Sunday, 16 May 2010

Day 156-157-Ingredients For A House

How does one begin...

..the foundation for a house that is at once humble  in its exhibition

And yet rich in history and traditions?

What Will One Need....

... to build walls that tell a million tales

and place them side by side silently deafening ones?

When is the day ..

.. if indeed there is such a day 
that I may master even the shadows to shed light 
and blind the world with brilliance?

I hope this cheesy introduction makes a good advertisement for the products that I have used to build The Rolla's House. 

I am sure it comes as no surprise to you that I have only used household items seeing that Singapore does not have dollhouse shops unlike other civilised country. In the picture are some very commonplace household items that are often not very good for their real uses but make wonderful materials for my  dollhouses. Here is a list of the items with place of purchase, in no particular order:

"Plaster" wallpaper (Malay Village), S$1,00 wrapping paper with henna motifs, (Tang's), "wood" laminate drawer lining (S$2 shop at Daiso), plastic table cover and  impractical coasters that look like mini blinds (peanuts at Mustapha), already spray painted sand paper (a few cents at hardware shops), and last but not least,  bamboo table mat (picked from rubbish bin when out running).  

First a little diversion. This is my operation table. As you can see (or maybe not),  my village house is lying on its "face" which is actually its "porch". I don't really know how I am going to do it with the other 3 bigger houses. The Ikea lamp though nifty is not recommended because it is too hot. Back to the household items.

I have posted earlier about how the tribal women in Orissa often decorate their homes with rice paste paintings. This wrapping paper which I found quite by accident was ideal for its colour combination and the motifs. I didn't like the gloss though so I "decorated" the murals with paint and sand paper. Wood slats were simulated by painting laminate drawer linings, for the ceiling of this room to match the floor upstairs. I also used the bamboo table mat for the floor of this room (see previous pic). 

I had started work on this house since late morning Friday. I eventually went to bed at 5am and then started  again at 10am this morning right after my run.  I stopped when I realised at 6 pm that I hadn't  showered after my run!

I needed a mud look for the room. So I used the "plaster" wallpaper and painted it muddy peach, if there is such a colour. I used sand paper for the floor after spray painting it "terracotta" .

The bulk of my work went into the "mud relief" decorations on the walls. The women in my village house, like their counterparts in Kutch embellished their homes with very elaborate decorations using mud, clay  and mirrors. I have posted about them when I wrote "Planning Rolla's Bungha" in July last year. For the decorations, I cut out little patterns from the plastic table cover and created my own designs. It took me probably about 6 hours to finish the work around this window  and by the time I took this picture,  I must have looked like  the hunchback of Notre-Dame.

This doorway was done on Saturday by which time, I have acquired so much practice that  I could fashion "peacocks" out of circles and squares.  I know you won't recognise them but they are at the top of the doorway. The Javanese from Indonesia believe that peacocks are  the guardians at the gate of heaven which may be the reason why they are often depicted in this manner by women in Kutch. It is not obvious in the photographs but some of the silver from the plastic table cover shines through and look like embedded mirrors.

Broken wood slats blind made from coasters. I seriously doubt you can balance a glass on this, even when they were coasters and not broken Venetians. Its ability to protect is also suspect as water will seep through. They should really sell these as miniature blinds in dollhouse stores and priced them100 times more.

Even the flowers are household items. They are real dried flowers sitting in Indian beads. Only the 2 tiny cups are real [sic]. They are from the Tree of Life dining set gifted by Rosanna. I thought they look like they belong on the window ledge and so I dirtied them a little and placed them there, that being the last thing  I did for the house, until tomorrow that is.

I wonder if my Rollas will think this too shabby. I think they are expecting a spanking new house


dale said...

I love what you did around the windows and doors! It is so cool!

I can't believe that is all pieced! I can't see where.

The coaster shade looks perfect. I agree, most things they sell as coasters are not real guards against water marks. Perhaps they're just meant to be decoration. ;)

Glenda said...

Oooooh, I am gobsmacked!!
This is just the very best! I love it!
This house really does look as if it has lived, and lived well - you have captured it perfectly.
The colours, the detail, the character - sooo satisfying!!
And made from found items - you are a magician!

Leo Furtado said...

Olá !

Um trabalho simplesmente espetacular!!!!!!!!!
Parabéns por tuda esta maravilha... realmente fiquei bastante encorajado a continuar meus projetos (estava meio parado), porém com toda esta inspiração...
Obrigado por compartilhar

Merry Jingle said...

You're just one incredibly talented mini maker! I love the house, all the little details, the wear and tear, the colours - all so fab!

And I love your use of the everyday items, I should go to some shops to see what they have to offer.

It's going to be so fabulous so if your Rollas are complaining, tell them to get a hotel room and I'll move in :D


Ascension said...

Me encanta la realidad que le consigues imprimir a tus miniaturas.
Se ven tan reales todos los detalles de la casa!!!!
Es un trabajo magnifico!!!
besitos ascension

Eva said...

I am shocked!! The pictures are magnificient! I was surprised because you have worked hard and fast and the result is...BEAUTIFUL.
I love the framed doors and the walls...and everything. You are very talented, really ;)
I pick up "interesting things" from the rubbish bin sometimes too...LOL!
Un beso

PS I have a llok another time from a japanese view too ;)

The Dangerous Mezzo said...

I protest at your use of the word "cheesy" to describe your introduction ... :) Beautiful, layered work, as always. I love it when your blog goes up to the top of my blog list because that means that you've posted, and I get to absorb both your words and pictures for a few blissful minutes!

The henna motif wrapping paper is my absolute favourite ... :)

Snowfern said...

do you visualize what you're going to do while you're on your run, come back with obsessive thoughts and then bung them out? cos this is AMAAAAAAAZING. i love the 'lacework' and your efforts show. really, REALLY can't wait to see it in real life. be prepared for a lot of "OOOOH"-ing and "AHHHHHHH"-ing.

Peach Blossom Hill said...

How you can turn 'common household items' into such exotic beauty is mind-boggling! And I do love the 'muddy peach' color and the rustic look of the place. So beautiful!

I just managed to wire Joanna's quite run of the mill Victoria's Farmhouse today and only punctured my finger once, broke two punch bits, several sewing machine needles, had to do a weird box configuration with my tapewire on the second floor and had a cuss a little along the way and call in my husband twice for help! Pitiful!


Daydreamer said...

Absolutely stunning Sans, as usual! You work wonders with the everyday things you have. I love the colors and the details and the layers - your house is being completely transformed and it is so Beautiful! Thanks you! I always eagerly look for your next are so inspiring!

Sans said...

Woohoo Dale, you are 1st! How often is that? 1st time? ;p!

Thank you Babe :) for your compliment on the "relief" work. Maybe I will wait for you to help me with making all the furniture for the kitchen. Yes, they are ALLLLLLL to be done in this way..arghhh! I may very well go blind just building the kitchen and then hunch for the rest of my life. No wonder I pick up crafting only after being alive for er..a loooooong time :). LOL

Sorry, what do you mean they were "pieced" ? Don't forget I only picked up crafting 18 months ago and so are not familiar with some terms . I had to google "flannel" , remember?

If you mean "piecing them bit by bit", petal by stalk , curly by square, then, yes, they are. If you realllllly want to find out what was cut out etc, I guess you can blow up the picture on my material to see the details of the table cover. Or you can just wait till June and I will show you :).

5 weeks and counting.

Norma said...

Love the aged plaster, love the window colours, love the 'Venetian' blind, love your clever peacock 'trims' - all in all it's just absolutely fabulous Sans!! :)

Sans said...

Wow, Glenda! You are such a generous soul with those sweet, sweet words :). You New Zealanders are just some of the nicest people in the world, you know that?

Thank you so very much . I am thrilled that you are here and took time to leave a comment :). I just went over to yours and saw your list of to-dos.

This is my 1st house and it took me a year of planning and considering before I started. If your list of mine, I probably would have finished 1/2 of them by the time I hit 150 years old. :)

Sans said...

Olá Leo, eu estou tão feliz de ver você aqui! Eu sei que já disse isso muitas vezes, mas vou dizer de novo, eu aprecio os seus comentários.

E POR FAVOR, nunca deixe de fazer o que você faz. Onde eu estou começando a minha inspiração se você faz?

dale said...

Hey! I just happened to be on when your new post came up, and I was glad to see it. :)

Oh, I think you will be so much better than me with the kitchen furniture, but, I will bring my glasses so I can see it. ;)

Oh, I am older than you so just hush! lol, take your calcium and vitamnin d, so you are not hunched.

You really pieced all those pieces together? (Bows to the master)

I did enlarge what you started with.

Sits in amazement. Thinks about bringing loops to see. ;)

Sans said...

Ira, you are too funny :):) with that hotel comment! I still can't stop giggling.

You are ever so kind with your compliments. I do think I have come quite a way from when I first Like you, I too show failed work so some of my friends here know I improved because I just kept at it lol AND from reading those of you who share their experiences through the blog.

I have great admiration for people who build their houses from scratch! Like you and your Toscano. You made so many things yourself too!

Sans said...

Eva :), yeah like one minute I was emailing you and the next, it is done? :). I wish , dear

I spend the most time gathering materials. So most of the time, I just buy and keep until I am "ready" with almost all the materials in place. To me, having the right material is 80 percent of success. With the right stuff, even if the skill level is not so high, you can make something authentic, right?

It was a lucky day when I saw the bag of 3 bamboo table mats with matching coasters. I was thinking, yippeee, I don't even have to age this. They are already used and old and soft :) yet clean. Someone has grown tired of them..GOOD for me :)

Sans said...

Thank you very much, Ascension. It is so wonderful to wake up to so many encouraging words . They make me want me to keep going :):).

Your little hungry ghost is too cute yet scary :) maybe he will visit someday. I am sure he loves old houses ? jejejeejeje :)

Muchas gracias, la Ascensión. Es maravilloso leer las palabras de tanto aliento. Ellos me dan ganas de seguir haciendo miniaturas.

Su pequeño fantasma es muy lindo:) Estoy segura de que ama a las casas antiguas? Puede venir a cocinar jejejeejeje :)

rosanna said...

I'm sorry for Ira but I definitely shall NOT go to a hotel!! I LOVE this house! I really love, love, love every bit of it ! The colours, the texture, the decorations, the flowers hanging from the windows...there are so many details to look at and one distracts from the other.But you cannot go on working like that! it's like you were closed and chained in a salt mine; take it easy. I know that we are all like a pack of hungry wolves waiting to see more and more but you just forget about us. Relax a bit. More over I'd love to have something to do with you when time will be, so leave something aside. :o)) I sound very wise but W had to hide my floss and needles to compell me to go to bed earlier. I have black bags under my eyes out of lack of sleep. Not hunchbacked yet but getting closer ;o) Big hugs from the Rolla who adore their new lodgings

Sans said...

ooooooooh Nina, you sure have a way with words too :) I am terribly touched by what you have said. Feeling real warm and fizzy now :).

I just came from your last few posts. It must seem like I catch up with everyone's posts while replying to comments here which is partly true. You guys really work too fast for But I really don't want to miss anything, you know. Your work is so fascinating to me.

Despite the long comment I made on your last post, I realise that I didn't tell you I share your sentiments about US dollhouses. You know I have 4 houses, all American, all waiting to be bashed and one of them is the Queen Anne that you have mentioned with the yukky candy pick and purple exterior. I seriously don't know how to ever do that one which is huge! The pink really irked me. Someone suggested I sell that away and get a European one like the Grosvenor Hall at Dolls House Emporium. I also love the German houses (Antique Gothschalk) .

Safe trip, my dear. You have fun shopping!

tom pouce said...

Lovely post and house! You know I live in France but I love using everyday life materials such as cardboard, paper, laces etc. just like you instead of buying things! Your result is really wonderful!

Sans said...

Hehe , Cindy, I think about loads of stuff when I am running, like how to be a tourist guide, whether my guest room is big enough for a ruckus with 3 or 4 girls and yes, how to hide wires in the tribal house

It really is more get the running over with so I can get back to minis :) AND only if I feel "inspired". You know, I need to be "in the zone" for minis because it is my expressions ..haha, I sound like I am breast feeding! eeeew :)

Seeing it life means I can't photoshop away all the imperfections haha. More like "aiyoh, like that one ah" than the oohs and ahhs. My "friend" FaiZ was just saying the other day how my Banjara valance look better through his camera than life! Bloody a%^&$$#@!

Ooo shoootkarudin, I was trying soooooo darn hard for the relief work NOT to look like lacework! So it looks like lace huh? Tell the truth now, you don't want to have a long nose!

Sans said...

Jody, only 2 punches? I have broken 3 paintbrushes just from painting and 2 chisels.I am so afraid I might break my hammer since I only have one. LOL.

On wiring, I really think using dollhouse circuits are much harder than just using conventional lighting. It's just from reading other blogs since I only use conventional lighting so far.

You must show us your house soon, It should be fabulous. Just read Cindy's feature of your work. You will make a great farmhouse!

Sans said...

Thank you dear Betsy :). I too am watching your transformation of your Old Dollhouse which I love a lot :).

Isn't it wonderful that we are kind of walking alongside each other at this part of the journey? Except you can work on 2 houses at the same time while I can only do 1 at a time....a long

Sans said...

Norma, love your comment :) and all your loves . Here's all mine back to ya.

You guys really make me smile, every single time!

Sans said...

Dale darling, wherefore are ya?

By the way, do you know how to cut glass? Blew 2 light bulbs in 2 days because I kept dropping the Ikea lamp. Sitting here looking at the bulbs , I thought if you can cut it nicely, they make really nice fish tanks. Will be great if someone can show me how to cut glass with the tools I already own but don't know how to use.Then I can start selling authentic mini glass fishtanks although I don't know why anyone will want to buy from me when they can make one themself....should I save the bulbs for you?

Sans said...

Rosanna, hahahahaha! I really laughed out loud when I read Ira's comment about the hotel and actually wondered what your response will be! :)Can you tell that I am really happy with your reply :) .

Not sure if you remember but I told you once that I would probably enjoy building this house the most despite it being the smallest and humblest. I love folk art way more than the rich and elaborate high art . So it is incredibly satisfying when I can put into this small home all that I love about the folk and tribal art of India.

I am not working to feed wolves, darling Ro. I love your Genoan way of describing everything, it's always so vivid and colourful and of course, am just reading a biography about Carravagio which mentioned that he passed through Genoa to go to Milan when he ran away after murdering someone. :) Life was so chaotic and raw and visceral in medieval Italy. BUT I cannot believe that people are "hungry" for my work, dimostrando l'impossibile!

Anyway , doing what you love is not work, I just can't stop , LIKE YOU! :). I cannot imagine what Walter will say if you come all the way here just to do minis AGAIN...hahaha. He will delete my name from your blog list, all emails, my phone number and block me from your computers....

By the way in between these replies, I went to work on the staircase and some beams for the ceiling (for hiding I may need your opinion on which direction to put the staircase. I think you will like the staircase. :)

Sans said...

Thank you so much Tom :). There's something about making things yourself. It is now almost inevitable for me that I modify everything (except artisan's pieces) . I even tried to dirty the 2 tree of life cups Glue and coffee powder. Not very

Love your creations, they inspire me :)

Snowfern said...

Sans, and you call -me- over-self-critical?!?!?! XD well remember, when i view things i don't look at the overall picture, my brain zooms in to details 'of interest' and dissects it :( i have to say though, in it looks more "relief painted" than in more because of the angle/lighting, so the doorway one looks more 3-D, when in actual scale it'd have to be close to flat, but that's only if one is super nitpicky!?!??!!? don't hatel me or i'll fart on all your cushions :P :P :P XD really la, it's just the angle of the lighting making it 'pop out' more than the window one.

pishtosh, it -IS- fabulous work, stop your nonsense! XD

contar said...

me encanta todo lo que esta haciendo en esa casa, y sus ideas para decorar con cosas corrientes son muy inspiradoras.
un abrazo

I am charmed with everything what this doing in this house, and his ideas to decorate with current things are very inspiring.
An embrace

dale said...

Oh! I don't know anything about cutting glass. :( (sounds like men's work to me, lol)

Don't they like score it and then tap off what they don't want? Wear safety goggles!!!

You know, I do have to sleep sometimes, Cindy kept me up too late. Yes, I'm blaming it on her. (Make sure we keep her away from the cushions)


I can't wait to see it in person. I'm just going to sit and watch you. :)

I can see getting so totally engrossed in a project and working on it all day. Sometimes I'm just so anxious to see something completed that I just can't stop. :)

Meli said...

Sans is so lovely the house!! I just love it !!! You are doing an extraordinary work on this!!
It's really a pleasure to visit your blog!!

Ara said...

Its beautiful Sans. I think my favorite part is the window. The blinds are perfect and their own broken way! I can just picture a warm morning light streaming through the slats and lighting up the whole room! Love it! And that detail work is amazing and worth the time it took to do it!

Sans said...

Lunch Time!!! :)

Seriously, Cindy, thank you for that "dissection", it's very interesting observation for me , the bit about 3D and the impression it gives. Eureka moment there.I now know that I should have tried to make it more 3D! They were after all supposed to simulate clay, mud and mirrors work. Flat makes it "lacy" . THANKS, SI-FU!

Can you really fart multi times, like one after another, from cushion to cushion? Wow!! You know I have many right?

Sans said...

Contar, thank you , buddy :). It is Monday here, the start of a work week and there is no better way to love my Monday then to read your sweet compliments :). I am also happy to join your 100 followers party :) Time sure flies. I was there on your blog when you made your 1st

Contar, gracias, amigo:). Es lunes aquí, el inicio de una semana de trabajo y no hay mejor manera de amar a mi Lunes a continuación, leer atentamente dulce:). También estoy feliz de unirse a su partido 100 seguidores:) Tiempo de seguro de las moscas. Yo estaba allí en su blog cuando hizo su primera entrada .. lol

Sans said...

Dale, I think its crazy to fly 25 hours just to work on minis or worse, watch someone else does it!! lol

I am throwing away all the light bulbs when I get home tonight! Oh wait, Cindy, you know how to cut glass?

By the way, babe, I don't hang out with people who sleeps. How to when they are sleeping? hahahahahah!
hmm, ok, that's a super lame joke, the kind my corny dad loves to crack. Sorry..;p

Sans said...

Meli, my dear and darling friend, thank you but the pleasure is all mine :)

Sans said...

Ara, you are really sharp! It is true that for some of these village homes, the only source of light is from an opening , like a window, in the house. Especially in the day time when they do not want to waste fuel lighting up kerosene/ hurricane lamps. I was thinking of this picture I have seen when I was making the broken slats. It was a photo of a Banjaran woman sitting in the pool of light from a window in her kitchen. She was on the floor, embroidering and the caption explains about how that pool of light was the home's only source of illumination.

I thought, that's why the broken blinds is not repaired. Enough privacy from the prying eyes outside and yet allowing more light to come through into the house. Now if I could light up the house this way, and then make a woman sit in a corner with her tapestry and...


Thank you for the inspiration, Ara.

Anama said...

Hola Susana!
For Eva I knew your name!
I'm a folloger of your blogs.
I read that in your country you don't get the materials for the miniatures, console yourself!
Here I don't get, then I use household materials :P
Singapore and Buenos Aires are not uncivilized cities, no.
But in both countries there are not people who think that the miniatures are important.
I'm sure it's no surprise to you that I've only used household items too.
Susan, thanks for your words to my miniatures, and also thanks to meet you!
Hugs and kisses,

Piikko said...

Sans, I love the colors and the details of yoyr beautiful house!
I really love to visit your blog:D Thank you for visiting mine:D
Minihugs from Finland,

Sans said...

Ola Anama :):), Good to see you here! I am surprise to learn that miniature is not big in Argentina because from some of your blogs, I see that many of you are extraordinarily talented in this area.

Actually over here, there is a strong following of miniatures for wargaming, anime (Japanese cartoons) etc but not dollhouses :). For here, I believe most people still balk at the idea of paying a lot of money for a hobby like crafting. Using household items is very economical and sometimes the result can be amazing. At first, it is frustrating for me because I would see very reasonably priced dollhouse minis being sold in other countries . Now, I think it is a blessing in disguise because you can hone your skills making things yourself. I am sure you feel the same way :).

Sans said...

Pikko , I look forward to both visits, from you and to you. Thank you for taking the time to leave encouraging words. :) Now with Ira, you will be my second friend from Finland . Yay!

Snowfern said...

Sans! i think you got my comment terbalek! i mean like ahh nevermind it's not important la, i only called it 'lacework' cos it was ....fashioned like you would design a lace right? ehhh??? i should not mis-use 'technical' terms and confuse others like i do myself!!!

i got mad skills, but my brother wins cos he can jump and fart at the same time. why are fart jokes being featured here? i'm so classy....*snurk* sorry!!!!

Sans said...

Cinds Babe, actually I got exactly what you mean. Sometimes I muttered to myself as I typed and confused you. I know you meant to say ...ok whatever, we will clarify with each other later..LOL. Just one more topic of conversation for us lol.

Jean Day said...

Your creativity is so wonderful!! Everything looks so right for the scene you are creating, rich colours with added age, so perfect. The wall papers and trims are terrific! I especially love the decoration you designed around the window. You must be having the best time figuring how to get the right effects. You are so artistic, it is truly a wonderful work of art!

Sans said...

Jean!!! :) Surely you are way way too generous with those compliments but I loooooooove them :):).

All your water colour lessons help me understand shading :) and mixing so I am only learning from the best.

You know, living in this part of the world and growing up as an Asian really helps in my understanding of the Indian culture. Although at the end of the day, the East and the West are really not that far off from each other in the really basic stuff . I am really glad that I am doing something others from very diverse background can also enjoy :):).

Roberta said...

You are a very crazy girl!!!
It's very funny your idea of Rolla's house...Rosanna and walter will be happy for this fantastic house.
Please, sorry me for my silence and let me start to read all of your post of this period, I have an hard work to do!!!
A big big big hug

Sans said...

Hehe , Roberta :):). My dolls are impatiently waiting for the house :). It is a big task to please them or myself..every little thing is a big decision, that is why it is taking so long :).

DON'T read everything, dear Roberta, you will have a headache!! :)

Liberty Biberty said...

The Rolla's house is looking fabulous!
That window with the broken blind is quite SPECTACULAR...uh, oh I feel a song from a certain movie coming on!

Sans said...

OMG!! Mercedes, I haven't stopped thinking of "Spectacular!Spectacular!" thanks to you!!!! :):)

If you ever chanced upon a dollhouse book called "Mixed Media Dollhouses", take a peek. I see my Elephant Mansion there! It is going to happen!

miniaturist59 said...

Insanely beautiful, Susan!!!!! WOW.

Sans said...

O peeeeelease, Kiva! *a shrug , a shove whilst blushing :)

dora said...

You again I must congratulate, I love as you has been, you get a reality and harmony in the set I leave with the mouth open. Bravo, and I love that you practise Spanish, you know when you want in Spain.... JA ja ja.
Kisses and hugs Carmen

Sans said...

Carmen, Estoy muy contento des que les guste mi trabajo :):):).

I am still struggling with that sentence. But I have memorised : "Muchas gracias por visita mi blog" :):).

I told myself , one sentence a week :) and sometimes I even add a little picture:

"O-O <---- Mi grande ojos"
when I want to say WOW , your work make my eyes BIG!!! LOL

Un beso y abrazo

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