Tuesday 2 September 2014

Mr Mulpepper's Apothecary - Update

Well I'm here with an update on Mr Mupepper's, the other apothecary in Diagon Alley.  I won't be doing it the same as Slug and Jiggers, that was from my own imagination and nothing like the real one, however, Mr Mulpepper's will be as much like the real one as I can do it and with what I have to work with! ;o) 
So, this is the old Honeychurch shop that I had and stripped back. Firstly, sticking with what you first thought was right...is nearly always the right choice! lol The fascia blue is the wrong blue for the shop and the one I bought purposely, was...worse still I had actually started to paint the top window frames too! The nightmare began with the window frames and the sanding down (again lol) and erm trying to glue them back together! 
Enough of that for now! I glued on the shops' sign etc which I also wanted to change, so it had a little roof over the top of it...the challenge began! I also started to put together the two bottom bay windows and made adaptions to them too. 
I wanted something more fancy for the window frames, but the narrow trim I had (and could only use) was quite thin and I needed more depth so they stood out from the plaster work.  So I used the basic trim that came with the shop and fitted my fancy trim over the top.  
 The basic trim glued on!
 Now the fancy trim over the top with an enhanced window sill too! ;o)
Now it came to that tricky little roof addition...not forgetting the nightmare top window fitment! They took ages, AGES to refit back into the window holes, a couple aren't great...looking at them makes one feel you are on a wonky fair ground attraction! lol 
Arh! Yes, its upside down! lol I did have 2 spare window brackets but they were too small and really needed two per window. So I opted for one large one per window, and as it happened when I rechecked with the real shop, they too had one large bracket! YAY! ;o) 
 Now for adding the tiny roof above the sign......I couldn't have much of a slope!
The roof part added and some trim to embellish it. painted and distressed too. :o) I also drew on grid lines for my brick lines...so that they aligned and were fairly straight.
I decided to glue the door architrave on  before I started on the plaster work...with fine and tight areas it's far easier to have it in situ as you plaster etc.
I had to cut a little niche out of the main door architrave so I could accommodate the window ledge.
I only wanted patches of exposed brickwork, this can be tricky because if you want realistic and straight lines, you do want them straight and the grid lines help...especially when you have two separate segments. 
 With all the brickwork added, I then painted them! Still a way to go yet! 
Here I am starting to apply the plaster. I chose to draw around the bay windows for the basic shape because I didn't want these glued in yet, as you find out later(!) and the fact plaster is also messy work and I much harder to clean off ones painted pieces! 
 Some of the ageing and distress applied to the plaster and brickwork...

The round gap in the plaster (top half) is where my outside light will go. More on that in my next post!
I have added some damp patches, but not much. I may add more when the bay windows are glued in. 
I may need to add a few touch-ins with the plaster and there are a couple of areas higher up that I want to tweak too! 
Testing everything in situ! The bay windows have 2 shelves each (I made these originally and now I've tweaked them so they will refit the windows again).  I am still deciding whether to have these sloping towards the front (like the real shop) or flat! 
I've stripped all the old roof tiles off. I have added bricks to both sides of the roof and the chimney stack. I have also aged the chimney pots...I forgot to take a photo of them! Grrrr! lol I will be adding trim to the sides to finish off the edge. The tiles and lead flashing are on order for both roof's. 
 I needed to tidy and finish off the side of my little sloping roof! 
I have also cut and primed all the interior trims/architrave. These will be painted the aged with that I normally use...I'm doubtful I will have either the blue or plum inside! ;o/ 
I will be using the same trim as the exterior for the interior around the doors and their windows at least. Again, these will be an aged white that I use.
The door window frame that I made, which the acetate will be sandwiched in between the door and frame. It still needs to be distressed and I will make frames for the upper windows too, but without the thin outside frame as the wider and proper architrave will be used for that part.   

Supplies are on order to finish the exterior. I have also bought all the wallpapers and many for other projects too. I've been collecting furniture etc too! Once the exterior is completed, I will make a start on the terrace of shops. I will show an update on this before I start on the latter. ;o)) I will then start the process of popping back to started projects when I am waiting on major or big things to dry. ;o)   

We are having our current kitchen completely gutted and redone in a few weeks...yes,  the real home is still being done too! Can you believe it, that I moved to Norfolk a year ago today! My oh my, what a year! lol ;o))  

I hope you don’t mind my ramblings and madness! :o))

Michelle xxxx 

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Prepping, priming and planning!

It's been a while huh, but a little update for now! Did you think I took a trip to the moon or an exotic holiday somewhere?! Hmmmm......I could have done, I've also been busy working on many projects and buying supplies etc! :o)) 

I've been stripping back all the part started kits, insides and outsides as well as all the component parts. Two I bought like it, one I wanted to completely re-do and one was brand new. Although it may not look like it, but it's taken hours of work and hard work to to get this far! Heat gun, hot soapy water to remove wallpaper, wires and lighting removed and sanding both hand and electric sanding and then lots and lots of priming! All my part started kits are on a level playing field, it means I can go from one to the other with ease. I have a total of 8 projects/shops that I can work on now. I have decided to leave the more complicated shops till last...namely Ollivanders and Weasley Wizard Wheezes (which is part started).
This is Dogweed and Deathcap shop that I've applied the stone work to. I was going to change the colour, but this is natural sandstone dust and all it needs is some more distressing and also ageing and dirtying, so I may not paint it. 
 I applied another coat to the steps...still very much work in progress!

I've prepped all the terrace shops, both inside and out....plus most of the add on pieces. I've also sorted out all the shops detailing and components to their rightful shops. I have changed a couple of the doors..so I have 3 different doors to the shops. 
The middle shop has a lovely deep bay window which I will add Georgian bars to. 
I've made some changes to Leaky Cauldron pub. in the films all  you see is a black Georgian door (set on a corner), but the inside is Tudor. So, I've changed the outside to emulate a Georgian look, but the inside is clearly Tudor. This was part of my original Hogwarts which was part of a Tudor Coach House kit, so it already has the low ceilings! lol 
This was my Victorian Shop which was my first ever project. It was mostly done by my parents, but I did do some of it. This has taken hours of prep work, I have no idea what glue was used, but suffice to say I'm pretty sure some parts doubled as giant glue sticks! If it wasn't glued within an inch of its life, then it was pinned! lol I still have to sand down the floors and completely redo the roof...suffice to say it has a long way to go....  

It is to become Mr Mulpepper's apothecary.
It was impossible to rip out the staircase without breaking it, so it's been a case of working around it! I've removed the homemade doors (the shop didn't come with any) and the doorways aren't quite today's 1/12th scale size, so I will add all false doors and thus cover up the original doorways. I've also been distressing the hall way as you see here. The staircase still needs a lot more work  yet.
 Still lots to do...the outside(s) first though!
I've changed and embellished the bay windows to the shop too, these now emulate the real shop ones. If you look at my page called Mr Mulpepper's Apothecary you will see how it once looked (before I stripped it back!).
Still very much work in progress! The Georgian bars are not glued in, the actual bays needs painting plum too! The doors need lots of work, not to mention dirtying! lol The top of the shop (lintel?) has been dirtied over the white primer...I'm hoping when it's painted the dirty white will show through when I distress it...an experiment!
This old Honeychurch shop didn't have much refinement, so I'm reapplying the inner window frames. This still needs to be worked on and painted plum, the acetate will be sandwiched in-between.  
 I hope to add a more fancy architrave around the doors too...
Most of the shops in Diagon Alley have other businesses above the downstairs shops. This shop has upper blue windows...so mine will too. I have around 5 different businesses to be added to various shops along my Alley. You will have to wait and see what they are though! ;o)
I have bought most of my paints for my shops...I still have a few more to buy. Chalk paints are so much easier to distress than acrylic paints, they also come in a wonderful range of colours that are more pertinent to the eras I am working on. I have also bought wallpapers, and interior fittings as well as carts on wheels (I had these made) for my alley.
Some hanging shops signs that I have....I have 3 of these and I hope to have other designs too. 

I have a new project (I have the kit) that I hope to have built before Christmas...if only to see what supplies I need to buy. It's a Gothic style with a very opulent interior, you'll have to wait and see what theme it will take, and no it's not witchy or wizard related! lol

Nearly 3 weeks ago I very badly injured my foot and ankle. I really have no idea how long it will take to heal and I'm not able to spend more than 3 hours being up and about, so work (when I'm not working, my job that pays the bills lol!) will be slower! I will be back when I have progressed more! 

I hope you don’t mind my ramblings and madness! :o))

Michelle xxxx

Monday 9 June 2014

Mrs Puddifoot's gets steamy windows and a dress rehearsal.

Well it's been hot, sunny and humid in my part of the UK...we went from 14 or 15c to 27c in a day, I'm not liking too much!  I don't fry as much in the cabin as I did in my Summerhouse in my last garden, but it's hot enough!  

Anyhow, enough of all that! In case you're wondering what the first photo is all about, it's just a mini dress rehearsal of the downstairs of the teashop...but more of that in a minute. ;o))  I've also included some photo's with and without the flash on, the colours ring more true without the flash on...though shades of blue's and green's the camera has a habit of telling little lies! lol   
Hmmmmm! Steamy?

One of the descriptions of the shop was for 'steamy windows', that look isn't easy to recreate and I've never seen it done before. I used a form of glass paint that emulates the look of engraved glass (sorry I forgot to take a photo of it, but I think it's by on of the well known American brands that make the acrylic paints). It said on the bottle that it takes 4 days to dry if left out (you can cure in an oven...but I can't do that to acetate! lol). Anyhow, I have no idea where it was tested but it was more like 4 seconds! Maybe they tested it in the Antarctic?! As soon as it was out of the bottle and onto my little porcelain dish the clock was ticking away (that was on a cool day too)! I had 4 practises on some old spent acetate in order to try and erm emulate steamy windows. The stuff dried so fast that it was challenging to say the least to get the stuff how I wanted it on my window. So, from painful experience, less is more (on the brush) and work that around and around as fast as you can, before nasty white bits form. :o/ I emulated condensation by using a clay sculpting tool and drew a squiggly lines downwards...fingers helped smooth and blend the overall look. The side window is more misty than the front one (it was the first one I did). You can kinda remove some of it once dried, it does take effort and mine were tweaked.
 You can see into the teashop through the windows...the side windows are more opaque.
 It gives the suggestion of something on the windows...maybe it looks more like dirty windows! lol Still it is Harry Potter and nothing is that salubrious! lol      
This window is glued on, I wasn't going to add the tongue and grove on the opening wall because you have to leave an unrealistic space where it closes. I will have a think about whether to add it or leave it as it is.    
This is how the window frames will look. Finishing touches need to be applied...still WIP!
You must be thinking Arggghh what a colour, far too in your face! It wouldn't be to my taste or choosing, but Mrs Puddifoot seems to like it! The piece on the right is the first version of the shade I mixed up, the one on the left the last version...I'm not sure the camera is picking up the differences!   
The piece on the left has only had one coat. Lots of sanding etc to be done too. I may leave the finished version sanded...not entirely distressed, but maybe not perfect either. The top rail will sit on the upper front of the tongue and groove.
The fireplace will be painted a rather unusual shade of a brickish pink like some pieces of the furniture, it's a colour I have to mix up myself and I had to buy a particular colour just to get the right shade, so I can't paint the fireplace until the furniture is made. The fireplace will also sit off-centre, like in the real shop.
An idea how the other window will look. Lots of filling and painting to do...this is just to show how it will look. 
The door is a problem too. I bought some lovely architrave to go around it. It hides all the nasty raw edges,  not forgetting the hinges too! Anyhow, as  you can see the architrave is far too wide for above the door! 
It looks nasty and bare without anything...and I'm not sure whether to bother with the tongue and groove etc either, because the odd angle that the door is fitted in, could prove more trouble than it's worth and could hinder it fitting well.
So I had a look in my wood supplies (as  you do!) and found a plain piece of wood...not entirely exciting though! lol
So I opted for a fine and thin piece of dado rail instead, only I forgot to take a photo of it along side the door! lol   
I did a dress rehearsal of the shop too, this was to show how it will look. I'm not having that actual table or dresser (my one will be wider and have doors), these are just to show you what will be there. 
The door isn't finished at all! All the tables will have table cloths and the large round table is piled high with stacked cups with flower patterns etc. The chairs have cushions too. 
The real shop is quite claustrophobic and crammed full of stuff! The dresser will be filled with cups etc.
In the corner by the fireplace, I will add a tea trolley and under the front window a half moon table.;o) 
Waste not, want not and think before you throw in the bin! lol Yes, even that tiny green piece! I was dressing the teashop and there's a tiny gap between the back door and wall and I was planning just painting the gap...well that slither of wood fits perfectly! lol  
My Mum has made my table curtains, they are all separate for ease of use. They hide all the boxes of stuff! :o)) 

  My delphinium's are out!

I will be adding an air drying clay tutorial on my other blog Michelle's Mad World 2 tonight, I will be adding more text/data to it and also photo's. You are welcome to ask questions as I fill in the gaps and of course when its complete etc. I will be back to check for editing of this post too! lol 

I hope you don’t mind my ramblings and madness! :o))

Michelle xxxx