The colour scheme inspiration I am going for, for this house is from (please don’t laugh at me *blushes*) this magnificent Dollhouse by Robin Carey called the Sea Glass Victorian Cottage Dollhouse
I understand that a) I am a amateurish dabbler and b) that the kit I have is not as detailed and that well the house is not going to be in this league, but isn’t it just devine?! Oh… in a similar vein, I am not knowledgable about architecture and era specific building or even furnishing details so I am not choosing a time frame for my house to have existed or a real world place for it be located in. This is going to be a fantasy free (*snort* – see my earlier post on this joke) project to make what I like to fit in the house regardless of whether or not it has any historical accuracy.
In my last post we had unpacked the kit, identified all the pieces; completed a dry fit, marked out all the panels when the dry fit was completed, dismantled and commenced priming all the parts for the house.
Step 6 This step is for me (maybe for you but mostly for me) – double check that you have actually marked all your pieces and that you have primed all the parts that you need to. Pay attention to the sides of thicker pieces that will show toward the front of the house when the house is opened.
Step 7 Paint and Paper all the bits that need to be painted and papered.
I had some scrapbooking paper that QBerry had modelled for us in the last post that I was going to be using on the walls, but after looking at them again I thought I wanted to downplay the patterns and go a bit plainer so I could get over the top if I wanted to by decorating with wall art or other items on the walls themselves. When I was out shopping I popped into a local art store and they just happened to have these papers on a table near the entrance. I thought they would be great for the whole shabby chic feel I quite like and also wouldn’t pin me to anything specific just yet.
Step 7 (a) Electrification should take place here!
I have to mention that you would usually have to put in some serious consideration to lighting around this point, everything I read meant people would have to practically know where they wanted outlets and light fittings etc before actually even papering in some cases, as you would want to wire your project first as it is way simpler to do this at this stage than it is at any later point.
The idea of spending a long time
day dreaming ( I mean) planning the house down to where my light sockets would be absolutely paralysed me with terror, you mean I have to stop here and then continue building AFTER I had at least some of this down in stone. This works neither with my need to have some sense of instant gratification during the project to keep me motivated, neither with my tendency to wander off when ever I spy anything shiny in my peripheral vision and not come back to my original path till I am equally tempted back to it. So I am going to light the house with LED tape lighting angled in toward each room from the omnipotent house owner perspective (they don’t call me Q for nothing you know… he he he) rather than have the lighting tied specifically toward functioning lights in the rooms. I think this means I need to wire prior to inserting my ceiling mouldings since the plan would effectively mean a wire along the front of each room (other than the roof) running toward the rear of the house.
Despite just thinking about this, it did delay me touching the house for at least one more day. At this point we are up to 15 days in real life since the dry fit, but I would say we are at 3 days of actual working on the house. There was a big life week in there where nothing happened conceptually or physically on the house.
So… I was talking about painting and papers… Rooms in the house will be downstairs : Kitchen and Lounge; first floor: bathroom and bedroom and attic space will be sewing craft play area which I may or may not divide (undecided as yet) There are Artesania specific add ons to the Europa a guest house and conservatory, but that is pie in the sky now, we want to finish this okay? ok…
I had settled on the bathroom and the lounge being pale blue, the kitchen being pale pink, the bedroom being pale green and the attic space being pale yellow. The instructions say to paper the walls with a mix of 50% white glue and 50% water, I did this at first for the floors and found it to not be as sticky as I anticipated, so I changed half way through to just glue squirted onto the surface and then smoothed over it with a piece of cardboard. In hindsight I should have stuck with (did you see what I just did there?!….) the 50/50 mix since my efforts later were decidely more lumpy. For Little Top I used double sided sticky tape in an attempt to make it easier for the house to be remodelled at some point, so this is not an existing skill in my skillset.
I started getting a bit tired after papering 3 floors and one side of the house and decided that it would probably be a good idea to stop there for the day (Day 4 of working on the house time). This was probably quite a good thing, because when I looked at things with fresh eyes and functioning brain on day 5, I had done it incorrectly. So I had papered the right inside of the house, thinking it was the left inside of the house. meaning the green bedroom had a blue feature wall and the blue lounge had a pink feature wall instead of the walls actually belonging to the kitchen and bathroom as they should have.
I could go back to the art store to find if they had any more of the cardstock I had purchased and sand or unstick the papers on the wall I had stuck them on, but I decided instead to use the rest of the scrapbooking prints I had already purchased and use them to give each room some sort of feature wall or walls, to try to minimise the disruption to my momentum.
In addition to paper and paint, I had decided to attempt a stucco effect on the walls – I have read a few examples of how to achieve this but decided that I would attempt to just use a painters trowel and gesso as the stucco and see how that went. I also had quite a bit of shingles left from Littletop Cottage and decided I would shingle the roof instead of just painting it a flat grey. When I shingled Littletop, I used a roof shaped template and I shingled that and attached it to the house. (again as a nod to anyone who would try to remodel or redecorate in the future). This time I shingled straight on to the roof and was quite happy with the work and had only a few minor burns from my hot glue gun during the process.
The edges I needed to trim shingles I found were quite easily trimmed with what I think is called a razor paint stripper. I bought it Big W which I would guess is the Australian equivalent to Walmart in America, so I think this is something easily obtainable, it has refill blades like a utility knife or box cutter but the blades are wide and flat not angled. Warning: be very careful when using anything sharp or hot or dusty or dangerous and make sure to use protective clothing or equipment and follow the instructions of the item you are using. At one point I realised that I had been shingling one of the dormer window roof pieces from the top edge to the bottom instead of the bottom edge to the top and I stabbed my finger with this stripper (which was also quite good at removing the hot glued shingles from the roof). Later I regretted this oversight even more when I had to squeeze some lemon into the salad I was preparing for dinner and got some in the cut… owie!
At this point I was speeding along and getting quite excited. I also did my grey wash on the shingles, but only took a photo of what it looked like when it was wet so you will have to wait for another post to see what it looks like dried.
and I finally did a test with the
stucco gesso on a couple of pieces of the house. Because I was essentially layering it on quite thick it took about 24 hours to dry, bringing us to 6 days of work on the house.
At this point, some of the house trim has had 2 coats of sky blue applied, but some are still at 1 coat. The front facade of the house has had the stucco applied and dried but the sides of the house have not. (I primed the rear of the house, but will not be adding the effect to that surface). I painted all the edges of the MDF that would be facing the front of the house when the facade is opened white.
Only while I was happily slapping the gesso on the front of the house did I realise that I probably should also have marked the front facade so that I didn’t stucco parts which were not required to be or get in the way of any of the window frames, awnings, door trim or the quoins.
Because the stucco takes so long to dry I wanted to try to construct the house on day 7 and then stucco the side walls once the house was put together. I could delay the facade a while since that does not need to be put on the front of the house for it to be completely constructed anyway. I tried to put the house back together, but like day 1 of the dry fit there were a few loud crashes and I stormed off again. This was yesterday. I am still writing this blog, so the storming off is a temporary glitch and construction will recommence (probably with extra hands helping) soon.
I think that just to put some time between the storming off and the next construction attempt, I will actually gesso the sides of the house, as well as the sides of pieces that require it on the front. And I will also give all the trim their final coats.
In addition I have not yet made a final decision about the whether or not I am painting the window frames blue or just the awnings, If I do I will need to do some plastic priming with the rustoleum, so far the frames are still untouched white plastic.
I’m still here and still building, starting to be much more distracted with thinking about plans for inside the little house, but still here is good for now.
Good Night Wherever you are!