Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Day one.......Preparation !

I have a confession to make.........................I'm a bit of a botcher ! Well, that should read I WAS a bit of a botcher. Having made more than a few kits up previously I have not been known for my patience. The excitement of a new kit usually results in a fully built dolls house by the end of the day, with more than a few accidents , a few nails poking out here and there and then weeks struggling to get into the nooks and crannys to decorate it all.

This time its all different ! I have prepared !!!!
In an unheard of move I actually took the sandpaper provided and sanded down the parts I was going to prepare.
I hate sanding ! The raspy sound of it,the feel of it on my fingers, everything about it makes me shudder so its a step I always skip but what a difference it has made doing this properly. Once my three outer walls with door openings were sanded I sanded the doors too then coated the wood on all sides and edges with sealer.
Feeling very proud of myself I then began to tackle the shop front window.
This went together very easily and as you can see, the damage to the corner of the top is barely noticeable after a little sanding.

Then my enthusiasm got the better of me and I started on the paint work...................................then realised
MDF needs priming too !
As you can see from this picture my lovely aubergine enamel paint just sunk right intothe mdf in a very uneven fashion.
Well you live and learn so once dry a coat of sealer sorted that out and I'm now busy painting over it with the enamel paint. 2 coats should have my shop front looking beautiful.
Before assembling the front of the shop I will be painting the inside of the window too, a lovely antique creamy white . The shop name plinth will be left till last as its almost impossible to decorate it without lying it flat.
I have the shop doors to paint too before I can start assembling the house. Double doors at the front, a door for the tradesmans entrance at one side and the side door leading to the accommodation above the shop.
All this preparation takes time but it will all be worth it and I have learned its almost impossible to paint the doors properly once they are fitted into the frames.
So far so good............................
julie xxx

Monday, 28 December 2009

Not so Grand Box opening !

Finally I managed to claim the dining room table as my "work bench" and today I opened the box ! My initial excitement was instantly replaced by a daunting sight................... The supplier of my kit had opened all the packets to check everything was there and then packaged it all together. This was the box as I opened it with pieces everywhere and three damaged parts of my shop front.

Not one to be deterred I put the damaged strips aside and sorted the contents ...............

As you can see after half an hour I had a lovely neatly set out table of bits, I think they are all there but as the packages of trims were opened and everything had fallen out I am not sure really whats what with the smaller bits so fingers crossed !

Another half hour spent reading the instructions ( 19 pages ! ) and I'm almost ready to start.

First though for the repairs, the damaged parts were split but as I am planning to paint them and they are decorative parts I think they will fix just fine. I used a little wood glue and have placed a weight on top of them as they dry, hopefully they will be good as new.

Top Tip !

The first step with this kit is to attach the doors with the hinges provided. In my experience its always been best to paint the doors before attaching them . Its the only way for a neat finish without ending up with hinges covered in paint. It also means you can test the painted doors for fit and sand as necessary, thus avoiding "sticky" doors.

So work is halted for today as I dither over paint colours ! ( Burgundy is the firm favourite so far ............)

julie xxx

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Welcome !

Welcome and thank you for visiting, I hope you will stay a while !

I'm very excited about my project and hope you will enjoy watching it take shape .

I have recently bought a wonderful Sid Cooke dolls house kit, "Empire Stores".

it is the most wonderful dolls house shop kit and today I will be unpacking it and beginning to build it into the setting for the stories I have to tell................................. but more of those later !

I hope you will enjoy watching as the building takes shape from a flat pack into a beautiful shop with living accommodation above.

I hope to have some tips to share along the way , or maybe you will have some to share with me as the building progresses !

Once the kit is built and the outside decorated with bricks and tiles we will move inside and work on the interior . There are 4 rooms above the shop plus attic space so there will be lots to do !

Empire Stores is the largest of the Sid cooke shops and I have just fell in love with it.

It will be transformed into "Belle's Toy Emporium " and I hope you will enjoy meeting Belle and the other folk whose lives are entwined with hers and the Emporium itself as their stories unfold.

I cant wait to open the box !
julie xxx