Grab a cuppa, I have a lot of explaining to do.
One day when I was all of four years old and in kindergarten it was art time. I loved art time, as you can imagine.
Everyone was making red barns out of construction paper. I remember looking around and watching my classmates draw the barn shape (I think there was a template) and cut it out and then pasted in the details.
I was very confused. I had a very distinct plan for my barn and it definitely wasn't like those barns. Those barns were FLAT. Barns aren't flat, that much I was sure of. I was not making a flat barn.
Barns had four sides and a big door for horses and a little window at the top. The big door had a wooden x shape on it. I had seen barns (mostly in picture books) I needed four pieces of construction paper, not one.
Now as you can imagine, the limitations of my four year old hands and some flimsy construction paper had difficulty making this transformation. I knew what I wanted the outcome to be but I wasn't sure how exactly to execute it. After much thinking I folded some angles for the roof (with tabs! I knew this from paper dolls) and glued them and started off right. But the construction paper would not stand up and the glue was making it wet and sticky and I was frustrated. And those kid scissors don't cut properly, I knew that even then.
The teacher gently guiding me to another idea (after washing my red hands): a bird.
"How about making a robin?"
Well, robins are not flat either, are they?
And pretty soon I had a sticky gluey ball of blue construction paper, that I had tried to cover in more folded blue paper (with nice little tucks on the sides), that I was trying to stick a beak onto.
It was not a good day for me in kindergarten. Why couldn't everybody SEE that things were not FLAT?
We weren't drawing, drawing is flat, we were MAKING.
Fast forward to, ahem, a lot of years later.
As I may have mentioned, I recently got out the Doll House Project. This was a project that my daughter and I were enjoying together before we moved. The main construction of the house was put together by Mr Kittycafe as I know I am not very good at accurate right angles. (see above) It's good to know what you are good at and what you're not good at.
Our job primarily, was to decorate.
Miss M had had a smaller dollhouse previously that I had picked up at a garage sale. She was very small so I had bought some plastic Playmobil furniture for it.
Here it is decorated for Hallowe'en with a little bit of background on how the whole thing got started.
Later we upgraded to cloth and wooden furniture that I was not that thrilled with but it was a great deal and she loved it (little did I know how attached she was to it)
The photo below shows the original wing chair. It is part of a set with a couch. I didn't have it in the house very long when I found I couldn't stomach the original dusty rose colour so I dyed it in blue and was a little bit happier with it. I couldn't figure out why the dollhouse manufacturers clung to the idea that everything had to be so Victorian.
I showed the new ideas to my partner in crime; we would modernize!
Who would have thought that my 17 year old fashionista actually preferred the granny style?
But like all good partners we would compromise. We would have an eclectic mix.
The first thing I did was take a wing chair and rip the ruffle off. So satisfying! Then the wings, rip, rip!
I cut the curved back rest straight and re-upolstered it.
When Miss M saw it she decided there was no way I was touching the couch. And that couch was already history to me in my mind. There was no way I was using it.
So, I would make an entirely new couch. How difficult could it be? Not like a red barn, for example...
Remember that stubborn four year old? Still me.
I had it in my head I was going to make a red leather couch.
After pricing the leather, I amended that to vinyl - this was not for real people to sit on it, right? Who would care?
I gathered the vinyl (under $2) an empty mandarin crate ( to use the wood for the frame), some fabric glue, pins, tape, a box cutter, some foam (all free) and got busy. (See first photo)
As I have mentioned before, I like figuring things out.
it became apparent that using the vinyl was going to be challenging at 1/12th scale. It doesn't fold well. It's hard to make corners nice and tidy and most importantly STICK down where you put it.
But remember that red barn? I was not giving up. I was not changing to a flat robin fabric couch.
I could have made it easier on myself and not made individual cushions,
but by now I was stubbornly committed to my original barn design.
So after much glue and now-crooked pins and tape and staples and clamps to hold things until the glue dried, I managed it.
As soon as I got my fingers unglued, I made some cushions for it.
The living room is now almost complete.
The knitted ottoman is featured in a lot of decor sites these days. (I starting knitting this on four toothpicks) You can get a pattern for a real-sized one here.
A few chess pawns make good table legs. The chess pieces on the table in the foreground will be book ends, as soon as I print the books and the poster for the wall.
A few beads make candle holders. Real soy wax in those, with thread wicks. I ripped off the mirror from a mini dresser. The plant is a pottery pot I made and a piece of greenery from my son's old Warhammer scenery. The fireplace was purchased long ago and I was not allowed to touch it. I had actually started a new one in clay for a stone look but the cat jumped on my work table and destroyed it.
Eventually ( at some point I will have a budget for it?) the whole house will be wired for lighting.
Did you noticed I changed the carpet for this photo? Here's a better view:
I had originally laid down hardwood flooring and had this persian carpet (a real one) that was a sample given to the Mister when he did some carpet advertising years ago.
I'm undecided. I think I like the "seagrass" carpet ( a woven place mat from the dollar store) and will use this carpet for the dining room.
If you got this far, thanks for sticking with the story. It is after all...
to be continued....