Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A little decorating job...

Way back at Easter, a friend's granddaughter, Lauren, got another miniature La La Loopsy doll in her Easter basket, and I was instantly enchanted by the box it came in.  Apparently, I never outgrew the toddler fascination with the box thing.  Anyway, in case you aren't up on who's who in Toyland, La La Loopsie is the currently popular pocket sized doll, having taken over for Polly Pocket, or quite similar to the Kiddles of the early 70's, if that's more your era.  

La La Loopsie house made by Artgirl, Faithie.
I'm not so fond of the plastic mass production quality of Loopsies, but according to the earlier company press releases, part of the idea was to encourage imaginative recycling.  Of course, they then went on to make a whole line of plastic accessories that look like they came from the (fake) scrap bag, so no child need ever create anything.  Sigh.

Here, Faithie makes window boxes from the packaging that uphostery tacks came in.  I have a small drawer in my studio where I toss these, and other little bits of packaging that strike me as reusable.  We used a lot of Fabri-tac, but you can also use Sobo for gluing down the fabrics.  Hot glue is good for structural things, like holding floors in place.
As I said, my imagination was immediately caught by the little house shaped package that the mini-Loopsy came in, which though printed cardboard, was originally designed with bits of fabric, buttons and trim.  I wanted to make one, and Lauren offered to let me borrow the box...on the condition that I give her the house I planned to make.  Fair enough.  I never really played with doll houses, but I've always liked creating them.  As if having a full sized one of my own, and hundreds of clients to decorate for isn't enough?  I think it's the instant gratification of rooms that take hours, not days or weeks to finish.  Or maybe the fact that the inhabitants are mute, and I can inflict whatever wild ideas I want upon their walls.  At any rate (actually at a very slow rate), five months later, I finally finished.  So much for the instant gratification theory.

La La Loopsie gets a roof-top living room, complete with bookcase, and big comfy flower chairs, plus a few silk flowers potted in beads.
Of course, I haven't taken photos of my Loopsy cottage yet, so the photos here are the one made by Artgirl, Faithie, instead. She was wanting to make a wooden doll house last spring, but agreed to start with this first. She finished hers in several two hour stretches over the course of a month, creating it from a cardboard box, bits of fabric from several sources, including some custom designed by her mom, Jill (who didn't used to think she was an artist, but that's a whole other saga -- click her name to see what she has on Spoonflower).  Along with fabric, Faithie and I both used lots of wooden spools, empty plastic packaging, tiny boxes like the ones vanilla bottles come in, and vintage trims that I collect from thrift shops and garage sales.  Oh, and flowers.  Lots and lots of silk flowers, of course.

We decided stairs would take up too much space, so Miss Loopsie has to muscle her own way from floor to floor.  Faithie did buy the dresser premade at a craft store, and just added trim to the front.  Otherwise, all the furnishings were made with recycled boxes and bits.
 I had thought this would be a quick warm-up for the construction of the wooden doll house, but Faithie is a fiend for details, and took her time making this house both sweet and sturdy enough for her little sister and their friends to play with.  By the time we finished, she didn't want another dollhouse, she wanted a play house, so we built that from wood, instead.  Yes, that's a link to a post with photos of that project.

Love the refrigerator?  I don't recommend you cover yours in fabric, but you can paint it.  Bonding primer under and Minwax Polycrylic over your paint job will make it last for years.  Actually, now that I think about it,  with bonding primer under, and LOTS of polycrylic over, I guess you could cover yours in fabric.  Go for it!  (send me pictures!)   In this kitchen, refrigerator, table and stove are covered in Jill Lenzmeier fabrics (link above).
Sometimes we really can't do exactly what we want in our own homes, maybe because we have to compromise with someone else's sense of style, maybe because the budget won't accommodate, maybe because we like far more styles than we have rooms under our roofs.  Miniature domains, like doll houses and fairy abodes, are a fun way to play around with these fantasies, and if like me, you find the joy is just in the making, the final result can also be a perfect gift for a child.  If you're thinking of Christmas, however, I suggest you start soon.  The details can be reeeeeallllly time consuming!

"Artgirl" Faithie with her beautifully designed and executed La La Loopsie house.

Have a fun week, whatever you do.  Hopefully I'll pop something new up on Friday morning, but I'm really late getting the autumn issue of 365 Being to the printer, so I may be taking a break from posting here for a week or so.