Saturday, 26 September 2015

Just another brick in the wall.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon practising how to make the brickwork.   I had three pieces of wood,  so alls I had to do was follow instructions.  On the first piece I forgot to cover it in PVA glue, so the filler didn't stick very well, got it right on the second piece,  PVA, then filler.. on the 3rd piece I tried the molding past.  All were left to dry.  First piece (no PVA), well it worked but it was coming off the wood; second piece (see pic),  much better,  stuck nicely to wood and easy to work. The modelling paste didn't work, it was too soft.   But it was a relief to know I could do it, and that it wasn't as hard as I feared it would be. 

So today I mixed up a batch of filler.  It shouldn't be too wet,  and have a ricotta consistency.  I spread it on two sides of the house, plus the front, about a millimetre thick.  Then it was left to dry while I gave the windows and other bits another coat of paint.   And had another practise,  I used my pokey tool,  you also need a paint brush to remove the dust.  The lines didn't have to be straight,  and it didn't matter if bits fell off, this is an 'old' cottage.   Just need to sort out what colours to use.

The front was dry first, so with a slightly shaky hand I started.   I then realised that if I made a mistake all I had to do was use a bit of water to smooth the filler.  I sanded the surface first,  then got going.  It is important not to go too close to the window edges.  I'd drawn round them so I had some idea of how much space to leave.  When it was all dry I tidied up the window spaces and tried the windows to see if they fitted, yep, slotted in nicely.  I put a little filler round them.

Just need to tidy up round the window a bit more.   But it was looking okay.  I can go over it all again tomorrow,  not sure if I had left it long enough, it was still soft underneath.  But I am pleased with the result, once painted it will look okay.  

I also have to put some filler on the roof.  It needs to look a bit wonky, or undulating as it says in the instructions. 

I just got some cheap filler,  £1.50!  You don't need the posh stuff.  The tricky part was getting the consistency right,  not making it too wet.  I added the water gradually,  just till it spread a little more easily onto the walls. 

I used a knife,  it was just easier than the palette knife, or the plastic spreader.   The paint will pick out the tatty nature of the bricks.   It has been very fiddly painting the windows for the cottage, they are smaller than those on Teacup Cottage.  

And the prize for the most awkward sleeping position goes to - Harvey.  He was completely zonked,  head buried in the blanket, snoring...   He's in fusspot mode at the moment, doesn't like any of his food.  He was like this yesterday,  kept on howling,  and mooching around my legs, till I shouted at him and pointed to the kitchen.  He then sloped off in the direction of the kitchen and ate his food!  It was so funny.   In a day or so he'll be back to his usual self, eating anything that gets put in front of him.  

He was also after my dinner last night!   I bought one of those frozen meals, a roast beef dinner.  Well nothing ventured...   but for £2 it was delicious.   But Harvey could clearly smell the meat.  No, he didn't get any,  I've never fed any cat from my plate,  it is a bad habit.   I'll sometimes leave some meat for him, but I put it in his bowl.   I don't want him to get the idea that he can scrounge from me. 

A nothing day in terms of going anywhere,  back has been really sore these last few days.  I have been told that I have a curve in my spine,  and not were it is supposed to be.  This means I'm prone to sciatica,  and boy do I know it.   Even just getting out of the car can do it.   I also wanted to get an early start on the cottage so that the filler would be dry. 

Well all for now,  I should finish the back of the cottage tomorrow, still have one more side to cover with filler.   It is the fiddly side with the windows.   Hope you're all enjoying this last bit of summer!

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