Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Dollhouse


The dollhouse was finally finished last month. It took me fourteen months of off and on work to get it done. And it was the most exciting and enjoyable experience. It got a lot of appreciation from family, friends and strangers, which was very gratifying too. Here is the grand tour of the completed dollhouse for my blog.
This is the front of the house, which is detachable. The brick and stone detailing is all egg-carton painted and cut into form. The door and window panes are out of popsicle sticks.

 The larger plants are from craft store while I made the flowers for the window boxes out of air-dry clay. These are detachable and the girls can rearrange them according to their preference.
My father-in-law made me the awesome hinges for the door. I fashioned the lock from my jewelry making supplies.
The night view.
The right side of the house is simply wall with some windows. Same goes for the back.
The left side of the housed is more interesting with a balcony and a chimney below it, which houses the batteries for the house lights.
This is the front of the house, detached.
And its inner view.
Coming to the interior of the house, it has a living room and a kitchen on the ground floor and the bedroom and the washroom on the top floor.
The circular staircase leads up from the kitchen to the bedroom.
I probably blogged about the living room earlier, but here it is again in its completed state.
All the furnishing were made from scratch, except for the flower on the side table which is actually an eraser and has been placed by my daughter as an accent piece.
The sofa turned out just perfect but as I was just starting when I put together this living room, the curtains and wood paneling are not very finely done.
The doorway leading into the kitchen. Again the stairs are a bit crude, them too being an earlier construction.
This is one of the cutest corners of the house. The dining set is simple and sturdy and the curtains tie together the look. I added the picture frame and the clock as last-minute details.

The kitchen cabinents, sink and stove were all custom-made to fit into the available space. The shelf doors are a bit wonky (again the learning curve thing)but they do open, as do the shelves under the sink, the oven and the drawers.
There is the frigde tucked into the conrner. It was a tricky piece to make.
Moving onto the top floor, here is the balcony. This is another one of my favorite parts of the house. It has large-sliding doors which lead into the bedroom. I thought it would be cool to have the vine climbing around to the side wall from the front.
I made a lounging chair for the balcony,
...and a laundry rack. Both are made of popsicle sticks and are foldable.
Interior view from the balcony.
The bedroom still need a rug and I might crochet one some day.
The bunk bed was a requested piece and the one which made me realize just how tall the barbie dolls are. It also made me revise the house master plan and construct a dormer window, as I did not want the barbie bumping her head against the low ceiling.
The wardrobe with sliding doors was also a requested piece but it has proven to be inadequate to accommodate the barbies' expanding wardrobe. We might have to add some more storage soon.
The dressing table corner is another cute one. It leads to the bathroom.
 
 Of course the dollhouse MUST have a fully detailed bathroom, no matter that most of it is hidden behind a curtain (which is also a MUST, a doll needs its privacy).

This concludes the very picture-intensive dollhouse tour. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed making and sharing this project.

Monday, October 29, 2018

I'm Back

This blog has been badly ignored, almost abandoned, for the last seven months. I have nothing better in the way of excuse other than that life got in the way.  I put away my needles for the summer and all the other crafts also took a back seat to my family obligations. The next few months are also going to be busy but I hope to put up a few posts now and then.
In knitting news, I only restarted knitting last month and have knitted only two pairs of fingerless gloves.
The first one was a DROPS design that I made on comission. I always enjoy colorwork so it was a breeze. Once it was done, I wanted to knit another.
This design was reverse-engineered from an pin on pinterest. It has some embroidery too, in the form of a flower an the back of the wrist, and I add some pearl beads for good measure. I guess my eldest daughter will be claiming this pair.
  In other news, my biggest project of the year (fourteen months to be exact), the dollhouse, is nearing completion. I just need to add a few minor things and take pictures.

  Other than that, our life has been most ordinary and routine, Alhamdulillah. The weather is slowly turning milder and I feel knitting beckoning me once more. Letvus see how much I can manage in the coming months.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Spring Knitting And Sewing

The spring in definitely in the air, here in Islamabad. The winter chill is gone and we have days at a stretch, of warm sunshine, interspersed with spring showers. My latest projects suit this change in weather.
My old reader might know that I have a thing for girl dresses with knitted bodices. So, I recently got hold of two balls of cotton yarn, in light fingering weight, to make a couple of spring dresses for my 6-year-old. I bought the yarn online and was a bit worried about running out. But in the end, I managed two get both bodices done, using down to the last inch of both yarns.
Next, I went to shop for matching fabrics and thankfully found some suitable ones quickly. It took one evening to sew up the dresses and another to sew on the buttons.
I love these part-knit part-sewn dresses and would love to test some other stitch patterns in the futre, insha Allah.

In other accomplishments, I did an early spring-cleaning of my craft closet and it has made me resolved to use up some of my stash. I'm still undecided about what to cast on next, socks maybe, or a stole.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Gloves

The past few months have been intense. Important family affairs took much of my attention, time and energy, so I had little to give to this blog. My crafts slowed down but did not halt, as I would be lost without them.

Coming to knitting, I got some comission work for the first time in my life. I used to dread knitting to someone else's specifications, but it was surprisingly pleasant. I knit some things, I would not normally knit and it was refreshing and fun.

As for the actual projects, these were fingerless gloves_ four pairs. The first was straightforward enough, a DROPS pattern which went fast and quick.
The other three I had to reverse-engineer from some photo the client sent me. There were two pairs of same design in different sizes.

The last one was unique in that main and contrasting colors were revesed for the two gloves of the pair and there were pompoms. Now while I know how to make pompoms, I have not had much practice. So it was an interesting experiment and I got them right in the second try.
Here is the completed comission in full. I am happy to report that it was well-received.
The glove saga does not end here, as last week, my son handed  me some yarn (he has some of his own, isn't that cool?) and asked me to make a pair for him. He drew out the design for me. This one was simple enough to knit, but six rows of duplicate stitch took almost three hours. He is well-pleased with his design.
Hopefully these are all the gloves for this season. I'm eager to work on something new and have just cast on a different kind of project.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Winter Fantasy Cardigan

After a summer-long hiatus, this project was recently picked up again.  At that point, it needed a few inches of knitting on the body and both sleeves. A few rows on it every night and it is finally done. I sewed the buttons on it last evening and wove in the ends this morning.


I like stranded work so this was a good, fun project. Knitting top-down meant reversing the instructions and doing some recalculation to adjust gauge. The cardigan is on the smaller side, because I was tired of baggy sweaters (and perhaps am a bit deluded about my actual size). All-in-all it was a satisfactory project and just the thing to bring back the knitting mood.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Dollhouse Kitchen Highlights

Kitchen was one of the most daunting part of the dollhouse, bathroom being the other. (I'm still figuring out, how to make a toilet.) What made it more challenging, was that the girls wanted it as realistic as possible. They wanted cabinets, drawers and fridge that could open and close. And, I had to made everything from scratch.

I started with this set of drawers. These were a easy start, made with matchboxes, and popsicle sticks. I used beads for drawer knobs.
Next was the sink. It was trickier but turned out OK. The sink is made from styrofoam egg carton. The cabinets underneath were hinged, though it was my first attempt and they are far from perfect. But as my husband keeps reminding me, curbing my perfectionist streak, it is just a plaything for the kids.
The range was easy and looks cute. The oven opens too. 
The hinges for these wall cabinets took some time and effort. These turned out a bit wonky, which seems to be the theme for this dollhouse. The hinges made it possible to open the doors, but keeping them closed required some thought. Velcro was my solution.
Then came the wall tiles. These brought together all the elements.
The refrigerator was my least impressive piece and hated the making of it. But girls are happy with it, and I cannot bear the thought of redoing the whole thing, so is stays. Here too, velcro came to my rescue.
The girls found some food erasers to fill it with.
Lastly, the dining set with four chairs. The red cushions go with the window curtains.

Next comes the top floor of the house. At this point in time, I am almost done with the interior of the house, and am working on the exterior. The end is almost in sight.