Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Welcome to the Artist's Cottage

I finished the roof thatching this morning.  A final shot of hair spray should hold things down a bit.  I really like how it came out even if I didn't follow the directions completely because it just didn't work for me.  They suggested folding a section and putting it down and then using small twigs and nailing them to the top.  One has to do that to hold the fiber down because when you fold them, they tend to spring back to their original shape.  I just continued it up to the top and tried to weave the front section into the back.

I purchased one piece for the inside, which was pretty expensive, and I may do some handmade small things, but for now it fills things up a more than a bit.  That and the small easel and picture my son drew when he was a child which as far as scale is concerned is way out there.  But artists have been know to work on really large pieces, and I think my son will like that this features his work.  Now that he is grown and a much better artist, I may ask him to do something specifically for it. The smaller "canvasses" are simply small pieces of mat board that I cut up and arranged in the corner along with the empty frames that I purchased.

It will now reside in my work room with the others.  I know that until I really retire fully, I will not have the time to do another project.  I definitely don't have the room - at least in this room at any rate.  But there could be a place in the house for something small.  In the meantime I will enjoy what I have.


Friday, January 10, 2014


The material came from Dollhouses and More which I found on Amazon and it came with a set of instructions.  However, I found a method that was better for me using Modge Podge and smaller amounts of fibers.  It is coming along slowly but I am pretty pleased with how it is turning out.  I also watched a YouTube Video on thatching and got an idea of how it is done in the real world, so it gives me an idea of what I need to do.

 I know it looks kinda of ugly now, but I think it will shape up after I am all done.  One thing I must say is that you really need a strong pair of scissors as this stuff is hard to cut.  The little scissors in the picture I was just using for trimming.  I have to use a better pair and I may have to borrow the ones used in the kitchen for cutting chicken bones as I am afraid I am going to dull what I have in my hobby room.

More to come later, but now I have to take a little break.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Making Progress

I am about 75% completed with this project, and I am more than obsessed with it.  I have had two very sleepless nights thinking about it - I try not to work when in the middle of the night because the quality really suffers.  I still have to thatch the roof, mortar the bricks in the front stoop, mortar the "stone" floor, coat the floor with modge podge, and install the front door.  However I am going to have to wait because I finally found the coconut fibers to do the roof with on Amazon and have to wait until they are delivered.  I found a great tutorial on the thatching process, here.
More pictures below.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with how it has turned out.  The reason I have been able to do all this is that currently I am unemployed after being laid off.  I did get a new job but that doesn't start until the 21st, so I have some time to myself.  It also snowed about 8 inches last night so I was not going anywhere today. I also did a little rearranging of my workspace and you can see a tiny bit of the first house in the corner of this picture.  I had my second house in the hallway, and I was not able to get any enjoyment from that at all.  So I cleared off my lamp table and put the little house there.  Now I get to enjoy it every time I am up here and the light behind it allows me to see the inside.  I just have to work on getting the big house situated in the window and I am all set.

The last things I have to do is get some accessories for the studio.  I have an easel with a small picture my son drew when he was small.  It is a little large for the scale but I think it will work. I found a great artists bench on miniatures.com and even though it is pricey I am going to get it.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Taking Shape

Pardon the quality of the picture above; I think I got something on the lens.  But things are beginning to take shape with the new project.  I have the house together for the most part and now I am working on getting the inside prepped for paint and finishing.  I am getting excited for how it is working out.  The kit, I found, has these cool cutouts that look like half timbers which will look great.  I laid them out and then took them off and painted them brown.  I got balsa wood and cut them to size and will paint them to match the half timber and glue them down to the ceiling to look like exposed beams.  I made a chimney shape for the inside and outside and used the egg carton trick to "stone" the chimneys. You can see the outside one in the second picture where I experimented how the half timber frames will look. I like it.  
Now I have to source where to get the coconut fibers to do the thatched roof, figure out how I am going to do the floor (I think I want it to look like stone) and work on the inside furniture and accessories.  It's going to be an artist's studio so I know some things will be hard to find and others I will have to figure out how to make.  I found this really cool tutorial on how to make brushes with thread and toothpicks so I am excited about that.  I don't have a whole lot of time, but on the days I have nothing planned I will get working on this. Getting excited.