I had a bit of free time the other day and I got back at the dollhouse. The side room (which was probably a workshop before) was pink inside and the floor was pretty messy so I had to fix that up.
We (all three of us actually agreed on something) had decided to make this a Japanese tatami room. The corner beams were pink too but we managed to scrape and sand the paint off enough to make them look natural again. Then I dug out the same green paint used in the engawa and painted the room.
The floor is rotting in one part but it would be too major a job to replace it so I left it. I’m going to cover it with tatami anyway so I don’t need to worry too much. I put in thick moldings around the floor to frame the tatami mats.
As I said before, I looked all over the net for ideas for tatami and this site was by far the best. Today I tried it out. Now let me regress and tell an interesting anecdote from my single life in Japan.
I have always loved tinkering around the house. I get it from my father and I have passed it on to DD2. We have to fix things! it’s an obsession. In my old apartment ( perfectly GOOD apartment) there was a squeak beneath the tatami mats. Now most NORMAL people would get used to the squeak and unconsciously step around it or ignore it but I have this compulsion to FIX IT!
So I took up the tatami mats in my apartment and nailed down all the boards under it. So with a job well done, I quite proudly started to replace the mats. Have you ever seen the underside of tatami mats?? they all have scribbles of kanji on them put there by the PROs. I finally figured out what they are for, because try as I may, these mats would NOT go back. It was a puzzle that even my Uncle (the puzzle meister) could not not solve. These kanji held the clue! I called a friend who lived nearby and requested the help of her handyman husband. That is when I realized that these marks are for the pros. Only they understand them. My friend could read them but had no idea how it would help him get them back. It would be like picking up an instruction manual that said “insert the pillow into the north “. Through plain trial and error, and grit. He got the things back. I am forever grateful to him. Ironically, he is the pro who quickly got the wiring fixed in this dollhouse. Anyway… back to the tatami.
I measured up the cardboard and drew my 4.5 tatami on it. I cut it and prepared the mat part. Once the mat was on, I reassembled the mats in the room. History repeats itself… there was no way I could get these mats to fit back in yet only a half hour before they were one piece of cardboard that fit perfectly. Now one was too long, one too fat and however I tried they were not going to go back in there. (I should have written a kanji code on them. Now I know why the pros do that!). Fortunately, unlike real tatami, a little snip here and nip there with a good pair of scissors will do the job.