Monday, July 16, 2018

Castle Doors....




.....And Hinges!!!

I left you last weekend, Dear Readers, with the "caves" in the Castle Base all painted and the doors ready to attach. I don't know why it took me so long to get the "courage" to add the door hinges! Perhaps it was just that the "caves" had been open for so long that I was having a hard time envisioning them as closed "cupboards" instead. But nevertheless, I decided that the only way to discover whether I liked them with doors attached, was going to be by attaching the doors! So I dug through the pile of hinges I had purchased Years ago... to locate the proper sized ones... and then attached the doors! Above you can see the first cave with the hinges on the doors... the other doors needed to be trimmed a little so it took longer to get them hinged.

Here you can see it closer.... I think they look lovely!

And with all three caves with the doors attached.
(It is really challenging to get a good shot of the entire castle and base...
 I can't stand far enough away to get it all in the picture...!)
I will need to add some sort of "door knobs"... 
but I think they will end up looking like chunks of rock... 
just something to grab to open the doors.
But then I decided they also needed to have "backstops" added
 to keep the doors from pushing too far inward and damaging the hinges.
This was Not easy to do!
I had to use a mirror and spotlight and work upside down
 to see what I was doing while screwing them to the frame on the inside....

Can you see it there.... sticking down from the top...?

Here you can see it with one of the doors closed.... 
it catches the door and keeps it from opening inward.

And once those were added...
(I am going to need to add these to all the Castle doors...!)
I decided to add the hinges to the only two doors
 to the Castle that were already prepared...

The doors to the Pantries on either side of the Kitchen....

And..... Ta Da!!! The doors are open! 
(I LOVE hinges!!!)
And then I cast my eye on all the Castle Rooms which needed to have doors added....
I was ready to add hinges right and left.....

The Stables and the Guard Room to the right.....

The Chapel and the Dungeons to the left....

And I located and identified all the door panels.....
which had been cut when I made the "prosceniums" 
for the rooms that had been started.... all those years ago!
(I began the Castle in 2010.... and have not done
 much to the basic structure since 2011).
Well, Dear Readers, I hope you have spotted
 the problem I encountered.
These "doors" are the fourth wall of each room
and they span a wide opening. 
None of them had the windows cut in them yet... 
and each one would need to be cut in half to open in the middle...
And I hadn't even started the panels for the upper rooms yet!
(Why did I think it would be a Quick and easy task?)
I had to get out my big saws...
And decide exactly where all the windows would go...
 
And hours later I had my door panels roughed out.
The kitchen ones are the ones on the right.... 
the Dungeon to the left....

The Guard Room and the Stables to the right....
 (But the Guard Room panels need trimming to fit...)

The Chapel doors to the upper left...
(the proscenium here is still not even attached 
because the ceiling is still being painted....!)

This is as much of the Castle as I can fit into one shot.
(It is 66 inches wide Tower to Tower... the base is longer).

I still haven't cut the Great Hall doors.
I need to design the window placement and
 decide whether I will have the doors double-hinged.....

And the "prosceniums" still have not 
even been cut for the upper rooms..... 
The Lord's Council Chamber and 
The Lord's Bed Chamber to the right....

And the Lady's Solar and the 
Lady's Bed Chamber to the left above the Chapel...
(which have not even been cleared of their "storage"!)
So No, I did not get to play with any more hinges.

But I did complete lilac blossom number seventeen....

Here in the box with its buddies!
 
And I spent an hour on the petit-point embroidery too....
stitching by an open window on a beautiful Summer Morning.

But my Favorite part, Dear Readers, 
is being able to open and close those Castle Pantry doors!
And now I can't wait to add hinges
 to all the rest of those doors!
Did you know how much I love hinges??


Monday, July 9, 2018

Whither Shall We Wander....




On This Fine Summer's Morn....

I had a week of Vacation, Dear Readers, which seemed an endless stream of hot sunny Summer Mornings with possibilities at every turn.... and was gone before I could catch my breath and focus on any of my many projects for any meaningful length of time. What with the Holiday in the middle of the week and several time-consuming appointments on the other days.... my Time was consumed with getting there and back again and trying to stay cool in the Record breaking heat! But in retrospect I did manage to accomplish a few things... none of which were on the immediate "to do" list! The most satisfying one was the completion of the exterior wooden trim on the remaining windows of Hardwick Hall. Above you can see a picture of the attic window without the trim.... the printed crossbars on the acetate windows always bother me as being too one dimensional! I had even painted the pieces of trim ages ago... and after completing the porch trim, I decided to tackle the windows too!

The parlor bay windows also were still in need of their trim... 
making a total of eight windows needing trim.
I started with the attic ones... and then remembered
 that there was a reason I hadn't finished them....
 I still needed to paint more of the extra thin trim
 I used to make the illusion that the windows are
 double-hung and could possibly be opened!

Here you can see what I mean... 
the window on the right has been completed, 
and the trim for the lower half is much less deep....
 hopefully creating the illusion that the lower half of the window
  sits beside the upper  and could slide past it when being opened.
And the window on the left is one of the ones needing to be finished...

So I trimmed down some very narrow wooden
 coffee stirrers and painted them the silver of the trims.
This requires four coats of paint!

Then I cut and fitted them to the attic windows....
 these windows are tiny!
But you can see the lower half of the window
 is "set back" from the upper half.
(Or at least I hope it appears to be set back!)

And then I started on the Parlor Bay windows... 
and when I got to the lower portion,
 I realized the sill was poorly fitted
 and there were big gaps at the bottom 
of the window panes!
So I cut and painted slivers of trim to fill the gaps.....

The one on the left has been filled... the right has not.

Here they have both been filled....

And the trims added.....
I know.... the lighting is awkward... 
(I was keeping my blinds closed!)
Here is a better shot... a bit glaring even... 
but it shows the different depth of the window trims.
It took an entire day to complete!
And with the exception of the bathroom window,
which I added to the design...
 the windows are done!

Another day I spent a lovely morning sewing by an open window
 with the breezes wafting in...
slowly filling in the background around the blossoms.... 
before the heat of the day became over-whelming.
 
And I thought I would get to painting on the Castle Great Hall ceiling....
(Isn't it high time I finished those Patient Saints?) 

Again, it is dark in here!
I wanted to get a better look at the way
 the ceiling would connect with the walls...
 
Here it is lit with the flash
which shows the colors beautifully,
 but erases the cracks at the edges of the ceiling
 which will need to be covered with trim.... 
an added layer of "rock" buttressing the ceiling.
And as I pulled out the wood and began to prepare the trim, 
I realized that I would not be able to attach it in the right spot
 without knowing exactly where the ceiling would sit... 
and with the whole structure of the Castle still somewhat half finished.... 
I would need to do some of that structural work first!
Ah, Dear Readers, this is how I end up
 going down the Rabbit Hole and into
 I-Wonder-Where I-am-Land!
 
Because in order to do any of that larger work on the Castle, 
I would need to clear it out....
(I am shocked to admit that I have no idea
 how many years it has been since I did that!)
All (or rather Most of) the Little People 
went off on Vacations for the Summer.... 
and I packed up boxes full of furnishings 
and partially done project pieces...
 trying to keep it all organized so I could find the pieces again....
 and I really only cleared away half of the rooms....
 
Figuring I would at least finish the structure of the Lord's Tower...
 (the plywood panels are becoming warped
 since the top walls have never been fastened in place....)
 
the unfinished Council Chamber....
 

And what will be the Lord's Bed Chamber at the top of the Tower.
And each room has the front wall framework to add too....
the "Proscenium" I call it.

Here I have drilled and screwed the 
Great Hall "Proscenium" temporarily in place.
And I have been struggling since Forever with the question
 of whether or not to add Doors to the fronts of all the rooms
(To Door or Not Tudor ... that is the Question!)
And as I Dream of getting the basic framework
 all drilled and screwed together at least temporarily....
Because if I am going to attach any Doors, 
the framework needs to be done first...
And then I look at the Base....
Where the Caves are located... 
(even though they are filled with stored materials)
And somehow it becomes important to start with them.....
 clean them out.... paint them.... attach the doors... 
all pieces of plywood that were cut out ages ago
 and are stacked up and waiting.... in the way, to tell the truth!)
 
The first cave ready for the primer....
 
And the primer done.....
 oooh that was a contortionists job!
 
And the door panels too!
 
And the next morning .... 
starting on the dark gray paint.... 
because they are dark rock caves!
 
Here is one with just the primer coat.... 
you can sort of see your way around in there!
 

But a Cave is supposed to feel vast and dark and Murky...!
So I painted them dark Gray.
You can get lost in there!

And then I started on the outside frame of the Base....
because it is supposed to be the "Rock" the Castle is built upon...
 

I will most likely add more paint and colors
 to add to the illusion that it is "rock"...

And the doors too...! 
And I started adding base colors
 to the front of the Castle itself....
And then I realized that until each room
 was completed and the front screwed in for good...
 I couldn't add the paint....
 because the screws would need to be
 puttied over first before painting! 
(And isn't that bringing me right back to where I was before....?)
Okay, so I can still temporarily drill and screw the
 framework together and worry about painting later!
 
And I can test the idea of doors in each room...
Temporarily....
Won't they get in the way?
 I will be wanting to leave them open
 all the Time so I can see in there....!
 
Oh yes, and I did complete the sixteenth Lilac Blossom!
 
Ah, Dear Readers, I don't know how I got here....
 or where I am going from here... 
But I do think it was Long Overdue!
 And that is Where I wandered 
through all my Vacation days!