Hens and Chickens

Hens and Chickens

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Little things.

I've been spending a lot of time on EBay in the Doll's House Miniatures section.  I've been amazed at how talented some of the listers are.  You can literally find anything in 1/12th scale - I found a miniature Seabrook's box of crisps - my sister works there!

As I am currently working on the kitchen and scullery parts of my basement, I admit to being tempted more than once, much to husband's amusement.  

After working so hard on my walled garden, I felt a few flowers were in order!  I couldn't resist the hanging baskets, and the picture really doesn't do them justice.  Tulips are also a favourite of mine, but I never have much luck with them in my heavy clay garden.  I'm hoping I can't go wrong with these.

The detail on these miniature vegetables is amazing, and the mixing bowl is so delicate.  I bought the baskets to fill myself with vegetables.

And on to the inevitable soft furnishings! My eyesight won't allow me to crochet or knit so finely now, I am in awe of anyone who can.  I hope to make a miniature patchwork quilt, and might even stitch one or two rugs, but that will be it, my eyesight isn't what it used to be.

Work is continuing on the brickslips, and I have finally decided on a colour for the hall part of the basement.  The brickslips continue to confound me at every turn, but I am sure they will be worth it when they are done.  However, I have to say the whole experience has somewhat put me off attempting the same on the exterior of the house.  I've had a break away from them for a few days, as I had come to the point when I could not see what was level and what wasn't.  I'm starting to feel a bit better about the whole thing though, and if it wasn't for the sun which has made an unexpected appearance today, I would be beavering away at them again.  

Ms Divers x

Monday, 16 July 2012

Two thousand bricks...and counting!

The last few days have been spent laying brickslip after brickslip, until the inevitable happened.  I ran out. When I first calculated the amount of slips I needed, I never thought to include the inner walls.  Of course, once I had started, it was obvious that they needed to be done.  I couldn't miss an opportunity to make a walled garden after all!

Huge thanks to the wonderful folks at Richard Stacey who rushed my order through to enable me to continue - and hopefully finish.

Here you can see the walled garden is coming on well.  I am really pleased with it, all I have to do now is to grout it in, but I want to wait until the crazy paving is laid on the basement floor.  

You can also see the flagstones on the pavement here.  Unfortunately, I rushed into this job, without thinking it through properly, so some of these are going to have to come off and be redone.

This  is the current view from the front.  I am working on bricking around the bay window, which is quite tricky, and I can't help but think that there must be an easier way.  I'm working on it.....

Lastly, here are some of the interior panels painted up, ready to be glued into place at some point.  The kitchen's colour scheme is green, and the scullery is cream.  I haven't decided on the colour for the hall, so it looks like another trip to Homebase is in order. 

I've also been spending a lot of time on the 'Bay. There are some very talented minaturists on there, selling their own handmade creations.  

Oh, and I managed to bag myself a bargain - my next project - Springwood Cottage.

Happy days!

Ms Divers x

Thursday, 5 July 2012

New arrivals

It's been a bit quiet here lately, all thanks to the rain which has put paid to any outdoor pursuits such as weeding and gardening.   Don't mention the slugs. Please don't mention the slugs.  The devastation they have wrought on my garden has to be seen to be believed.

This week my beloved had a milestone birthday.  I bought him a Spotoscope.  His friend bought him.........

......SIX KHAKI CAMPBELL DUCKS!!!   Say hello to our new babies :-)

Ms Divers x

Starting the exterior decor

Having managed to paint the sash windows and front door, my thoughts turned to the exterior of my Holme Lodge basement.  Many years ago, when I decorated my Georgian dolls house, there was little choice as to what to decorate with - paint or paper!  However one of the first things I discovered on re-entering this hobby, is that there are now a myriad of products with which to finish the exterior of my basement.  Brick compound, versi tiles, brick slips, some very realistic papers, even pebble dash or sandstone.  My husband would probably have been happy if I had just stuck to paint, but oh no, that was no longer on my agenda.  I wanted bricks - real bricks!

After calculating the amount of bricks needed for the exterior, I sent off my order to the lovely Richard Stacey, and two days later a rather large and heavy parcel arrived.  I think I might have forgotten to mention that I just had to have the flagstones, random flags and quarry tiles too - what else could I possibly put in my Victorian kitchen and scullery?

Never having done anything like this before, and as someone who cannot even hang a picture straight, I quickly realised that I would need spacers to help me achieve nice straight even lines.  I found that the little sticks which came with my sash windows (and which I didn't need) were just perfect.  I started on a small area - the garden wall, and I found it relatively easy and strangely therapeutic gluing and laying the slips,

Of course, I quickly realised that I had under estimated the number of bricks needed, as I now had plans to brick the interior garden walls to make a walled garden.  This led to me half bricking the stair walls, also meaning that before I knew it, I had glued and placed 2000 brickslips, and needed more.  It wasn't long before my husband realised what I already knew - this hobby isn't cheap!

Ms Divers x

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

More Paint, Less Speed

Suddenly I have become Homebase's best customer.  I spend hours in their paint aisles - in fact so long that I suspect the shop assistants suspect that I am up to no good.  Unfortunately for them, I am not, I am simply perusing all the many tester paint pots and trying to decide what colour to use to paint the sash windows, the door, the "sandstone" window surround etc etc.  These decisions do not come easily to an interior decorator challenged old fogey like myself. 

First I had to decide on the colour of the "sandstone" bay window, pictured above.  I settled on what I thought was an appropriate colour, although I have to say that now it is out of the pot and onto the wood, I am not so sure.  The sash windows were to be painted two colours - dark brown and off white, and I was relieved to find that the windows came apart so that I could remove the perspex for easy painting.  After a couple of evenings, all was painted.

I think it looks suitably Victorian.  What do you think?

Ms Divers x

Sealing and Painting

With the dry build all done, the missing part received from Dolls House Emporium (very quickly, I must add) it was time to get on to the job of sealing and painting the basement before gluing it together.  I had already decided that I would paint all the ceilings before assembling, as I well remember how hard it was to do once the house is assembled.  Plus I am a little old to be standing on my head.

So I duly mixed up a 50/50 mix of PVA glue and water and started to paint each MDF piece.  This really didn't take long at all.  Once dry, I decided I would give each piece a coat of white matt emulsion.  In reality, I gave two coats, and three or four for the ceilings, sanding in between coats to give a nice smooth finish.

Here it is all undercoated and ready for the next stage - adding some of the finer details, starting with the bay windows. I had already spent two evenings gluing on the detailing around the bay window, which wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.  Next job is painting the (working) sash windows, and then picking out the detail on the bay window in a suitable colour.  

At this point I am very happy with the way the house is shaping up, but only just beginning to realise that this is not going to be a weekend project!

Ms Divers x