Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Last Of the List

I'm relieved, I have only a couple more things on my list and neither are absolutely necessary.  Chances are that if I hadn't gotten to use my flex time on Thursday and Friday I would still be frantically working and you might get a post on Monday or Tuesday.

I started with my chimney stacks.  You recall my inspiration photo?


I wanted to do something similar.  So I got a couple of terracotta stacks.  And some dragons.  You saw my primed dragons last week.  This week I got them attached to the stacks and aged so they looked like they'd been on top of a very active chimney.


I imagine they'll show up much better with a simpler background.

But once they were up and the glue drying I continued to work on my tree.  I bought some apples that resembled the type of apples in England during Tudor times and threaded some dark brown embroidery thread through them so they would 'grow' on the tree.


I worked on it and while waiting for glue to dry, worked on vegetables for the garden.  I used Jodi's vegetable tutorial, which is awesome.


The trick was to figure out what sort of vegetables my WQ would be able to grow.  Lettuces and leeks were good.  Carrots grow well with leeks and green onions too.  Cabbages and cauliflower were the other plants I had.  I also made some mint for tea and chamomile plants.  I used Jodi's method for the chamomile too.

While everything was drying and being built I started to add stones to my wall.



I was very tempted to not put stone on the front but I wanted to be able to take pictures from a wider angle if I wanted so I bit the bullet and added the stone.  I will say going with semi rectangular and square stones made the process a little easier.

Then there was the painting and adding mortar/grout.  Slightly messy process but it got done.  I was going to use the big rocks for a path but I didn't like how thick they were.  Some of the other stones I had worked better.  I built up the path slightly with spackle underneath the grass so I could press the stones down into it.  I couldn't put the path right up to the gate or the gate wouldn't open over the path.



The tree was a bit unstable for a bit until I got some dirt made of coffee grounds and white glue to add around the roots and base.  Then I added some of the coarse turf to the roots and around the stones.  The excess needs brushing off but I needed to let all the glue dry first.

While that was going in I made a border for the garden. I added some mushrooms around the tree since they always seem to grow in the shade.




I'm going with my old method of making the garden separate from the yard so I can work on it and set it in place once it's done.  It's on very thin balsa wood.

My vegetables were mostly done so I made up more of my dirt with white glue and coffee.


The glue is still drying here but I put it in place so no one (Building Inspector) will be tempted to play with the carrot tops or my leeks.


There's a rabbit in the garden.  He'd better watch out.  Bathsheba and Boadicea will be happy to chase him away.




I added my pigeons to the dovecote.  I decided to glue them to the house rather than use temporary sticking stuff.



I also added some more rocks and moss to the side of the house so it looks a little bit more like it's been there a while.  I still want to do some weeds or something.  Maybe some more moss at the bottom of the house so it doesn't look so abrupt between the grass and stone.



I also bit the bullet and made a couple of rush mats for the bedroom.  They warm up the room just enough I think.




Not bad for my first attempt.

And just because it makes me happy I opened all the windows and took a picture of it like that.


Are you able to tell at all where the house comes apart at the roof and walls?  I'm curious because when I look at the cottage it isn't immediately obvious to me.

I got a big white sheet to use as a backdrop and I'm going to order another clamp light.  I can practice my picture taking this week while I wait for my sausages to arrive.  <grinding teeth>


Create 'slate' roof
           Put Roof on House
           Paint roof.
Wiring
Finish back of house and tower
Doves/Pigeons for dovecote - Got need to glue on
Basic landscaping around the minimal base.
Lean to, to hide light switches.
Label Switches
Bedroom
          Make rush mats
Kitchen
          Hang sausages-mailed
          Age Bread paddles
          Cloak - Anna
Create front garden           Make tree? - more candy tuft ordered.
                         Finish adding and paint out stems.
          Make stream? - Not enough time
          Make lake/river to go alongside house - Not enough time
          Add moss and weeds along side house and tower
          Make stone wall to go around garden
          Iron front gate. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Wicked Queen's Cloak Is Here!

Anna who is totally made of awesome, noted that sewing/fabric is not my favorite thing.  She offered to send me a cloak she'd made, to see if the Wicked Queen would like it.  I'm certain that Cecelia Alyce will absolutely love it.

It arrived today, along with a cute little present as a surprise.


Isn't it lovely?  It's a similar color to the bed curtains, a bit darker but it's a really pretty pop of color in the kitchen on the hook by the door.


I never realized how impatient a Queen can be, she tore into that present as if it was already Christmas.


What a sweet little pillow!

It fits in perfectly in the bedroom.


Thank you Anna!  I couldn't have made anything nearly as pretty!

Oh, and here are my rocks for a path from the gate to the front door.


We'll see how it works out, but this is my first idea.  Part of me wants to make some stone out of my egg cartons so I can paint them to match the walls of the cottage and garden walls.

Onward we go!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Tree, Shingles and Garden Walls


I think it's officially almost time to panic.  Brae has helpfully put a countdown on her blog and every time I go look at her progress I start thinking about my own.

Then I have to do deep breathing exercises so I can calm down.

Keeping in mind that I don't have much time left I've been doing a bit of work each night this week.  Mostly getting the tower roof shingled and the main roof painted.





I took this last picture Saturday and I was thrilled the cats were being so sweet and not interfering.


The Building Inspector on the cat climbing tree. AKA Tali Zorah Vas' Normandy.


Cap'n Jack Sparrow on top of the craft supply shelf.


Miho, in one of the little window shelves.  Nice sunny spot.


Helo on the other window shelf.


All four of them were lined up in a row.  This very rarely happens.  Drusilla lives in her own room and was quite happy to stay there in her little bed on the chair when I opened the door.  She just looked at me like 'what do you want? I'm sleeping.'  Obviously not in a picture taking mood.

Unfortunately Saturday was the last day the Building Inspector kept her nose out of things.  She was all over the table after that. There was cat hair on the dollhouse roof. As if someone had been walking or rubbing on it.

Despite her interference I did manage to get the roof completely shingled.



I had to let the glue dry overnight before I could paint.


You've seen the black undercoat.  I went over it with Anita's Acrylic Charcoal paint.  I put a straight layer of paint and then added water to the brush and pulled the paint down.  It gave it a nice streaky finish.

Then I went over it with another layer of slightly lighter paint, Americana Grey Sky and did the same thing.


I added a layer of Folk Art's Thunder Grey in a few places but I didn't care for how it looked so I watered it down and spread it out so it wasn't as obvious.



I decided to add the bargeboards and topper to the front.  I don't think I'll end up painting the roof anymore but if I do I can tape it off.

I went to the Scenery Solutions site and ordered some more Candytuft last week.  The man who runs the site was really great and upgraded my shipping so I got it this Friday.  So I was able to work on the tree some more.  Can't say enough nice things about him.




I'm adding a bit of a built up base to it so I can have the branches clear the walls of the garden.   I need to carve it away a bit more but you get the gist.

I have my chimney made, and I have the two stacks for it.  I'm priming my dragons to embellish the stacks.


I remembered to age/burn the bread boards.


I thought of using matches but I decided it would be safer to just use charcoal.

But that's the extent of my progress for the week.  I'm going to try and make some vegetables using Jodi's tutorial this week and hopefully put stone on the garden walls in the evenings.

I'm still waiting on my sausages to arrive, I've been told it can take up to eight weeks.  Lets hope they get here soon, I'd like to get the drying rack hung up.

I'm lucky though, with all the time I'd put in when we were trying to take the new accounting program live at the end of October, I got about twenty six hours of flex time.  My boss is letting me take a day and a half of it this Thursday and Friday so I get some extra time to work on the dollhouse this weekend too.


The tape you see on the corner is because someone (The Building Inspector) decided to jump up on or pull down the lower wall and snapped the trim when it fell to the ground.  One of the shutter hinges came undone and had to be reglued as well.  There was a lot of cursing and threats and she went to her daddy's spot on the couch and pouted.


I can use this turf for moss on my rocks around the tower base and a bit on the lower portion of the house walls if I like how it looks.

I need to make a stop at Hobby Lobby tomorrow on the way home and get some more paint.  But other than that I'm pretty good for supplies.

How are the rest of you doing?



Create 'slate' roof
           Put Roof on House
           Paint roof.
Wiring
Finish back of house and tower
Doves/Pigeons for dovecote - Got need to glue on
Basic landscaping around the minimal base.
Lean to, to hide light switches.
Label Switches
Kitchen
          Hang sausages-mailed
          Age Bread paddles
          Cloak - Anna
Create front garden
          Make tree? - more candy tuft ordered.
                         Finish adding and paint out stems.
          Make stream?
          Make lake/river to go alongside house
          Add moss and weeds along side house and tower
          Make stone wall to go around garden
          Iron front gate. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Roof and Tree

This was a long weekend of a lot of work but not a lot of pictures.  I spent a good portion of the holiday making more shingles.  And after reading through Jodi and Brae's methods for making trees I ordered supplies which arrived in time for the weekend and the beginning of my apple tree.

I'm running low on candy tuft because I ordered one basil green and one deep green and the basil works better for the apple tree.  I ordered more which hopefully will arrive soon.

But here's how my apple tree started.  I used up every bit of wire I had and wrapped it around some of the leftover dowel I used for the staircase center support.  I wanted a thick trunked tree rather than a thin one, even if I couldn't make it really tall.


Latex over the wire. This is the second coat.


Then brown paint.


Then a mix of brown and grey.  I'd put a coat on, then water it down and streak it over the dark brown.  It seemed to work pretty well.


And then adding some candy tuft.



I worked on the tree when I had to let some glue dry on the roof.  I was originally going to paint the shingles before putting them on the roof.  But I honestly just didn't have the space and it would take me twice as long to get it done.  I couldn't be sure how many strips of shingles I'd need to make, and I was worried I'd end up having to make more, paint them and glue them on and I wasn't sure how long everything would take.

I started out by making flashing out of cardboard and painting it black.  Black is the base coat of the roof so it'll blend nicely once I get the rest painted and then made to look like slate with grey and brown.


The card board is from various sources, wine box dividers which are thicker, cereal boxes, mailer envelopes... I'm hoping that will give me a bit more dimension as well as realism.


I tried to match up my shingle rows on the dormers and main portion as much as I could.  I think it came out pretty well.

So right now I just need to put the roof on the tower and then paint.  I've got some sponge brushes which will make the aging of the roof easier.  I'll probably do a bit of that tomorrow night, or I'll work on the garden walls.  Brae has a count down on her site and I'm feeling a bit... squeezed.

And I got some moss so I can age the stones and the base of the house a bit.  It'll come in handy on the tree roots as well.

I also started on my garden base and walls.  I used Styrofoam for the walls, to keep them light.  And I'll glue more of my 'stone' to them and paint it to match the house.  I'm probably going to go with a more squared off stone look simply to make my life a little easier.


I'm waiting to glue on the bargeboards and topper for the main roof until after I've painted.  I figured why glue them on and then have to tape them up so they're waiting for now.

That's pretty much it for me for the weekend.  I hope everyone had a good holiday!

Create 'slate' roof
           Put Roof on House
           Paint roof.
Wiring
Finish back of house and tower
Doves/Pigeons for dovecote - Got need to glue on
Basic landscaping around the minimal base.
Lean to, to hide light switches.
Label Switches
Kitchen
          Hang sausages-mailed
          Age Bread paddles
          Cloak - Anna
Create front garden
          Make tree? - more candy tuft ordered.
          Make stream?
          Make lake/river to go alongside house
          Make stone wall to go around garden
          Iron front gate.