Dollhouse Blogs

Sunday 20 November 2011

Gallery update and Library bookcases

Hello all,
I hope everyone is well.  I had 3 vacation days this past week and planned on working on Dewell Manor the whole time. However, reality was spending time at my mom's and helped her around the house,  visiting my niece, and we had a family supper for my grandmother's birthday. Not what I planned, but it was fun!
I did spend 2 whole days working on the Gallery and the Library bookcases


Originally, this space was going to be the bathroom and you'd only see the staircase balustrade through a door. I'm glad I listened to Jo and didn't close off the landing. I decided to make this an art gallery because I have a few sculptures I purchased on our vacations, and I have a soft spot for Randall Zadar figurines.
Note to all, when I assembled the floor I put 1 square with the grain in the wrong direction. I couldn't tell untill the floors were shellacked. That's the single yellow square that jumps out at you. My solution, I'm covering it with a large pillow for one of the dogs.

My second project were the bookcases for the library
They are 10 1/2 inches high, so I incorporated a brass rail at the top for rolling ladders.
Above,in order:
 I started by gluing bassewood strips to an illustration board back
I built up the bottom section for the doors
then, I added the front strips which match the door and window frames

I wanted the bookcases to look built in, however I made the false wall in the library 1/2" deep , but the bookshelves  are 1" deep. So I attached a 1/2 in spacer to the back of the front strips.
on the right, I added moulding and corner blocks

I added crown moulding, quarter bead moulding and doors. I decided the doors didn't need to open.

To hold the brass rod for the ladder, I drilled holes into corbels and glued them on.
The final touch was linen fold panels to add a little interest to the doors.

 Sorry, can't get the picture right side up!

This week, I'm going to try to finish the library...hopefully I'll be able to post next weekend.

I say it every time, thank you all so much for your interest and your feedback. I'm off to catch up on all your projects.
I send you all my best and I hope you have a wonderful week,
And a Very Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating.

Sunday 6 November 2011

Gallery floor, a little bit of house and family history.

Hello all.
I hope everyone is well. I haven't had much time to work on the Manor in the past 2 weeks. Last weekend we spent both days outdoors getting the yard ready for winter, and yesterday I spent all day decorating the house for the holidays. Yes, some think it's a bit early, but Christmas makes me happy and that's all the reason I need!

Actually, I've been working on the floor for the Gallery, the room just above the entrance at the top of the stairs. I say this all the time, but it took forever! About 18 hours in total.

I wanted the wood floor to match the pattern of the black and white marble floor of the room underneath. As with all the wood floors I used the iron on wood strip rolls you get at hardware stores. They work great, except that the rolls are so thin it's hard to get it to lie perfectly straight when you cut it, so adjustements were necessary for almost every single piece of the floor. Attaching them is easy, I just put the wood side of the piece against the iron for 6 seconds, till the glue starts to go white and bubble a little, then I attach it to the illustration board sub-floor.

I booked my last 3 vacation days on the 14,15 and 16th of the month, so next weekend I should tackle the attic floor devisions, Gallery panneling, and then either assemble the Library bookcases or carve the Caryatides for the music room.
That is all in terms of progress, but I did promise everyone a little information about the house and the family who will live there...
First of all, the design and location of the house came from 3 of my favorite movies. For the location of the house, I wanted it to be on the edge of a cliff, like Windward House from the 1944 movie The Uninvited
The location of the Cliff is somewhere in Cornwall England, inspired by Manderlay, the estate from the 1940 film Rebecca. Basically, the cliff is at the end of a vast estate with a beech at the bottom of the cliff and is surrounded by woods, orchards, Gardens and seperate buildings to house the staff.

The house itself was VERY inspired by Thornewood Castle, the House used in the Stephen King mini-series Rose Red.

Thornewood Castle
Thornewood, for me, is the most beautiful house I've ever seen. I just fell in love with it and I thought it was perfect for a doll house.  ...sooo many shingles to cut.. 
Because my Manor is in the country  and set about 1895 to 1905, I decided the house has plumbing in the kitchen and a bathroom in the attic floor. For lighting they used candles because gas pipes for lighting only reached the rural areas later on. The house had Central heating (Furnace in the basement and heat grates in the rooms) which used coal, but because the the house is in the country and it was so readily available, all the fireplaces in the house are wood burning.

As for the family, They will be a family of 5 (1 son and 2 daughters) who are not nobility, but come from prosperous families who have made their fortunes in the textile and timber trades, and also investments in shipping. I'm still working on the individual members of the family and staff. Mostly they are inspired by my favorite movie characters. I've given a lot more thought to the staff then the actual family. My biggest source of information was the book "Victorian House" by Judith Flanders.

I called the house Dewell Manor. Originally, I thought it would be fun to use my own name for the house, but Giacomo Dell'accio just sounded wrong for an english manor house. So after looking up popular victorian names, I decided to use the maiden name of one of my favorite people in the world, the mother of one of our dearest friends from Manchester UK, Yvonne Dewell. I thought Dewell Manor (pronounced duel) had a beautiful ring to it and she was kind enough to let me use it. She also helped me with the story behind the family.
Once again it's past my bedtime. I will definetley share my progress by Wednesday the 16th.
Thank you all for your encouragement and you great comments. I hope this post wasent too boring. I wish everyone a great week and send you all the best.