Friday, 27 November 2015

The Railway Inn is ready for business

Welcome to the Railway Inn :-)    We're almost there,  just need to paint the roof and fix the chimney stack. 

The whole thing came together very quickly,  my small building skills must be improving.   I've just ordered another piece of signage for the pub, which may well arrive tomorrow.  Now the pavement area needs to be sorted out,   was planning to wait for the paperclay, but that won't be here for another week. 

I did, as you can see,  paint the middle window panes.   And the peel off letters were a perfect fit. 

A full picture,  once the roof has been painted it will look the part, and when it has had its new sign added.   Now I need to get some ink cartridges for the printer,  hopefully I can manage that tomorrow. 

I'm still feeling very tired, last night I was in bed by 8pm,  a friend phoned me when she couldn't get me on skype.   I think I'm going to have to go back to the GP, this tiredness is beyond a joke.   I didn't think I'd over done things yesterday,  I had to wash down the pedals in the car...  a long story, but somehow I'd got battery acid or something on them as after driving my shoes literally fell apart, the soles had been eaten away. Anyway, after doing that I ended up giving the car a quick wash.  Then after a cuppa I popped to the supermarket, where I walked round at a snails pace,  which was about all I could manage.   When I got back home I was whacked, so much so that I fell asleep in the chair.  I intended to paint the pub roof, but was just too bushed to do it. 

I also feel very achy,  more so when I start to feel the tiredness come on.  The only other time I've felt like this, or similar was when I had flu a few years ago.   But this isn't the flu,  nor have I had the flu.   Poor Harvey had to wake me up so I could feed him,  that was around midnight, the poor lamb had been lying on my bed hoping I'd wake up!   He gobbled down a whole bowlful of food,  then we both snuggled up and went back to sleep till 3 a.m,  when Harvey decided he needed to go out.  Well he'd not been out in the evening,  cos I'd been asleep, so I let him out,  and he didn't come back till nearly 6 a.m..   I only woke up then because I was feeling very achy and sick,  Harvey dashed in as soon as I opened the door, and headed straight for his litter tray!   Then he refuelled,  and headed back to bed, I joined him and we stayed there till nearly 9.30.    I had to rest this afternoon,  I used the recliner, was going to watch the Davis cup, but fell asleep. 

I feel a little better tonight,  but that I because I've rested all day.   I was also hoping my new shoes would come,  they are to replace the one's that were ruined in the car.   I can only think that when I was up at the retail park someone must have spilt some battery acid, I was parked by Halfords,  so I must have walked in it, then transferred it to the pedals, though they weren't damaged, just my shoes!   After I'd washed the pedals and the car mat, everything seems fine,  I wore an old pair of shoes, and they had no damage on them after I'd driven to the supermarket.   Oh well, at least the car is clean,  been threatening to take it to a car wash of some description. 

Well it will be a 'take it easy' weekend,   I have no choice,  then back to the GP to see if he can figure out what is wrong with me.    

Thanks for stopping by and listening to my moans and groans.  Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Some beautiful windows....

I did go with the idea of the stained glass windows, and it worked beautifully.   Now debating whether to colour the larger panes of glass.  It is hard to believe how tiny these windows are!   You can really see the craftmanship that goes into these little houses/buildings. 

Whilst I was waiting for the glass paint to dry, I painted the pub with the sand and paint mix.  I'd managed to get some sand,  then I had to dry it in the microwave!   Wasn't sure how much sand to put with the paint, so it was a guessing game.   I used a small plastic cup, quarter filled it, then added around 6 teaspoons of sand, gave it a good stir and used the stubby brush to apply it.   As you can see from the pic it worked, and I do like the effect. I left a gap round each window for the frame, and masked off the lower ground area.   Then it was set to one side to dry overnight.  

I applied some more glass paint to the windows, including the upper floor windows.  Then I finished off the front door.  I'd already created a tiled floor to the entrance,  just marked off the area into squares, then used one of my fine liners.  Finally I gave it a coat of varnish to protect it.

So today it was time to start adding the bits and bobs, window frames, quoins, and paint the front of the pub.  

I also had to figure out how to add the signage.  I had set up a file on Craft Artist Pro and designed a sign,   but during a clear out of my craft stuff I came across some tiny peel off letters.  I found that they were the perfect size to fit in the aperture,  all I had to do was set them out in a straight line, and evenly spaced!  After a bit of juggling, I managed it,  I used some glossy black card on which to apply the letters, and masking tape acted as a guide.    I used black pain to go underneath the frontage to the pub; I'm also discovering that different brands of acrylic paint work better on the mdf surface, and the mountcard. 

Now for the big reveal...   it is still needing a door, and the lower ground floor windows.   But the upper floor windows are all glazed,  and are framed, plus they had their sills added.  

On the frontage you can now see how I used the peel off letters,  it took a while to get the spacing right.  I know some would work it out, but I have to do it by eye.   But it looks good - yes?    Well I think so, in fact I am very pleased with it.   The front door and entrance is ready to go,  but I was getting tired, and since it is fiddly to fit I decided to wait until tomorrow.  

I'll be cutting the roof tiles tomorrow, plus sorting out the chimney,  then I can start on the pavement area.  

It's not been a bad couple of days.  Yesterday went incredibly smoothly.  First I picked up the paperwork for my blood test,  headed round to clinic thinking I'd have to make an appointment, nope, they did it there and then.  Next stop: beach, fill bag with sand, ignore odd looks from dog walkers...    then to Boots to get my script filled.  For once Boots was quiet,  script was filled straightaway, so onto supermarket - Harvey required food!   That too was quiet,  and then it was back home, and I just about managed to dodge the rain.     But I was very tired when I got home,  it doesn't take much to tire me out at the moment.    In fact last night I was in bed by 9 pm,  and fast asleep by 10ish.  I had to watch the Pottery competition first,  I was disappointed with one of the participants, who didn't seem to be trying, she was eliminated in the end.  But it is fascinating to watch them work, and to learn about clay,  and the uncertainty,  not knowing if your pot will survive the firing in the kiln, or just end up in pieces,  not sure I could go through that.   

Today I slept in till 9 a.m.,   even then I could have stayed in bed, but I got up.  Harvey was also being a lazy so and so, he was snuggled up in his radiator bed!    I decided to get out, and went to The Range,   which is in Southport, a twenty minute drive,  which I thought was manageable and was proved to be wrong.    In one way it was successful as I managed to get part of a friend's Xmas pressie, but energy wise it was silly as I ended up exhausted.   I managed to get to Boots to pick up some Oil of Cloves,  but that was it,  there was no way I could have managed to look round any more shops.   So I came home,   found one very hungry cat waiting for me. 

Pretty near my own bed time...  will sign off now.  Hoping to have lots more to show you over the next few days.  Stay safe and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Last orders!

Shall we start with Himself?   Here he is, looking like butter wouldn't melt...  Actually he did a very good job of cheering me up on Friday, and we had a few cuddles.   I learned that I am severely anaemic,  deficient in Vit D, and have a low blood count...  not exactly good news.   My GP (a new GP to our practice) wants to know why I've had such a low blood count for over a year, and he's annoyed that no-one has done anything about it.   So got blood tests galore,  plus maybe a trip to see a haematologist.   I hope the latter isn't necessary and that the GP can find out the cause.   In the meantime I'm very tired,  can't do much,  so I'm having to plan things. Like yesterday,  I paid the paper bill, then went up to the large pet shop to get Harvey a new toy,  since Hobbycraft is next door I popped in there to pick up a card kit,  then I had to come home as I was shattered.  I'm falling asleep all the time... and in bed very early. 

On the upside I have something to keep me amused - my new kit:  The Railway Inn.   It arrived safely on Friday,  just the tonic I needed after my visit to the GP. 

First job was to sort out the pieces, and to note what went were...  sadly, as you may guess, I wasn't paying full attention!  I got the front bit the wrong way round, so managed to paint the exterior... doh.   It didn't matter as I could have just switched it to face in the other direction, but chose to stick with the instructions.  

The interior was painted with diluted terracotta, and naples yellow, then I gave it two coats of the glossy mod podge.  It was left to dry overnight, and then glued together today.

Here's the inside, just to prove my mistake.  I couldn't believe I'd been such a dope.   I'd had a dry run as well, so knew which part went were, or so I thought.  

I had to make use of the masking tape to hold the parts together while they were drying.   I'm using the tacky glue as I'm out of mod podge - so note to self: get more mod podge!

There are a lot of parts to this project,  a frontage for the pub,  which I'm hoping to include a sign.  I've been using Craft Artist Pro,  just need to get some ink and I can do the printing.  What I find annoying about the HP printer is that you have to use both ink cartridges, whereas the Kodak let you use the colour or black and white, plus it never needed to be calibrated if the cartridges were changed!  

And here is the interior, yes, no staircase, I can buy them if I want, but not sure...    The floors are a nice 'mucky' brown,  and I think that the walls should have a coat of nicotine. 

On the ground floor I put up a picture of the Flying Scotsman,  it was from a sticker set I got ages ago.  Need to 'sweep' the ground floor, it got a bit dusty during construction  - those builders are really messy!

I managed to line up the chimney, and that is one tall chimney.  It was given a couple of coats of the deco art pewter paint.  The deco art paint is lovely to use, and is water based, but it covers beautifully.   I've seen it in Hobbycraft, but of course you can get it on the internet. 

Now let's put those two bits together,  minus the roof.   It is reminding me of the many pubs that used to be on the Dock Road years ago.  Every corner had a pub,  most were just like this, and always full!  Most of them have gone now,  there are a handful left.     If you dared to venture inside you usually found sawdust on the floor, to mop up all the mud and stuff from the dockers boots.  They were lively places, but friendly, the pub grub - scouse!  What else?  

Now I need to head to the beach to get some sand for the top part of the pub.  Well not right now, think I'll wait for daylight.  I've got some window frames to paint, plus the quions...  those fancy bits - well you'll see what they are shortly.

Last pic, six windows, all painted and glazed.  Ready to go.   They need a buff up before they're put in place.   And I just had an idea,  I may use some glass paint on the two ground floor windows.  

I've also ordered a product that I'd never heard of before until I read a blog post on Snippets From My Studio  by Sandra in Australia, who also makes miniatures, and the quarter houses from Petite Properties.   She has a fascinating and very informative blog about miniatures. 

Oh, back to that product: paper clay.  I'd never heard of it, in fact I had to google it.  I discovered that it is a light clay,  that can be used like papier mache, and you can make your own.   I decided to buy some from Amazon,  it is a light clay, much light than what I'm using at the moment.   I liked what Sandra had done, making a pavement,  and an interior paved area.   They both looked so effective. 

So that is the new project, and with some new materials to use.  I've also got some cards to make, hence the card kits from Hobbycraft, plus need to find some stars - yes I'm still looking!     I've seen some but they're not what I want, so need to go check out some other craft shops.  If all else fails then I'll be making my own, I guess I could experiment with the paper clay.  

I've been watching the Pottery competition on BBC 2, fascinating last week when they used a technique called Raku, which involved a very risky firing, but if it worked then you ended up with an amazing glazed pot.   I'm learning a lot about pottery,  things I'd never considered like working the clay before using it to get the air out of it.   Wouldn't it be nice if one, or more, of the main channels gave us a crafting show?  I've given up on CnC,  it is the same stuff, and same products over and over,  Hochanda has so far had one dolls house show, and have on dolls house product on its website...   there is no choice of crafts on any of these channels - just the same bloody things.

Now I need a rest... 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

tis the little things...

Have you spotted the new addition?   Look closely,  yep, a lamp post! They arrived yesterday,  I'm really pleased with them and may well get a few more.    I've also added more grubbiness to the shop,   used the TH sooty black ink and a sponge.   Used the dab dab, then dab technique,   as in dab on the ink pad, then on some paper and then on the item, that way you don't get too much were you don't want it. 

And there are also some ridge tiles,  or in this case, a piece of thick card, 1cm, and scored down the middle, then folded.  It just needs some paint and then glued into place.   It is my own idea,   I just noticed some on a roof and thought I'd try to make some for the models.   I may invest in a piece of mountcard,  it isn't too expensive and will be useful for stuff like the ridge tiles.

And to the Post Office,  rear roof is glued,  dormer windows now fixed into place.  Roof is fully tiled, painted and has had sand added,  it has dabs of green on it.   I've added another pavement at the side,  and I found a small plastic top which I was sure would be the right size for a waste bin.  So that got a coat of green paint followed by some clear nail varnish.   Just need to paint the pavement and cobblestones... 

A row of shops, well, two but there might be more.  There is a pub to be added,  well I thought any self respecting village should have a pub.  Not sure what I'll call the pub,  maybe the Nag's Head,  which was the name of the pub I once worked in.   It was a lovely pub,  a proper pub with three separate bars, and a bowling green - no pub garden.  It is still there, but the inside has been wrecked,  it is now just one huge eating place, no character whatsoever,  the bowling green was turned into a pub garden...    Yep, just another plastic pub.

Not had a good week, still feeling very tired and have to have some blood tests done again.  Harvey has been getting confused when I've gone to bed early.    Of course the weather hasn't helped,  we had Barney (who thinks up these names for the storms?),  wind and horizontal rain - oh joy.   Poor Harvey kept on trying to go out,  he got soaked a couple of times before he gave up.    Yesterday was just as bad, same thing, very windy and raining heavily,  while today the temperature definitely dropped by a few degrees. 

Now it is time for a cup of tea...    stay warm, and watch out for the snow!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Almost there... sort of!

A rather boring photo, but an unusual view of the Post Office.   We have a chimney,  complete,  and a roof, tiled and with its first coat of paint.  You can also just about spy the dormer windows.   It is always nice getting to this point, but also a little sad as the adventure is almost over... 

Oh there is still much to do of course,  the base must be made and suitably adorned.   Plus there are all the little finishing bits and bobs to be done.  The exterior has to undergo a lot of weathering/distressing,  it all looks far too new!    I've begun to distress the Cottage Stores,  just using watered down paint,  it was the left over stuff from painting the tiles on this roof, the excess was then wiped off with a tissue.    I found some small straws, so watch out for drain pipes! 

A lot, as you can see from this pic, has been done to the Post Office over the last couple of days.   The dormer windows were completed today, now they just need their roof tiles.   The rear portion of the roof will be glued in place once its finished.  

I was in Hobbycraft yesterday, looking for stars... though I didn't find what I wanted!   Anyways, I picked up a packet of crimp beads,  used in jewellry making,  but they make great door knobs.   And since they are also so tiny they are easy to lose,   I'd already lost two...  so it is nice to have some spares in place.  I also picked up some more clay, it was on offer!  But that was all I got,  nothing else took my fancy I'm afraid.   The weather wasn't helping, it was pouring down, and so dark even though it was mid afternoon.  

One final pic,  and can you spot the letterbox?   I thought I'd challenge myself to see if I could make one.  It is just a very (VERY) small piece of card.  But I felt it was a nice finishing touch. 

I've just been on ebay and sourced some mini lamp posts!  Not quite the Victorian ones I wanted, but still very nice, and also the right size.   They also work!  A bonus. 

I had lazyitis this morning,  it was 10.30 when I woke up. In my defence I had been awake from 2 a.m till 4 a.m.,  and I've been really tired all week,  so I am hoping that todays accidental lie in helps.   I'm not normally one for staying in bed, partly because I get so stiff, and then there is Harvey, who invariably wants feeding or to be let out, however this morning he was also deep in the land of nod. 

After the lie in it took me even longer to actually get going, not that there is much to 'get going' for on a Sunday.  Harvey was still in fuss pot mode,  so I took all the food away...  the look of horror on his face was a picture to behold.   He went off in a huff while I tidied up the kitchen, then he returned, howling for food, so down went the bowl, and he snubbed it, so I took it away - again the look of horror.  I got washed and dressed,   came back to the kitchen,  Harvey was asking for food, down it went and this time - he ate it!    We've had cuddles, and he had a play, and he's now had two good meals.   So I can only hope that his fussy mood is over for now. 

All for now...   stay safe, warm and dry this week.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Let there be light!

Doesn't this look pretty?    I put a small light inside the Christmas shop just as it was starting to go dark...   It certainly helped create a moody atmosphere.  

The weather has been foul today,  we've had all four seasons, at one point we even had some sleet.   Fortunately this morning it stayed dry so I was able to get supplies,  cat food, milk,  cat treats...   the important stuff!  

And you may not believe this but at 3 a.m. this morning Harvey decided he wanted to go out,  so I obliged...  and out he went into the wind and rain, he came back about ten minutes later looking rather windswept.   Which I thought was karma for having woken me up. 

I tried the same light in the Cottage Stores, which was parked on my craft desk, so please excuse the bottle of PVA glue!   Not yet got round to weathering the exterior of the shop yet.  You can just about spy the Post Office sitting next to the shop on the right...  more on that in a mo.

I've collected some tops of tubes of toothpaste, which I think will make suitable waste bins.  And must put the drain pipe back.    I need to source some lamp posts, they'd help with the street scene that I am hoping to create.

Here's the Post Office, which is now starting to look the part.  It was a busy afternoon.   I gave the exterior a second coat, whilst that was drying I painted the paving and cobble stones on the pavement.   Then all the windows were checked,  they were ready to be glued into place, except for the dormer windows.    I gave the window ledge for the small window a lick of paint, and the letter box was painted red - what else?   Then it was time for a cuppa while everything dried.

Then it was time to add the sand to the pavement,  it got a few layers, then it was painted.   The windows were glued into place, as was the letter box.  Then came the important bit, attaching the front of the Post Office to the pavement.   I had to scrape off some of the sand first,  then I left the tacky glue to get really tacky and stuck on the front partition.  Whilst that was drying I took the photos of the other two shops with the light inside.    I also finished the front door,  and stuck on the door handle.  The door just needs to be fixed into place.   It's all looking good.  Now I need to make the roof tiles,  lots of measuring and cutting to be done tomorrow.   Also need to get some stars...   don't ask, well not just yet. 

It is getting very wild and windy out there again.  I've no idea why but Harvey has decided to venture out!    I can hear him making some very pathetic cries...  not falling for it, he can get back in.  I'm feeling much better today, even managed a proper dinner tonight.   Sadly I am now starting to wilt, so think it is time for a nice mug of tea.   Hope you all stay dry this weekend. 

Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, 12 November 2015

A Post on the Post Office...

Welcome to the blue post office,  things have moved on since Monday.  I did spend Tuesday in bed, I picked up a kidney infection from somewhere. Luckily my blood tests picked it up, and the doctor prescribed antibiotics.  I'm still feeling tired, and haven't got much of an appetite but definitely much better than I was on Tuesday when I stayed in bed all day.   Yesterday I painted all the inside of the house,  walls, floors etc. This morning it was glued together.  

Here it is, with that telephone box that I painted on Monday.   Yep, it does look very realistic,   hats off to Bea, the designer,  the box is spot on in every way, it even has a phone inside.   I managed to complete it on Tuesday afternoon, in bed!   I have to say that Harvey hasn't been much of a nurse, in fact he has been useless.  He looked very confused when I went back to bed on Tuesday,  well it was daytime, and normally the bed is his during the day.  He kept me company and did make a nice furry hot water bottle.  

The little pavement has had some random stones and paving slabs stuck on.  The penny is there to remind everyone of how small these little houses are.  

The pavement will be painted first, then have some sand and grass added.  I'm getting more of a feel for how small stuff has to be,  when I first began building them I kept making mistakes with the measurements.    The blue paint is the surplus from painting round the windows and door, it has nothing to do with the exterior colour.  

Today I painted the outside,  it is called Chapel Stone.   While I waited for my prescription I popped in to our DIY cum will sell anything type shop,  it is like Aladdin's cave!   I got the paint there and more sandpaper.   I was thinking of using the filler,  but then decided that a Post Office would look 'smart'.   So it was on with some medium sandpaper, then a couple of coats of the paint.   I even remembered to use some masking tape round the inside of the windows and door - not bad for a part functioning brain.  And that was all I could do, it all has to dry,  then we can start adding stuff like windows. 

Here he is,  Mr Useless...  currently sat by the front door watching the rain come down. 

We very nearly had another crisis tonight, I noticed that the central heating hadn't come on - not what I needed!   Nor could I reset it as the reset switch is bust, have been asking for it to be fixed for ages :-(   So what to do,  tried a pair of pliers, nope, so got all frustrated and booted the boiler and, it clicked into life :-)   I'll still get it checked,  and remind them that they promised me a new boiler ages ago. 

I'm beginning to feel more like a human being,   the last couple of days I've felt so tired,  and that is in spite of having plenty of sleep.  Not even been waking up during the night.   I have to have the blood tests repeated next week,  doc wants to check stuff, then I have to go talk to him about a referral to a psychologist.    And there is a storm on its way,  one which has a name... and?   Not sure what the point is of giving it a name,  and will we get it, yesterday they said we'd have rain all day so... yes of course it was dry and mild. 

Petite Properties have also been very naughty and brought out a new kit...   Winterberry Hall,  even the name is pretty.   But after much thought I'm sticking with buying Hedgerow Cottage as my next kit,  it will be my Xmas pressie to me!    Now I need a cuppa and think I'll go to bed.  

Monday, 9 November 2015

A recap...

As the song says: Let's start at the very beginning...    I thought I'd have a recap of all the quarter houses I've made so far. 

So the very first was: Teacup Cottage.  I never imagined I'd make a base for it, let alone do any landscaping.   My skills were tested in making this tiny house,  I did get a few things wrong,  but gradually this little house came together.  And once you've made one...   you may as well make another.

Thimble Cottage,  which really did present a challenge in having a wonky roof, and a dormer window.  I did try to make some faux brick work, but changed the exterior finish to a smooth render.   I was a bit more adventurous with the chimney, using the fine gravel.  The wonky roof did work out, after a lot of sanding.  I'm still addng foliage to both trees,  there is also a rockery in the background and a wonky fence. 

There was some downsizing for the third projet: The Shepherd's Hut.  A few of my crafting friends said it would make a lovely craft space.  I thought this would present the biggest challenge, but in fact it was the easiest.  It came with a base and fences, plus the stile.  I just had to add the imagination, which I hope I managed to do.  If I have a favourite, it is this little hut, inside is a small woodburning stove, a small bed and a table.   You can easily imagine a shepherd caring for his flock. 

Number 4,  The Cottage Stores, moving from house to shops.   This was put together a little too quickly for my liking.   I'd worked out that less is more when it came to applying the paint,  as in, use less water.   I also made the roof myself,   I wasn't sure I'd have the patience to make such a small roof, but I did.    The base got changed three times!   My first attempt at cobblestones was laughable,  way too big,  and not offset.   But with a bit of determination the shop got a new base, I had another go at cobblestones,  and didn't rush things this time.   Now it is starting to come together.  The tree now has some foliage on it,  it needs a lot more!   I've found a small cap that will soon be a waste bin, and a few adverts that will be shrunk down to fit on the walls. 

Never thought I'd have built five of these small buildings.  The Christmas Shop was the one I almost started with, but after some thought I decided that I would need to build up my skills.   The shop itself didn't present too many problems,   getting the right weathered look did.   I didn't want it to look too battered,  so it was a balancing act between not so new and not so old.    A steady hand, white paint and a very small paint brush was also required to add the snow.    I managed to find the round base at Hobbycraft, it broke the bank at 85p!   Old craft stuff came in very handy to create the snowy look, the heavy duty embossing powder,  sand, glitter,  ordinary embossing powder, all got chucked on.    The fir tree was found amongst the Christmas decorations at a garden centre, and I made the snowman.   He's small,  or he's melting! 

And we arrive at number six...  or a part of it.  I was beginning to despair of seeing this kit.  I was expecting it to arrive on Saturday as it had been posted on Thursday.   No sign of it on Saturday, in fact no sign of any post people,  our usual postie was on holiday, and it was wet, very, very wet...  me, suggesting that perhaps the post didn't get delivered cos of the weather?   Nope,  but today the post was exceptionally late,  and lots of it...    Okay, no fun delivering post in the pouring rain,  I agree, but our post can be important,  a letter giving the date for an appointment,  or a birthday card for a child...   a bill that needs paying.    My post today did include a date for an appointment, fortunately it is for next week, but what if it has been for today or tomorrow?  

Right, moan over...  yep what you see in the picture is an old fashioned telephone box.  It comes with the phone, small posters etc, oh and stands next to a Post Office.   I won't be doing any work on it for the next couple of days as I have a friend coming to stay.   But today I just wanted to make a start on the telephone box.  With the grotty weather I needed to switch on my daylight lamp at 3pm!  I have painted the box, built the shelf and phone,  painted the frames for the posters, so it all just needs to be put together.  I won't be starting on the actual Post Office till Thursday. 

I do have an early start tomorrow, have an appointment with the nurse at 7.40 a.m.,   blood tests, one is a fasting test!   Hate those.   Then I need to sort out my hair,  it looked fine before I ventured out into the wind and rain...    ugh, I hate this type of weather. I don't mind wind, or rain, but not together!  And it was so blooming gloomy,  by 4pm I had switched on all the lamps.  Harvey of course was oblivious, he was happily snoozing on my bed.  He got booted out at 4.30 a.m. this morning,  well he was making such a nuisance of himself I had no choice. 

The other thing that is really irking me at the moment is this relentless campaign to demonise Jeremy Corbyn,  he may not be my preferred choice for the Labour Leader, but he does not deserve this constant sniping. The latest was his 'bow' at the centotaph!  Oh for crying out loud, the man paid his respects, he then went on to Horseguards and spoke with the many veterans there, while the other politicos headed off for lunch.   I can also remember a time when no-one, politicians included, gave a stuff about Remembrance Sunday,  when folk were not asked to pause in the shops for two minutes...  And I'm sick of certain royal types getting dressed up in uniforms that they have no right to wear...  and sporting medals that their mum gave them.  

Right, the moaning is over,  won't be around for a couple of nights, tomorrow I'll be enjoying a very nice curry!  Wednesday will see me and my friend at St George's Hall in Liverpool, we'll take part in the Remembrance service,  and then marvel the poppy display, enjoy some lunch and then I'll have to feign enjoyment at retail therapy...  my friend loves to shop,  and I hate it. 

I hope you manage to stay dry over the next few days, make the most of the mid temperatures the cold stuff is coming!    Thanks for stopping by to read my ramblings. 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Not one, but two shops!

Drum roll please...  I give you:  The Christmas Shop!    Yep, finished,   tree is stuck in place,  snowman has been painted,  and his nose has been given a very attractive shade of terracotta.   I think I'll go back to the garden centre and get those lights, they were designed for a small house such as this.

My advent candle also arrived,   it is very fat and has a long burning time.   I did see one in the garden centre but it was far too skinny,  there was also an advent candle tree, it was scented candles,  one for each day but I felt it was too big for my little flat. 

The good news: my post office is on its way!  Yippee. 

Remember the cottage stores?   It has sat, looking very sad while I spent all my time on the Christmas Shop.  So yesterday and today I gave it my full attention.   First job was to make a brand new base,  and the first attempt was a disaster!   I cut a piece of plywood down, but er,  it ended up being too small.   I'm hoping I can use it for something else.  Second attempt worked,  well it was the back of an old photo frame that was the perfect fit.  

Then I measured out some air dried clay to fit at the front of the shop, flattened it down, and marked it out to look like a cobbled road.  By the side of the shop I cut some balsa wood,  and stuck it down.  It was all left to dry overnight.

Today the wood was covered with the fine gravel, while the road was painted.  Then I slapped on some paint all over the gravel. 

Next:  tea break! 

Next item on the list, change the colour of the shop from white to raw umber, which is more like 'stone',  and smudge on some old paper using a blending sponge.  Now it looks much better,  th roof got the sand treatment,  then I mixed up some paynes grey,  raw sienna and a tiny bit of white, and dabbed that on. 

I dribbled some sand here and there over the cobbles, then blended it in with the paint.   All the edges on the shop were touched up with the raw umber.

I still had that hedge I'd started,  so I finished it and stuck that in place.  Now I'm thinking that some advertising signs would look good?  

 One more photo.    A bit more distressing on the walls and the shop will be done.  

I also had a mini makeover today:   a much needed haircut.   Now it looks nice,  the rain held off long enough for me to get the shopping and get home.  Then the heavens opened... stayed like that till early evening.   Now the bonfire is going, some builder has turned up and is now feeding the bloody bonfire.   None of us mind the bonfire, we just don't want the damn thing to go on all evening.    Harvey was desperate to go out, so I went down to the front door, opened it, he took one look and legged it back up the stairs!     I'm hoping things will quieten later so he can go out for a little while,  and I can get some peace from his whining.

So the Post Office is now on its way,  did someone say I may be hooked on small houses?   What would make you think that?    I'm going to have some shelves put up and the little houses can live on them.    I took some out of my bedroom and the small bedroom,  so no money involved,  just a few cans of beer as payment for the kindness of my neighbour.    I just need a name for my village...  

All for this evening,  hope your bonfire night has passed safely.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The snowman, the shop and the tree...

Evening.   Best start at the bottom, or base... honest it is a bit different!  And there is a tree... more on that later.   It has had a bit more snow added to it, and more green stuff.  Snowman is also being transformed, he's had some paint, and a dollop of glitter. 

There's more glitter on the pavement bit of the shop,  but still think we need more fluffy stuff on the base.   A nice, bright red post box would be the icing on the cake...  

The roof is now snow covered.  Did the sides of the shop as well,  and went over the timber frames with some dark grey.

I was getting a bit too engrossed in my work and almost was late for my GP appointment,  it is a good job that the surgery is literally round the corner.  I made it, just.    It was a successful appointment,  I came away with what I wanted: a referral, and a long chat.   We have a nice old codge of a GP,  but although he's nice, and easy to talk to, he is also reluctant to do any real doctoring and is more keen on reaching for the prescription pad,  or telling you about his wife who has mulitple medical conditions according to him, if you have it, then she has it.

And here is the tree!   Not yet bedded in to the scenery, but it will be.   I went up to one of our many garden centres to peruse the Christmas decorations.  And in amongst the small village stuff,  those collectibles, were these trees - perfect.  Sadly the small people weren't small enough,  they would have been fine for a 1:24 house,  but not for my quarter shop.  But I shall keep hunting,   I was toying with the idea of some mini lights...  

But I'm really pleased with it so far,   still some finishing touches to complete.   Oh, I also picked up some mini walls...   festive mini walls.  I'll make them work somewhere!  

Another grotty day,  not foggy,  just grey and cold.   Me and Harvey were in the same lazy mood this morning,   it was hard dragging myself out of my warm bed,  and it took him even longer.  Tonight it is misty and raining,  a typical November evening,  Harvey is cheesed off as he can't go out, well he could but he is a wimp and doesn't like the rain, or getting his paws wet.  

I have my next project lined up, the Post Office,  which I think is going to be another winter scene.  It comes with an old fashioned telephone box.   And still no cigarettes!   I am rather happy about that, so is my bank balance, which looked much healthier the other day when I checked it.   I'm also in credit with my bedroom tax, so I can have two free months.  To keep the roll going I managed to buy a Christmas present at the garden centre.   It was funny, at the checkout was a young man, so obviously his first day, very nervous,  and not sure what to do.  I had to nudge him into wrapping the glass candle holder in tissue,   it was a gentle nudge.  We've all been there, that first job, first day, nevous as hell,  I always thought the second day was the worst cos you then knew what you were in for. 

Harvey is now settling down for the evening, on my jeans... oh joy,  ginger fur covered jeans.    Guess it is time for me to close down...    thanks for stopping by

Monday, 2 November 2015

Kind of snowy..

Evening.  Apologies for the 'odd' blog post the other evening,  a friend skyped me and instead of pressing 'save' on the blog I must have pressed publish.

On Saturday I began decorating the base, which I admit did look like one big mess.  But it was only temporary, or so I hoped.   There was a plan, kind of...   At least the cobblestones worked out this time,  I put more thought into this time and took more care.   There are a couple of lumps of air dried clay, sand and gravel.  It was delightfully messy,  which is always the best form of crafting.

So to Sunday's work.  Have to admit that it took me a while to get going yesterday,  not on the shop, just on getting me out of bed. 

So the base was, over the course of the afternoon, transformed into this small snowy landscape.   Think there is a bit of everything on it,  I also used my ultra thick white embossing powder,  I deliberately overheated it so it would melt into the gravel.  It all got a good coat of white paint, then some flower soft went on, and a bit of grass... 

 And so on and so forth.   The roof, which had been tiled the day before, was also given the sand treatment, and then painted.  I do like how the sand has transformed the roof, made it look much more interesting.    By then it was time for a cuppa,  and some choc, Harvey heard me rustling the bag and thought I was getting one of his treats, he came hurtling into the kitchen looking hopeful.  Yes, he got one of his treats.  

Next the snow was added!   Actually it is glitter, sadly once the glue had dried the glitter seemed to disappear so out came the white paint, and my tiny paint brush.  

I've just picked out bits of the roof,  rather than have it completely covered in snow.  Though I think if I'd chosen to do that then I would have had to change plans,  and used some filler to give some depth, and a few lumps, before putting on the tiles.  I put some snow round the chimney, making it thicker on one side, as if it has built up over time.  I just kept going until I was happy with the result.

Next for the snow treatment was the front of the shop. 
I put the 'snow' inbetween the wooden frames,  trying to make it look like it had just caught in there.   I just kept adding more glue and glitter until I was happy. 

Still have the rest of the shop to do, and the other side of the roof.  It will take a few days as it all needs to be built up.  Still got my thinking cap on as regards making a Christmas tree. 

Hasn't it been foggy the last few days?   Yesterday it was really bad,  I could hear the ships blowing their foghorns as they left the port.  This morning it took ages to clear, and it was so cold.  I had to go out as I had a few things to post, and it was very definitely warm fleece weather.    Even Harvey was reluctant to venture out this morning,  he was happily snuggled up on my bed.  

I'm now trying to decide what my next project should be, so much choice!   The Christmas shop will take the rest of the week to complete,   and a friend is visiting next week.  But I will need something to do,   did someone mention housework?   What is that?    I frankly think it is overrated,  only to be engaged with when absolutely necessary!   I mean why has no one ever invented the self cleaning house?  

Time to stop,  Harvey is howling for his supper...   so all for now.