Sunday, August 12, 2018

Stone, Doors & Windows

Another weekend where a lot got done but not so many pictures of it.  I think I took ten pictures the whole weekend and some of them are duplicates.

To be fair my hands were pretty messy, between paint, grout and spackle.

So I started by painting the stone.  Of course this I forgot to take a picture of.  But while it was drying I made a couple attempts to age the stone floor.  I did one layer of paint, water and white glue.  The glue was so it would stick since I'd coated the stones with poly and if I sanded them I might go through the paint on the stone.

Here's the first layer.  Not bad.  But still a little light in some places.


Here's my second time around.


I think its a bit better.  It looks a lot darker in person than it does in the picture.

Because of how white the stucco grout looked I decided to use mortar for the outside bricks.


I like how it looks actually.  A bit darker, but it makes sense for the outside I think.  I tried the windows out in the wall but I'm not completely happy with the contrast of the wood and brick around the windows.


With the dark wood the brick/stone around the windows just blends into everything else.  So I got some paint and darkened it, then got a bit of spackle, mixed it with a touch of the mortar and added that to the top.


Between the slightly lighter grout and the darker 'stone' it pops a little more.


I like the look, though a slightly darker wash over the 'spackle grout' might be called for.  I think I'm going to leave it for a bit to see how I like it though.

I did a bit of work on the front door.  It's not easy to see, but I added a little bit of dark green to the 'leaves' of the tree and a slight touch of blue to the center that looks like a dragon head to me.  It probably won't show in the pictures but I know its there and it makes me happy.

I added 'strap' hinges and got the door installed in the frame.  But one of the hinges broke when I left the glue overnight.  I've ordered another set so I can replace the broken one and maybe add another to the middle for added support.



I need to spackle a bit over the joins of the walls inside around the bay window and the door alcove.  And I'm starting to measure for the beams and underside of the ceiling.  I need to make sure the upper floor will fit perfectly before I start to add the beams.  I do not want to get the ceiling all done and pretty and have to hack away at it in order to make the second floor fit.

And I'm checking the fit of my panels for the bedroom.  That line above them on the back wall is where I need to make a wall for behind the fireplace.  It'll be pretty thin and go all the way to the ceiling but all I need is the illusion of the wall.  The panels also go halfway over the door to the tower so I'll need to work on that too.



All the wood on the walls will have to be much lighter than the bedroom furniture or the ceiling beams or else the whole thing will look so dark we won't get to see much of anything.

I need to age the fireplace some too.  That'll wait until I get the wall built.  More things to add to the list.

The other thing I want to figure out is how much of the roof I want to make removable.  I'm not sure.  The roof beams will need to stay mostly in place or there won't be any sort of support.  Though I could use the magnets in the beams to help hold everything in place.  Really debating about all that.  I think it'll depend on how low my cross beams end up being.  Lots more thinking to do.

Hope everyone is have a good weekend.


Drill & Route out channels for lighting wires.
Finish shutters & interior trim for all windows on main cottage. 
Build Fireplaces & chimneys
Cut bricks and stone for outside of lower walls and tower.
(Test Magic Brik) - in progress
Add brick/stone to fireplaces.
Age fireplaces.
Bedroom mantle.
Plaster upper walls and third floor of tower.
Add timber to upper walls and third floor of tower. (testing)
Paint stone.
Add grout to stone and brick.
Ceiling beams on first floor.
Ceiling beams and roof support for lofted ceiling on second floor.
Ceiling beams and roof support for the tower.
Build furniture:
          Make sink
          Make curved table for tower room
          Make loom
          Adjust tables for lab
          Make stool
          Make telescope 1/2 done
          Make orrey 1/4 done
          Make tapestry
          Make rush mats
          Make bedding
          Make books & scrolls
          Make paper pottery
Furniture in place finalize lights.
          Make sconces
          Make candelabras
                 Standing Candelabra
                 2 small Candelabras
Add flooring
Plaster inside walls
Inside window trim & shutters
Build base for house.
Create 'slate' roof
Create front garden
          Make tree?
          Make stream?
          Make lake/river to go alongside house
          Make stone wall to go around garden
          Iron front gate. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

What a Freakin' Week!

This weekend things have finally calmed down but this week has been... interesting.  Mostly in the sort of 'oh god oh god we're all gonna die' kind of way.  Not literally, I'm thankful to say.

So bear with me while I explain why I feel like I still need twelve hours sleep and really don't consider that I've accomplished much this weekend.

Monday morning my car died.  On the highway just as I was approaching my exit.  I made it all the way around the curve of the cloverleaf before it wouldn't go any further.  I am extremely grateful that my husband insists on AAA since I'm driving a lot again.

Forty five minutes later a very sweet and polite tow truck driver arrived.  He towed my car down to the dealership since that was the closest place that could deal with my brand of car.  (No one except them deals with Saturns anymore.)  They couldn't even look at it until Tuesday.  Rental car here I come.  And at least I get a day free because I have AAA.

Tuesday I hear nothing from the Chevy people.  But my husband ends up in the emergency room.  Mostly it was precautionary since he was at the clinic but it was a good three hours before they released him.  He's on tons of antibiotics now and feeling better.  But I wasn't thinking about the car then.

Called the Chevy people Wednesday morning.  They looked at the car.  There's some good news. (Not.)  It was not the alternator, nor the tension spring or the serpentine belt.  Something broke in the engine and when it snapped other things broke.  If I want to keep driving the car it would need a new engine.  Fun fact. They don't make engines for that car anymore.  It would be $6500 for a new (used) engine.

My husband and I decided it was time for a new car.  We managed to go five years without a car payment and we were probably due.  But it's still painful.  And he was in no shape to go with me to the car dealer.  At least we had been researching different cars for the last couple years, thinking sooner or later we'd have to bite the bullet and get one.

I am now the proud owner (loan holder) of a new Nissan Rogue.  The car payments start mid September so I'm enjoying the last month of freedom before more intense budgeting begins.  It could be worse, we'd been saving for a while so I could make a down payment and we won't be broke because of the payments.  But I was really hoping to avoid it for a while longer.

Thankfully I've already budgeted for or purchased most of the things I'll need for the WQ cottage.  And despite a lot more sleep I managed to get a few things done.

I coated the floor with satin polyurethane after wiping it down one last time.  Then I put the walls back on to test for fit and added the fireplace and furniture to check for placement.


I'm planning on a small area next to the wall where I can stack wood for the fireplace.  I'll make a small stone wall behind it.


I wanted to see how the candelabras looked in the rooms.  I think they look pretty good.




I'm debating the placement of the candelabra in the kitchen.  The bay window or the table.  I think on the table might look a bit more natural.

Having gotten that figured out (mostly) I began to put stone on the outer walls.  I started with the door and windows.  I used some scrap wood to make a small step and added 'stone' to it.  And I finally caved and stained the door.  Once I have grout on the stone I'll add the hinges and door handle.



This next part took the rest of the weekend.  And I still haven't done the back wall because I'll need to hide the wiring so that will be done last.





The edges of the wall have stone made to overlap the corners once the walls are glued into place.

For the inside of the house, I was thinking of doing some small beams in the corners to warm up the effect of all the plaster.  At least in the kitchen.  In the bedroom I'll start working on the paneling for the walls and extending it to the ceiling.

I'm still debating trying to make a door and doorway to the bedroom next to the fireplace.  I'm not sure.  I'm leaning towards not.  I want to have a bar system to keep the shutters closed against weather and a wall might get in the way of that.  We'll see how it goes.

I hope everyone else's week has gone more smoothly than mine and that you're all having a great weekend.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ground Floor & Candelabras

This weekend was full of time consuming things that didn't lend themselves to much picture taking.  I wanted to get the floor of the first level started at least.  I didn't know how long it was going to take but I figured it would be a while.

I added some wood to the floor to fill in the slots for the original walls.  And added the front stoop as well.

I used some of the Magic system stencils again.  These were much easier to use, less issues with the 'stone' parts coming out with the grout stencils.  It was also easier to get the stone mixture onto the floor since this wasn't vertical. I actually tried to make the levels of stone slightly irregular since the main floor of the cottage is the oldest part of it.


While it was drying I got started on my smaller candelabras.  I used some dowels for candles, cut down and drilled down the middle, then painted white.  While those dried I cut out my wood and got channels for the wires drilled out and the wood sanded and stained.

I used my hot glue trick so they'd look like melted wax and painted them out.  Some more jewelry findings serve as the candle holders.

By the time I got all that done the stone was dry so I started painting.  That took quite a while.


Once it was painted I coated it with a satin poly and let that dry.  Then I put the candelabras together.  I need to trim some of the glue off but all in all they look pretty good.  Primitive, which is what I was going for, for the first floor.


Then I got some of my grout and finished the floor.  I have most of the grout wiped off but I'm going to let it dry completely and then wipe a bit more off before I coat it with poly again.


Once I get the poly on it I'll take off the painters tape and do another fit of the walls to make sure everything fits the way I want it to.  After that I'll carefully drill through the plaster where I'd made holes for my electrical.

It doesn't feel like much but I know it is progress.  And I can cross a couple things off my list.


Drill & Route out channels for lighting wires.
Finish shutters & interior trim for all windows on main cottage. 

Build Fireplaces & chimneys

Cut bricks and stone for outside of lower walls and tower.

(Test Magic Brik) - in progress

Add brick/stone to fireplaces.

Plaster upper walls and third floor of tower.

Add timber to upper walls and third floor of tower. (testing)

Paint stone.

Add grout to stone and brick.

Ceiling beams on first floor.

Ceiling beams and roof support for lofted ceiling on second floor.

Ceiling beams and roof support for the tower.

Build furniture:

          Make sink

          Make curved table for tower room

          Make loom

          Adjust tables for lab

          Make stool

          Make telescope 1/2 done

          Make orrey 1/4 done

          Make tapestry

          Make rush mats

          Make bedding

          Make books & scrolls

          Make paper pottery

Furniture in place finalize lights.

          Make sconces

          Make candelabras

                 Standing Candelabra

                 2 small Candelabras
Add flooring

Plaster inside walls

Inside window trim & shutters

Build base for house.

Create 'slate' roof

Create front garden

          Make tree?

          Make stream?

          Make lake/river to go alongside house

          Make stone wall to go around garden

          Iron front gate.