Friday, 11 May 2018

Where I am right now

If you think I have abandoned you and my Dalton House I promise I haven't I have just been side-tracked far longer than I expected to be.  The amount of stuff that needs sorting in a move to a new property is mountainous.  Right now I have something of a commitment to the garden, weather and time permitting, as I have a ton of plants gasping to get their feet in the soil.

If you want to visit me there - just go to Florilegium

Sunday, 15 April 2018

A bit ahead of myself

I am looking for advice here and maybe folk sharing good ideas of how to 'dispose' of dolls house stuff for anyone else who is in this predicament.

I have come to a pretty firm decision not do another project after Dalton House.  I have a lot of things I still need and want to do on this project - the fourth walls which includes drapery, the electrics, finish dressing all the rooms and generally tweaking what is there. This will last a long time and will continue to feed my passion for the hobby.  I will always follow other people's wonderful creations.

This means I have quite a lot of things to get rid of.  I won't really be tackling this sort out for a while; as you can imagine I have quite a few other calls on my time before the grand purge but here are examples of stuff that needs to go.


box of flooring and rugs

box of odd wooden bits and bobs

some very nice fireplaces, electricals and things

all kinds of trims

large book of wallpapers

quite a few little resin people

some nice kits

This won't be the entire inventory and I may even snaffle a few bits and bobs back from them (unlikely).  How do I get rid of these and more?

The last time I gave up dollhousing I sold most of my stuff via EBay but I did find it something of a nightmare when you have a lot of things to work through and I am not particularly keen on EBay itself.

I also sold through a Blog page I set up and this was a bit better but there is still the hassle of sorting out bundles of stuff for different folks and trying to find packaging for it all and the trips to the post office etc.  Basically I don't think I want the money enough to go to the trouble of it.

I could offer it to anyone who can get here and pick it up but again I would like to shift the lot of it that way in one go and not have to go through everything to sort out the bits they want.

I did come up with the brilliant wheeze of contacting the nearest Dolls house club and see if they would take everything in one go. 

OK lads and lassies - over to you - any bright ideas?

Saturday, 7 April 2018

House and I have arrived safely

Day thirteen and we have arrived in our new home and pretty much finished the unpacking and general sorting out of stuff.  As with all new homes, especially new builds, there is still a lot of 'proper jobs' to do like making a garden, putting down some flooring, sorting new curtains etc etc etc etc ad infintum.

Here are a couple of shots of my new workroom waiting to be sorted out

This was the second stage of sorting out the room after the movers had left

No need to have worried about Dalton House, it arrived safe and sound.  I was a bit fretty as the arrangement was for them to wrap and box it and instead they lightly wrapped it and strapped it to the van wall!!!  I must make 'em tough!

A day later and the room is in some sort of order

I hope you like my wonderful wall which will eventually become a built in utility cupboard.  It seems no modern kitchen (in this country) has a place for all your cleaning stuff  and we have no storage cupboards anywhere for household linens and towels, so my workroom will have to accommodate them.  Meanwhile shelving comprises of inverted cardboard boxes.  I am thinking of selling tickets to view it - if Pisa can for their tower, why not me?

The worktop area is hiding a multitude of 'things to do'.  The drawers are loaded with stuff to sort out.  The red, green boxes and stuff underneath are family photos.  This will be another project for me.... I hope to get some/most of them down on to the computer and compile printed photo albums.  They will be much easier for folk to look at than computer photos or 'shoe boxes' of muddle.  Where the originals go after that I have no idea but I don't want them living there forever.

The stacked brown cardboard boxes are the contents of my little house and somewhere in the not too distant future I hope to be putting all my tinies back in their rooms.  Right now the full size tinies in their rooms are taking priority.

Oh yes, we still have flooring to go down in my workroom and Ken's office and the three bathrooms upstairs.

I think from all this you will have gathered that my optimistic view of cracking on with Dalton House within days of being here was a little over-optimistic.  There is no doubt I will be back but it may be a while yet.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Nice little kit

Here's another nice little kit from Elf Miniatures.   As always it comes in loads of different finishes.  It  has a lovely white 'glass' top.  It is very quick to make other than the usual waiting for paint and glue to dry.

the kit

boxes built and painted

all glued together

in situ

The room will have pictures and TV and wall lights and a rug so not quite as sterile as this.

(oops, just noticed I haven't tidied up my coving with paint)

Saturday, 10 February 2018

I am still here!!

..... you couldn't make it up.

I haven't been well for over a year without any definitive diagnosis and certainly no treatment.  Last weekend I had a different and severe pain and ended up in a surgical triage unit.  I began with a diagnosis of a gall bladder problem and ended up with a probable broken rib conclusion!!!  Whatever it is, after four days of messing about we found ourselves sitting in a hospital waiting room on the morning of our flight so, instead of being in glorious sunshine right now we are still here.

The holiday was going to do many things - the main one being an opportunity to meet my son and his family who live in Canada but are holidaying in Fort Myers.  We were also spendng a week with some friends back in Naples where we had a condo for fiteen year.  That week also included catching up with folk we knew there and, more relevant to this mini blog, we were taking in a terrific mini show over a weekend in Orlando.

I have saved all my pennies and skipped a show or two over here as I wanted to have a binge at a really large American show.  I have been to it a couple of times so I know it is well worth the trip and the wait.

You might think that this hiatus does, at least, gives us more breathing space for our impending move but, guess what, the builders have now pushed back the date by a couple of weeks so we are now pretty much twiddling our thumbs.  We had made a huge push to get everything done before we left for our holidays.

On the mini front I have  already stripped and packed away much of my workroom so I can't crack on  out there with anything.  My absence from the game has also been extended.

Having said all that, don't worry, stuff is mainly positive here now the intial disappointment is over and it is just a case of accepting it and cracking on.

Thank you all for your good wishes.  I hope to stop by and share the mini part of the move with you as I bowl along.  This blog is sort of my diary for my mini life so it seems legitimate that a little bit of real life is allowed in now and then.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Big move, little move

By the time you are reading this I will be setting off for a sunshine break.  When I get back I will have four days before we leave our current home and move from Manchester  to Edinburgh.  It has been a whirlwind decision and a fast purchase and, with a holiday inserted in the run up to the move, we only had a total of thirteen days in our current home between finding the new house and leaving this one.

As you can imagine we have a lot to do in a short time scale so Dalton House will be on hold for maybe a couple of months - February we are away and March we move to a new home.  

Our movers are doing the packing and I was told not to wrap the house because anything that is wrapped by us they won't be liable for.  Perfectly reasonable but very hard trusting your infant to another.  It isn't possible for us to move the house ourselves as it is too big and too heavy to transport and, ultimately, carry upstairs.  We are old fogies now and beyond those sort of challenges.

I have to remove everything from the house of course and pack those into boxes ready to transport..... that's enough of a challenge.

Meanwhile don't give up on me, Dalton House will continue after a small (work) break.

Next week I show you another sweet little Elf Miniatures kit, then I have run out of posts until I come back from my hols, move, unpack and sort out and start again in a 'foreign' land.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Pick ten

A reader asked me to pick ten basic pieces of equipment needed to get started.  Anyone who has been at this for a while will know that we have considerably more than ten 'things' and at the moment you need a specific thing, like a good pair of tweezers, nothing else will do but for most of the time they languish in their drawer.  So I tried to pick the things I use most often.

Your needs will also vary depending on whether you are just going to build a house and buy things for it or whether you are going to have a go at making things for it.  My list assumes the latter.

I presume most households have things like scissors, a small hammer, tape measures and those sorts of things.

These are in no particular order of usefulness.

Clamps of any sort.  These are a couple of sets from a dollar shop.  If you see any cheap small clamps buy them they always come in handy.  The other 'clamp' is elastic bands - really useful for holding box shapes together while the glue dries for example.

Storage:  you can not have enough good storage.  Vital for being able to find what you want.  Again cheaply bought when I see them at a good price.  My mainstays are under bed boxes - mine have wheels which makes them even better for sliding in an out under the work surface.  The plastic boxes in the background were bought for two dollars each from the bead section of Walmart.  They are divided into smallish sections and are perfect for storing all the teeny things to dress a house or findings etc for making things.  I am going to cheat here and add in something which takes me over my ten.  You can just see a green cutting mat in the photo - essential to keep your knives sharp and surfaces cut free.

Toothpicks/cocktail sticks are the most important tool on my desk.  They have endless uses - the most obvious is for applying small amounts of glue but they clean up paint and a seem to do a myriad of other tasks. This is my stash in a drawer.

Drill and bits.  I am sure if you can afford it you can buy several small  electric drills - like a Dremel and a right angle drill and your life will be considerably easier.  In the main you need to drill holes through walls and ceilings for wiring lights and fires etc.  I have managed pretty well with a small hand drill.  There are better ones than this - just remember you are working in a confined space.  My drill bits are just shoved into a piece of polystyrene packaging.

Sanding.  I didn't say sandpaper because I don't use it much.  You will need about 400 grade for most things you do.  In the main I use those blocks that you get for manicures.  Again very cheap and as they have four sides they last ages and are perfect for fine finishing a piece of furniture.

Brushes.  Gather as many cheap (but good) brushes as you can as you bowl along.  You can find some very nice sets in hobby shops and it is worth having any old shape and size they will always come in handy.  Among them you will discover the one you like best for this and that.  I like small straight edge brushes for most painting.  Don't be precious about them, be prepared to pass them over to the glue brush store when they aren't up to scratch - use them for glue so you get a bit more life out of them. 

Mitre block and saw:  This is an essential piece of kit for cutting skirtings and other mouldings.  You can buy a large pair of scissor-like right angle cutters which people swear by but I have never tried them.  Making good corners is all about practice, practice, practice.

Right hand jig.  This has been a real bonus tool for building kit after kit.  I have the small (again, cost cutting) magnetic version  but it has served me well.  You can glue wood together using the right hand corner to keep things squared up and lock it in place with the magnets and leave to dry.  You can easily make a right hand jig yourself from scrap wood or Lego and I had one of those before this one but, if you can find one of these and can afford it I commend it to you.

Steel Rule.  Absolutely essential for a straight edge when cutting materials with a knife.  Mine does not have a finger guard and I have a shaved thumb to testify to that.  If you have to buy one, invest a little more and buy a straightedge with a guard.

Knives.  Like me you will read time and time again that the safest knife is a very sharp one.  This is absolutely true.  You will need a good Xacto knife and a lot of blades.

I hope this is a help.  Anyone who has another essential piece of kit please let us all know in the comment section below.