Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Castle Great Hall Revisited....

 

 


Where To Begin......

Believe It or Not, Dear Readers, I had thought I might get to finishing the Painting of the Great Hall Ceiling now that so much of the already completed rooms of the Castle had been "strengthened" and I could finally turn my attention to The Great Hall. The ceiling is still removable so that the access to the Hall is easier while building is happening, and also so that I can paint the ceiling. I have been working on this very sporadically for years! (Those Patient Saints!) I have been planning to add a row of "strengthening stones" to the wall where the ceiling meets it for additional support and for realistic visual effect. The problem is that the ceiling is not uniform in its shape and doesn't meet the wall in a neat line. (More of those gaps and cracks as well as too tight places!) This needs to be fixed one way or another! And once the ceiling was removed and I could begin to plan how it meets the walls, it became clear that how it met the Front wall was not well planned at all. This would be because it really was not planned at all. I have been realizing as I strengthen the other rooms, that the front corners where the opening wall attaches have never had the corner posts that should have been part of the original framework. I hadn't planned how the fronts would attach, and did a poor job of it as I went room by room. The smaller rooms can maybe do without a corner post, structurally, but the Great Hall needs those posts! 

 Here is a view of the Great Hall ceiling removed....

(it is propped on my painting chair...)

The painted sections are just corrugated cardboard

 curved to resemble an arched ceiling

 and glued between "stone" ribs.

You can see that the curved sections do not match at their ends.

I will have to fix this.

But more importantly, the "ribs" are supposed to sit on stone corbels

which should attach firmly to the walls.... 

but on one side the open wall prevents that.

Without this support, the ceiling has warped and sagged a bit.


Add to that the fact that the side walls are too skinny...

 and have no corner support... this is the right wall....


And this is the left wall... 

and the walls are not tied together across the front in any way....

Yikes! What was I thinking?!

Strengthening is needed desperately!

Starting with a "tie" between the two end walls at the top.
This will also provide support to the ends of the ceiling "ribs".


Which you can see here.
I have screwed into the cross tie 
from both ends to give it strength!

 
Here is the view from beneath.... 
the added piece will be painted to look like stone.
 

This is the ceiling using the flash on the camera....
way too bright.... but it shows the frame work better.
 
And once I had added the cross tie,
 I needed to strengthen the front wall corners. 


This was going to require some extra carving on the corner pieces
 because I left no room on the wall when I added 
the door surround "stones" all those years ago.


And on the other corner I had to carve away some of the "stone" texture
 that I added to the walls of the Great Hall,
 so the new corner piece could be flush to the wall.
And the corner piece on this side would also need 
to fit around the stone door surround in the Gallery too!


Here you can see the new corner post has been added in the Gallery.


And beneath the Gallery too. 
 

Here is the new corner post on the left side, 
fitted over the door surround stones.
 
 These corner posts will hardly be visible once the front wall is in place,
 but will provide much needed strength to the corner of the room!


And that is as far as I got, Dear Readers,
 on my Castle Great Hall revisit.
The ceiling still awaits the painting... 
the corbels and ceiling supports still need to be added...
But I feel as though I made a good beginning...
And I might even know where I am going!



Monday, October 5, 2020

License To Crenellate....

 

 


 Castle Fortifications Continued....

I always Hope, Dear Readers, when I have a week of Vacation, that I will be able to make a decent, noticeable amount of progress on one or another of my many mini building projects. And I can happily report that on my recent week off I was able to pull out my big saws and Finally, cut the Crenelations for the roof tops of my Castle! This required a fair amount of cutting cardboard mock-ups to test the different sizes of and numbers of and spacing of the crenelations. Math was only part of it... they needed to look right... not too wide not too small... and I think I got it right. Above you can see the first Tower with the crenelations attached on the three sides. They are screwed firmly to the framework of the structure. They are unconvincingly "thin" as just the plywood... and eventually I will probably add foamcore to thicken them up without adding too much weight. But that is a long way down the road. 

 
Here you can see a closer view....
I have had to leave the front sections "removable"
in part because I will want to have easy access to the space,
 and in part because the top rooms are not built yet 
and I will need to be able to remove the ceilings and the fronts...
 for however long this takes me to finish!
 
Slitherwing has not been making this easy!

I had to pull the sections of the Castle apart from one another
 in order to be able to access the back sides.


Here you can see I have started on the crenelations 
for the back of the Great Hall Section.
(Some of you will notice my New cordless drill...)


Here you can see I had to make some complicated pieces
 for the sections on top of the "buttresses" where the privies are located
 at the back of the Castle Great Hall.


This is a closer view... we never get to see the back of the Castle!
(It hangs at the edge of the cliffs above the ocean....)
 
And here I am testing the crenelations for the front of the Great Hall.
They had to have a complicated set of
 "temporary" attachers (ie hooks and eyes)
to keep them from falling off.
 
This construction process took days and days.
But I was determined to not give up 
before they were all cut and fitted!
 

And it always amazes me the difference it makes
 to have the "front" panel attached!


It looks so much taller.....


Seriously grander.....


Even Forbidding!
As a Castle should be.


I have to stand on my chair to even reach the top!
Finally, Dear Readers, it really looks like a Castle.
I am so glad the Castle Lord got permission to Crenelate...
And I had the time to make it happen!



Monday, September 28, 2020

"Mille Fleures"....

 

 


 

Medieval Tapestry Petit-point Update....

I Promised to show you the design for the Tapestry as the kit instructions intend, Dear Readers, and then forgot to take a picture of the packaging showing the two Ladies in the flowery meadow. This is a wonderful kit by Janet Granger, a UK needle artist and miniaturist and I love her kits! That doesn't mean I manage to finish a kit without making a few changes to the design. I hope you will spot the changes I made in the hairstyles for the Ladies, in particular the Lady on the left.

It is difficult to see the new head-dress against the white cloth...
But here the gray threads do stand out well enough to see the shape.
There were a couple of other little changes I wanted to make,
 in particular the left hand Lady's right hand
 disappears into her skirt too much for my liking.


This was easily remedied by adding a couple of stitches in the brown thread....
 creating a slight shadow between the hand and the skirt.
Also a couple of "shadow" stitches in the drape of her skirt
 where it forms the "pocket"... 
she is Not collecting blossoms in her skirt!
And then because I had introduced an extra color into the design pallette 
(the light gray for the head coif)
I decided I should balance it by also adding
 some additional "white" to the background.
If you look carefully you will spot a couple of "test" blossoms in white
 along the Right hand side of the background.


And then I thought if I am adding the white to the background,
 I had better add the blue as well... for balance you understand!
It is really difficult to "test" these ideas while stitching....
They become impossible to "undo" later.
But I liked the effect right away,
 so it was really just about figuring out where
 there was space for all these additional blossoms...!
Which meant completing the background flowers
 that were specified in the chart....
All of these were just the two pink colors
 and only two green colors for the leaves.


Here the skirt on the right is finished
 and I am adding the leaves to the blossoms...

 Here I have added all the greenery that was specified with the design...
I know it looks crowded... 
but there is a lot of extra space... 
and this style of background is known as
 "Mille Fleures" or a Thousand Flowers.....
Surely there is a need for more blossoms in other colors!


And it only took me a short while to decide that
 the greenery for the new blossoms
 needed to be in different colors as well....
If you look closely in the above picture you will see
 a "spring" green for the leaves on those white "daisies" 
I have sprinkled into the design.
And before I went too far with the "daisies"....
 I needed to add the "bluebells" as well...


And they needed their own green as well...
Because they needed to stand apart from the other greenery
 where they stood next to each other
 (no social distancing in this meadow!)
Yes, I was getting carried away by details!


And all this while I am desperately hoping, Dear Readers, 
that I have chosen good colors and not messed up the entire project!


These are the threads for the kit... 
along with the "extras" I have tucked into the selection.
On the very left are the mint green and the white...
The second green, a very "emerald" hue is beside the dark olive green
 and way on the right is the pale gray for the head-dresses.
But it will be impossible to tell the results 
until I get the background stitching underway.


But first I needed to get all the blossoms added... 
and all the greenery too...
(I did a lot of stitching on my vacation week!)
And Finally it was time to start the background... 
that beautiful midnight blue....


So dark it is almost black... but not!


And at last we can get a sense of the changes I have made...
More flowers in the meadow....
More Medieval look to the headdresses...


I still have a long way to go, 
but I am liking the "Mille Fleures"!
I did a few other things during my vacation week, Dear Readers,
 but I will have to show them on another post.
For now, I have been carried away  
by the Medieval Petit-point Tapestry!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fall Is In The Air.....

 

 


 A Taste of Halloween....

Not Very long ago, Dear Readers, I bought a bunch of little kits from Robin Betterley Miniatures. Specifically, a whole bunch of her Teeny Weeny Secret Books. They are hollow "books" which pull out and have tiny scenes inside them. Many of them are based on a Holiday Theme, and as we are approaching the Halloween Season, indeed we could even be already In the Halloween Season, I decided to put together one of these tiny projects. You can see above the beginnings of construction. In theory it is very simple and straight forward to make. A box like a drawer slides into a "case" which has the book cover information applied. I only made a half dozen mistakes in the initial assembly. Clearly I wasn't paying attention to which side of what went with what side of whatever! Eventually, after some serious un-gluing and doing over, I got it right!

I painted it a burnt sienna color
 and then applied the decorative printed papers.


First the cover art.
 
 And then the interior art.
This angle shows the left hand side...


And then the right hand side.
Please ignore the lumber "scrap yard" in the back-ground!


The kit comes with all the little "twiddley bits" to make the interior scene...
 including a cutout of a Witch's silhouette.
But I thought it needed something more....
So I added an old Crone....
And gave her glitter eyes...
Which do shine in the right light!


I might have gotten a bit carried away... 
I wanted the cauldron to sit on glowing coals....
(More glitter in red and copper.... but so hard to photograph!)
And a crooked stick for stirring the Brew....
And smoke rising from the pot.... 
(My own additions.... not included in the kit.)


Can you see it in this picture?


Or here...?
The brew is green and overflowing 
and has copper glitter mixed in too...


Here I am gluing the Crone in place.
The space is really very small... 
so I had to carve off part of the Kit Witch...


I had to glue her to the back side...
(I am not sure she wants any part of this toxic brew!)
So I still had room for the pumpkins.....


I don't know why...
 but I wanted one of them to still be on the vine...


I had to keep checking to see that it would fit inside the cover....
And see if we can see the glitter...


And with the pumpkins inside too....
It is full to the brim!
I have nothing more to add, Dear Readers,
Except to say that this is a Little Taste of Autumn....
And to wonder what you've got "cooking"?