Friday, 30 October 2015

Ye Christmas Shoppe is almost done...

Hi all.  I was busy yesterday, working on the shop.  It was a very mucky afternoon,  lots of grungy stuff going on, mostly on me!   There was sand, glue, mod podge, PVA... paint,  at one point I nearly dipped my paint brush into my tea!

Gluing the wooden panels onto the walls was a bit fiddly,  needed to hold it down until the glue had 'grabbed'.  All the edges had to be painted,  the dark wood means it sometimes takes a few coats.  

By the time I had glued on the wooden panels it was getting dark,  and I was feeling rather peckish.  So it was time to tidy up and leave the shop to dry completely overnight. 

Today it was time to check everything had stuck, and to touch up any areas that I'd missed.  Next task was to glue the front of the shop together, after I'd created some 'cobblestones' on the pavement.   To do that I used blobs of some tacky glue following the pattern on the pavement, then covering it in sand,  this was repeated twice more.  Once that was dry,  I could start putting the front of the shop together. 

Next,  I glued the roof supports to the roof.   Finally I measured then cut the roof tiles.   Tiling and painting the roof is a job for tomorrow. 

Another view, and you can now see the door properly.  I popped up to Hobbycraft to get some tacky glue, felt and blade for my paper cutter.  I was also looking for a very small Christmas tree,  didn't find one :-(    But I did buy a small plywood disc,  which I felt would be perfect as a base for the shop.   It was only 80p,  can't complain at that, and there is no way I could have cut a circle. 

I want to create a snowy scene,  got my flowersoft snow ready,  will have to source a Christmas tree from somewhere.  Hoping that I'll find something suitable among all the ornaments that are starting to fill the supermarkets and shop shelves.   There'll be snow on the shop as well, and the pavement. 

My other reason for going to the retail park was to get something nice for my dinner from M&S, and to have a nosy at their Xmas decs.  They only had a small display,  no doubt by next week it will be twice as big.  I did see something suitable, but it was inside a snow globe!   And just what is it with people and food halls, especially those that aren't very big?   As usual there were the dozy types, and the idiots who were chatting to their friends and blocking the entire aisle!  There was one woman who seemed oblivious to everyone trying to get passed her, twice I said 'excuse me' and twice she ignored me to carry on chatting to her friend.    And don't get me started on the dozy customers at the checkout,  who seem to think they have all the time in the world to pack their bags, then fish round for their purse, and who don't move their trolley out of the way.    I did get my 'meal',   roast beef, roasties all in a yorkshire pud, with gravy...  loverly!   That's for tomorrow, tonight it was chicken chow mein,  followed by a cream slice,  and Harvey got some cream :-)   Against my better judgement he has gone out,  well he was howling - loudly.   It seems quiet out there,  I hope it remains that way.    Our take on mischief night was to turn a few gates round the wrong way, or knock on doors and run away, we never damaged anything.  And there was no such thing as trick or treat,  we had bob apple, and other daft games inside our own homes. 

Well that is all for tonight,  stay safe this weekend, enjoy Hallowe'en, and watch out for low flying witches... ;-)   

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Grunge is the word!

Oh flip a doodle!   The shower decided to conk out today...  just wondering if it is a fuse?   Could it be that simple - is the world flat? 

So I had a bath, nowt wrong with that but it's easier to wash your hair if you shower.  Hey ho...  then I got really messy,  sand, PVA glue, paint, all were involved, oh and some molding paste.  Proper messy it was,  nice and gungy, and you can see by the rear wall of the shop.  That was caused by a mix of sand, glue and paint.

As you can see it is coming along nicely.  In terms of being distressed that is.   I wasn't sure what to use for the distressing, or what colour.   I'd forgotten that the kit had come with some sand.   I plonked on some molding paste on the rear wall, it has no decoration,  then for the side walls I dabbed on some raw umber first.  Next I used the 'frames' and dabbed some PVA glue on to the walls,  and covered it with the sand.   When it was dry I used a paint combo of raw umber, sienna and black, oh and a bit of cream, to make it look weather beaten.   It still needs a bit more work, but it is taking shape nicely. 

While bits were drying I glued the front window and door frame into place.   The front had also had a coat of raw umber, just roughty dabbed on, with a bit of sand thrown over it.  

You can see one of the frames ,  I've begun the process of distressing it.  There are four, no, five more frames to paint and glue into place.  The pedestal also needs some cobblestones,   there are instructions on how to achieve the look, and some helpful marks to use as a guide. 

I also glued together the top section,  which is still looking far too pristine, however that will be corrected in a few days and it will look suitably grungy.

Just wish the shower could be so easily fixed.   Stuff happens,  just so annoying when it does.   Finally managed to start photographing my stamps,  no idea how I managed to acquire so many.   I am pleased to say that all have been used,  of course I had my favourites.  Loved my postcard stamp,  it was great for backgrounds,  and all my Indigo Blu stamps,  got quite a colletction.    Not quite as many Clarity stamps as I thought I had,    I loved them but couldn't afford them, ain't that the way?     I did like the handles,  made life much easier when stamping.

Harvey is on the plod. This is what he does every evening, around 6.30 he goes out,  then he is in an out all evening.  He's usually very chatty when it comes in,  no idea what he is telling me,  cat gossip I presume.   He's pretty good at coming in when called,  if not the solution is simple, I shut the door!  He is soon howling to be let back in.  He is such a wimp at times.  

Did I mention I found my winter curtains?    Phil, my neighbour has offered to put them up for me.  Nice to have good neighbours,  it makes such a difference.  

Well that is all for tonight, best go write up my diary.   Should be back with my grungy news tomorrow.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

New day, new project...

Yes, a new building...    it arrived just as I was making some lunch.  So,  whilst munching on my ham roll,  I inspected the goodies inside the envelope.   As usual I checked that all the pieces were present and correct, yep.   It is also a good way to familiarise yourself with each piece,  and which is which. 

Next task was to tidy up the craft desk.   And put the Cottage Stores to one side, it is awaiting a new base.   Let's just say that things didn't go according to plan yesterday with the base.  I wasn't feeling great, which didn't help, but just felt it was better to stop and start over with the base than plough on.

I am feeling much better today,  I managed to get a little more sleep last night.  

So back to my new project.  After prepping the pieces,  painting,  and papering,  they were all given some drying time while I watched Doctors, and enjoyed a cuppa.  Then the walls all got another coat of paint,  and the floor was covered in a couple of coats of glossy mod podge.  Then it was time to glue them together.   The front has to be made separately from the main piece,   so those pieces were carefully put to one side.  

With this all glued together,  I left it to dry, used some masking tape to hold it in place.  Then I turned my attention to the window and door.

I've still not said what this new project is...  all will be revealed shortly!    This is the window, now painted, glued and glazed. Beside it is the door frame,  yep, a little unusual.   I did mean to include the door in this photo,  oh well...

And that was as far as I got as it was getting too dark to work.   I've got the daylight lamp but for some reason I just can't get on with it,  I'd much rather work in natural daylight.

 And this is what the new project is - The Christmas Shop.  As you can see I've got a lot of work to do.  The shop window needs to be aged, as does the door.   I've got some glitter for the snow!   It reminds me of some of the shops in Chester,   although they don't look quite so distessed as this.  Need to get my thinking cap on about what to do for the base,  it needs to be very festive. 

It has been a much better day today, the last couple of days have been rubbish.   Yesterday everything was taking a huge effort.  I'd started to revamp the base for the Cottage stores, using the filler.  I felt that I could cut into the filler to make the cobblestones, and I probably could have if my hands had let me.   I managed a row, but it was just too painful to carry on.     So will have to use the air dried clay,  and need more mod podge.   And loo rolls...  can't beleive that I went to the supermarket with a list, top of it was loo rolls, and what did I forget to buy - yep, the loo rolls!    

Well all for tonight,   Harvey needs his supper, he's being a right hungry horace at the moment.  Take care until tomorrow.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Just one of those days... !

You just know when it is going to go wrong - and so it did!  I felt yesterday that things were progressing nicely with the cottage stores. But today I changed my mind,  I didn't like the cobblestones,  they didn't look right, nor the pavement, the flag stones were too big.  I painted the roof tiles, at least they look right, and spot the drain pipe... !

I cut the base down, and sanded back the cobblestones.   I took off the pavement,  then I filled in the cobble stones.  And used more filler to make a fresh pavement.  

I'm blaming the messing about with the clocks,  I sort of forgot... so when I woke up and saw it was 8 a.m. I considered getting up, then I remembered the clocks...  so made some tea and toast, then went back to sleep for another hour.  

I turned my attention back to Thimble Cottage, put more foliage on the trees.  One still needs a little more,  just on top!   I gave the bird house a second coat of paint,  then sorted out where to put it, the bench and the wonky fence. 

The fence was the easy bit, but I needed to find a level bit for the bench and birdhouse.   Finally after a bit of messing about I settled on the bench being near the bank, and the birdhouse closer to the house.  All were glued into place. 

This gives a better view of the bench, birdhouse and trees.   I also put the other birdhouse together. 

But just not a good day,  even Harvey was in a funny mood.  I felt it necessary to cheer myself up, so...  I went and bought the Christmas Shop from Petite Properties!  Oops..   well I have sold some of my stash so the cost was covered.  I felt like a real challenge,  and think that the next shop will be just that.    It also occured to me that I could put the two shops on one base...   I'll see how the cottage store base looks tomorrow and if it can be rescued. 

Think it has been one of those days,  but it has felt like a battle all day.  The morning was okay, I even didn't mind (well not too much) tackling the ironing.  Harvey had gobbled up all his food,  he did pull a face when I suggested he clear his plate... he did, eventually :-)     It was after lunch that things started to go down hill, when I looked at the base,  the cobblestones didn't look right, I painted them in the hope that they might improve - they didn't!   I'd got them wrong,  which is why I decided to put some filler over them and start over.    At least the cheese toasty was delicious.

All for tonight... time for a glass of red wine... 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Been a busy bee!

I've had a busy couple of days working on the Cottage Stores.  

Yesterday I measured out a base,   then decided where the shop would sit.  After that I could draw guidelines for the road and side pavements.    And then figure out what materials to use for both, clay, filler or wood?   All have their plus points and drawbacks,  filler takes time to dry, and then you need to get the mix right. Air dried clay is easier, but has to be rolled out... wood... 

Which is why I turned my attention to the roof.  I chose to make my own tiles.  This meant cutting a lot of strips of good quality paper, 1cm wide,  and then marking 0.5 cm segments, then using the tweezer scissors, making cuts part way up.  Very time consuming,  VERY time consuming!   Nearly drove me mad, far more fiddly than for a full size dolls house. But I did persevere, and as you can see, it paid off.   It did take me all afternoon to complete the rear and side rooves.  The small roof was giving me a few problems, it kept sliding out of position, so I cut a small piece of wood and used that to act as a stabiliser. 

Now here it is neatly held in place, and painted.  The chimney pot was finished off and glued on.  All the sandpaper has been given another coat of paint, and now it needs to be weathered.    I also glued on the wood trim at the front of the shop. 

Then I moved back to the base,  I'd decided to make the road from the clay.   I rolled out a large chunk of clay to fit the base,  and put a good layer of PVA on the base before laying the clay onto it.  Next task was to mark out the cobblestones,  then to leave the clay for an hour or so to partly dry.  I cut two pieces of balsa wood to act as pavements either side of the shop.  I'm kind of experimenting with different types of material to see what works best.   The balsa is a soft wood, so I was able to carve in the paving stones,  first using a pencil, then a pokey tool.

I worked on the cobblestones, trying to make them look more reaslistic.  Then it was left to dry thoroughly.   The paving stones were finished, they need to be trimmed, glued and painted. 

I cut out the Cottage Stores sign, I felt it would be better to leave some white around the sign to have it stand out.  It was glued on with PVA and given a coat of the same glue over the top. 

A busy time today, and yesterday, yet also satisfying.  I'm now glad I made my own tiles,  it proved to me that I can.   I know I need to use a good quality paper or a thin piece of card,  anything too thick doesn't work.    I'm also learning about paint,  I was making the mistake of adding too much water to the paint, so it was making the window frames too soggy.  This time around I just wet the brush, and I got a much better result.  It also helps to have a variety of brushes,  thin ones, and the stippling brushes are exceptionally useful. 

Tomorrow, more painting!   The road, pavements and the roof.   This has been a quick project,  never expected it to be,   but I didn't use the sand and PVA for the render, which would have taken time to dry.  I'm happy with the sandpaper effect,   I guess if I wanted wonky walls then some sand, or fine ballast with filler would work well. 

Here is the villain of the piece.  We both had a very long lie in this morning,  it was 10 a.m. before I got up, he took even longer to remove himself from my bed.   He was disgusted to discover that it was not only raining, but also windy, not a good combo for a cat, they hate both in equal measure.   He just about managed to step beyond the front door, but not for very long.    Then he snoozed for the rest of the day,  before finally rousing himself to move from the bed to his bed, which is situated right by the radiator!    More snoozing, until his tummy began rumbling.  Looks like butter wouldn't melt...   He's now curled up on my bed, his tummy is full,  he's had some fresh air and he's content.   Well at least one of us is. 

All for today... 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

I have a shop!

This looks a bit boring.  It is a pavement,   and it will sit outside the Cottage Stores.   I first covered the base with PVA, to seal it, then rolled out some air dried clay,  removed it, put on another layer of PVA glue, put the clay back on, pressed it down. Checked that the shop front would fit snugly, then left it to dry in the sunshine.   Yes, we did have some sun today after a very grey and soggy start. 

So while the clay was drying I got on with some painting.  I'd already covered the exterior walls with sandpaper.  They all got a couple of coats of white paint.  I had a cuppa and watched Doctors (very sad today),  while it all dried. 

Next task was to make a chimney.  Measured some balsa,  I used the chimney from Teapot Cottage as a template.  I didn't have a piece long enough, so had to use two pieces.  Once I was happy with the dimensions then I covered it in the sandpaper, and plonked my heavy dictionary on it to help it stick. 

Next...  give Harvey his treat and a cuddle...  very important,  he has to have his afternoon treat!

Checked on pavement, it was dry.  I'd fixed the shop window in place, and the door.   They'd all been painted yesterday.  I glued the other windows and sills into place as well. 

Next I painted the pavement,  mixed some white with black,  just roughly and dabbed it on.  I had to use my very small brush for the joins,  also took the paint over the edge.  I added a small step to the inside of the door, and it was set aside to dry.  It was time for another cuppa.  Tea is an essential part of crafting!

Looking good!  The chimney needs to be trimmed, then the roof will fit properly.  The small roof needed a strip of wood to stop it slipping off, that was added. It also has a plinth that will run along the front. 

With each house building project I acquire a little more skill, and some patience.  Tuesday I did a dry run, checked all the pieces were there.  Then I glued the carcass together.  Yesterday I focused on the windows and door,  painting them,  letting them dry thoroughly before carefully adding the glazing.   Then it was all left to dry overnight.  I also planned the pavement,  deciding whether to use filler or the clay.

 Today I covered it all in the sandpaper.  I did consider using sand for the rendering.  However it has been raining, so the sand on the beach is very wet!  I did try the small gravel, but it was a little too big,  I'd need something finer like sand.  Will have to pay a visit to our beach and get some.  So I opted for the sandpaper,  which works just as well,  and is probably less messy. 

Now to decide whether to have a go at making my own tiles or buy them?   I fancy having a go,  which I may regret.   Next task is to make the base,  it will have cobblestones.  More air dried clay,  and I may carry the pavement on round the shop.   The rear part of the roof needs to be glued in place. 

Now I can tell you what else I've been working on - Stoptober.  I'd already bought an ecig, but had never really got the hang of it.  Anyway I went to our shopping centre,  there is an ecig shop and I asked if anyone could show me how to use the ecig properly.  I was in luck, after a quick lesson I realised that I'd not been using the ecig properly.   So at the start of October I decided to try to quit smoking,  I didn't quit the smokes right away, kept an emergency pack for a couple of weeks until I felt ready to go cold turkey, well use the ecig instead of cigarettes.  Then I did it, stopped the ciggies,  I added up what smoking was costing me each month and wrote it on my white board in the kitchen. So if I have any wobbles I just go look at that.  I've had a few, but not many,  the ecig is my new habit, some may not agree but I don't care, the liquid has no chemicals and I will admit that with my anxiety I do need a prop.    

I'm also sellling my stash,  I've now cleaned them up, and sorted them out.  Now I need to start photographing them.  The dies, masks and embossing folders are all photo'd,  sold a few already :-)   The next major task is to sort out the black hole, also known as the cloakroom...  and to find my winter curtains. 

Back tomorrow with a progress report.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Open all hours...

A couple of additions to Thimble Cottage, a bench and a hen house.  They came today,   my work with the tweezers is definitely improving.  The Hen house was particularly fiddly,  and still needs a few bits added, and painting. 

And there is a couple of other things as well, one item that was more fiddly than anything I've ever put together.   You can actually spot it in this photo, it fell over when I moved the base... a bird house!   And I have another to put together. 

I think I may buy another of the benches,  it has the right look for the cottages.   I am blown away by the detail that has gone into these kits,  the hen house has a perch,  the tiny door does actually open, the small hole is shaped like a  heart.  The bird house is equally detailed. 

Here is the new project: The Cottage Stores. It was reluctant to be glued together,  but I got there with some help from a bit of masking tape. 

In between coats of paint I made the hen house, bird house and bench.   While Harvey snoozed away the afternoon.   He seems to be learning the advantage of having a full tummy, it means he is able to sleep better.   He was the usual lazy bones this morning,  having an extra lie in.   Finally he forced himself to wake up,  went out for a while, came back and scoffed nearly a whole packet of food.   Then it was my turns to be the lazy bones,  taking an age to get dressed, though I did sort out a few stamp sets. 

Another angle of the Cottage Stores, showing the entrance to the shop. Not sure what type of store it will be yet,  maybe a bit of everything?   This one will definitely need shop fittings as it has a large shop window. 

The inside is plain cream,  used some paper on the floor and gave it a couple of coats of glossy mod podge.  There are instructions for the exterior decoration,  using sand and PVA to get a rendered effect.  I used sandpaper last time, but this time I was thinking of using the fine gravel?  Or just going with the modelling paste to give a thin coat of render.   Decisions to make!  

Let's end with the bird house,  it was in separate pieces, all of it!   The trickiest part was the house,  and getting it in the right place on the stand. Nearly drove me to distraction. 

Just needs some paint now,  probably white, well off white.  Needs to show its age. 

The cottage stores will need a different type of base, so far they've all been rustic.  This one will have to have a pavement and a bit of a road.  I checked out how to make a cobble stone road over the weekend, that would be in keeping with the era I'm going for, late 50s, very early 60s.  I'm horrified to admit but I do remember some of the streets having cobble stones!  They were murder to walk on, worse to try and cycle on,   they're all still there under the layers of tarmac.  The York stone has long gone, some of it was pinched, most was taken up by the council before it got stolen.   We had a nice set of York stones outside our house,  made for a great hopscotch area.   That reminds me, I need to attempt to make some York stones for outside the shop. 

I did manage to sort out some of my stamps,  then I found another box...  :-(   The majority are in sets,  thank goodness.  I did once have a huge sort out,  tidied them all up,  put them back in their sets.  I just hadn't realised how many I'd acquired over the years.   Same with the dies,  in fact I found one that had dropped off one of the magnetic sheets, so will have to send it on to the buyer.  Then there is all the paper and card...  enough to paper the entire flat and then some.   I also found some tacky glue, and more wire.   Plus the rub and buff stuff,   will hang on to that. 

Tomorrow need to consider the exterior of the shop,  some of it will need to be done before being glued together.  Also have to find out where I put the winter curtains,  or rather in which storage box!  I know they need washing,  as do the cushion covers.  This housework lark is never ending. 

Right off to round up Harvey...  

Sunday, 18 October 2015

A bit of this and a bit of that...

More landscaping!  I had a good look at the base for the Shepherd's Hut and found a few gaps.  So they were filled,  gravel was weathered accordingly.   Added a bit more gravel round the stile.  Then worked on the second tree,  I'd added a lot of underneath foliage yesterday,  so it was a question of building it up today.  It may need a few more bits added,  but I did fix it into place.  Also picked up a trick from Youtube, hairspray... good for fixing stuff.  

And with Hut in place.  It really has come a long way in a week.  A friend remarked that it would make a good craft room,  I think she may have a point.  It would certainly be cosy with the stove, and I guess if you ripped out the bed, replaced it with a large desk, added a few shelves, some power points, and you'd have a very nice craft room.  

Meanwhile, down the lane, just a short walk from the fields,  is Thimble Cottage.   It has also had more finishing touches.  Still working on that second tree,  it will take a few more days to build it up properly.   I also put in the wonky fence wot I made.   And after a good look round also found a few gaps that needed filling.  

I put more gravel on the base,  once it is fully dry it will be weathered to blend in with everything else.    

A better look at the half done tree,  as you can see it needs a lot more foliage added to it.  The fence looks okay,  and once the gravel has been weathered it will blend in with the cottage.   I need to order the bird house, and the garden seat,  they'll make excellent additions to this rustic scene.

When the tree is finished the cottage will be fixed into place.  

 And this is what started it all - Teacup Cottage. I'm still fiddling with it,  just adding more bushes here and there.  I am also experimenting with a hedge.  I cut a piece of balsa to size, rounded off the top,  painted it green, sealed it with PVA, then began adding the foliage.  I found it best to add a little, then wait for that part to dry before moving on.   I think this also needs a bird house, and a bench, and definitely that washing line I've been threatening to put in for weeks. 

My next project is already lined up, and will be ordered tomorrow.  All will be revealed soon.  But I have been looking up how to make pavements and cobblestones, they should give some clues as to what I will be building this week. 

More grey weather,  so depressing, the sun did threaten to break through this morning, then it gave up the fight.   I tackled the ironing,  not my favourite task, but the pile was not as large as I had believed.   Harvey had his now customary lie in,  next thing he'll be gobbling up his food.  No chance of that,  he was being picky today,  one dish got scoffed,  the next was ignored aside from a few nibbles, and he's undecided about his dinner.

Sad day with the rugby, all the home nations losing.  What is so refreshing is that there is no cheating, they respect the referee,  no rolling around in pretend agony,  and if they try it the ref tells them to stop playacting.   Oh and the fans are mixed together,   unlike football which has been ruined by the prima donnas and all the cheating.  

Sold some of my stash,  next task is to sort out my stamps.  They're not too untidy,  I have just about managed to keep them all together.   What has been surprising is how much stuff I've acquired over the years.   Some were pure impulse buys,  and one or more items have never been used.  That is us crafters,  we all too often get carried away in craft shops, especially at the beginning.  I'll be keeping my ink pads, they're great for distressing stuff,  not so sure about the embossing powders.  Need to offload a cuttlebug as well, that was a bad buy on my part, a month later I bought the grand calibur.

Right I am in need of a cup of tea, and must persuade Harvey to come inside.    A new week ahead, hope it proves to be enjoyable for all.  Thanks for stopping by. 


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Making progress

It's Thimble Cottage to start: it now has one and a bit trees,  a small bush and some gravel round the house.  

I've grassed the area around the second tree, and have begun putting on the foliage.  This is going to take a while as it is a large tree.  I added more gravel round the front of the cottage,  but it will be 'grubbied' up tomorrow.   The other tree still needs some underneath foliage to cover the netting.  

The Shepherd's Hut also now has a tree.  Yesterday when I went to Hobbycraft I picked up a pack of bush stuff that goes 'underneath' the actual bush.   It makes a great base for the rest of the foliage.  

I've glued the stile into place,  and added a small bush.  The rocks got a bit more weathering and the gravel.   I had a look in Tesco for some sheep, you'd think they'd have a set of farm animals, but nope, not a one,  well not any that looked like real animals.

A much better photo I think you'd agree? 

I'd spent part of the afternoon photographing some of my stash,  it is up for sale.  Just letting the members of a craft group I belong to have first dibs, then it will begin appearing on Ebay.

I was amazed at how many dies I had, and I've not found all of them!  The next task is to clean up all the stamps, well more like give them a freshen up.  I've taken good care of them.   I washed all the masks this morning,  again I had no idea that I'd acquired so many.  
Of course there is a mountain of paper and card.  Some of it I can still use,  but I really don't fany selling it on Ebay, may use Freecycle and see if I can find some craft groups locally.  

Someone asked me if I was sure I wanted to sell the stash, and the answer is yes.  I've not touched any of it for months.   It is just sitting here, taking up space and gathering dust.  So others may as well make use of it.   Plus it will be nice to have a little extra money.   There will be other stuff making its way onto freecycle,  need to declutter, it would be nice to actually get into the cloakroom.

Well it was grim weatherwise, a very grey day.   No lie in today, well not for me,  Harvey carried on snoozing for another hour after I'd got up, he's turning into a right lazy bones.   Then for me it was a trip to the supermarket, while he snoozed on!   Not seen the supermarket so busy,  all the checkouts were open, and it is a very big Tesco store.   Of course when I arrived home there is Harvey, saying 'hello' then doing his cute act.   He'd already stuffed himself with almost a full packet of Felix for breakfast, so he had to make do with a treat,   later I gave him some cream from my eclair. 

So tomorrow it is more landscaping,  want to see if I can make a hedge as well.  Oh there is a pile of ironing...   yuck.  Any volunteers? 

All for now... 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Almost there!

With the hut complete it was time to turn my attention to the base.  The first thing to consider was where everything would go.   I tried a few different arrangements and decided on this configuration. 

I used a small piece of balsa to raise up the ground a little.  First I covered the base with PVA glue, let that dry,  then covered the whole thing with molding paste.   Then I put on the fences and rocks,  using the paste to fix everything in place.  Then it was left to dry overnight.

Today it was time to start adding all the foliage.  I put on a thin coat of the molding paste over the fences,  when that was dry it got a liberal coat of PVA glue.  Finally the foliage was added,  yep, fingers covered in shrubbery,  oh and gravel...  guess it makes a change from glitter! 

I put some grass round the rocks as well, and some gravel.  Then it was a case of keeping going until it was all covered. 

And then it looked like this.  I scattered some of the flower soft over the hedges. It needs a bit more grass and gravel in places,  plus the gravel needs painting.  

I've started to make some trees,  they'll add more interest.  But it definitely needs some sheep!   Guess I'll have to scour the charity shops.

Here it is with the hut in place,  to think that a few days ago it was all plain,  now it has come to life.  Think I'm most chuffed with the hut, and that I added a few bits of my own.

I did go to Hobbycraft to get more landscaping material, and some wire to make trees.  I was almost tempted by the water kit,  it makes a small pond.   Maybe next time?

Not a bad day,  woke up late,  I blame the central heating and Harvey, he is usually my alarm clock, but it seems he doesn't want to get up early these days, or face the cold mornings.  He was curled up beside me,  purring very loudly.   In fact it took him another half an hour to get up,  he then polished off a full dish of food and then ventured out.    Of course now he's turning his nose up at his food, or he was before his girlfriend tried nabbing it, then he changed his mind.   I was chatting with a friend about Harvey,  she recently bought a budgie,  and we both discovered that what we wanted from our chosen pets was not what we ended up with.  I wanted a female cat,  not too old,  a house cat, quiet and loving, what did I get - Harvey,  awkward, a male and full of life!  My friend's budgie is also in the awkward category,   he doesn't like flying...  yes,  go figure, a bird that doesn't like flying!   She opens his cage door,  teases him out and then he sits on the cage,  occasionally he has a go at the flying stuff but usually crash lands. 

Well I have a weekend of tree making, and more landscaping ahead of me.  Not that I am complaining.  I've picked out my next project,  a shop.   Well the other thing I am working on is going well,  nope, still can't say what it is, not till the end of the month. 

I hope whatever you choose to do this weekend goes well,  that it brings a smile to your face and some happiness into your life.  All for now.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

It has a roof, walls and wheels, my Hut is ready!

We have a roof,  it is made from the cardboard back of a sketchpad.  A bit of upcycling, or is that recycling?   I never know the difference.

The roof still needs a bit of weathering, so far it's had a light coat of burnt umber.   Now it needs a bit of moss,  and darkening here and there.

The roof was the last thing I did this afternoon, before that...

I painted the hut. Or should that be I dabbed paint all over it!   Well it was the best way of covering it,  so it was a mix of black, grey,  umber, olive green...   just dabbed on.  I actually like the effect now,  just need to put back in the lines to denote the planks... or maybe not.  Something I am considering.    But it is looking the part now, a well worn shepherd's hut, stuck in a field. 

And here is my stile.  Still to be painted,  but chuffed with it.  These small pieces are fiddly to put together, a real test of patience, and trying to find tiny bits to prop stuff up so it sets in the right place.   I think my patience has grown since tackling these miniature houses,  there is no fast route, it all takes time.  

The walls will be covered, as will the base.  Soon there will be grass, trees, bushes, grass...  That is the fun part, well for me, and I suspect many others. 

A quiet day today,  just stayed in the flat, well until I was very low on tea bags!  How did that happen, I am a tea freak, how could I possibly let such a situation arise?    So fortunate that I have a very good corner shop, which is often cheaper than the supermarkets.    So a shortish walk, for fit people, a slow  hobble for me, to the corner shop, so I did get some fresh air, cold fresh air.  A definite nip out there today,   Harvey was snuggled up in his radiator bed,  not sure why as the heating wasn't on.  

A busy day tomorrow,  and need to stock up on filler...    you'll find out why soon!   Take care, and thanks for stopping by :-)

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Wheels on fire... course not!

I could set a question: what is this?   It could be a trellis, or a window,  in fact it is the underneath of the hut.  I covered it in the lovely decoart paint,  love the stuff, water based so no chance of it staining things, no ruined brushes.  Plus great coverage.  

And wheels, plus axles - ever seen anything so tiny?    It is a good job I have some very tiny brushes,  and pointy tweezers. 

 And the hut, now on its very plain looking base.  The little stove is now in place,  the pipe sticks through the roof. 

The windows are all done, glazed, framed - the works.   The shepherd will be nice and cosy inside.  I've glued the fences together, although they may end up as hedges, still not decided what to do.  The space between them is decided, the stile has to go between them.  Then it has to look like it is in a field of sheep!

Yep, we now have wheels, and steps, no roof!  Need to put on some very small pieces of wood,  I very carefully cut some strips off a piece of balsa.  It's to give it a rustic feel,  same with the outside, drew some lines to give the look of planks using one off my fine liners.  Now I need to mix up a dark wood colour,  with moss. 

I popped along to a few other blogs today, and one :  was all about Positivity, something I struggle with.   I do my best,  but sometimes the glass does look half empty.   Though I don't think that is always a bad thing,  as long as it doesn't last too long.  I hit these downers every few weeks,  sometimes they last for a few days, or can stretch to a few weeks.  But every night I say my prayers and give thanks for the day no matter how rotten it may have been, there is always something to say thank you for.  It can be a thankyou for the sunshine, or someone saying hello,   or making time for you,  maybe the cat jumping onto my lap for a cuddle.  Folk like Zoe are inspirational,  who keep going no matter what,  and who's creations are amazing.  Keep it up.

And that it all from me for tonight.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Now I have a hut!

Yep,  it arrived!    I'd just sat down to my lunch when the postie arrived at the door.   So over my sandwich and a cuppa I checked the contents.  Everything in order,  and so dinky.  A wall, well two walls, a stile,  the base and of course the hut. Lots of little bits to put on, stick together, wheels an axles,  small bed, even smaller stove...  This will mean very sticky fingers.

 So to my hut.  Here is the rear,  one tiny window!  Yes it has a frame and will be glazed.  The tweezers will definitely be in use for this project. 

The first task was to make the bed.  This also acts as a support for the walls. The attention to detail is superb,  just underneath the bed is the lamb warmer,  were the shepherd would keep any sickly lamb, or one that may have lost her mother.  

The hut has few comforts, aside from the bed there is a small stove, and a table. 

Now you can see how tiny the stove and table are!    That is a two pence piece next to them.  I've painted the stove with the decoart paint, while the table is just a rough wood colour.  

I used the decoart paint on the wheels,  axles, the frame and tow bar,  so now they have a metal look about them.  

Here's the inside,  now you can see the bed and were the shepherd would put the lambs to keep warm. 

And that was were I called it a day as once more I realised that it was getting dark, and that my tummy was beginning to rumble.

Harvey was still asleep,  well he'd had such a busy morning.  No, honest he had.   He woke up around 4 a.m.,  well, okay so did I, but one of us wanted to go back to the land of nod, and it wasn't Harvey.  So he plodded around,  and occasionally had a stab at waking me up,  until I yelled at him.  Then he went off to sulk.   When I finally came to, he was in the airing cupboard,  sulking.  After I rubbed his ears and tummy he was soon won over, and then he happily tucked into a bowl of food,  all of it!   After which he went off for his morning walk.  He didn't settle down to sleep until lunch time, and only after he'd had a second bowl of food.  

So tomorrow,  well a bit of this and a bit of that, or a bit of the hut and a bit of Thimble Cottage.  I also need to think about how to landscape the base for the hut.  The fences could become hedgerows,  need to consider how many trees it should have. 

It is now officially chilly!   The very warm top was needed today.  I've also noticed that Harvey's fur is becoming thicker.  I managed to sum up a bit of energy to do some dusting,  my aunty wasn't keen on dusting,  and I can see why.   However, she managed to ignore it, and I can't. When I was in the army, Monday was designated as 'in' night, which meant no one was allowed out until the barracks had been cleaned.  That meant your own rooms and the communal areas, all ready for inspection on Tuesday morning.   Of course in basic training it meant cleaning every inch of furniture, floor and anything else that didn't move,  once you were out of training there was a more relaxed feel.   But the Monday cleaning thing has stuck with me, so Mondays means a bit of housework of some description.  It used to mean cleaning the entire flat, but the sore back won't allow for that,  so it is a room at a time. 

Now off to update my diary.   Keep warm this week.