Rosie is the only doll who doesn’t get to travel the world – so I wanted to be sure that the world could come to her. In her story, it flows in through open casement windows. She sleeps under the open windows, and, every night, some new adventure creeps in and rests on her pillow, beckoning her to follow.
So, she needs windows – big windows – that can stand open and let in an adventure on the night air. Rosie would just conjure them up, out of gossamer and dreams. I had to rely on strips of tiny trimmings, a miter box, and a lot of Aleene’s tacky glue.
I don’t know if you’ve ever really looked at a window – I hadn’t. It’s made up of many distinct parts, which all have names. None of which I can recall. Instead, I’ll just show you what I’m doing.
First, there’s a frame all the way around the inside that runs perpendicular to the wall. Something like this:
No one is every going to see this piece, so you can join the wood together in whatever inelegant fashion you like. I’m using a butt joint, which just means that I’m gluing the end of one piece to the face of another piece, like this.
Also, again since no one can see it, you can use any kind of cheap wood you want. One word of advice, which came hard-earned for me – don’t use balsa wood on this piece if you’re planning on making casement windows. You have to drive a pin through the wood (to serve as a rotating point for the windows) and the balsa wood will split at the pin hole.
Any real, soft wood – like basswood – will work fine. Here it is, again, this time in basswood.
Next is the window piece itself – the thing that hold the window pane. There’s a very elaborate way of doing this, if you’re ever going to view the window from the outside, which gives you a clean look on both sides. However, no one every looks in Rosie’s window, so I instead went with my very favorite discovery – something called “tiny trimmings” which they sell for around $2 a yard at my local home depot. Here’s my current store of the stuff.
You can get these in all kinds of different trim – elaborate decorated trim, or rounded shapes – but I just needed a simple angle piece that would create an open space in back where I could glue in the window pane.
Since this piece *is* visible, you want to put nice joins on it. I only know one way to do this – with a miter box and 90 degree angles – like this
Here it is, drying in the frame, with a bunch of craft sticks stuck in to keep the glued edges tight.
For some reason, the angles required for these cuts are beyond my ability to reason. I have no idea why but, every time I cut one of these pieces, I do it wrong three times before I do it right. My head actually physically hurts while I’m trying to figure it out. You’d think I was solving the mystery of the universe instead of putting 4 little pieces of wood together. Here, for your amusement, are an assortment of laughably wrong attempts.
This piece, for example,
would work perfectly if the final window were to look like this.
is cut right only if the pane forms some kind of mobius strip
and this one . . .
I can’t even imagine in what situation this one might be useful and it makes my head hurt to think about it.
Eventually, you should end up with something like this. Two windows ready to be attached to the frame.
For reasons I can’t explain, I’ve left an enormous gap on both sides. It was supposed to be 1/8 ” – just big enough for the windows to swing open. Instead, I appear to have left a much larger gap on both sides.
For this reason, I have to make the last piece – the trim – extra especially wide in order to cover up these ridiculous gaps. Normally, you’d have the trim overlap the join to the wall, since that’s where the gap normally is. But, instead, I’m having it overlap the inside of the window so that I don’t have to redo my windows.
I’m using the miter box again, to get my 90 degree angles. Since this piece of wood is flat, I have less opportunity for mistakes, but I do appear to have gotten the length entirely wrong.
This is really puzzling, to me, because I measured the thing four ways from Sunday before cutting it. All I can figure out is that I measured the distance to the bottom of the cut instead of the top. Anyway, there’s no way I can see to fix this – the thing is just way too long. So, I’m going to have to cut the bottom off of it and just reglue that piece with a butt joint instead of my miter cut joints.
There’s a few last steps that I’m not going to show (because I haven’t completed them yet). I have to cut a clear piece of thin plastic to use as window panes, and I need to attach the windows to their hinges. With any luck, all of that will be done by the time Rosie has to go out her window.
* Rosie is the creation of Andrea Meyer of Wildflower dolls. If a doll can be a muse (and, I’d argue, it can) Andrea creates muses.