Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Chimney and finishing of the roof for Kate's Cottage

Hello my dear friends,

So once again November came to an end. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend. Christmas is round the corner and I am looking forward to it like always. Well the Christmas tree is up and decorated with all the decorations around the house. The kids always love helping out. 

Finishing the roof and Chimney.
Coming back to our project Kate's Cottage, I think the roof was one of the parts that I really had to think hard to get it right and exactly how I wanted it. Apart from the roof there was even the chimney to think about it.

Real Tudor Chimneys 
I searched and searched for Tudor Chimneys and blimey I never seen so much sophisticated bricked chimneys in my life.  Here in Malta we don't have them and we only get the modern ones but these are just beautiful. I tried to look for some history about them and it seems that the more decorative chimneys belonged to the most wealthy families. Very obvious our Kate is not one of the most wealthy but we can't say that she is one of the poorest either. As she has lands of her own with crops, has cattle and a roof on her head ,for that period I can say she had much more than one would wish for.

Bare Chimneys
With the kit I had these pair of chimneys and I just didn't know what I was going to do with them. Personally they didn't talk to me at all. So I decided to add a little bit more than necessary. 
Covering the center part
I just didn't like the clean hexagon shape of it. So first I started by using sack cloth to cover the middle part and the top part (the pots) of the chimneys. At least like this I lost the sharp edges and like this it would give me some nice texture.

Using string for spirals
When the glue dried up using thick string (the type that you use for parcels), I started piece by piece spiraling the string around the chimney.
Completed the decor
After I have finished spiraling the string around both chimneys, I left them out to dry from the glue. They were quite moist with glue so once they were dried they became hard as rock.

Under coat of paint
As the chimney had a mixture of bare wood, cloth and string it was important to give it a good undercoat base. I was still not satisfied with the bare wood of the Chimney. It looked too clean cut so with a tissue paper, using the paper mache method I covered the bottom part and the crown of the chimney. I went for a dark brown which would also be considered as a mortar. Every inch had to be covered even the tiniest area.

Giving the second coat of paint.
When the dark paint was fully dried, mixing color paints, I achieved a terracotta color and started painting the chimney section, section. Before letting the paint dry, using a tooth pick I tried to bring out the brick work pattern.

Dirtying the chimneys

Once the terracotta paint dried up it was time to dirty the chimneys. I can't imagine having a clean chimney. So using black chalk and with a damp brush I dried brushed the chimneys to give it a good effect of suet. 

The Masonry
The last bit was painting the masonry in the same dark brown and then I bricked it up with the versi slip bricks.

Complete chimney
As soon as I finished bricking the masonry I dirtied it with the same method as the chimneys. Then I stuck the chimneys to it and I was thrilled with the end results. I just couldn't imagine that it would look so good.

Chimney on top of the roof.
Once the chimney was done then I could finish of the last bit which was the trimming of the roof. Just like the roof was covered I used fabric. The same fabric was glued all around the trim.

Using fabric for trimming
After the glue dried off and the fabric was solid to the trim, I brushed down both the sides according to their sides where you could see the parting in the middle of the wool. I have cut the wool very short and turned the edges according to the shape of the trim. Once that was done, using satin acrylic varnish spray, I covered it and with a tooth brush I just brushed it down so the fabric will be soaked well with the spray. As soon as it was dried the fabric was solid but you can tell that the effect was just perfect.

And here is the finished roof with the chimneys.

Completed roof with Chimenys

I hope you have found this useful. I never imagined that they would come out like this and some how they suited the little cottage perfectly.

I hope you have liked what I have done so far. So this is all for today. Keep tuned for more updates on Kate's Cottage and many more.

I just wanted to let you know that we will be having the Advent Calendar like last year where you might find some useful tutorials.

Wishing you all a nice weekend and see you all real soon.


Rebecca xxx

Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Roofing for Kate's Cottage

Hello everyone,

So how is your week? So far I have been busy as ever. Extra house cleaning, changing every room into our winter curtains, bedding, carpeting. Well let's say in November I always tend to have everything ready before I start decorating for Christmas. This year flew so fast. Gilbert is getting better everyday but still have a long way to fully recover so I try not to let him over do it. I am also busy with my everyday work, family, kids and yes I almost forgot busy with My Miniature World like always. A few would ask how you do it all? How do you mange with a house and 3 kids? Yes believe it or not I do it. Real house, family and duties are always my number one priority but I always manage to fit in my passion in between. There is always a different pattern as long as I do everything.

So I have worked a bit more on my lovely little Tudor Cottage called Kate's Cottage. Now I am working on it's outside before I really start concentrating on decorating the inside.

The Roof for Kate's Cottage
After finishing the beam work for the inside I started working on the roof. I really tried hard to make it look realistic both from the inside and the outside. I started working firstly on the inside of the roof. Being a small cottage I wanted to give it a thatched effect roof so the inside had to be adapted for it too.

Painting the inside of the roof
I first started by painting the inside of the roof with a very dark brown. I have painted it in a way that there were areas where it is really dark and others lighter.

Adding sack cloth
To give it a textured effect, using pva glue diluted with a little water I pasted sack cloth strips to the inside of the roof on top of the painted ceiling using a thick paint brush.

painting the sack cloth ceiling
When the ceiling was fully dried it was and just right, I started shading it with a mixture of browns. Some light, medium and darker brown.

Finishing the painting of the ceiling
When all that was done I added some camel like color as basically the thatched roof used to be made out of straw and similar material. Finally I placed the roof in it's place and started adding the beams inside.

When the thick beams where fixed in place I started working on the more narrow ones and placed them between the beams.

I was thrilled how the room looked with the new ceiling. It gives it more character and just right for this cottage and style.

The ceiling inside 

Then the headache started as I didn't know how I was going to make the roof from the outside. The instructions of the kit suggested to use plaster which I didn't like at all. I thought of getting the miniature hay that they use to make thatched roof for miniatures but still I didn't like it. I came across this sheep wool like fabric in a dark color and an idea just came to my head.

I decided to use it for the roof. So I used pva glue to glue the fabric to the roof panels. I have turned the edges around so I could bring out the curves at the trim of the roof and it looks much more realistic.

Brushing down the fabric
As the wool of the fabric is like sheep wool with that curly texture I had to brush down the wool with one of those metal hard brushes. When the fabric was brushed down I used a backcombing comb to make the streaks in the fabric and in the mean time I sprayed the fabric until it was soaked with matt acrylic varnish. This will keep the fabric stiff with the pattern of the streaks and quite solid.

The roof of the cottage using fabric

And this is how the roof looks like so far. 

I still need to add the top trimming and the chimney pots and so on. The trimming will have the same fabric affect.

Hope you liked what I have done so far with the inside and outside of the roof and maybe you will also find it  useful.

Keep tuned for the next update on Kate's Cottage. Hopefully I will be finishing the outside very soon.

Take Care and See you Soon.


Rebecca xxx

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Miss Leah's Boutique makes it on print!

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. Here in Malta although the days are still slightly warm during the evening, it is getting chilly and I have been busy organizing our wardrobes for the change of the weather. Somehow even if it is still November, Christmas is in the air.

I am pleased to say that My Miniature World Group on Facebook has reached over 500 members and it is just great to see others posting and sharing their creations. I want to thank you all for being such an amazing bunch. I also want to thank our Face Book fans as My Miniature World on our face book page has reached over 12,000 likes. Thank you for all the encouragement. 

It has been almost a year since Miss Leah's Boutique was complete and it gives me great pleasure and pride to say that Miss Leah's Boutique made it on print on the Dollhouse Miniatures Magazine issue 48. 

It has a four page article with lovely pictures and how it all started in Regent Street. You can all read  and see the full article here A Stroll Down Regent Street! 

Here are some of our favorite pictures of the boutique which have been featured.

The Boutique

Hand Made Miniatures

The lovely Counter with the sophisticated cash register

The Dressing room

Some accessories that I made

Madam De La Vega being served 

The Sewing room

Some of the lovely hand painted miniatures 

The Work table

The cupboard and accessories
It has been such a wonderful experience making Miss Leah's and I enjoyed every minute of it. It brings with it so many memories and exciting moments. Miss Leah has really gotten used to Regent Street and she can't imagine not being part of it. 

We also have a new movie of Miss Leah's Boutique which you can see below.

There will be more shops added to Regent Street and we will also be having more adventures. I am sure that Miss Leah will be involved some way or another and to give you a little peep of what we will be waiting for the next year I want to present to you  Miss Quelina.

Miss Quelina
Who has followed Miss Leah's diary will know too well who Quelina is. Quelina is Leah's sister who has been with her every step since Leah moved to Regent Street. Quelina is another lovely doll made by the amazing Beverly (Beverly - Designer - Dolls). Quelina owns Matquel's Antiques & China Shop with their brother Matty. 

Here are some Pictures of Miss Quelina with her sister Miss Leah. 

Miss Leah and Miss Quelina at the boutique

Quelina came without a hat so I have decided to make a matching hat myself just for her and it fitted in so well.

The new hat that I made for Quelina
The good news is that if everything goes as planned next year Quelina will be renovating Matquel's Antiques & China Shop. One of my lovely projects that I can't wait to transform. Most of the renovation will be done on the outside. I will be changing just a little from the inside and adding more miniatures. I am really excited about that.

So in the mean time Quelina will be staying with her sister Leah.

Quelina at No 35 Leah's
This is all for tonight. Hope you have enjoyed it and are looking forward for next year's renovation project of Matquel's.

Next time when we will meet there will be more progress of Kate's project so keep tuned for the next update.

Enjoy the remaining of the weekend.

Take care and see you soon.


Rebecca xxx