Sunday, July 1, 2018

Electrifying the Tower

This weekend was all about the Tower again.  I wanted to make some progress getting the lights in and the trim on.

I started with wall sconces like these.

I got them from Melody Jane and Minimum World.  I didn't like how the wire showed underneath, or how clean they looked.  So I decided to make them look like actual wax candles.

I used hot glue and off white paint again.

They're drying here after I painted the wire with bronze and then metallic black to age it.

There are several other things that I'm not thrilled with about these sconces.  The backs are hollow so it's hit or miss if they stick to the wall or not.  And they bend easily so if you're not careful they'll break.

I did manage to get them installed.  I used the double sconces in the stair tower.

And then tested.

Then I added them to the third floor.  I used the single sconces there.

I need to fix some of this texture so it looks more to scale.

I didn't test these yet.  Living dangerously.

The trim on the outside is... a little frustrating.  Working with curves takes a ton of tape every time I put a piece on but I'm slowly getting the timbers added.  I've got the windows trimmed out but before I work on a lot more of it I need to determine my pattern for the trim.  I'd like to do something a little out of the ordinary but I'm not sure what yet.  What I have tried to do is make the 'beams' look a bit irregular.

You can see my wire channels and the blue tape holding the inside trim onto the walls while the glue dries.

I did get the inside trim around the oriel window and around the base of the walls.  Once all of this is finished I need to add some satin poly so my stain doesn't come off with the tape.

You can't see the trim near the floor very well here.  But all the blue painters tape is gorgeous don't you think?  (Yes, I speak sarcasm fluidly.)

While I was 'adjusting' my sconces it took time for everything to dry one step at a time so I started work on the curved table I needed for the tower.

I wanted some contrast to the floor and trim so I used Red Oak stain by Minwax.  And since I wanted to make use of the space around the edge of the stair opening I decided to make some shelves.  Walk up the stairs, get a book.

I did my best to make it resemble the other bookcases I have.  I got them from Minimum world during one of their barewood sales.

It's just wide enough to fill that empty space near the staircase opening.

The glue is still drying a bit but you can see how they fit nicely against the curve.  The orrey won't really fit in here, though I might fool around with it on the table tomorrow and see how it works.  We'll see.

I stained a chair as well so the WQ can sit and look out her telescope.

I'll try to make a few more little things for the shelves.  Books and maps of the constellations maybe?  But I'm pleased to say the telescope goes nicely inside the oriel window.

Obviously this was before the trim went up around the windows.

I did get a few more things for the house.  I put in an order to Shapeways and got a bunch of stuff.  None of it cost a ton which I liked.

I liked the idea of the obelisk and little pyramids in the workshop/stillroom or up in the tower.  There's a cute little box and a pitcher and vase.  And a spinning wheel Marion designed that I'm hoping will look more realistic than the one I bought from Minimum world.  And there's a bunch of goblets and pitchers that I can use for various things.

I'm off for a couple of days and back to work on Thursday so I'm hoping to have more progress for you soon!

Hope you're all having a great 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.
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 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.


  1. hi sheila, the spinning wheel will turn out perfectly, you will see. it is a bit fiddly to make and attach that one piece between the pedal and the wheel... but with your skills this should be no problem :-) Enjoy your days off..

    1. Thanks! I'm going to go study yours! It's hard to spin straw into gold when your spinning wheel doesn't work.

  2. You are making a lot of progress. The tower is already looking great and authentic. I would only say, as you want realism, maybe try to add some black to the candles as they have been lit before. You are doing terrific that list is getting shorter!

    1. Thanks! I was thinking I'd get some charcoal to brush over the walls a bit for sooty residue. But now that the sconces are in I'm hesitant to mess with them anymore.

  3. So much work you've done! It looks amazing. Wall scones fits perfectly. And I just love how the telescope looks in the window. It's like a shot from some fantasy movie. :)
    Round table is so beautiful. I love the colour.

    1. Thank you! I think it'll look a bit brighter with books and things on the shelves.

  4. You have done so much already and I love what you did. The wall scones are fantastic. I admire the way you decorated the tower's round spaces and look forward to see how you'll turn those bits in the last photo into Tudor style pieces.
    Hugs, Drora

    1. Thanks! I'm finding that I need to use some really good glue to reinforce the sconces because on day three they're all trying to droop off the wall. So with a little luck that will be fixed by my next post.

      I'm really excited about the spinning wheel. And I'm hoping to give the look of primitive pottery or wood for the rest.

  5. The tower is coming together nicely! The lights add a lot of character to the space. (I have not had good luck with the peel off stickers on the back of light fixtures, make sure to use some glue) I like all of the custom furniture that you are making for the round room - very cool. Keep up the good work - Troy

    1. Thanks! I'm learning about the peel off stickers... The sconces are being reinforced with glue today. I was pretty happy with managing curved furniture. Not easy for me.

  6. I also love the rounded table and shelf unit - It's going to look amazing all filled! The sconces are wonderful for this project and I love how you've added so much realism with the dripping wax. Enjoy the days off and the feeling of accomplishment from getting so many tricky things crossed off the list!

    1. Thank you! I just couldn't stand how clean the sconces looked, nothing would be that clean if they were used.

      I'm working on getting the timbers on the outside and debating them on the inside. I think I want to keep the clean plaster look inside. And I need to figure out the tower roof.

  7. Hi Sheila! I think you are making Awesome progress! Waiting for glue to dry is so annoying..... and so necessary! Especially where everything is curved! You have to fit it every step of the way! I Love how the Tower room is furnished... as small as it is and yet with all the necessary items near to hand! The telescope in the oriel window is so amazing!!! And the work you have done with all those sconces took them up to so real looking... I love the dripping wax! I really admire your attention to details and your versatility with all these new materials... you aren't afraid of any challenge! I can't wait to see more! :)

    1. Thank you! Glue drying...argh...that's what's happening again today. As Troy tried to warn me, the sconces started falling down so they're being glued.

      I was a little nervous the telescope wouldn't fit but I was really glad it did. The candles... I really wanted them to look used, not modern you know?

      I'm afraid of everything honestly, I just have to keep going or I get paralyzed!

  8. Loving everything! Those sconces are the best. Your wax drips really help make them look like old candle sconces, rather than a neo Gothic gas/electric light fitting, and they really add ambience to the tower. Hope you have a good week Sheila! X

    1. Thank you! I really want it to look authentic in a historical fairytale type of way.

  9. The candle sconces came out so cool! I love that you were brave enough to add the wax drippings. I love that the top tower room still seems really spacious even with all the furniture. It's amazing that this tower was truly built from scratch! The windows seem to have adhered beautifully. :)

    1. Thanks! I was really excited that they looked good. My first attempt at altering 'ready made' lights. The rubberbands did their trick really well, the windows stayed curved to the tower. Such relief!

  10. Catching up a bit here. Love the lighting and the curved shelves. :D

  11. Thanks! It was nice to think about something besides the roof. For a while at least.

  12. The dripping wax candles and the shelving units are the perfect accompaniments in the tower-your progress is Exceptional!
    By the way- I LOVE the spinning wheel and the Shapeways minis!

    1. Thank you! I was really excited to get those.