Monday 31 March 2014

Mrs Puddifoot's Tea shop, new shops for Diagon Alley...and my cabin's new shelf!

I know, I know the title is a bit of a long mouthful! I didn't think it was worth splitting up the subjects into separate posts...not enough to show, and you'd be so bored you'd be snoring!  

I didn't get so much done this weekend, I had behind the scenes things to do (the heat gun had to come out again!). ;o) I have taken the door off, taken some off the sides so it fits within the door frame as it should. :o)  I also added some damp areas to the brick work, but not lots. I have left very tiny areas of white showing through too...this is the suggestion that the bricks were once painted white and the blue paint has chipped off (a number of Diagon Alley shops show idea why they would have ever been painted white!). lol

Again, my photo's show a combination of flash on and flash off on my camera, the brighter photo's are of course with the flash on. :o)  
I've primed it all and have replaced the door trims. One piece of trim was a tad bowed, so it took some force to keep it pinned down. Grrrr! 
I've painted two thin layers of the top coat to both the door and trims. They will be aged and distressed later on. I'm checking it all still fits in the's always best to keep checking such things...I've been caught out in the past! Eeek! lol
How it will look once its put back in with the front opened.   
Today I started on some of the clay work for the panel. Not the easiest piece to do, mainly because I wasn't sure what style the bricks should be around the window! ;oP
I went for this style! I won't add all bricks to this part, plain plaster to tie in with some on the fronts.  I thought it would look aesthetically better too. ;o)
My chimney stack painted and with its chimney added too! I haven't aged the cement yet as it's still damp. I decided to go for natural but aged and dirtied bricks, not painted the same colour as the shop this time. I must remember though to do a different style of brick pattern around the top edge! I meant to do it this time but I forget! D'oh! 
I will be starting on the roof tiles at the weekend....I'm about at that stage now. :o)
My Dad has also put up my long shelf in my cabin! Hurray!!!! It's 16 feet long and just over 18 inches deep. Each bracket holds 31.5 stone (14 lbs to a stone for those outside the UK), so it will take some weight eh! ;o)  The brackets also fold down. They aren't pretty brackets at all, but they had to serve a practical purpose so pretty ones would have been wasted. ;o) I've moved lots of projects up there for now. ;o)
I'm thrilled with it!
I have a wotnot (it's laying down on the chest of drawers) to go up on the other side of the cabin (on the wall end where I sit, and my pocket watch clock will go on that wall too). This week I will order the Barnpaint for the outside, it's a super-duper sealer for all weather and my Farrow & Ball paint will go on top of that.   
Because I need to have an idea of layout for my Diagon Alley, one of my biggest kits has been unpacked. It weighed an absolute ton and no wonder they cost a bomb to post, and that's within the UK! Here it is all laid out...  
One reason to clear all the decks!
The smaller and detailed pieces of the kit.
 Sorting the pieces out....
My Dad will make up the basic shell for me and the rest is left to me (it's bigger than me..well almost lol). ;o))) 
Here is is! The photo is from the instructions. The corner shop will be Twilfitt & Tattings (a wizards and witches clothes shop), and the other end one will be Scrivenshaft's Quill shop (it sells inks, paper etc., too) and in the middle will be Wiseacres Wizarding Instruments or possibly Dogweed and Deathcap (though this might go in another kit or The Magic Neep). For the latter shop I was going to put it in a much bigger shop, but not only was it really too big for the Alley, it really didn't tie I've switched it to this shop. I have a number of other shops I am going to do too...more on that another time. ;o) 
The inside...not sure where I will have the dividing walls, but on the right side (one room) will be where the witches and wizard clothes are made, and Brews & Stews may occupy the rest (it's a B&B of sorts! lol)      

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

Take care peeps! Michelle xxxx

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Mrs Puddifoot's Tea Shop...painting and ageing.

I've started on painting the bricks for the teashop! I was going to leave them and start on the distressing of the woodwork, but for some unknown reason it didn't happen in that order! ;o) I've used the same colour blue as I used on Flourish & Blotts book shop.

I've added photo's showing with the flash on and without, the colour and look is more what you see in real life (without the flash), however, with the flash you can see more! ;o)        
I rarely use paint straight from the pot, I normally remove some and add a little water to loosen it. 
This shop is destined to be part of my Diagon Alley so it has to be aged! So after I painted the blue on and it dried completely, I lightly sanded some areas of the brickwork to distress it. I then started to add the dirt and general ageing. I normally have a dish or bowl of the main colours, black, brown, olive green and grey. The brown and black and a touch of grey is the main wash, I have another pot of plain water and another with a light dirty wash and I switch between them all to achieve the desired look I want.  

Having a kitchen-roll is handy as are wet-wipes! 
All the areas completed! The pristine paintwork sticks out like a sore thumb at this point..but it's just the order I did things! :oP 
I also added the clay to all the pertinent areas, including the fiddly bit on the edge!  I have painted it blue too. Today I did the otherside.  

Today, I started on distressing the paintwork. I used 3 or 4 different grades of sandpaper to first rub down all the wood pieces and areas. I didn't use crackle glaze like I did with Flourish & Blotts, because although I wanted an aged and distressed look I didn't want it to look that distressed. :o)  
This side is more distressed overall, but I'm not sure it's finished just yet. I have used some green for damp, but nothing really noticeable. I will take another look at this is when I resume work on it.  
 Parts of the brick work and painted areas need attention I think. ;o)
 It's getting there! ;o)
 Slowly, but surely! lol :o)
  This lower brickwork has had some damp patches added, but very subtle!
 The upper rows of bricks I really hate and want to rip them off and start again! Grrrr! 
The bricks get wider as the row goes along, which is really, really weird because I have felt along the edge and the clay is flush (I checked it as I was making them), so it has to be the wood that's not quite straight?! I have options! Well firstly as I hated them soooo much I divided them again, but now they don't match the upper row on the other side! So, I can either make them narrower where they get wider or remove them and start again?! Hmmmm!   
 Here it is as I left it today! 
I also sculpted my chimney bricks on, and although I did this on Friday they still aren't dry which is why they aren't painted yet! I may have two different chimney pots on the stack and different sizes too...not decided as yet!
You can tell when the clay is dry, it feels neutral, neither cold or damp...and it shouldn't have any excess weight and this still has all those things! 
Do you remember last time I said the door looked wonky? Well it is! It wasn't attached straight! 
The actual fitting is really clumsy and not realistic at all. If it wasn't a vintage kit I may be tempted to replace the door altogether. However, it isn't as big as ones you buy now so it would throw the whole door panel out of sync.  So, I will remove the door and either put it back on straight, or remove the door and make the opening wider so the door fits flat and within the gap. If I don't make the opening wider, I may opt to add wood all the way around the door frame to make it look like architrave, but I'm not sure about that one!

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

Michelle xxxx

Monday 17 March 2014

The bricks are complete....Mrs Puddifoot's Tea Shop.

Just a tiny update! I've managed to complete all the brick work on the tea shop! Not before starting again on a segment though! I wasn't happy with how some turned I scratched them out and redid them (the row above the lintel was redone too, the row was too narrow!). I have areas of more distressed bricks...and some areas where they aren't so badly aged by the centuries of decay (a combination of the lighting and dry and wet bricks don't show the bricks as they really are). 

This brand of clay is a tad unpredictable...more on that in a minute! 
I didn't have enough Art Mache made up to complete the brick work for Sugar Plum's Sweet Shop (another reason  why I have stopped working on it for the moment). You buy it in dry powder paper pulp form and add water and PVA glue (white glue and my desired added option). It gives it added strength and I also think it makes less susceptible to cracking.
Anyhow, I made it up too wet (more often than not the pulp absorbs any excess moisture). I made this batch up last weekend and I keep it in an air tight container in a warm but airy place (near a radiator!) for a least 2 months so that the fibre's break down and become finer. I checked it this weekend, far too wet for rolling so I decided to add more dry pulp and PVA to the mix. So, now I have more made up clay than I need immediately...never mind I can use it elsewhere! lol   
Here is the other side of the tea shop completed. For some unknown but bizarre reason the top bricks (at the bottom of the photo) are larger in size! They all started off the same...I did notice some on the upper part do the same thing. I have never known clay do this, the clay seems to have swelled! I didn't add anymore water to my brush nor to my clay surface as I worked, and the top part was nearly all new clay from the pack! A friend said it's happened to them. :o/ I can't say I'm thrilled or pleased! I hope once it's painted it won't show as much!
 So, because the bricks below this top row were larger...I had to make these larger! :o/
 The finished front! 
 How I left it on Sunday night,  you can tell the difference between the drier clay from the wet clay.
 I think the top bricks did shrink down in size a bit as they not quite as erm big! lol
Photo taken today. I've primed all the shop, the only bits I haven't done are the ceilings and floors. I want to drill the holes in the ceilings for the lights and the floors will be painted/stained brown/black before I lay the floorboards.   
With the front door panel in (I wont' glue it in until it's all decorated etc.). I can't paint the bricks until the clay is completely dry, so I have been tidying up the paintwork and will first apply another coat of creamy yellow and then start on the brickwork.

The upper windows will be painted the same creamy-yellow as downstairs. 
I need to add some clay here....between the edge of the wall and the column. This side is bigger because the gap is bigger!
I have checked the windows etc., it couldn't have been put together any other I can't blame the person for dodgy glueing! lol The otherside is a tad bigger than this side...very strange indeedy! 
This an old shop, and I am guessing it was hand cut and no CAD technology way back then!? The reason I say this is because as I look at the door windows they seem to lean over to the right, or is that just me?! As if the door isn't hung straight, I believe it is correct and the door is okay (I will double check it), if it is wonky for whatever reason, not totally sure how I can somehow divert the eye, unless I somehow hang the door off to the left more?! lol

I will plaster this wall, if it's bricked I think it will look too much, so plain plaster will add a balance to the front to match the tiny plain plastered areas on the two sides.
Two chimney stacks! I will have the shorter one for the tea shop, the other one will be for another shop in Diagon Alley.  
Here they are with their tops on  and primed, ready to be bricked etc! 

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

Michelle xxxx