Thursday, 13 April 2017

At last, an update.

It's been a wee while since I last posted any progress on the work I'm doing with this property but at last I can show you what I've been up to.    Neither room is completely finished.   I've still to add all the little accessories that hopefully will bring them to life but all the decorating has been done.

In some instances I have had to use the flash as very little daylight gets to the Great Hall.   The pictures have also shown up little things that need attending to and improving - which is no bad thing!

Firstly, the Great Hall





and The Dining Room






I'm so looking forward to my trip to London next month which will include the Kensington Fair hence the lack of accessories.   I've been saving myself!


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Almost, but not quite!

I've been on such a roll with this property (sadly to the exclusion of my other one Netherton) that I just had to get to a point where it was ok to let it sit for a while and proceed with my other project.

Work has been progressing well with the Dining Room but not to a point where it's a) complete or b) I can show you the whole room.    What I can do however is give you a little taster, so............

The ceiling -


Some panelling* -


*All credit for this panelling must go to Dada's Dollhouse blog where I found the "how to".

and some art work.


I know, he looks pretty fed up, doesn't he?

I'm in the process of making curtains at the moment so I should be able to reveal the whole room soon.




Monday, 9 January 2017

The Great Hall

Happy New Year to all my followers - I hope everyone enjoyed their festivities.

For a while now I've felt as though any mini-ing I have done has been more by way of buying than actually doing.   I can never decide whether it's better to decorate all the rooms of a property then fill them gradually or decorate and fill before moving on to the next room so with that in mind, what I do have to show you is a decorated space.    I have some of the furnishings but not all.

This is The Great Hall - it would have been used to greet/entertain visitors who were not so well known or not important enough to be taken to the private rooms upstairs.


It's a difficult space to photograph due to the additional swing-out part of the building to the right which blocks out any natural light so I had to use a lamp.

The piano was a basic bare wood affair to which I have added carved panels and lighting.    (I have also just noticed that it lacks pedals!   These were removed because they looked too clunky and will be replaced).



The area in the corner below gives the impression of access to other areas.   I've deliberately left out a kitchen in this property as I've done three already and wanted to use the spaces for other things so we can imagine the stairs leading to the services located elsewhere.


The door to the right leads to the Dining Room.    The little Coats of Arms were taken from a postcard and mounted on varnished panels.



All the windows to this property are situated at the front.   I created "stained glass" for the upper shaped part of the window with "leaded" glass below.


Below shows the "fourth wall" with it's stained glass windows and I've arranged the curtains to highlight the design when the lights are on.


I'm afraid my little canine friend doesn't look very welcoming!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Come on baby, light my fire..........

The Great Hall in Marsh Hall needed a fireplace.    I bought a fire surround, logs and dogs but, silly me, the logs were too wide for the fireplace opening.   I therefore had to resort to Plan B - make one.

Using the dimensions of the purchased fireplace but making the opening wider and then diving into my stash of foamboard I came up with this


Three coats of paint and two coats of dark oak varnish later, I had this





Hopefully, once it's in place, it'll look suitably Baronial.



Tuesday, 4 October 2016

October Miniatura

Had a great weekend at Miniatura, Birmingham.   I travelled down on the Saturday, fair on Sunday, home on Monday AND I didn't spend all the budget so that can roll on to York in November!

Where I can, I'll list the sellers -






Fabric, The Silk Route;  brass strips, At Home with Mrs Hogarth;  wood moulding, Jennifers of Walsall  and laser cut detail panels, The Dolls House Builder.





Lights, Heidi Ott Miniatures;  plants, The Flower Lady;  woven trug;  resin figures, Eggers Delight;  lock, Sussex Crafts



Fabric, Blue Riband Fabrics;  Fireplace, Victoria Fasken;  decorative fire screens, Elite Petite Interiors;  slipper bath, Sussex Crafts.




I'm not sure yet whether this selection would work better in Marsh Hall or Netherton so I've posted it on both blogs!   The fire surrounds are from Eggers Delight and the chairs from Alison Davies Miniatures.



There were one or two sellers I had hoped to see who were not there which was a bit of a disappointment and there were quite a few items on my carefully crafted list that I didn't get, but I did however manage to make up for that by purchasing items that weren't on the list and some I hadn't even thought of so all in all, a good weekend. 










Thursday, 11 August 2016

Getting stoned - a Three Day Event


This is Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh and the building I'm taking as visual inspiration for Marsh Hall.


I'm using a Bromley Crafts stencil and compound for the finish and this is how it looked once dry but before any paint was applied.


Day 1

The house had already received an undercoat of watered down muddy brown emulsion,


then, using various "stone" colours I dotted and dabbed with sponges and brushes until I got an effect I was happy with.    This is the sort of finish you could fiddle about with for days/weeks and perhaps never be 100% happy with so you have to tell yourself it's fine and put the brushes down otherwise you could go on  forever 


Part way through the process I decided I didn't want the window surrounds or stonework around the Porch to have a different finish/colour from the main house.

I felt quite "arty" holding the inspirational postcard in one hand and dabbing away with the brush in the other, standing back to check the effect then moving in with another splodge!



As the house will be viewed directly from the front there isn't any special finish at the back, just plain emulsion.   The left hand side wont really be seen either given where the house is situated in the hobby room but the right hand side is more on view and also, because there is an additional section of house on this side, I decided to give the building a Clock Tower.    The table the Hall is on at the moment is 3' wide, the house is just short of that and the overall space available is just over the 3' mark therefore a full height tower was out of the question as it would overhang the surface so this little add-on was created to give a bit of interest and to take the 'blank wall' look away.   



The finish you see is untreated emulsion paint.    I've definitely stopped dotting and dabbing at it (for now, anyway) and the next thing to do is spray it with matt varnish to seal it all.    I'm working on the chimneys at the moment then the Porch will be fixed and it's on to the windows.

Day 2

Following on from yesterday's efforts I decided, after seeing the gray gables and quoins in the cold light of day, that they appeared to me to look too much like a framework round the building so I had another go with the dabbing and dry brushing to tone them down.


I'm happier with that, it doesn't look boxed in as much.


The chimneys got some stone/dry brushing treatment and I think I'm finally ready to apply two coats of matt varnish to seal it all.

My final "stoning" task of the day was to add gravel to the top of the porch and paving slabs to the base.    I'm pleased with this.


Day 3

This day saw the Clock Tower being finished



The bell and house name plaque was attached




I saw this little lion heads with rings idea while watching Monarch of the Glen (research) and thought it was a nice touch 


And, for a bit of panache, the Coat of Arms


This is the property as it stands at the moment.   There are still one or two tweaks to be made and I've had a further couple of ideas relating to the front but these can wait.






Monday, 11 July 2016

Roof tiles

This is the Marsh Hall roof -



I've no idea how many square inches it covers and I haven't even bothered to work it out.   I've been debating with myself as to what sort of tile I want.

I knew it wouldn't have a painted finish because the body of the building will be painted.   I also considered the mdf strips but that would mean painting them.    Real slate was out of the question because of the weight and besides, I'd already used them on The Tenement


Richard Stacey's Versi slates were an option and I'd heard good things about them but they would look too uniform on my building.  

I also thought about Peter Clark's tiles.   These are painted card, with cutting lines marked on the back.   I'd used these tiles on my Apples Tea Rooms  and I was very pleased with the effect.  So pleased in fact that I used them again on Netherton.    There was a batch left over that I could have added to but as I wont be at Miniatura until October when I could compare like with like, and the fact that I had already used that particular style - I wanted something different.



Inspiration presented itself during my visit to the York Fair.   Floor tiles!   I saw this on a build being displayed at the show.    

When I first started this hobby with Hambleton Hall I didn't have the great roof debate over which tiles would be best (probably because I didn't know any better, I wasn't on any forums or in contact with any other miniaturists).    I searched the internet and came across some self-adhesive tiles on ebay.   The very thing and so many packs later, job done.


It has since occurred to me of course that these tiles are probably floor tiles cut to size but it works!

Dilemma resolved.   One pack of "slate" self-adhesive floor tiles from the DIY shop later and I'm half-way through tiling the Marsh Hall roof.

For anyone who may be considering this roofing method or who might think, like me, "I never thought of that" this is how I'm doing it.   I've taken a chance by relying on the "self-adhesive" part of the tile.   I did this with Hambleton Hall and unfortunately they had a habit of sliding off but this property was housed in the Conservatory and the heat didn't do the adhesive any favours.   I therefore had to go over it all again and glue the tiles down.   Hopefully (and I'm taking a chance) this wont happen with Marsh Hall as it's not near any heat source.   I'll let you know!

Firstly, arm yourself with two dishes - one for cut tiles and one for backing paper and off-cuts (basically a mini bin);  a metal rule;   sharp knife (the blades will need to be replaced quite frequently);   a pair of scissors and a very sharp pencil.

Take your tile


Mark cutting lines on the back - I measured out my tiles 1" wide by 3/4" (2.54cms x 1.09cms).


Using the very sharp knife, score/cut through the horizontal lines.   I found it easier to use scissors for the vertical marks and store all the bits in your dish.

Starting at the bottom left, and with one full tile, go for it but hang on to all the little offcuts as they'll come in handy when filling in around dormer windows and the like.

In order to keep the line level I didn't pencil mark the roof (which incidentally isn't fixed yet).   I just measured from the tile line I was working on to the top of the roof edge.


Being self-adhesive and having a backing works out quite useful when marking up a smaller tile.   Simply turn it over, mark what's required and cut with scissors.


I've tried very hard to keep all edges neat but sometimes it's not possible, especially at the dormer windows and under the eaves.   This is not an issue as these edges will be covered with lead flashing.

So, after spending the best part of two days "up on the roof", here's my progress so far


Apologies to the seasoned miniaturists who have tiled many roofs.  I just thought there may be one or two newbies out there who may find the above useful (and cost effective!)