The Den of Slack

The estate sale Amberwood

I visited family in Boston right before Christmas. A few weeks before the trip, I searched for dollhouses on Boston Craigslist, just in case… and I lucked out!

I wish I had saved the pictures because the post is long gone now, but it was an estate sale where someone was selling off a miniature collection. I recognized several half scale dollhouses, including an Elizabeth Anne and a Jackie Deiber pull-apart rowhouse (both of which I already have).

And then there was this:

I’ve posted about this house before. It’s another of Jackie Deiber’s pull-apart houses, like the one I linked to above and the Gull Bay. It’s similar to a 1:12 house named the Amberwood, so unless someone comes forward to let me know it has another official name, that’s what I’m going to call it.

I passed up the opportunity to buy this dollhouse on eBay (twice!) back in 2016. It’s top-heavy with that big roof (the taller 1:12 version has better proportions), and I don’t like the dormers. I also knew from having two others that pulling these houses apart to access the inside is awkward. For all of these reasons, I never felt like I *needed* this one.

But how could I ignore a half scale house I’d randomly found on Craigslist, clear across the country, three weeks before I would be there in person? The thrill of the chase was too enticing.

I emailed the seller. She wasn’t interested in dealing with someone who wasn’t local. I told her I would be in town in mid-December, could she set it aside? She said no, the estate sale would be over by then. I offered to send my parents over there to buy it for me. Finally she relented and sent me a few more pictures, including this one…

Okay, now I really needed it. I just had to know what was inside. I offered $125 and she agreed to that for the house and the furniture. My parents picked it up, I brought the furniture home in my suitcase when I visited, and then we shipped the dollhouse from Boston to California.

The first thing I did was pop out the Victorian windows. I’m going to use Houseworks bonnet-top windows for the body of the house, and will get creative with windows and trim on the roof windows to make them look more like real dormers.

The roof is hinged, and the back side of the house slides out.

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Tile kitchen countertop

The next step in the Mansard Victorian’s kitchen is the countertops.

Looking back at the inspiration picture, the countertop is white tile with a black border. The backsplash is subway tile, but you can’t tell in this picture what the countertop tile looks like.

I found a picture of another kitchen with a similar countertop. In this one you can see that it’s square tile on a diagonal, like I did on the floor.

I bought a 1/4″ square paper punch (the equivalent of 6″ in half scale). The squares are cut out of scrapbook paper, and I folded black squares over the edge of the wood to make the border. I left a small space between each tile to simulate grout lines. (I had painted the wood white before starting this process.)

One side finished. After taking the picture, I went around the sides and back with the nail scissors, cutting the tiles flush with the edge of the wood.

The black tiles got pretty gooped up with glue crumbs. I touched them up with a black Sharpie.

The cabinet will sit on top of the countertop, like this.

Next I applied clear Gallery Glass paint to each paper tile, to make them hard and shiny.

Looks pretty good. The tiles have a nice sheen.

I did the other side the same way and set them in place. This could have been the end of it.

But of course it wasn’t.

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Bashed Cassidy Creations cabinets — stove hood

Since my last post about the Mansard Victorian’s kitchen, I finished the second upper cabinet.

Then I started thinking about how to make a hood. I was enjoying bashing Cassidy Creations kits into something completely different from their intended purpose, so I sat down with my box of kits and went through them looking for something hood-like. I was down to the last few kits in the box when I spotted this.

I have a completed one of these already. Hey look — it’s exactly the right width!

I didn’t want to destroy my Bauder-Pine chest, but I didn’t mind bashing the kit. (Especially since I apparently only spent $1 for it!) Here’s what I came up with:

I kept the side pieces, and modified the original top and bottom pieces to create a new, wider front and back. The bottom is open, and the top is a thicker piece of basswood with a hole drilled into it for a light.

Here’s how it looks wedged between the two uppers.

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