Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Day Seven.... Improvising and pebble dashing !

After work today I dashed through the snow to Hobby Craft where I bought some strips of balsa wood to improvise on the missing parts of my kit . After much faffing on trying to find a solution to the short door/ tall door gap problem I had a Eureka moment !
Why didnt I think of it before ! I simply cut a piece of balsa to the same shape and thickness of the door frame and then glued it into the bottom of the door opening.
Hey Presto ! My door now closed perfectly leaving no gap and a nice flat finish both sides of the wall.
My door step was made with two pieces of balsa wood, one wider than the other, which I cut to the same width. Once glued onto the wall the door step hid the join where I had inserted the extra piece of wood into the door frame giving a neat strong finish.
I was now able to glue on the remaining trim and begin the paint work.

You can see here how neat my improvising looks !

While at Hobby craft I found some lovely fine gravel in the model railway section.
I had decided to use real brick slips for the main part of the house and paint the top section to resemble stone. Suddenly I had another Eureka moment !
Pebble dashing ! I bought 2 bags of the fine gravel one cream and one light tan as I knew the two shades would mix well to give a realistic effect.
I simply coated the top section of the dols house in a thick coat of pva. I did one side at a time leaving each to dry overnight but have shown photos of two sides to show you how simple this was to do.

Once the pva was brushed on I simply poured my mixed fine gravel evenly over the surface with the dolls house lying flat on the table and the side I was working on facing upwards.
I poured on a nice thick layer , making sure it was evenly spread and in every nook and cranny,
then patted it down with my fingers and left it to dry.

When dry I lay a plastic sheet ( a bin liner is ideal for this) on the floor under the table to catch the loose gravel. Then I tipped the house on its side
and gently brushed it with a soft brush to remove the loose gravel.The loose gravel can then be re-used on another part of the house.
You can see here how lovely this looks !
I'm delighted with the effect.
My house is really starting to shape up now and the next step will be to start sticking the brick slips to the walls. A long job but really worth the time spent for the lovely effect it gives.
My next few evenings will be spent gluing on bricks and I will post photos as soon as I have made some progress with this,
julie xxx


Michelle's Mad World said...

It's coming along so fast! Did you use scenic gravel for train sets? I have used a similar method for creating stone effect, but with fine horticultural sand. I have to amend my doors frames on my Hogwarts as I want Gothic shaped doors and not modern ones...balsa wood it a great idea for a filler as it's soft. Great idea! ;o))

Are you going to paint your house a mortar colour before you stick your brick-slips on? Or do you plan to mix acrylic paint into the PVA? I used tile grout mixed with PVA when I stuck my bricks on. However, I didn't have the area to cover like you have!
Michelle xx

julie campbell said...

Hi Michelle :0)
I'm trying to crack on as quick as I can with the outside to get my dining room table back LOL
Yes I used the scenic gravel,its lovely and fine and I just love the effect and the colour.
I have mortar to use on the bricks once they dry, it just makes everything look so realistic but its a messy job finishing and cleaning it up . Worth it though :0)
Plan to spend the evening just sticking on bricks .......... have 1500 here and think I might need more !
julie xxx

Whittaker's Miniatures said...

Oooh I cant wait to see those bricks! Love the new effects youve used, and great job on that door Julie, looks perfect! Have fun tonight, will be thinking of poor you glueing them all on! Is your workroom snowed in?!! Mind you I wouldnt mind getting stuck in there its so wonderfully cosy! Kate xx

Julie Kendall said...

Getting an itch to build something now......its very inspiring and very clever stuff. The pebble dash looks brilliant by the way as do your steps!! about multi!!
Looking forward to see how you do the bricks

julie campbell said...

kate you should see my garden ..... we have seriously at least 1 foot maybe more of snow and I'm not even attempting to get to the workshop right now !
still snowing so I'm nice and warm and sticking on bricks :0)
Hope youre keeping warm too ,
julie xxx

julie campbell said...

thanks julie, was really pleased with the steps, have painted them doorstep red now and glossed them, they look lovely !
I really love using the brick slips. Time consuming but nothing beats them for me.
Hope to have at least one side done by tomorrow night :0)
julie xxx

Patricia Cabrera said...

Oh Julie, you are I have a lot in common ... not even snow can stop us to work on our projects!!!!*smiles*
I really like the finihing that you created and I just learned something from you...grin.. I can not wait to see what will you do next. Love to see the project and thank you for your patient for stopping and taking the pictures and sharing with us.... really nice Julie!

julie campbell said...

Hello Patricia, we do have a lot in common as like you I always have lots of projects going on at the same time ! I always have something I can work on :0)
Writing this blog is a really nice way for me to stop and think about each step and how it will work before actually doing it :0)
Hopefully if I can find ways to make things easy it will help anyone making their own kit, or maybe plant a seed of an idea to grow into a new one :0)
julie xxx

Debie Lyons said...

Julie I am loving the way your house is coming along. When you are done you can come and do mine LOL
Debie xxx

shannonc60 said...

Oooh, glad I found this blog. I too LOVE the Empire Stores. It just costs too much to ship to Australia. Will keep watch of your blog with bated breath! It's looking great.