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Friday, February 27, 2009

Fine Sewing & Millinary Emporium

I am sooOoo ready for spring! Last nite it rained; this morning we had snow; now there's a cold wind blowing.....
I have an antique show to get ready for, so I'll make this quick.
Just wanted to update you on how the finished exterior walls look. I will definitely thatch the roof but because I may want to lay the house on its front or side, I will wait until after the wallpaper, chair rails, baseboards, etc are installed.

So if you're ready.......DRUM ROLL PLEASE.....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tudor Architecture

It's blowing outside & altho it's sunny, it's really cold, -9C in the sun....Brrr.

I've been listening to the wind all night. It just sweeps up from the lake & seems to gain momentum by the time it reaches the house. Makes it the right day to work inside & dream of warmer climes:
I guess I should explain the hows & whys of my Orchid exterior. Since there just aren't too many Tudor style homes in Ontario, I had to make a trip across the pond to get some insight into this type of architecture. One of the best of the sites that I looked at was It's amazing what they teach kids these days. Almost makes me want to go back to school......not! LOL

Obviously I wanted my house to seem realistic & not fall down (even if underneath it's slot & tab). I also needed to have my timbers slightly thicker than the windows and door of the house.
What you're seeing here are cardboard timbers. They not only give a couple of added mm of height but also allow me to see how it'll look, in addition to serving as templates for cutting the actual timbers. The cardboard is the type that comes in clothing packages. My timbers are cut from the sides of tangerine crates. Amazing what you can find to use....I've been a scavanger for years!

The other thing that the cardboard does is ensure that the stucco is put on evenly so that the top of the wall isn't thinner than the bottom.......or vice-versa.

I was really lucky to have found several jars of 'faux stucco' at our local Restore (the Homes for Humanity Store). Seems that Michaels used to sell them but I've not seen them in the store now.

HINT: if you subscribe at the Michaels website, they will send out a weekly coupon, usually for 40% off, which you can photocopy as many times as you like, as long as you only use one per day.

My timbers are stained using a mix of burnt ochre, Debbie Travis' Deep Secret (olive green) and a couple of drops of black tempera. I put the 3 colors next to one another but don't mix them until I pick them up with my brush. This gives a bit of age & originality to the wood. I also use a wire brush to create some grooves in the wood prior to painting.

Once the stucco is dry....usually overnite, I glue on the 'real' timbers and age the stucco. A bit of cinnamon brown or some black tempera on a dry brush gives just the right hint of age/dirt.

BTW: here's a photo of my weights:

what else would an antique dealer use, eh! That coffee grinder is cast iron & at least 100 yrs old.

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have glued on the outer part of the windows until afterwards (loss of clamping ability) and I would have created my support cutouts prior to gluing on the posts.

Oh well, at least it only took 2 trys to carve a support that fit properly. (You have to remember to add on the extra length created when you cut the cutout into the holding beams.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm thrilled. I have my first follower, Jean, I didn't realize how lonely it can be in the ethernet void.

I entered Luna-Lei into the Fine Gardening's contest, 'Pets in the Garden' yesterday.

It's entitled " Just another flower in the bay window garden". In case you're wondering, Luna is a hairless Chinese Crested. What I didn't mention to the judges was that she's still in her PJs. I'm not sure that my photo is what the magazine was after but at least she is with the rest of the tropicals. I looked at some of the other entrants; some don't even include a single plant in their photo.

I've just been told that the snowgolf, we're going to starts at 12:30. So I'd better hustle. I'm bringing Vol au Vents which are puff pastry nests filled with mushroom bruschetta and some mini apple turnovers.....all homemade. Now, are you suitably impressed! LOL

I'll get back to the real minis tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

need I say more....

well, this is my first posting. Having worked as a technical writer for more years than I care to remember, I should be used to putting thought to paper but as you know every start comes with it's own issues. So let me just show you where I'm at right now:

I've been working on the Orchid for several, make that The more time I spent on this house the more dissatisfied I became. I'm a realist. I like reality! ....well not all the time but usually.
I knew from the start that this abode was going to house a seamstress, altho I'm still not sure whether it'll evolve in a lingerie shop, a millinary shop or just a sewing shop.
The more I saw what other people were creating, the more I wanted my shop to be greater and more creative than what it was intended for. So I decided to go Tudor......
I went from:

to this:

As you can see I'm far from being finished, but then it's all in the creation isn't it.