My Project Journal
Rik Pierce's Sketches
My Spanish Bakery
From Buttercup To Mariposa
When I first got the Buttercup kit all I intended to do was a bakery.  I figured that it was better than a roombox, since it had architectural interest and, even better, a second story -- and all for the price of a very basic roombox.  It was a great value.  But then my twelve year-old son, who is beginning to show an interest in dollhouse construction, decided that he wanted red Spanish tiles for the Roman Villa that is planning to build with his front-opening Walmer dollhouse kit (The Georgie).  Since I am a very vocal member of the I-Hate-Shingling's List, I started to think of a way that I could use the tiles in my project, too -- the tiles come in sheets, so the roofing job goes a lot faster.  So from red tiles to Spanish style house, it was not a great stretch of the imagination.
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But ... Can It Be Done?
But I still doubted that it could be done in a convincing manner, so my very tentative plan was for a bakery, set in New York City, with a Southwestern "look."  Lucky for me, that same day I was chatting on IM with my dear friend Jonesy (another talented artist who makes exquisite flowers with Fimo) and mentioned my pans to her ... as well as my doubts.  
Jonesy was not only very supportive, but she jumped right in to brainstorm with me and gave me some ideas, as well as instructions on how to make cacti for the landscaping.  She convinced me that the Spanish look was doable.   Thanks, Jonesy, if it had not been for your encouragement, there would probably not be a Spanish bakery in the oven!  :-)
Planning In My Head
Once the seed was planted, I started to think of ways that I could  implement  all  I  had discussed  with  Jonesy.    I   also  shared my thoughts with my friends on the Buttercuplets List.  I mentioned that I planned to call my bakery La Mariposa, which is Spanish for Butterfly.  
There were very positive responses from many lists members, but one member in particular, Rik Pierce, expressed both enthusiasm and interest in helping me with the project.  He very generously offered to make some sketches for me with some of the ideas he had on transforming the kit.  I started to get excited because I greatly admire Rik's work, and if he did the sketches, I knew that it would improve the results greatly.
Planning On Paper
A couple of weeks later Rik's sketches arrived by snail mail.  I opened the large manila envelope ... and I was speechless for a while.  All I could do was look, admire the beautiful drawings, read his notes, and admire the awesome talent of this man.  God certainly has blessed him with a wonderful gift!    
I was not surprised by the imaginative and creative design, since Rik is an artist whose specialty is creating fantasy     cottages, but rather I was impressed by the boundless imagination that was able to see in the kit so  much more than I could.
Thanks  to my friend,  Jonesy,   for  always  being there for me -- encouraging and ready to help with technical support.   It   sure is comforting to know that,  even though we are at opposite  ends of the continent, you are as close as my computer.  :-)
My thanks also go to Wanda B. (founder of The Ocelots) and Joy P.  (founder of The Buttercuplets) for providing space for me on their web sites, so I could share Rik's sketches with all my friends on the lists.    And thanks to Bob in Flushing, the friend who suggested that I create a web site to chronicle the project.
Last, but  certainly not least, a great,  big  "Thank You" to  Rik Pierce,  for showing me how much father I could dream and strive to achieve!   I  only hope I can do justice to his designs and carry them out faithfully.  If I can do that, and combine the  suggestions you have given me   with  my  own  dream,  then   I  will   surely  end  up  with  a  wonderfully  unique house!
The Dust Bunnies Experiment
One interesting thing that has happened as a result of the House Of Miniatures' Buttercup offer was the formation of The Buttercuplets.  The list is a place where all of us Buttercuppers can meet and exchange ideas for the projects that we plan for our Buttercups.  We have all been kept amused by an experiment that my friend Jonesy is conducting.
The experiment involves Dust Bunnies and she is trying to ascertain if the legend of their being hard workers is true.  The procedures for the experiment are as follows:
Place box containing the Buttercup Cottage kit under the bed.
Ignore for an extended period of time, so that it gathers dust (the genetic material of which Dust Bunnies are composed).
Check periodically just long enough to see if Dust Bunnies have come into being and, most important, whether or not they have started to construct the Buttercup.
Record findings and report them to the list.  You might consider adding some sanding paper, and a craft knife at this point.
Return box to its resting place.
Keep checking periodically.
Record findings and report them to the list.  You might consider adding a bottle of glue at this point.
Return box to its resting place.
Continue experiment until you either give up, or you find the Dust Bunnies have started and/or finished construction of your project.   :-)