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Posts Tagged ‘dollhouse’

As you may (or may not) recall, the pre-renovation dollhouse had some inconsistent floor heights. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

And, as you may also recall, I had a bit of a disaster with the interior walls being too thin for the doors to be fitted into them. It’s not a total disaster and is recoverable, but it is somewhat of a setback.

Well there is now a third disaster in that I have lost my amazing little piece of paper with my amazing measurements for my new floor heights.

I have hunted (and hunted and hunted and…etc) through all of my amazing little pieces of paper which include floor plans, measurements, room plans, door measurements, conversions of 1:1 bed sizes to 1:12 (work in progress that I am not ready to discuss) and some notes where even I can’t read my writing (altho I can”t tell you what they actually are,  I can confirm they are not measurements). What I can’t find anywhere in all these amazing little piece of paper are the interior wall height measurements. Bugger.

Oopsie.

I have already measured & drawn, cut & discarded the too thin interior walls, so I can’t reverse engineer from them…square one it is then!

Let’s start with what I already know:

…the first (ground) floor is about 24 cm high, while my second (first) floor is 22cm high and my third (second) floor is 18cm high.

64cm plus the future attic renovation = 85.4cm.

85.4cxm minus the height of each MDF floor 3 x 0.9cm (which I am quite pleased to have remembered to factor in) = 85.4cm – 2.7cm =  82.7cm.

There will need to be some variation in floors, but I am currently thinking floor heights will be as follows:

  • First (Your Ground) floor: 21cm
  • Second (Your first): 21cm
  • Third (Your second) : 18.2cm
  • Attic conversion: ~22.5cm

Now what I need to do is revisit my stair flights and confirm that these heights will work and we are go for launch…or at least for floor support attachment 😉

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On the level

In addition to loaning me his proper 1:1 sized level (a.k.a. the level of power), “The Dad” gave me some lessons in wielding the awesome power and responsibility that is the level.

I can now raise my rock star power hand in the air, because I too can wield the level of power.

Theoretically speaking, anyway.

The level (of power) will help me ensure all the floor supports for my 1:12 floors are level!

And we all know this is important because although the house is skewiff and slightly not square, while the floors themselves are not square in a slightly different set of not squareness, we all  want to sleep easy knowing the floors are level.

Aren’t you happy to know that if one of us drops a 1:12 sized marble or glass of water in the house, it won’t roll anywhere?

Arcane secrets of the level revealled

As a result of my intense training session in the mystery and enigma that is the use of the level, I can hereby pass onto you the following secret, thereby inducting you into the elite halls of the wielders of the level of power.

The secret is: before you position the item in need of levelling on the surface where you intend to work your levelling magic, check if the surface itself is level.

This can be done by bowing first to the east, then west, north and south before positioning your level of power in the following arcane poses:

Pose 1)

This pose should be accompanied by a low droning chant

This pose should be accompanied by a low droning chant

Pose 2)

This pose should be accompanied by humming which shoulds a little like the Indiana Jones theme song

This pose should be accompanied by humming of the Indiana Jones theme song

Now, if through this mystical ritual you become aware that your surface itself is not level, you can do one of two things:

  1. Measure its lack of level-ness (?lack of levity?) and take that measurement into account when levelling any item placed on top of it, or
  2. Find another surface which is level and use that instead

“The Dad” showed me how to level three different surfaces and then suggested I use the dining table featured above as it was the most level.

That way, I don’t need to take into account the lack of level-ness and do compex* mathematics involving adding the right 3mm of difference to the right places within the dollhouse. Which is probably just asking for trouble.

I suspect his DIY teaching strategy is to reduce the amount of points where I could go wrong when levelling as that would be best, given my current learning status with saws.

*Note the mis-spelling of complex mathematics –  not only can I not do complex mathematics, I can’t even spell it properly.  What a freudian slip.

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Did you know when you are sawing, you have to think of sawing straight on the following axes:

  1. That which you are sawing back and forth on (we shall call this axis “the axis of straight”)
  2. That which is 90 degrees to the right/left of the direction of the saw (we shall call this “the axis of angle”)
  3. That which is 90 degrees to the top and bottom of your axis of angle and axis of straight (we shall call this one “the axis that princesstachana always forgets about”)

I started out with 6 metres or so of dowel for my floor support.

Theoretically I should have only needed 64cm x (32cm x 2) per floor, so 128cm x 3. Or 3.84m.

Theoretically.

However, there was an attrition rate in the dowel meterage due to the axis of forgetfulness and the fact that I managed to saw through part of my miniature makers mitre box (try saying that 10 times fast after a glass of wine).

So I only just managed to scrape together the required 3.84m out of the 6m donated by “The Dad”. (I haven’t told him this yet, naturellement.)

I see potential for the offcuts to become amazing pieces of 1:12 furniture, once I buy a new mitre box (preferably not plastic this time) and get some lessons in coping with a Coping Saw.

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Golly, I just realised it has been one month since I last posted. I have been so sidetracked by the horrors that is busy time @ work and my re-found joy for throwing paint at canvases (the larger the better…and I mean throwing in an entirely metaphorical manner), that I really have neglected you.

Even though I promised you I wouldn’t.

Is there a word for a neglect that is more neglectful than just normal neglect? If there is one, that is what I have been doing.

Although I have been neglecting-to-the-power-of-neglect you, I have been secret working away in the deep dark caverns of my 1:12 sized amateur dollhouse super hero-ette restorer’s cave.

And so, I have been quietly achieving a couple of 1:12 goals on the side, namely:

1) the donation of about 6 metres of 5mm x 5mm square dowl to the cause by “The Dad”,

2) the cutting of pieces of dowel to act as my floor supports

(I did think we could do without them and that they might make the drilling of holes and placement of wiring for the lighting a little tricky…but “The Dad” has spoketh and there shall be a support network for the floor.)

Points 1 and 2 were closely followed by:

3) the painting of aforesaid pieces of wood with my amazing 4 in one sealer, primer and two other things-er.

And, after a little ?artful? arrangement, we have:

The beginnings of a promising support system

The beginnings of a promising support system

Points 1) through 3) were followed by:

4) the realisation that someone left grubby fingermarks on the beautiful White Secret coloured walls:

The culprit has left their mark!!! Never fear Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and the entire team from all three CSI shows are on the case!

The culprit has left their mark!!! Never fear Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and the entire team from all three CSI shows are on the case!

Why are you looking at me? It could have been any number of someones…really…truly…honest.

Point 4) was followed by:

5) the rationalisation that I may as well afix aforesaid pieces of wood to the aforesaid White Secret coloured walls before I repaint everything to cover over the aforesaid grubby fingermarks

Once optimism and general good sense was recovered, we skipped a 1:12 sized skip to:

6) the borrowing of the level of power from “The Dad”.

    Actually I think that last point needs a bit more infexion, i.e. the borrowing of the <rockstar-power-hand>level of power</rockstar-power-hand> from “The Dad”.

    And now we are almost up to date 😉

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    You’ve probably been feeling neglected and underappreciated. Perhaps you’ve felt I’ve left you out of the 1:12 loop? Don’t worry it’s not you.

    It’s not you at all; in any way, shape or form. You’re still wonderful and fun and amazing and you have great taste. (I mean…look at the blog you’re reading, good choice!)

    It’s not you, it’s me.

    I just (and this is hard to say)…I just needed some time to see other past-times.

    I know I missed wishing you a happy 1:12 valentines day:

    Not wishing you happy valentines day is almost more than I can bear.

    Not wishing you happy valentines day is almost more than I can bear.

    And it was probably your birthday while we were on a break…

    You haven't aged a day...

    You haven't aged a day...

    And I probably missed an unspoken but significant anniversary. Like our 1:12 month blogging anniversary or something equally special:

    Is the one month anniversary gold or tin(s)?

    Is the one month anniversary gold or tin(s)?

    But I hope you will find it in your heart of hearts to forgive me.

    Please?

    I know we can’t really start over…and it’s too much to hope we can start straight back where we left off…but if you could just give me a chance…

    Until then, I’ll right here, in the 1:12 doghouse:

    How many times can I say...I'm sorry.

    How many times can I say...I'm sorry.

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    As mentioned previously, due to visitors from overseas I am in the equivalent of purgatory for the person who has other stuff to do and it is ongoing.

    However, the deep, dark secret I have been keeping from you is…that I can keep secrets, despite all appearances to the contrary.

    I know, surprising, neh?

    No wait – it’s not that secret, it’s this secret (Did I just give away a different deep dark secret? d’oh ;P ).

    Anyway, back to seriousness now in spite of my raging tiredness and sore eyes and the requirement for me to clone myself and multi-task at the same time…

    (hey – multi tasking clones…that’s an idea worth pursuing. They can multitask, while I sleep.)

    Anyway – the deep, dark secret I have been keeping from you is…

    The visitor is my uncle, the son of my granpa who made my  amazing dollhouse! And, he told me a story about the making of my amazing dollhouse.

    But I don’t know if I should tell you, since you already know two more secrets about me than you did before you started reading this post (make that three  secrets if you count the fact that you’re working out I also am incredibly contrary and four secrets if you’re [only now] realising I am a difficult little princess)…

    Oh what the hell.

    Apparently my granpa wore a full suit and tie while he was building this house.

    So he was measuring, sawing, hammering, wallpapering and painting while dressed to the nines in a suit, with a jacket;, and an immaculate shirt and tie.

    He probably wore some sort of gentleman’s cap on his head too. And maybe a nicely folded handkerchief in his top pocket.

    [Apparently he used to go fishing in a similar sort of attire too.]

    Upperclass buildings by upperclass builders...

    Upperclass buildings by upperclass builders...

    So I have been letting the side down doing my renovations in shorts, singlet and anything that I don’t mind spilling pain/glue/woteva on.

    Quite obviously I should be doing this in a party dress, my grandma’s pearls, 50’s style hat with a veil and some clean gloves.

    If I had some pics of granpa in this house, I would share one with you of his potential attire – so you get the full impact of the scene my uncle painted. Unfortunately I don’t, but I trust you can use your imagination.

    Instead I leave you with some heraldry I created for an imaginary company this news made me think of (I know I just love to create more things for me to do…argh).

    The destroyed heraldry is by one of my heroes, Bittbox. I have been very lazy and just used his image rather than the amazing brushes he created…if I had a clone or two, I would have done it all properly.

    No really, I would have.

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    The write up of the Shopping Sherpa‘s dollhouse exhibition in Canberra got me theorising about dollhouses again:

    Across time and place we readily identify with domestic settings; from ancient Roman villas, to the round houses in the PNG highlands. We recognise domestic spaces used for sleeping, eating, washing etc. Like mini house museums, Anna Maria’s dolls’ houses are repositories of material culture of the Western era from 1957 – 2007. (see source)

    Except I still wonder if the houses are really repositories of material culture, that we can all possess, or reflections of the material culture we aspire to possess?

    From her blog:

    I find it constantly surprising how miniaturists in the late 20th and early 21st century seem to have suddenly reverted to creating Victorian country dolls houses. I’m not sure if it is because those pieces are easier to obtain commercially (and here’s where I start asking chicken and egg questions) or if it a “dumbing down” of a hobby (can I be so arrogant as to use the phrase “art form”?) that has been round since the 15th century at least.

    If you are interested in some of the famous dolls houses through history you might want to look at Mon Plaisir (1704-1751), the Dutch cabinet houses of the 17th century and, more recently The Thorne Rooms in Chicago and (of course) Queen Mary’s Dolls House at Windsor Castle.

    Each of these collections gives us a very clear idea of how people actually lived in the times they were constructed and are a very useful social history tool.

    So why oh why aren’t we doing this any more? Are future generations going to have to look to TV to see how people lived in our times? And will that mean they’ll get some completely unrealistic idea (eg: how do the people in Friends actually afford to live in a flat like they have?!)

    (see source)

    I don’t disagree with any of the points she has made, either in her blog or in her exhibition; but I do wonder whether the repositories of present/modern life are only slightly less idealistic than those which envisage a far off, unrealistically perfect period of Victoriana.

    I think that even modern dollhouses might be aspirational repositories – what we want to possess, where we would like to live – of modern life; rather than reflective repositories – where we actually live, what we can actually afford to own…rather than being a reflection of  material culture, they are, perhaps, a reflection of materialistic culture.

    Without spending alot of time digging out stats and figures and correlating percentages of ownership of key items against the dates they appeared in dollhouses, this is only speculation.

    But in the interest of randomly collating facts found on the internerds and coming to a (possibly flawed conclusion) consider the Shopping Sherpa’s late 50’s dollhouse which was initially dated as being produced in 1947 and features a television. There is an interesting site about TV History which included alot of US figures about tv ownership, and prior to 1955, less than 50% of the USA owned a TV (see source).

    Admittedly this is a US specific site, it would be more interesting if the stats were from the same region as the dollhouse – Lundby started in Sweden. And it would be more interesting if there were more than one “key items” which could be correlated against statistics for uptake and ownership….but it was quite a cool thought while it lasted.

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