Sunday, January 31, 2016

All Laquered Up

I found a set of Asian-themed dollhouse furniture pieces at an antique store recently.  There are two chairs, a little end table, a trunk, a buffet, and two coffee tables and all are painted black with gold designs.  I'm going to get all fancy on you now and describe them as Chinoiserie.  Like I said, fancy.  

Pardon the appearance of the house...I did not sweep.
I think that the legs and other curvy parts may be handpainted, but the flat parts look like they were stamped.  
I'm calling this one a buffet, though I'm sure there's a more accurate word for it.  It's so delicate.  I can't bear to think of my children's little hands touching this, so you should know that these are MINE.  They can look at them when they turn 32.  
Here's the trunk and the little table, which is really wobbly.  And look at this:
It opens!  So sweet.  So, that's it.  Seven pieces and all for $25.00, which is not so bad when you break it down per piece.  When I got home, I looked them up on the internet and found different combinations of pieces/sets priced anywhere from like $50.00 and up to about $300 on one site, which I think is a bit much.  When I first saw these in the store, I really considered buying only one or two pieces, but I just couldn't break them up  In the end, however, I don't have all of the pieces from the original set.  There's a screen, a dining table, more chairs, and more little tables still outstanding.  

Since I bought these, I've become a bit of an ebay junkie.  I'm watching like 5 or 6 auctions, but not bidding on anything.  There's one currently going on that is up to $140 and I could furnish 4 houses with all the goodies in the lot, but that's pretty steep.  Oh, well.  And the funny thing?  There are about five of these little Asian pieces in that lot.  The auctioneer is not highlighting them, though.  

And there's one more thing that I found at the Goodwill...a little candle holder turned planter:
 There are actually two of them, but I only have one small bit of greenery to show them off.  

And, before I forget, I've finally rid the walls in the kitchen of that damn wallpaper.  

Oh, one more thing.  Do you remember how I introduced you to the new occupant of the house?  Well, I went back to Target to peruse the selection and everything was gone!  They must have discontinued it.  They are still sold other places, so maybe I should run over and get another shopgirl.  They're the perfect size.  I was also thinking of getting the OPI nail salon - it comes with like 3 chairs or something, but I don't know.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dollhouse Douche

So I got on Pinterest and searched for a way to rid myself of this dollhouse kitchen wallpaper.  The solution?  Vinegar and water...a little bit of a douche, I'd say.  I had some white vinegar down in the kitchen, but some apple cider vinegar on the upper level - I'd doused my hair with some of that in the shower to deal with a dry scalp.  Not like dandruff, just dry.  It totally worked.  I think that apple cider vinegar is sort of a miracle elixir.

Anyway, so I put some on the kitchen walls and then I let it sit for a bit.  I got a lot off of it, but there's still quite a bit that I can't get off.  Ugh.  What a pain.
The residue in the dining room/foyer came off easily, so that's progress.
So with all this progress, I'd like to share my toolkit.  I little tiny squirt bottle filled with the douche and a razor blade.
That little razor blade handle thing is the best.  I was using an exacto knife to pry up the copper tape and then pulling it with my finger, but it would break and then I'd have to try to pry up some more.  With the razor blade, the copper would just coil up and came away so easily.  The razor blade helped with the paper scraping, as well.  

I just need to figure out how to get that kitchen paper down.  I've got almost all of the copper tape off, with a few exceptions in hard to reach corners.  I now have to think about prying up those roof shingles.  I feel like I won't get to start paining it until the spring, when I can open up some windows for ventilation.

Monday, January 18, 2016

New Resident

I found someone to live in the dollhouse.  She was on clearance at Target after Christmas for $3.00 and she is the perfect size.  She is a MiWorld (me-world? my-world?  probably the latter) figurine.  I wish that they had a whole line of furniture for her, but I guess the thing with this stupid brand is that they are all shopkeepers at stores in a mall.  So lame.  So there's like a DQ stand and an OPI nail salon and a Justice (barf) store.  I suppose I could get something and repurpose it, but only if it is on super clearance. 

Let's meet her, shall we?  She wanted to show off the progress on her house.
Here's the kitchen.  I'm having a really hard time with that wallpaper.  It just won't come off.  I'm almost rid of the wallpaper in every other room, but this has been a real struggle.  It is just crazy stuck on there.  The copper strips were for the electrified version of the dollhouse and that cord was cut before I bought it, so I've been getting rid of them, too.  They are also a bit challenging to pull off.
Here she is in the dining room/foyer standing among the debris.  This room has quite a bit of residue left on the walls.  Stinker.  I have to figure out how to get that off, too.
Here's a shot of the top floor.  It is almost completely stripped, but I'm still working on those pesky copper strips.  Z was playing with the dollhouse and broke off the stairwell railing.  She didn't break it in pieces and I can easily drill out the glue holes and reattach it, but I may not.  It seemed too delicate for little kid hands.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Rope Bowls

I made these rope bowls with about 100 ft of cotton clothesline.  I saw the tutorial from Tanis Knits and thought I'd give it a try.
I started with the big one.  My bobbin and thread were both purple and the basket ate through that like crazy.  Here's the bottom:
I zig-zagged over the center coil to help it stay strong.  And my purple only went about an inch up the sides:
I switched to gray at that point and that lasted forever.  I finished it with two handles, like the tutorial suggested.  I didn't really know how to finish off the last bit.  It's kind of sloppy.
I was just going to make one big bowl with all that rope, but as I coiled it upwards, I wasn't paying attention to the fact that I was making the opening narrower than I had intended.  With the remaining rope, I made another little bowl:
This had a gray upper thread, which turned the inside of the bowl gray.   My bobbin was turquoise, which appears as the outside of the bowl.
I went with an oval starting point instead of a little circle.  And, instead of handles, I just did a little loopity-loo for the end of the rope.

I'm not quite sure how to tidy that up.  

I really liked making these.  I'm still interested in trying this again and am very keen on using dye to provide some pops of color.  The weekend that I started making my first bowl, I went to a craft fair and saw some for sale.  The maker had turned them into purses and had dipped the bottoms in beeswax for a sturdy coating.  I don't think I'll go that far.  

Friday, January 1, 2016

Tidy Anus

Since May I have had this half-done pouch sitting on my craft table.  After I made a less than tidy sewing job of the last pouch's anus-like corner, I just didn't have the heart to tackle this one, but leading up to Christmas, I thought about giving it a try.
And here it is:
 But the real question is:  How did the corners turn out?  Do we have a sloppy anus or not?
 Not!  Look at that tidy turn out.  Excellent.    And here's a little view of the inside fabric.
There's still one more very partially sewn pouch, but the zipper isn't even in that one, so I may just abandon ship.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ellie x 2 More

I just couldn't help myself after the first time around with the Ellie Bag from Wee Wonderfuls (I wrote about that here), so I made two more.  The first one was given to my other niece:
I gave this bag a little felt flower embellishment with a (sloppy) blanket stitch.  This one has orange straps.  I think this one may be my favorite out of all three bags.
 For the third bag, I used the same exact blue fabric as the other two, but changed up the ears.
 I had a butterfly button to use as embellishment on this Ellie's headband:
So this bag was given to my eldest daughter on Christmas morning and she has not played with it once.  Maybe that will change, but what a waste of time if she doesn't like it.  Nuts.  

Monday, December 28, 2015

Number Four

I made these Retro Space Age Stockings from Tried and True back in 2013.  There are four designs:  rocket, alien space craft, robot and ray gun.  As you can see, I did three out of the four two years ago and since the family has added a fourth, I got to revisit these.
It took a while to figure out what color the cuff should be and what color the background should be.  I settled on the dark gray cuff and light gray background because of what I had done with the others.  Hopefully that cuff is not too dark.

As you can see, I have not centered the ray gun properly.  It is way too low.  I should have moved it up an inch, I think.  Upon my husband's advice, I only bejeweled the top of the lightning bolt.  I hope that's okay.  My instinct is always to give it more shine and sparkle, but he thought it was a better way to go.
My favorite little bit is this cute starburst sequin at the tip of the gun.  
In the original, the tip has a little round knobby thing (cue porno music), but I really messed up when I was cutting it out, so I snipped it off and gave it this sequin.  I think it works.