Saturday, May 9, 2009

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea.......

You and me, you and me, oh how happy we'll be............If you know the words, sing along! Why am I singing "By the Sea"? I've been in a very nautical mood lately. Since the arrival of the Greenleaf Lighthouse Dollhouse, I've been caught up in researching historical lighthouses and delighting in the new laser cut kits. Have you seen the laser cut lighthouse yet? Oh, it's a treat!! The cuts are so smooth and precise that it's a joy to work with. Greenleaf has set a new standard for dollhouse kits with it's new laser cutter. It's a dream come true!

I'm building the lighthouse for a friend of mine who is an historian and collects lighthouses. He grew up in Maine and admits to sometimes being homesick. So he came over with his books and notes on lighthouses and we devised a design plan. He wants the lighthouse to look new and pristine. The exterior will be a traditional red and white and the interior will be antique white and a nutmeg brown. I learned a lot about lighthouses during our planning session. I was intending to make the floors hardwood (I do so love hardwood floors!), but he explained to me that wood and wallpaper aren't the norm in lighthouses since salt air quickly deteriorates those materials. So we decided on plaster walls and stone floors. Yay! I get to play with paperclay!! I'll do some nice stonework floors for it.

Before I started on the lighthouse, I asked my friend what kind of lightkeeper's house he would like to have. He decided that he'd rather have a functional type of lighthouse with an outbuilding for equipment to one side instead of a house. Works for me! So I built a little equipment shed for him. Then I got to wondering how to put the shed alongside the lighthouse. I'm using the Greenleaf Harbor Bay base for the Lighthouse (which is just gorgeous by the way) but it doesn't have room for the shed. I considered the obvious solution of simply adding onto the wharf style base but that seemed rather mundane. I wanted a bit more of a challenge. Then it hit me! A pier! It needed a pier!! Not bad thinking for a land-locked girl who has only seen the ocean once in her entire life!
So I grabbed some scrap wood and my jigsaw and started buzzing. It only took a few hours to come up with a neat little pier with rope railings and seasoned planks. I was so pleased with it that I wrote up a tutorial on how to make it. It's pretty neat because it has load bearing supports under it (which make it look more realistic too) so it could be used for a full size house too. I'll run the tutorial in the May Greenleaf Gazette. It's even adapable to sit on either side of the lighthouse base. After I finished it, I spent about an hour just playing around with it. It's just cute and demands attention. It's hanging around the studio now just waiting for it's lighthouse to be finished.

I'm about halfway done with the lighthouse and having soooooooooo much fun with it. The new laser cut is sweet as sugar to work with. I keep having to remind myself to go eat and sleep. I'd rather just keep working on it. It's a "Zone" thing.

Just when I thought that it couldn't be any better, Greenleaf released a half scale lighthouse kit too! Mine is on the way to me now and I can't wait to get my hands on it. I've been dying to work in half scale so this is the perfect opportunity. In fact, I've had a Fairfield (a lovely gothic victorian mansion in half scale) sitting on my work table for about two months being rather insistent that it must be built. I'll combine the two and use the Fairfield for the light keeper's house. Perfect! As sweet as the lighthouse and the Fairfield are, I'm going to take a different approach to them and make an abandoned lighthouse and a haunted lightkeepers house. Oooooooh, this is gonna be fun! Just to set the record straight, when I do haunted, I don't make ghosts and skeletons and Halloweeny types of houses.........I do rather realistic and eerie houses. You know the kind I mean---if you had to pass by them at night, you'd cross to the other side of the street. My fingers are just itching to get started on them!

Then Greenleaf took it up another notch and released the Tennyson in laser cut! Be still my heart!!!! Oh, it's so sweet! I took one look at it and immediately thought of the book by Kate Chopin, "The Awakening". I love that book. This house strikes me as a combination of Edna's artist house and the restort by the sea. I've come up with my own interpretation that takes the artist house out of New Orleans and puts it by the sea. It will be light and airy and very romantic. Picture silk curtains blowing in the breeze and delicate colors. I think my palette will be white, green and just a tiny hit of rose here and there. I don't do feminine houses very often, but the Tennyson is already telling me that she's going to be a romantic.

Hmmmmmmmmm.............a sea side house. Two lighthouses. Yep, I'm feeling very nautical these days. I suppose I could say that's because my father was in the Navy during WW2, but he was stationed in Wisconsin so I probably didn't get any love of the ocean from him. It must be just falling in love with the Greenleaf lighthouses and that new laser cut. If you haven't seen the lighthouses (both the 1:12 and the 1:24), the lighthouse base or the new Tennyson, pop over to and check them out.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a lot of fun. I've thought about doing a lighthouse but I have too many other projects in the works.