Friday, 17 March 2017

FINALLY decorating!

It's been yeeaarrss!

I've finally started decorating the inside of the dolls house! I still have the front roof to make, attach and tile, but the rear roof is all tiled, so I was finally able to turn the house around and begin on the front!

I'd already ripped out most of the wallpaper and flooring in the attic rooms, so  it was just a case of getting rid of left over bits and sanding down.

I started with the flooring; strips of wooden effect sticky plastic. Cutting them to size, it was pretty easy to stick them all down so it looked like real wooden floor!

I then remembered I needed to paint the ceiling and probably wallpaper the walls before I laid down anymore flooring, just incase any paint landed on it! So, I covered the floor that was already down and painting the ceiling the same off-white as the inside of the dormer windows. 

I then wallpapered the walls. This piece of wallpaper took forever to measure correctly, so that it fit in to all the corners! 

After wallpapering the other wall (which was a lot easier!) I put the rest of the floor down, but was left with a little gap at the end! 

 I managed to cut a groove out of the strip of flooring so that it fit round the inner wall.

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out! I need to get a front roof soon, so that the floor doesn't fade in the light! 

Friday, 2 October 2015

Tiling the roof: Part 1

How has it been nearly 10 months since I last posted!? I even took pictures of work I did a while ago but never got around to posting about it...

I've had a pretty busy year so far! Managed to fulfil one of my life long dreams of seeing The Who live in March, have managed 2 holidays; a surprise trip to Bruges for my partner's 30th and a Summer holiday to the Amalfi Coast in Italy where, said partner proposed! So the past few weeks have been busy collecting ideas and dates etc. on when we can get married!

The other day though, I finally managed to do some tiling on my roof.
I'd received some dormer windows as a present a while ago and thought I'd start by tiling them first. Please excuse the awful photos...

They started like this, with lollypop stick roof tiles. (I'd already coated the outside of the windows with brick compound.)

So, I took the lollypop tiles off and collected my tools together: 

I needed a craft mat, a ruler, glue, sand paper, a pen/pencil and pliers. 

The tiles I used were from Minaco, who produced just about the only realistic, separate tiles I could find, that weren't real slate and therefore, didn't cost loads! 
These tiles are made from moulded plaster and, in my case, were coloured 'slate grey, whether.' 

I got 2 packs, which should be enough to cover my roof… I hope! 

I started with the bottom layer and, as the roof is cut at an angle, had to also cut the last tile on the row at an angle too. This is where the craft knife etc came in. I laid the tile onto the roof and marked where the edge of the roof was on the tile, so it could be cut.
I then scored the tile with the craft knife, using the ruler to ensure it was straight, and after a few scores, carefully broke the corner off using the pliers. This seemed very successful and after breaking the corner off, just sanded it down slightly to make the edge smoother. 

This is a dormer window with one side finished. There is a gap at the apex of the roof, where I will have to get some specially shaped tiles to fit over the top. 

I moved onto my main roof a few months later.
This is what the front of the roof looked like before, with most of the tiles taken off and the old dormer windows still attached.

Once all the tiles (from the back of the roof) has been taken off and the glue removed with the wood sanded a little:

Using the same method, I started with the bottom line of tiles.

 After 4 rows of tiles: For every other row, Minaco provides tiles that are slightly bigger than the standard size so that you get the off-centred look of overlapping tiles. See the 2nd row up. This also means that every other row also needs a tile scored at cut to fit the width of the roof.

I'm quite pleased with it so far! I'm looking forward to it all being tiled; then it'll start looking like a real house! 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Miniature Christmas Presents!

I have to admit, I haven't done much to the house since my last post. But, in my defence, life has become rather busy! I have changed jobs since my last update! I am now a Junior Photographer for the UK's largest jewellery retailer. I'm so happy to finally be working in the photography industry! I graduated 4 years ago, so to finally be doing something that I spent 3 years getting a degree in; I finally have the job I wanted! So, in accordance with having a 'proper' job, I now work proper hours! 9-5:30, no school holidays… I thought I'd miss them but I'm enjoying the job so much, I don't miss them at all! And now I have a car, I can pop down and visit home at the weekend if I feel like it!

I had a couple of weeks off over Christmas and kept thinking I would do some stuff to the house but then realised I can't really do much more until I decide what I'm doing with the lighting and electric; if I'm wiring lights in, I need to do it before wallpapering…

Anyway, enough rambling, more about the house. As you may have noticed, it was Christmas recently - not sure how that came around so quickly, then passed by so quickly!
I received a few mini presents for the house too.

Firstly, a hand-made rug. This was made by my Gran who does a lot of tapestry work. I had mentioned the colour scheme of the study I'm planning. I have some green wallpaper I want to use in there and want the feel of it to be very warm and cosy with warm lights (maybe candles - fake ones obviously) and a small writing desk with maps and paintings on the walls. Maybe I could fit a fireplace in there too… I think this rug will fit in great with the planned study!

Secondly, also from my Gran, I got a Tiffany style table lamp! I was very happy about this as I wanted a Tiffany lamp for my house. I love the style and the period is right too! I think this will probably go in the living room once the house is complete. This lamp is battery operated, so you just flick a switch (which you can hide at the back of the lamp) and once the battery runs out, it can be replaced so, very handy and much easier than wires all round the house.

In my stocking, I got two little gifts that will fit well in the kitchen; a modelling clay carrot cake, complete with icing and sugar paste carrots on top! To be honest though, I think I'll have to change the 'plate' the cake is on. I'm not sure they had holographic paper plates in 1910!

I also received this little mouse in a block of cheese! Not sure how big this cheese - or the mouse!! - is for a 1:12 scale house! I will have to see once it comes times to accessorise. 

So, these little things have spurred me on to actually make a decision about the lighting. I will be looking into prices and practicalities of the options soon then, hopefully, I can get going with the next bit!

Bye for now and happy New Year! 

Friday, 25 April 2014


I had the urge to do some DIY today so I sat in front of my house and started stripping wallpaper and flooring paper off in the attic.

This is what it looked like before. You can see the dark, mouldy patch where, somewhere along the line, we'd had a leak. It generally looked a bit dishevelled.

This was the stair case, minus the stair carpet that had been there, and the remnants of the old glue that stuck it down.

I managed to lift the staircase up quite easily by wedging a screw driver in the side and lifting it up. I was almost tempted to leave it and have it as a futuristic moveable staircase!! But, no...

This is the flooring that's going in. I think this'll probably go in every room apart from the kitchen where I'll have tiles. It's a cherry wood sticky flooring in strips that (I think) peel off a backing sheet and can be trimmed to size. There'll be more on this when it actually goes in!

Part way through the stripping process (below.) I'd planned on just doing the floor but the edge of the flooring paper was tucked under the bottom of the wallpaper where the wall and floor join. 

 I uncovered all the old wiring which was obviously copper and, over the years, had gone green. A lot of it was also pretty stuck down to the floor boarding and extraction may have to be finished another day!

I found this under some parts of the pink wallpaper - mainly on the middle section of the dividing wall. It's a green patterned wallpaper which looks like it only covered the bottom half of the wall and had white paint on the top half. It's as if my Granddad or Mum had started decorating like this then changed their minds and covered it all in pink wallpaper! Maybe mother could shed some light..?

So far, I've taken up almost all the flooring paper on both sides of the loft room and taken down 70% of the wallpaper. The wiring is going to take a lot of time I feel, as there are a lot of crossing over sections (as in the image below) and each joining part had a little metal peg in it (there were a few in the wall under the lights) which need to be pulled out with pliers. But at that point, I'd had no dinner and so left it for another day/time when I have more strength!

I think I'm going to get a little pot of white or off-white paint to repaint the ceiling and maybe inside the dormer windows and then I get to lay the flooring down!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Finishing the Exterior.

I've been meaning to finish the exterior of my house for a while now so I made myself get off the sofa today (it is the Easter holidays after all!), brought the house down to the kitchen table and got going!

I'd already painted the house and covered it in the brick compound from Bromley Craft Products. (Blog post Here.)
But the compound had dried with seams and varying gaps between the bricks! (This was due to the stencil getting clogged up with the re-positionable spray mount… annoying.)
So today I went over a few bits with the left over brick compound to fill in some of the gaps and also finished off some of the trickier bits without the stencil - using a trusty cocktail stick instead to create the outlines of the bricks to show the mortar beneath.

Next job was painting! I think I'd been putting this off as I was a bit apprehensive to start and get it wrong - then the paint's stuck there forever! So, I started on a fairly inconspicuous bit: the corner of the back of the house. It was a bit dodgy, but I then did the chimneys which I was pleased with; making the bricks look sooty and old.
I used acrylic paints in green, brown, black, white and a bit of red and yellow to create effects such as soot, moss, dirt, paint and general wear and tear.

Then the boyfriend came home and took over! Being an artist, he couldn't help himself and he actually made it look a lot more realistic. So together, we brushed on some more 'moss' and made the bricks dirty using an almost dry brush and dry-ish paint so as not to spread it on too thickly. By almost stippling the paint, we created what looks like moss and by brushing over a colour the same as the brick compound (apparently, one of the boy's strengths is mixing paint to match a colour!), the bricks look more realistically dirty instead of just splodged with black paint.

We then sanded down some of the paint work to make it look more distressed and weather-worn - another of the boy's ideas which, again, worked really well!

Here's what the house looked like after the painting and sanding.

I love these bricks, here! They really look like moss and lichen!

To varnish, I used Windsor and Newton's All Purpose Matt Varnish bought from Bromley Craft Products. It HAS to be Matt… houses aren't shiny! This was just a little can and I pretty much used up the whole thing with a good first coat and a thinner second coat of the whole house. 

I'm really pleased with how the house looks now! As you can see, I've painted the sides of the roof black which I think looks more realistic and much more dramatic. You can see the moss stippling here and the sooty, dirty look of the bricks. 
It is recommended that you use acrylic paint as its thick and goes on well, its blendable and works with the brick compound too. However, I found that the paint does have to be thick to dry: not watered down much at all as the compound is very absorbent and if too thin, the paint will find its way across bricks and seep into all the little gaps! 

I'm so pleased I've finally finished the exterior of my house! I can now get going on the inside which is the fun(ner) bit! I shall be going upstairs just to admire my house periodically from now on :)

Friday, 21 February 2014

Dormer Windows!

A little update tonight. I got some dolls' house things for Christmas last year: a new stair case, a front door (both of which will be varnished at some point) and 2 dormer windows for the roof!

They have lollypop stick style roof tiles so I will be buying some similar for the rest of the roof. Speaking of the rest of the roof: My new dormer windows are much smaller than the old ones so I will also have to replace the roof with a new piece of ply-wood and get some holes cut in it the right size for the new dormer windows! 

This is what they looked like after being painted and bricked. 

A close up on the pointed roof bricking: This space was way too small to fit the stencil into to stick and plaster over with the compound so I had to just plaster some compound into the space and, with a cocktail stick, scraped out the spaces in-between for the base colour to show through. The resulting 'bricks' are possibly slightly bigger than the stencil bricks, but with the compound sticking to the stencil, all the bricks seem to be difference sizes anyway, haha! 

I'm looking forward to my new roof now!