Friday, 26 February 2010

So much I want to do,so little time !

Sorry this post has been so long in arriving ! Life is hectic right now and I am busily preparing for the Spring run of Miniature fairs which kicks off for me this sunday in Glasgow. My doll making has been taking up much of my time , so what bad timing for this to arrive , my wonderful longed for Orangery kit which I want to transform into Uncle Morts workshop.
All the doll making though has had an unexpected bonus for my Emporium. While shopping for fabric I came across this lovely item :

It is meant to be used for 3d card making, but as soon as I saw it I immediately thought of my shop shelves and how lovely this would look as trimming. At half price I bought three packs , ready for a moment to work on my shop.
First though it was high time the windows went in so with the help of a paper template and some heavy duty acetate I set to work.
Hind sight is a wonderful thing and I do wish I had made my templates before I put the house together.It was a bit tricky but once the pieces were cut I simply ran a bead of PVA glue round the edges and popped them in place.

This is the front of the shop . You can see I have used the card kit to make a window trim, I love the effect it gives. You can also see I have had to remove the shop doors ! They were such a tight fit they would not open with the parquet floor I am planning to lay, so they are removed and waiting to be sanded down.

This is the door into the house. I am most likely going to have shelves across these windows as the shop counter will go across this corner allowing Belle easy access to her house and stopping any customers from wandering in there accidentally !

Heres a close up of the window trim. There are long strips which will go across the top of the windows but I need to finish wallpapering first. So little time, so much I want to do !

This is how it looks so far, I think you can just see how I have trimmed alternate shelves with the paper trim.

I have already started work on the actual flooring. I have some lovely maple parquet floor tiles which looked all wrong with my colour scheme. I have decided to paint and wax them so am busy in my spare moments painting each and every one . Very time consuming !
I am doing just one coat of paint so you can still see the wood, its more of a colour wash, in the cream of the shelves and the green of the woodwork. Then a coat of clear wax and fingers crossed my shop floor will look beautiful.
Wish me luck !
Hopefully my next post willshow the floor and maybe my ceiling and light fitting sorted out too !
julie xxx


Saturday, 6 February 2010

lights, passageways and the shop wall in place

Two posts in one day ! This is the beautiful light I have bought for the shop from Ray Storey. I have bought single versions of the same light for the passageways . I am delighted with them and cant wait to get the electrics sorted out !
But that will have to wait a while as am busy making dolls for my upcoming fairs .

Here we have the cubby hole under the stairs. It will never be seen from this angle as the back wall of the shop pushes up against the stairs. You can only see a glimse of it through the open side door , the tradesmans entrance . I will probably just store a bit of junk under the stairs.
So finally I was able to get the back wall of the shop in place. I am delighted with it and very relieved that it still fitted after papering and painting ! You can see the side window frame with the aubergine paint. I will be repainting the inside of this frame the soft olive green I have chosen for the woodwork before I fit the "glass".
The soft distressed green is so easy on the eye and gives a lovely feel to the place.
I have almost finished the passageway behind the door, just some skirting board to put in place and then I can start to think about how best to do the flooring.
julie xxx

Inside at last !

I am waiting for my orangery to arrive so while I wait I have started work on the inside. First of all I had to decide once and for all the layout of the shop floor and what to do with the tiny passage way that would appear if I went with my preferred layout.
Much plotting ensued and a cunning plan was decided on !
First then, to tackle the removeable back wall which must be decorated first. I cut off the thin piece that went over the right hand top edge of the wall and then using the wall as a template cut a piece from MDF to glue into the stairwell cut out on the back wall.
While this dried I searched my bits and bobs box for spare doors and found two identical ones ...........perfect !
Here you see one of the doors glued under the stairwell. This will "lead" into Uncle Morts workshop................the Orangery ! I will fix the other door to the back of the house in the same position inside the workshop and it will appear that it opens .
The tradesmans entrance will open into this tiny passage way through which the tradesmen would be able to deliver goods directly into the workshop .

This next bit involved 2 days and much huffing and puffing and tea drinking ! I put my newly filled wall into place and arranged the shop shelves
to ft then measured up a back wall to go across the corner which in turn was glued to the back of the right hand corner shelf.
With some ( well okay.... lots....) sanding and numerous trials for size I ended up with a wall that fit perfectly into the shop and permanently attached shop shelves which you can see I painted antique white...............and a few gaps too. I filled these then added a little decorative trim that covered the join and strengthend the whole wall.

this is the back of the wall decorated already . This is the decor for the downstairs passage way and entrance to the living quarters. I chose lovely muted green william morris paper from Sid Cooke .The striped paper is also used in the tiny passageway at the other side of the house.

This pic is a "Ta dah ! " moment for me ! I antiqued the shelves a little more. The shop is to be old one and a little bit dilapidated. Uncle Mort let things run to rack and ruin and although Belle has cleaned it up a lot the furniture is still aged with time .
My preferred method of ageing is to simply paint some wood stain ( I use ronseal ) over the item and then rub off immediately with a soft cloth. The stain settles into the corners and detailing and leaves a soft colour wash which looks like the patina of time .
I am using the most beautiful grey toile wallpaper for the shop , you can see it here. I will be painting my parquet floor tiles in dove grey and cream to match and it should all look really beautiful with a slightly fairytale air to it and a fine setting for the wonderful toys .
I will post the final pictures of the small passageway soon, I am almost finished working on it and then I can put the shelved wall permanently in place.
I will also give you a peek at the fabulous lighting I have bought for the Emporium courtesy of the fabulously talented Ray Storey, they are simply stunning !
julie xxx

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Why Dolls House doors should be kept firmly shut...........

Hmmmmm, was measuring my walls today for wallpapering and decided a nice cup of tea would spur me on .Imagine my surprise when I came back to find this staring through my dolls house window !
I dont know what surprised me more, the fact that he was in there or the fact that he actually fit in there at all LOL as you can see from the last photo of my dainty little she cat Mitsy ( taken last night while pepsi looked on, obviously plotting to try it out for himself ! ) , Pepsi is quite a big boy !
julie xxx

Monday, 1 February 2010

The Emporium is expanding !

Belles Toy Emporium is expanding !
The photo is the Orangery. I almost bought this at xmas to add to the side of the house but my measurements just didnt add up and the whole thing wouldnt have fitted where I wanted it to go. The garden isnt included, just the actual building which is wide but not too deep.
Now that the house is built and on its turn table on the old chest of drawers in my sitting room I have measured up again and realised with delight that there is a place for the Orangery............... the back of the shop ! I ordered it today :0)
It is to become Uncle Mortimers workshop and the place where the toys are made.
It also solves the problem of the side door. The tradesmans entrance that leads nowhere if I stick to my shelf arrangement.
I will add a fake doorway in the back wall of the shop that "leads " to the workshop. The tradesmans entrance door will be rehinged on the opposite side and when opened lead into a little corridor with the fake doorway leading to the workshop for deliveries !
The workshop will also conceal the wiring that will come through the back of the house and be a lovely "surprise" when the Emporium is turned around on the turn table.
It feels like a great plan !
I have started to alter the back wall of the shop already and will post pics if it all works out.
A bit of bodging may be called for ................. my wood working skills are minimal but I'm sure it will all work out...........................
watch this space !
julie xxx