I thought this corner of the kitchen in No.16 looked very bare even with the new sink, so the other day I made a tile backsplash using a wonderfully simple tutorial from Eliza at Wasting Gold Paper. You print out on watercolor paper the appropriately resized pictures of the tiles you want, cut them out, apply artists' gloss medium, then install where you want them. The hardest part was just getting my printer to feed the watercolor paper through!
I was thinking Delft, of course, then saw this Mexican Talavera tile somewhere and kept coming back to it. I did lighten the color about ten percent, to keep it from jarring too much, but one of the reasons I like it is that I think it cuts the sweetness of the rest of the house a bit. It's easy to get too cute with all of that Victorian pink.
I didn't make a dedicated gluing board like Eliza did, but used a long 5/16x5/16 inch piece of scrap wood which I stuck to the kitchen table with reusable putty, then stuck the tiles-to-be onto the stick with a small ball of putty each. This worked perfectly, holding everything firmly then went back into the jar/scrap bin for another time.
At 0.67 inch, these tiles are slightly larger than true 1/12 scale, but this way they fit the space perfectly. I cut a piece of watercolor paper to size -- made sure that it fit -- then glued the tiles to the paper, before "installing" it above the sink.
You can see how the watercolor paper adds a bit of texture to the tiles. I was a little worried at first that they would be perfectly smooth, since when I brushed it on, the medium self-levelled after a few moments -- you can see this starting to happen in the photo of the tiles on the stick -- but as it dried, the medium took on some of the texture of the watercolor paper.
This was so fun and worked so perfectly that I want to make hundreds -- thousands! -- of tiles now.
The shelves are from instructions in Venus and Martin Dodge's The New Dolls' House Do-It-Yourself book, where the house itself is from. The one above the sink is obviously very simple, a piece of wood the right size and two pieces of the cornice moulding left over from building the house. (A lot of things in the dollhouse fell over in the earthquake we had a few weeks ago, and now I'm a little heavy-handed with the museum putty, I see!)
The second is a little hanging shelf, which I'm pleased to say that I cut all myself, except for the curve which David did on the bandsaw, free hand. I stained the plank shelf with some very ancient Minwax I found in a corner of the garage, and painted the hanging shelf with FolkArt acrylic paint in Sterling Blue.
Here is the sitting room, now with some things I got in Hong Kong -- two large jars and a folding screen -- and a few more pieces of furniture, with the Anne Shirley doll from Avonlea Traditions --