the little
lights in the candles, and check if it worked.

Using the heat shrink tube was a bit scary, because I kept
expecting the glue or the Fimo to melt ;) Maybe that's why
I didn't shrunk as much as I thought it would.

But I'm still more than happy with the result
and also a bit proud (a)

A photo can't even capture how wonderful it looks
with it's light on, but still! 

Before I'll put the chandelier in place I have to finish the walls and the floor, so that's a very good motivation ;)

The lights I used are Nal-LEDS from Nalladris. I'll be used this system for all lights, candles and fire places in the cottage!

vrijdag 7 september 2018

Introducing Penny

I'm pleased to introduce Penny to you, who'll be living in the Hogsmeade cottage with her mother Bianca. 
Penny is an original character from my Dutch story Wentelende Wereld (which roughly translates as 'Turning World'). It is a post Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter) fanfiction, which has already 44 chapters on line, but is nowhere near finished ;)
Penny grew up in a totally Muggle neighbourhood, and wasn't told about the Wizarding world until her own magic started to show. Now, in the summer after Harry Potter defeated Voldemort, she'll turn 11 years and she anxiously waiting for her Hogswarts acceptance letter. Her mother, who has been a teacher in a Muggle school for the last decade, has applied for a job at Hogwarts. To make it easier for Penny to enter the Wizarding World for the first time, Bianca has decided to move to a small cottage in Hogsmeade for the summer. 
Ofcourse there's a lot more to their story, like meeting lots of new people, dark secrets, a hidden identity, a new romance etc, but it would be to much to translate all of that :')

When I was looking online for someone who could resemble Penny, I searched for 'pre teen girl braids' and found these photo's.

As soon as I saw this photo
I knew it was 'my' Penny :)

Me at 11 (or 12) ;) Now I'm
wondering if I based Penny
unconsiously on my image ^^

After a (very) long search on the internet for the right doll, I found Dollhousedoll (in Dutch Poppenhuispop.nl). Esther has made this 12 cm high doll for me, painted the face and braided the hair. I was so happy when she arrived, I could hardly wait to make her some clothes ;)

Seeing as Penny grew up in a totally Muggle neighbourhood, she had alway worn Muggle clothes. 
I decided to just go with the outfit the girl on the photo wears. Quite a challenge with no pattern and hardly any experience in sewing miniature clothes. 

I found fabrics in the right colour for the tops/shirt and the jeans (which all where clothes from my own wardrobe ^^).

I really love how this turned out, would love
that in 1:1 for myself ^^

Because the doll only had half porcelain
arms and legs, I needed to make at least
half long sleeves.

Fitting the shirt, the sleeve turned out to be
just the right lenght to cover the not porcelain
part of her arm.

I think this is the smallest piece of clothing
I've made so far :)

Looks as comfy as it was when I wore the
original shirt :P

The jeans are still inside out while Penny is
very helpful lifting her top while fitting them.

For the jeans I had found this great tutorial
by SugarCharm!

Thanks to the stretchy fabric the jeans fit
like a glove ;)

I still want to give the jeans a worn looking maybe even rip them a little if I dare :')
Also want to change the shoes/boots she's wearing now to something more sporty and fitting of a ten-year old, like sneakers/trainers of walking boots.

After Penny gets her Hogwarts acceptance
letter, there will definitely be newly bought
robes and books on her bed ;)

Credits: the half cat/half Kneazle, called 'Blast', was a gift from my friend Kim of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo for Penny.