La Petite MH: Little Miss Owl’s Room

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This room is one of the centerpieces of the entire dollhouse.  Much of the whimsy elements of the house were taken from my brainstorming for this room.  It changed quite a bit from my original intention as the room was just too small to accommodate everything.  So I left the room a little bare so that my daughter’s imagination could work out the pieces instead.

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Here’s what it looked like once I finally finished the hardwood floors.   My favorite part of the room is, strangely enough, the fabric that I used for the pillowcase/sheet and the curtains.

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Little Miss Owl even went to Joann’s with me to pick them out!

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Isn’t she adorable?!

Back to the room…

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Here it is almost finished.  The bed is actually one part of an Advent pacifier plastic container.  It was the perfect size for her little bed.  For the mattress I cut a small piece of some leftover chair batting that my MIL had and then sewed a little cover for it for the sheet.  The bunting is made of triangles of scrapbook paper.  For the nightstand I used an eye cream container with a Chanel sample perfume bottle and then the top of the eye cream as the lamp shade-all superglued together.

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A closer look at the bunting and pillow.

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The artwork on the walls is also one of the best parts of the room.  The Paris art came from a tag on a ‘Paris’ sweater that I bought at Kohls.  The Snowy Owl painting is actually a print of original artwork that Mr. Wonderful painted for our daughter.  The print doesn’t do it justice.  Its an incredible piece and it allowed him to be a part of the dollhouse process.

The only cost to the room was just the fabric and the chest.  I only bought an 1/8th of a yard of each from Joann’s and with coupons and sale items it only came out to $1.50.  The chest was a little more expensive-coming in at $5.00, its from Hobby Lobby’s dollhouse section.  I’m not too thrilled with it because the construction on the lid is rather poor.  It’s on my list to fix it again.  The room in total came out to $7.50 when you factor in the cost for the curtain rod.  Incredibly inexpensive when you think about it.  You’d be hard pressed to spend that on a little bed alone.  Remember that there are options for repurposed furniture everywhere.

The bathroom is coming up next with some great tutorials.

So if you would like to read more…please click below:

La Petite Maison Hibou: Living Room

Living Room

La Petite Maison Hibou (The Little Owl House), as I have written before was created for my daughter, who is now two and a half.  It was meant to stand up to the machinations of said two year old without having too much expensive furniture-bottom line its meant to be lived in.  It’s meant to be played with and loved.

The living room is, bar none, the most fashion forward in the house.  No where else will you see a polka dotted wall with a zebra print rug along side a tartan print vase with a Christmas tree in the corner.

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This was how the living room looked at the beginning.  The ‘tv’ is actually some sort of plastic piece that went along with some of our electronics.  I simply cut off the protruding pieces to streamline it.  The clear piece it is sitting on is a part of my iPod mini box that did not get used.  The vase is the top to an old Burberry Brit perfume.  My family has Scottish roots…had to add some tartan in somewhere.  One of my best finds, however, was the sofa which was actually a business card holder that I had to beg Mr. Wonderful for.  I’m still not entirely sure that I used it with his permission.  Sorry babe.

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So here we are!  The floors are done along with the wallpaper and the window and curtains!  You can see I’ve cut off the protruding parts on the tv and that I’ve invested in some books.  I’m an avid reader…and these were only $2.00 with a coupon from Hobby Lobby’s dollhouse section.  My MIL picked up the zebra print ‘rug’ from Hobby Lobby as well for $2.00 as well back in their teen crafts area.  I only used about 1/8th of the entire piece.  I also added padding to the couch using some leftover black velvet and batting.  I simply stitched up little rectangular pieces and glued them onto the sofa.

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One of Little Miss Owl’s favorite movies is Pixar’s “Ratatouille” which also happens to be set in Paris.  I printed out a picture from google of Remy overlooking Paris as the “tv screen” and glued it onto the back of my plastic piece.  A free tv and sofa so far.

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Here you can get a good look out the balcony which is another modge-podged google image.  Aren’t the curtain rods divine?!  All in all this was the most inexpensive room in the entire house.  I did purchase the tree and presents and Christmas baubles from Hobby Lobby but it was only $4.00 and I used two of the other trees on the terrace.  So all in all only $6.00 for the entire room!!  Not a bad result!  Although I wished we lived in zero humidity so my wallpaper wouldn’t crinkle.  C’est la vie.

Check out other previous Dollhouse posts below:

Introduction

The Blueprints

The Painting

Hardwood Floor Tutorial

La Petite Maison Hibou

The Kitchen

Kitchen Table Tutorial

Entryway

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As I’ve said in previous dollhouse posts, this house was not meant, in any way, to be perfect.  Its meant to be played with and lived in and above all be able to stand up to a 2.5 year old.  She’s actually wonderfully careful with it-I have to say I am incredibly impressed.

So here we are at the wonderful entryway.  When designing the house I knew there had to be some sort of “door” and a room to accommodate that.  I was met with some hesitancy that Little Miss Owl wouldn’t know what an entryway was and I could use the space for something else.  Well other dollhouses come with attics and Little Miss Owl hasn’t seen an attic in her life.  So I did the entryway anyways…and I love it.  Its the perfect way to center the dollhouse and if I was honest with myself, I really wish I had one in my actual house.  But I digress.

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This room went through a couple stages before I really settled on the look.  I knew I wanted a calm look and feel to it and very little furniture.  I cut out the use of photos and settled instead on the mirrors that are now placed in it.

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So you can see my very terrible side table that I concocted.  Originally I was going for a lucite table and it just didn’t work out.  There are NO dollhouse lucite tables anywhere.  Oh well.

Onto the rug and the door.  The door is again a image that was printed on scrapbook paper and they modge-podged onto a piece of wood.  Very easy.  The rug is a piece of scrapbook paper in a quatrefoil pattern from a Christmas scrapbook paper pack that my MIL gave me last year.  I cut the piece larger than the piece of wood so that the paper could wrap around and modge-podged that as well.  I did have to hold down the paper so that it would stay put…but it turned out all right in the end.

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Here’s a look at the ceiling.  The paper is a great find of mine from Joann’s.  It’s a textured gold scrapbook paper that was also put on the ceiling of the bathroom.  The chandelier was actually the most expensive piece in the house.  It was $8.00 at Michaels in their jewelry section although I did have a 40% off coupon.  Mr. Wonderful insisted on having a chandelier in the house.

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A look at the wall with mirror.  The gold detailing are buttons from Michael’s.  They were in a set and I simply clipped the backs off with a pair of pliers.

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I hope you enjoyed!  The living room is next on the list.  Click below for the previous Dollhouse Posts,

Introduction

The Blueprints

The Painting

Hardwood Floor Tutorial

La Petite Maison Hibou

The Kitchen

Kitchen Table Tutorial

La Petite MH: Entryway

table

This is my wonderful little kitchen table.  I love it.  The inspiration from the table came from my desire to have the house reminiscent of both the Procencal region of France and Paris as well.  A combination of rustic and glamor.  Thus the idea was born for a wine barrel farmhouse table.

I used a total of four wine barrels in the house, two here in the kitchen, one in the entry way, and another for the table on the terrace.  My MIL had two already and I bought another three pack at Hobby Lobby, $2.00 with coupon.  I had some extra wood that we used for the table top.  I used the same stain that I did on the hardwood floor.  The barrels and wood top were only given one coat of stain.

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You absolutely cannot have a wine barrel farmhouse table without having a vineyard’s label on the barrel.  So I took the Chateuneuf Du-Pape’s seal, tweaked it a bit, and then drew it on the barrels with a simple black pen.  It was a completely free detail that adds so much to the room.  The little seats are corks from Joanns in the mason jar aisle-just super glued on.

After the wood for the top was cut down to the sizes for both tables I then  used wood glue to attach them.  This was probably the easiest DIY that I did in the entire house.  Well maybe the bathtub…but we will get to that later.

Hope you enjoyed.  Please click below for previous articles on the Dollhouse.

Introduction: A Dollhouse for my Daughter

The Blueprints

The Painting

Hardwood Floor Tutorial

Dollhouse: Sneak Peek

The Kitchen Part 1

La Petite MH: Kitchen (Part 2: Table Tutorial)

kitchen

So here we are!!! On to some detail work of the house.  Today I’m going to take you through a run down of the kitchen and the overall cost of the room.

As I’ve said before, this dollhouse was in no way meant to be perfect or fancy.  Little Miss Owl was only 2.5 years old at Christmas so the dollhouse had to stand up to her play.  The house also represents my feelings about play and toys in general.  I don’t want to have to stand over my daughter and worry that she will break something-I want her to have complete play time control over her toys.  Well…within reason.

So here we go!!

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This is the completed room, except for the fact that I hadn’t glued the cabinets to the wall yet…whoops.  Ok, so the sink and the cabinets were actually an unfinished hutch that I bought from Hobby Lobby.  It is possible to take them apart with an exacto knife…I did have to sand the top of the sink part to smooth it out.  Then the two pieces were spray painted with primer and then silver.  None of the cabinets look perfect…and to be honest I wish they looked a little better…but its all ok. My FIL made both the oven and the other cabinet so I apologize for not having a tutorial for those.  I painted on the oven door and the handles.  For the counter-tops I used some mosaic tiles that I bought from Michaels (on sale for $1.99) and I still have about 30 left.  They were simply attached with super glue.  Just make sure that you use tiles that will lay flat.

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The sink is actually made out of a iPod dock from my extremely old iPod mini.  My FIL cut a small opening in the sink so that it could sit down nicely.  An amazing breakthrough of mine is the faucet.  Its probably one of my favorite little details in the house.  All it consists of is a medium sized nail that was bent using needle-nose pliers.  I then lightly hammered it into the wood right behind the sink and then took it back out and added a little dab of super-glue to keep it secure.

The fabric for the curtains was left over from a purse that I made.  A great find of mine were the curtain rods that you will see throughout the house.  They were actually in the scrapbooking section in Michaels ($2.50 with 40% off coupon) and they add a great layer of sophistication.  So the light in the kitchen is my favorite in the entire house.  I have no idea where I even got it.  It was just laying around in one of our misc drawers in the house.  Its some sort of plastic Christmas light.

For any sort of food items that you want to put in the kitchen, Hobby Lobby has a great selection.  The bowls I have as well as the metal bucket were found in the woodworking and glass jar sections, respectively.  For the “windows” throughout the house I simply printed off pictures of Parisian apartment building windows and modge-podged them onto pre cut pieces of wood.  The wood for the windows throughout the house was only $0.50 from Michael’s wood section.

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You can see the terrible effects of humidity…boo.  I’m in the process of trying to fix it.  But the little forks were from my daughter’s birthday party.  We had little cups of mac and cheese and these spoke to us (my MIL and I) at Target.  The arrondissement paper lining the wall is from a Europe scrapbooking pack that I bought before my husband went on our honeymoon…five years ago now.  Wow.

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I love the little mirror…it was a three pack at Michaels, only $1.99, and it was right by their woodworking section.  The letters for “EAT” are just scrapbooking letters, and yes I know it’s not French, but I think of these owls as well traveled.  Just like I have an ‘amore’ sign in my kitchen…its about a bit of culture.

Overall the room cost $10.50 with the table as well.  Not too bad!

So next to come is my tutorial for the kitchen table.  But to read any earlier posts: click below

A Dollhouse for My Daughter

The Blueprints

The Painting

Hardwood Floor Tutorial

La Petite Maison Hibou

La Petite MH: Kitchen (Part 1)

La Petite Maison Hibou: The Little Owl House

La Petite Maison Hibou: The Little Owl House

I am so excited for this reveal.  I have poured so much of myself into this little house and while it is not perfect by any means, it is a little expression of my love for my wonderful little girl.  A while back I wrote that I had decided to place the owls in the heart of Paris.  Perhaps the 8th Arrondissement by the Champs Elysee and Les Tuileries Gardens.  It seemed like the perfect place for their little apartment.

When I dreamt up dollhouse I wanted the feel to be relaxed and warm…you’d be able to look around at the furniture and decorations and recognize what it had been previously before its grand repurposing.

My favorite part of Maison Hibou is its story.  Mr. Wonderful’s grandfather, about three years ago, thought we needed more shelving in our home and decided to give us this bookshelf.  It came to us a caramel stained shelf and was soon painted black to match our decor…and it just sat there.  Barely even used.  It reminds me of a caterpillar just waiting for its transformation into a thing of beauty.  It is the grandest repurpose of the entire dollhouse.  So even though his grandfather is gone now…Mr. Wonderful can know that he had a hand in his great-granddaughter’s first dollhouse.

La Petite Maison Hibou consists of three floors; the ground floor containing a living room, entryway, and kitchen, the second floor which has a master bedroom, bathroom, and Little Miss Owl’s room, and finally the rooftop terrace.  Since it was given at Christmas the house had to have a tree, presents, and wreaths everywhere.  Most of the furniture is not specifically for a dollhouse, much of it was repurposed or built.

For the introductory post for La PM Hibou I’ll go over my process for creating/designing and decorating the house then over subsequent posts I’ll address each room talking about what was bought and where (and cost), repurposed items, and tutorials.

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So the first step was obviously painting.  I did two coats of primer along with two coats of white paint.  Much of the walls in the house were going to be white anyways and it’s such a clean color to work with…and the black had to be covered up.  I methodically planned out the layout of the house and then went to my FIL to insert room dividers.  The interior walls are all part of the renovation.  I can’t tell you too much about them because he’s the carpenter and I am not…I am not heartily wishing I expressed more interest when my Grandpa was alive.

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The back of the house is a leftover piece of wainscoting that was from our kitchen remodel.  It was measured to fit the back of the shelf and then nailed into the sides of the shelf as well as the new interior walls to make sure it was snug.  The walls and the back were all quick and easy.  Probably the easiest part of the whole remodel.

Then came the hardwood floor.  I owe a great deal of gratitude to my MIL who came up with the fantastic idea and you can find the previous post detailing the process HERE.  We also created a ‘slate’ floor for the bathroom.  I just brushed grey acrylic paint over the wood pieces and lightly brushed it off and used wood glue to adhere it to the floor.

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I almost put baseboards on after the floors and that would have been disastrous.  Luckily I was smart enough to catch myself and address the walls first.  The kitchen and Miss Owl’s room just have paint which was nice…I wanted those rooms to be calm.  The wallpaper I used was scrapbook paper bought mostly from Hobby Lobby since they have great sales.  Do remember, as you can see in the photos that humidity will have an effect on the wallpaper.  The walls were just a matter of measuring twice then cutting and then doing a light brush of modge-podge on the back of the paper and laying on the wall.  I did use an old plastic grocery card to smooth out the paper a bit so there weren’t any bubbles.

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Baseboards and crown moulding came next…and here again my grandpa would have done a miraculously perfect job…but I’m not a perfectionist.  Sadly.  I just don’t let anyone look too closely.  It’s a lot of measuring and cutting and painting and cutting again.  Honestly it turned out a lot better than I thought it would.

The final step was adding in all of the furniture-which had to be the best part of the entire project-although I was mortally afraid of supergluing anything down.  I got over that fear…

So…the next post will start the kitchen and little tutorials there.  Enjoy!

The Brassy Gal

So this little beauty doesn’t have a real name as of yet, but she is truly a beauty.  It’s probably the most ‘normal’ chandelier I have bought to date.  It was a steal of a deal on craigslist and I sent my wonderful long suffering husband to drive an hour to pick it up.

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His exact words to me on the phone were “it’s really a lot of brass…” with his voice trailing off.  I laughed and said that she was getting a fresh coat of paint.  White paint that is.  Mr. Wonderful has been pestering me ever since I finished our kitchen chandelier to do another white chandelier.  A beautiful pearly white.

I’ve wanted to work with one of these dual level chandeliers for a long time…this picture does not do it justice in any way but she will be a thing of beauty when I’m finished.

 

Stop Hating Your Body

I wrote this for the Daily Hiit, but it’s something I needed to share.

In the world today it is almost impossible to go through life without having the unattainable standards of the media and Hollywood having an affect on your psyche.  Multiple times a day advertisements, T.V. shows, movies, and clothing labels are barraging the public with their own standards of beauty.  Not even promoting anything resembling health.  It is a media storm that is driven by the belief that beautiful people sell beautiful things.  The belief that if you buy this product you too can resemble those who grace the ads, big screens, and airwaves.

Body image issues have become the prime issue facing everyone from fashion houses to Hollywood to magazines.  The idea of the “real woman” made its heyday attacking the super slim figures walking down the runways.  Beneath the exterior of the “real woman” campaign is much more than the desire to see different body types and sizes modeling clothing.  At its heart the drive is much more individually based.  When confronted with images of women who seemingly have no flaws, the flawed woman who is watching is confronted with her own body and sees it right on the page or the screen and does a comparison.  Down to the minutia.  Women hate not only being confronted with the idea that there is only one female body type that is considered beautiful but also they hate being confronted with their own body image issues as if those imperfections hold more sway in their mind then their college degrees or children or personality.

There is not just one beautiful female body as there is not one ‘perfect’ mother, wife, sister, daughter, or friend.  Changing a negative body image starts and ends with one thing.  Perception.  What you see in the mirror is determined by your outlook on life, your goals, your triumphs and setbacks, and pain.  It is no different than how you view a painting.  What a woman sees in the Mona Lisa varies drastically from what a man sees.  Body hatred exists because it is negatively perceived and negatively categorized.

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The little rolls of fat deposits around your waist and hips?  Those aren’t your most hated stumbling block.  They exist because you are a woman and genetically pre-disposed to more fat than men.  They are also a way of keeping you alive should famine or loss or starvation hit you.  It’s your body’s insurance policy on itself.

The thighs?  The thunder thighs you call them?  They happen to be the largest group of muscles on your body.  The largest fat burning grouping of muscles on your body.  They are strong because you need them to be.  They make it possible to run miles or pick up your children from the floor countless times a day.

There is nothing on or in your body that you hate.  Nothing at all.  From personal experience, what you really hate are your choices.  Choices that may be personal, dietary, or those skipped workouts.  It’s not about the fat on your body.  Are you putting in the effort into changing your body that you put into hating it?  Strangely enough your body is whats going to change you.  If it is fueled by positive thoughts, love, proper diet, and exercise it will reward you.  Your body is not the problem.  The way you think is.

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Everyone comes in different sizes.  They face trials and setbacks no one knows about.  Perhaps one is at risk for diabetes or another for breast cancer or another for MS.  At the end of the day what others look like or how much they weigh is not the issue, the issue is whether we approach our own situation positively.  Change if you want to change or don’t change.  But become comfortable in your body and love who you are.

You are who you choose to be.

Daily Hiit Blog Posts Updated

Sorry for the long absence…it gets hectic in life a times as we all know.  But I did want to take time out to give you all an update on the blogging that I have done, as a Featured Blogger, over at the Daily Hiit.

I’m going to link to the posts that have done extremely well on the site as well as those I really feel strongly about.  You know, just so you get a good mix.  Please hit the like button on the post for me if you read them!

Anorexia Memoirs: Are We Adding To the Problem?

Super Bowl=Single Largest Sex Trafficking Incident in the US

What I Learned From Ditching My Scale

A Different Take on the Thigh Gap Craze (one of my favorites)

Homeless Veteran Undergoes Makeover

11 Differences Between Dating a Man vs. a Boy

How to Strip Women of Their Achievements

Sorry for the deluge…there are a lot more.  Feel free to peruse.

Study in Silver Proposal

So here it is.

Earlier last month Study in Silver was purchased by a gentleman from Pennsylvania over Etsy and he had a fantastic idea for its use.

He was going to use it to propose to his girlfriend.  I was floored.  So without further ado, here are two photos that he gave me permission to use on the blog.

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The rather romantic gentleman used flickering lights in the chandelier which really seemed to increase the drama.  Isn’t the couple just beautiful?

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Now isn’t she one lucky woman?

Thank you so much Tung, for letting me provide a fraction of the romance for  your proposal.  I wish you all the happiness in the world for you and your wonderful fiance.