The Den of Slack

Momma’s Kitchen by the Guys from Texas

Back in 2006, I took a class with the Jon Fish and Larry Osborn, aka the Guys from Texas, at a (now closed) store named The Miniature Scene. They were offering two workshops while they were in town: a 1:12 Craftsman roombox named Oak Shadow, and a 1:24 kitchen roombox in a flour canister named Momma’s Kitchen.

I did the 1:12 class because I loved the Craftsman style and I hadn’t yet been fully bitten by the half scale bug.

It was a great class and I love my finished roombox (even if it has been sitting empty and gathering dust since I moved four years ago), but I always had a pang of regret for not taking the Momma’s Kitchen class. The Guys from Texas later added sugar and tea canisters to the set.

Fast forward eighteen years… I finally nabbed an unbuilt Momma’s Kitchen off eBay!

I took a second Guys from Texas class in 2010 (Cypress and Fog), and in both cases they did a lot of prep work and supplied everything needed to finish the structure. This is also true of Momma’s Kitchen, which came with the cabinets and all of the materials to finish the kitchen, including electrical, flooring, and even paint.

The cabinets, door, and window are cast resin that have already been painted off-white.

Cassidy Creations, which at this time was owned by Kathy Moore, sold a resin stove, fridge, and sink to go with this roombox. According to a comment Kathy made on Facebook: “The resin stove and motor-top fridge were originals cast by Larry, given to me as birthday presents so that I would be able to provide them to most participants via my shop, Scale Designs.”

I happen to have one of each of these that I bought from Scale Designs at the time, and have been using the fridge and stove in the Mansard Victorian.

As luck would have it (if “luck” means “way too much time wasted on eBay”), I recently acquired an older Cassidy Creations fridge kit that’s metal and has an opening door. I was already planning to use that one in the Mansard Victorian (once I work up the courage to build it), so I can move the resin fridge to the roombox.

I don’t have an extra stove, and I want to keep this one in the Mansard since the cabinets were built to fit around it. So I have to find another stove for the roombox.

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Mansard Victorian bathroom – false wall and ceiling

The Mansard Victorian’s upstairs ceilings look lower than they are, due to a 5/8″ strip underneath the roof trim that hangs down over the top of the rooms.

Originally I thought about putting flourette bulbs or LEDs behind that trim piece, since they’d be hidden, but instead decided to take advantage of that space to install false ceilings. The wires for the ceiling fixtures will run to the back and come down behind a false wall, to be plugged in behind the door (like I did with the staircase).

I plan to do this in all three rooms on the second floor. The bedrooms will only need about 1/4″ of space between the false wall and the real wall — enough for the plug to fit behind the doors.

The bathroom doesn’t need to be so deep, so I’ll install the false wall farther into the room, lining up with the staircase wall downstairs. This will give the illusion that the (also false) staircase continues up to the second floor. In the picture below, the door and linen closet are sitting where the new wall will be.

(The door won’t look like this when it’s done! I’m going to bash it like I did with the kitchen door.)

I bought a piece of 3/16″ foam board from Michaels — much easier to cut than wood, and when it’s finished you’ll never know the difference. I did something similar in the Sam & Max roombox.

I cut a piece for the bathroom ceiling, 3.75″ wide by 6″ deep, which is slightly deeper than the placement of the false wall.

I covered the foam board with the textured wallpaper I use for all my ceilings. I bought this roll of wallpaper at Lowe’s back in the early 2000s, have used it in almost every dollhouse I’ve ever worked on, and am still nowhere close to using it up.

In this case, since the ceiling will be tucked up behind the trim piece and the foam board is white to begin with, I could have left it alone, but I want all the ceilings in the house to match.

Next, I flipped it over and drew a line to indicate where the false wall will butt up against the ceiling. I then drew diagonal lines to find the center, and poked the electricity pilot tool through to make a hole for the light fixture wires to pass through.

I got this light in an eBay lot of Lighting Bug light fixtures. This one is a hexagonal shade ceiling light.

I love these fixtures and used them in my Fairfield — my first half scale house and only the second one I electrified, almost twenty years ago (yikes) — but I’ve never bought them again because most of them don’t have replaceable bulbs. One of the Fairfield’s lights stopped working early on and I never had the heart to tear apart the room above to fix it.

With the false ceilings, since the wire won’t be trapped under the flooring of the room above, and since I’m plugging the lights into outlets rather than hard wiring, my hope is that I’ll be able to remove a light and replace it if a bulb burns out, without having to destroy anything. That may or may not turn out to be true, but I decided to chance it.

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Bauder-Pine pickle crock, and other crockery

Last week I was browsing the Miniature Designs website and happened upon this Bauder-Pine pickle crock.

Of course, I had to have it for my Mansard Victorian. Shipping was steep for such a tiny thing, so I threw some wallpaper and strip wood in the cart to qualify for free shipping.

I reached out to Cathy, the current owner of Bauder-Pine, to see if she knew anything about it. She said Pat Bauder had a bunch of these in a desk drawer for years, and that they might have been made by Jane Graber or Vernon Pottery. The crock I bought is unsigned, so its maker remains a mystery.

While I was waiting for my new pickle crock to come in the mail, I dug through my stash to see what else I had to dress up the Hoosier cabinet I recently built.

The spatterware jug on the top shelf and matching bowl on the right came from the Amberwood haul, and were made by Jane Graber. (The jug doesn’t have a signature, but the bowl does, and they clearly go together.) The white bowl also came with the Amberwood, but is unsigned.

The brown bowl is unsigned — can’t remember where I got it, but I used to have it on display in the Rosedale. The big crock on the floor is Jane Graber, and the one on the top shelf is San Dunlap (more on this below).

The blue bowl was made by IGMA artisan Jo-Ann Shaw. It was in my stash in a plastic bag with her info and I can’t remember where I got it… maybe in a swap? I’m mentioning this here so I’ll remember later!

So the pickle crock arrived, and it’s adorable. The lid does come off, but the crock is filled with putty to keep the lid from getting lost.

I’ll tuck it in this corner of the counter.

While I was looking for items for the cabinet, I came across this other crock with utensils in it, that I used to have in the Fairfield. (I never set up most of my dollhouses again after I moved in 2020, so all of the accessories that go with the houses are currently separated into bins.) This crock was also made by Sam Dunlap, and I bought it from Dollhouses, Trains, and More years ago after I finished the Fairfield’s kitchen.

Back to the Hoosier cabinet. I also found an orange jug and black spatterware bowl in my stash. I can’t remember where the jug came from, but it was set aside with other Mansard Victorian stuff, so apparently I intended to put it in this house. The bowl is the smallest of a set of 1:12 nesting bowls that I got years ago at an estate sale.

I got the Sam Dunlap crock pictured above from Dollhouses, Trains, and More during their going out of business sale. I intended to also use it for cooking utensils, but it’s a little bigger than the other one and it looked too big on the counter. Seeing it next to the Bauder-Pine pickle crock made me think it could work as a canister, if only it had a lid. Okay, so let’s make a lid!

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