Monday, October 6, 2008

Back To Work On The Garfield

Before I tell you about my work on the house, I want to tell you about 2 yard sales I went to on Saturday. The first advertised dollhouses and there were 3...1 was like a fort for the backyard, the second for a Barbie, and the 3rd, made from plans by the child's Daddy, was a huge 8? room house with stairs and balconies, hallways and doors. "Daddy" did a great job, but it stopped there. No decorations were done except for one room done in life size wallpaper, overwhelming the room with huge polka dots. They were asking only $30 and, if I'd have had the room in the birdhouse I live in, I'd have scarfed it up in a heartbeat. It could have become a true beauty. It reminded me of my very first house built 30 years ago from plans, The Dogwood Plantation. Miss Scarlet would have been happy there. I bought some of it's furniture, well beaten, colored on with crayons, hardware missing, and some without legs. They can all be easily fixed according to my imagination. For $5, I got a high head/foot board brass bed, 2 upholstered sofas, 4 upholstered chairs, 2 chests of drawers, 1 dresser with mirror, and an end table. With my purchase, a little girl gave me a free cup of hot chocolate, too. The second yard sale provided another interesting piece for a ceiling old brass belt buckle in a circle with flowers and leaves on it. Since flowers and leaves are on the library walls, I'm thinking the medallion will go in there.

Well, I told you about what I did in the garden and I won't repeat myself, though I do have that habit. I didn't completely ignore the garden, working in little bits in the library. When we last were together in the library, I'd had the walls covered with blue rosed fabric ( tan background ). I'd turned the closets into bookcases on both sides of the French doors, and was creating a small staircase and landing. The plans called for 2 dinky steps to come from the room in front of the library down into the room. It seemed rather meek and ugly, not to mention unsafe with no railing. ( No offense, Greenleaf ) I wanted something with more style so I built a small landing, 2 1/2' X 3 1/2", with 2 steps down on the side. The wall to the landing and the spindles are painted the same linen color with the floor, banister, and steps stained in Cabernet. I was wanting a fireplace on that wall to share the chimney, but it was too crowed, so I put the chimney across the room and will just create a new chimney. These houses were built oddly with chimneys everywhere anyway.

I get all confused with placing the pictures. I wish Sumaiya would come to Colorado and teach me. Anyway, the 2 black and white photos are what Greenleaf wanted the room to look like..see the dinky steps. The other photo is what I've made it look like. The other photos came out too dark, but at least I got one good one in there. There green/white curtains are NOT in the dollhouse, but on my windows in my room. I don't know where the purplish glow comes from; perhaps a poltergeist is in there. To the left of the French doors is where the niche is that's so very difficult to get my hand into and decorate. It's about 2" wide in there. Can't even turn my hand over. Holding molding was a pickle. Check out that belt buckle ceiling medallion!!!

Trimming this room was a real pain in it, especially in the far deep corner. I'm afraid the pieces don't fit perfectly, but they were installed using no eyes, just hands. No way could I put the trim piece in there and look at the same time. The only way I can see them is if I peek into the window across the room from them AFTER I did the work. ( Another Greenleaf design quirk )

Note to Greenleaf-please don't consider these things I call "quirks" as bad things. These old Victorians were full of quirks, so, none of them do I consider bad quirks, except for the fireplace on the stairwell. I'll never understand where you thought the smoke would go.

The crown moulding was another awkward piece to do. I used plain flat trim instead of actual moulding, because the door casing took up some of the crown room and I couldn't figure out anything else that would work. Too small for a transom, a decorative panel would have looked silly, so I just used what would work. Even using the easiest piece of wood, with no need for proper edges, just flat against each other, it was hard to do since I couldn't watch what I was doing, even with a mirror. I was in more positions than a magician.

I think the room has turned out beautifully, with the feeling hat I wanted. I bought some cheap books for the heck of it to test the look, but plan on making some in the future with highbrow literary tastes. I am so doggoned proud of this room and am fighting off the urges to rummage around in my boxes of furniture and put some in there. No, now, don't even try to talk me in to it. I'm going to wait a long time till it's done. I don't want it to be in the way and maybe mess something up.
I will try to get better photos to you though.