Sunday, September 23, 2018

A White Orchid

 I have wanted to do an all white Greenleaf Orchid for a long time. I think the style of the house and the architectural details will look lovely all white. But sadly the fancy trim pieces in my kit have been cut from the absolutely worst pieces of timber of any of the Greenleaf kits I have done so far. It is like Weetbix, on a very bad day. Most just fell apart when I so carefully removed them from the sheet. Others just fell apart in my hands. The few left couldn't even be sanded. Of course the floors and walls were cut out of the strongest pieces of timber!! Of course!! So the outside is still a work in progress while I figure out what to do. But it has been so long since I made a post I thought I would show what I have done so far.

You would think just painting everything white would be easy. A big HA!! Well it was, once I let go of wanting to add colour. It was so much harder than I thought it would be!!! I put my paints and wallpapers away to reduce temptation. I love colour so much it was really hard for a long time to 'let it go' (everyone in my house will break out into song at the mention of those three words). I used spak first and then gesso in places that needed a bit more coverage. I then finished the whole house with white paint. I use RL house paint where I can. It covers so well and a little goes such a long way. Wont chip off. Any spill from my artist acrylics will just easily wipe off. I use British Paint white sample pot and it was about $9AU.

I added architectural features and detail to add some interest. With the floors I toyed with the idea of white but went with a wash of the lightest grey which I sanded back once it was dry to let the wood colour through.

I used LED lighting for this house. I have used them in the past for smaller 1/144 projects but never on this scale. I always have a stash of electric lights to use and usually go that route. I am so used to using electric lights and installing those that it also took a while to get my head around using LED. They are very easy to use and you get to be creative with making your own light fixtures. I had to lengthen all the wires for starters as I get them in shorter lengths. A lot of twisting wires together and heat shrink tubing was used. If your exposed wires touch each other then they wont work. I like to play it safe. I also need to get myself a better wire stripper. I've always just used my finger nails in the past but it got a bit painful after a while. I use Nano lights. They are teeny and so much easier to wire into jewelry findings etc that I use for light fixtures. They still give enough light I think. I dont like my lights to be too strong. I get the cool white and purchase the orange and red for the fireplace. The warm white can be a bit yellowing sometimes. The light fixture in the kitchen is a pendant. I threaded the Nano inside then used a spacer and the white plastic tubing from a cotton bud and then another spacer. Drilling a hole in the timber for the wire made some of it split and come away so I hid that using white paper circle punched out with a 9mm punch to act like a ceiling rose. Then painted it all white.

For the fire place I used flicker Nano in orange and red. I lightly twisted them together rather than gluing them. I arranged some sticks from my garden and glue them over the Nano lights. I pushed some red glass beads into the glue while it is setting. For the fire grate I bent the ends of a long brass finding at right angles and glued it onto a piece of black card. The pile of sticks fits tightly inside it. Then I just slid it all into the fire place with the wires disappearing down the hole I had made at the back. The light fixture I made using a large light pink pandora bead and a cone brass finding. Some fabric roses, more plastic tubing and a large bead cap for the ceiling rose.

 Here I used some pieces from a sandalwood fan for the dormer trim. Laser cut trim I used for the shelf over the bed and RL picture frame molding at each and of the bed space. It helps to hold the mattress in place but allows space for me to add bedding. The little wardrobe needs hardware still. To make it I used scraps of large balsa to make a box. Cut strips of 1mm balsa and glued them to the outside. For the front a strip on each side and narrower ones along the top and bottom. Strips for the door but there would be some space around. Before I glued them down I went around with a black Sharpie so that when the strips are down it would look as though there is space inside the wardrobe. Some cornice trim along the top. For the light I used flower style bead cap, pink pandora bead and a 1/12 scale juice glass. I left the twisted wires to show but painted them white.

Another cone finding and an old bead all painted white for this light fitting. I left the twisted wires exposed and they got a white paint treatment as well.

I love the way the light fitting in the bathroom came out. A bent brass stamping, blue glass bead and a large bead cap. I ran the wires up the wall and painted over them white. I was working on a way to hide the wire till I looked up in my own work room. My house was built before power and made from timber so no wall cavities to hide wiring. So when lights etc were finally added during the 50's all the wiring was run along skirting boards, cornice and up the walls etc and just painted over. I did the same here. One of those 'oh why didn't I think of that before and save myself so much headache' moments. 

I am currently working on the outside. Wrestling and trying to find ways to salvage any of the fancy trim. Lots of carefully gluing and clamping pieces together so far and have gotten the three gable trim pieces together. Thinking the exterior will have a very worn and slightly derelict look to it!! 

Thanking you stopping by and take care!!



  1. What you've done looks absolutely stunning, Carrie! Your problems with the Greenleaf kit are concerning. I have a Beacon Hill still in it's wrappings. Shortly after it arrived a few months ago, our plans changed and we will be emigrating sooner than planned. I've decided not to open it and start working on the house, it will be much easier to take it with me as a kit, and start it in a new home. I do hope that the wood doesn't dry out and disintegrate from being stored for such a long time, I would be devastated since it's my life's dream to build that house.
    Do post progress pics as you go along, and share any tips for reconstituing the plywood, I might need it ;-)

    1. I have several Greenleaf kits that have been stashed away for years now and they are still in very good condition. Unfortunately sometimes the wood used for some pieces arent so great. The Beacon Hill is one of them. Don't know what I was thinking. I hope I can do it one day. It is so very big. When you do get it open to play, the best part I think, dont make the mistake I did by leaving the larger pieces leaning up against something. They do warp! Keep them flat. Cheers!xx

  2. Great to see your house Carrie, I have had mine for several years and it's still not finished. It does look good all in white. I'm sure it will look gorgeous when you're finished!

    1. I have several in my work room in various stages of completion. Sometimes it has taken years to get back to a project. I've learnt not to beat myself up over it and just do it when the mood takes me. I will say completing a project is the best feeling. I have also learnt that nothing is really ever finished but it's more a case of being satisfied and leaving it at that. Cheers!xx

  3. I know exactly what you mean about it taking great restraint NOT to add color! But it's looking so perfectly shabby, so stay true to your vision! It's going to be amazing!

    1. Isn't it hard!!!! So much harder than I thought it would be. But it has been a great tool for learning. Thank you!! Cheers! xx

  4. I love your idea of an all-white house - but I agree about the severe restraint needed to accomplish that! The house looks lovely so far; the floors and the light fixtures are so well suited to the rooms. I'm looking forward to seeing more.

    1. It has been so hard, especially at first. Best thing about using all white is no changing my mind with a different colour and having to rethink it all!! Cheers!xx

  5. All white will be so pretty. You'll want a lot of different textures and shades of white, otherwise you might get bored. But I love how it looks so far!

  6. Hi Carrie! I Love what you are doing with this kit... even though you are having so many problems with the trims. I love color too, so I can sympathize with the degree of discipline this is requiring of you! You are getting awesome results! These kits have some lovely details, and then you need to add so much in the way of trims to cover all the joins and tabs... it can take a while! I love the lighting you are making and can't wait to see more!

    1. Ha yes covering all the tabs and slots lends itself to being creative! I hope I can salvage most of the trim, it is what makes this kit unique. And your are right it does take time!! Cheers! xx

  7. I think the idea of all white house is fantastic. It already looks interesting. I love how you created architectural detail in the dormer with the fan. So clever & effective!

  8. What a discipline to restrict and restrain yourself from using color but What a Payoff!!!!
    This cottage is utterly charming Carrie and there is nothing that doesn't look like it has ALWAYS been this way, and I Love your lighting too! ♥️

  9. I, too, am currently building The Orchid by Greenleaf. My trim is fine, although I don't know that I'll use it all. I tried for all white, too, as I love shabby chic and built my first cottage following instructions from Cinderellamoments.com, but I had to succumb to color. My Orchid is becoming a shabby chic farmhouse. Loved the space you made in the main Gable - great ideas. I'll be following you to see how your house turns out!

  10. I built the White Orchid when they came out with it made out of styrene (I think that's what it's called). It turned out nice and I turned it into my Three Blind Mice house.

    Your White Orchid is coming along beautifully! It's disappointing the trim isn't made better as it really makes this house. I hope you're able to salvage some of it. I love how you did the floors. Looking forward to more!


  11. Dear Carrie, I know I am late visiting and to make a comment. I was out of the country till end of October so often missed posts.
    I did look at this one earlier but I am having problems leaving messages.
    Things I noticed and really liked...... the use of the wooden fan to decorate the recessed bed! The light you made for the bathroom, the clever way you created an impression of a door by using the black sharpie.
    Not sure if everyone knows what weetbix are but it was such a super description of the condition of the wood!
    When one thinks - oh white will be easy - but there are so many variations of white - even finding complimentary whites in fabrics is a challenge.
    You are also right about not forcing oneself to mini unless inspired! It is then a pleasure not a task.
    Carrie, All the best for 2019. How quickly time passes.
    Warm regards Janine

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  15. Bonjour,

    04 Novembre 2019 a mon tour de vous transmettre notre témoignage concernant un prêt relais qui a mal tourné mais après j'ai trouvé la bonne personne

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    Je suis marié, deux enfants, j'ai contracté un prêt relais début 2018 pour acheter une nouvelle maison. La maison en vente a été estimée par différentes agences et la banque entre 280 et 300 k€. Nous l'avons donc mise en vente à 280 k€ (net vendeur) et la banque s'est basée sur cette somme pour nous octroyer un prêt relais à différé total (remboursement fine du capital + les intérêts).

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    Bilan des courses, si tout se passe "bien" nous allons nous retrouver sous peu avec 80.000 euros de dettes auprès de notre banque. En vendant la nouvelle maison à son prix d'achat en 2018 (il me semble bien que le marché s'est depuis cassé la gueule ...) il nous manquera encore 45.000 euros environ pour tout solder (autrement dit, on n'aura plus de maison et une jolie ardoise en prime), puisque contrairement à beaucoup qui vendent pour acheter plus cher, nous nous avons vendu pour acheter moins cher et ainsi se désendetter et penser à nos enfants (pour ça, c'est réussi !!).

    Enfin, pour couronner le tout, nous avons en plus du prêt relais un prêt principal pour la nouvelle maison (sur 30 ans) qui a lui seul représente un peu plus de 33% de nos revenus. Donc négocier une rallonge avec la banque pour y inclure les 80.000 euros manquant, je vois pas trop ...

    Bref, que faire ???!!!

    J'ai déjà contacté la Banque de France pour les surendettements particuliers, et pour le moment ils ne peuvent rien faire tant qu'ils n'ont pas de chiffres précis (le montant réellement dû une fois la maison vendue ... si tout se passe bien !!!)

    Malgré cela, on essaie de garder le moral,

    J'essayer depuis des mois de trouver un crédit mais sans succès.
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    où une personne vous a mentionnée j'ai pris contacte avec lui et c'est vrai il m'a parlé de Madame JANIQUE LOUISE ANNICK CHANTRENS qui aide beaucoup des gens en France

    mais c'est loin d'être simple ... (devenir propriétaire, un rêve pour une majorité de Français ... et ben plus pour nous !!!)
    j'ai accepté remplie les conditions et sans tracasseries, mon compte a été crédité de 70.000€ que j'ai demandée.Vous qui avez besoin de faire un prêt, je vous prie de prendre contact avec Mme CHANTRENS à son adresse E-mail: chantrensjanique@gmail.com

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