Sunday, July 29, 2012

Re-model part 2

The day before last I smoothed down the plaster walls and painted them a grey color to simulate grout. That way when my grout arrives if for some reason a spot doesn't take well it won't be so noticeable with the grey color their, rather then a bright beige color. Then yesterday I began applying the bricks. I of course started on the hardest part, the front. All of those windows! It took me 4 hours to lay down 10 3/4 rows, but the time is worth it when I look at the result. I haven't smoothed out the quoins but I will do that after I finish bricking the front. I have been starring at the edges, opening and closing the door so I can see if it will possible to wrap the quoins realistically around them. So far I think it will work. I'm thinking I will need to shade the bottom block stone on bottom so that it looks aged like the top. I want to keep those the beige color though so possibly dirty washing over them all after I detail them up a bit with some other beige's.

As promised in my last comment here are some pictures of the inside. It is going to be completely re-furnished and accessorized soon. I order 3 new Chrysolite lights to replace the dining room, parlour and nursery. I am looking at some Ray Storey lights for the bathroom and bedroom. I kind of like my kitchen light, it at least fits the period. However, I have seen some gorgeous more dainty scaled ones that I am fighting against. I never fight too hard so we shall see. I figured since this is the only large scale house I can work on right now, and possibly for a couple years, I am taking my time and will do it right. I will save for the details I want to make it as realistic as possible, which means changing a lot. At least I am happy with the floors, wallpapers and ceilings so all that's needing updating is the furniture and accessories.
 The floor edges will be trimmed off with some really thin strips of wood so as not to impede the closing of the front, but enough to cover the wires and trim it up. Also, that strip in the corner will be secured to the wall and a false little extension added to the side to hide it from view while turning the light switch on still easy.
 I have a nursery furniture kit I will be building and putting in here. Two items on my wish list for here is the Noah's Ark toy set and table from Cynthia Howe's miniatures and a dainty rocking horse.
 I will be keeping the fireplace but I don't know about the furniture. I may find kits to replace them so I can get a proper wood stain color. I also will be adding a stair carpet to these stairs so my mini people don't slip and fall. All of the hardwood floors will be getting another coat of varnish to make them shine.
 Again, I changed the bedroom set from what I had before but of course I'm not 100% happy with it. Maybe I'll change it for a more "hygienic" metal bedstead. : ) You know they are up and coming with the change of the century and all.
 A modern day indoor bathroom.! All the convenience you could need!. The door still needs to be painted and trimmed and the little wall still needs that bottom green border added. Still a ton of details and accessories to add, things for the walls and a mirror of some kind.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Remodel Part 1

I figured I should show a photo of the front of the Gloucester before I start the remodel. The bottom bricks will stay the same but will be grouted.
 This next photo is progress on the bricks. I laid the roll out flat and sponged acrylic terra cotta paint all over then added a redish brick color and just a bit of burnt umber. Then I used a paper cutter into strips 1/4" wide and then cut them approximately 3/4" inches long. I don't know if that is the exact size of a proper brick but it looks right. The bucket with individual bricks is half full. Watching episodes of Little House on the Prairie while I work. It's really theraputic.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A couple hundred done, only a couple thousand more to go...

Well I have some great news regarding my Gloucester. Last weekend I got almost all of my furniture and belongings into storage. Family came together and helped me a lot. While doing it my mom asked me what I was going to do with my Gloucester. I told her it would have to go into storage too since I didn't have a place to put it while we stayed with them. She was worried that it would get ruined in a metal storage unit, in the summer time especially in the Arizona heat, so she rearranged her office and found me a place to display it and work on it while we stay with them. I am on cloud nine right now. I brought it with me and now can continue working on it. The best part was while I was setting it up my mom came in and was oohing and ahhing over it and the accessories I had accumulated for it and then proceeded to take over setting up the kitchen! I loved it! LOL.

As for the title, I decided that the Gloucester needed an update. I wasn't 100% happy with the facade. It didn't seem complete or very realistic to me. So I have been mulling it over and have made the decision to re-do 90% of the exterior. I am leaving the bottom stones and trim but will be grouting the stones. The windows and doors will stay the same except I will be adding some corbels/brackets and toppers to them. There has to be a special name for those but at the moment I can't remember.

The plaster work will be sanded down and I am covering it with red stretcher bricks and re-doing the quoins. I wanted an inexpensive yet realistic looking way to do the bricks and have decided to try the cork shelf liner trick. I have sponged the different colors of paint and have cut them into strips and have started cutting the individual bricks. Surprisingly they look just like little bricks. I am thrilled! The best part is that the liners have 1/2" square gridded paper on the backs so measuring and cutting has been super easy and I have been using  a paper cutter so making straight, even cuts is a breeze. There is adhesive on the backs but I will be adding more to makes sure they don't come up after I start grouting them. I got quite a few of them ready to go but many more are needed. I calculated out that I should get approximately 5,100 bricks from one roll. Not sure how many I will need total though. I purchased the first roll from Home Depot and was a little worried that the texture was too big and I wasn't happy with it, but I found the Duck brand at Walmart that was perfect. I think I will use the coarser one for the Quoins and the Duck ones for the stretcher bricks. I am thinking I will need to purchase one more roll from Walmart to have enough to cover everything, unless I cut some of the coarser one and mix them all together. That may give it a more realistic appearance in the end. Any thoughts?

As for the roof I will be touching up the shingles that are already installed, I can see some spots that I missed that look white. Then I STILL have to finish the chimneys, install them and shingle the back roof. The corner covers on the roof I used I am thinking of removing and using something to make the individual caps with. Having them match the colors I used on the roof will be the problem. I saw some curved caps made from a type of card online, but I don't know how that would take to stains or paint. I may try a from scratch way and see how that goes.

The inside still has a bit of work to go. I would like to re-polyurethane the wood floors, re-color the kitchen "flag stone" and grout that. Also, the nursery door needs the rest of the trim installed. The bathroom needs the tiny baseboards put down, the small wall by the bathroom door needs the paneling finished and I have to paint and install the door and it's trim. Otherwise I think I will leave the interior alone and focus on the furnishings and accessories. The house has finally settled on a time period. Turn of the century, around 1902, since I have a reproduction Sears and Roebuck Magazine from that year. I was debating on changing out the lights now but I have had such a bugger of a time with them that I think I should leave well enough alone. The kitchen and parlour fit the time, the dining room is iffy but the nursery, master bedroom and bathroom don't, I don't think anyways. I ordered a hob grate for the fireplace and am excited to see that in place once it arrives. Sorry I don't have any pictures unless you'd like one of painted fingers and lot of unfinished bricks. Off to bed I go, tomorrow comes fast and I have lots to do.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Changes everywhere!

Wow! It has been months since my last post and so much has happened and changed since then, including Blogger it seems. A quick re-cap. Surgery and healing has gone wonderfully. In physical therapy right now to get my foot to not hurt when I walk, taking longer then I thought. They said I had RSD but were surprised since my surgery was in February and it wasn't that long ago but when I told them I had had the tumor since 2008 at least and have always walked "funny" they said it made sense. So that's going good.
However, on a home front note after much consideration we will be living with family for awhile while we work on getting a new home. Sadly this means everything we own will be going into storage, except clothing and our bed. This also means no more large scale minis. All the unopened kits are being safely stored away for our new home. I have to leave the Arthur for last to make sure I have the room to store it. I have been keeping all of my small scale kits with me and fortunately will be able to work on those to keep me from going completely stir-crazy. I need an outlet or I stress and get snappy.
I have been making minimal progress on any crafts at the moment, working full time, with two kids and trying to go through a house of stuff. How can a small family like ours have so much stuff?! It's insane! I have come to realize I am huge pack rat. And on that note I have been considering treating myself to another detailed quarter scale house to work on later heehee. That's the great thing about 1/4scale and 1/144 scale dollhouses, they take up so little space and are easy to store away. I am looking at a few kits, the Tea Rose Too and the Avalon dollhouse. Not sure which I will get if either but I have a small bonus coming from work and I think I have been under quite a bit of stress lately I deserve a mini treat.
I found a new blog I am reading I had to start from the beginning I love her work! What an inspiration, it really makes me want to finish my UFO's. I did decide to start the landscaping of the Pickett Hill. I have the base painted, the flower beds are cut out and glued in place and the "shell" path is laid. I snag a few minutes here and there to glue something or paint something small, it's not much but it works. Besides always thinking of or working on minis I am stitching a Headless Horseman Sampler as a gift. I had bought the pattern and supplies awhile ago and had started it and set it aside but I dragged it out a couple months ago to finish and I have gotten quite a bit done on it. Well, there's not much to report or show at the moment. Now that I have my laptop with me I hopefully will be posting more often with pictures to prove I haven't been slacking. Till next time.