The Fixer Upper


So, my followers,  its been a while since we last spoke. The back is doing extremely well following surgery, and I went back to work. Then suddenly, in December, BAMMM, work injury to my knee. Fell like a wounded water buffalo, and injured the PCL. So needless to say Gma found herself sentenced to 8 weeks house arrest, and a huge amount of bored. So while visiting our somewhat local Habitat for Humanity Restore, I found this darling little 1 bedroom 1 bath fixer upper. It came fully furnished, but was in bad shape.

(no amount of peptol bismol pink from the previous owners could save it)

But the price was right $25.00 bucks!

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So, the first step in any fixer upper, (after closing escrow) is demolition! Stripped the wall paper off, peeled up the vinyl flooring, removed the windows, and unsafe railing on the upper deck.

Made a couple structural improvements, to the base and back wall.

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We removed the hinged roof and decided to give it a shake roof. unfortunately, the cost of dollhouse shingles is over $20 bucks a square foot, Luckily, I found craft sticks at the dollar store and bought 2 packages for $2 bucks! Taped them together in bundles of 20, cut them to 2″ shakes. Used the yardstick to make straight lines,  and glued them on with wood glue.

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While the glue dried, we painted the entire place with Kilz paint. Cures all evils, stains, smells, bad paint choices, and seals the bare wood. Making it a nice blank canvas to create!

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The back roof panel is glued and screwed secure, and the front is hinged so they can open and play inside the attic.

Next, I decided on my color palette, the pink I was stuck with, Hubby convinced me not to paint the vintage Barbie furniture it was mostly pink. But I had some leftover Minnie Mouse print and added a few fat quarters in a pretty blue to balance out the pink overload! Yep, there was sewing and construction involved! I painted the outside walls “Tiffany” blue, and added white trim molding. It helped stabilize the house.

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Flooring is next, since there was a kitchen and bath, of course I tiled it! After doing projects on our real homestead, I consider myself a self-taught expert! I had leftover tiny hexagon tiles and added 2 sheets matching tile with black tiles (looked like flowers to me) I still had adhesive and silver sparkly grout leftover from the wishing well project, so it really only cost $6 bucks for tile. ‘

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The bedroom, living room and attic needed wood floors. I was in the local flooring store, and found 3 planks of snap together dark stained real wood flooring. The guy just gave it to me since they were samples. All I had to do was measure, cut and snap together. Since is was so thick, no need to glue or nail it down. (hope she doesn’t trip between rooms, lol)

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Windows needed replacing, looks like they used page dividers and a sharpie to make them. I splurged on Ikea 5×7 frames ($1.99 ea) and just glued them in place.

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It’s not complete unless the patio is covered. Lowes kindly donated a scrap of Astroturf so she can relax with her shoes off. (all I had to do was ask!) Decided to do a more substantial railing. Since I was using black as an accent, decided to try it on the top rail. Used the same molding I had put on the corners of the house, but painted it gloss black

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So this whole renovation took about two weeks, with drying times, so I had plenty of time to sew accessories and cover the 70’s Barbie fabric.

The sofa and chair pads got recovered and the pillows. Made all new bedding (yes, I did fitted and flat sheets, duvet cover, bed skirt and pillows) all new curtains and drapes with fancy beaded finials on the curtain rods.  I hung them with command hooks, the rods are 1/2″ dowels, cut to fit the windows.  I was considering cup hooks but the walls are paper-thin and they would have come through the outside. I sacrificed a white bar towel, cut it up, hemmed it and added appliqué hearts for the bath.

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I decided to put “puck” lights in the rooms, easy for them to operate, but they kept falling off. I used my go to E300 super glue to attach the bases and problem solved.

The attic isn’t complete yet, think I want to put a closet pole (small metal towel bar?) across the side and hang her clothes up and maybe some cuter storage bins for her shoes and accessories. You know ladies, make it a “dream” closet, right?

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And lastly, don’t miss the family picture above the sofa, it’s the best part!!

So I encourage you to do your own fixer upper, it was a blast! Maybe I can tackle a real size one?

Enjoy!!

Debbie

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Fabulous Fairy Gardens II

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Well. I almost hate to admit how much fun I’ve had making this miniature fairy garden. As a grown adult, playing with teeny tiny miniatures has been soooo relaxing. I started with one for the house, see previous post, and now I’ve moved outdoors. This is Giselle’s sister Genovese. She has just moved in her new place on my deck. I had an old unused half wine barrel, already lined and filled with dirt. Since gardening really isn’t my calling, crafting is….so in the spirit of magic, lets take a tour!

 

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I cannot totally recall the order of things, I’ve been making and remaking items for a couple of months now. The house was the biggest part. I purchased a wooden birdcage style house from the craft store. decided to paint it copper, bronze and antique gold. The roof seemed to need more “nature” so I glued sheet moss to it. And a super cute owl from a friend.

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Might be hard to see, but she hung a chandelier made from a fishhook from the center beam. Nearly made the kind clerk at the sporting goods store cry when I told him what I was buying it for.

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Added a few beads, kept the barbs exposed, and decided to lose the shiny lure in exchange for more beads.

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I made some super inexpensive furniture from a wooden puzzle, and stained them to match the house. A small bed, table, rocking chair and a cabinet with open shelves. (I bought the mugs, beer, chips and dip online). Made the mice from polymer clay (super easy) and cut a piece of tapestry fabric for a carpet.

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So Homey!! I’d move in, all the comforts of a cabin in the woods. I decided to raise the floor level above the dirt in the barrel because I have a mix of real plants and artificial and will need to water them and don’t want to flood her nice place. I used rounds of wood in back and sides. Took advantage of the area to place a mousey.

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I used a sample piece of flooring to make a porch for her and her bicycle to rest on. I also serves to lift the front of the cabin as well.  You can get sample pieces free, as well as carpet for your house.

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I did pre-plan the placement of the house first. Centered and slightly backed up in the space. I put a solar light behind her house to light it at night. Then planted the Gardenia tree, a Kale tree, and a couple low, slow growing herbs. peppermint and pineapple sage. *This was in honor of Grandma Marino, every year when we’d visit her garden she would take the kids out, crush the leaves and make them smell them.  I wanted to have some items in my garden that would be interactive also.

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Last years kale plant, (on clearance) became this years tree for fairies! The Shepard’s hook was wire from the craft room, made a bird’s nest in an acorn cap, added some beads and polymer clay eggs. The toadstools were crafted out of polymer clay, as were the snails. The tiny seashell came from a lake nearby and a crafty friend dyed them pretty blue and purple. I purchased the crates online, and make the fruits and vegis from polymer clay.

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Tiny buckets from the craft store, filled with polymer clay loaves of bread, more clay mice (She loves all of Gods creatures) and a miniature bear with gazing ball on top of a wood round. The sheet moss is a good ground cover, if kept wet, will stay in place easily, I did tack it down with a couple of garden staples.

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Teeny Tiny baked pies in bottle caps cool in the shade. Garden tools made of clay and wooden dowels. Terra cotta pots planed with berries, and flowers.

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Sand from the dollar store, makes a nice path, with the teeny rake its a teeny zen garden to rake into swirls and lines too. A seashell slug has hidden himself in a pot.

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Not quite finished, there will be a pond in an abalone shell, once I mange to make it over to pick it up from my BFF. The Frog seems depressed that I haven’t get his area done yet.

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So come on in, stay a while, relax……

And as always,  Enjoy,

Debbie

 

Teeny Tiny Baked Pies

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If only baking pies were this easy, my hubby would be a happy camper for sure. I spent the afternoon making these for the infamous fairy garden I haven’t completed yet. Saw some inspiration on Pinterest, and decided she should have a picnic in her future forest home. You know me well enough by now, I can never make just one, that would be a sin.

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Items needed:

polymer clay, I used tan, medium brown, cherry red, blueberry, lemon yellow, and white

bottle caps

fondant roller and a sharp knife

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So I started with the crust, just like the edible kind, knead the clay until its soft, and roll with the fondant roller to 1/8″ thick. Using the bottle caps to cut, press into the clay and turn them over.

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I pushed the clay up the sides and into the bottom. Then pinched off tiny amounts of red clay and rolled into tiny balls (for the cherries and blue for the blueberries) and filled each “pie” to a heaping amount.

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They almost look real, right? Next, the top crust. You can roll out traditional lattice, or use a small cutout. One of the ‘pies” I rolled the edges of the crust and applied to the edge.

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Pop them in the oven according to package directions. (265 degrees for 30 mins) They don’t smell as good as real pies, but they look good!!  I also did a couple of Lemon Meringue pies, Just use a darker color for the crust, fill the middle with yellow, and top with white “meringue”. I cut a slice out so you could see the middle of these ones.

Enjoy!

Debbie

Fabulous Fairy Gardens

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Meet Giselle, she’s my muse. I’m currently obsessed with fairies and fairy gardens. She’s my inspiration for a looong blog about her home, and the future homes for her friends. Brace yourself, this is gonna be a long one, with more cuteness than you can stand. Lots of teeny tiny, pretty magical things.

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First let’s pick out her a home. Hmmmmm? perhaps a pretty birdcage. Think she would be happy “caught” in a nice white Victorian style. Found this white wire one with a lovely crystal birdie on top at Michael’s, the top opens completely up making working inside easy. Since the bottom had a rather dense border around it, I decided to cut a cardboard circle the width of it to lift her “floor” up to the level of the open bars. This also gave me room to poke items through the bottom, and later the battery pack for something magical….

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I’ve already been working on items for her place, including a table and some lovely wire chairs. Purchased flower pots and a “pickle” barrel. I’ve been secretly collecting some decor items, as well as crafting items too. I laid them roughly out to figure out how big a patio and path I wanted on her “floor”.

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I applied some tacky glue with a paintbrush, and used decorative sand from the dollar store to create the path and patio. Probably could have used sandpaper if I had any, but this was just as easy. Next I added dried moss to the sides, and lined the path with tiny polished stones.

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A wonderful friend of mine, makes tiny chairs out of wire. She did these two “peacock” style green wire chairs from a pin I had pinned for inspiration. She originally made the seats of moss, but they didn’t show up well in the space. I toyed with both a flattened acrylic stone, still too light and finally decided to “upholster” two large button covers with a micro rose print for the seat cushions.

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 The table was crafted using 20 gauge wire table base, and an oval piece of balsa wood. You could also make a nice one from a small slice of wood from a branch. Just watch your scale.

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I decided to stain the tabletop a dark walnut. Also used the same stain on the pickle barrels, but top coated them with a gold paint and rubbed off the excess. Using outdoor expoy glue, attached the base to the top after staining. You could paint, stain, mosaic, or leave natural your table top. Whatever you and your muse decide

Since its early morning, I gave her a cup of coffee, some purchased gardening tools, and a teeny tiny pot to plant. You can glue these on or use miniature wax to stick them to the table.

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Thought she needed some “friends” so I took a few seashells, and a little “transparent” Fimo clay to create a bunch of snails to live with her. I made a slimy body with antenna, pushed the shell into the back, and baked according to package directions.

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So many great ideas on pinterest, saw this cutie. Wire shepherds hook, with a teeny tiny birds nest made out of an acorn top. I got this, acorns, check, moss, check, teeny tiny eggs made with clay (baked with the snails) check….

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How ’bout some mushrooms? of course! Just out of the oven as well, baked escargot,  Mushrooms and eggs….Hubby thought I was talking about dinner. Imagine his surprise when he peeked in the oven!

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I put the mushrooms on toothpicks. that way I could poke them into the ground. I have several red & white glitter clay, and pink and white marbled. (In already planning a second outdoor home).

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Golf tee plus marble…equals gazing ball!  Mushroom, rocks and moss….

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Final touch, lights!! set of 20 super tiny battery-powered lights! Magical!!! Pushed up from the bottom, batteries not included, but worth the last-minute revamp of her floor.

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You can find some fabulous miniatures online, and the craft stores and some garden centers are now carrying many super cute items for fairy gardens, but follow my motto: don’t buy what you can make! She has a friend waiting for an outdoor home. I have a leaky bird bath perfect for her future home. This is going to be a group craft with my friends, so well post as soon as we get them done!

Enjoy,

Debbie