Monday, August 22, 2016

Glass House Progress

Fits and Starts.....

I warned you, Dear Readers, that the Glass House walls were not attached and would fall over at the drop of a pin! Well, here you can see the parts in the early morning light... all tumbled around! I resolved that the best way forward with this project was going to be to attach the walls together while still making the framework removable from the base for all the painting fitting and trim work. And I thought it would be best to add the first coat of primer to the interior before assembling the walls. Because the plywood is thin but not too thin, (one quarter inch thick to be precise) I decided that the strongest method of attaching these pieces would be to screw them together with small screws. And while I was drilling all those screw holes, I could also be attaching the door hinges! Of course, I forgot to take any pictures of so many boring steps fits and starts!

Here you can see the basic framework is screwed together 
wherever the walls touch each other.
And there are my favorite hinges!
(I know they are a tiny bit large for this scale, 
but they will be getting a lot of use so I want them to be sturdy!)

Here is a slightly closer shot!
And before I went any further, I needed to cut out the pieces for the roof sections, 
also relying on the plywood "wall with a window cut into it" method.

Here you can see the two sections have been cut and the hinges attached.

And from the rear, opening side... (sorry it is a dark shot!)
I had to carefully trim the side of the roof frame 
to be able to swing open past the roof eaves of The Folly.
(Lots of fits and starts!)
And there will need to be an awkward roof line 
on the corner next to The Folly wall 
where the roof passes the window frame.

Here the framework has been removed for painting.....
primer then first coats of dark blue for the exterior.

And testing the structure in place..... 
is it too dark?
(Or is it jut the night?)
The frames on the windows will be the light blue, 
and the interior will all be the light blue.... 

Here it is in the morning light... with the light blue interior....

Perhaps I just need to get used to it!
Paining the many window frame pieces......

Gluing window frames together.....
(Sorry it is so dark again!)

And Gluing the window frames to the openings!
(Even more fits and starts!)
I had hoped to get at least One of the windows completed 
with glass panes, Dear Readers, 
but the glass cutting was not a smooth operation!
I only had a few small pieces to work with,
 and all my attempts were crooked "breaks" 
so the pieces were unusable.
(Way too many Starts and Fits!)
I will have to start fresh with a large pane of glass 
and plenty of "practice" material!

Here I am testing it in place again.....
Just when I was getting used to the dark blue.... 
the light blue frames change the whole look!
Of course, the dividers for the windows are not in place,
 nor is the glass, and the roof section will be divided too....
so there are plenty of parts that will change the look 
of the whole before it is done.

I guess it is still much too soon to judge....
and I do want the colors to be basically the same
 as those used on the Main House.

Here you can sort of see the interior through the back roof view....
(sorry! another dark shot!)

I guess it's still too soon to tell how it will look, Dear Readers,
But at any rate, through lots of Fits and Starts, 
Some Progress has been made!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Glass House Beginnings....

Framed..... Or Not!

I must Confess, Dear Readers, that it was only After I had started to work on (*cough-cough*....) Another Project that was needing me to cut plywood walls and doors, that I realized the simplest method of building the Glass House would be to cut the openings for the door and windows from a piece of plywood, rather than trying to construct the walls from pieces of "lumber" like a real life building! I had been pondering the various steps needed to construct the door and the windows and fit them into the uneven brick wall area, and was making no progress! The ready made commercial windows and doors were not the right sizes to be of use here. And three of the four corners were partly supported by the brick wall, which was not the full height of the sides for the Glass House, so they would need to be fit on top of the brick walls.... and so figuring out where to start was just making me go in circles! Then I realized that I could start with the plywood "wall" and cut the openings for the door and windows! So simple!! And I had just the pieces of plywood right at hand! This Glass House is really quite small, being just under seven inches wide and seven inches deep. So I started right in with the front wall where the door would open onto the "courtyard".

The windows will probably be made of real glass 
with additional "framing" to hold them into the openings.

And then I started on the end wall which rests atop the brick wall.

(I apologize for the dark pictures.. I hate to use flash, 
and the light is not strong in this room!)

And then started to fit the challenging back wall .... 
which needs to match the sweep of the wall on one side 
and establish the level base for the rafters above!

The fourth wall will be The Folly wall. 
And the back side of the roof will hinge open for access to the room.

I cut the other rafter frames, but still have to notch them
 into the top of the wall and add the support under their ends.

It went together much faster than I thought it would! 
(Although none of the walls are yet attached.... 
they fall down at the drop of a pin!)

It makes the "courtyard" feel very small and intimate.... 
but really, all the rooms in The Folly are rather small!

But I didn't have time to figure out the hinges for the door...
The Folly is one of those thin plywood kits
 which don't support the use of metal hinges with screws... 
so I used leather ones on the front door....
 which is the only door in the whole house!
The plywood I have used for the Glass House is thicker 
and would take metal hinges with no trouble.

Meanwhile, Dear Readers, rather than leave you with so little to look at, 
I will share with you some pictures my sister sent recently
Featuring a Fairy Bear adventure (of a small sort!)

Marmalade and Buttercup were playing together
 one sunny afternoon at Hope Cottage.
Suddenly one of them said, "We're sisters, 
but which one of us is the older one?"
"I don't know," said the other one.

And then Marmalade said "Hey, our wings can come off....
 let's trade wings and see if they feel different!"
And she had removed her wings in no time at all!
But Buttercup's wings would not come off!
"Here, I'll help you" said Marmalade, 
wielding a long sharp looking tool.

But buttercup had complete faith in her sister, 
so she sat quietly while Marmalade climbed onto the outhouse door 
in order to get better leverage!

Soon they both had taken off their wings and they traded, 
Golden for Orange.....
It made them feel a little giddy and full of Adventure!

Next they decided to climb to the top of Sleeping Couch Mountain 
to see if the world looked any different.....
(And of course, they could have Flown up... 
but it seemed more Adventuresome to help each other climb to the summit!)

They made it to the top at last, 
and they could just see Hope Cottage in the distance!

It seemed so small and far away!

Then Marmalade said "Look!"
"We could slide down the Mountain on this beautiful cloth slide!"

And so they did!
Squealing all the way down!
And when they reached the bottom, Buttercup said "what next?" 
And Marmalade said "I'm hungry"

And Buttercup held up her magic wand and recited a quick magical spell......
(The words of which I couldn't hear clearly and have since forgotten!)
Her wand glowed brilliantly....

And suddenly a platter of beautiful fresh fruit appeared, 
brought by a lovely house genie!
Marmalade gave a big sigh! Being sisters was so much fun!
And it probably didn't matter at all which one was older, 
or who wore which wings....
It only mattered that there Was a sister there to share with!

This story was lovingly sent by my sister, Dear Readers, 
to share with all you in blogland 
who might have wondered how Marmalade and Buttercup 
were faring in the South!
Meanwhile, the Glass House is well under way, 
and I didn't have to do any "framing" at all!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Bricks And Other Things

Revisiting the Tree House.....

The problem with waiting for the Morning Light, Dear Readers, is that it is hard to catch enough of it! Already the sun is slipping back and rising later and further south.... it is a brief opportunity on a sunny morning! But here is a picture of the Newly bricked and grouted garden with enough light that you can almost judge the colors correctly. I think it always takes a while for my "expectations" to adjust after making such a big change in the character of the landscape.... it just doesn't look at all the same as it has for the past three... um four... or five years! This is to be expected, but it does take getting used to! I think I will like the bricks once I am more used to them! But no matter what the color, the grout is all too new looking!

There was no doubt in my mind that the grout would need to be "aged".

(I don't know why my camera has such a hard time with the focus on these steps....) 
but this shows the grout before the aging process. 
The stones themselves were already "aged" before the grouting was done.

Here is the "glass House" end of the Garden area.... new grout still too clean!

And the garden wall.... which I think looks pretty good, but the grout is too new.

The difficulty with "aging" the grout is that 
the minute it gets wet it Looks darker! 
So it is really  Really difficult to tell what color you are making it....
 until it is dry!
So I decided the best strategy was to go Slowly!
I didn't want to overdo it!
Here I have added a dark wash into the cracks of the stairs and the garden wall....

I really wanted to start by only darkening the grout 
where I was Sure I wanted it darker....
Like in the corners and along the base of the walls.

Because it was so hard to tell how much was the added color, 
and how much was the wet grout!

So I did the minimum I thought necessary, 
and then had to wait for it to dry.

And on the following morning during the brief burst of morning light....
try to judge if it is enough or too little or too much.....

Of course, the shadows don't help!

And I have to remind myself that Someday there will also be moss.... 
and plants..... and the Tree House finished.... 
all adding to the feeling of age...

I am sure I will want to darken more of the grout.... 
but I am going to do it slowly!
I think I need to build the Glass House before I will know
 jut how and where all the moss and old grout will look best...

And I will get used to the feel of the bricks and the look of this new space!

So I painted the edges of the "dirt" gardens brown.....
And of course, it is night again... and everything is dark.

But with The Folly sitting where it is, Dear Readers,
The Tree House is right beside my work space 
and catches my attention....

Do you even Remember the Tree House?
I cannot believe it has been several Years since I worked on it!
(Where does the Time go???)
In case you never saw the Tree House.....

Here is a view into the Kitchen at the lowest level with the door open...
Yes, it is too dark without extra light shining in...
(I think the LED Battery is getting old)

Here... this is a little better.
This is approximately 1:48 scale and is the home to my Rat Family....

The next level up is the Salon..... 
they are a very sophisticated Rat Family!

The next room up is the Library.... this is too dark.....

And with more light shining in you can see what a mess this room is!
Many of the items have fallen off the table and shelves 
with all the moving of the Tree House on and off the base!
I will have to tidy up....!

And the Chinoiserie Bedroom!
I hope you have seen it since I completed 
the stitching on the bed curtains!

And the shell-grotto Bathroom!
There are still a couple of details to add to this room....

And the Nursery.... still only just begun.....
with the alcove bed and the bead-tile stove!
The walls are still all unattached on this room!
So much still to do!

Well, Dear Readers, I hope you don't mind that
 when I get bored with the Bricks and the bases...
I just want to return to these other little worlds....
Perhaps it is Time to Revisit the Tree House!