Sunday, October 6, 2013

It Pays to have Talented Friends!

This blog is dedicated to my long time crony and talented friend, Karen Haggard.  I have assembled a bunch of photos of gifts she has given me over the years.  This is not everything -- just a few things.  Almost everything in the photos below was made by Karen.

Crocheted snowman basket by Karen Haggard

Crocheted doily and spool wreath

Hand pieced quilt - flower garden pattern

Same quilt on a quilt rack

Crocheted tea towel and granny square pot holders

Tatted doilies and crocheted antimacassars

More of Karen's pot holders

Crocheted purse, working drawstrings!

Baby blanket and pillow

(can you tell I love mini crocheted things??)

Dainty cross stitched rug with lovely fringe

Della Robia wreath and Poinsettia centerpiece

Crocheted stuffed bear and pot holders

Grouping of items by Karen Haggard

It probably wouldn't surprise you to know Karen was into smocking and French hand sewing in her former life (her life before she discovered miniatures).  Textiles and threads are her specialty.  How lucky am I?  It pays to have talented friends!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dollhouse Mitering Shortcut!

Here’s a neat trick to avoid having to miter dentil molding at the upper back corners of a dollhouse room where it is hard to reach.  This helped to solve a problem I had – two different pieces of dentil molding that didn’t match so I couldn’t miter them together.   Make crown corner blocks from scrap wood – uses the trim pieces that you throw away when you miter!  I can’t believe no one makes these for dollhouses!
Here’s an example in full scale:
You will need the following:
  •  square strip of basswood with a thickness  that measures at least the depth of your dentil molding --the distance it extends from the wall toward the ceiling (mine was about ½” by ½”).   A scrap about 2 inches long should be enough. 

  • Cornice molding (the kind without the dentil trim) OR if you have saved the little cut off miter corners from previous mitering you can use those.

  • Optional – tiny 1/16 x 1/16 square molding or scrap wood to fill in the open square that forms at the bottom of the mitered triangles (you’ll see in the photos).

  • Miter Box such as the Midwest “Easy Miter” and razor saw.  Saw should be very fine – for delicate cuts.

Cut the larger square molding to a length just a tiny bit longer than the height of your dentil molding (mine was about 5/8 inch).  Cut two of these the same length for two corner blocks.

Looking at the photos, cut two tiny pieces of the cornice molding at opposite 45 degree angles (the two should be mirror images of each other – or use the scraps from previous miters).  They should be just tiny triangles with almost no length – each has a 45 degree cut and a straight or 90 degree cut.  Be very careful you don’t break off the fragile bottom lip (if it does, just let it break off on both pieces, it should still look fine without it).  Cut a second set If you are doing two back ceiling corners.

Glue the two angled pieces to each other, angle to angle, then glue the flat top of them to the end of the square block.   It should look like the photo below.

If desired you can fill in the open area with a scrap of 1/16 by 1/16 square molding.

 After it dries, sand if necessary and paint.

Glue the blocks in the corners and then install your dentil molding using straight cuts.  Finished!  Now you have an excuse to save all those miter scraps!