Saturday, 13 May 2017

Back with a vengence

OK, I am back in the game.  For you, dear reader, I have never been away, but, truth be told, I haven't been working on Dalton House since about November!

Time to crack on....

I am on the upstairs of the house and this is made up of two rooms - the library (small) and the (larger) music room.  To do this, the original construction of two equal sized rooms and a hallway space with stairs had to disappear.  Way back at the beginning of the build my husband cut me a piece of MDF for the floor so the hole for the stairs wouldn't be an encumbrance.  He also cut me a 'down' wall dividing the two rooms and an 'across' wall to make the library better proportioned and to give a sense of the rooms behind.

I began with the 'down' wall.  Firstly I drilled the hole where the music room wall light would be.  The wires will then pass through to the library side of the wall where they are hidden by the bookshelves.  I have no idea why I was daft enough to make a groove for the wires.... as I said that wall won't be seen.  Hey ho, how ever much you think you have planned and planned, you often miss the glaringly obvious!

long wall ready to add to the house

This wall will only be glued in on its bottom and back edges.  The ceiling is not the tightest fit to make it easy (ish!) to get in and out.  I was most concerned about it all being perfectly vertical so I measured and drew clear lines on the floor and the back wall and then ensured the edges of the new wall ran along them perfectly.

I only applied a small amount of glue and also added some bits of superglue gel.  The superglue helps hold things in place while the wood glue dries.

'De Luxe' modellers craft glue and small blobs of gel superglue

..... and in it goes....

make sure it is spot on the guide lines and check the vertical

This set up rock solid and is perfectly firm as it stands.  When the coving and skirting is added on both sides it will be absolutely fixed in place.

When I deconstructed the door for painting I figured out how it would be going into the space to allow the door to open in the direction I want.  You have to do this with all doors.  This time, doing it in advance, meant I didn't need to paint any parts that wouldn't be seen (just one frame as it happens).

The door was then glued in placed as I wouldn't be able to get to this area again once the other wall went in.

door in place and opening into the music room as I wanted

I did the same with the door which was going into the 'across' wall of the library.  This time the door needed to go in before the wall went in.  I now realised it would have been simpler to have done that with the music room door.

door opening into the library

The across wall could have been glued on both sides and across the bottom.  It was a good tight fit so I  even considered not gluing it at all and just relying on the trims for additional support.  My 'concern' with putting glue on the three edges was that most of it would get dragged off when fiddling the wall in place. On the couple of practice runs it had also proved difficult to get a decent vertical as a slight push could move it back into the space behind.  I imagined having to paper this later and then adding the bookshelves and I could see a zillion problems.

Aha, I came up with a brilliant wheeze.  All I needed to do was add a couple of vertical battens to the side walls and glue to the wall to those.  In my scrap box I found some square shaped trim that was sturdy enough, drew good vertical lines and fastened them, one on each side wall, making very sure they were exactly the same distance from the front edge.

here I am with one of my paper' templates' checking it has gone in dead straight

I applied the same mix of the two glues to the front face of the battens (once they had dried firmly on the walls) and pushed the new (glue-free) wall firmly against them

hey presto two walls in place.

The library door might be left open or at least ajar so you can see the house behind.  it looks good in real life (poor photo) and will be even better when the house is lit.

don't fret about the gaps they will be trimmed

The trompe l'oeil effect in the library will work in conjunction with the one behind the hall door on the floor below.  Feeling very smug!


Some purchases

I just ordered three more rugs from a vendor on Etsy!  I have lost count now how many rugs I have worked my way through.  This time two were described as gold and grey and yes, I checked with the vendor.  When they arrived they were slightly purply and mucky yellow - to be fair they were acceptable but not for me.  The third made me a bit cross.  I emailed especially to say that photos can't really be trusted so could she reassure me that the background was a soft pale green with pink flowers.  She did so.  It arrived absolutely in various shades of yellow - there isn't a hint of green anywhere on the rug never mind as a background!!

Happily two EBay items turned out well.

The books are really nicely made, slightly shiny covers where appropriate, separate pages (printed) and work out about 50p per book.  I have a set of Britannica, a set of Tudor books and a set of Georgian books. 

EBay vendor - 05freelander
 I also got a couple of oval pictures that are rather sweet and a nice size for the sitting room which is what I wanted them for.  As always with frames they are too thick but, if I was willing to risk a purchase they look as though the backs could come off and be thinned down.  I have decided to leave well alone as they are going on a back wall facing the viewer so you don't get a very good sense of the thickness of them.

EBay vendor - mb-trading



  1. It's always a pain buying online when you have to guess if the colours are true. I think that's why fairs have such appeal. Love the trompe l'oeil effect :0)

    1. Indeedy! Fairs for me are the main buying arena - it is like having a hundred miniature shops under one roof - what's not to like..... but, even then I can't find rugs!! Arrrggghh. Someone would make a fortune making the right scale fabric weight and texture to look like a rug along with 'choose a size and choose a design and its yours. They wouldn't need to make them and sell them just make to order. Everyone that prints them seems to be limited by the A4 size of 'fabric paper' they print on. I need almost double that size rug. Seems doable to me - but what do I know! Marilyn

  2. Glad you're back to work, Marilyn! I have heard that woven tapestry type material makes for good mini rugs but it seems to me that it might take a long time to scout out just the right one. I am not a real "shopper" - greatly dislike traffic, crowds and wasted time at retail stores. Maybe when they start adding item information to bar codes so you can scan them on the phone to compare reviews and features. Not knowing which item to buy and trying to read tiny labels is for the birds. Also waiting in line at the fabric store and having to buy half a yard has no appeal. I wish online ordering was less of a crap shoot. Excited to see your next post!

    1. Great minds think alike - I am currently on look out for right scale wool or brocade fabric for rug.... it will be a long lookout as I too hate shopping! Yes I know I said I love shows but that's because I only do four a year and its a one day flurry of flog and I come out with mini stuff. Actual shops..... nahh.... not at all. Marilyn

  3. I am so happy you're back! I really need to go to some miniature shows here but the closest ones to me are 4.5 hours away (Atlanta or Williamsburg). I guess I sound like a wimp for not being happy with that driving distance. Working full time doesn't help either. Sorry to complain. Love this blog. Keep up the wonderful work and for sharing your thought process!

    1. No. a four and a half hour drive is enough to put anyone off. Having said that I loved the Atlanta show and the organisers were so welcoming and friendly and I stay in the hotel shows are held in so the journey might be a pain but doing the show itself is lovely and easy. You can still be in this game and shop online pretty successfully. You are welcome to my thought processes, though they do skip about a lot! Marilyn

  4. Can anything be more frustrating than ordering something on-line which doesn't live up to your expectations?
    I have had this happen far too often, so I can entirely appreciate your being disgruntled regarding the area rugs you ordered.
    Meanwhile, the walls look GREAT and progress is being made "with a vengeance" so keep up the pace, Em; it is ALL looking mighty good!

    1. Yes, Elizabeth, I think the 'not as I expected'on line shopping experience is pretty universal. I was just particularly peeved about this one because i had taken the extra 'care' of contacting the vendor and saying I wanted grey and gold for the two matching rugs and a soft pale green background (almost like the photo!) with pink flowers for the other one.... reassured, I ordered, and we know how that turned out. Phut! Thank you for popping in to say Hi and giving me an excuse to repeat the rant.
      I have gone on apace since this post, so you certainly have more to see accompanied by smiley face me. Marilyn

  5. Hello Marilyn,
    The house is coming together beautifully. I love the trompe l'oeuil is stunning! I love your methods and the way you work. It is a shame about the rugs, but the books are a real treasure.
    Big hug

    1. Yes, I am pleased with the books and have emailed vendor (twice) to see if s/he would make me one hundred. Think I have terrified the poor soul as I haven't had a reply. That's fine I will just buy them in dribs and dabs and make some and thread others in so I don't get too samey a look. I keep telling everyone the trompe l'oeuil is brilliant in real life, camera doesn't do it justice. Commend it heartily. Secret is to match the floor in the oicture to the house floor that meets it. Marilyn

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