Monday, March 23, 2020

A long time postponed project: The Phantom of the Opera shrine

It has been literally years since I have been planning to do this.  But for some reason or other, it was something that always got pushed to the back burner.  These days of quarantine were the push I needed to finally do it.

The Phantom of the Opera shrine:

The truth is, the glass domes I had bought were not big enough to accomodate this display, so I finally caved in and bought this kit from Art of Mini, as well as a set of Venetian Masks.  I substitued the enclosed papers with some sheet music, printed at home, from Vectoria Designs.  In one of them you can see the title "Don Juan Triumphant" - the opera score Erik was composing.  Then I included the Phantom's mask and a a red rose.

It was super simple and easy to make, and I am very happy how it has turned out.  Now, I face a problem: it does't fit the place where I wanted to showcase it.  Either I have to find somewhere else to put it, or it will have to go to the new house (in time).

Sunday, March 22, 2020

More wallpapers: this time, the bedroom

It was no surprise that Kassandra was so excited to work in the bedroom; the papers she chose are... Well, let's say different of what you would normally expect in a modern house.  But of course, she would say very vehemently that she is not "modern", even though she acknowledges that modern inventions are fun and convenient...

When we started rolling down the wallpapers, I was surprised to find a stone texture: 

"Are you sure you want to use this for a bedroom?  I don't know, a bedroom is usually a place to unwind, and it has to feel cozy and inviting."
"But, my dear, those papers are precisely that!  You'll see when we finish putting up the first one..."
"If you say so... But it's too long, we have to cut it to fit the adyacent corner."

And said and done, we glued it up to the back wall:

And the cut piece, to the left corner:

"Are you sure about this?  I still don't know..."
"Absolutely sure!  Oh, it is going to be perfect! Let's do the next wall"  

"Oh, I cannot wait to see it finished.  And you'll see when you see the ceiling piece!"
"The ceiling piece!?"
"Let's do the last wall first!"
"It is a very long wall.  We need to put together two sheets."

"Look at this!  Have you seen anything of this beauty in your so called "modern world"?"
"Uh... I would say, it is very pretty, but Kassandra, isn't it a bit way over the top?"
"My dear, you know I love you, but sometimes you do not get me at all.  Come on, let us put the final piece in its place, and then you tell me I am wrong."

And so, we put the ceiling piece in its place.  And I must say, I was not prepared for the overall effect of the room:

"Isn't it marvelous?"
"But, Kassandra... This looks like a crypt to me..."
"You humans and crypts!  My dear, this could have been anything!  A library; a study in a castle; an old university or center of learning; an abbey... Look at that ceiling!  Ana was so nice as to custom make it for me.  She is the best. Don't you know that your University of Salamanca has a roof that looks very much like this one?  She mentioned that she took the texture from the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, though.  Although I admit, it could have been a crypt too.  Not that I mind.  What's wrong with a crypt, anyway?  I have slept in crypts more than once, you know... They are the most peaceful place to sleep in.  And you are never alone!"

And then she laughed.  Sometimes I forget she is a very old vampire, and a shiver run down my spine.

"No, really. I was thinking more of "The Phantom of the Opera".  Erik would have liked the setup."
"And now you are going to tell me you will put a coffin, or a tomb, to sleep in?"
"Don't be silly.  Why would I willingly put a coffin to sleep in? I would rather have a nice bed.  Besides, what if I have guests?"
Guests... Oh, my!
"We still have the floor to put".
"I know.  Do not think I am not torn about it.  I do not know if we should go with stone, or with wood.  I have to think about it some more".

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Update on the ballet studio

Remember the empty door frames in the library, and how Kassandra and I decided to wallpaper them?

We did the same thing with the round window of the ballet studio.  It looks so much better now:


It was very easy and fast to do.  I only took a scrap piece of paper of a descarded sheet, cut it to measure and glued it with double-sided tape.  

We are currently working on the bedroom wallpapers.  More info on that tomorrow!

Friday, March 20, 2020

More wallpapers: moving on to the library

Since Kassandra still does not know what is she going to do with the spare room in the attic, we moved to the floor below, and started working on the library.  The lovely wallpaper that was chosen was created by the talented Ana from Easy Print and Cut - Kassandra is a big fan of her work, so check her out!

We started with the back wall, to check the style and the composition.  We decided that the end of the stairs would be the perfect place to hang the tapestry depicting Sir Galahad, which was stored since her other residence was reformed.  So we included a red and gold under-tapestry to frame it:

See the tapestry, waiting for the renovations to be finished
Then, we moved onto the wall that leads to the terrace.  It was easy enough to leave out the hole for the door:

Then, the wall that leads to the bedroom:

We procedeed to put back the stairs rails and to hang the tapestry in its final place:

The clock is also in its final place.  Kassandra is thinking of replacing it
"It looks marvelous!  Oh, the wonderful hours I will spend here reading!"
"Mmm, I don't know if I like the empty gaps around the terrace door frames..."
"I will be putting up some curtains.  You cannot have a door to a terrace without curtains."
"I know, but still... I think we should fill those gaps with paper as well."
"Maybe you are right.  Very well, we will do that."

And so we did.  We used the same paper we cut for the door frame, so the matches are excellent!

"Now it looks wonderful!"
"Indeed! But we still have the floor to do..."
"I know, but I am dying to put the wallpaper up in the bedroom.  You will see how gorgeous it will be.  I cannot wait to show it to you!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Ballet Studio - finishing with the wallpaper

My ink printer is running out of colored ink, but I managed to print two more sheets of striped wallpaper to finish the ballet studio.

It was *almost* two sheets.  I had to patch them up with a little bit of scrap paper from other sections of the wall.  But then, I had the two windows to cut out.  And to do so I had no other recourse but to take several measurements from the roof and draw the patterns in the wallpaper:

Cutting the space for the hinges was easy.  The window, not so much...

Thank goodness for sharp X-Acto knives!

First window cut, one to go.  See the tiny bit without paper at the bottom?
I proceeded exacty the same with the second window.  With the first one as reference was a little easier, and finally the wallpaper was put in place:

Looking good!
And done!  Now the only thing lacking are the lights and the mirror.  Hopefully the lights will arrive soon...

Monday, March 16, 2020

The Ballet Studio

The ballet studio is a reality!  Even though it is not completely finished, Kassandra considers it ready to be used.  Here is the construction process.

We started installing the wood floor.  Kassandra was very particular on which kind of floor she wanted for the space, and I think it looks very nice:

Another lovely creation of Jessica Cloe.  And indeed, even though Kassandra is not very fond of pink, she wanted no other color for the wallpapers on the studio; so we bought yet another design from Jessica.  And the wallpapering started:

We had to cut a template first so the wallpaper would fit on the wall
It was no fun to cut the wallpaper so it would fit all the nooks and crannies of the ceiling, but we are happy with how it turned out.  Then, the wallpaper for the back wall.  It was very big, and it took almost two A4 put together:

It wasn't easy to glue it.  Too many angles and the ceiling beam!
And then the last wall, which had the round window.  We used the same template from the first wall, turned around, and tried several sizes of circles to cut out the window:

It is not perfect, but the missing millimiter is barely noticeable...
And then, the windows.  They needed painting, which we spray-painted in white, and then we installed a couple of blinds in the same pink and white stripped pattern:

Still missing some wallpaper on this wall, but very soon...

The blinds are the lovely creation of Mini Maison Miniatures.  The only things that we are lacking are the electric lights - which are on their way from Canada at the moment - and mirrors, that Kassandra has still not found.  But she was very excited to put up the decoration, and so she didn't lose a second to do it:

The *almost* finished studio!

I am in love with the record player and the speakers!

Two posters of Kassandra's most recent performances: The Nutcraker and Jewels: Diamonds

Some dance magazines and a box with vinyl records

How delightful are the round box and the pointe shoes?
Kassandra is so so happy with her studio.  She says she still has some stuff that needs to bring.  "But I am in no hurry.  It will come here, in time."

It is incredible that with so little decoration a scene can communicate so much! Unlike some dollhouse scenes, that tend to be a bit crowded with adornments, this one is perfect just almost empty!  It just lacks the little details, such as more pointe shoes in their boxes, and maybe even a tiara.  I even have the intention of getting a ballet barre.  But, as Kassandra says, all in good time...

Monday, March 9, 2020

Working in the conservatory

Remember that Kassandra was very excited about her conservatory?  She wanted it to be one of the first things to be redone, because "it was very exposed, and it looked awful".  Well, the renovations started some weeks ago, but they just finished yesterday.

We started getting rid of the old handrail in the terrace.  Kassandra said that it took too much space, and it was very bulky.

See the conservatory and the terrace on the left

Before renovations started

Kassandra chose a wrought iron decorative fence to replace the old handrail.  I think it is an exquisite selection:

Bye, old handrail; hello, beauty!
I made holes in the terrace floor so the fence could be installed:

One of the pieces had to be cut to fit on the front...

... although I did not make a very good job of it
Before installing the fence definitely, Kassandra had to choose a flooring.  She was doubtful among several choices:

Two types of terracotta floor...

and a grey tile pattern

She finally opted for this one in earthy tones...

... and the fences were installed
However, since she was not very happy with the cut fence, I enlisted the help of a specialist - my husband, of course! -, who was happy to help her.  Yesterday he cut a new fence exactly right, and Kassandra was over the moon with the final result:

The windows got installed without much difficulty, and now was the time to pick some flooring for the inside.  Kassandra wanted to use the grey tile pattern she rejected for the terrace:

But she was not convinced, so she opted instead for a wonderful white marble floor:

Very regal indeed!

We bought the floor from Jessica Cloe Miniatures, who has a wonderful array of floors and wallpapers that Kassandra liked, so we will be installing some more pieces from her very soon.

The inside walls still need some wallpaper, but the terrace is complete, and I asked if she was ready to start decorating.

"Oh, no.  I would rather wait until the weather gets better.  We will make the terrace nice and cozy, but when the summer is nearer.  I would prefer to concentrate on the inside for now.  I want to have the ballet studio first of all, so I can have a place to rehearse."

Now you know what comes next...