Check back often

Have you checked out all my blogs?


Dollhouse Minis: http://joannesminis.blogspot.com


18” Dolls: http://joannes18dolls.blogspot.com/


General Crafts: http://joannes-place.blogspot.com/


Cooking: https://joanne-kitchen.blogspot.com/





Also if for some reason I can't post I will try to give a head's up on the Facebook page so check there too.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Front Porch pt 11

 


This week we are going to be adding the “soil” to the planting areas as well as the “grass” to the lawn.

For the soil I went to my standby- coffee grounds. I love the ease of using them, there are always more on hand (at my house at least) and since they would normally either end up in the garbage or the compost they are a free material. They also look great when glued down on our mini projects. If you would like to learn more about the process of using the coffee grounds here is a link to a video I made a while back explaining the process.

For the grass in my lawn this time I decided to try something new, at least new to me. I found a really cool sheet of moss in the floral department of the craft store. I picked the smallest package, the sheet of moss was about the same size as a sheet of normal paper. I really like the more natural feel and look of the moss. This was absolutely the first time I have used a sheet of moss in this way so I have no idea how it will hold up long term but I am in love with it right now.


The biggest thing I learned was to work with as large a piece as you can for any given area and to make sure to pick off the extra layers in the thickest spots.

Because the moss is natural and it has various thicknesses throughout the sheet it automatically makes for a more rolling surface. One of the things I hate about a lot of mini landscaping is that the surfaces are too often perfectly flat. The real world is not perfectly flat it rolls up and down and has holes in it. The moss that I added adds to the realism a bit in that respect. It also has areas that look more green and some that are brown and look dead, again a bit more realistic. 
 

The biggest drawback I think is the mess that the product creates, it is really messy. I really wish I had worked on this outside, it would have made cleanup a lot easier.

If you don't want to use the moss and would like to use my method of adding the lawn with a terry cloth towel here is a link to video where I show you how to do that. (it is toward the end of the video)

So that is where we will leave the project for this week. I hope you are enjoying the process and picking up a few tips along the way.

As always thank so much for watching my videos and reading the blog.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Front Porch pt 10





This week we are working on a couple of small parts of our front porch project.

First we are adding these cute little screw eyes to the wood strip we put in last week that runs around the porch ceiling. These will give us a place to hang things like bird feeders and plants to the porch later. I have been adding something similar to all my dollhouses I construct for years (the ones that have a front porch)



I got the idea from the hooks my dad put on our real house when I was in high school so my mom could hang plants. It worked so well in real life I figured it would work in mini too.

The other things we are doing are placing the walkway up to the step. I wanted to make this look like a sidewalk type walkway but you could use any of the other types of walkways I have done in past projects in place of what I do this time. In fact the egg carton stones would look great here too.






The other thing we did was to base coat the base with a dark brown paint in preparation for our flower beds and lawn areas which we will begin working on in the next video.


Video Problems

I want to address an issue I am having with my computer and let you know that at least some of the videos in the coming weeks may be uploaded in lesser quality. As some of you might know my desktop computer died a while back. My son wasn't able to fix it and has promised he will build me a new computer. He is taking his time to get the best items for the best price he can so it might take a while. In the meantime I am using my (formally) retired laptop for everything. It has many issues including randomly shutting off. It also has a tendency to overheat badly.

Currently, here in Oregon we are experiencing a very hot summer. The software I use to create my videos takes a lot out of my computer and the laptop is struggling.

The video I am posting today I have been trying to finish the last step of the editing process for 3 days. I was finally able to get it finished by getting up at 5AM when the temperature was a lot cooler. Even then my laptop just couldn't handle the work of rendering the video at the normal High Definition quality. When I tried at 480p it was able to get through that (it took 2 tries) without shutting off.

So in future weeks, I will try to make the videos at the higher quality first. BUT if that causes the laptop to shut off I am going to output them at 480p instead. This is not an ideal situation but it is the best I can do for the time being.

What I really want is to be able to give you all high quality videos every week. But I have compromise somewhere, so if I can't do that I will still do my best to get you the videos as often as I can.

Please be patient with the process until I get the new computer. I am doing the best I can right now.

Thank you all for watching the videos and reading the blog posts.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Front Porch pt 9






When I first started this porch project I had an idea in mind for how to make the porch posts and a railing. I had it all figured out, at least I thought I had it all figured out. When I did a dry fit of my idea 2 things occurred. First it was very obvious that the porch was just too small to add railings to and still be able to see what was sitting on the porch. So I decided that there would be no railing. Okay, that was fine. Then I stepped back and looked at the porch with what I had been envisioning for the posts and I immediately hated it. In my mind it was going to be so cute but in reality it just didn't work.

I posted a photo to the Facebook group and they all agreed it just wasn't going to work as I had planned it. Darn, back to the drawing board as they say.


I did some shopping and came home with several choices which I narrowed down to 2. I then put those two up for a vote on the Facebook page. The square post won with with 39 votes (at the time I started filming) as opposed to the 5 votes that the round post I had also considered got.

As for prep work, I painted the post with the same Ivory craft paint I have been using for the trim on the project. I also painted a strip of 1/16” by 1/4” wood and the ceiling area of the porch.

the strips added to the ceiling
I cute the post to the same height as the porch ceiling is at the walls. I used some of my Beacon 3 in 1 glue to firmly glue the post in place. I did use a brick to weight down the porch roof so that the post will hold the ceiling level.

After the glue was dry I added the narrow strips all around the ceiling even with where the post sits. This will be helpful in a step we are going to be doing soon.

Sorry my videos are short and far apart right now. I am still using my old laptop and it just can't handle the editing software so everything takes way too long to do.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Front Porch pt 8




This week we are proceeding on with the front porch project by adding the base. I decided to use two layers to make up the base because I really wanted to have a base that would support the project but I still needed to be able to easily add the landscaping. So I dug out a piece of ¼” MDF (at least I am fairly certain it is MDF) which I cut the size of 11” by 15”. I then cut a piece of foam core to the same size and glued the two together.

Now the size I chose might seem to be a bit random but I had my reasons. Well, kind of reasons. You see I had to move the porch project the other day and I happened to set it on top of my tablet of watercolor paper. I really liked the size of the tablet as a base so that is the size I went with for the base. Before this happened I had been going back and forth about what size I should use.

When you cut the layers don't stress about perfect cuts, we are going to be completely covering the layers and adding a trim piece around the outside edge so these pieces will not really be seen when we are finished.

Once the glue has dried draw a pencil line a ½” from the back and side edges to help you line up the porch structure.








I used tacky glue for the project today mainly because it was within reach. Any liquid glue that is foam friendly will be fine for this part of the project.

Once you have the porch structure glued onto the base add some weights to help hold it down flush and let the glue dry thoroughly. I left mine overnight to be sure it was dry.
 











That is all we are going to get done this week. I am still using my old laptop and I am bit afraid to try to edit a video that is very long.



Next time I hope to get the railings on the porch.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Dollhouse Miniature Front Porch pt 7





This week we are finally back working on the front porch project. This is actually the second I filmed part of this video because my computer crashed a few weeks ago and I lost all the footage I had. I talked about it in the blog just before this one on here. If you are interested and want learn more about what is going on there be sure to read that blog too.

Anyway, back to the porch. I decided to make a porch and the foundation look like it is made of poured concrete. To this I used some of the pink insulation foam (sometimes called “builder's foam” by crafters) I did have to make a run to Home Depot to get more since I had used up my supply in the footage I lost. Here's a link to product on the Home Depot site so you will know what to look for if you are not familiar with this stuff.

As for the cutting sizes here is the list of pieces of foam I cut
All pieces are cut from 1” thick foam insulation

5 ½” by 11” - porch floor
1 ¾” by 13” - foundation piece 1
½” by 9” - foundation piece 2
½” by 4” - step

To turn the pink foam into something that looks like concrete you will need some craft paints.

The first coat is done with black, this not only acts as our dark base color but hides the pink color of the foam.

Next we layer on 3 or 4 (or more) shades of gray craft paint. You need at least a dark, a medium and a light shade. I ended up adding an additional very light shade of gray to really get the look I was after.

You can use any three colors of gray as long as they are in the 3 shades.

Working from the darkest to the lightest use a sponge to apply the colors being sure to leave some of the colors underneath showing. You will use less of each color as you move through the colors.

Try to not have much paint on the sponge when you paint with it, dab it off until there is very little paint left.

The last step is to glue the structure we have been working on for the last several videos to the foam “concrete” I used tacky glue for this. 



 

I love how this is turning out so much, I hope you do too.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Missing in Action



I know I have been absent for a while again. I had some stuff going on in my life and took some time off from all my blogs and youtube for a while. Oh, in case you didn't realize I have multiple blogs and Youtube channels. The links for all my blogs are at the top of this blog so if you are interested you can go check out the rest if you haven't before. Anyway, I had taken some time off them started posting on most of them again. I had been writing and filming for all the blogs/channels then my computer crashed. I had somewhere between 10 and 15 blog posts/videos in process. Since I normally don't backup posts or videos until they are complete I lost all of the ones I was working on along with all the photos to go with them. YIKES!!

I am still without my main computer. My son, Erik, (my IT guy) says he is fairly sure he can get my files off my old hard drive later. In the meantime he is working on putting together a new system for me. But because he is working full time and trying to keep the price as low as he can it will take a while. Currently I am using my old (previously) retired laptop, it is really slow and not terribly reliable (it tends to shut off randomly)

I am doing my best to get back up to where I can post on all my blogs and channels but it might take a while yet before I get back on any kind of “normal” schedule. Please be patient I should be back soon. In the meantime I will be posting when I can with what I can.