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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.

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