Pickett Pond Build: Part Three, Railings and Fireplace

  1. Interior railings and fireplaces.

I started with the railings, as one part goes behind the upstairs fireplace. It was easier to put it in first, then the fireplaces, then the rest of the railings.

Parts for interior railings.

Parts for fireplaces and the chimney, unpainted resin.

Railings were fairly straightforward with the spindle piece fitting into grooves in the top and bottom rails, with posts fitting into notches on the end. Part A is put onto the end of one railing so that the second railing end can be fitted into it at a right angle. It lends stability.

I painted the railings with the mix of slate blue and hippo gray. This small piece goes into the house first.

The fireplace pieces are painted with washes of gray and then randomly dry-brushed with burnt umber, dark green, and hippo gray.

I sanded the pieces a lot before I painted them to get them to fit precisely into place in the house.

First floor goes in with fireplace facing the bay window / front door side. A lip at the top hooks on to the second floor opening.

Second-floor fireplace faces away from the stairwell. When the two parts are in place, they create the illusion of the fireplace going all the way up through the house.

Now I added the rest of the upstairs railings.

Once railings and fireplaces were all installed, I put on the back piece of the roof.

2. The outdoor porch railings.

The porch railings were definitely more challenging!

There are three sets of porch railings, one for the corner by the front door, one running around from the front of the house toward the barn door, and one wrapping from barn door to the back of the house and the bathroom wall.

First, I glued the bottoms of the railings at a right angle.

I found it soooo much easier to paint the all the pieces before installing the railings.

The paint scheme for the spindles is similar to the windows. From top to bottom: winter blue, nautical blue, slate blue/ gray mix, trail tan.

The rest of the pieces I painted gray.

The spindles fit into groove in the railings, as do the end posts.

Posts fit into notches in the railings, thin part up.

The top rails fit across the upper posts. The whole piece slides in here. My roof didn’t sit down all the way correctly (I always have warpage), but I shimmed them into place.

The rest of the railings follow the same procedure–they’re just longer. Many more spindles to paint!

These fit nicely. I touched up the paint before gluing in place.

The back railing wrapping around to the bathroom wall.

Back railing. In this shot you can also see the chimney, painted like the fireplace, glued to the roof.

With railings and fireplace, the interior and exterior of this house is done! Touch-up as always, but that’s the build!

Next: Landscaping, which can be translated to any project.

Wine Cellar vignette

Continuing with smaller projects, I put together this wine cellar in a wine box kit. I bought the kit at the Chicago show last April–I had said to my husband: “I’m not buying any more kits!” Husband: “Oo, look at that one!” and points to the wine box. Sigh. I purchased. (It’s by Jill Castoral: https://jillcastoral.com/miniatures/. She has a lot of cute kits–check them out.)

 

The kit came with everything pictured: The box (a gift box for a bottle of full-size wine), the wood to make the cabinet and wine rack and crate, wine bottles, the wine barrel, etc.

It was easy as well–simple pieces to put together, but the result looks intricate. Lots of staining and aging in this one! Most of the time for this kit came from waiting for things to dry. But worth it.

Putting together small projects that took a few days to a week was relaxing and a good stress break.

I have now gone back to the interior of the Westville, and also started the Pickett Pond, a Robin Betterley kit I’ve had laying around for a while. Photos of that one as I go.

Westville: Stonework Painting

After making sure the paperclay was thoroughly dry and gaps filled in, I started painting the stonework foundation by giving it several dirty gray water washes.

The wash is mostly water with two drops of hippo gray and one drop of black. I went over the stone work three or four times with this, letting it dry between washes. Gradually building up a base of very light gray.

Next I started painting in colors, keeping the paint very watery.

I used Burnt Umber, Hippo Gray, with a touch of Black Green. I later added a color called Latte (which looks like very milky coffee).

I added the colors one at a time: First wetting the brush, dabbing in paint, wetting brush again, dabbing off excess on waxed paper, and then applying that color to individual stones, choosing them at random. I didn’t so much carefully paint each stone as simply dab dab dab with the brush (sometimes more like smoosh smoosh smoosh).

If any one stone color seemed too dark, I’d rinse the brush and use the dirty water to tone it down.

I did a lot of trial and error, wiping off with a paper towel before it dried if I really didn’t like the result.

I went over the stones I’d say four or five times until I liked the look. I still might go back over them and smooth out the colors, making sure none of the white shows through.

It was fun to experiment. The house is taking on a rustic, old-world feel, but that’s fine as I’m doing an antique shop.

Now that the foundation is done and the porch is finished, the rest is going pretty quickly and easily. Next, the bay trim and balconies, then it’s time for the roof.

Westville–Stonework continued

I did flee home for a few weeks in June, but I discovered a new mini museum in the process. I will post an update on the Westville here–the following posts will cover the mini museum and a couple other shorter projects I did in June.

Before I left on vacation, I put a Creative Paperclay base around the foundation pieces. This gives the stonework some depth.

The paperclay shrinks and cracks as it dries, but as I’ll be covering all this, I’m not bothered.

Yesterday, I bought more paperclay (ran out) and started in making the stonework with the mold (see previous posts). (Darker spot is where the paperclay is still wet).

Once I covered the entire foundation and let it dry overnight, I went back and filled in gaps with paperclay balls rolled to the approximation of a stone and glued onto the dried paperclay.

One drawback of paperclay is the way it shrinks–keep in mind that has to be compensated for.

The darker stones are the ones I glued on to fill the gaps. They’ll lighten as they dry.

Once everything is dry, I’ll fill in any more gaps and then start painting.

Note: It took two and a half 16 oz bricks of Creative Paperclay to do the foundation base and the molded stonework. (Or two 16 oz and one 8 oz).

A tip: Keep any opened paperclay in a sealed plastic bag. Even so, use it up in a few weeks to a month. Longer and it will be too dried out. You can add a little bit of water to drier paperclay to make  it useable.

Next post: My mini adventure!

Westville–Stonework

Now that I have the stucco more or less where I want it, I’m working on the stone foundation.

First, I made a mold so I could paste on a paperclay stone facade fairly easily:

I have some nice clean rocks that I arranged to look like a stone wall. These are pressed into non-hardening clay (sulfur-free clay is key).

I cut the clay into a neat square then cut illustration board to go around the clay. Hot-glued the boards to the cardboard base. Hot glue makes a good seal so the mold material won’t leak out.

This is the silicon mold mix I purchased at an art supply store. You mix parts A and B one-to-one. I’ve poured B into A in the cup on the left and am mixing it.

Carefully pouring silicon material over the rocks.

Takes about 30 minutes for the mold to harden. I left it here while I had lunch.

Came back, took off the cardboard, and very carefully unmolded the silicon part from the rocks and clay. Voila!

Ready to start the foundation:

First, I’m applying a Creative Paperclay base–using yellow wood glue to glue a lump of paperclay to the foundation area. Making it thicker at the bottom so it looks like stones are shoring up the house. I let this dry overnight.

A thin sheet of Paperclay goes into the mold and gets rolled with the plastic roller. (Anything to smooth the paperclay will do).

Pulling the mold gently from the clay gives me this.

The “stones” glued in place on top of the foundation base. Letting it dry.

I liked how the stones look (I will paint them later), so I’m going ahead. Laying the base first.

This paperclay hasn’t been molded–it’s just glued on and smeared around.

The foundation will extend to the shorter area on the back of the house and also around the porch.

I will continue and finish the foundation, then I will paint everything at once. I didn’t want to paint my sample, because I’d get it just right and then forget what I did.

Next time, I’ll have photos of the completed foundation and how I paint it.

BTW: I learned how to do the mold making at a workshop at the Chicago show. I didn’t have this in mind when I took the class, but then I thought–hey, why not try it? It’s going far better than I feared!

Westville: Stucco

I’m skipping the next steps on the instructions: Foundation Trim and Siding.

A note about the foundation trim. I notice on the instructions that the bay window foundation trim is listed as being on sheet 5. It’s not. It’s all on sheet 9.

The trim goes around the top of the foundation to cover the tab / slot construction. I might use these pieces to divide stucco from stone base.

On with stuccoing!

I first had to decide what parts not to stucco.

I painted and masked off the porch roof and the tops of the bays.

Likewise I measured three inches up from the bottom (where the stone foundation will go), and marked it off with masking tape.

Sandy makes sure the house is properly taped. Later, I came back to discover he’d pulled off most of the masking tape and ate it. (He spit it out again, and is fine.)

I decided to experiment with vinyl spackling as stucco, and it worked very well. I used almost all of a small container of spackle. I like it because it doesn’t dry too quickly, allowing me to work it. It also sands well once it dries. Plus, it’s easy to clean off my favorite putty knife.

I used this putty knife plus an artist’s palette knife for the tight places.

For inspiration, I found this house on the Internet, which looks a bit like the Westville, esp with its attic windows and bays. Not going with the same color but I found it helpful. (In fact, I’d love to make a miniature of this one!)

 

I smeared on the stucco fairly thinly, then textured it with a stencil brush (also experimented with a paper towel. Both worked equally well.)

Textured with one-inch stencil brush.

Close-up of the texture.

The base layer of stucco on all walls. It took me maybe an hour to do the whole house.

I stuccoed the corners and probably won’t use the corner trim from the kit.

After the stucco dried (overnight), I sanded down the rough spots and gave the whole thing a coat of plain white paint. Once that dried, I started putting on dirty water washes–paintbrush cleaning water with a drop of black and a couple each of burnt umber and gray. I did three washes, letting it dry each time.

The finished stucco work. The house is now attached to the base, and I painted the base brown. I will cover the base with flagstone or landscaping–the brown is to ensure that if anything is seen through the landscaping, it will look like dirt.

Okay then! Time for the stone foundation! I already made a mold for the paperclay–I’ll show how I did it in the next post.

More examples of stucco and stonework.

Any of these houses would make a great miniature!

Next post–the stone foundation.

Stone Cottage done. Westville to Continue

I pretty much have the quarter-inch scale Stone Cottage done and ready to display. I have not finished the wiring, because my cat ate part of it. He is fine, but the wires are now too short and I’ll have to replace or splice. At least he didn’t eat the LED chips.

(I took these photos before the landscape was completely done, but the grass is all on now.)

This was a good learning experience about what worked / didn’t work with stucco, and how to work with Creative Paperclay (much easier than I feared).

I will return to the Westville and start finishing. Interior first, I think, with tape wiring, then the stucco and stonework when the outside is one continuous surface.

Before that, I will be going to the Bishop show in Chicago–primarily to take classes. I signed up for four! All day ones a couple evening ones. I intend to learn a lot. I’ll share what I made and what I purchased (cause I know that’s going to happen).