Sunday, December 27, 2020

Gluing Walls and Starting To Add Décor

We had a quiet at home Christmas... 

Of course, for us, that's par for the course.  We don't have any family in our area so holidays are just the two of us.  I like it.  We both deal with people at work. It's nice to have a break at home.

But it gave me plenty of time to work on the book nook since with just the two of us we don't do a huge meal. I had Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off of work, and then the weekend.

Since this is a wizard's workroom I made a crystal ball.

Then the sideboard.  I'd previously glued the drawers shut. But I managed to pry two of them open and built up the sides.

The drawers are going to be filled up so the seams won't matter so much.  Then I added dividers.

I added some semi-precious stones from my bead hoard.

Next step was to get the magical cauldron glued to the sideboard.  I braced it against something tall enough to keep the weight of the kettle from pulling it loose.

Once the glue was dry I added some other things.  Jars of ingredients, an open book, a collection of amethyst, more books, a mortar and pestle, a hematite sphere to represent a speaking stone and some crushed malachite along with one of the wands and a spell page.

Then I had to add things to the lower shelf.  I painted a container I got from Shapeways, used some of the gallery glass paint I got on sale a while back.  It gives the plastic a nice sheen.

It fills in some space nicely and looks appropriate in the room.  I added some glass beads to some more jars

Another mortar and pestle, more amethyst, a box of Coke and a cats eye crystal also helps.

While the glue was drying I added maps to the wall and glued the shelf and sconce on.

I ended up moving the smaller map up a bit so it showed more.  In the books Dresden built a 'Little Chicago' which was essentially a table top representation of the city.  I didn't have the room for that so the maps will have to do.

I figured out the placement of my candelabra and glued two of the walls together after I made a little holder for the batteries I'll need for the lights.

While I waited for the glue to dry (again) I made a circle of gold, bronze and silver wire. 

I had to glue it down to the floor and while I waited for the glue to dry (so much waiting!) I made a coat to hang next to the hat on the wall.

Then it was a matter of gluing the floor to the walls and the rest of the walls together.  Since the sideboard didn't have any lights on it, I glued it in place and the candle holder on the stool next to it.

Once I got the other two walls glued I could add the rest of the shelves, the coat and my other items.

Then I added the ceiling and got the lights wired to the batteries and tested them out.

Next weekend I'll start to add the trim around the front of the box and something to cover the wires on the outside of the nook.

So far I like how it looks.  Hopefully my old friend will too.

I hope you all had a safe and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Cluttering Up Shelves & Figuring Out Lighting

 It's odd. I spend a lot of time on the weekends doing minis and never feel like the pictures are enough afterwards. Maybe because a lot of what I'm doing is mental work and figuring out how things will fit or how to make something work?  And we can't take a picture of the inside of my brain. (Trust me, its a mess in there, you wouldn't want to see.)

But I spent some time trying to decide between the table I had painted and a sideboard I'd stained. The sideboard has a much narrower depth and fits the space better.

The wide table

The sideboard
It fits better in the space but I had to do some mental rearranging of the things I wanted to put on that side of the room.

I took my potions bottles, an old school coffee grinder and some other bottles and added them to the wall shelf which will go on the wall with the sideboard.

It's balancing on the sideboard by the bottom of the shelf until all the glue dries. And we have our coke can for Harry. Can't forget to caffeinate. 

I painted the candles, black inside and buttermilk outside because I don't like white candles much.  But then I counted and wow, I had a lot of candles. More than I had actual lights to go inside them. I only had seven LEDs.  So I rummaged through my stash.  

Back when I did the Craftsman Tiny House and the Wicked Queen's Retirement Cottage I had messed with some purchased lamps and sconces.  The lamps lost their shades and the sconces lost their candles.

With a little stained woodsie they looked like some jerry-rigged sconces and candle holders.

That's also a stool that I stained and painted. I'm planning on using it as a 'makeshift' place to set a candle for additional light.

I have plans to hide the wires and batteries for the lights but I don't want to disclose them yet. I'll let you know if it works or not.

I painted another stool black, and then dry brushed some buttermilk paint over the black to give it a more worn look. 

I also decided that the pale raw wood of the cinderblock shelves was too much of a contrast with the grey and the brick so I stained/painted them a warmer brown.  

I had a place picked out for Bob the skull and his romance novels so I glued a few things in place and got him situated.

Some of the books are glued down and some are simply slid into place between the glued ones. I wanted a few of the books to be removable so Bob could switch out his library when he got bored with the lemony bits of the novels.  Bob seems to favor bodice ripper types. Hey, no judgement here Bob.

But while Bob, his books and his candles were drying I began to work on something else that every wizard needs. Wands, sticks(staves?) and a staff.  Luckily for Harry (our wizard) I'm something of a bead hoarder. So I had chunks of amethyst, crystal and other 'magical' items to give his implements a boost.

One of them has a loop of black 'leather' to hang from the lowest hook on the back wall. The wood of the wands are toothpicks. I cut off the points and drilled into the ends to add crystals in some cases, with silver bands at their base for support. (And to keep the wood from splitting.)

The staff is a chopstick with wire wrapped for gripping and a brass boot on the bottom to prevent splintering in case it actually has to be used as a walking staff instead of a magical weapon.  I like the light contrast but I'm debating doing something with a darker stain on the bottom to spread upwards?  I'll practice on one of my goofed up chopsticks and see how it goes.

I'd originally glued the drawers in but if I can pry them loose I might add dividers and put semi-precious stones in there, malachite, soladite, yellow & pink quartz, that sort of thing.

The cinderblock shelves needed the rest of the candles so I went about adding them.

I'll tape the wires into place on the back of the shelves or in case of the lower ones, under them.  More waiting for the glue to dry.

But then I began to add the herb jars and books and oh yeah...The Dragon!  He won't light up and breathe fire, but he looks cool.

I also rolled up some of the 'spellbook' pages so they looked like scrolls...Another reason I loved the cinderblocks, little cubbies for things like scrolls. The perfect holders right?

One picture head on (so to speak, sorry for the pun Bob).

And one at a bit of an angle because the shelves will be set similarly into the booknook.

I'm imagining putting the little propane stove under the far end of the shelves with one of the large mortar and pestles.  Maybe the bushel of pumpkins under the other?

And that... was pretty much it for my accomplishments this weekend. I had to let the glue dry thoroughly.

I did put some thought into where to put the sconces and whether or not I should do a hanging lantern but I don't want to overwhelm the room with light. So no lantern.

I'm pleased with how it's looking so far. The top shelf will have some 'removable' books that actually open which is why it looks a little empty. Our wizard is a tall fellow so he won't have any trouble reaching.

It's all coming together...I'm excited.

Things to do:

Overcoat (or something resembling one)
Sideboard paraphernalia (semi precious stones, scale, cauldron, etc)
Circle of protection (cut on Cricut & paint gold/brass)
Glue together
Add finishing wood to sides & back
Frame to add & hold batteries & switches.
Last piece of ceiling.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Brick, Beams & Shelves

 Oh, and magic potions... 

First, the solution to the candle problem.  I painted the inside of the straw black and put the light inside it.  It seemed to work pretty well.

The red of the straw doesn't show through very much anymore.  So I think that'll work.

I'd gotten my cauldron and some of my prettier bottles and found my gesso.  Oh, and I got out my nail polish and glitter.

The spoon and overflowing potion sparkles when it's not in a photo.

I'd gotten some little bottles and pitchers, and a little heater from Shapeways and painted them too.

I like how they look and they're lightweight enough to sit on a wall shelf.

Two of them I might do something to make them float maybe.  Because they don't have stoppers and they could pour something out.  Still deciding on that.

And then I decided to get going on the staining of the beams, ceiling and stairs. I used Minwax Chestnut on the ceiling.

Then I built the bottom of the trap door and stained it, and glued it to the ceiling.  I did the door, the frame and the ceiling beams in Minwax Dark Walnut.

I used Minwax Early American on the treads and Dark Walnut on the stringers of the stairs.

My next project was the table, I like it but part of me is wondering if I shouldn't do something to make it narrower.

Here it is in the room, with the stairs in the background, see what I mean?

See what I mean? If I cut some of the width off it might look more fitting for the space?  But at the same time I kind of picture the space being a little crowded.

I added brick to the walls and some hooks.  Harry Dresden is pictured on the cover of the books wearing a hat and duster so I added a hat to the wall.  I put two of the hooks level with each other so some staves and wands can rest there.

While all the glue was drying I started to work on the rest of the shelves.  I had the idea that everything in the workshop would be sort of bachelor chic or second hand.  And sturdy.  

So of course, I thought of cinderblocks.

The glue is still drying but I decided to put the walls and ceiling on for a dry fit.  I'm thinking I might make the ceiling removable.  That would allow things to be added, like a cat called Mister or a Foo dog called Mouse.

So far so good.  Though I do need to darken the edge of the brick paper I can see there. But that's a little thing.

How's your weekend going?