Mostly Finished at Last…except for this and that….

I have finally decided it’s time to publish photos of my completed French Country Windmill Cottage. I still have some details to complete, but I will update those as they happen.The completed cottage……AFTERThe original kit – BEFORE.

I got my inspiration from the 2009 Greenleaf Dollhouse Spring Fling Contest winner, Jennifer Barrick. Her interpretation of her Loganberry Mill just spoke to me – but I decided to make it into a Cottage instead of a mill.The original dimensions of the actual kit (without roof projections) is 13″ wide, 16″tall, and 8″ deep. My structure is 15″ wide (21″ with patio), 16 1/2″ tall (thatched roof) and 16 1/2″ deep (17 1/2″ with landscaping). I doubled the depth of the kit to make it large enough for a cottage, plus I added 2″ to the width to give more room for a kitchen and dining room, as well as two inches to the height on the left side for the bedroom loft, and higher ceiling in the kitchen. Adding height visually gave the structure more “eye” room inside.So the whole exterior is covered in stucco and aged with color wash. The vines are Baby’s Breath Garland from Hobby Lobby. I redesigned the original blades on the windmill to reflect a more realistic French look. All the windows in the house are painted “Sage” with chalk paint by Plaid.Because of the 2″ width extension, the front door became recessed, creating a nice entryway. The large window looks in on the kitchen and gives the house that “French” look. The flowers on the outside sill were made from kits by My Miniature Garden on Etsy, who no longer has listings. Because I raised the roof over the kitchen, I then faced the dilemma of two competing roof lines. I was originally going to just fill in with a piece of wood, when inspiration struck. What the house needed was more light, so I made a window to fit between the roofs. After all, this is a converted windmill, and structural changes are part of the charm (and I can do anything I want, lol).I am so happy with the thatched roof. I used the coconut fiber wire basket liners for flowers (from Lowe’s Hardware), as Caroline at cinderellamoments.com mentioned in one of her posts. I just cut it to shape, and glued it on. Total expense – $10!Above is the right side. Once again I had two different heights of walls – the extra space was for headroom in the loft bedroom, so I just extended the curved roofline all the way to the back of the house. I just cut the thatching to the correct height after I glued it on the foam core dome. This home needed an outdoor space, and I desperately wanted French Doors. I had some flagstone leftover from my previous project, and I had just enough for the front entry as well. Made the pergola out of Basswood strips from Dick Blick art supplies. I ordered the garden bench from miniatures.com. I’m still working on topiaries for the patio. A departure from the window color for the french doors – I painted them to match the kitchen and dining room in “Bavarian” chalk paint. Still waiting on another set of door handles.The inside, with all the lights. I used all individual battery operated lights on this build because I wanted this style of lights (I don’t do electrical lighting). So here it is, total open concept – you can see the whole house from here! See how much height the extra 2 inches added to the kitchen and loft? And the window where the shed roofs meet will have baskets hanging from there (they’re coming from Russia). The loft is the actual height of the second floor which was originally in the front of the house. Let me show you around….The dining room and kitchen all have wooden ceilings painted white. The three rugs in the cottage are from Tiny Home Goods on Etsy. She makes the most beautiful rugs I’ve seen anywhere! This one is a rooster theme to go with the French theme, as well as the white washed furniture. Here’s a better look.My favorite room, the kitchen. I wanted the high ceiling so I could hang a pot rack, and have the lights higher as well as beams running from the dome. The big window is perfect in here, as well as the angled ceiling window to add more light. I built open shelving beyond the kitchen as a pantry to store sacks of food stuff and plates, etc., since I didn’t want upper cabinets. It’s all about the “look”. The lavender hanging in the pot rack is from my garden.

The ice box is on the right – it was originally two upper cabinets built from a kit, but since I wasn’t going to use them for that purpose, I glued them together to create an ice box. It was the only room left to put one, and it was a perfect fit.Detail of the work table and kitchen area. On to the living room!I brought the sofa out to photograph, as it’s really difficult to shoot the living room as the only access is a 3″ wide front door. I made this from the kit “French Country Sofa #010” by Kris at 1inchminisbykris.blogspot.com. She provides kits now of her upholstered chairs and sofas at Hobby Builders Supply. This rug is also from Tiny Home Goods on Etsy. Lovin’ the grapes, and the yellow brings in the color from the kitchen.These two shots are from the front door. I used a narrow staircase and painted it “Bavarian” and the stair treads “Sage”. That is a secretary desk under the staircase, and there is a potted plant there, too, which is easier seen in another upcoming photo. The wallpaper here and on the short pantry wall is Tulips. The fireplace is stucco, with an arched opening. It is non-working. The arched mirror over the mantel was purchased as just an empty Palladian arch, and I added mirrored film to the back. The drapes on the two front windows are made from the same fabric as the pillow and the trim on the sofa. Lighting was an issue because of the domed ceiling, so I opted for two candle sconces going up the stair wall. It adds plenty of light.The secretary desk under the stairs spoke to me because I love cubbies and the fold out writing surface. That’s a newspaper where someone is working on the crossword puzzle. The chair is from a kit from melissasminiwereld on Etsy – from the Netherlands! I upholstered it with the drapery fabric to create cohesiveness. The tiny table in the loft is also from one of her laser cut kits. The Eiffel Tower pillow is from SarahsLilEssentials, also from Etsy. The view from the loft bedroom looking down into the living room. All the stones on the walls are made from cardboard egg cartons, torn and cut to shape.Here, then, is a better view of the front wall of the dome. I purchased some tools by Tom Thumb to decorate that wall. There is a scythe and a hay knife, as well as an antique pulley from eBay. I made the headboard from a laser cut accessory and those are Tim Holtz roses on the footboard. I sewed the comforter and sheets, and the lavender sprig is from my garden. The rug is “Sunflower” from Tiny Home Goods.

So, a few more shots of the Cottage lit up at night…And that’s it. The next few months will not be productive. I’m going to take a break from this for awhile because it’s not an inexpensive hobby. I’ve been spending way too much money on this, so I’m backing off so I can pay down my credit card bill! I have other activities I miss doing, so I’m going to fall back on them for the next few months. I don’t have thoughts on another build nagging me just now, although I’m sure it won’t be long until miniatures start invading my sleep. A la prochaine!

4 thoughts on “Mostly Finished at Last…except for this and that….

  1. Wow! It has been fun to follow along from vision to (almost) completion. You have done an amazing job creating a cohesive look with the structure, surfaces, furnishings, and all the details. Congratulations to you!

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  2. This cottage mill is just filled to the brim with delightful little details and you’ve turned every problem into an opportunity for greater detail and charm! I love your solution for making all of the roofs meet cohesively, and through your creative ingenuity have managed to make a space for every living purpose and have done it adorably! I think each of us has been shocked at how easy it can be to spend a small fortune on our mini ideas. With each new build you’ll branch out into learning how to make more and more yourself and how much you actually enjoy the challenge. I hope you enjoy your break and I know that your innate creativity will begin to accumulate into your soul. Soon you’ll be back with another amazing idea and a passion that makes sleep an afterthought!

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    1. Jodi, I enjoy your comments because they are so encouraging to those of us who struggle with our challenges. I’ve done what I set out to do and my vision did become my reality. To reach the point you are at as far as making almost everything yourself, I still lack some of the necessary equipment to make it not only easier, but professional. I am a late bloomer in the mini world and accumulating more tools is just not feasible at my age, but I am having fun. I will wait for inspiration to lead me to my next project, and I know it will. I’m addicted!

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      1. And that is the beautiful thing about art – we get to make it what we want and shar our vision of a little worls all our own! Getting to peek inside your imagination with your builds is absolutely delightful! You have a unique talent and a “voice” that I truly enjoy so much! You don’t need any fancy tools because you’ve got the ingenuity and problem solving skills to achieve anything you set your mind to. I can’t wait until the next idea carries you away because I want to come with! ❤

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