Saturday, 20 October 2012

Flourish & Blotts gets furnished….

 Well, actually it still has a long way to go yet in many ways! :o) 

Some months ago I mentioned that I was going to commission the bookcases and counter for this shop, I was under the misapprehension that perhaps the commission wouldn’t take too long because one gets to apply the finish to the barewood pieces. :o)))

I now know why the commission took longer than I anticipated. Rob Lucas has amazing skill and talent that is in big demand!  :o)))

My bookshop is based on the real one and like many old bookshops you find yourself in the UK, very tight for space and books stuffed in every conceivable space going!
When I contacted Rob he requested sketches of what I wanted. I can’t sketch for toffee, so I instead I scoured the Web for bookcases in the style I wanted. I already knew what the counter looked like so I sent the photo from the actual shop and another photo from the web for the shape etc. Rob completed a sketch of the counter, and I requested shelves inside the counter too.

This shop originally was going to be another type of shop, but I bought another kit for that project, so this homemade shop became a spare. It’s tiny, so any potential shoppers are going to have to be on the slim side! lol   
 Inside the counter, perfect in everyway and just what I wanted!
Last week they finally arrived. They are perfect, perfect for my project! They fit perfectly too (much to my relief because I had to measure my shop). I couldn’t be more thrilled with the pieces. :o))

Holding back the bookcases, they all lean forward....rickety floorboards! Very authentic, I did want them aged and rickety, but perhaps not between the wall and floor! lol. 

I have a few ideas and plans already, but unsure what to do with the upstairs wall space. I was going to have a clock, I may have some bookshelves stuffed with books and books piled on the floor.  I could have a wall light?
The photo’s unfortunately don’t show too well all the fine detail, but the pieces have fine and detailed architrave around the top and bottom, and beading down each edge. I believe the pieces are made from Bass wood. 

Fitting the pieces in the shop was the fun part, my floorboards are very rickety and just like in real life (!) so I am going to have to secure the bookcases to the walls because they lean forward. I will use the clear silicone sealant that you use around baths etc. I use it behind fireplaces, it allows you to secure the fireplace, but also remove it if you need to change the bulb or check on the wiring. I will want to remove the bookcases, so this is ideal.   
I know when I move I won't be so limited with space. I can now have the slightly deeper shadow box that I made.  In the film this small back room is where Gilderoy Lockhart signs his books. I may now have real shelves on the back wall of the shadow box, a small window (like upstairs) and a desk piled high with books. I may also, on occasions just have the doors ajar.   

I am going to frame the door with books, I have packed all my books away and could only find  some glued pages (for insides of books) and I did try these, but forgot to take the photo of them to give you an idea what it may look like! :o)

The stairs will run up along these bookcases and I plan on making them removable. I don't think you'd find stairs in real life like this, but one does in Harry Potter. :o) However, in the film, the doglegged staircase runs along the back wall too. My building isn't wide enough to do this, so I've had to adapt the idea. I tried it today and it all fits, though it's a cosy fit! lol :o) 
I knew the position of the upper floor landing newel posts would be an issue. I plan to have one here, it gives enough realistic space to get access to the books. Skirting board painted black with gold writing will cover the floor edges, but the stairs will cover most on the side you can see. 

I can now add the skirting board and cornice, now I know where the bookcases will be etc.
The newel post on the opposite side will be in the same position. 
You may just be able to see the fine detailing. :o)
I wanted to stain my bookcases in my Summer House, all rather too smelly for my craft room, I had to reorganise some working space! 

However, I have started to tidy and pack up both my craft room and Summer House. Nothing is actually packed permanently away yet, but I’ve been rearranging my supplies and tools. I decided that I can do some work on this project. It’s not easy though, having peeps coming to view one’s house (the Estate Agent shows the potential vendors around for us) whilst I hide out in the Summer House (if I'm not at work). Just how much I get done or will do remains to be seen. :oP
 I have 6 stains to choose from, I also mix up my own stains from acrylics. I often age with the latter. I want a warm oak colour for my bookcases etc., not too dark because I have black paintwork in the shop. I always start with the lighter and warmer colour first and go from there, just my preference.  I will finish and seal with wax polish, this also helps defining the detailing, and enhance any ageing I want to do.
 Getting ready for staining....
Not quite ready....
I’ve started on the staining, it has taken some time just to do this much. I had to stop, I have an ear infection which makes me feel rather groggy and having my yearly flu jab didn’t help my cause. :o(
My blinds for the shop. My Mum made the blinds and I've done the rest. They still need their cords to pull them down. :o)

These are the finials I bought ages ago. I will finish them with either a wax polish or satin acrylic varnish. I drilled a hole in each pole for the finial to fit into and the metal fitting fits between the pole and finial.  All the metal furnishings are solid brass and hand made by Tony Hooper. :o) 
I don't think ( I think they are too vulnerable and may come apart whilst moving) I will glue together my blinds (pole and finials).  
I will be removing that spare bit of thread too! lol

I believe my Gobstopper Machine for Sugar Plum's Sweet Shop may be ready next week. It's wild and very wacky...methinks Sugar Plum's upper room space maybe going lateral (into another kit) and thus have more sweet making space! 

A big warm welcome to my new followers….I hope you don’t mind my ramblings and madness! :o))

Michelle xxxx 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Hogwarts - Gryffindor’s Common Room Commission and more…

Well as I’m not doing any mini work at the moment and my brains are fried and dried! So, I thought I’d show you my long awaited commission for Hogwarts - Gryffindor’s Common room fireplace and accessories! 

I really didn’t want to make my own fireplace for Gryffindor’s Common room as I knew it would be a devil to make, so I asked Ericka VanHorn whether she would, and I got lucky!

I received many accessories with the fireplace, these include two open books, one  of them is about  The Three Brothers and there are also two paper bundles, one on Horcruxes and the other on wands. There is a wand, a tiny orrey, potions, phials, newspapers and lots of sweets which include teeny tiny chocolate frogs! I also have Harry’s broom and Weasley Wizard Wheezes goods! There is also a wonderful standing candelabra (not photographed here, I accidentally forgot to add it to the scene!) There is also a stack of books, but Ericka forgot to add them to the parcel, so they are on their way over with some other items that I recently bought.

It arrived this week a long with lots of Harry Potter related goodies! :o)) Ericka has even added the shield above the fireplace, I know she wanted to do the proper motto for Gryffindor, but you can’t really see what it says…so I said it matters not one iota! :o)) 
Ericka has made Sirus Black’s face in the flames (from the scene where he is talking to Harry Potter) which I particularly love. :o)) His face and the fireplace lights up, unfortunately I haven’t finished wiring so I can’t show you. I am hopeful that Ericka will show this piece on her blog and with it lit. :o))

It is a piece that you really need to see in real life. I really can’t wait to add it properly to my scene, but Hogwarts is not done and I haven’t laid the flooring for the Common Room yet and there are light wires showing through the flooring!    

Ericka informs me that Martha Puff has included my fireplace in American Miniaturist Magazine. I am thrilled to have more mini’s in a magazine, but also so thrilled for Ericka too!  Ericka has sent me a copy over with the book stack. :o)))  Once received I will show it on here.  :o)

Thank you so much Ericka! I love it and I really can’t wait to add it properly to the room! ;o))

 This is the wall it will go on. The project is far from finished as you can see! :o) 
 The sweets that I received from Ericka too. Most will end up in Sugar Plum's Sweet Shop. :o) 
I have also made some recent purchases from Nikki Rowe. I have bought some food too…well witches and wizards need to eat and most nice ones eat fairly normal food too! ;o) I also have a wonderful mandrake waiting for his pot! Lol I have a lot of projects so they will all be homed in various new homes. :o))
I love the pumpkin pies and pumpkin loaf! 
 Lots of different cheeses!
All together in Hogwart's not finished kitchen! Not a place to put food either...on the dusty kitchen floor! lol

A big warm welcome to my new followers….I hope you don’t mind my ramblings and madness! :o))

Michelle xxxx