How to see all posts

A number of people have found it difficult to see the whole blog. At the bottom of each page, there is a "newer post" and an "older post" link. just click on these to see more posts. There is also a list of pages by month in the left sidebar.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Changing Room Doors and working on 2nd floor left side room

I found out the the doors from the changing room to the spa are sliding doors, not shojis, as I expected them to be. I'm not disappointed, they look nice, but the frosted "glass" for the windows in the doors was quite small, and there isn't a lot holding it in there.

Straight through the doors, to the right of the sink, you can also see part of a small bench with a tiny tatami on it that I made today.

This is the start of the second floor tatami room on the left. I used more mulberry paper, but I'm not sure whether I like it or not. I have so many fancy papers, and I really like using them, but I'm not sure it is authentic.

The back wall will be where the tokonoma is. (A divided section with a raised floor on one side, where a scroll and ikebana are displayed). The other half of that wall holds cabinets and shelves. (I think that is called something else, but it might be just part of the tokonoma, I have to look that up again).

This is a six tatami room. I built the little table and two more legless chairs today as well. They still need to be varnished. I may not make the cushions for the chairs yet, somewhere I have some really beautiful cloth I would love to use on them, so I'm going to wait on those.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Kitchen and Spa extensions, exterior wainscotting

The extensions for the first floor are coming along, and very soon I will be starting the second floor!

Today I started working on the exterior wainscotting. It's not finished yet, but it is already making the house look much nicer. Last night I added the kitchen window. I've been reading several books from the 1880's about Japanese architecture, and so many things about this house, including the kitchen window look exactly like the drawings in the books. There will be a matching window in the spa.

This is the kitchen and extension. They aren't hinged yet, I just have the top hinge stuck into the cutout for it so I can mark where the holes will be. It looks crooked because the edge of the plywood is off the edge of the table it's on, and it's hanging down a bit. I'm still not sure where the furniture and appliances will be, I just stuck them in there for effect.

This is the spa extension. There will be shoji between the dressing room/extension and the spa. I also finished the dressing room sink. It is supposed to have a little shelf attached to it above the faucets, but to me, it looked too close to the faucets, so I will mount it on the wall above the sink when I am sure where the sink will go.

When the extension is closed, the narrower part lines up with the bamboo half wall, and the wider part, which is where the shojis go lines up with the spa. The traffic flow will be from the entry way, through the bamboo half wall section into the dressing room. Then you will go through the shojis into the spa.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Lots of Accessories for the Ryokan

I have been working on the kitchen and spa extensions for the Ryokan. Those two parts will be the front of the house, and will be hinged to open. I'm still trying to get holes drilled so I can hinge them. I have a lot of small drills, but so far, everything I have bought to use for them has been junk. I think I need to make a purchase from Micromart, rather than spending money for junk that doesn't work. (Darice pin vises, off brand chucks for my Dremel, etc.).

Anyway, Here are some of the accessories I have made from the kit.

The sink is for the kitchen, and will go into the extension. I think it came out really cute. It has a brass faucet, and a little steel drainpipe.

There are two more tansu chests with drawers and sliding doors. (Those sliding doors are always a pain)!

There is a set of cubby holes for towels and things in the spa, that was quite fast to put together.

Then there is a scale. The kit was designed to be a ryokan from the 1950's or early 60's, and the kit even has TV sets. I am making mine to be more reflective of early in the century, so I'm not making the TV sets. I am undecided about whether or not I will put the scale in the house, since I doubt that would have been in an inn for travelers back at the turn of the century.

I can't remember whether or not I showed pictures of the two little legless chairs. They are black to look like lacquer, and have pillows with tassels.

There is also a little desk for the reception area.

Next are the six teeny tiny buckets with teeny tiny copper wire around them, ten little stools for the spa, four pairs of geta, (sandals), and four more tatami mats. All of those were a real pain to make, so I have been making only two or three of each of the more monotonous things each day. It's not that bad making two or three of something each day, but when you have to spend hours making lots of them at one time, it gets to be a chore.

I'm getting the first floor almost done, and will take more photos when I get the outside wainscotting on. It will be really exciting to start some of the upstairs rooms!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ceiling and Shoji in the Entryway

I got snowed in today, so I got more done on my Ryokan than usual.

I got the ceiling installed in the entry, and finished and installed the other two Shojis in the Fuji window. The big hole in the ceiling is where the stairs to the next floor are going to go.

The next chapter is the where I start making the front hinged part of the kitchen. It's pretty exciting to have so much done already. The spa roof is in a later chapter, but having three rooms together, and ceilings on two rooms, it gives me an idea of the size of the building, and how it's going to look when it's done!

The Spa is finished, except for the ceiling!

The spa is finished except for the ceiling. The windows have sliding slats that can be open and closed. This shows them partially open. They look really nice, but it was a bit of a pain to get them so they slid easily. One of the reasons is that you have to be really careful not to glue the two sliding sections together, while at the same time, making sure you use enough glue to keep them from falling apart completely. Then there is the problem of getting them so they fit well in the frames. They came out really nice though, once I finally got them in and working! I love the "water" pouring into the spa through the bamboo pipe too. The little faucets in the rock wall are also a really nice touch.

You can see a curtain between the entryway and the spa, and the bamboo half wall that directs you first into the changing room, which will be built soon.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

My first Tatami Mats, and working on the Spa

I made my first two tatami mats. The black cloth borders could have been straighter. You have to cut narrow strips from a larger piece of cloth to make them, and I should have put the straightest edges on top, and the less straight ones on the bottom.

I also got two little legless chairs and their cushions done, as well as the second tansu. (cupboard). This tansu also took quite a while to make, and get it so all the drawers open, and the doors slide.

This photo shows the bamboo decorated half wall between the spa and the entryway. It isn't really in place right now, I just sat it there to take a picture of it, that's why the bottom of the bamboo shows.

This shows sort of what the spa is going to look like. Everything is just sitting there for show. There will be water in the pool eventually. I will need to tint the clear plastic vacuformed water, and the top pile of the corner rocks will be above water, and the bottom half below it. It is supposed to be tinted with white, but I will probably tint it with a blue-green color. I will probably try either Future floor wax and food coloring, or alcohol inks to tint it. Hopefully one of those will will work.

You can just see the little brass faucets in the flat rocks on the wall. I expect those are to rinse with before you get into the spa. You can also barely see two of the very tiny buckets sitting on the floor. Those were a pain to do, since you have to wind pieces of copper wire around the tops and bottoms of them, and twist the wire at the end. I had no idea these were going to be so unbelievably tiny!!!

This aerial view shows the rocks in the corner of the spa. There will be a bamboo pipe coming out of a hole in the center with fake water running down into the pool.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Entryway and spa progress

I added the third wall to the entryway. This wall also has the leaf patterned mulberry paper on it. I also made up two of the shoji windows and added them to the Fuji window. The other two shoji windows are in a later kit. These windows are also done with mulberry paper with grass embedded in it. You can't see it in the photo, but it looks really nice with light shining through it.

There are two views of the spa. I was trying to get a good photo of the rocks. They look better in person. In the photos, the grey "grout" looks overpowering. In person, you can barely see it. The rocks have three shades of brown, but you can't tell that from the photo.

The wall of the spa is cedar planks, and looks quite nice. I'm anxious to get more done on this room.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Attached the entry floor and back wall to the kitchen , started spa floor

This shows the multi level floor in the entryway, with the Mt. Fuji window on the rear wall. All the sliding doors are done in the kitchen, and the ceiling is attached.

The Mt. Fuji window will have sliding shoji windows in it, and there will be stairs going to the second floor. This will be the reception area of the Ryokan.

Ooops, I just noticed that a corner of the wax paper I glue and stain on slid in front of part of the entryway.

This is the floor in the spa. There is a raised little triangle, which goes up against the door to the entryway. Then there is another raised section that will have a "rock" floor. The white plastic thing is the "rocks", which will be painted. The lowest section is where the pool will be.

I think it will look pretty good when it's done!

Friday, March 11, 2016

The kitchen is partially done!

This is the kitchen so far. The walls are glued to the floor, but it isn't time to put the ceiling on, so that is just lying on top of the walls. The rest of the doors aren't on yet either, and the kitchen will have a front section that is hinged to open. There will also be more accessories, including the sink.

I very carefully measured where to put the "slate" floor, but it is a tiny bit off, so I've got to do a little bit of work to make the dais fit. At any rate, it is really exciting to be able to see what the first room is actually going to look like!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Another wall and some accessories

Today I put the last wall onto the kitchen of my Japanese house. I am using some picture frame clamps to hold it all together. I'll take photos of the inside once I attach it all to the floor.

The wall behind the accessories is the wall that will be facing inside the entryway. I have a lot of Mulberry papers, so I decided to put some on this wall. The paper is translucent, and has raised leaves on it.

I used mulberry paper with bits of grass in the sliding door. (The other sliding door will be installed next).

The large cabinet on the left took days to make. It has three sliding doors and seven drawers, and was a royal pain! After a lot of sanding, I finally got it together, and all the doors slide, and the drawers open.

Also in the picture are shelves for the kitchen, a small screen, and a little stool. I still need to put a coat of varnish on those.

Last Saturday, we ate at a Sushi Bar, and I took pictures of a saki barrel there so I would be able to see how it was made. I may try a miniature one at some point.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Slate floor and dias for the kitchen

The wooden part is a raised platform, and the grey part is where I installed the "slate".

To make it, I cut a bunch of thin cardboard into 1" squares, 1"x1/2" rectangles, and 1/2" squares. I wasn't sure what I wanted for a pattern, so today I played around with them and decided to use these.

Since I wanted it to look rustic, after I glued them down, I sanded the bare cardboard to lift off some of the plies in places, to make it look like chipped slate.

Next, I spackled it to make the grout, smoothing off the spackling compound with an old credit card, and sanded it some more while it was still damp. This separated the plies a little more.

Next I used slightly watered down slate grey to color the slates, and ran the credit card in the grout lines to deepen them.

After the floor was dry, I applied a light coat of water based poly.

In person, they really look like slate, much more than in the photo!

The cardboard sheets I used were quite light weight and were used as stiffeners in packages of Walmarts economy sheet protectors. They seemed to be a very good thickness for this house. (I always save nice pieces of cardboard because it's great for all kinds of crafts)!

I cut them with my Fiskars paper cutter. They dulled the blade really fast, but it didn't matter, because I didn't want them to be perfectly smooth on the edges.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sliding Doors to the Portico, and Reception Room Floor

I installed the sliding doors to the portico. When I built the first one, I didn't realize that there was protective plastic film over the "glass". It actually doesn't show up in person, but it does in the photo, so I am going to have to remove the "glass" and try to get it off.

Most of this wall, the archway, and the doors were actually pretty easy. I have a Chopper II tool to cut small pieces of wood, so it made it pretty easy to get all the ribbed pieces of wood under the fancy roof cut to the exact same length.

The sliding doors were also pretty easy. The wood at the top and bottom of the frame is routered out with a slot, and the top and bottom pieces of the doors have narrow projections on them that fit into the slots.

The gridwork for the windows is premade, so all you have to do is fit that into the window hole, once you frame up the door.

I also have finished the floor to the entrance hall/reception room. I made the pebbled lower floor match the floor under the portico, since they will meet at the doorway. All the parts for the platform were mitered, so I didn't have to do that.

I drew the plank lines on the floor using a pencil, and a clear plastic quilting ruler, which is marked off into a 1/8" grid. It was pretty easy to use the gridwork on the ruler to draw lines that are 1/4" apart, then I used a steel ruler and an X-Acto knife to score the lines before shading the floor with stain and varnishing it.

I am also working on a two part chest to go into the kitchen, but more on that later. It is really time consuming and fussy work.

The next big step will be the wall between the kichen and entryway. Once that is installed, I will be able to add my "slate" floor. Since it is made from cut pieces of cardboard, I have to know exactly where the kitchen walls and the platform in the kitchen are going to be before I install it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Portico and some Accessories

I have been without internet for almost a week, but now I finally have it back and can post some pictures of my progress.

This is the Portico. The parts from it were included in the first few chapters. I have used Behr French Creme paint for the wall behind the Portico, and Minwax Walnut stain for the woodwork.

For the "pebble" surface below the Portico, I used three shades of grey, and raw sienna acrylic paint. There will be wainscotting on the bottom half of this wall.

This is the back of the portico. I am painting the inside walls white. The back of this wall is the front wall of the entryway hall.

These are some of the accessories in the first few kits. There are two doors, one goes to the entryway, and the other in the kitchen.

So far, I have built two low chairs. I am painting them black to simulate lacquer. The back and seat have little bamboo mats on them. I have also done one table in black.

The stove is an interesting piece, it is made from ceramic, and has three metal pots with wooden covers. I haven't really done anything to that yet.