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!!


Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Bit of a Georgian Manor.

Good day!! Life does what it does and got in the way (many times!!) so it has taken me sooo much longer than I had anticipated to get back to this project. Much argh over the colour of the door but the deep red won out. Thankfully I was able to pull out the top pin holding the door in place and take it out to paint it, that made it a lot easier. I also used the same colour to dye the white roses I had. I am selling this one and it will be in my shop. To stage it I used furniture from my other houses. La Luce and Thatcham. Although the kitchen walls are just screaming out for shelves filled with preserves and tins and all other such wonderful cluttery stuff. 

Took a bit of hunting to find some willow for the rose vine. Did find some eventually, I had to pull a wreath apart to get to it. For the leaves I used a rose leaf punch on green tissue. To stop it from getting caught in the punch I cut several layers at a time. I didn't separate them but sometimes the top would part a little and gives a wonderful floaty leaf look. Added little new shoot buds on some of the branches. I had a stack of white paper roses so I dyed them in the same colour as the door. I watered the paint down and dipped them in. Hung them to dry. Squished some of them to make them look like they have almost finished flowering. 

The kitchen is not large but a lot can be done with it. I'm not a huge fan of large kitchens, ( in real life as well, long as there is a dishwasher!)  means more stuff to fill it!!

Thank you for looking and be well!!!

Hooroo, Carriexxx

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

 Hello to you and to 2018! I hope you all and a happy and safe Christmas. I haven't been able to do too much but hope to have this house finished soon. I will put it up in my Etsy shop when it's done. Thinking of adding a climbing rose and a still working on what colour to do the door. Some more aging all over as well I think.

Also please visit the super friendly Amanda's blog. She also has a shop. You can find it here, 

Be well and take care!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Quick Hello

Helloooo! I am still here. Been very busy or rather I think I am just slowing down!! Argh! I thought I would just take a couple of pics (poor light sorry!) of what I have been doing in between boring stuff. Think I am working on three houses at the moment. As I work on a house and get to a point where I get stuck I have found the best way for me to get unstuck is to work on something completely different. Once I get stuck on project 2 I have forgotten completely what the problem was with project 1 and I go and work on it. Does become a bit of a problem when I get stuck on projects 1 and 2. That is when project 3 happens. Half scale Fairfield, one of my own house designs and the Glencroft. Swore I would never do the Glencroft. It big. But it came up cheap on Ebay from an Aussie seller no less so I must haves it!! Also had the Beacon Hill!! Madness I know but what a challenge!!!! It is currently lurking under the lounge. The Glencroft has actually been quite a lot of fun and for me one of the eaiser Greenleaf houses to put together. Wish there were more pics in the instructions/destructions though. I didn't get any more pics of the Fairfield sorry. Rainy Spring weather doesn't offer much sunlight for good photos. I found an older one, I have done much more since. I only managed to get pretty grainy pics of the other two. I will get some more.

Longbourne. I got stuck on exterior colours here and lighting as well. What I was going to use turned out not to be quite what I thought or am I just overthinking (most likely to be the problem) and so I got stuck. Switch projects!

Fairfield. I have loved working on this house. Just love it. I only have one pic. I thought I had others sorry but I will get some more. Fireplace is a kit from RedCottageMiniatures. Shannon's kits are probably the best I have come across. Fantastic fit and detail. I love this fireplace! I have many other kits of hers, most I have made up and will take more pics when the sun comes back. This little house went through so many wallpapers. Most got ripped off which leaves an amahzing scruffy finish which I have for the most part left. Glad I print them out myself. $$$$$! Eek! I am pretty sure I have made all the right wall covering choices now. Maybe... It were I got stuck. Switching projects again.

Ah Glencroft, the house I was never going to do. I have gone for a lighter Tudor look. William Morris papers and fabric as well. Didn't know arsenic was used to make the green in wallpapers and made so many people ill! It very early days yet. Lots more to do. Am working on the staircase now and it went together way to easy. Got me worried. Will get some more pics too. Not stuck on this one....yet. Whohooo!!! I do want to make working windows and that may get me stuck.

Thought I would throw in a couple of photos from a quick school holiday weekend away at our favourite beach getaway. Talented local made the mandala. We got down there just in time to see it before the not so distant thunder made us realize the beach is not the best place to be during a storm. A mad dash back to camp to sit it out. Went back to the beach to see the storm head out to sea. Then in typical Aussie Spring fashion the sun came out and it was hot and humid. Enough time for a quick dip. Lovely day.

 Cheers and hooroo and don't behave yourselves too much!!! Carriexx

Monday, May 22, 2017

La Luce Attic

The attic space! I divided this into three rooms and the super skinny hallway. All the wallpaper and floor tile I printed out and sealed the floor with a layer of PVA glue.

Chrysnbon bathroom kit. I lurve it. I painted the outside of the bath with black and then lots of dry brushing with rusty browns and slate greys.

White glossy painted furniture is readily available and cheap but for a different look I go over the whole piece lightly with sand paper and then hit it with stain. Let it soak in a bit and then buff off. Some areas I may do more than once. Sometimes a different colour stain which add depth.

This bed I made from balsa, table legs and paper punched leaf and flower shapes. I did a lot of sewing once upon a time. Don't anymore! Like with ironing I developed an allergy to it and just can't do it anymore. My excuse and I'm sticking with it. So for bedding I 'sew' using fusible hem tape and pva glue in a fine tip applicator bottle. For the mattress I use 3/4 inch thick styro foam. I fold the mattress fabric over it like wrapping a gift and just use pins to hold it into place underneath and then glue it onto the baseboard. I use heavy card like mat board for that. Most glues will melt the styrofoam. For the valance I glue lace to the baseboard edges or to a sheet. If I want a sheet I use cotton lawn. I add lace to the two long edges with the glue or a thin strip of hem tape, putting the lace on top of the fabric so you don't see the raw cut edges. The bed cover is a piece to fit and with a bit down the sides with an extra allowance on three sides which I fold over (not the top, it will be under the folded sheet piece) and hold in place with the tape. I hold it in place with double sided tape. The folded white sheet piece you see is just a piece of lawn folded over in thirds, ironed and held in place with double side tape. Just a neat cut edge at the sides, hemming it can make it too thick. For pillows I cut out rectangular shapes, run a thin line of glue a few mm inside on three sides. Let that dry. Fill it with what ever I have n hand, tissues even and then glue up the remaining edge. Beads can be great as they have the weight to make the pillow sit like a RL one. Use clear or white ones though and smaller the better.

This bed  I made from electrical cable and railing. Little eyelets for the 'feet'. Gorgeous hat is from Lea Frisoni.

I am currently working on the half scale Fairfield. Have spent the last year or two collecting the doors, windows, fancy wood bits etc and lights. Putting it together is so very different to what I am used to and while sometimes the challenge hurts my brain it does look so very cute.

Be well! Hooroo!