Wednesday, 20 September 2017

One Year Later!

Well, "Hello, Everyone!"

I am so sorry for the terribly long absence - a whole year! So much has been happening over the past 12 months so lets cut to the chase: It's been full-on, both at work and in miniatures.

The website (Bespoke British Dolls Houses) is "live" but won't show up on Google searches yet as there has simply been no time with things taking off with mini things and huge changes at work that have lead to increased workloads. But it's all good. I have to say how sorry I am for not commenting on all your posts but I have been reading them. Giac, I know I still owe you an email.

Let's get into it...

In my "spare" time I have been slowly (very slowly!) building what is meant to resemble a country house. The theory being the family have lived there for centuries which has resulted in gradual changes to the interior and exterior. In short, this allows me to basically do what ever I want to do without the constraints of having to make the "whole" appear uniform.

The picture below shows the front porch. Please forgive the unfinished appearance of this, and all the other pictures, this is all a "work in progress" and as such there are still lots to be tidied up.


You get a better view of it from the next picture. This elevation is the narrow right hand side of the house so you will be able to see through the two columns on the left when the main house door is open. I was a little inspired by Kedleston Hall, the columns are 7" cake stand risers! I'll keep saying it but there is still a long way to go with this but the bones are in place. Yes, the bases to the columns were made from Lego bricks! I still need to add some trim round the base.


You get an idea of the layout from the next picture. The ground floor will have a entrance hall and dining room, whilst upstairs is the drawing room with a small gallery to the right with an even smaller corridor beyond that.


The first floor gallery room will be in the green Palm from Susan Bembridge. I was going to buy some paper but found a big piece of fabric left over in a drawer and thought I'd have an exercise in cost efficiency (don't you hate financial restrictions! Still, it's good to use these things up rather than have them sit in a drawer unloved). I will stretch it over thick card and put it into panels in the wall. I will also install spotlight LEDs that will be given a wood effect finish so they blend in - an attempt to make the house appear to have been modernised for the visiting public.

The fireplace was an old one I bought from Ebay years ago. It was in terrible condition after the last owner had attacked it with purple paint, but it looked like it was worth a second chance. I sprayed it with primer and then gave it a yellow marble finish and a hearth to match.


I made the picture frame out of cardboard and bits and bobs, the picture isn't fixed in place yet so looks bowed. I was quite pleased with it. The brick back was made from stuck on pieces of thin card and painted up. In this project I want to go back to basics and try to make more of the items rather than just buy them. Of course, I will be buying things, but I just wanted to get back into the crafting side of things.


I have to say, I am rather enjoying it and I'm very pleased with how my door has tried out - I have avoided the dreaded "wood effect" or years but decided to jump straight in. Some times it's worth taking a risk!



Next up, the double doors - I have been going back through old posts from the brilliant Giac and of course dear Ray Whitledge and his wonderful work (NOT that I consider myself in their league!).


OK guys, I'll post more when I have it. I'm currently stressing over the fabric panels... How can something so small create such huge dilemmas?

Have a great rest of the week, I'm off to the kettle on...

Simon

32 comments:

  1. Hi Welcome back to blogging. So nice to see a new post from you.
    It is just beautiful. I love everything about it. I just wish there were more pictures! ;-)

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    1. hey. Thanks very much, I'll put up more pics in the next post. I didn't want this post to be too long-winded ha ha!

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  2. Great work on the entry. The marbling/stonework looks great and your use of legos is awesome. I like the frieze above the door and the curved ceiling and the niches. Keep up the good work - Troy

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    1. Thanks, Troy. I have to say the Lego did get me out of a pickle as I was dreading having to make a the "plinths" with perfect right angles - details are not my forte!
      Have a great week.

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  3. Welcome back Si! Your new abode looks to be a stunner so looking forward to seeing more progress! I had looked a few times for your website but never found it so now I know why! Glad the new business venture is going well for you. Xx

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    1. Hey Shannon!
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I wish I could have done more mini-ing but life has a terrible habit of getting in the way, doesn't it. Never mind, I'm having a great time getting back into the blogging.
      Best wishes
      Si x

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  4. Oh wow......what a fabulous project! I was woken this morning at about 4am (via email) from a friend telling me about your latest post.....I am surprised I got back to sleep after the excitement of seeing your work.... it's WONDERFUL !!!!!!!

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    1. Hi Linda That is praise indeed as I admire your work so much! Thank you so much for your kind and generous support.
      Simon x

      ps I have been obsessed recently with all things French and thought of you. I'm not sure if you are "into" YouTube but if you are go check out a channel called "AnticStore" (all one word). It's in French but features the most amazing properties and stories. One in particular is a favourite interior designer called Jacques Garcia (I'm sure you have heard of him, he has an amazing book out about how he restored a chateau he bought). Anyway, check it out, I'm sure you will love it x

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  5. Hi Simon!!! It's wonderful to see a post from you and to know you are still building such Awesome mini buildings! The beginnings of this one are Stunning! I just love the carved stone entry you have made!!! And the progress on the other rooms is promising to be just as breathtaking! Your wood effect door looks really beautiful! Why is it we get so anxious about a new technique and then discover it's not as hard a s we thought? I love it that you are using ordinary items to such amazing results.... paper and card stock and cake pillars and Lego bricks!!! LOL That is one I have not seen before! :)

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    1. Hey Betsy!
      Thanks as always, my dear, for your lovely comment. I know right! Lego! I think the question should be " what am I doing with Lego to begin with" ha ha !!
      Yes, anything new seems like an unachievable objective, sometimes. It's taking that initial jump that's the hard part and then it's all pretty straight forward.
      Enjoy your week
      Simon x

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  6. Happy that we can see your fantastic work again Si ! Phenomenal !
    Mini hugs
    Pipi

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    1. Hey Pipi.
      Thanks very much, I hope you are keeping well?
      xx

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  7. Great job! Looks perfect, i love the colors<3

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  8. It is all looking very grand! Can't wait to see the finale. I like your faux marble fireplace, very nice looking surface treatment.

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    1. Thanks, Karin, I really appreciate your comments. I surprised myself with the marbling to be honest, I didn't expect it to come out as well as it did. I probably won't be able to replicate it again now! lol

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  9. Bonjour Simon, quel plaisir de vous retrouver et d'admirer votre travail. Quand j'ai vu votre première photo dans la liste de lecture de Blogger j'ai pensé que c'était une photo d'un monument que vous auriez photographié lors d'un voyage car jamais on peut penser que c'est de la miniature. La couleur de la pierre des murs, la porte, la fresque au dessus de la porte, la plafond,... tout est d'un réalisme saisissant. Idem pour le marbre de la cheminée et le bois de la porte à l'intérieur, c'est magnifique.
    J'attends la suite avec impatience et grande curiosité.

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    1. Merci beaucoup, Jean'Claude. Je ne suis pas sûr de savoir ce que je faisais, d'être honnête, mais tout s'est bien passé à la fin. J'espère que je peux faire que le marbre affecte une autre fois. J'apprécie vraiment vos messages et j'espère avoir plus de vos projets, votre capacité à créer des objets «à partir de zéro» est une source d'inspiration.
      Meilleurs vœux
      Si

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  10. Stunning work!!! I can't wait to see more.
    Geneviève

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    1. Thanks, Genevieve, I'll have a new post up soon.
      Best wishes

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  11. Hello Simon, It's great to see you back. I too went to look at your website and thought I'd lost it but here you are so all is well! Progress on your latest project is just amazing. I'm so impressed with your "stone" decoration above the main door AND your marbling AND the finish on your door. I can't wait now to see all the other photos of progress in your next post.

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    1. Thanks, Irene. I have been so inspired by your recent work on Marsh Hall that I took the plunge and rolled up my sleeves. The marbling was more luck than judgement - I probably won't be able to replicate it again! lol

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  12. Thank you so much for that Simon, I confess I cannot get too much of anything French (I am addicted).
    Cheers x

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  13. Hi Si,
    Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. You know how much I love country houses and this is exquisite! I love the stone finish on the exterior and the items you used to create it...genius! The rooms are a nice size and I can't wait to see them finished. Oh, by the way, I happen to think your miniatures are wonderful and definitely consider you in Ray's league. You are one of the best in my opinion!
    Take care my friend.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Oh, Giac, bless you! I think Ray is in a league I only aspire to be close to - and you're not too different!
      I'm pleased you like it, the rooms are a fair size - nothing too big so the task won't be too onerous (that's the plan at least).
      Thanks for your support
      Si

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  14. Hello, Simon - Although I'm a fairly new follower, I have missed seeing your work, so I'm happy that you've returned "in full glory," so to speak. The stonework on the porch is outstanding - and I love that floor! I'm glad that you decided to go ahead with the "wood effect" on the door. That burled look is beautiful, as is the marble finish on the "new" fireplace and hearth. I agree that it's so much more satisfying to craft your own things creatively than just buying them. (I do sort of a mix - I buy lots of things but always seem to refinish most everything to suit my own vision.) I'm looking forward to seeing more of your country house.
    Marjorie

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    1. Hi Marjorie, thanks so much for your lovely comments. All the stone and wood etc turned out much better than I expected - more luck than judgment! Lol I'm really enjoying having to rely on myself, as it were, to come up with "the goods". It's a bit like rediscovering another side to the hobby.
      Best wishes
      Simon

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  15. This project is EYE-CANDY no matter where you look Simon! I am bowled over by your stone, marbling and faux-bois techniques as well as the lay-out of the rooms thus far. And by the way, I have always considered your projects to be in the Big Leagues; right up there with the BEST OF THE BEST
    and I was right!
    Welcome Back Simon, this was well worth waiting for- ♡♡♡

    elizabeth
    and re: Lego blocks and cake pillars... Absolutely BRILLIANT! :D

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    1. Oh, Elizabeth, thanks so much for your lovely comments as always, you are such a sweetie x
      To be honest, I don't know how it all turned out so well, or turned out at all! The mini gods were smiling on me lol
      Thanks again,
      Si 😘

      Ps Go get yourself some lego!

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  16. Hi Simon,
    Very happy to find your post. I always find it inspiring to see miniaturists rise to the challenge of "creating" something from something completely different. Very inspiring thank you. Look forward to seeing what other treats you have for us. The faux bois looks fantastic - so glad you tried it at last.
    All the best.
    Regards Janine

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    1. Thanks so much, Janine, that is reall you nice of you. I have long admired your skills. Hopefully I'll remember how to do it for the next time!
      Best wishes
      Si
      X

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