Monday, 9 March 2020

Stacking boxes & Bashing a stove

It finally happened last weekend... 

I stacked my three boxes and had a house. 

There is still a bit of construction to do, before I can attach the front, but at least it is now all stuck together and is looking more like a house.

The apartment on the first floor has been almost like this for quite some time, but I wasn't able to attach the ceiling light until now, which is why I didn't share it earlier. 
The other reason was that I was really unhappy with the stove I had. 

The resin stove was one of my early purchases and it was just too shiny and 'resin' looking. Besides, most Danish stoves were round (as I found out later). For my mini budget, this was not a cheap purchase, but he more I looked at it, the more wrong it looked and it was putting me completely off finishing it room. Until...

... I came across this picture from Fjellerup Østergaard (I of course forgot to save the link to the page where I found it) and it made me think that I might be able to 'up-cycle' my little stove to something I felt more happy with.

I liked the idea of a some kind of urn-looking decoration on top of the stove (a pot belly just didn't quite cut it). Without any exact plan for how I was going to make a 'cast-iron-urn' I pulled out a few different timber turnings and cut a few bits and pieces.

It was very much trail and error, stacking bits and pieces in different order, sanding, fitting, adding and taking away. It slowly started to take shape and once I added a couple of jewelry findings, I had something that with a bit of imagination could look like an urn.

Testing it on top of the stove, I begun to think that perhaps this could work after all.

After a bit more sanding, to straighten it up, I have it a coat of gesso and then more sanding.
I then painted it with acrylic paint stippled on to avoid streaks but mostly to get that cast-iron look. I glued it on top of the stove and then gave the whole thing two coats of mat black mixed with a wee bit of white and a blob of silver.

Once it was dry, I rubbed it down with very fine grain steel wool and felt so much happier with the look of my little square stove. 

Seeing it in the room, it might be a little elaborate for such a little apartment room, but I still think the overall look is so much better. 

Truffle the dachshund is curious as to when he can move in...

Enjoy our week.
Anna X

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Final details & Homemade Hardware

I sometimes find it hard to know when something is finished.. really finished. 
But I do think that now that the the brackets I made to hide the spotlight and frame the front and the little light switch are in place....
The shop in The Toyhouse is finished...

I am really quite happy with how the little switch looks on the wall, and the brackets too - although a bit of an afterthought worked out as I had hoped.
I still need to take a photo with the lights on - the spotlight makes such a difference.


The apartment above the shop is also very close to finished... I think. 
I, can't really show it yet, because I am building this house as three boxed stacked on top of one another, so the ceiling of the apartment is also the floor of the attic room. 
I really, really, really want to finish the structure of this little house and I have done quite a bit of work on the attic room. 

I have taken photos as I went along, but this is where it is at.
It is a plywood structure. The floor is made from pop-sickle sticks glued to card stock. I have tinted and stained it with several layers of paint and home-made 'stain' made from steel wool, coffee and tea left to soak in vinegar for quite a few weeks. It gives a wonderful dirty, weathered wood look that I wanted to the attic.

The partition, leading to an imaginary landing is made from card framed with strips of balsa wood.
smaller.  They are tricky to see in the picture, but under the shelf in the storage nook are three little peg-hooks so the resident student has somewhere to hang his Sunday best.

The door too is made from card stock and mini timber moldings. It does open, but is one sided so I am going to be leaving it closed. In the picture below, I had not yet put the hinges on. They are made following this brilliantly simple Hinge Tutorial. They are made from paper, that is glued tightly around a bit of wire. I mixed paint into pva glue to paint them to give them a bit of extra strength.

The keyhole is commercial week thing, but I simply could not find a door handle that was simple enough. Besides, I do know that most handles in more modest houses in Denmark were turned timber so....

... I shopped the end of a turned timber bit and sanded and sanded and sanded some more, until I had the handle I wanted. Who knew, it was possible to spend a whole evening making one wee handle???

Until next time....
Anna x

Monday, 20 January 2020

Filling and un-filling the shelves

I wasn't going to fill the shelves in The Toy House until I had finished the two rooms above it, but then I couldn't resist and thought it would be fun to see just how much (or little) I had collected and made for the shelves.
That was ages ago now (October according to the date on my photo).
I had more bit and pieces for the shelves than I thought, but still a long way to go before the shop is overflowing.

It was fun to see them on the shelves. I was surprised how much I had and not surprised how much more I need to make the shop look like it is overflowing like an Aladdin's cave.

It had been my plan to pack the little toys up again almost right away, so that I could finish a few little details on the room itself. I also want to try and somehow note properly what is there. Some is bought, some is made from scratch and some are made from kits.
One of my idea with this space is to record where, how and what everything is. We'll see how that goes.
Not much has happened in the meantime either. Firstly because I haven't had a lot of time and secondly because, as you would most likely know, there is only so much you can do to a box full of teeny, tiny bits. Clearing the space out again didn't happen until just the other day and I started finishing and adding the last few details on the weekend.

One thing that had been troubleshooting me was the lighting. I am not sure the light over the counter will cast enough light into the shelves and I would like the shop to be bright and cheerful. I had bought a couple of spotlight (miniature lighting company) and decided to put one on the ceiling at the front corner to shine back into the shop. Since it was an afterthought (but luckily before I completed the room upstairs) I was able to cut a groove at the back of the skirting in the room above to feed the wires to the back. I have cut out little grooves in the front edges also, so that the wires won't get damaged by the front opening wall.

Clearly this spot looks very unattractive so I am making little corner brackets to hide them and trim the front edges nicely.


I have made four brackets, to the room above can be trimmed in the same way. The wooden cutouts have been sanded and painted a golden tan. Once dry, I backed them with dark brown card so the pattern shows up nicely.

The other little detail I wanted to add was a light switch. I am sure the shop would have been 'upgraded to the electrics' and I had seen some fabulous ones, Ms M had made on Madness so I thought I would give it a go and made a few last night.

I dipped the tips of paper covered wire in Gesso to make a rounded end. When that was dry, I dipped the 'drop' in dark brown paint. Once that was dry, I inserted the wire into a 5mm (1/4") bead cap and filled the back with tacky glue to hold it in place. After that had tried overnight, I was able to trim the excess wire and glue the 'switch' to a little piece of wood. I did prepare more of the bead cap thingys but I broke one and dropped another that is nowhere to be found so this is all I ended up with.

Once these bits dry, I can pop them in place and then.. just maybe.. then, I think the shop room is finished...?

Have a lovely week.