Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Finishing the outside of the house - Part 1

Hi to anyone who is reading this, is there anyone out there??  Let me know if there is, as I would love to hear from you.

When I first got my house I decided that I should do all of the outside first.  It hadn't been finished on the side walls or the back and I knew I didn't just want to paint it.  I looked at the finishes I could do and decided on mixing paint with some fine sand that my son uses in his job as a hard landscaper.  I think they use it on block weave drives?  Anyway, it was really fine and I thought it would be ok for the finish I wanted.  I bought a couple of sample pots of paint from the local hardware shop and just mixed until I thought it looked ok (not very scientific I know!).  I painted one coat of this and when it was dry I painted with just paint.  As I have moved on with the project I have been thinking of doing some sort of colour wash over it as well, but I haven't tackled it so far.  At the moment it is all really neat and tidy, but in real life it would be a bit dirty in places wouldn't it?  Here is a picture of it with the windows just sitting in it, I haven't fixed them properly yet.  I also painted the quoins in a slightly darker colour to give a little contrast. I made the mistake of painting the top trim (I think it is called dentil?) with gloss paint to start with but it looked awful.  When I checked on various forums I realised that it was a complete no no to use gloss, so I re-painted with ordinary household matt paint.  It came out much better.

The front door I painted with a Humbrol Gloss paint in colour number 2.   It's ok, but I think another time I would use acrylic paint.  You'll also see in some photos coming up that it was quite difficult to get a nice finish.  Lovely from your normal view but my photos really pick up the flaws!  Oh well, this is all a learning curve!

I hand made the letterbox and the door knocker.  The letterbox is a piece of cardboard and I used a small piece of lead which was left over from the roof and embossed on it the word 'Letters'.  I stuck it on to the cardboard and then trimmed it with a cord taken from a gift card to give like a rope effect.  I am fairly pleased with it, could it be better? yes I think it could, but this is my first attempt after all!

The door knob is a bead that I painted and added to a hole punch size of card.  I painted them all with Humbrol Metal Cote paint in black. The door lock is one that I bought from Bindels which is a lovely site and has loads of jewellery findings and beads on.  It was originally brass so I painted it with the black as well.

Can you guess what the door knocker is made from?

Yes, of course, its the back off a clip on earring!  I wrapped a tiny bit of thin ribbon over the top bit which just finishes it off, again it has been painted in the black, but I can see that a little bit of it has rubbed off, I'll have to retouch it and put some sort of sealer on.

I'll talk some more about the outside in my next post.  See you later.  Alice

Monday, 10 September 2012

Lovely shop...

I was on holiday recently in Florida and eagerly looked for a doll house shop in the area.  I found Nancy's online and made sure I found time to visit! It didn't disappoint me! I could have spent hours in there if I hadn't got my husband, son and daughter with me!!  I found some lovely blue floral wallpaper in the bargain box ($1 per sheet), a couple of other sheets of wallpaper that I think I might use in one of my hallways.

I was also really pleased to find another sheet of clay bricks made by Houseworks. To explain,  I was really lucky about three or four weeks ago, I visited a local car boot sale, and happened across a stall where first of all I spotted some miniature lights.  As I looked further I saw wallpaper, wooden staircases, and loads of other things. I was rooting around trying to decide what to buy and my son suggested that I offer to buy it all as a job lot, I asked how much she wanted for everything and she suggested £20.00, I agreed in a shot! I came away with three light fixtures, loads of wood trim, skirting board, a little bit of coving, two sheets of Houseworks clay bricks, slate tiles for floors, wallpapers,  plus loads of other stuff!

When I checked the kitchen dimensions I needed one more brick sheet.  I looked at the price for me to buy in the UK and was a bit loath to spend the money, so when I saw it at Nancy's I was pleased with the price of $10.99.

Here are not brilliant photos of the things I bought, I took them with my iPhone.

My favorite item is the hand painted lamp which my husband encouraged me to buy!  It is made by Ni Glo and is really lovely.  It feels quite heavy and has such lovely hand painting on the shade.  I am planning to have one of the rooms as a ladies day room in blue and white, so this and the wallpaper will be lovely together.  I am planning to make a writing desk and some sort of comfy settee.

Any way, I am going to go back in time in a short while as I have done quite a few things to the house and have took pictures as I went along.  Look out for an update soon.  Thanks for reading (if anyone is!)