Saturday, December 24, 2016

Handgemalt Cottage: Part 2, Slow Progress- Real Good Toys, Children's Choice, 1 Country Lane CC1 Front Opening Kit

Well, with grandson every weekend and a full time job, the wee cottage is just plodding along. But 15 minutes or an hour, here and there, and its really showing it character.


Front Door Wall


I always like this view. The dolly's view, inside, looking through the windows and door of the front wall panel. One will never see it again once the back is on. Anyways...
Preparing for the placement of the fabric wallpaper.

I decided to make the front inside wall panel the just with the 1st floor and 2nd floor the fabric wall paper. In my one of my previous RGT CC Tudor dollhouse, I tricked out the wall inside wall panel with the wainscoting, (RGT Tudor), but with my RGT Town Hill I did not ( RGT Town Hill). I figured quicker assembly and vintagely consistent with antique front opening dollhouses like Bliss' was just fine for the Handgemalt Cottage.


Front To Back, Jack


Here are the back and front interior wall panels. The front panel has yet to have its windows and doors cut out at this point, I used a sharp razor blade and cutting board for that. I did attempt to have the fabric wallpaper line up all the way around. That was a challenge!

Here I'm applying the provided interior window trim from the kit, no special buy on replacements for this dollhouse, yet. RGT has you build out the window sills so the plexiglass window inserts can slide in and out for cleaning. I didn't think I was gonna like that but now I think its a cool idea.

Finally, the back is on!!!


Planning For the Exterior Front Opening Wall Look 


So, like many a doll home builder, I try to get an idea the few looks or ideas I have for the different parts of the home. It takes some extra time, but with the advent of the digital camera, these mock ups can really help clarify one's visions to reality. 

Here are the two variations of the outside of the front panel that I mocked up and what I've decided on.

Without shutters....

...with shutters...

  ...and finally, what I'm going to go with.

I made the custom shutters with some more craft store wood pieces, staining them first and a quick finger wipe of craft paint to get the transparent red color.

Unfortunately, RGT doesn't have the batten placements centered with the windows or the door, so I'm going to have to erase all the batten placement pencil lines I made after following their directions, and adjust them to have them centered for symmetry, especially over the porch. Sigh. Good thing I'm using the shutters so I will probably have enough provided batten material to work with!


Well, the Holiday Season is here, so no working on Handgemalt Cottage  for two weeks as I'm visiting my daughter in Illinois.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Handgemalt Cottage: Part 1, Finally Back At It - Real Good Toys, Children's Choice, 1 Country Lane CC1 Front Opening Kit

Well, it's been almost two years but I'm finally back to working on the third of the four Real Good Toys (RGT), Children's Choice, dollhouse kits. Its probably their first and most basic, the 1 Country Lane, and I can tell the Country Tudor that I started this whole RGT series saga with over three years ago, is a knock off, just a change in the trim package. Good idea if you design dollhouses!!

All of these cute little kits have been discontinued, so I was very fortunate to snag all four over the years. I finished the 22 Town Hill Road as well as the Country Tudor and I still have the 333 Franklin Street to do as well as 1 Country Lane, then I'll have the whole set done!




It always seems each of these little homes gets started because I have some collection of vintage doll house furniture that I just can't keep in a box anymore. This house will be home to my vintage Handgemalt collection, made in Germany, a sweet, oversized folk set. I've only ever seen two pieces of it elsewhere:

My other inspiration was to keep it simple; old stain, craft store shapes, a brown Sharpie and some cheap, 40% off stencils. This one is supposed to go up easy and fast, not too many customizations.



In the Beginning....

One of the nice things about these kits is its easy to to do the interior, you don't have to assemble the whole house to work on its insides and every body part is basically a rectangle. And starting with the insides makes the most sense to me, and to that end I always start with the floors.

This time, instead of "carving" grooves, masking and applying three coats of stain to create my floors I stained and then put three coats of H2O based poly on them, then stenciled them with a trusty, brown Sharpie! A couple of coats of poly over the designs and they were done.

Between drying times I also stained and polyied the trims. I did finally give in and ordered wood trim from Manchester Woodworks for the ceiling beams and some basswood trim sizes my craft store didn't carry. I tried to keep it simple!



 Fabric, Dinner Napkins and Mass Production Later...

My other two CC houses have To Scale wood wainscoting that I purchased for the major reason the back of these kits are masonite, so staining doesn't work if you want to use them for wood grain. I did have my hubby cut a new wood plywood back piece that included the peak and the base back (the base back and the peak are separate parts in this kit) and was able to match the sides' grain pretty well. So I was able to get off more cheaply using the kit parts and wood craft pieces purchased from the craft store for about $4 a bag to make the wainscoting. Old stain, a stencil or two and my brown Sharpie and I was in production mode. 

Move over Santa's elves!


I don't know what it is about fabric but that's my "go to" for wallpaper in these little homes. I've used paper too, but I just really like fabric. I primed the areas for the "wallpaper,  and used "Yes" glue to attach the fabric. I tried to make everything centered, of course!

I was lucky to find dinner napkins in a country life themed red toile, sized perfectly for a dollhouse, at my local PTSO Thrift Shop. Score for $3.50! A nice romantic feel for the second floor.

This time around I applied all the trim before attaching the floor to the sides. With the advent of so many pieces of wainscoting components, I needed to glue them on while the sides were unattached. I was pretty nervous about this as there was no going back if I messed up the measurements for where the floors met the sides! But it worked!

First Floor                                                                                  Second Floor
Some carpenters glue and brad nails and the house box was up!


The First Major Hurdle!


Well, the first of the house's assemblies is done! Always a major milestone, the basic house box.

 I feel like I've accomplished a lot but there is so much more to do. I started November 2nd and now its November 30th. So much for quick!!