Sunday, November 30, 2014

Making Beds - brackets, rings, screws and things

In a previous Making beds post we discovered with the help of my feline friends that I needed to make the Disney Princess and Me beds more stable.

20mm Angle Brackets, screwed into the frame and onto a piece of MDF, that'll hopefully keep the cat damage at bay (unless they know how to use a screw driver)
Due to the number of beds I originally catered for, the cheapest option for me I found for mattresses, was the quilt inserts at Kmart, that I cut a long strip of and folded it in to fit the size I needed

Pillow cases became Mattress covers 
might need to work on that a little bit

 a small baby blanket
and the original bedding (two very narrow pillows, and a doona - this has little frogs, glass slippers, roses and crown spaced over it, representing some of the princesses available with this brand)

For the canopy, I sewed on to the sides a split ring, I decided to do this 8 inches down from the head of the bed, as the likely occupant would be sitting up where the pillows are more than anywher else

and screwed into the ceiling a hook
now to test it out....

sleeping soundly (even though she's got shoes on) ZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Hey! I don't snore
You wouldn't know, you were asleep

Ooh my heads not in the canopy

a halo, the ceiling light still shines through, so she can read in bed

What do you think?
I love it.
 Oh, this is something else, going on with the Julie bed, I checked all the leg measurements, they are right, it appears my floor not so flat, its bowing in the middle, and as result this leg is going to need propping up. Will make a less obvious prop though.

Things I need: paint, fabric, beads, prop

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Maddie gets some LEGO

I don't collect the LEGO Friends series, but we found this one - it had a little tiger in it (my favourite animal) and it has some building requirements so we thought we'd give it a go 
This is set 41042, Friends animal series 4
and is recommended for ages 5-12
It comes with an instruction booklet, and a bag of pieces.
I'm glad the pieces were in their own bag, inside the sale bag
woop, little bits going everywhere
the instructions are drawings showing a progress of the building, it is easy to follow, I think if it was written out it would take too long, and the pictures are a universal language ( so even Martians could do it), I think that is really cool.
and this tiny little tiger
I had to think about what it was that I had made, I think its a tiger (with a purple bow on its head) in a jungle setting with a water fall, in India, with a chicken drumstick, a bit odd, but there you go. Maybe its to confuse the Martians.
The booklet also has ideas on an alternate setup which made no more sense than the instructed creation, and ads for other sets you can purchase, games, and the number and type of pieces that were included.

Some Op Shop clothes

We have a little Op Shop (Thrift? Second Hand clothing store) in our local shopping village, I pop in now and then to see what baby clothes they have for repurposing into doll clothes. Haven't really done any alterations though since, can't even remember when.
Anyway this is what I picked up.
The skirt on the left was not on the baby rack, but look at the colours - I've been keeping an eye on the American Girl of the Year Jess' and her meet outfit, the pink and orange, and the little baby t-shirt bottom right has a monkey on it
(copied from the American Girl doll archives site)
into the pile....

Making beds - some progress

the supplies
the sorting

the chopping
the sawing and the 'tidy' version of the workroom floor
the nailing and the banging and
the blisters and aching of hands and arms (not photographed -it doesn't look pleasant)

the first result (it fits!)

hey Llewellyn don't lie on it just yet, I'm not sure its stable

Friday, November 28, 2014

Making beds - how things measure up

I do have some real manufactured furniture for my dolls: the Kitchen is Our Generation, and the bathtub, the wardrobes (I have a Journey Girls one, and 7 Kmart ones), some chairs and garden furniture, a pool table, drawer things and two sets of bunks and two Disney Princess and Me canopy beds. Not all was sold as doll furniture of course, but certainly is now.
The BFC inkers were using the manufactured beds
This is a one piece metal framed bunk bed (as in the beds cannot be separated)

This is part of a pair of wooden beds
that can be separated to make two singles - the join is a piece of dowel on the bed posts (you can just see the hole on the post closest to front of picture, where the dowel fits and slots into matching holes on the other bed, on each post)

and these are brand Disney Princess and Me canopy beds, I have mucked with them abit as the "mattress" was just a piece of cardboard (princess and pea moment).
Well seeing as the BFC inkers were moving out they did not need to take their furniture with them. We do know there is a considerable size difference BFC inkers to American Girls (as experienced with Journey Girls sleeping bags), so is it possible for the new comers to be able to use the furtniture left behind?
Measurements have been taken:

Miriam is the tallest of my group, she is almost 18.5"

Mercedes is 17 5/8"
and Josefina is pretty much on the 18" mark
(I wouldn't have thought to measure them but had been noticing Miriam looking taller is some earlier pics, so wanted to find out, and well we wont go into Josefina's foot size again (she is getting a Yeti complex))

the bed frame is 17" tall
and the room between the head and foot ends is 18.5"
so not a comfortable fit at all
12" wide, might be ok, if you like sleeping in a straight jacket (don't get tucked in too tight)

the other thing to consider is the available space, the floor height where the exposed beams are is roughly 21", a little more between the beams.
so there's not much chance of being able to get in and out of the top bunk without grazing your nose, and certainly would not want to sit up too quickly, actually only either bottom or top bed, the girls are approxiamately 12" high when seated, and the bunk clearance was only 8"
don't get me wrong this bed is excellent and very sturdy, and displays well, its just the available space and the larger proportioned dolls that is making me think to consider other options
metal frame, and ladder
comes apart into 5 pieces, the two bed ends and the two mattress supports, the supports slot into the ends, and the ladder is hooked so can be placed at either end or even angled off the mattress supports
with bedding added that could actually be deemed comfortable the nose grazing is even more likely, and not a prefered option
Bunk bed #2
more pink
this one is made of wood, and came unassembled, four bed ends, 4 sides and 2 bottoms, with 4 dowels that can be used to join them together
the hole in the bedpost
 the pegs
It does meaure 18.5" between the head board and the foot board
unfortunately again, Miriam, my tallest does fit, but thats about it
It is 17" tall to top of bed post, 6" clearance between bunks and roughly 8"
clearance to the ceiling of my doll house, without bedding though, so I either need to get a builder to come to put an extra foot and a half to the height of my house, nothing big, just to my doll room would be fine or maybe I need to go single beds? Again this pink one is not the best option because of the minimal length.
Bed #3
aaahh, or rather zzzzzzzzzzzzz (hey I don't snore)
The Disney Princess and Me Canopy bed.


the canopy at the bed post meaures 17" so it will fit into my doll house rooms

Its very pretty
yes but is it practical and sturdy?
a case of caticus bedicus
I have two of these beds (I had twins that wanted the same thing but one of their own)
The one pictured above with Antoinette has avoided feline intervention, but does bring to light that the alterations I had made were not that sturdy after all

The bed has 3 componets, the bed base, the "mattress" (that white piece of cardboard to right of picture). Missing from the bed base was a cross piece in the middle to support the "mattress".
and the canopy (it is tied to the bed posts that slot onto the ends of the bed
the "mattress" has tabs that slot into the bed base, mmm comfy

in my endeavour to make a comfy bed, I hot glued the "mattress" under neath, and placed a pillow case full of stuffing and other stuff to give it some body and a good nights rest (no peas allowed)
and thus our snoring beauty
It measures 20" between the head board and foot board, and I feel that is more acceptable, but I obviously need to make the mattress support alot more sturdy, especially seeing as I have sneaky cats.
Hmm, I might also need to create an arch between the bed posts from one end to the other, as it does sag a little in the middle

Bed #4 - made by me and a bit embarrassing really 

and endowed with all the inconveniences and nose grazing of the afore mentioned beds.
If I try to make new ones, I do at least have a good pile of wood for parts.
So what does American Girl brand do about beds?
I have a copy of one of their recent brochures (and this info is probably on line as well)
Kits bed is a metal frame, and pretty special as it folds out to make a double bed
it is here listed as being 9" wide (probably wider when folded out) 10.5" high and 20" long

Carolines bed is wooden with a lace arched canopy, and a rope mattress support
11.25" wide and am not sure if it is 23" or 21.5" high or long I was a bit confused by the notes

and Julie's bed the rectangular canopy bed of ones collection wishes
13" wide, 22" high and 23" long  (lots of leg room)
All 3 are definitely longer than 18.5", I was amazed at the width of Kits single bed, and think I prefer Julie's bed measurements the most.
My height restrictions for all rooms other than the stables (26") definitely point towards using single beds, rather than bunks. I know there are trolley beds, but each girl wants their own space and to be able to use their own bed when ever need be
so, it may be that I'm making things (or saving up lots and lots of money to get the AG branded beds, and a builder to put some extra height to my room).