Monday, August 25, 2014

Cross stitching

I have been working on my cross stitch project and trying to be good about finishing it before Christmas. However, lately I have been needing something for myself alone so I dug through my stash and found a Mar/Apr 1989 cross stitch magazine that had patterns for a set of the 12 days of Chtistmas ornaments. I have always loved this Christmas carol in ornament form and decided it is about time I started them. Here is the first day of the partridge in a pear tree, only half way done due to a misread symbol. The first try had the partridge looking like it had chicken pox. 
If it hadn't been for that incorrect color used originally this little guy would be almost finished. I am doing them on 14ct aida, mainly because I have a lot of that and want to use it up. There are supposed to be little hearts on either side of the main design. I am contemplating skipping those. I'm not sure I really like them. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A 1950's housewife

 I finally found an inexpensive season one dvd set of the Donna Reed Show. I am ecstatic! I have been on the hunt for this for a while now but it seemed to be out of print. When I had found any for sale they were $60 to over $200! Outrageous! But on a whim I  checked  eBay and  found a used but very good condition complete season 1 for a whopping $35 including shipping! Needless to say I snatched that baby up. I don't have any of the other seasons but this is the best place to start I think. I have seen episodes online and just lived this show.

The other night I ordered season 4 of I Love Lucy. I have the first 3 and am almost finished watching season 1 and have loved it. When I was little I couldn't stand this show. Her cry was like nails on a chalkboard to me. For some strange reason (maybe it was the less than $10 a season price tag) I decided to give it another shot. I am so glad I did. Elora has climbed up beside me to watch, too. She likes Lucy but doesn't know her name. She refers to her as the mustache lady after an episode that Lucy glues a beard and mustache to her face to get Ricky to shave his, and then she can't get it off. She laughed so hard over that, it was great. 

No progress pictures this time, haven't had time. Tonight was meet the teacher night and Aidan got to meet his first grade teacher. He is super excited about his first day tomorrow. I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

End of summer blues

 I have been somewhat quiet lately. The end of summer is fast approaching and my son will be starting first grade this year. Both kids are growing up so fast I feel like I am missing a lot of it. Elora is already excitedly talking about kindergarten next year. I'll have to take that day off definitly! LOL. 

I have been keeping myself busy working on multiple projects. The biggest one was re-organizing and cleaning out my craft closet. That took awhile but it is done and looks sooo much better. I know where everything is and I have made a huge downsize from the previous craft room to a craft closet. I also cleared off and around my craft table, and set my sewing machine up in it so it can actually be used without wresting it from it's storage spot. There is still my bookshelf to tackle and my plastic storage drawers of ceramics to weed through. It feels good to get rid of things I am never going to use or do. Makes me able to breath better.
Not the clearest picture but is the best I can do, ignore the shoes. This happens to also be my clothing closet, all on the other side of the closet. Also, on the side you can't see are three large dollhouse kits. 2 are House that Jack built kits, Cheryl's place and KottonKandy. There is also a large plastic tub full of felt kits and about six small plastic rectangle boxes with scrap fabrics, glues and foam brushes. I have taken all magazines and books not associated with an in progress project and moved them to the office so I can go through them all at the same time.

The other projects I am working on: I am attempting to finish some UFOs, mainly the ones I want done before Christmas this year. I dragged out Pansies cross stitch and have been working on that each night. I also have Elora's plastic canvas Calico Critter house in easy reach to work on when I am not in the living room. 
I got a little further on the bottom right corner last night. This is a very easy and relaxing project.

In the meantime I have put aside my quilt blocks untill I have finished these. I have fully enjoyed piecing these blocks together (the little I have done) and have already picked out my next quilt. I never start small and simple so my full on learning quilt will be a Dear Jane. What a challenge that will be. I have the software in the mail and will begin playing with colors soon. I already ordered a 12 yard bolt of fabric for background fabric. Fingers crossed that will be enough.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I took the plunge and started quilting. I have been wanting to learn for years and the other day I decided it was time. I have been working on some embroidered blocks for a twin size quilt for my daughter but I wanted a practice quilt first. Using the book Jelly Roll Samplers I started the classic sampler quilt. I tried using my sewing machine but I have never felt comfortable with it so hand piecing and hand quilting it will be for me. 

There are a lot of things I learned from this first block, and there is room for improvement but I really love how it came out.
And I have already cut the pieces and sewn the half square triangles together for the second block, it's already to be put together.
I did the first block over the weekend. Last night I sewed the last  5 of the half square triangles together for the second block. Already my stitches are becoming more uniform and tiny, I am very pleased with the results and by hand is definitly relaxing.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Another stocking done

Another stocking front completed. I was going to do the liners and backing a to all the completed fronts but I misplaced the font I wanted to use for the names so I am stuck untill I can reprint it. In the meantime I cut liners and backs for two of the stockings. I need to buy some more red felt to do this one. I completed 55of the pieces over the past two days. 

Here are some detail photos:

Tonight I organized my box for another kit. This one is for myself and I love the color palette. Here are the threads. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

PC Barbie House

I only need to sew the front door in place and my daughter's bottom hallway to her plastic canvas dollhouse will be complete. I have had a blast making this for her. Each time she sees a new section complete her excitement is contagious. I want to start the kitchen next but I think I will make the foundation (again, last one was crushed during our move) that way when I do get the kitchen done maybe she can play with the first floor while I make the rest. I say maybe because I am seriously considering giving the complete house it to her either in her birthday or Christmas. We shall see if I can hold out that long. 
That is the front of the house where the door will be seen to cover the back of my stitching.
And that is Elora's favorite part, the stairs. It is amazing how sturdy this feels once it is all sewn together. You can see the  pattern book under this with it's pages all a mess. I haven't been rough with the book but all the pages I have finished have fallen out. The rest of the book is still held together. I did buy it used and the glue felt a bit brittle so I think that has more to do with it than me being destructive.

In a way I feel guilty about this project. My son watches me working on this, knowing it is for his sister. He oohs and ahs along with her over each new part and is excited to see it come together. The guilt part comes in that I have nothing to make him. When this is finished and I give it to her I would like to have something I can give to him that I made just for him. Any suggestions out there? I thought maybe a plastic canvas car carry case but I can't seem to find a pattern for one that I like and think he'd like. The one I did find hangs on the wall but I want one he can carry around with him. Or maybe something not plastic canvas, I'm not sure.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Moving in!

Beware a picture heavy post awaits! The first and second floor are finished, the attic walls are done and the templates laid for the flooring. At the moment that is as much as I can do to the attic until I get supplies but I have deemed the house move in ready. The kitchen will have a few more accessories later but essentially it is done. I have a tree I will be re-trimming and the quilt will be formed to the bed.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Second floor complete

I am really happy that I was able to complete the second story as well as the first this weekend. I trimmed the hallway, added two lights, framed out the bathroom doorway before adding the door so that the thinness of the new door would be covered, added the interior door trim to the hall door, installed te bathroom door and trim, as well as the light and trimmed the room. I was impatient to be finished and forgot to paint the bathroom ceiling untill after adding the crown moulding. It isn't as nice as the rest but I figure I will chalk it up to an old house and the humidity of the bathroom. ;) not too noticeable unless you get close and inspect it. 
That is the doorway before I added the door. This completely covers up the styrofoam edges.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Room for one more

I was able to get one more room finished tonight. The bedroom...
I ran out of shrink tubes so I can't plug the light in yet as the wires are too short, but I did test it before installation and it was working just fine. The hallway has been started, crown moulding installed and flooring tacked down. Maybe tomorrow I can finish the baseboards, install the door frame to the porch and glue the stairs in place. The bathroom doorway will be an issue, the door I bought is thinner than the one I used to test fit. I have some trim ideas that should fix it, or at least hide it.

First floor completed!

It is with great excitement I announce the first floor of the House of Memories is ready to move in to! First the living room...
On to the dining room...
Another view...
And now the kitchen...
The seam is as good as it is going to get but it is better than before.

Now I need to move to the second floor...

Friday, June 13, 2014


Three lights to be exact. I installed the entry light and hooked up the two porch lamps. I love the look this gives to the house. I need to paint the ceilings of the other rooms before continuing. I thought of using sparkling for a rougher finish but to be honest I am beyond ready for this structure to be finished so I can start the decorating portion. So plain, smooth white ceilings will work fine for me.

(The light from the back window is in the kitchen, it was being tested)

The seam in the kitchen I thought I could live with but I just can't. Tonight I plan to fix the part that shows. The rest of the wall I can live with being gappy because there is no way to view it unless you pull out my don't, please. The light choices are proving problematic. 1) I don't like some of the ones that I have, 2) I am almost out of shrink tubes ( I ruined four by improperly heating them) and 3)I don't think I have enough to finish the house. I have some old fashioned type lamps I am thinking if I repaint them from black to enamel white or other color I could use two in the hallway and the two hallway lights I was going to use would look better in the kids room and laundry area. I have a light I can use in the kitchen but it involve a bit of light bashing for me to be happy with it. I have also made a list of the last things I must do for this structure to be finished. Landscaping will have to wait till I have money for the supplies I want. 
Seeing it like this I can really tell how close to done I am :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Uh-oh, another mini project?

Last weekend I made a trip to the dollhouse shop in Tucson, Miniature Memories. I absolutely love this shop but seldom have a chance to go there. I picked up enough trim to finish the Holly Ann. I also bought my ceiling fan for the living room, the bathroom door, extra greenery for garlands, simple doorknobs and a new magazine. My dad went with me and bought me the cutest baby walker, the modern kind with moveable toys on it. My children had one very similar and they loved it, so this was a great accessory. On a side note I really dislike the name of this house and have been calling it the House of Memories, so it may be referred to it as such from here on out. I was able to finish off the trim an wall of the entry way. I just need to install the light, which I have because I stripped he lights from he Gloucester to repurpose them. I don't have room for both large houses and have decided to use as much of the supplies from the Glouceter to save a little bit of money.
Above: From the living room to the entry.
Below: through the frot door.
I made a decision not to trim the ceiling, or even to do the ceiling. No matter which angle I try to view it there is no way to see it. So, I saved some time and skipped that part. Even when he light is installed you won't see it.

So now that I have what I need to hopefully finish the structure that means my mind is off on another project and fun planning. For some reason I have the half scale Chantilly stuck in my head. Which is strange because it hasn't ever appealed to me before. It won't leave me alone! It is calling to be purchased and bashed. I keep seeing a Bavarian or Tudor style home. I would leave the porch off, brick the bottom half and exposed beams on the top. No fancy gingerbread trim but would make slate roofing tiles from air dry clay (a first for me). I also envision a large English inspired garden, lots of greenery and floweryplants.

The interior would be plastered walls and more beams. Inspiration from Tasha Tudor's kitchen and Pam Throope's fleece inn for a start. I have ideas for the decorating but can't place it. I have images of what I think is victorian country,  with Rosemaling details on furniture and trim. Lots of burnt reds, browns and greens. The upstairs I would add an extra wall on the right side by the stairs for a smallish bathroom. I have seen some amazing chantilly's where on the left room the attic had been removed and beams installed for a vaulted ceiling and I want that too. I would leave the tiny attic on the left for a storage space of sorts and make a false folding ladder. I can't but anything till next Friday. I am half hoping that by that time my mind has changed. I really don't need any more kits....

Friday, May 30, 2014

Itty bitty furniture

The last few days I've been sort of in a slump with the big dollhouse so I decided to focus on some furniture for my Pickett Hill. I made the shelf with accessories for the little girl's room, the bed an nightstand for the little boy's room, lawn furniture and the dog house. It is always fun to work in this scale.

My thumb is for size reference.
Ignore the turned up rug, I will be fixing that.

I painted the little dog, too. She was just a blank resin piece. It was hard matching to the inspiration photo with how tiny she is. It's hard to see in this angle but he weathervane is actually a dog. Also, impossible to see is a rug inside the doghouse for the dog to lay on. A nice touch even if it's never seen I know it is there.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Slowly coming to a stand still

I worked hard this weekend. The bedroom was carpeted with painted fabric, the hallway's wood floor has been finished, upper hall stairs stained, linoleum cut for the bathroom, replaced bathroom wall, doorway cut, then installed and everything is temporarily tacked in place until I can buy my lights and install them. I have just enough mouldings and trim to trim out the entryway but after that I will be out. Untill I get those and lights none of the rooms will be fully finished. I need a bathroom door, too. I used the bedroom one to cut the doorway the right size before installing the wall. I did have a problem with the wallpapering on the hallway by the bathroom, it had a HUGE bubble and I was trying to fix it and tore it. I patched it up, re-painted and now you can't see it. I was really worried it would be obvious but today after fully drying all night it looks good.

The second floor stairs and railings aren't installed yet. Can't do that till the floor is permanent and can't make it permanent till I have the dining room, entry and kitchen lights in place. The space between the false wall and actual wall of the kitchen will be patched when it is installed. 

So what I am able to work on are the remaining second floor frames, third floor kids room and laundry room wallpaper and flooring, cutting interior frames for the oval windows, making templates for the ceilings and making the back steps. Originally I wanted all the floors wood but I don't have enough to do them all and the  Home Depot here is out. So I raided my fabric stash and found this fabric that almost feels like suade but isn't, and I painted it the color carpet I wanted. I like how it looks, like low ply carpet would look if shrunk to 12th scale. At least it does to me.

Finally, my list of supplies needed as of today are as follows: baseboards, crown moulding, 1 interior door, 10 interior lights, trim for floor and wall edges, heki late autumn grass mat, and scenic snow products. Once I have those I can finish and start furnishing and accessorizng. This build has been super fast when I am actually working on it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Stairs! Woohoo!

The stairs are a pain to stain, plus there are glue spots that have been impossible to cover up. So after this dries and I can see it in the light of day I will be touching up with acrylics.

Floors and more floors

The dining room floor is finished and in place and the kitchen has been cut to fit. It hasn't been glued in place but it is heavy enough not to need it at the moment.  I used a real tile I bought at Home Depot for this floor and I really like the look. Originally I planned to cut this into small square tiles but I think I am going to leave it like it is rolled linoleum.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Floor number one...

Finished my first floor last night, the living room. Also, I drilled my first hole and groove line for the living room light. Much easier than I was expecting. I have good hopes for making the upper floors removable. 
The floor edge isn't covered yet.

I haven't done any work on it today. Today was my son's kindergarten graduation. A very emotional day all around. He is going I miss his teacher a lot, and I am sad watching my son grow up so fast. He's loving school and I think having a teacher who is great really helped that separation from home. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Casings are fun!

So far I have not found anything I dislike doing with this dollhouse.  I continued making some window frames, as well as framed the entry/living room door, front door and back door. The entry window and the living room window frames have been installed. I have no baseboards or crown moulding so I will need to buy those. 

Also, I seriously dislike the kitchen set up. There is hardly any wall space and the wall available has a low cut window. Sooo, I am thinking of purchasing this kitchen :
(Photo curtesy of and filling in the opening with a wall and running this kitchen along the newly made wall. This would fully enclose the entry way so I would need to install the light, ceiling texture and any trim before doing this but I need the kitchen before I make final adjustments to the wall. An idea of making the wall section removable but I will have to really think that through first.

Next I will finish wallpapering and way my options on ceiling treatments. I am leaning to cardstock cut to size and covered with a mild "popcorn" texture  and then installed.

Monday, May 19, 2014

1 of 7

Last night before I made the first interior window frame. This kit came with all of the exterior trims but no interior ones. I like how it came out.
And here's how it will look in place.