Saturday, 30 April 2016

Bricks (almost) finished

After a couple of weeks I have finally (almost)  finished the brickwork on the front of the house.

I wish I could share the colours and texture with you - I promise they look very like bricks.  Click on the picture to see it full screen.  I do have bits and bobs of filling in to do which is a deliberate choice.  I thought it would be better to fix the basement fronts in place and then trim up around them where needed.

Needless to say I have just come up with another wheeze which will further delay getting the doors on.  It is a funny old game this one - you set off on one job and four jobs later you are able to finish the original.  Watch this space for a bogey hole.

Meanwhile this mess on the floor is why I love having a dedicated work area for my hobby.  I feel lucky every day.  I love my Hive. I can make all the mess I want and leave it each day and clear up when that task is finished.

I clear up all the surfaces and put things away between each major task so I don't end up knee deep in clutter.  

So now, with the doors (very nearly) done, the surfaces cleared and cleaned and the floor swept, I am on to the next step.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Mrs Organised

I am sharing this not to impress you with how organised I am - nevertheless be impressed - but as a head's up in case you are looking for cheap, easy, instant storage.

We are in the throes of decorating the big house and 'stuff' arrived in my Hive that 'belongs to you' (husband speak as he delivers it).

The prospect of an Ikea trip (at least half a day) was not on the cards and I wanted it sorted like now.  Inspired thinking..... have a look at Argos - we have a local one... Found two bookcases exactly the right size for £16.99 each.  Ordered two and paid £3.95 delivery and two and a half hours later they were delivered - no kidding - Oh, and yes, it was a Sunday.  Stuff messing up my hive about 11 am and by 4.30 pm this is what I had..... without having left the room.

sewing stuff and cards

mini hobby things

everything labelled

Incidentally these shelves also come in a wider version and both of those come in taller versions - these are just the ones that fitted my space.


Missed its first birthday

Image result for first birthday cake images

Dalton House arrived on 17th April 2015.  Yesterday I finished the outside of it and that made me wonder how long I had been working on it.  So, belated happy first birthday house.

I know it must be confusing to read this when I seem to still be working on the outside but, as I have said before, I write as I go along and set the publish date for a Saturday - right now I have posts in the bank right up until November!!


Saturday, 23 April 2016

For newbies - keep an eye open

Some people are really talented at being able to see things in real world which can be re-purposed in 1/12th.  I am absolutely useless at it but now and then I do manage to spot something that might come in handy.  So, if you are new to this hobby keep your brain/eye trained for possibilities when not hunting for dolls house things and maybe eventually you will become brilliant at it.

Going round a craft shop in a garden centre recently I spotted these:

the right size for a ceiling (from a card making section)

just need one with the ring removed for Annelise's room

no idea, but look handy - small bowls?

again no idea, but maybe to add to wood for 'carved' areas??

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Inspiration from wherever you can find it.

I love doing the rounds of national trust properties (long before I became dolls house obsessed) and they are an endless source of inspiration.  A recent happenstance stay in a hotel just gave me a wealth of reference photos.  I doubt I will ever do a 'fancy' Georgian - I am more plain Adamesque in taste and capabilities, but a girl can dream. 

This is Ednam House Hotel in Kelso, built in 1761 and retaining many of its original features.

incredible plasterwork in every room

great fireplaces
The dolls house on the fireplace is a replica of the house as a hotel, made in some sort of fired clay(??)
probably was the original dining room

the show-off cupola that was all the rage in the mid eighteenth century

lovely pillars

reminder to use arches somewhere

all the fireplaces were a joy

detail of the grate

plasterwork over a fireplace

plasterwork frame

the orginal house - the wings I suspect were added later

I had been dithering about fireplace positions on the basis that all their chimney pots needed to share the same stack.  clearly this is not the case and my house can have fireplaces where it likes.

Another look at Miniatura

I have just been given a copy of the Miniatura press release and some photos.  If you want to take a look, pop over to my Show Blog. (just click here)

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Two fifths (?) done

Don't break out the champagne yet but I have finished bricking one of the opening fronts.


However careful you are using the grid method, or any other you devise, to keep you on the straight and narrow, nothing will allow you to fit rows of bricks perfectly between various trims on the house.  It is important that you give a bit of thought as to where you might want a complete row of bricks to be - over a row of windows, below them, over the main doorway, beneath the stone trim?  Really the choice is entirely yours.  Start by setting that row in place and then work away from it in both directions until you have filled the area.  The photo above shows the tiny infills I had to do above some windows.  You could be less fussy and just paint a brick colour line around all the trims and leave the tiny spaces.  I promise you they will not be visible to any 'normal' person looking at your house.  As for me...... well ...  I am just plain fussy!

1,000 bricks

This is what 1,000 bricks looks like.  I took the photo when I got to the end of the bag.  As for how long it takes I am making a very rough guess it took me about twelve hours to get those down.  I have been doing it for a couple of hours a day for about six days.  It is a really, really rough guess as I get endlessly interrupted by domestic things so it isn't a concentrated effort.  I will try to remember to time one hundred bricks for you and multiply it up to give you a rough indication of what it takes.

A few more added

With a few more added the right side is done.  There is a bit more to do on the other side and then the area floors need tiling, also there are slates to do on the roof and the dormers.  The dormers also need some bricks.  So it continues, but at least for now some big chunks of wood are out of my way which was the object of the game.  I am looking forward to getting them hung maybe in a couple of weeks time.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Miniatura, NEC, Birmingham 2nd & 3rd April 2016

This is a shoe-in between my weekly Saturday posts.  I wondered if anyone wanted to see what I bought at Miniatura at the weekend.  If you want to read about the show you need to go over to my Dolls House Trips and Shows blog.  Just click on the name.

OK thirty photos are about to follow so you may not want to do this .........

The first bunch are from Delph as you will see and all pretty self explanatory as to what they are and where they will go.

Delph Miniatures
 Managed to buy this radiator and a fireplace for the same spot - so one is redundant

Delph Miniatures
 Fire for the loft apartment - hope to light it in some way???

Delph Miniatures
 These ring binders actually have rings in them.  Sadly I shall probably cram them with paper.

Delph Miniatures
 Finally Elizabeth can sit down - it swivels

Delph Miniatures
 Need a couple more of these phones for around the house

Delph Miniatures

Delph Miniatures

a bag of rubbish - Delph Miniatures
 J & A Supplies is a go-to-place at every show for the practical stuff - only had a big tin

J & A Supplies
 My other always-get-something-from is Jennifers of Walsall. I have bought a ton of stuff online from them for this project as I know all their products pretty well, but it is always a good feeling not to pay delivery.  

So I got tiles for the mud room splashback - some may also find their way to the loft bathroom.  

Jennifers of Walsall
 Two lovely little boxes I owned once (before I got rid of all my 12ths).  I need a few bits of silver but can't afford the real stuff.  The flute is step one in the music room imaginings.

Jennifers of Walsall
 Romney Miniatures often has handy bits and bobs.  I have done two or three concealed lights so far in this house and have had to clobber proper lights for the bulbs - so now I have two ready and waiting.  I could kick myself because I didn't buy their teeny very strong magnets for my doors - it would have been worth a go.  Made a note for the next show.

Romney Miniatures
 Apologies to whoever sold me this, I have forgotten their name.  Searching the catalogue didn't help me.  They had all sorts on their counter including some plaster work - I was looking for a very simple rose for the hall and this beat Sue Cook and Miniature Mansions' fancy ones and cost only £1.50.

sorry I forgot! 
 I always stop by Mini McGregor to see what she has invented this time - still not got over the opening matchbox of previous shows.  I know I will be berated for not making these myself but it is oh so much easier buying them than sourcing the right bead, paper, free printie or whatever and they are inexpensive.  I have made them in the past if that lets me off a little.

Mini McGregor

Mini McGregor

Mini McGregor

Mini McGregor

Mini McGregor
 The following items are from Miniature Mansions and were actually on my shopping list.  They are resin rather than plaster which makes them easier to work with - coat of paint and you won't know the difference.  Sadly I think I have a fireplace too many!

Miniature Mansions

Miniature Mansions

Miniature Mansions
 Wing and prayer for this idea - I want to make cupboards either side of the fireplace in the dining room and I thought an arched front would look nice.  I have no idea how to do that but decided I would buy the trims to make me commit..

Here are the 'legs'......
Miniature Mansions
 ..... and here are the tops
Miniature Mansions
 Also got a rose for the dining room

Miniature Mansions
 I adore Maria's Fabrics - masses of choice - all well picked by her for their quality of cotton or silk and all in scale - even some patterns small enough for 48ths.  These are all silk and all cost £1.70 each.

Maria's Fabrics
 Glasscraft is always irresistible to me - so more glass for the collection.

 Practical items again - enough oversize tiles to allow me to finish the roof now.

Staceys Miniature Masonry

 More from Phoenix for the pretend silver collection

Phoenix Models
J & A Supplies again.  I wanted strips of wood to make window frames to cover the glass inside the house so it is more realistically sandwiched between wood.  Not precisely the right thickness or width but hoping it is so close I can get away with it.  Very long time before I know that.  I had to sort out 32 of these (forty-eight feet).

J & A supplies
 If you get a chance check out this place for whitewood furniture.  It is lovely scale, beautifully made and in a very thin and fine grain wood so it finishes beautifully.  They are made by the vendor, not just 'imports'.  You would think this was the simplest of tables and be surprised when I tell you how hard it was to find a simple wooden table with plain legs nicely finished for the Rec Room.

World of My Own Rob Lucas

Bravo if you made it to here.  I am now saving up for the next show.