Monday, September 17, 2018

My French Dollhouse Project

 A dollhouse is my latest project after finding this nice wooden handmade example at a 
local consignment shop.  I saw it several times and would think about buying it, but I didn't have
the space to work on it, until my son moved out of my old studio/bedroom space.  
Then I got my room back, and visited the shop, and there it still was!
Oh yes, it finally found a home, and someone to love it.
This big mint green house seemed kind of Frenchy to me, and I imagined the ways I could
transform it, and then decorate it with a French flavor.
The first thing I did was to paint the sloped area to be the roof color instead of the 
exterior wall color.  Then I toned down the happy mint green color to a respectable
ochre color one might find when driving through the countryside of France.
 See? Like this chateau!  
 The next step was to figure out how to make slate tiles to cover the roof.  I wanted a realistic 
looking slate tile, and after searching the internet for ideas, I came up empty and so put on my thinking cap.  Hard paper cardboard material in matte black was found at my local craft shop, 
and then I washed a combo of two grey acrylic craft paints over the black boards to create a dusky
slate grey effect in shades of grey.
Using a paper cutter, I trimmed the board into 1.25" strips and then cut out tiles
approximately 1.5" long.  
The next step was to fit the shingles to the roof, and I used a pair of scissors to fit any
tiles that needed trimming. Scribing the edges quickly with a pencil I fit the edge tiles first,
then continued along the lower edge of the roof, working my way up to the top.  Because I 
had shingled my garden shed last year, it helped me to understand how to shingle a surface.
It took a long time to get the roof shingled, but I was happy with the result.
The facade of the house is the next thing I need to think about, as far as giving it
the old aged look of a French chateau.  
 Piper can't seem to figure out this new thing we are doing.  Going up into a room she has never hung out in, and watching me do something for hours on end.  She naps and then checks in on it time for our walk yet?
I hope to find something to use as a roof fence along the top edge, and do something
with the chimneys.  The front door needs to be made over as well. 
 What I loved about the dollhouse was that it was never touched inside.  The interior is ready
to get decorated, after some moldings are added.  Stairs need railings, windows need trim, doors
need to be added....this is a project that may take years!
But the most fun of all is finding things to add to the dollhouse.
Like these tiny pumpkins that I painted blue to look like my favorite 
Cinderella pumpkins that I find every fall for my house.  And this
simple chest of drawers that cost $4.99 in unfinished wood.  I painted it up
in Duck Egg blue chalk paint and then aged it and gilded the knobs to give it 
that shabby faded grandeur effect that I am striving for with this house.
Goodies will be arriving this week~a grand piano, an Aubusson rug, 
and a French country dining room hutch to hold  some purple transferware!!
Can you see where I am going with this?
Stay tuned for My French Dollhouse Project updates.  I will likely include 
snippets of progress in regular blog posts for those interested.
The world of miniatures has captured my attention and its all so 
fascinating to me.

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