Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Working on the facade of the Divine Mercy Chapel

Hello my dear friends,

Hope you are all well and cosy. Here in Malta; it has been quite cold.....cold to the point that my hands are so cold that I can't do much. I am so looking forward to the warmer days. I hate it when I can barely feel anything. For some reason this Winter, Mother Nature has been taking a tantrum and she has not been very kind to me. Roll in Spring so I can get my act together and continue with the hobby that I love so much. Today I wanted to welcome 2 new followers of my blog Minna and Pepper. WELCOME!

So today I will be sharing with you what I have been up to with the little chapel that I am renovating. I wanted this little chapel to be bricked from the out side. I went for the plaster and stencil method only that it was tougher than planned. As the building was already built you can't really stencil it the way you wish. I started off with the front porch which needed to be bricked from both the outside and inside.


Bricking the outside of the porch


Bricking the inside of the porch


This took me ages and there was no way of using the stencil especially inside. So I first plastered it and using the point tool I had to trace the brick design myself. The same thing happened on the outside especially the front due to the uneven surface and door way. 

At the end after a couple of hours it was complete and like I say one tough job that was worth the effort. After the plaster was dry I sanded down the uneven bits and shaded the brick work to make it look a bit more realistic and weathered. I really enjoy blending in the colors. 

The brick work 


When that was ready I have painted the out door and the out door ceiling with a dark brown to give it that extra contrast. I have also added a beam inside the porch's roof and I made the flooring of the porch myself. I got myself a piece of card board from a cereal box painted it with different shading of browns, greens and grey. Then I cut the floor slabs and stuck them to the flooring. They came out really nice and realistic.

The hand made floor tiles

I still need to paint the trimming outside the main door, tile the roof and do the front facade before I glue the porch but I am really happy how it turned out

The front Porch



After the porch was ready, I started working on the inside. Like I said before the paint job was a mess. You could see the strokes of the paint brush every where and the floors where not even painted. So I sanded the walls slightly and started the paint works with a small roller. Another obstacle were the windows. I have masked tape them and there is when I realized that there was another problem with the windows. I had 3 side windows which where glued in but not fitted in properly most probably due to the amount of  paint on them. So very carefully I had to lift off and cut the glue with a Stanley knife. I removed the extra paint from the windows so they could fit in their opening properly.

Starting the work paints
When I was happy with the inside of the chapel I once again started working on the facade outside. I started with the side where there was the side door. First I sculptured a cross using air dry clay so I could place it on top of the door. 

The hand sculptured cross
I started first by plastering the sides and then once again I bricked the wall. This time I could use the stencil a bit better but still when it came close to the windows or doors I had to give the detail of the brick work myself. I added the little sculptured cross while plastering the walls. 

When the plaster was dry I shaded the brick work and painted the door and window frames. I also shaded the little cross to match and so far I am pleased how it all looks.

The cross on top of the door

The finished facade




So this is what I did so far. I haven't done much but it is really testing my patience. I also got myself my first church pieces of the church. 

My first church miniatures


If in Malta the word dolls housing is a complete taboo when it comes to miniature churches or nativity scenes it is completely the opposite. Once Christmas is over most of the religious shops start preparing for Easter time and this is what I found. They might be slightly bigger than the 12th scale but I think they will still work their magic.

So this is all for today folks. Please bear with me I know it is taking me longer than usual but I can't work with this weather. Hopefully the next time we will meet I will be having most of the outside brick work all done. So keep tuned for the next update.

Take Care and see you real soon.

Hugs,

Rebecca xxx

Monday, 19 January 2015

My Miniature World miniatures!

Hello lovely people,

I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was just like always. Just a quick pop in to let you know that I haven't forgotten you and I am sure that you are looking forward to see what I have been up to. I have been really really busy I guess like always.

I wanted to welcome a new follower of my blog. Welcome Happy in Florida!

I have been very busy with my new project the little chapel and it is taking longer than I wish, but it is looking really great and I will be updating you very soon. I have managed to find some supplies for the church in Malta. It is so surprising that here in Malta dolls housing is such a taboo. You find absolutely nothing but when it comes to religious Catholic miniatures it is the total opposite. I am also waiting for some supplies that I ordered so I can continue with the project. I just can't wait to receive them.

I wanted to thank all the face book fans for liking My Miniature World Face Book Page. Last weekend we have reach over 540 likes. In one week we had over 118 likes. Thank you so much everyone. I really appreciate it and it means so much to me.

A few months ago I was approached from The Dolls House Magazine to feature one of my miniatures in one of their issues. Obviously I gave them my blessing but as I never heard from them again I forgot all about it and took it for granted that they where not interested. Just a couple of days ago I was flipping through an old dolls house magazine and I actually spotted one of miniatures that I sell at My Miniature World Shop at etsy. It is the lovely hand painted cuckoo clock that my darling artistic father paints. I know I am a bit late showing it to you as it last November's Issue but I just got to know about it.




I am so proud when I see one of my own miniatures in print especially the ones that my father paints. I never knew that the miniature shop would pick up so much and I want to thank all our clients for making this possible.

Here are some lovely items that are available at My Miniature World shop. 













I am always adding new items to the shop like ceramics and now even boutique miniatures.











My Miniature World Downloadable Books have been quite a success and last week a new book has been released called 'The Pirate's Code'. This book is also available in kit form. In a couple of weeks I will be releasing my next miniature book which hopefully will be a new set and that clients will enjoy.


So this is all for now folks. Next time we will meet I will be sharing with you some more progress of the little chapel. I just can't wait to show it all to you. So make sure to keep tuned.

Take care and see you real soon.

Hugs

Rebecca xxx

Saturday, 3 January 2015

New project of the year - Major Renovation of The Village Hall

Hello my dear friends,

I wish you all had a wonderful Christmas and started your New Year with bliss. I have spent a lovely 2 weeks with my husband and children and it was grand. I didn't do much work on my miniatures or projects. I tried to spend some quality time with the family. At the moment Malta is being very cold. It is not the usual temperature at least not to us here. It hasn't been this cold since 1988 and there was a particular day which we had snowflakes. For those who don't know, we NEVER get snow here in Malta. I am much more of a Summer person so the weather didn't help me get moving.

Let's get back right on track. Firstly I wanted to welcome 3 new followers to my blog. Welcome Sue Cotter, Malta Bowler and Kamilla D WELCOME! I also wanted to tell you that we have reached 1,166 views for the Advent Calendar. Thank you all for the support. As you have seen in the previous post there where 5 give aways  for the first 5 comments; 3 have responded and I am still waiting for 2 others  to send me their address. 
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Today I will be sharing with you my new project which is The Village Hall. The Village Hall is another discontinued kit by the Dolls House Emporium only that this time I didn't buy it in kit form. 

The Village Hall
 I was contacted from a lovely Maltese lady who wanted to sell this Village Hall so I drove to her house to pick it up. We had a lovely chat about the hobby. On my arrival back home. I took it to my working room to examine it with a closer eye. I was starting to hyperventilate at the poor state this lovely Village Hall was in. Edges without paint, Windows and doors where barely painted. Strokes of paint brushes everywhere. Extra base at the bottom etc etc. I am not the type to criticize anyone's work but being a perfectionist you can't help seeing the defects and defects that you can see with the naked eye. The worst part is that these defects couldn't be hidden. They where staring at me openly. This poor Village Hall was desperately begging me for rescuing. Trembling I left it there, to ponder about it, what to do with it, to think what was the best solution for it. The dump or major renovation? Was it a sign that I was contacted for this purpose? This Village Hall needed a miracle. 

Unpainted edging

The Paint works from the inside

All windows and paint looked pretty much like this
 After a few days and lots of thinking, I plucked some courage and went back to it. I couldn't damage it more than it was already. The first thing that I removed was the extra mdf bases that was stuck to it with glue and nails. I keep asking myself "What was the extra base for?" It was kit which definitely didn't need it. If it was intended for a base it would have come with it in the first place I suppose. So the base was removed with a screw driver and a hammer. I also removed the front porch from the side as I wanted it on the main door. It was a kit that you could chose to have the porch by the side or in front. 

The additional mdf base

Removing the extra base with a screw driver and hammer

Removed the front porch.
So far so good. I have succeeded on the first hurdle. So I decided to go for the roof. The roof was a nightmare that left me awake for two nights. The inside of the roof was a mess. You could see drippings of paint. Uneven paint work everywhere. There where 2 wooden 'sort of' beams across the ceiling. It also had a round coffee mug stain on one of the sides that brought me to tears . 

Inside the roof
I thought I saw it all but I was so wrong. The worst was yet to come. I started peeling the roof paper that was covering it and I was sickened. The mdf roof was covered in paper without even having an undercoat of paint to protect the mdf from expanding. That is a definite NO NO. You NEVER cover mdf wood with paper without an undercoat of paint.  Where the roof joined it was covered with masking tape and to make it even worse the edges didn't even match. I was about to have a heart attack at the end when my finger tips felt something hard. The roof was actually screwed into the inside beams. At this point I was crying. Not sure if I was crying for what I was going to go through or for this poor dolls house. 

The Surprise I found underneath the roof paper

Removing the paper with a damp cloth hoping for the best.

4 Screws in the roof
I removed the big part of the paper with a damp cloth. I didn't was to dampen it a lot as it didn't have any paint to protect the mdf wood. So finally I sanded the paper down. Unscrewed the nails and pulled apart the roof. I also sanded down the inside of the roof as much as I could. 

Sanded Down the paper

The glued joints that didn't match the edges

Pulled apart the roof and sanded it down.
The Divine Mercy
I wasn't sure what I was going to do with this Village Hall. I had a lot of thoughts. I wanted to turn it into some sort of  museum. or a children's school. I was even thinking of turning it into a theater. But it had tested my patience so much and has tested my skills to the verge of almost drawing a line to it, that the only thing fit for it was to turn it into a chapel. I love my hobby and my work and I only pull it through with the grace of the Above. I am a strong Roman Catholic and I am thankful only to the Almighty God for blessing me with such patience and the use of my hands in my hobby. So the least I could do was share my hobby with the Lord. So I decided that the Village Hall will be turned into a church which I decided to call the 'Divine Mercy Chapel'. If you asked me why I called it like that I would probably just say I always did and always will love the painting of the Divine Mercy. I could spend hours gazing at his face. Well that is just me. Maybe it is something which you folks never knew about me. Yes I love Jesus.  

Let's get back on track here. Firstly I filled the holes of the screws with putty filler. Then I painted the inside once again with around 4 layers of even paint with a roller brush I rejoined the roof. I have ordered some customized roof arches for the ceiling. They where made just for me. I have painted them and also added some beam work.

New paint job with the new arches

Added the wooden beams

The ceiling inside the church
I am really happy how it turned out to be. I also had a go painting the doors of the church. I removed the doors slowly from their sockets and sanded down the uneven paint as the doors didn't have much paint too. They where supposed to be painted white.

Removing the doors

The paint works.
I wanted to give the doors a dark oak old fashioned style to match the beam work inside and I also added some accessories to them which I have hand painted myself.

The New Painted Doors

The new painted doors with the new accessories

 So this is how far I went. It is just not easy doing this and I wished I worked faster. It is an unusual project but I am sure that you will enjoy following.

This is all for today folks. Keep tuned for more updates on this major renovation.

Take Care and see you soon.

Hugs,


Rebecca xxxx