Sunday, June 17, 2018

Star Gazing & Other Useful Objects

Hey everyone, hope you're all having a Happy Father's Day.   My Step Dad is in Florida with my Mom and we don't have kids so it's quiet around here today.

I got some more channels for wiring routed out but they're boring so I didn't take any pictures.  I did wire up the candelabra to a battery and test it to be sure it worked.  Yay! It did.

I had to put it in the house because it wouldn't show up as lit until then.

Then I started to work on my orrey again.  I didn't like how clunky the wire I was using looked so I started over.

And because I don't know my planets I set my laptop up so I could make sure everything was in the right place and orbit.

It was very helpful to have it there.  I might have to do that more often.

I replaced the hematite bead with a lighter one for Jupiter because the hematite bead was so heavy.

I think it looks much better this way.

I'm not sure what this is called, the idea is candle light reflects on a mirror and you get the effect of the sun shining on the earth and moon.  I saw one on Pinterest and liked how it looked so I wanted to make one of my own.

This is the simpler version, I'm adding gears and some support filigree type trim.

Right now it's being braced in place while glue dries. Again.

Oh, speaking of glue drying.  Here's a slightly better picture of the telescope.

I bought a little hourglass but I got another as a charm and wanted to turn it into a fancier larger one for the tower.  So I got some wire and wood and built a little frame for it.  I'm pleased, it turns and everything.

I'm testing the Magic Brik on a scrap of the oatmeal containers and while it's drying I decided to test out my beams for the timber and lathe part of the house and tower.  It's very thin wood used for flooring but it bends easily like a veneer and takes stain well.

I like how it looks so far.  And I think with some more texture on the plaster portion it'll work out nicely.

Because I need to add the beams around the oriel window I glued it in and then taped around it to be sure it would stay in place while the glue dried.

Lots of tape, which seems to take some of the paint off of the plaster but I don't mind it so much because I plan to add more of the texture on top so any imperfections caused by the tape will be hidden.

I'm planning on not touching it for a bit.  Everyone cross their fingers that the cats won't get curious.

While that was drying I began working on some more stuff for the laboratory/stillroom.

I decided that in addition to the orrey I wanted an armillary sphere.  I like how they look and it'll be a good space filler.

Here it is in progress.  The base, planet, one ring and the other three rings are drying with glue on them to keep them circular on the tops of the paint bottles.

And here it is complete.

I wanted a few things for the stillroom/laboratory table so I decided to make a crystal ball and some quills and inkwells.  I got a marble with a slight opal sheen to it and rounded out a square of wood for it to sit in.  The inkwells and quills are tiny feathers and beads.

The glue is still drying on this piece and I'll have to remove the excess but I just had the idea that it would look cool on the table.

And I also wanted a type of scrying pendant, the type that swings and gives you a direction?  I'm going to look for something like an old compass print for the base.

The last thing I did was a brazier for burning incense.  I used some wisps of cotton to make smoke... but they don't show up very well yet.

I need to spend some time this week cutting out stone for the cottage walls.  Hopefully if I do that a bit each night I'll eventually get enough done to cover the lower floor of the cottage.  It's not my favorite thing but it needs to be done.

Doesn't feel like I got much done to cross off the list but I know all of these little things will fill out the tower and stillroom nicely.

One last thing.  Kristine of Paper Doll Miniatures very graciously took the door design I found on Pinterest and the door shape and laser cut them out of wood.  She sent me a couple versions, plus her first couple attempts.  I cannot believe how gorgeous she made this and how crisp the design is.

I finally trusted myself enough to trim the bottom of the door so it would fit.  She'd purposely made them a bit taller than my measurements so I could be sure of a good fit.  Then I tested it.  OMG.  So excited.

I can't thank her enough for doing all this work.  I'd tried multiple ways of getting something even vaguely similar onto the door and couldn't make it look even half as good.

It looks so pretty!

Hope everyone else is having a good weekend.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


The telescope is all glued together and so I took some quick pictures with my phone.  I think it turned out all right.

I'm hoping to get the orrey going a bit more this weekend.  

And on the bright side I went to the doctor yesterday and got some antibiotics.  Hope everyone else is doing well.  And if you haven't taken a look at Jodi's post I'd highly recommend it.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Lots of Little Things This Weekend

I warned you my list was in no particular order right?

I still haven't felt all that great this weekend.  Though I'm better than I was.  So I did some research on the solar system and telescopes.  But the first thing I did was a little more work on the sink.

I sanded the corners off to give it a bit of a rougher look on the lower frame.

It might not be noticeable immediately but I know it's been done.

I also added the lower rails to the stillroom/laboratory table.

Then I started to make a floor standing candelabra.  For the candles I started with a dowel and cut it into three quarter inch lengths and drilled through it.  I painted them antique white and then used a trick I found on Epbot.  Hot glue for wax drips, painted the same as the dowels.  She used hot glue when she was making her floating Harry Potter candles.

I had a couple wagon wheels which I cut up to use for the candelabra.  I used jewelry findings for candle holders and got everything glued together.  I hollowed out a couple of newel posts and glued one in place.

The other I glued to my second wheel for the base.

I had to lengthen the wire for the bulbs and then I glued both sides together.  I want to add a bit of wood putty to the joint and smooth it out, but so far it doesn't look bad.

I'm also planning on some more wax drips.  I think that'll add a bit more realism to the whole thing.

While the glue was drying I started work on my telescope.  I got a charm from Hobby Lobby to begin with and made a base.

I also made a smaller scope to go on top of the larger one.

Then I added the base to the main telescope.  And the holder for the smaller one.  The glue is drying and probably will take the rest of the evening so I can't show you the finished product just yet.

I started work on my orrey.  It's just in the beads on wires stage right now.  Once they dry I'll get them onto the turning rings.

Funny to think that this was all I got done. But I've got blisters on my right forefinger from all the finger drills I've used and the candelabra took me most of Saturday.

I did route out the second floor for the wires, though I forgot to take a picture.  And I glued some of the second floor front wall together.  Which I did remember to take a picture of.

Oh, the other thing I did was paint the outside of the tower's third floor with antique white to seal the plaster a bit.   I want to add the beams and then more texture to the plaster so it looks more Tudor like.

And I did some research on Magic Brik and how to use it.  Adding glue to the powder mixture apparently keeps it from flaking off.  And it was suggested on the Greenleaf forum that I prep my tower with gesso first to help the mixture stick.  I've got some scrap pieces of the oatmeal boxes so I'll test everything out on them first.

Kristine did some work on the laser printer for me and sent me several doors to use and I'm excited to play with them but I don't trust myself around them until I'm well.  I'll take pictures.

But here's a couple of the Building Inspector, very interested in the box.

So not a hugely productive weekend but not bad for still feeling like I'm half dead.  Husband is in worse shape.  I've got a doctor's appointment tomorrow though so maybe I'll get some antibiotics?

Hope everyone else had 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.
Add brick/stone to fireplaces.
Plaster upper walls and third floor of tower.
Add timber to upper walls and third floor of tower.
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.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

It's Sort Of a Toss Up

Whether or not this has been a good day or a bad day is kind of a toss up.

I spent yesterday and part of this morning working on furniture for the house.  I started with the wet sink.  I'd gotten the sink from Minimum World when it was on sale.  But I needed to build a base for it.  So I started with some newel posts and turned them upside down for legs.  Then cut boards to length and roughed them up to look hand cut.

I decided to make it in two levels, one slightly lower than the other, so the water from the pump would pour into the sink more easily.  I used Minwax Dark Walnut and Red Oak on the wood to give it some variation.

I made a shelf to go between the legs of the larger half of the sink for buckets and other things.  And glued the sink onto the smaller lower half.  Then I made a pipe out of a wooden dowel and aged the pump a little bit.

I want to rough up the lower edges of the rim around the legs, but so far I think it looks nicely primitive and Tudor.  What do you think?

I also stained the table for the kitchen.  Ended up using my craft knife to remove a lot of extra glue that wasn't noticeable before and re-stained it.  I used Minwax Red Oak on the table.

 I like how it looks, pretty dark but not the same as the walnut.

My next project was the small table for the still room/laboratory.  I popped the slats off the lower side boards and sanded the glue off as much as possible.  I sanded down the edges of the table top and the top of it so it would look more rough and have the appearance of wood grain.

Of course after all this work I forgot to take pictures with the camera.  So here are a couple with my cell phone.

The next project was the other slatted table for the still room/laboratory.  The one with the table top I didn't care for. Remember?

Well in order to get the top off the table I put it in the microwave.  Here it is now.

So I scraped and sanded the extra glue off the pieces and stained them with the red oak and dark walnut mix.  Then made a new tabletop out of roughed up wood lengths.  And glued everything back together.

I need to add the other two lower bars to the table.  I forgot to stain them.  So if I decide I really want them on the table I'll add them after the glue is dried on the rest of it.

After that I had to do the cat boxes and once I do those I like to vacuum.  Because as every cat owner/butler knows, cats scatter litter outside of the boxes in order to ward off the devil.

And I obviously had some sawdust and wood scraps that needed to be vacuumed up as well.

I got half way through this process and my vacuum cleaner died.  I took it apart and cleaned it out, but it doesn't work still.  So we have to buy a new vacuum cleaner.

In case you're curious, a vacuum cleaner that deals with hard floors and carpets and stands up to pet hair is not cheap.

So you tell me... does what I got done balance out against needing a new vacuum cleaner?

I hope everyone else's week is going better.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Where To Go From Here

I'll admit, this weekend I've been a bit aimless.  I've caught a summer cold, which is always a delight, so I haven't felt my best and as a result I don't feel like I'm accomplishing much.

I'm on another mini vacation which is nice, because at least I'm not going to work feeling awful.  And I'm not cheating on my diet because quite frankly food doesn't sound appetizing.

So I've been puttering and finishing up a few things.  And quite frankly I haven't trusted myself with power tools so I'm putting off any working with the Dremel.

I got a few things in the mail.  Some pigeons I ordered to go in my dovecote arrived on Saturday.

My hinges came on Thursday so I started with doing the shutters on Friday.

You can see behind the dormer windows the bay window has been sanded and painted out.  I blended Americana Buttercream and Warm White and I think I'll try to do that for all the plaster inside.  I like the color, it's warm and traditional.

Apparently Tudor homes weren't always white plaster, a lot of them were mustard yellow, red or pink or a nice cream.  So I think it's a good compromise and it looks good with the Dark Walnut stain.

I haven't done the trim for the casement windows yet but I did get the shutters on them.

I'll get some trim figured out for them in a bit.  I don't want it to be too wide in comparison to the rest of the window trim.

I also made some trim and shutters for the bay window.  I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.

Since everything else on the ground floor had shutters I felt like the bay window should too.

I wanted to be able to wire the tower with lights but I can't do that until I get the inside of the third floor somewhat finished.  So I covered the wood floor and used my Greenleaf Stucco on the walls.

I painted the walls white underneath and then mixed a bit of Buttercream with the stucco.  It looks a little rough but pretty good.  I'll put my 'timbers' over it after I stain them.

Then I used my plaster and covered the outside.  I want it to have plenty of time to dry.

While that's been drying I started to finish the windows for the tower stairs.

I painted them and then dry brushed different greys on to give them a stone effect.

Then I used the last of my stucco for mortar.  I like how it looks but now I need to figure out something else for my mortar on the stair tower and the lower floor of the cottage or order more and hope it comes in quickly.

So I did some research and came across C.J.'s tutorial on doing plaster and lathe and decided I'd order her materials and see how I do with them.  They're relatively cheap on Amazon and they'll get here Tuesday.  I can mix the antique white with the buttercream and get the color I want to use.

I'm pretty happy with how they came out.  I got a bit of mortar on the leaded glass but it cleans up easily enough with a little water.

I can't wait to get them on the tower.  I'm so excited for how they'll look.

Speaking of the tower, I'm debating my original plan to use sandpaper bricks.  I'm not confident in my ability to keep the line of bricks level and they're very time consuming.  I've never worked with the Magic Brick stuff though I've seen Jodi use it.  It looks like it would be quicker and would still give me the brick finish I want.

What do all of you think?