Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Quarrelsome Coventry.

The Greenleaf Coventry oh how you frazzle me. It has been a battle of the wills with this little house. With my Buttercup everything went along so smoothly that I was constantly thinking I had done something wrong. Well the Coventry made up for that thinking by making sure everything did go wrong. But a challenge forces one to think outside his or her box. Many times for me I was so way outside my box that I couldn't find my way back. Fixing up a design or plan so much that I defeated the initial idea entirely. Trials and tribulations. Thank goodness it's not a real house. The attic space. Was going to be a bathroom and main bedroom. Not so sure now. Thinking of adding wall to make a main bedroom still, wall gives me somewhere to put a light! Ceiling to low for a hanging one. But where I was going to put in a washroom of sorts but I could envisage a little wrought iron bed for a little girl. Built in cupboard in the nook. Doll on the little stool. Argh decisions!! The downstairs area is kitchen and living. For the staircase I found for $5 on a Canadian site a narrow steep stair, bought heap of them for all the houses I have stashed under beds etc. I cut it through about 3/4 way up made a return from balsa and then used the rest to enter into the attic space. Not sure what to do with the little room. Can't decide!! Was thinking of a reading/study space The roof will be tiled. I'll use 2.5mm balsa cut into varying lengths and widths stained first in a dirty paint wash.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Power tools are scary.

This is the back.

As with all Greenleaf houses there is no back. I made one out of luan and balsa. It sits in slots at the sides so when it is in place the slots look like beams. The roof piece is held in place with magnets recessed into the timber.

I faced my fear off an extremely sharp blade going flat chat that is aimed directly at my chest to finally get my house on a 'stand'. My sister and I splurged on a power mitre saw and using it would have to be the most singular terrifying thing I have ever had to use. It's sheer insanity when you think about what it is and it's pointing at your body mass but I did it. It sooooo make cutting timber easy and fast. Mitring corners is something I still have to work at but baby steps. The board itself is made up of vj panelling cut into three lengths and then joined together with Liquid Nails. I went with vj as it was the cheapest dressed timber and it was light. Plus it is sold in the shortest lengths, I have a very small car! I made a timberframe for the board to sit on. Screwed and glued it and then the stained framing. Great idea from Rik Pierce. House is glued on after holes are drilled in for lighting wires and then a layer of paperclay for my landscaping. The landscaping fluff stuff has arrived and I hope to get it on next week. This week it's workshopping at my house, next week it's at my sisters house. We take in turns of trashing each others houses with sawdust and other muck. She's doing the Greenleaf Glencroft at my house, my Buttercup is at hers. I am working on the Greenleaf Coventry at my house. I haven't taken any photos of it which is rather silly of me. It's been a clash of wills between that house and me. It's putting up a bit of a fight. I've also started a French style townhouse with a bookshop on the ground floor for my neice Rebekah. It will be a joined effort between my sister and me. It will be very tall and narrow so it will fit in her room. It has a little hint of magic which allows me some architectural grace. Staircases going all sorts of way kind of a thing to make it all fit. I'm very keen to get started. Luan cut, putting it all together to go!! So many houses, one day I would like to furnish one!

Friday, April 1, 2011

A New Habit...

This is something I have been mulling over in my head for a while now. All this is very new so please bare with me while I fuddle my way through. It's turning out to be much more fun than I had originally thought!

A Buttercup Bashed

Sounds brutal doesn't it I know but it's all good really. Before I headed into a large grand minature house I thought I had better get my feet wet first on something smaller. So after perusing ebay I came across a Greenleaf Buttercup kit up for auction from someone willing to send it DownUnder. I had come across kit bashing and thought it a wonderfully creative craft that I was dying to get stuck into. But I still was'nt too sure what to do now that my little house lay out before me in all it's flatness. Searching the Net I fluked upon a tutorial on bashing a Buttercup. I can't find the site at all now but it's The Tudor Cottage by Sally Cook Thomas. So off I went then. Learning as I went. For the stucco I use tile grout. The timber faux 'beams' are just strips of 2.5mm balsa. All glued on with craft glue, the clear tacky kind. I don't have the patience to wait for PVA. I pencil out on the house wall where the timber is going to go, cover that area off with masking tape and apply the tile grout with an artists spatula. Peel off the tape and then glue down my already stained timbers beams and gently push in the grout with the fleshy part of my palm. The grout takes about 20min to set hard. I do both sides and try to think of areas I have to leave free for fitting. But the tile grout easily peels of if I've gone too far. I cut all my timbers a bit longer too just in case. Easier to cut off than to add. The brick slips I got from ebay and are Richard Stacey bargain ones. I put the house together with Liquid Nails. Love LN. I use masking tape to hold areas together while it dries. The floor is just random sized lengths of balsa with the pegs made out of toothpicks pushed in and cut of with pliers. I made it with gaps and knots so that light would filter through. It's a bit uneven and crooked but that's how old houses are. I'm living in one and all the furniture on my bedroom rocks! I knew I wanted a thatched roof and for a long time searched the net for a solution until I came across a Rik Pierce house. Ahhhh! Love his work!! There was no stopping me after I found his creations! His version of a thatched roof was simple, easy and cost effective!! Not too mention a lot of fun. I so recommend doing it outside, of course, but further from your windows than you think. Just made up a dirty wash of burnt umber and black and gave it several coats and glued it on. Cutting the angle right was a trick. Fudged it eventually. I love the freedom of this kind of miniature dollhouse making. Just do whatever is your fancy and liking. No rules just get into it! If it doesn't work rip it off and have another go. No right or wrong. Just what you do and don't like. Also I'm terrible at mitring corners and in this kind of house build no fancy corners! I always try to find the cheapest and the easiest ways of doing things. I'm a want to see it now kinda gal and have trouble having to wait too long. Although I am getting somewhat better at waiting but not really by choice. Everything I get for my houses and furniture etc all comes via the Post Office. No stores to wonder though. I wait keenly most mornings for the 'white van of joy' to pull up to see what the Postie has for me.