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book parts and house parts,

a mini blog

  • Writer's picturesusann cokal

Mini Life

Today I start my first-ever bloglike thing, in a small way. In addition to writing and editing, I am sort of crafty. Craftiness helps me deal with chronic pain and also gives me ideas for my books and stories, which in turn give me ideas for little houses to build. Happy, gentle (as opposed to vicious) cycle?

I LOVE to look at other projects in progress, and I'm going to share mine in hopes that you will respond with yours.

I've made a few dollhouses and mini-scenes in my day, often dedicated to favorite writers. You can see some of them under "Tiny Life" and its drop-down menu, here:

A mini house is never finished; people live there, after all. The decor of every one I've done will continue to evolve. I haven't even put furniture into the green nightmare house I finished in March, because when I fell in love with that craft paper for the inside, it blew away all my plans. Still waiting for the rest of the concept to come.

I am a very messy hobbyist. This is technically my writing room--the bookcases have my research books for my current novel, Quick Bright Things, and the little bookcase holds family photos that inspired some characters. Actually, things got much messier than this, until I bought some of those hideous but convenient plastic chests of drawers to go under the table.

My most advanced work in progress started with the Real Good Toys "Dream Inn" challenge--using their Imagination House kit, people were supposed to make some variation on an inn, realistic or fantastic, from a stage stop to a bed and breakfast. I got kind of concept-heavy and made much of one I called Inn The Pages (cutesy, huh), though really I wanted to call it The Endpaper--because every room was/is using endpapers as decor. I got the kit through the RGT website; the two-room extension is an old RGT piece I got on eBay for a sweet little song. I also bought a conservatory to add on, but I had to stop somewhere. I'll use it for the next thing, perhaps.

Here are photos of the basic structure from the maker's website--the starting point, as it were:

I made some changes with window size and style and with the staircase.

Here I have the basic walls up and am trying bits of furniture to get a sense of how they fit.

I finished the structure about 25 minutes before the deadline for sharing pictures on September 30, 2020--not enough time to put inside all the things I'd made for it (including about a thousand individual books). So I've slowed down a lot and am redoing some finishes ... Not sure I'll stay married the concept of rooms (including a tearoom and kitchen) inspired by authors' own bedrooms and books, but I'll do something like it.

I am excited to see what other people made when RGT posts those projects on Facebook.

I decided not to make a porch--you enter through a bookshop, which needs lots of light--so I turned the porch upside-down and filled it with a garden and stream. I cut big holes for double windows (again, bookstores need light). Upstairs, in the bedrooms, there are some fabulous bay windows I added. That photo will come later.

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