Thursday, October 28, 2010

Barbie Dollhouse Project Transformation




If you recall back in June I embarked on a project of converting the colorful High School Musical play set into an elegant home. You can review the project from its' beginning here. After painting and papering I hit a major creative block. I played around with a few different furniture arrangements but nothing clicked. I sadly put away my mini-mansion for the summer. With four boys running around the place I figured it would be safer tucked away.


Late in September I finally organized my studio enough to have a landing spot for my beloved dollhouse. Out of storage it fit perfectly on one side of my L counter workspace. Slowly the rooms came together and the final product is nearly done! Wait. What? Nearly done? Yes, in my rush to get a final "product" I failed to complete all of the fine details. A few unfinished edges. Some missing baseboards. More artwork needs to be hung. Oh and I'm not completely sure how I will address the bar area. Is any house ever really finished?




Ok. Enough talk. You are all here to see pics. Unless you stalk my Flickr page then you have seen them already. But this is my blog and I will post them here anyway. Bonus content here is a description of my project in details and a few extra photos not available anywhere else. Juicy inside info you can only read about here!




First...let's look at where this journey began. I knew that this structure had potential. Good bones. Great architectural detail.
Phase 1 entailed painting the entire house white and adding accent walls throughout. My number 1 goal in completing this house was to not purchase ANYTHING new. I could only use what I had on hand. The wallpaper accents are scrapbook papers. They came together in a book. Love the coordinated paper packs! Fortunately I collect scrapbook paper like I do doll furniture. But enough about my issues.
Phase one photos:













Then the fun began. Space planning and furniture placement. Excuse the yellow cast of these photos. My studio space is in the garden basement with very little light. I had to use a single lamp for these photos as I still do not have outlets in there! Ugh!!! Luckily I could run an extension cord from the boys room next door..but I digress.

Overview of the whole house:






The living room houses a chaise style sofa and baroque coffee table. Originally blue, the sofa is a Mattel piece. It fits perfectly in the niche. The coffee table is a Christmas ornament that was originally pink/gold. I still need a large piece of art for the accent wall. Colorful pillows accent the built in window seat and tie in with the bead embellished Mattel chandelier.




Decorative pedestal lamps are a combination of elements. Resin columns were Christmas ornaments that matched the baroque coffee table. I painted silver and aged with raw umber glaze & white highlights. The tulip shaped shade was a plastic Christmas bell ornament. Between the two is a decorative plastic bead. All pieces were glued in place. E6000 glue is fantastic. If in doubt a great source is http://www.thistothat.com/. Tells you what type of glue necessary for what type of material.

Nestled in front of the built in window seat a small table is perfect for resting a beverage or snack. The base is a plastic egg cup and the top a wood disk painted white.





The center of the living area was a real challenge. I had tried to use my remaining modern black & chrome picture frame chairs in the space but they were not quite the right scale. Although this play set was created to use with Barbie dolls it really isn't the right size. If you put Barbie in the house where there is a built in ceiling her head touches it! Ouch! But it would be great for a shorter doll. Great. Now I need to buy a new doll to habit the house. Just what I need more dolls. :-)




For now I am leaving the middle space as an open concept foyer of sorts. The Asian style table was an eBay purchase five years ago. The horse statues are resin and from my favorite discount closeout store Bargain Bills. They originally looked like real horses so I just gave them a couple of coats of white paint so that they resembled statues.






The foyer walls have sconces that were made from deconstructed light fixture magnets. They looked like typical carriage style lights with a brassy gold finish. I removed the top piece, glass panels and faux bulb. Sprayed them silver and mounted them upside down for a modern look. The new faux bulbs are round plastic beads!



Originally intended to be a wine cellar the bar area nook is the least finished. The bar counter was from a Barbie store playset.


 Let me just tell you that the green plastic was a huge pain to turn white. The nooks & crannies were the hardest. Since the spray paint did not get into all the spaces I had to hand paint which then turned into a faux finish because I can never leave well enough alone.

Haven't figured out the backs of the nooks. I contemplated using mirrors but I don't have any that fit. I am still mulling that one over. Inspiration will probably come one day at 3am. Isn't that how it is for you?

I want to cover the odd shaped wall that started out as a soda machine. It houses some electronics for the house. I think a faux stone wall would be a nice touch. We'll see! Oh and the fabulous mod stools. Those are from a Bratz swimming pool set.


I bought the whole set JUST for those stools! But it was on clearance so really could I pass it up? I know. Crazy. But I sold the pools at my garage sale & made some little girl happy. Her dolls don't drink so they didn't need barstools.




Ok...I think this post is LONG enough. I will address the kitchen in a post all by itself and then the upstairs!

Linking to: Transformation Thursdays-The Shabby Chic Cottage, Before and After Party Savvy Southern Style




Until next time..

Happy Crafting!
Stephiejo



Saturday, October 16, 2010

Updates to SS-Designs Doll Interiors


Made some updates to my website today. Most notably I have a few items for sale on the front page. I will be adding items throughout the week. Email me if you are interested in purchasing.

 
Sometime in early October my service provider lost a significant amount of data and some of my web pages were inadvertently erased. I recreated my before & after photo gallery. Check it out if you have not seen it before. I hope to inspire you to create your own fabulous furniture transformations!

 
I am ALMOST done with the dollhouse project! Can't wait to share photos. Stay tuned!


Stephiejo

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Garden Style Tablescape


Yes, it is October and autumn is in full swing. Mother Nature on the other hand has her own plans. Since it has been such a warm and sunny week here in the mid-west I thought I would hold on to those last fleeting moments of summertime. What better way than to host a casual garden inspired brunch.
Thank goodness I live in a tiny house or my obsession with dishes would spill over into the 1:1 world. That would be bad. Very, very bad. Pretty tablescapes require not only dishes but linens, silverware, napkin rings, centerpieces, flowers, and all kind of accoutrements that I have no place to store. It is challenging enough storing the little ones!
Although I am not able to create fun little vignettes on my own dining room table, I certainly can and do create them in miniature.
Treasure hunting recently I stumbled upon an assortment of vintage handkerchiefs. Darling little floral prints for under a buck a piece. What to do with them?

Hmmmm...how about a tablecloth?

The vintage floral pattern had the most darling color scheme. Fresh like a summer garden.
The yellow ties in well to the breakfast room patterned wallpaper and the greens coordinate with the banquette pillows and chairs.
Can I just say how easy it is to whip up some pillows when they are only 3" by 4" in size? My kind of craft project!
 Delicate gold trim on the charger and sandwich plates add a feminine touch. Blue bird is enjoying his view perched front and center near all the activity. He's from the Fairytale Dinnerware collection. Can I just say that the Fairytale set is divine! You'll see more of that later. (I bought 6 full sets!!) Crazy I know.


The blue ruffled dishes add just a hint of color in an otherwise monochromatic place setting. The prosciutto wrapped melon is light enough to enjoy with the entire basket of crusty bread...hmmm...carbo load anyone? Do you like your tea with cream and sugar? One lump or two?
An elegant table setting must always have a shiny object inserted randomly in the vignette. Shiny. Gold. What more can a woman ask for? The porcelain flowers in urns are part of a tic tac toe set I picked up a thrift store on one of my travels. Aren't they just the cutest things? I didn't even have to paint them! Bonus! I have a habit of repainting/repurposing most of what I buy second hand just to put my own stamp on it. Annoying, right?

Thank you so much for joining me for a cup of hot tea and a little something to whet your appetite.
I'd love to see what inspires your decorating vignettes.


Credits:
Kitchen Breakfast Room Diorama: SS-Designs Doll Interiors
Gold Rimmed Dishes, food, baskets, silverware: Re-Ment Luxury French Restaurant Series
White Patterned Dishes, tea set, gold serving tray, cake pedestal: Re-ment Princess Tea Party
Table and Chairs: Barbie

To view more inspirational tablescapes I am linking to Tablescapes Thursday at Between Naps On the Porch



Happy Crafting,
Stephiejo

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Barbie Craft Project: Bulletin Board



Today I am paying homage to the title of my blog and offering a little craft project. One would think with my prior experience creating user manuals in the corporate world I would be able to draft a simple how to tutorial. I will apologize now for my shortcomings. While I know exactly what I need to do in my head, that doesn't always translate well to my directions.

Yes, I am still creating the illustrious "Craft Room" diorama. What can I say, when I get stumped I put the project aside and work on something else. I have furniture, some walls, and quite possibly a floor it is the small finishing touches that I am struggling with.

One item I knew for sure that I wanted in this space was a functional bulletin board. Super simple-you'll be finished in 30 minutes. I have completed this project not once, but twice for good measure ~ only because I was unhappy with my first attempt.

These are the supplies you will need:




Miniature frame (mine was from Michaels Crafts-picture frame ornaments work quite well)
Cork tile (from the Dollar Tree)
Head pins for jewelry making (sorry, I'm not sure what gauge)
Craft knife with new blade
Needle Nose Pliers
Wire cutter
Ruler
Super Glue
Pencil
Seed Beads in your choice of colors(to fit on head of pin)
Wax paper (small square is plenty)



Step 1. Lay your frame on top of cork tile and trace just inside the frame. Make sure you get the line as close to the inside edge as you possibly can.


Step 2. Re-trace your lines using a ruler to make sure they are straight and score along the lines with the craft knife using your ruler as a guide. This will result in the cleanest cuts.


Step 3. Clean up any rough edges.



Step 4. Place the cork inside the frame. I had to bend mine slightly to get it into the frame but it fits very snuggly and did not require any glue. You may glue in place if you wish. (dry fit it first!)


Step 5. Pull out the number of head pins and seed beads you need for push pins. Hold the sharp end of the head pin with a pair of needle nose pliers in one hand and clip off the other end with wire cutters. I cut mine about a quarter inch in length.


Step 6. Over the wax paper place a small dab of super glue on the head of the pin and slide the seed bead over the top. This will be your decorative push pin for your bulletin board.


Allow the beads to dry for about 10 minutes or so. You may need to use the pliers to push the pins into the board as the sharp end is no longer there.

 
Here's the finished product:


If I lost you anywhere along the way-please let me know! I like comments...
Happy crafting!
Stephiejo

Fall Inspiration in the Retro Kitchen


Long time no see! Bet you thought I had abandoned this here ol' blog didn't ya? Nope. I'm here. Alive and kickin'.

Summer was a blast. So much traveling left little time for play but with the return of cooler weather and the tendency to hibernate I'll have project time again.


Fall happens to be my absolute favorite time of year. What better way to welcome autumn then with some fabulous decor in my mini retro kitchen.

Shall we take a tour?


In the beginning...


My little kitchen cabinets received a fresh coat of moss green paint.  A nice contrast to the fresh white counter & upper cabinets. I intentionally left the stove top bare so that it could double as counter space. Need a stove-just add a pot or pan and voila! Decorative paper backsplash adds a touch of whimsy.




Close up of the adorable woodland friend pattern. I scrapbook paper!


The sink received the same treatment although I am hesitant to leave the backsplash paper, just not digging it.



Backside of the sink unit offers premium display space-nice bonus!




Nice pop of color in the cherry red stools offers some visual interest.




Dinette set received complimentary finishes. The houndstooth wallpaper is set temporarily on my background wall. Since this is a piece I use frequently for auction photos it will not be part of the permanent kitchen set. One side has the faux wood panels (real wood strips glued to foam core). The reverse side of this wall is my faux stone finish.




My first attempt at accessorizing. Continuing the whimsical theme. Notice the absence of floor tiles?  This floor is the butcher block top to my island that I am now using for photo staging. I'll share photos of my set up in a future post. (too messy right now!)


The addition of a banquette seat in the dining area creates more options for staging. Vibrant pillows continue the color story and lend to the warmth of autumn. The window view showcases my backyard with hints of fall foliage just peaking out of the hedges. The wall unit for now is a prototype made out of foam core. My plan is to make a more permanent structure out of book board for photo backdrops. Foam core is easy to work with but since my studio space is in the basement the moisture is not friendly to this material. (even with a dehumidifier) Not to mention foam core is so light weight that it seems a bit flimsy especially for a piece that will house a bench & display space. The prototype is only twelve inches wide by 16 inches tall. The new unit will be wider & taller and adding a decorative ledge above the window for more merchandising space. (yes, that is a slight reference to one of my favorite designers Christopher Lowell).

Back to building the walls-my first attempt at using book board.

Thank you for visiting!
Stephiejo


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