Furniture and Appliances
Painting Chrysnbon: You definitely don't need to bother with a primer, IMHO. Testor's model paint always gives me great results, you can mix the colors and they come in flat and glossy finishes, but any craft acrylic paint works too especially if you want a lighter "wash" coat. You may however want to finish up with a sealer just so the paint doesn't chip off.
Painting Chrysnbon: I, too, have painted Chrysnbon without any problems. I did use the paint included with the kits (when I didn't want them painted a "color"). But, I didn't like the light color. So, when it was thoroughly dry, I put a regular walnut stain over the top, just to bring out the wood grain. The first time I did it, I had no idea what was going to happen -- fall apart, dissolve?? But, it was just fine. I did it on the kitchen set in my "big" dollhouse, the sewing machine, several chairs in the sewing room, the tea cart in dining room, the rocker in the boy's bedroom, AND the organ (like Louise) in the music room. Also, as the crib in my granddaughter's Nursery Bag and in my grandson's Nursery Bag. If you want to take a look, go to: http://fayzerplace.homestead.com -- then My Minis -- and onward from there.
Fay in St. Louis
Paint for Plastic - by Plaid: Plaid now has "Paints For Plastic" - acrylic type paints that can be used on all the types of plastic that you weren't able to paint before. They may be more 'user friendly' than the Testors paints which require special thinners, etc. Check http://www.plaidonline.com/articleDetail.asp?entry=article&articleID=110 for information. I assume Michaels and other arts/crafts places should carry this new product - but I don't recall seeing it the last time I was at Michaels - about 2 months ago. You can check Plaids site for phone numbers for locations that carry the paints for plastic.
Lighting Hutches and other furniture: Very simple to light hutches, bookcases, cabinets etc. Just drill and put bulb in hole, hidden behind a soffit of course. blob a bit of glue from behind to hold the bulb. . Run wire or tape wire down the back and attach a cord & plug. Use it like a lamp.... Go look at lighted furniture at a large furniture store and see where they put the lights. Replace the shelves with Plexiglas and put mirror stuff inside back and/or sides to scatter the light. Decorate with transparent stuff, colored beads etc. Outstanding accent!
Judie - Daytona Beach, FL
Contemporary furniture: I've found that some contemporary furniture is not very hard to make, if you're into making your own. You could use inspiration like the IKEA (http://www.ikea.com ) catalogue or Lundby furniture (http://www.lundby.com ) for ideas.
As for places to buy contemporary furniture (I have yet found any place besides eBay and Earth and Tree Miniatures that sells contemporary houses), you might have a few options. One is using furniture designed for the Kaleidoscope House by Bozart (http://www.bozart.com ). Another is to try some of the furniture from AGMinis (http://www.americangirl.com ). I believe that some of it is in true 1" scale while some is not And you probably already know that you can buy contemporary kitchen furniture from just about any miniature supplier or retailer you can find (e.g. http://www.miniatures.com, but there are plenty of others).
Electrifying a Chrysnbon Sewing Machine: Last night, I was just so clever I was about to install two light fixtures in my needlework shop roombox, and was taking everything out. When I looked at the sewing machine, I remembered talk on the digest about sewing machines with electric lights. Well, mine is just a cheapo - but very realistic looking - Chrysnbon sewing machine (without the treadle), which I mounted on a board, so it would appear electric. I remembered that when I put it together, it was hollow inside. I started to think about putting a grain of wheat bulb inside, and cutting out a hole just above the presser foot. Fortunately, I had another sewing machine kit, unassembled, so I decided to give it a try. Well, although the inside is hollow, there wasnt quite enough room for the light bulb. However, armed with an X-Acto and a file, I was able to gouge out enough room in both halves to fit the bulb. After I hooked up the overhead lights, I connected everything temporarily, and WOW it all looked great, especially the sewing machine
Jonathan in Israel
Water Cooler: there's one on this website http://daisysdollhouseminis.com *** Look under Food / Beverages or do an in-site search ***
I have no connection with them but just happened to see the water cooler a couple of days ago.
Water cooler and meters: Circus Dollhouse in New Jersey has water coolers and gas/electric meters. Contact us at http://circusdollhouse.com
Carlisle Miniatures: Bob Carlisle is elderly but still producing his wonderful 30s and 40s miniatures. The address is:
Jan in SoCal
Water cooler: Here is a link to a site that can get you any Acme 3D magnet they make. They have water coolers and exercise equipment for $3 each. Also a cool BBQ. A lot of the magnets can be used very nicely in a dollhouse and others vary. I used to have some and they were about 2 1/2 inches high so I painted a piece of wood black and glued underneath as a base to raise it up a bit. Looked like it was suppose to be there. The water cooler I thought was great and had a chrome look. They also carry the Washer, Dryer, Dishwasher,Stove, Refrigerator Etc. You can take a look at these little gems at: http://www.kaysmagnets.com/Merchandise/for_fun/index.html
Brooke, Wa (muddyshoes)
Plain Old style Furniture: I saw a library copy of just the book for you, by Phyllis G. Jellison, The Remember-When Dollhouse. It has patterns and directions to completely furnish a turn of the (19th to 20th) century farmhouse in the Grand Rapids style golden oak furniture and accessories like a Victrola. Checked bn.com out of print which has numerous copies available ranging from bargain 12 dollars to ridiculous 92 dollars; may be available elsewhere too.
Michaels Hutch: In order to separate a Michael's hutch, put it, weighed down, in a bowl of water for a few hours. The glue will disintegrate. Lay the bits to dry on a towel under weights. I have never once had any warpage with a hutch doing this. One can then make up the ensuing bits into any configuration wanted :O)
Uses for scrub pads: I've seen the green ones used as the base for shrubbery, chopped up and glued to gnarly grape vine stems as a substitute for moss to make bonsai, and have wrapped the other colors in felt or ticking as quickie mattresses if I didn't have fiberfill handy.
Sink: I have the plastic protector from inside a cover from a stick deodorant (smallish, oval) that I aim to make into a bathroom sink: I'm thinking a grommet in the bottom center, a counter built around it, some Realistic Water.
Tapestries: For the person looking for the vendor who sells tapestries, there is a web site that has tapestries to print and they are beautiful! Try http://www.pixiedustminis.com They even tell you what type of material to print on for the best results. Good luck, hope you find something you like.
Hinges: I have used paper to hinge my doors for ages. The easiest thing is to cut a bit off the long edge of an envelope. Glue one side to the door and the other side to the frame. Doesn't take up a lot of space the way hinges do and, honestly, lasts forever.
Dani, in Bradshaw, MD
Metal wagon wheels: I made a "Prairie Schooner" that required metal rims to the wooden wheel. What I did was to take some solder That was in a roll and about 1/8" in diameter and pounded it with a hammer. This flattened out the solder and made it pliable enough to place around the rim of the wheel. Any more questions email me privately.
Drbob...Delray Beach FL
Metal snaps for wheels: Patricia King uses snaps for wheels for vacuum cleaners, carpet sweepers, trolleys...
Havana (FL) Holly
Wagon wheel templates hint: My hat goes off to Bill Hudson. I read his instructions for fabricating wagon (all types) wheels. Fantastic. He mentioned cutting out a template to mold the damp cardboard around. He was explicit in that it be round and the edges be true.
To accomplish this end, it pays to invest a few bucks in hole saws. These little babies come in various diameters and cut perfectly round discs. They usually are sold in sets of 3 or 4 cutters all of various diameters and are designed for use in power drills. The guide drill bit also gets the center of the circle for you.
Drbob...Delray Beach FL
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