HFIM House: Basement Apartment 1

In the walk-out basement of the four-story townhouse/mansion, in the newest-unfinished studio apartment...


Ryan: Monnie, how do you like our new apartment, lol, hole in the wall, room. (Stares at the hole in the wall temporary window.)


Monnie: It's great, but we could still use a closet, but there just isn't any room. But, I now have a space for my drafting table.


(Barbie drafting table found in a mixed bag of furnishings for $3.99 at a thrift store.)

(I sticky foam topped the table and tools made from sticky felt, foam, plastic office dividers, mechanical pens from bamboo skewers. Tray on right side for mechanical pencils, and left side paper/tool holder from small clear plastic containers, cut.)  see Back to School:supplies


Ryan: It's been ages since I drew on a board. Why not use a CAD drafting program. 


Monnie: I do for final 3-dimensional renderings, but when I'm visualizing a space, I like to sketch a bit. It's cool we have a printer down here now, though.  

What do you think about some whitish paneling in here to warm up this little hole, we are a calling our home/office? And getting a new window---soon, before a street person decides to move-in.


Ryan with mouth full: Shurrr, yea to the paneling, and yes, to the window. I can install it when I'm done eating.

Monnie: Great, I will order the 'paneling' tomorrow. We can squeak it out of the budget, since we sent back all that wood flooring, and this red table has to go---it's too big for in here. Maybe, Nemo could build a nice wall unit, with a drop down table? 

Ryan: Nemo has football from now on. He's JV defensive coach and assistant for the varsity this year. I haven't seen him all week. 

A wall unit would be great and make this HFIM house sellable, if we ever get everything done. Maybe the new guys, Danny or Aidan would have time. We have to keep everyone busy and we need another meeting, soon with everyone, if that's possible, maybe Saturday morning?
Oh, and the doors are being delivered on Wednesday.

Monnie: I don't think we ever knew how complicated this idea would be of rehabbing these properties together and living in them while we do it. But, then you and I wouldn't have had to work so closely together. 

How about, (she jumps up on the bed) we try this new bed out?


Ryan: Well there is the window, 


and my stuff to put away? 

Monnie: Don't you think we have put this off long enough, Ryan?


Ryan: (Jumps up and rushes to the corner and grabs the still boxed window.)

I want you to myself and not for a performance street show. Darling, just hold that thought! 


Thank you for visiting,
Barbie:Old New Green Redo.
 I will be happy to answer any mail or questions or comments. 

Sharing at these fine parties:

All the opinions and photographs on this blog are my own, unless otherwise stated. 
 I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinion,
 or with products shown, or from where I shop. 
PLEASE do not use photos without linking back to this blog 
without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle


Back to School:Homework Cabinet and Chalkboard Redux

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Some DIY tips, and getting the girls ready for Back to School.


Chelsea:Tomorrow we start school, Anna. Are you excited to begin classes at an American high school? 

(Anna and her sister Elsa are on a two-year exchange program from Norway. They are staying at the HFIM (Home for Impoverished Millenials house at the invitation of Barbie Rowan (Chelsea's sister) one of the owners.)

Anna: I'm very excited and, how you say,, nervous. I hope I will understand the instructors. I have never gone to school where only English is spoken. 

Chelsea: You will be fine, your English's so good. I'm starting Middle School, this year so, I'm nervous, too. 

Anna: Where can we do our studies. Our room has no space for desks.

Chelsea: We will have a new study area in the dining room, downstairs. They are working on it now.

*Next Morning downstairs*

Meanwhile in the work room, an elf assemblies a selection of supplies and old furniture
 to make into a study area.

First a few acquired items for supplies. Our Dollar store provided containers(colored pill boxes and clear storage), colored art pad(bright paper nice and thin). Michael's stamps--in their promo bins. Small crayons and water color box from Dick Blick--only $2.49 each--adorable. Where to put it all?

I forgot to take a picture, before I started sawing on this. It's an old non-Mattel changing table, one drawer works, the others are fake. I decided to remove the front fixed drawer panel. I used a Dremel, but it was very messy. After filing and sanding---it turned out better. 

I popped the top off and painted it with NEW paint pens.

These are craft paint pens from Michael's, basically their store brand, Craft Smart. This set is only $8.00 US. So far they have worked on everything I have used them on. I clean my plastic items with alcohol first. These pens are alcohol dissolvable and clean-up. Which is great, and are far cheaper than the name brands. They leave a nice smooth finish, and I seldom do two coats, except on yellow and pink, which are the most translucent. They get stubby fast, so great for larger areas.

Here you can see the nice finish the blue paint pens left on this drawer. I did not paint the handles, but left them as is.

I used foam board covered with white contacts paper to do the back and can't even see my messy cut.  The top is painted blue also, cute three dimensional stickers from dollar store used on the drawer and top. I keep in mind, the Grand is a little girl, but she relates to Chelsea (who is imaginatively age 10.)

The Grand: I'm so creative Gramma. (Gramma nods yes, she is.)

Here is the back before I totally covered it in white covered foam board.

Now to make supplies to stock the cabinet with, first colored pencils made from bamboo skewers, and paint pens. 

Sanded the tips of, and then painted the sticks with paint pens, trimmed, sanded tops and then painted those with black and a silver band. The Grand was here today, and declared the pencils Fake Real, 

"See, Gramma, they almost work, they are Fake Real," 
as she feverishly had Chelsea drawing on her paper at the desk.

Cute little plastic book stack picked up in a grab bag---first coats. Had problems with these, finally used tiny brush dipped in craft pen paint, since I could easily clean them with alcohol.

This is the back of the OLD Barbie Back to School easel from early 1990's-- found at a thrift store for $1.99. Someone had left the batteries in it, but surprisingly---no rusty corrosion. I removed and properly placed batteries in recycle return box. (GREEN thing to do).

I cleaned the contacts, and surprisingly it still works. The clock at the top ticks, the buttons say encouragement sayings, and the slot for the pencil sharpener makes noise (w/o the sharpener, I may have to look for that on Ebay.) 

For the REDO, I left it the original color at this point, but refaced the green chalkboard with black chalkboard sticky paper. I used chalk pens to write on it. The center section was a piece of foam core with a free on-line map printout. The pin is in Chicago---for home base. 

 NEW, Great source for printable and cute ideas, myfroggystuff---printable bookcase of books.
 Perfect size as printed for the shelf. Please do not copy from here, but go to her site.

I used a piece of the paint pen packaging for a REDO and made an invisible clear tray for the chalk. Photos of making that, just didn't show. I plan to cover the back in white contact paper, so it disappears on the living room side. 
Or maybe I will make a visual bookcase out of it, with another printout.

NEW Chalk from bamboo skewers and paint. So cute. 
NEW Erasers are two thicknesses of stickum foam sheet, 
and top and bottom in orange/black stickum felt.
So if the chalk were real, the erasers would work, lol

An OLD 1:6 computer got an update. I painted the edge of the screen, added a slot for the disc, and a couple of painted nobs. The keyboard was missing, so I used stickum felt and foam. I pressed a piece of plastic canvas down hard and rubbed on the pink foam piece making ridged squares. 
Rolling a Q-tip in some silver paint (from paintpen),
 I brushed lightly across the ridges left from the canvas---instant keys. 
Outlined them with a fine tip Sharpie pen. The mousepad is black chalkboard plastic on purple foam, on black stickum felt. Mousie was in the grab bag from the thrift store with the computer.

Here is the work area set up. Mouse must be hanging off the side, or the cat got it?

The school storage shelf is well stocked. 
The bottom drawer holds plastic files(made from real plastic dividers)
 for homework, and mini-stickums and stickers.

The Paste and Modey-Podgey jars are a REDO of dessicant capsules(emptied) 
 from prescription bottles. The lids pry off easily and they are the perfect size. 
A plastic container of colored pencils, mini jars of glitter from
(NEW Dollar store nail decorations from packs of 8/$1.00).
NEW Erasers are made from pink foam stickum, two layers.
Assorted books. Scissors, glue, and tape recorder found in a small lunch box in a vintage accessories lot  from eBay. I always buy OLD if I can, a GREEN thing to do.

Anna:This will be a perfect work space of studying. I'm so excited to start American School today.

Elsa:I'm also excited to teach Scandinavian Culture and History to American students. Girls it is time for the school bus, hurry and get to packs ready. I want to take some pictures to send home to Norway. 

Barbie: Everyone smile, please. Chelsea you moved, let's try again.

Barbie: Now hold that pose, smile! 

Barbie: One more coming out the door---super!

Barbie: Hoping everyone has a wonderful first day at school, from the HFIM house on BarberryLane.

Thank you for visiting,
Barbie:Old New Green Redo.
 I will be happy to answer any mail or questions or comments. 

Sharing at these fine parties:

All the opinions and photographs on this blog are my own, unless otherwise stated. 
 I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinion,
 or with products shown, or from where I shop. 
PLEASE do not use photos without linking back to this blog 
without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle


Hi, I'm Sandi a Dolly Addict. Welcome to Barbie:Old New Green Redo Doll Blog

Hi, I'm Sandi--a Grandmother who has re-found her passion for dolls and miniatures.

Playing with my granddaughter has been so much fun. In 2015, my husband and I built from scratch a dollhouse for the Grand to play with her Barbies and super girl dolls. She was only 3---but her pretend play was very imaginative and involved.


Here is the house, not completely finished, but
I documented the planning, building, materials, mistakes 
and all the furnishings on my 

If you are a doll do-it-yourselfer or a once in a while crafter, 
you might enjoy some of these projects for this house. Here are the basic posts:

DIY Barbie House Week 5 Stairs and Moldings
DIY Barbie House Week 5 Final Lighting
DIY Barbie House Moving in with Vintage Furnishings

Having made or purchased OLD thrift store finds for 90% of the NEW Barbie house, when it was completed, I was sad, that we had no house to play with here.
 I had purchased a few 'rescue' Barbie's for testing the furnishings
and the physical setup of the house we had built.
Well, then I stumbled across this for $4.99 at a GoodWill, and it has been downhill ever since.


The OLD Victorian Mansion from the early 1990's in peach, green, and pink. Actually easier to look at then the hot pink monstrosities that are in vogue now, but still yellowed here and there and faded.


It has great details...but already my remodeling eye was twitching for a REDO.


By extending the left side, we could have half again the floor space, 
and maybe have an eat-in kitchen.  
A real bathroom and closet, if we can only find another toilet?


I had OLD furniture left over from the other house, but no toilet.
 I ordered and inexpensive online kitchen in turquoise green.
 When the Grand was here, we played and played and played. Meanwhile, Grandma made plans for a REDO which would still be playable and sturdy for a growing girl. Here are some basic posts on working on this Victorian mansion.



My kids called, "Gramma do you want this? It has a toilet, that flushes, everything works. Only $7.99 at GoodWill." They had been told to keep their eyes peeled for a toilet.

Hmm that PINK though, ugh! a little paint, and some alterations---hook it up to the Victorian and we will have a 'Real' Mansion, perfect for the growing doll collection.


Suddenly we had room for all the dolls we could want. More rescues appeared, and I discovered articulated Barbies, Kens, and 'others'. Since I was a child of the 1950's, I found the old dolls difficult to dress for 4 year old fingers as well as 69 year old fingers.
The new dolls were much easier for the Grand to dress and undress. 
"And, they can climb mountains too now, Gramma!" (Actually the pillows on the extra bed in this room).


Grandma had decorated the Grand's NEW dollhouse for her little girl tastes and abilities. 
Now it was my turn, but still make it playable. Everything has been designed 'safe' and unbreakable and certainly not priceless, no $100.00 wooden credenzas in here. 


I posted some DIY how-to's.

I did tutorials on REDO furnishings, as I work my way through the remodel of the combined dollhouses.


Here's the new second floor and the post, about a year ago.


Built bunkbeds, improvised furnishings. The object is to live in this house, like a real house, even with problems, like one bathroom. I purchased the white bunkbeds--with Chelsea (9") that is what the Grand named her. 


Upstairs, we made closets, and like real life there's never enough closets. 


Meanwhile, the doll gang took on personalities, lifestyles, and back stories.
 I will introduce them as we go along.


Here's Chelsea, sister of the quintessinal blonde Barbie, with her puppy in her own room on the second floor of the townhouse.
In the house, characters and relationships refined, and new friends were added. 


Furnishings were improvised, found as is, scrounged, rebuilt, and rearranged. 
Floors were connected and tiled with tile contact paper.


More clothes  were added and so forth. I have a huge stash now--
the ones out are the ones easiest to put on and off.
Each time I went thrift shopping I found furnishings and/or clothes 
which needed rescuing and our collection quickly grew, so quickly....

We created Vickie's Vintage (doll clothes and accessories) Boutique. Well, that's another post.

Eventually, I may even do some minis or and furnishings for my ETSY shop
 .Etsy-BarberryLaneBarberryLane currently carries antiques and seriously vintage from my family's collections, my own, and some craft supplies. 

Please come along for the ride here,  have some fun, bring out your inner child and


 Barbie:Old New Green Redo.

Sharing at these fine parties:
Thanks for any comments, I will be hap to respond and answer any questions
All the opinons and photographs in this blog are my own, unless otherwise stated. 
 I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinion,
 or with products shown, or from where I shop. 
PLEASE do not use photos without linking back to this blog 
without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle