Friday, 30 March 2018

Happy Easter

Hi Everyone

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my last post, it was so kind and very encouraging.

I'm pleased to announce that my little shop will be called Sotheby's ! Named after my favourite auction house. I've been lucky enough to be at several auctions held in Sotheby's (never having the capitol to raise a paddle, mind!) and it was the most thrilling and entrancing experience ever. I hope to bring a little of that to my mini outpost of same name.

The next few pictures show what I've been working on since my last post. The name is above the door along with with some additional details such as moulding running around the window, above the grate. Also, you can see my failed attempt at decals. For whatever reason it simply wouldn't work! Even if I could get the decal off the paper before the print ran off, I was left with what appeared to be crumpled gelatin that would not do as I asked it. I gave up and cut squares in the card in the top windows and stuck copies of the warrants instead. I need to do a neater, more permanent job at some point but you get the idea.

I also made a start on the pavement right outside the shop. I started by cutting and gluing a measured piece of MDF under the facade. I didn't want anything too deep and at 13 cm from from to back I think I have the right amount of space for planters etc (I saw a 1:12 bicycle on line which I thought would look great leaning against the wall).

I then went totally out of my comfort zone and went "back to basics"!! Grabbing an egg box from the fridge I merrily set about cutting and sticking down paving stones. I can't emphasise how scared I was as I've seen so many of you do incredible things with this in the past and never thought I would "get it to work". Here's what it ended up like - can you tell I hadn't mastered the idea of using the "right" side of the cardboard? Scott great delight in reading the protein content of an egg to me!

Next up were the colours. I scanned images of pavements (you'd be surprised at the amount of awful pictures there are on the Internet of filthy pavements!) and liked the idea of sandstone. Well, certainly something warmer in colour than plain old grey slabs. I also hoped the warmer colours would help tie in the door. The two colours were as follows...

I watered them down and hey presto... A Disney sidewalk was born!!

Clearly, this was not going to be the end of the process - never mind the fact that you can still read the great benefits of eating eggs on it!! At this point my heart was racing and I had caution had been completely thrown to the wind. Next I painted on two coats of matt Mod Podge and left to dry over night. I was then tasked with what colour to paint over all of this to act as some sort of grout. Again, like with the door, I mixed up a combination of both the lighter and darker colours already on the facade of the shop and slapped this all over the pavement, leaving it a moment before rubbing off with a same paper towel. Sometimes I had to really scrub at it so that the base colour came through. It still needs messing up a bit with burnt umber but in the end I was really pleased with how it came out.

I'm now collecting egg boxes so I can have a go at making bricks for the front of the first floor - there's no stopping me now!!

Oh well, that's it for now. We're off to our wonderful in-laws for the Easter weekend - the first bank holiday of the year and one which is always hotly anticipated, not least because its a four day break!!

Have a great Easter what ever you get up to and thanks for making it to the end of the this lengthy post.

Best wishes to you All.

Thursday, 22 March 2018


Hi Everyone

Well, progress continues with, and this is where you fall off your seats... my new (amended) project -
It's an antique shop!!! Yes, I know, I did that before but this is slightly different in that I've building and heavily adapting a modular style kit. The shop consists of a ground floor room box and the upper floor and attic are a separate build (which I haven't bought yet).

I know! Your shouting at your screen, "but you've already done an antique shop!!". What can I say?! This won't be so much an antique shop but more like a branch of a high end auction house like Sotheby's or Christie's. There will be accommodation above the shop but this will be done at a later date after I get on with the shop part.

Here's a picture of how the ground floor kit is "meant" to look - sorry for the really bad quality, its a picture of the [so called] instructions.

And here's what I did next, outside and inside.

I removed the central strip of wood from the window to make it larger and more versatile. I'll build a raised platform for the window displays later on.

The next pic shows the outer detail which I switched around.

By putting the original bracket piece (just a piece of wooden moulding) at the bottom of the pillar like a foot I was able to get some little treats from Sue Cook to add some pretty details.

You might recognise the doors from the old project which meant I had to widen the space in the wood as they are larger than the kit doors (yikes! I still get chills recounting the amount of "projects" I've been through!). I also had a tiny piece of brick effect wall moulded in plastic that fit perfectly along one side. I thought it gave the wall a solid feel. I also added some old plastic fencing underneath the window to add some detail and suggest a basement window cover or something.

Finally, in these pictures you can see the lamp and an over door I made to fill in the gap. It is just a piece of thick card with an old moulding I had. I also painted the fence/grill part to tone in with the rest of the facade.

All in all I'm really pleased with it. In the three spaces above the main window (currently with painted card behind them) I am planning to stick in decals of royal warrants from the Queen etc. I've no idea how this will turn out as it's my first time but the paper has been ordered and the printer is ready...

Obviously there is still a lot to do like finish the top area running across the whole front, probably with a name if I can think of one. I also want to make a stand for it like I did with the French style house I built a few years ago.

Well, that's about it for now. I'm hoping to get some more done this weekend and will post more when I have it.

Enjoy the rest of your week and stay safe and warm, those of you with snow, like us.


Sunday, 11 March 2018

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing all the wonderful mothers out there a very Happy Mother's Day - Mine and Scott's in particular...

A picture from our garden last Summer

Hi Everyone

I hope you have all been keeping well.

Where have the past few months gone?! Like all of us, I've been busy over Christmas and New Year with work and projects at home.

I am gradually getting on top of all the Spring chores (flicking through seed catalogues; pressure washing patio; sorting the greenhouse, to name a few) and beginning to have more time to focus on MINIS !!

I have small plans for the upcoming year! Ordinarily this would not be something to be shouting about, however, on this occasion it is BIG news! I've spent some time thinking about what stresses me out with my mini obsession and realised that its all about commitment - in particular, being scared of it!! By that, I mean I am often daunted and ultimately put off by the scale of a project which leads to despondency and eventually disinterest. Also, perhaps, because results are less instantaneous. All silly I know, but what with juggling an ever increasing workload and a garden that is as demanding as the most spoilt of children, sometimes the [self imposed] pressure of "creating" falls further down the list of pleasures.

So, with this in mind, I am downsizing my current project. I have salvaged key pieces from my current house (see previous post) and allocated them to a new smaller project which, I am sure, will be much more enjoyable and should allow myself to simply enjoy the process rather than resent it.

Anyway, I'll sign off there before I ramble on much further. Have a wonderful day, what ever you get up to and whom ever it is with.

Best wishes