Friday, 27 September 2013

More restoration works on The Toll House

Hello my dear friends,

It has been quite a week changing the routine as the older kids where off to school. Firstly I wanted to welcome a new follower of my blog. Welcome Leena!

I have worked a little bit more on my Toll House and I am really enjoying it. I am also thinking of writing a short story to go with it. It adds more meaning to the property especially when trying to create something which was truly built and used in the past. Here is the first part.

"The Old Toll House"

It was an early morning when Lord Gilmore was passing through the toll bridge gates returning home from his long trip. His carriage stopped at a halt to pay the toll. The coach man turned to his master. "Sir, one of the Turnpike Trust members would like to have a word with you."

Lord Gilmore climbed down to see what the matter was all about. "Lord Gilmore, pardon us for keeping you from proceeding but we would like to speak to you privately. As you might have heard the late owner of this particular toll house has passed away and now it is for sale. We are looking for a responsible man like yourself to take it under your wings."
Lord Gilmore being a great man of principle and a very wise merchant looked at the old toll house. The toll house stood there as long as his mind could remember.  It was a personal marker to show him that he was close to home. The toll house looked pitiful. Very evident the previous owner neglected the two roomed dwelling. He was lost in his thought and without thinking he simply said. "It does need some restoration."

"Yes my lord it has seen better days....but, I am sure that it can be renovated in no time in your power. Sir you are the only one that the Turnpike Trust can see fit for such a task."
Lord Gilmore nodded and wondered what his children would think especially his youngest daughter."So be it, we will meet again tomorrow for arrangements" 
The deal was done and after several weeks the renovation works started on the old Toll House. A new extension was built to one of it’s sides and the inner walls where plastered and covered. Tiles where laid and from the shabby looking toll house it turned out to be warm and glamorous. The only original feature that the new land lord kept inside the old toll house was the slab flooring in the upper room. Lord Gilmore was so pleased with the new look of the Toll House that now belonged to him. 

The New refurbished Toll House
 So after finishing the extension which is now a pantry. It was time to go for the other two rooms. The only part that I didn't change from the ground floor room was actually the stair case that I have added myself to the kit. I have removed the paper from it and painted it in dark brown paint. I then high lighted it with some light brown shading. I have also added a wall to hide the staircase as I didn't like how it looked. You barley could see what was underneath the stair case. 

I have scratched built the book case which is found in the wall underneath the staircase. I wanted to add something a bit more special to it. I have gone through the histories of toll houses and their use. Toll Houses where easy targets for robbers and pirates.  Everyone knew that they kept a good amount of money and they where on the outskirts of the villages. Most toll house owners kept two stashes of money. One stash with a small amount of money was kept in a safe which was visible for anyone who came and the other stash which would consist of a big lump of money would be kept in a secret compartment. I have made a secret passage door behind the book case which also serves as a secret compartment. You can also see a book case inside the secret chamber which I have printed.

The scratch built book case that I have made

The Secret room behind the book case
I didn't find the right wall paper that I imagined this room in. I wanted something Victorian but with a masculine touch. I found this real wall paper pattern, downsized it and printed it from my home computer. Then I decided that I wanted to add some wood wall paneling to the walls. Looking at the pattern of the pantry's door a simple idea came to my mind. I have used some strips of wood and lolly sticks which afterwards I have wood stained and varnished matching the book case and the pantry door. And this is how the whole drawing room looks like. 

The Drawing room

The door leading to the pantry

The stair case behind the wall leading to the upper room

The hidden room behind the book case

After the drawing room was complete I started working on the upper room which will be turned into the bedroom. I have used cobble stone effect tiles for the room's floor. Probably you will be asking why I used floor slabs and not Victorian floor tiles like the other rooms. I have done some intense research on toll houses. Toll Houses where firstly built in the 18th Century which thinking about it goes way back Victorian times. At that time floors where made out of stone slabs and not tiles. They even had the Gothic style windows which my toll house actually has. 

I have also found another real Victorian wall paper, downsized it and printed it from my computer for this bed room. I have re painted the ceilings and the wooden beams. And this is how the bed room looks like. 

The Bed room

Wall paper, ceiling and wooden beams

Floor slabs
I hope you all like what I have done so far in my Toll House. I still can't believe that it looks like this. I am really happy with then new style and the outcome of these two rooms. 

The New Toll House
There is still so much to add and do. I am working at the moment on the outside of the toll house before I start decorating it inside.

I have two new hand painted miniatures which you can find in my etsy Shop

Candle sticks, ink well and quill

Edison  Phonograph / gramophone  1899 model

Will be updating you very soon with my progress on the refurbishment of my Toll House so make sure you keep tuned.

Wishing you all a very Happy weekend and see you soon. Take Care.


Rebecca xxx 

Monday, 16 September 2013

The Toll House's Pantry

Hello my dear friends,

I have been very busy in the last few days. Next week my son Matthias will start school after his summer break so I had to make sure that he had everything. It is so heart breaking seeing both my babies going to school. Thank God little Leah will still be with me. Without Matthias and Raquel the house will be like a tomb. 

I have worked some more on The Toll House which I am refurbishing at the moment. The more I work on it, the more I realize how worth it, it was to redo it again. Like you all know I have added an extension to the building which was to be turned into a pantry. I really wanted to know how this room was going to look. I wanted to know if it truly made any sense. Seeing just the room with a cut out door and window didn't give me any comfort. This room eventually will have a lift off roof to see the inside. Sometimes it is nice to see a dolls house set up from a different angle especially from such a small room.

Well the first thing that I did was trying to picture an old little used pantry. I didn't want any type of wall paper inside and it didn't make any sense if I tiled the walls. I decided to leave the walls plain and white. It also doesn't make sense to have a bright white walls in a used pantry, so with a dry brush and some light brown paint I dirtied the walls. The effect was perfect. 

Then I decided to look for a matching floor. Victorian era already had nice floor tiles but I wanted something to match this particular room. My favorite suppliers didn't have what I was looking for so I did the flooring myself. I used a simple home computer inject printer down scaled it and printed it. Then I sprayed some acrylic lacquer a couple of times to seal the ink. This will help when it comes to stick the flooring and the colors won't fade. I was really happy with the flooring.

I have also tile bricked the wall  behind the wood stove in the fire surrounding and I have painted the table as it came in natural wood.  I just decorated a bit the room to see how it looks. Most of the miniatures where hand made with polymer clay by me.There is still so much to add and still so much to do like shelving, miniatures a dry sink etc. Only God know what I will be adding to this room.

So far this is how it is looking and I am really happy with the outcome so far. I hope you like it too.

The Toll House's Pantry

The dirtying of the walls and tiling of the floors

Some of my polymer clay miniatures

The bricked wall in the fire surround

I have also been busy making some more miniatures that you will find in my Etsy shop My Miniature World Shop

Hand Painted 1920's Telephone

Hand Painted Candle Stick Telephone

Made out of Polymer Clay
Woodland's creature boot house

Made out of polymer clay
Baby dragon on pumpkin

I hope you are enjoying following this project. Next post I will be sharing some great updates on the other room. So please do keep tuned.

Take care and see you soon.


Rebecca xxx

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Started the Refurbishment of my Toll House

Hello my dear friends,

It's been a while since my last post. 24 hours a day are not enough now a days between looking after my 3 young children, doing house shores, making miniatures and building my dolls houses. I enjoy keeping you updated with the new additions and progress of my work. I guess this summer was one busy summer. I hope you have all enjoyed your weekend and are doing well. I also wanted to welcome two new followers of my blog; Caitlin Bock and lovestory. Welcome!

Today I will be sharing with you a new project that I am working on at the moment. Actually it is not new at all. I had my Toll House for years now which I loved dearly but lately I have seen it aged compared to my other dolls houses and I thought that it needed some TLC. Never in my life I thought of refurbishing any of my dolls houses as they are all kept in a very good shape but some how the Toll House lost it's glamour or I now I can see what I could have improved in it.

My Toll House when it was first built

I have been through the toll house histories and era and I can see mistakes in mine. I was just not comfortable with it any more. Some toll houses are still intact with some extensions added to them. There are families that still live in them. 
An existing Toll House which still stands proudly
So before I started with my new project I decided to start the Toll House's Renovation. If I started the new project now I am pretty sure that the toll house would have remained the same. It is not easy to renovate something that you have created especially when it was something that you really enjoyed doing.  It took me days to start. I would look at my toll house for a long time and I couldn't bring myself to touch anything from it. I was almost giving up when last week with some sort of outburst I removed all the pieces of furniture, accessories and lights and stood there with my heart beating fast. I closed my eyes and tore the first wall paper. I kept going until it was bare. I was almost hyperventilating when it was over. I couldn't believe that I actually did it.

the toll house bare to it's kit form

The first thing that I had planned for it was actually a small extension to one of the walls which will be turned into a small pantry. Now the toll house will have three rooms. I am thinking of changing most of the furniture and decor. I would probably go for a Victorian style as the use for the Toll Houses which where built by the Turnpike Trust ended in 1880 so the Victorian Era will suit it best. 

I have opened one of the side walls to fit a door opening and built a small extension. I have also gave another undercoat of paint. And so far this is how it is looking. It is not easy for me to work on this project as I can still see it in it's former glory. I am just hoping that what I did to it, is only for the best.

Adding an opening to one of the walls for the door

The new extension to the toll house

The extension which will be transformed into a Pantry

My Toll house with the new extension

Painting the inside of the toll House and it's extension. 

I have also been busy with some new miniatures which you will find available now at my Etsy shop: My Miniature World Shop

I have made some polymer clay minis. As Halloween is getting closer I decided to make some pumpkins. I have also made a Working light Pumpkin. I really liked it. It gives a very nice orangey warm look.

Melted candle on pumpkin.

A Pumpkin center piece

The working light pumpkin in flower pot

And here how it looks like when lit up

One beautiful new hand painted white metal miniature. It is a Wilcox and Gibbs sewing machine (1866 model) It is very detailed and pictures don't bring it any justice. A Well done to my dear father who made this master piece.

Wilcox & Gibbs sewing machine (1866 model)
I have also been working on some ceramic pieces. I have made some spooky plates for Halloween and to my great delight I have started a new range with personalized ceramics which are all my designs. So far I have made personalized name mugs, baby's 1st Halloween Name plate and Santa's Cookie name plate. I will be adding more personalized plates in the near future. 

Spooky Plates

Baby's 1st Halloween name plate

Personalized name mug which comes in different designs to choose from.
It also comes with a coordinated plate. 

Cookies for Santa Plate which takes up to three names. 

And to conclude I finally finished my 4th Miniature downloadable Book which is called 'Herbology - Magical & Mundane Book'.  It is based on the Harry Potter book Series. You can find how to make it and download it from here The Making of 'My Miniature World' downloadable miniature books!

At the moment I am working on another book which will be out shortly.

'Herbology - Magical and Mundane Book'
The 4th book in my collection

Hope you will find this post interesting. I will be updating you very shortly with my progress on the renovation of my Toll House. So please do keep tuned.

Take Care and see you soon.


Rebecca xxx