Monday, August 10, 2015

Shelving old projects!

Manuel seems pleased with the kitchen, but something's different (and not just that the handle fell off the refrigerator).
Do you think the rooster platter's about to fall off its shelf?
I'd been messing around with trying to finish the Steampunk Orchid's trim -- with increasing reluctance, as every method went wrong, and I wasn't enjoying it -- when it dawned on me that I really, really hated the project. There were some very negative associations surrounding the era when I'd done the major building on it -- associations with people and events that are out, out, out of my life -- and it needed to go away.

So two weekends ago, I unloaded the furniture (which I do like) and took the house to Goodwill. Goodbye, house! What we have here is the tour of Manuel and Abigail's new bookshelf abode, plus a bonus half-scale high-rise in the Billy CD tower.

Cat contemplates owl.
The new wallpaper in the kitchen and living room is downloaded scrapbook paper that I bought on Etsy for Katie and Hayden's house, then realized that 8-1/2 x 11 sheets wouldn't work well at 1:6. The living room has to have extra vertical molding because the sheets weren't big enough.

Look! Room for one more chair!
PETA would have fits at the "dead animals" in the living room, what with the cow rug, cowhide chair, cow skull, horn chair, slice of horn coffee table, and assorted representations of ducks. Arizona: where cows are nervous.

Cat contemplates teddy bear.
The dark walls in the bedroom are because Apartment Therapy says dark walls are "in."

There is almost a comfortable seating area.
The frippery on the dressing table includes a miniature dressing table and chair.

The new bathroom is the room where I'm most happy with the difference, since it's gone from red-and-black to a much more soothing palette. (Everything is held together with blu-tack. This is a precarious house.) I still need to find a bathroom mirror, but my first try fell off the wall and shattered. It was that kind of day.
It's our spa!
There's also a patio! The brick wall separates this reality from the reality of the 1:36 barn. I can now contemplate painting the chicken coop in some other color scheme, as it doesn't have to match the main house.

Ah, lounging with the chickens!
Then, for an encore, I decided that roomboxes for half-scale scenes no longer made sense, since the point of the roomboxes was that they sat on top of the old half-height bookcases. But I have a fabulous CD tower with lots of shelves, which lends itself to being a half-scale high-rise.

The party starts with the basement apartment, which belongs to the single gal I bought at the Chinese New Year fair. Everything in the high-rise is papered from a single book of beach-house paper, and I only did the back wall because that's all you can see from most spots in my house.
Just big enough for one!
The little dividing wall sets off the bathroom from the kitchen. Obviously, there's an imaginary additional wall and door for the bathroom, but I need to be able to get my hands in, so it remains imaginary.

Next is the kitchen and the conservatory, where there's some discussion of what art to hang.

An eat-in kitchen! O joy!
We have a comfortable parlor and a bedroom, complete with kachina.

So, what did you think of the political debates?
And then a full bath with laundry and a second bedroom! My houses usually have only one bedroom.

But where are the towels?
Finally, there's a dive bar (doesn't every home need one?) and a patio. The patio's up so high that only glimpses are visible without standing on a step stool, but I had to do something with the space. I can admire it while wearing high heels.

Your turn to break, purple people-eater.
Obviously, it's all still a bit under-accessorized, and I'm looking forward to cleaning down that stash a bit.

With these alterations, the bookshelf houses are:

  • Glam Goth Condo, now in a corner unit.
  • Abigail and Manuel's 1:12 house.
  • Half-scale high-rise.
  • Katie and Hayden's house (all of the corner unit except for the slice for the GGC).
Actual dollhouses are limited to:
  • Moose Lodge (1/24): much loved lifelong possession, completely furnished in vintage Blue Box
  • Chicken Coop (1/32-ish): my insane build-tiny-furniture project
  • Swamp Home (1/48): my other insane build-tiny-furniture project, another childhood possession
  • Old Schoolhouse (1/64): Katie's dollhouse
The furniture for the Colonial Condo (my treasured Jayden) is packed up temporarily, in hope of finding a T. Cohn two-patio Spanish house, as that is my all-time favorite tin litho house. It's not as elegant as its single-patio bigger sibling, but it has a garage and a utility room.

Every now and again, I sit in my big wicker chair (now painted bright coral), look over at the new bookshelf layout, and am just pleased at the whole thing. But I still need to rearrange the doll sections.


  1. I just love tiny furniture and stuff!!!! I hear ya on projects that remind you of a bad time in your life. Christmas 2002 my parents sent me a Mt. Rainier cross stitch kit which is extremely hard. Right after that, my dad was diagnosed w/ stage 4 cancer. That project reminds me of those horrible last few months and his passing. I put it aside for a few years, picked it up again and got a lot accomplished but put it down again because all I could think about was the spring of 2003 every time I looked at it. Which is a shame b/c I would love to finish it; it's about 2/3 done.

    1. Oh my -- that's an especially tough one with emotional associations. What an awful spring it must have been for your family.

      I hope you find your comfort zone on how to handle the project. One thing that decluttering guides don't really tackle is that sometimes the decision isn't as straightforward as yes/no, relevant/not-relevant, me/not-me. Stuff gets complicated.

      On the tiny furniture, there'll probably be more of that shared, now that things are tidier and better under control. I loved your fairy garden photos!

  2. I just love that you can use CD towers for your smaller scale projects! That is a very good use for them. These new spaces are looking good.

    1. Thank you! The decline of the CD may mean lots of CD storage hitting thrift stores -- bonanza for half-scale apartment dwellings.

  3. Great use of space and I love all the different rooms! It's cool that you work in different scales. Your commentary is really funny! :)

    1. Thank you! It can be kind of disorienting to look at the shelves with multi-scale projects, but I can't make myself choose one size.

  4. I love what you have done with these small spaces! I am also very proud of your decision to remove negativity from your life and move on!

    1. Thank you! Yeah, it's important to keep on movin' ahead...

  5. This was like an HGTV show of best uses for small spaces!

    1. Aw, thanks! But I didn't hot-glue feathers to the wall! (yet)

  6. Wow--SM, I love all the furniture!!!! Your use of the CD towers is brilliant!!!!

  7. Applause on finding new joy in your apartment complex - and on moving on past bad experiences.