Monday, August 6, 2018

Slow Progress.....

More Castle Doors and Other Little Things...

The weather has not been cooperating, Dear Readers, with my plans to make Great Progress on the basic framework of the Castle Dollhouse. It has been very hot here for weeks, and humid as well, making all the building materials sticky and wet and the air quality impossible to paint in. I know some of you are wishing for rain and I wish I could send it your way. We have had daily downpours and even a few tornadoes not very far from here. And when it is not raining, it is in the "nineties" farenheit! One of the major tasks I want to accomplish is the primer and base coats of the Castle exterior and of the interiors of the rest of the rooms that have not yet been "built". The structure is too large to move elsewhere for painting... and the paint needs to be able to ventilate... and it has just been too hot! So Progress is slow. (Sigh)  But I did manage to do a little more stitching on the petit-point embroidery! You can see it above. It is almost at the point where I will stop stitching and leave a corner to be "finished" by the mini stitcher! I still need to construct the little embroidery frame it will be displayed in. That also requires some stain and finishing. As for the Castle, I left you last week with the doors for the Great Hall only partly constructed. Once I saw them in place (held with masking tape) I realized I wanted to have the windows on the gallery level be four across, not just two. This required that I pull out my big saws again.

As I mentioned last week, I am trying to keep the style of this Castle
 at a very early Medieval era... thirteenth century at the latest,
 when a Castle was a fortresses with very few
 "improvements" for comfortable living.
Windows were few and small and the exterior
 of the walls were plain and functional with very little decoration.
But I have deviated from my plan a little bit...
 because it is a dollshouse.... 
and I will want to see into those rooms!

So I added the extra windows to the front of the Great Hall doors.
The "story" is that at an earlier date, 
before the Great Hall had a fireplace at the wall side,
 there was a gallery that went all around the room.
 It has now been reduced to only two sections 
one at each end of the Hall.
 (Because we don't want a Gallery in the way when we open the doors!)

I do like the way it looks now!
While I had the saw out,
 I also cut out the doors for the room 
above the Chapel on the left side. 
This will be the Lady's Solar, 
the room where she can be
 separate from the "people" and can 
attend to her sewing and reading.

The top room on the left side will be the Lady's Bed Chamber.
 I could not cut the doors for that room because 
the section of plywood I had hoped to use is a bit warped.
 I am hoping I can make it "straighten out"!
(And I have not even cleared that room of all the "storage" yet!)
Meanwhile, as soon as I was done with
 the extra window cutting, Dear Readers,
 I was ready to move on to the Hinges!
(Trying to get the Great Hall doors attached is what 
started me working on the Castle again after so many years!)

I made the doors "double hinged" to make them a more manageable size.

The central panels can be opened alone.....
(of course, I still have to attach the other doors...!)

Doors in closed position...

With just the central panels open......

And with the entire doors open!
(Did I tell you how much I LOVE hinges?!)
Here it stands with most of the upper rooms
 still just "taped" in place.....
I need to drill and screw the "prosceniums" 
in place before I can attach the doors.
At least once I get all the pieces screwed together, 
I think there will be less warping.
And hopefully there will be a little bit of "painting" weather
 (when I can leave the windows all open wide) before too long!
And of course you want to see Blossom # 20....


And in the Box with its buddies!
So you can see Dear Readers, it has been slow going....
But I begin to understand why I 
stalled on this project all those years ago....
It's just a little bit larger project than I thought!
But I am making progress 
on the Castle doors and other little things!


  1. Hello Betsy,
    I actually think you are getting a lot done in a short amount of time. I just love the way the castle doors open. It really makes each room look like a framed work of art. I think adding the extra windows was a great idea and it looks quite nice. Keep up the great work on the blossoms...they are just magnificent.
    Big hug

  2. Great progress on the Castle AND the blossoms (despite the weather!). I am so enjoying following this.

  3. You are the hinge queen! Love how that looks.

  4. Back in the hinges again!!! I suppose one of the best things about the fact that you're concentrating your work effort on the castle at the moment is that it gives you plenty opportunities to celebrate your love for hinges. *smile* It was a good decision to handle the historic background and the realism with a bit of - let's say - flexibility, the additional windows look great. And not to forget - hooray and welcome to No. 20!!!


  5. Hang in there - your perseverance will pay off. The progress looks pretty great on this end. I like the doors on each space - with a surprise behind each one.

  6. You are getting a lot more done than me! They have promised us rain starting tomorrow!
    I really like the double doors and the extra windows looks like they really belong there. And yes , the hinges thing ;-)
    Welcome blossom number 20!

  7. I think you're making great progress, especially since it is so hard to do anything when it's hot! I love the additional windows, and am keeping my fingers crossed for you that the plywood will straighten itself out again! All the stitching must be a slow and methodical process, so it has to feel so good to be nearly finished! I admire your growing rows of lilac blossoms, too, and as I contemplate the amount of flower making in my future for the cottage, I may just need to call upon your patience and perseverance! The roofing is a slow go, done in stolen moments waiting for real life paint to dry before applying the next coat. I am going to be so excited when both are ta-done!

  8. Hi Betsy. Gee the weather sounds a little terrifying for you at the moment. I hope it improves soon. And congrats on all the progress - another lilac, more hinges, more embroidery! Persistence pays off! Xx

  9. There's always something you can do on a rainy day!
    The castle begins to look like a real castle.
    You should have a small celebration for #20 blossom!
    Sorry about your weather;
    Lots of love,

  10. Slow and steady wins the race Betsy and I can see and appreciate both-

  11. The hinged doors are a great solution, and I see nothing wrong with mixing practicality with true to life architecture. :D The blossoms are amazing, too.

  12. Hi, Betsy - I do like your decision to cut the two extra windows for the Great Hall doors - they give the front of the Castle a pleasing symmetry that looks just right. I also like all the door-opening options; it's no wonder that you love hinges - and you use them so cleverly! You've done beautiful work on the petit-point embroidery, and I'm eager to see it in its frame.The lilac blossom box is starting to look more filled than empty - that's a good sign that you're making great progress. That twentieth blossom has made itself right at home - it's most likely comparing its own beauty with the other nineteen beauties.