Monday 23 September 2013

Real Good Toys Playscale 1/6 Victorian Townhouse Doll House

Finally, the wait is over!

Here it is -

Puppen Haus. Painted in custom lilac and custom rose pink Satinwood paint from Dulux. I also used Dulux Satinwood white paint for all ceilings, door, windows, railing and the steps.
Side view. Lights are all from Dolls House Emporium. I used the socket strip method in wiring the lights. The house is built using cabinet grade plywood unlike traditional dolls houses that uses MDF wood. This makes the doll house heavy but very strong and sturdy.
I am still doing the interior decorations so currently it is a huge lamp in my room
Satinwood is the perfect paint since it has a semi-gloss sheen. I applied 2 coats of paint on every surface. Some stripwood had to be custom cut to fit.
The foundation is covered in pavement paper from Dolls House Emporium. 
It comes with 5 rooms, tower room (attic), a storage drawer (basement) a sundeck and a balcony. It was all hand built and the wooden components were hand-crafted. It is called an 'heirloom' doll house because the quality will make it last for generations.
Every shingle on the roof was hand-painted individually to achieve this lovely effect. I mixed wood stains and tinted varnish from Ronseal. The colour was light and dark oak. This also strengthened the shingles and made them waterproof
Took me more than 100 hours to plan, build, sand, paint, sand, glue, paint, sand, etc. etc. Initially I thought that I was going to finish it within a few weeks. In the end it took me 7 weeks!
The very bottom side of the house was given 2 layers of varnish. I was paranoid that if the floor every got wet (which is impossible since my room is on the 2nd floor. It would have to be a tsunami), at least the bottom of the house is waterproof
So there it is! I hope you can now look forward to seeing what it looks like inside. I still have some furniture to make, mouldings to custom fit and I also need to find suitable decorations. I think the dining room/kitchen area will debut in just a few more weeks! This will be an ongoing project for at least a few more months.

I'm so glad that I can now clean my room from dust and finally get some polymer clay out.

Time to make more miniatures!


Sunday 22 September 2013

My dollhouse journey

OK, the doll house is finally built!

I am extremely happy that it looks strong and sturdy. I find wood working tricky since high school. I dreaded shop class and hated having to do wood projects.

It took me almost 7 weeks to build this house from a kit. The first week was spent on repairing broken components. The doll house kit was imported from America but barely survived the journey. Luckily it was insured. However I had to replace some components and it was sold only in America. I even bought the plan book so I have exact measurements to replace some plywood parts that were old and kept splitting. Luckily my husband helped me bond the layers together again using a lot of glue, clamps and a 24 hour waiting game. A lot of patience is required if you plan to salvage as much as possible.

So much time and effort has been given to build this 1/6 scale doll house and I will debut a photo of it in this blog tomorrow!

I wish I could take photos now but there is masking tape still holding down windows as the glue dries.

Here is a little history about doll houses and miniatures in my life. I must have been as young as 5 when I had my first doll house. I don't have a picture of it but I remember it had a set of baby blue bathroom and toilet furniture. It was 2 storeys and all plastic. There was a family that came with it but they were not so nice since they are just moulded plastic in a set pose.

When I was 7, I discovered Polly Pocket from Bluebird. This was the original Polly Pocket where you have a whole dollhouse in your palm in a little clam shell compact. I thought it was absolutely amazing and my poor mum was bullied into buying so many for me. I had a few compacts, a heart compact(cottage), a square compact, a round compact (vet), a square compact and a few more I can't recall. When I won a big district competition, my mum rewarded me with a big Polly Pocket case that contained a village centre and village green. It was a jewelry case and I could take it along with me everywhere that I went. I also had a pendant where you stash Polly in a little clear dome. I stopped buying Polly Pocket when the design changed. Instead of cases opening up into a tiny world - you split open a house instead. I have nothing against the design but I love the compact case design more. It was suppose to be a secret doll house. Nobody can tell what's inside the compact when it is closed.

At 10, I was obsessed with Legos. There was a Lego exhibition in a shopping centre and I visited it at least 4 times. I saw the potential of these colourful building blocks and had the urge to build my own. I had Lego Basic buckets which allows me to build homes, dismantle it, them build more. Every single house was different and that was the great thing about the Lego Basic range. It is up to your imagination - no rules. I'm not sure if they even sell that range anymore.

I had a few Barbie dolls when I was 12. I naturally wanted a Barbie dollhouse. This was not possible since it retails around £100 at that time. I knew my mum wouldn't spend that much on a toy especially when I'm expected to grow-up. I entered a Toys r us in-store competition which was basically like Supermarket Sweep. I actually had my eyes on the dollhouse so I knew I had to grab one during the competition. It was a failed tactic since the house was huge (I was so tiny, I'm a petite now) and made pushing the trolley quite a daunting task. So I didn't win.

When I was in university, I had a Sylvanian Families dollhouse. The model was 'Beechwood Hall' and I loved the simple style. I had all the furnishings and a family of cats. The house lit up and sat at a corner in my room. It was eventually sold off.

And now - I am the new proud owner of a Playscale Victorian Townhouse by Real Good Toys. It was not an easy decision. I almost bought a dollhouse from the Dolls House Emporium because they kept sending me really good promotional deals through the mail. They were beautiful but I knew I loved my miniatures in 1/6 scale. I collected Re-ment and I make 1/6 scale miniatures since you are able to fit in so many details into it. For me it is just more visually stimulating. Plus, Sadie Sprinkle is a 1/6 scale doll. It would be nice to give her a home.

The only decent doll house kits in this scale was manufactured exclusively by Real Good Toys. The dollhouse hobby is big in the UK but not in the scale I wanted. Since I was determined, I finally bought it. I knew it was a very basic kit but I had the time to do it. I expected that there was going to be a lot of work but didn't expect how much planning and preparation that goes with it. I'm always thinking 3 steps ahead to avoid disappointment during the build.

So tomorrow, I can finally reveal my new doll house.

I can't hardly wait!

Wednesday 18 September 2013

New York Bagels & coffee + Puppen Haus sneak peak

Hello hello!

So sorry about being MIA for almost a month now. The Puppen Haus project has made it almost impossible to do anything in my room anymore. The Littlest Sweet Shop diorama and everything else is covered in sawdust and dust that comes off from sanding in between paints, making grooves in plywood. It's been such a nightmare and I'm still waiting for 'wallpaper' to arrive all the way from Sweden before I can finish up the house and hopefully let you see how it looks very soon. Since I need to put wallpaper AND paint the walls, there will be more sanding in between the paint job and OH WILL IT EVER END!?

I took advantage of a recent 'clay-day' that I attended with my guild and made some New York bagels and bread. Here it is in the Littlest Sweet Shop:

The scene is completed with my new set of Re-ment miniatures including the coffee pot, cream cheese, packet of Parma ham and a packet of small bagels. The silver butter dish is a 70s vintage Sindy item. I bought a lot of vintage Sindy furniture for the Puppen Haus since I believe that all toys should have a second lease in life. Check out the bagels up-close in the Bakery menu.

My buttered popcorn is finally listed with a price in the Sweets Boutique menu. It comes in this cute stripey box and will be filled with hand-made popcorn pieces. Popcorn is almost over-flowing in this hand-made box.

My French breads now come in a new and improved recipe! I hope I made it look even more real than before. It's an ongoing challenge for me to keep improving my models to look realistic enough to eat. Find it in the French Pastries menu.

Here's a little sneak peak into the dining area of Puppen Haus.
Sadie carrying a basket of new recipe baguette and Pain d'Epi in a sneak peak of Puppen Haus
As you can see, the walls still needs doing and I can't install the doors and window until I've completed the wallpapering/painting of the walls. I'm quite happy with the hardwood flooring that I painted in redwood coloured stain. The dining table is another vintage Sindy from the 80s and as you can see - I've managed to wire the house and installed all the lights! That's just a little sneak peak so I hope you are eager to see the end product!

I hope my 'wallpaper' arrives soon since I will be able wrap this up hopefully by this weekend. 

'Til then, have a happy week :)

Saturday 7 September 2013

Will be back soon!

If you have been following me on Facebook, you should have seen some WIP photos of my doll house build project.

The house is almost 5' tall and too huge to be lifted up by one person. I could not work on it outdoors so I had to do a lot of sanding in the same room I make my clay miniatures. Because there is just too much dust flying around- the Littlest Sweet Shop kitchen is closed for now.

I hope to finish building this house (at least finish up all painting work) in the next few days. I miss modelling and I can't wait to make some new items!

There will be some new updates on new popcorn packaging in the next few days. 

Stay tuned!