Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Stairs in the Swedish House - the Next Step

Over the weekend I made some progress on my Swedish House's staircase. I began it some time ago.

I completed the balastrading by first finishing off the remaining ice cream sticks which I had begun cutting earlier. To get an even rounded edge I used a small chisel. The wood was very hard, and quite tough to cut.

I replaced the posts I made earlier with harder base wood which is less likely to be damaged or dinted. 

I moved the staircase between the house and my work bench to make sure that everything fit properly as I was making it.

Unfortunately at one point, the "easy to slide in" staircase got wedged. I had to shove it quite hard to get it out!

I then painted the hallway in a grey tinted white. I will not wall paper this wall, I think a plain and minimal look is best. It took a few coats to get an even finish.

I also painted the stairs.

I am pleased with the result. 

Next job: parquetry flooring for the entrance, and to find a suitable hall light!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

UPDATE: Wallpaper Sources - A Controversial Topic?

I have decided to do this post to explain where I got those lovely dollhouse wallpapers.

I was struggling to find good arts and crafts style papers from online dollhouse suppliers, so I decided to do some more research. I did many google image searches and discovered that many real size wall paper suppliers provide high resolution graphic samples of their wallpapers online (freely saved to a home computer). I downloaded several of them and printed them out. Some worked, others were too grainy, but I was able to find enough to use as decorative runners. I don't think one could actually print a whole wall of paper because they are only small samples. 

Today however, I found when looking on Etsy that these same designs (obviously downloaded from the same full size wall paper website I used) were listed for sale by a seller as a for $30 each . 

The seller says:

"Regular Retail $36.95 Etsy Intro price $29.95.
Please be aware that the purchase of this item buys you endless personal use for crafters and miniaturist. Resale of this product in digital format is not allowed." (emphasis added).

I find this sort of behaviour dishonest. It shows that you must be careful when buying online. 

I have reported this seller to Etsy. 

An Arts & Crafts Style Panelled Dinning Room

I have begun the bungalow interior this week. I have started with the dining room, which is the smaller of the two rooms on the bottom floor. I have spent a lot of time researching arts and crafts style interiors, and come to the conclusion and high wall panels are a necessity. 

High wall panels were complimented by a decorative wall paper frieze in most homes of this time.


I made the wall panels from several thicknesses of base wood ply.

I then planned to stain the wood to give it a deeper rich colour. I left the cross sections of wood loose so that I could sand the main panels more easily. The cross section pieces I stained separately and will glue on once all the staining is done. 

I began with one layer of french polish. This first layer seals the wood so that the application of stain doesn't soak in unevenly and give a blotchy finish. 

I then gave it a couple of layers of stain. 

Now is the hard part: choosing the right wall paper! 

I have tried several different options:

I still can't decide! It is difficult because the choice will also have to match or compliment the wall paper that I use in the lounge room next door. I have now been dwelling on this decision for four days. 

Some things just can't be rushed. 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Printable Wall Paper - Yes or No?

This week I finally tested out some of the free printable samples of paper you find online. Printing wall paper is a great way to avoid the cost of buying it sheet by sheet - which can sometimes set you back more than the house itself!

The site I used was Jennifer's Printables. This site has a great selection of period wall papers, arranged by era. I found the quality varies depending on the pattern of paper. For example, the darker more elaborate papers just didn't seem to work very well. Below is a nice William Morris style paper, but unfortunately you can still see some pixilation.

Patterns which have very fine lines don't work that well either because a normal colour printer can't get enough definition. Below you can see that the little birds in the trees can't quite be made out, and end up looking a bit blobbish. 

This last pattern however seemed to be ok, although it is not entirely clear. I think it might be good enough to use. 

Because I only had marginal success with the printables I decided to look elsewhere. On Saturday I went to Fitzroy (in Melbourne) and found a great little specialist paper shop on Brunswick St. These shops can be found in most major cities, and this one was not too expensive. 


It had a brilliant selection of all kinds of beautiful hand blocked paper, some embossed with gold and other embellishments in every style under the sun. 

The patterns were mostly small, and so many of the sheets could be used for wall papering a dollhouse. I was so excited to find the shop!

These wonderful papers below could even be used as runners for above wall panelling. There was SO much to choose from!

In the end I settled for two lovely designs. Each was the size of about two A3 sheets of paper, and only $6! I will used them for the lounge room or bedrooms.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Gallery

This evening's entertainment has consisted of constructing a small tableaux to fool the eye.

Please do not sit.

Monday, 6 May 2013

2013 Sydney Miniatures Fair!

This past weekend, as a special treat, my Mum and I travelled to Sydney from Melbourne for the 2013 Sydney Dollhouse and Miniatures Fair. It was a great weekend and I was lucky enough to meet some fellow bloggers! I met Magaret from My Petit Parterre, and Fiona from A Passion for Miniatures. It was great to put some faces to names! 

I am very glad I went too because I was able to find some interesting things. I found some wonderful arts and crafts style wall paper for my bungalow dollhouse:

I picked up a cheap Chrysnbon bathroom and some nice tiles for the bungalow bathroom.

I also found some wonderful hand made colonial dining chairs.

Also, a nice little chaise lounge.

A little lyre sewing table and wash stand. 

A wonderful little hand made replica of an Australian meat safe. 

It is beautifully made. 

I also collected some sweet little lazer cut plant stand kits. 

And finally, the most exciting, some beautiful scandinavian style mirrored wall scones. These I bought for my Swedish house. The style is very hard to find, and finding them made the trip all the way to Sydney very worth while! They are made by Kim's Minis (from New Zealand), and I will be shopping there again!