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.
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
          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. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Wiring & Landscaping

We had a lot of cleaning to do this weekend and so I got a late start on the dollhouse.  The bright side of that is I have a four and a half day weekend and since we don't live near family I won't have to do a lot of cooking or traveling.  My husband is a sweetie who doesn't see the point of me working in the kitchen all day just for the two of us.

So I'll have plenty of time to work on the dollhouse over the Thanksgiving weekend.  And our boss lets us out at 12 on the Wednesday before which is also nice.

I got some wire in the mail for my tree if I get the time to make it.  So I'm hopeful that I'll be able to make an apple tree for my WQ.  Oh, Anna was asking her name, so I've decided upon Cecelia Alyce.

Anna has kindly offered to send me a cloak for WQ Cecelia since sewing is not exactly an enjoyable pastime for me these days.  So that's exciting!

I received my shrink tubes in the mail and was able to get my wiring all set.  That's a nice feeling.  And I tested my lights again.  All of them work.  Also a nice feeling.  Then I turned out the lights and took pictures just for fun.

 I actually like that the lights aren't super bright.  Candles wouldn't be really.

I then labeled all of my switches.

I thought about using a transformer and the plugs for the wires but honestly, I like the batteries and how I can have individual switches for the different lights and rooms.

I added some of the grass I bought to the edges of the base and some rocks around the bottom of the tower.  I'm going to brush them with some glue and some moss, hopefully some weeds to make them look a bit more natural.

It wasn't easy to get them glued to the tower.  But they finally stuck.  I'm really hoping I can figure out some water to go around the tower but until that point I've got the grass.

I made some door plates for my front door handles and got them painted and a keyhole drilled out, then glued the handles to them.

I added a bit more black to them before I glued them to the door, I didn't like how bright they were in comparison to the hinges.  Some metallic black made them look more like bronze or dull brass.

Once the glue is completely dry I'll make sure I get any excess removed.

I made a lean to so I could hide all my wires and switches and put it against the back of the house.

I drilled some shallow holes for my magnets and glued them in then put tape over them to keep them from coming out and clinging to the opposite magnets I have on the inside of the lean-to roof.

I've started the stages of finishing out the back of the house, plastered the lean-to so it'll dry, added stone and then plastered the upper portion of the back wall.  This way I can paint next week and when it's drying get my beams stained.

I've also started working on the shingles for my roof.

I need a lot more, but once I get them all cut out I think getting them on the roof will go fairly quickly.  The link I found says to paint after glue the shingles to the house.  I'm not sure that's a good idea since the house is all finished and pretty on the outside.  So I'm thinking that one over.

I went through my animals and found my WQ two of her cats and the hedgehog that lives in her kitchen.  People used to keep them because they'd eat bugs and slugs.

I think there will be one more cat to live there, but I haven't decided on her yet.

This is Bathsheba.  She's very regal.

Hedgehog doesn't have a name yet.  Still thinking about that one.  But I was considering Arthur.

This is Boadicea.  She's a little mischievous and I worry she'll try to poke at Hedgehog Arthur.

The mantle in the bedroom, with her mirror, brush and the crown her late husband gave her.  I made the cushion and box for it to sit on.

One last picture of the outside of the house so far.

I need to stop at the Hobby Lobby and get some of the rubber latex for the tree.  Once I get my roof done I think I'll have time to do the front garden at least.  I'm reading up on how to do water and I might be able to do that but I'm not sure yet.

But I did knock down my list quite a bit.

Create 'slate' roof
           Put Roof on House
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
          Hang sausages
          Age Bread paddles
          Cloak - Anna
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, November 11, 2018

Lighting, Magnets and Baskets...

…And lots of other little things.

The magnets are on the edge of the tower, holding it closed and in place very nicely when I want it shut.  It was just misbehaving without them.

I had plans to finalize my wiring this weekend but there was a mix up with my order of shrink tubes so I test the lights but nothing is hardwired yet.  I'll probably do that next week.

My standing candelabra is giving me fits because it works but then when I get the camera out it doesn't work.  I think extending the wires and making sure the connections are clean will do it.  But in the meantime, here's proof that the rest of my lights work.

By the way, my clamp light which is photobombing the dollhouse was only $3 at a thrift store.  Love that thing!

I added trim to my side dormer interior.

I want to have a bit more, but it'll keep until I get the roofing done.  Beams to go from the sides to the ridgepole and more beams on the sides of the roof to match the ones on the opposite roof and wall.  Again, they'll keep until I get the rest of my list finished.

I wanted to make some fireplace tools, poker, shovel for the ashes, that sort of thing.  And some paddles for the oven, not to mention my wool cards.

The oven paddles I thought I'd be able to buy but all I could find were ones for pizza and I didn't care for how they looked. Too modern.  The fireplace implements I found were mostly brass and I didn't care for them either.  We won't even discuss the futility of trying to purchase miniature wool cards.

I had lots of scrap wood, Velcro and toothpicks so I started with my wool cards.  The hook part of the Velcro is the closest I could come to scale for the cards and I'm pleased with how they turned out.

Here's a couple of pictures of what they look like back in Tudor times:

A Tudor girl carefully cards wool at at the wonderful Kentwell Hall May Day weekend.

A saltbox (Keli)


For oven paddles I had lots of thin scrap wood so I drew out the lines of the paddle and used my Dremel to sand away the excess.  For the long handled paddle I used a toothpick, routed out a channel on the back after I shaped it and carved down part of the toothpick so it was flat and would glue flush to the paddle.

I drilled a hole in the handle of one of the smaller paddles and did the same with the long handled one but decided it wasn't worth the trouble after I drilled into the side of my finger with the minuscule drill.  Getting a little tired of doing that.  And blood is a pain to get out of the wood.

I decided not to stain them because I want them to pop against the fireplace and furniture in the kitchen.

My fireplace tools were trickier, I went back to my jewelry making days.  (By the way if anyone needs beads, I really need to put up a pictorial of all the types I have so I can send them out. )  I had jewelry wire in various thicknesses and since it was so old it had gotten a bit oxidized (I think that's it?) anyway, it wasn't shiny and pretty anymore.

I cut lengths of it and started to twist it back on itself and then wound it in a tight spiral about three wire widths thick.  I used the tip of a toothpick for the poker and used the wire for a bit of a hook.  The shovel I made out of scrap wood and sanded it so it narrowed at the lip of the shovel.

Then I painted them with some of my pewter metallic paint.  I put a bit on the wire handles too.  They look nicely primitive I think.

I made some hooks for them to hang on and stuck them on the side of the fireplace in the kitchen.

I had purchased a goose/chicken on a spit and it came with spit holders but they were made of clay or something that kept bending and ultimately broke.  So I manufactured some spit holders out of the same wire.

You can see them a little bit here.  I just wanted the twisted metal look to be similar to the tools.  I'll have to open the front door and take a picture from that angle.  It might show them better.

I had made those curved shelves and table for the tower room, but apart from my Astronomy models didn't have much to fill them up with.  I used one of my mini geodes and my topaz crystals and on the top shelf another 'magical' potion from EBay.

I had used tea to stain some of my textured scrapbook paper and painted the other side so it wasn't a shiny gold, then I cut out scrolls and stained them with paint and water before gluing them onto the shelves.

I don't know if I still want a chair in the tower or not.  I'm going to think about it.

Since I'm still waiting on my ordered sausages to hang from the rack and maybe in the bay window, I decided to get the rest of my food organized and in baskets and on the kitchen table.  I'd purchased a bunch of vegetables from various sources so I messed around with them and got a few things glued in place.

The peas in their pods seemed a bit big to me so I thought they'd be good under the cupboard next to some spare cauldrons and apples.   And since I wanted a few 'magical' things in the different rooms but not necessarily front and center I used the ladle Keli sent me and another cauldron to start another batch of pease pottage in the back of the kitchen.

I had to let all that dry so I started putting things on the WQ's desk in the stillroom and added a fur throw to the settle in her room.

It might not even be noticed but I think she deserves it.

I started to get the mantle in her bedroom set up as well.  I have a 'silver' backed brush to go in front of her mirror and a little box from Shapeways, which I'd painted silver and made a red bead necklace to drape out of it.  It's going to go near the candles so it won't be super noticeable, which is why I don't mind that the necklace isn't quite to scale.

You can also see the saltbox I made next to it.  Keli sent me a really cute little silverware caddy that would have worked but I loved it so much I wanted to put spoons and things in it.

Then I started to place all my produce and food in the kitchen and played around taking pictures of it.  I put my axe and the clogs under the hooks by the door.  I need to make the cloak still, but I think I've found a pattern that will work so maybe during the evening this week.

So here's a bunch of pictures of the kitchen, minus the drying rack, in no particular order.


These are after I put the rush mats I'd bought down on the floor.  I think I like them.  Not entirely sure.


Since I was adding furniture, I decided to put all the still room furniture in place.  It looks a little chaotic in there, but I wasn't really setting my camera angles all that well.  I need to work on that.  And my clamp light was a little too glaring.  I need to get my shades out if I'm going to keep using it, diffuse the light some.

Then it was time to get back to work.  I needed to put my wool in baskets to it would be ready for spinning.

One of the baskets will go under the cupboard with all the thread.  Probably the oval one with the grey wool in it.

I've got some ideas for the roof.  I want it to have a bit of a fairy tale look, but also realistic, so I'm going to try combining two methods.  This...

how to: making a slate roof from cardboard

And this...

how to: slate look roof tiles, Excellent tutorial for making slate shingles or stone floors!!

I want the natural stone look of the second with the fairytale appearance of the first.  If I can't combine them I'll probably go with the first and try to use different thicknesses of cardboard.  I've been collecting.  The folks at work think I'm a little crazy but they're humoring me since I don't eat cereal and they do.

I also think I'll have time to do a front garden, even if I can't figure out how to do a tree.  I can do walls and a gate and use magnets to attached it to the main part of the house.  In anticipation of the attempt I bought a gate way back at the beginning of the year.

Isn't it pretty?  I love how it looks.

And I've been saving my water bottle caps so I can make plants like Jodi!

So what's left that's absolutely necessary...

Finish back of house and tower
Lean to
Doves/Pigeons for dovecote
Basic landscaping around the minimal base.

Compared to my huge long to do list... That's not bad. I'll take it.

Clogs (Keli) 
A still (might be able to do this with Kris's 'paper pottery')
Sausages on a string (ordered)

Drill & Route out channels for lighting wires.
Finish shutters & interior trim for all windows on main cottage.
         First Floor          
         Second Floor
Build Fireplaces & chimneys
        First Floor
        Second Floor
Cut bricks and stone for outside of lower walls and tower.
(Test Magic Brik) - in progress
Add brick/stone to fireplaces.
        First Floor         
        Second Floor
Age fireplaces
        First Floor
        Second Floor
Build base for house
        Get the wiring for the bottom floor extended to go out the back (must be done before attaching            cottage to base.
Get cottage on base
Attach Tower to Main Cottage
        Doorway Finishes
        Hall Stone?-Brick
        Finish stair tower edges
        Attach latch or magnets to hold shut
        Extend Roof over tower hall
        Attach Back wall (tower)
Test lights
Finish back of house
Lean to, to hide light switches.
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.
          Dormer ceiling supports
          Add final supports to desk alcove
Second floor Ceiling finish?
Ceiling beams and roof support for the tower.
Stain purchased furniture
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
Stillroom paraphernalia
          Potions? (some bottles made)
          Cage with spider (on the loose)
          Cage with mice
          Cauldron floating spoon? (testing)
Tower - shelves
          Wool cards (make)
          Drying rack ?
          Hanging died wool
          Carded wool in baskets
          Finished fabric on shelves (some folded maybe? rolled instead)
          Put food in baskets
          Add food & utensils to table
          Make bread paddles
          Make spit holder
          Make fire implements
          Make lantern
          Hang sausages
Furniture in place finalize lights.
          Make sconce
          Make candelabras
                 Standing Candelabra
                 2 small Candelabras
                              Remove candles from extra and add to stillroom table.
Add flooring
Plaster inside walls
Create 'slate' roof
Bargeboards/trim for roof gables.
Create front garden
          Make tree?
          Make stream?
          Make lake/river to go alongside house
          Make stone wall to go around garden
          Iron front gate.