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 


  1. The bookcases are lovely Michelle. Your going to have hours of fun filling them. x

    1. I'm very pleased with them Debbie, worth everything! :o))

      Oh it will take ages to fill them, but that's fun and part of it! lol

      Michelle xxx

  2. I was very pleased with my bookcases. They were well worth the wait and expense. Like you I used woodstain first but finished off with a satin varnish I think. Surprisingly it is all quite time consuming!!

    You are very organised in your plans for moving Michelle, have you had lots of viewers round? I hope you get a quick sale or can you move without the pressure of selling first? I am currently in charge of my parents house move and despite a very short chain getting everyone organised has been a nightmare so I wish you and your family luck.

    1. Janice,

      As I was staining the pieces I did wonder whether waxing the insides might be a tad fiddly and difficult. So, I will probably varnish the inside bits and wax the outside. :o) Time consuming indeedy!

      I'm guessing yours stood up straight though! lol I will be happier when I address that. I know with real life bookcases they need to be attached to the wall, but I didn't expect it with a mini version! lol

      Organised yes, I guess so. It comes from previous experiences of moving. With one move we sold and completed within 6 weeks. We had a fairly large house (12 rooms), plus a large loft, cellar and large summer house to empty and pack. It was what I'd call manic panic packing! lol So now I pack stuff that I don't use too often; what can be done today will be less to do and worry about tomorrow. :o)))

      We aren't in any hurry to move, my job transfer needs to be sorted out (even a bit more). I do have a plan with that though and whatever happens I plan on taking 6 weeks off work when I move to get necessary adaptations done and to de-stress!

      Practically speaking I can't move before we sell, I don't achieve anything more...only more stress and upheaval. We've been mostly lucky in the past and had fairly short chains, but that doesn't necessary mean a stress free move. :o)

      I don't envy your task with helping your parents move, it is very hard work. So lots of good luck for you and your parents. :o))

      Michelle xx

    2. I meant to also add! That although the house has literally just gone on the market (last week) and it's a quiet time of year to move, yes, we've had viewings and more planned next week. Too bad I've been here for 2 of them! lol

      I'm still waiting to hear on one of them... :oP

  3. Wow, you always blow me away. At first, when I saw all the racks , I thought, what do you want with so much of them. And now, looked at the second picture and everything makes sense ! Nobody can say, that not all the things you plan and do, aren't perfect. It's great, how everything fits together and I know already now, that at the end it will be a wonderful project again. Congratulation to the your mother. Every stitch is done like by a sewing machine. I have great respect for people ,who can do this. Hugs,Jeannette xxx

    1. Hi Jeannette,

      LOL I'm sure you must have thought what on earth is she gonna fill them with! It's not till you see them face on do you realise just how many books they are going to need! I've been looking at the bookshop photo's though, so I have a few ideas. :o)

      Never perfect Jeannette, just doesn't ever happen and most certainly not with me! lol

      I really have no idea how my Mum made the blinds...maybe they are a combination of hand sewing and machine. I know her hand sewing is very small and fine. I love them though and it will be great to see them fitted. :o))

      Michelle xxx

  4. This is lovely!!! I've been following the progress of Flourish and Botts with great interest, and, really, the bookcases are perfect. I can't wait to see them filled! You've really done a wonderful job, so far, of capturing the feel of the place--and of Harry's world in general.

    1. Hi C.J.,

      Thank you. :o) It's a quirky little project that grew out of nowhere! lol

      I am thrilled with the bookcases and counter, I don't have that much wanted table saw yet, and even if I did this kind of standard is way out of my league!

      I've only applied one coat of stain so far, I think I will do another of the same colour(I may test an area on the back to see what it dries like).

      I love Harry Potter and his world. It would be fair to say though, that I prefer things and projects that stand out in the crowd....I happen to think they are more interesting. :o)

      Michelle :o))

  5. The bookcases are masterpieces! Can't wait to see them finished and full of books. Mini hugs, Natalia

    1. Hi Natalia,

      I have to agree!! ;o)) Ooooh it will be a fair ole while before they are filled. Most are new books, and being a bookshop many are the same! :o) Though I will have a couple of sections for older books and some more unusual sections. ;o))

      Michelle :o)

  6. Absolutely wonderful bookshelves Michelle! These really make the space come alive and I'm suprised just how much space you've still managed to have with them all in.
    Love the idea of the back room and gilderoy would be great.. You know I always saw a mini version having his desk in :)

    The colour you've chosen works great for the shop and can't wait to see how you manage to fill them :) the font counter just looks like the one on the film too :) I noticed on the tour version that there seems to be all the Hogwarts houses different stationery sets/journals/ photo albums or something like that.. I could really make out what they were..

    The blinds look great too :)

    As always, can't wait to see whats coming next :-)

    1. Hi Michael,

      I think it looks like a bookshop now?! Glad you like them. I do think it has a claustrophobic feel though...or to be kind, cosy! lol However, I've been in real bookshops that generate this feeling.

      I've had to forgo the low unit by the side of the stairs...the shoppers would have to behave like the Night Bus to squeeze past that and the counter! So, instead I have other ideas and I have been listening carefully to the audio books. :o)

      I will have to see if the back room idea works. I may have to have the compromise of a trompe l'oeil and real life pieces. It would be fun to have a proper little room at the back there though, and I would add a light (or hidden lights) to illuminate it. This is one of the reasons I want to make the stairs removable. :o)

      I really love the counter, Rob has done a fantastic job at looking at what I wanted and creating a wonderful piece. I haven't really thought about how I will dress it.

      I have seen stationery items in old and quirky bookshops, so this could be the case here. I think I may have some other objects for sale besides books. There is a wonderful bookshop in Oxford, that sells all things relevant to a personal library or study as well as wonderful books.

      I really don't know how much more I can do, I suppose anything that can't fall off or be knocked off I think!

      Michelle :o))

  7. It fits like it was made for the Looks amazing! Cant wait to see them full.


    1. Hi Jenn,

      I was worried that my measurements could be off. I did check 3 times just to be sure! lol Filling them will be fun, but I am sure I can find some other things to have in that shop too! ;o))

      Michelle xxx

  8. Very interesting Michele! I never realized how involved staining miniature wood pieces was!

    1. Hi Brian,

      LOL LOL Oh you'll be amazed! I have made many pieces, and staining, ageing, varnishing or waxing is an all time consuming task! :o) I will be pleased when I'm at the waxing stage...I know I have a least another 2 coats of stain to go before I am at that stage.

      Michelle :o))

  9. Hi Michelle
    there's nothing better than rows and rows of books! The colour of stain is great and I cant wait to see how the upper floor turns out.
    Good luck with all those books!

    1. Hi Simon,

      Oh my those books! I haven't counted how many I need but I know it will look good once they are all filled.

      I thought the colour needed toning down. I will do another coat and see how it looks, it should deepen. I don't want it the same as the floor boards and I don't want them really dark.

      I didn't fancy a trip down to the summer house today....too damp and grey, so I didn't do the other coat! :oP

      Michelle ;o)

  10. Hello Michelle,
    Wow! I just LOVE your shop. The counters are fantastic. Well worth the wait. I can't wait to see them all finished. The layout of the shop is just wonderful and so charming! The blind is also great. Nice work! I hope your ear is better and you're not in too much pain.
    Big hug,

    1. Hi Giac,

      Thank you,I guess it's not bad for a little spare offering! lol It's quirky and it's different from the other shops I am having. I think it will gain more character once I start to dress it, firstly I have to finish the actual interior, etc.

      I'm always suffering with my ears Giac, something I get used to, and my ear is not as bad as it was. :o)

      Big hugs,
      Michelle :o))