Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween at the Mansion!

Well, just as the Halloween Holiday should.... it has been putting spooky mansions and long dark hallways on my mind!  Constantly!

My husband will back up my story that for the past few nights (after Bella has gone off to dreamland) I have been sitting in front of the mansion just staring and thinking!  I have already got most of the main structure of my Alison Jr constructed.  And my husband got me the 2 room addition by Real Good Toys that is made for the Alison Jr. and I have that put together as well.  But for me something was missing.

Besides deciding to completely redo the interior of the 2-room-addition, I feel like I need just a little bit more space in those two rooms.  So I have been planning and scheming and sketching... and here's what I have.

The Alison Jr. main house has the red tint and the 2-room addition as the blue tint.

Here are two pages out of my sketch book.  So basically I feel like I am missing my LONG DARK HALLWAYS.  Unless you have a main hallway with a grand staircase, hallways are few and far between in doll house design.  They just take up too much space.  But I NEED THEM!

So I have planned out an L-shaped hallway to wind in between the main house and the Addition.  This hallway will allow several things... more of a separation for Gomez and Morticia's room, room for a second windy staircase to the 3rd floor and wall space so I can hang several iconic paintings to make the place truly Addams!!!

My brain still runs a little bit on Architecture terms so I did a few elevations.  If you are used to reading blueprints you can probably figure out all my sketching.  But I just wanted to show you where I am going!  Any opinions... ideas... things I didn't think of?

I am now in the process of putting measurements to the crazy sketches (the not fun part)  and will hopefully start cutting out wood pieces soon!

Also I wanted to leave you with a couples pics of Bella roaming through the pumpkin patch... I just couldn't resist you know!

She was determined to find the perfect pumpkin!  Happy Halloween to all! -Ara

Monday, October 29, 2012

A few Addams items for sale...

Hi All,

I am just a posting maniac lately!  lol

I just wanted to pop in and let you know I have decided to go a different way in Gomez and Morticia's bedroom (you can see what I have so far here).

I did this part of the house right before I had Bella and now I am reconsidering the direction I want to go in.  Anyway, all of that to say that I am selling the current Addams bedroom set for CHEAP in my Etsy store.

I am selling them cheap because I didn't pay as much attention to detail while getting them done (I was 8.5 months pregnant and proud of myself for doing anything - hah!)  They are still a fun set but you can see foam board if you flip the bed upside down and there's still part of a sticker I can't get off the back of the hutch!!

If you are interested check them out in my Etsy store.

This will be my second Addams bed I am selling off.  I just can't seem to get it right!  I think I am going to try a dark wood now that I have the room put together.  I feel like I have to get their room just right!!  grr... 3rd times a charm?

Thanks all!  -Ara

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Give-Away Winner and my new OBSESSION!

Congratulations to Sarah K!  She won this give-away!!  My beautiful sister picked her name out of a coffee cup this morning and now she will receive this fun Halloween package!  Sarah, please email me at my address to the right of this blog with your mailing address and I will get it on its way!

This was such a fun give-away!  Even though not too many entered I got to meet several new bloggers and join some new fun blogs.  I learned the Sarah and I are working on the same dollhouse!  She visited my Clue blog and saw that I am working on a Duracraft Farmhouse.  You can find Sarah K's blog about her "Old Dollhouse" here.  Check it out!

Thank you all who entered!  I enjoyed meeting my new blog followers and I am enjoying reading through your blogs as well!

ALSO,  I have a new obsession....  BOOKS !!!  What a fun way to use up little scraps of fabric and let your creative self go!  I had a blast doing each and every one of these!

 This little white one was difficult to photograph with my phone (I was too lazy to go get the actual camera! lol.  I used crackle paint and it somewhat worked...  I am having fun experimenting!

Here is my stack so far.  I have a feeling it will continue to grow and grow.  Especially as I avoid daunting tasks on the mansion!  These are just too fun!  Ok - off to make more haha.  -Ara

Friday, October 26, 2012

Book Fun and Give-Away Reminder

Hi All,

So I have been seeing some awesome books on several blogs and I was feeling left out of the fun!  So I decided to sit down during Bella's nap time and let mt creativity flow!  So far I have done two and learned a lot!  They are not so easy!

I feel like I have learned a lot just fiddling with these for a couple house.  I have 4 more "pages" made so I will be playing with those more later (maybe tonight after bedtime).

Poor Bella has been sick so she has been sleeping a lot.  I want her to get better fast but I am taking advantage of the long nap time!

Also remember to enter my Give-Away!!  I will draw the winner tomorrow.

If you still have not entered you can click on this link to get all the information and ways to get put into the drawing twice!!

Best of luck to you all!  If Bella feels up to it, she will pick the winner tomorrow!

Now to go find nooks to stick these books into in the mansion.....


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Give-Away!!!

Hi All,

It's time for a Halloween give away!  I am late getting started on this so I am sorry delivery will be so close to Oct. 31st!! 

If you saw yesterdays post you know that I did a tutorial on how to make these fun spooky shutters for your own projects!  I will be giving away the shutters I made in this give-away (you can repaint to match you project or you could even connect them together to make a fun room divider!).

Also I am including one of my carved boxes that I usually sell in my Etsy Store and a couple of handmade pumpkins! 

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post!  And you can get an extra entry by commenting on any post in my Clue Blog.  I have been doing a lot of work on it and I am shamelessly promoting it through this give-away! It's a project based off of the game Clue (or Cluedo for my friends over the ocean)!

I will draw the name on Saturday Oct 27th so stay tuned!!  That give you about three days to enter and tell your buds!

Thanks again to all my readers!!  You guys are the best, Ara

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spooky Shutter Tutorial

 Hello All!!  A couple posts back I showed you all my smoking nook in the Addams mansion!  I had made some special shutters to go in there and a few people asked me for a tutorial.  This is my Halloween gift to you... a rare Ara tutorial (most of my stuff is trial and error so tutorials are sometimes hard for me!).

What you will need:  A box cutter or Xacto Knife, 1/4"x1/8" basswood (optional for the end), pliers, a pencil for marking measurements, a ruler, a paintbrush, paint in the color of your liking, cardstock (or cutting up an old birthday card would work), matboard, and a cutting mat to work on!  And GLUE!  I forgot it in the pic of materials!

Here is the basic measurements that I used for my shutters.  They worked great on my Real Good Toys, Alison Jr. windows.  If you are working on another brand or custom house you may have to make adjustments to these measurements.  Notice that you will only be cutting on the lines marked in red!
 Go ahead and mark out the 1.5"x6" for each shutter.  You can do several at one time if you have multiple windows!  I will be doing four at a time here...
 You can draw all the measurements on the shutters before cutting them apart.  You will have to measure less this way because you can just carry the pencil lines across all four shutters.
 Then carefully cut them apart!
 Begin slicing along the horizontal lines (remember not to do the vertical or all of your louvers will just fall out!)
 Cut in both directions for each cut.  This ensure you are cutting all the way through the entire length of the louver.
 If you don't you can get these uneven lines seen below... see how the ones that have been cut in both directions on the top are going all the way through the entire length... the lower cuts have only been cut one way.
 After all your horizontal cuts are made take your knife and stab at the edges of each cut.  This will make sure the paper rips where you want it to when you start twisting the louvers out.
 Can you see the little stabs on the right side of the horizontal cuts?  Do this for both sides of each cut.
 This is where I need to enter a disclaimer!  You are about to get frustrated!!  Especially if you are a perfectionist!  The process of twisting the louvers can get messy and annoying!  But I will show you how to fix the rips and tears to work to your advantage!

Take your pliers and put it in the second cut from the top.  Grab hold of the louver with the pliers and twist it until the bottom of the louver pops out.
 You may have to work your pliers back and forth under the louver to get it to pop out correctly.
 If you are getting frustrated with the first few... keep going.  It starts to get easier as you get a feel for working with the pliers and twisting.
 Occasionally you will have pieces of the matboard rip off.  No problem!  Just glue them back on or rip the piece off.  Remember we are making spooky shutters so they are ok if they are imperfect!
 Also occasionally a louver will totally let go of the side pieces.... no problem...
 Take a little glue and glue the louver piece as if it was supposed to break and it will add to the spookyness!
 Below you can see all of my shutters finished.  I even broke a few more louvers to get the desired effect I wanted!  Have fun with it!
 From here you can rest your hands a bit!  Ouch this process can be a bit painful with all the cutting and twisting!

Cut out six small bits of card stock.  These are approx 1/2"x3/8".  These are your hinges.
 Make sure you know how you want your shutters to lay, and make sure the louvers are all facing the same way before you glue!  Glue 3 pieces on each pair of shutters as seen below.
 Below you can see how beat up my shutters were after twisting!  So don't get discouraged if yours are ripping too!
 Next is the fun part!  Take out your base acrylic color and paint all over the front and back of the shutter.  The acrylic will seal the paper and you won't have to worry about the matboard shutters splitting anymore.
 Next you can take some aging colors.  I have a dark green and dark brown here that I just lightly brush over the white base coat to age them.  And this also makes the lines of the louvers stand out so no one misses how intricate they look!
 And here is your final product!!!
 From here they are ready to glue anywhere you want them.  You can make single ones to glue on the outside of houses too. If you are not wanting to permenantly glue the shutters on, you can do what I did in the smoking nook...

I measured the height of the window the shutter was going on and then I got two pieces of basswood and placed them that distance apart.  I then glued the shutters down on top of the basswood pieces.  You can paint the basswood pieces the same color as the wall if you want them to be less seen.  Now the top and the bottom pieces of basswood just slip around the edges of the dollhouse window and it stays put.  Easy peasy!
I hope this was helpful!!!  It took me about 3 hours to do these 4 shutters with chasing a toddler around in between.  Just be ready to get a hand massage afterwards!

Please stay tuned as tomorrow I will be posting a give away!!  One of the prizes will be the shutters I just made in the tutorial!!!  So if you have a spooky mini project going on this will be the give-away to enter.

Hugs, Ara

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ara Goes to the Addams Family Musical!

 Well my amazing wonderful husband got me tickets to see the Addams family musical here in Dallas!!!!  How lucky am I!  And he sprang for the good seats!!!

 I went for a "Wednesday goes to Texas" outfit!  I decided to dress up because... why not!?

Even painted my nails black and I haven't done that since Jr. High!
 To my surprise they had tv and movie props on display at the theater!!!  This was an added bonus for me!!  Love the "Lurchy" guy in the middle there.  All the signs said these were props from the 1960's tv show, but there were some obvious ones from the movies.  I don't know why they didn't say "TV show and Movies..."  Maybe they thought no one would notice ;)

Like this one is from the movie Addams Family Values... Debbie Jellinsky was played by Joan Cusack.  Her character married Uncle Fester.

They also had an organ!  I am thinking this might also be a movie prop because in the TV show Lurch played a harpsichord but it might have been in the background somewhere.  I am not sure.  I was excited to see it because of the one I made special for the mansion here.  It had the white buttons and everything!

After this photo with the organ an usher made me take my camera to the car because you can't take pics inside (the props were in the lobby).  I told him I wouldn't but I guess he didn't believe me!

The Musical was amazing!  The songs and the story line were fun and funny!  I don't think I laughed so much in a musical before.  They had several Addams inside jokes too.  For example, they make a  joke that Morticia and Gomez don't know who's mother Grandmama is!  Referring to the fact that she is Gomez's mother in the TV show and Morticia's mother in the movie!  Hilarious!

 I did have one thing I didn't like about the production we saw but I will keep it to myself so others can enjoy!  And it was just so amazing I hate to say anything bad!  You should all definitely see it if you get the chance!

Also I kind of felt special because they were selling the book "The Addams Family; An Evilution" which I was sent to review back in March 2010.  I felt like I was an Addams expert or something :)  Although no one around me knew it!

Thank you, thank you, thank you sweet husband for the tickets!!!  You are the Gomez to my Morticia!  Love, Ara