Saturday, 28 January 2017

Some EBay bargains

Google +, which I never wanted but seem to have acquired (????) has messed with my links and photo albums here there and everywhere, including one on this blog.  It is currently 'repaired' (24/07/16) so if you ever want to know where I got something you see being used on this project just click on the Purchases Album link in the margin of the blog and it will be there along with the vendors name.  The exception being anything I buy on EBay of course.

Here are my latest bargains from there:

Jim Coates mirror

Ladies Mile rose

Dollhouse Flooring Decrastone Hearths

The above three are 'proper' traders and can be found via EBay or a web trawl.  The two purchases below were from (no repeat) private sellers.

Anything I have blogged about to do with purchases ca be found by clicking on the Purchases Link under the Labels heading in the margin


Saturday, 21 January 2017


I always think rugs are one of the hardest things to find for your project.  I know you can buy fuzzy paper and clip photo images from the web and print the rugs yourself but I think you need a pretty good printer to get a decent result.  That's what I am telling myself as I didn't do very well at it.

I decided to take a break from actual 'building' work and messed about with the rugs I have for this project.  Since buying them - the historical period has changed, the room usages have changed, the colours of rooms have changed etc etc etc, so I actually don't really have the rugs I need for this project any more!!

I began by fiddling around with a small rug for the library.  It is one of those easily found woven 'Turkish' dolls house carpets.  I never like the fringe on them so the first thing to do is get rid of that.

This is as easy as painting the reverse side with a generous amount of Fray Stop along the line where you want to cut it and gently pressing (rather than rubbing) it into the fabric.  Let it dry well (overnight is best) and snip away.  

I am pretty sure Fray Stop is just a clear drying white PVA glue.  Used judiciously on most fabrics it won't show (too much) on the other side so you can 'hem' with it and 'join' with it and just use it for its intended purpose of making an edge that you can cut and leave because it wont fray. This really useful when making fabric items at this scale as sewing isn't always the answer.  I am pretty sure you don't need Fray Stop per se - there are other clear drying glues out there that I am sure will do.  So give what you have a try - test it on scrap fabric if you can.  Obviously silk may not take kindly to it - but again it will depend on the silk and how much glue is needed for what you are doing.  It is always worth a go. My logic for having some actual Fray Stop is that I have to buy more glue ow and then, so one of them might as well be this one (no more expensive than any other) and I have a 'dedicated' glue for the job.

One rug sorted

On to the music room.

I did have two matching rugs whose colours ought to go 'quietly' into the proposed yellow music room. 

 Using just one of them seemed too small for the space:

..... using two just looked weird with a gap down the centre

.... just as with Goldilocks... the third overlapping solution made the size of the rug (sans fringes)  'just right'

The answer was to cut off two of the edges and join up the rugs.  This time I didn't use fray stop before cutting as I sort of wanted the edges to 'fray' into each other when they joined up.

I lay the first cut edge half way across the sticky side of a paper-thin piece of double sided carpet tape and pressed it down carefully taking care not to stretch or crumple it in any way. I then did the same with the second rug, taking care to match the pattern.

The two cut edges matched very well until it 'ran out a little on both outside edges.  The rug's fault, not mine!  I am certain that when the room is furnished it will never be noticed.

I then did the Fray Stop fringe removal trick  - et voila - one large rug.  It needs some more judicious trimming I think but so far so good.

The off-cuts may very well make pelmets over the curtains and some trims for the blinds in this room - we shall see.

Finally I used the last of my all time favourite RL place mats to make a rug for the mud room - probably not very practical - and one for the Rec room in case I never find one I like for in there.  I simply used Fray Stop down each side and pulled some thread to make a fringe.

I know ......... I cut them off ones I buy and add them on to the ones I make.....  what can I say.

Mud room

Rec room - no fringe - want to tape the edges of this one


Saturday, 14 January 2017

Lighting - putting in the lights

First test your light using a 9V battery - nothing worse than putting in a broken light or one that needs a new bulb or a bulb tightening.  

all systems go

Straighten the wires to help them lie nice and flat in the groove.  Just run them firmly between your fingers a couple of times.

wire need straightening

If they have the sticky pad on them I take it off - entirely your choice - I don't like to be able to see them when they go up.  Just use very, very tiny dabs of superglue gel.  Use a cocktail stick or even a pin to apply it in tiny dabs on the inner rim of the mount.

removing sticky pad also puts the wire back in the centre

If you are using a ceiling rose there are at least three ways of doing it and I use them all depending on what works best for a particular light in a particular place.

You can glue in the ceiling rose straight to the ceiling on its own.  Locate the hole using a toothpick.

You can thread your light and ceiling rose up together and just put glue on the rose and pull both up into place making sure you get a good tension on the wire so they are snug against each other and the ceiling.  Take care not to tug too hard.

Less risky is to glue the light to the rose, as you would if it were going directly on to the ceiling - so using the sticky pad or some superglue gel.

Twist the ends of your wires together and thread through the hole.

Lay the wire neatly in the groove and cover with masking tape.  Press down well.  Don't glue the wire into the groove or cover with wood filler just in case you every want to remove the fitting.

flat as a pancake, no bumps

The three lights you've seen go in here took exactly two hours to do start to finish; taking my time and a mini cuppa tea break.  

sitting room


No picture of the dining room as that is a work in progress.  Come see me next week to see how that's going.


Saturday, 7 January 2017

Lighting - making the grooves

For those of you who follow my blog(s) and have a good memory I proffer my apologies as I am sure I must have blogged this before; but for my record of the build and for any newbies here we go ...

I think I have tried everything under the sun to make grooves for wires and have failed dismally with - lino cutter, or just using a knife, or using a rotary tool.  Many people will swear by these tools and have great success with them, so don't let me put you off trying.  I am just sharing what I do.

ignore the rotary tool - I forgot how much I didn't want to use it!

I draw a line from the hole straight to the back wall and drill an exit hole there.  I then use a box knife (Stanley knife) and a steel ruler and cut a line along this mark, two or three times.  I then budge the ruler a little and do the same again.  I then use any of the files (any pointy ended tool would do) to gouge out the material between the cuts - it comes out very easily.  These files were about three pounds from Aldi at some time so you can get them cheaply.  Being files I can then go on to enlarge the channel and tidy it up using pretty much any of them.  I then go over the top of the channel with a bit of sandpaper as it always raises a little ridge.

Use an old paintbrush to remove the dust and a very slightly damp cloth is good for finishing off the dusting - don't wet the MDF - it is just that a slightly damp cloth picks up the dust better.