Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Floor Progress....

One Thing Leads To Another....

I had some Unexpected Time off from work, Dear Readers, while they sanitized the building where I work last week. It was supposed to be a day at home and then back to work, but it turned into three days at home due to the thorough nature of the cleaning. And since the weather was mild and virtually windless, I decided it was the right time to spray polyurethane varnish on the floor tiles which I could do outside on the porch. This required that I remove all the floor tiles, while keeping them in that perfect pattern I had so carefully arranged! You can see above a portion of the tiles spread out (in their exact arrangement) on cardboard so I could take them outside and spray them.

Pretty soon my entire studio was spread out with the drying tiles!
(This is only two of the five cardboards!)
I gave them two coats of the polyurethane.

And the following day I began the process
 of carefully spacing them in the floor... 
with the allowed spaces for grout.
This ended up reducing the pattern by two rows of tiles
  so I simply left off the outside rows of my pattern.

It was important to try and get the spacing just right.
 I occasionally swapped out a thick tile for a 
better shaped one as long as it was the same color.
And I needed to make sure the door would open over the tiles.

And once I had them all laid out correctly,
 I could begin the gluing process.

Once again, this required removing a small amount of the tiles at a time, 
keeping them in their pattern, and gluing them back into their place.
Once I had done the corner by the stairs,
 I could work the rows all the way across one row at a time.

I would remove the next row tile right after gluing the one above it, 
ensuring that my spacing stayed as unchanged as possible.
I wouldn't want to get all the way to the front row
 only to discover that there was not enough space for the entire tile to fit!

This took a very long time!
Hours and hours and hours.

But I got it done!

And in the morning light they look clean and sparkly!
I couldn't wait to get started on the grout!
But then I remembered that before I could grout,
 I needed to complete the fireplace and attach it in place.
"What, the fireplace isn't finished" I hear you say?
No, I had always thought it needed something more...

Ages ago, I had seen in one of my Medieval History books
 an elaborate Medieval mantlepiece that was carved to resemble a castle.... 
or perhaps I dreamed this, because I could not find the photo again when I searched!
But the idea stuck, and I began to try to piece together a version for this fireplace.
I dug through my box of off-cut scraps....

I found some likely pieces that needed almost no trimming to fit!
(This is Why we keep all those scraps....! 
I could not have designed this as well
 if I had to start from nothing!)

This too, took longer than I had thought.... 
I had to cut all those crenelations!
I used very thin 1/8 inch plywood because the crenelations
 would never have survived the cutting
 without the added strength of the plies.

And more crenelations.... !

And then I had to carve those windows.... 
because I wanted the Castle Keep to resemble the Dollhouse itself!
 (Without the outer walls, you understand...!)

Painting with primer was next....  
I know, it is really rough and not very stone-like.
But the same could be said for the Entire Dollhouse Castle!
(Imaginations are required!)

And then I decided that the base of the castle
 needed a little reinforcing....
And decorating...!
I found these bezels hidden away among pieces
 that were planned for this room ages ago!

Meanwhile, it needed to be tested in place....
 the primer is much too bright...!

Painting the under layer of light gray paint...

And then roughing in some of the darker "stone" colors....
highlighting the shadows and depths.

And seeing how it looks.....
Sill not quite finished...!
But that is as far as I got on my
 extra days off and the weekend too.
One Thing led to Another
 and I made a lot of Progress!

And on the Home front, Dear Readers, 
my workplace has set me up to work mostly from home.

My workstation is tucked snugly in
 among my upstairs dollhouses....!
The commute is very very brief!
I hope you are all staying as safe and Well as you can.
I am eternally grateful for the internet
 and the ability to stay connected
 with loved ones Near and Far!


  1. Ohhh!!! me encanta el tallado que le has hecho a la chimenea,luce perfecta y el conjunto con las losetas del suelo ya barnizadas es un contraste precioso!
    Gran trabajo.

  2. Oh that fireplace is amazing! Love how it looks. And your floor came out beautifully!

  3. Remind me what that little room is. The castle mantlepiece is truly amazing and the tile floor is lovely.
    I'm so glad you're working from home - may you stay well and happy, and the same for all your dolls house buddies.
    Much love,

  4. I can understand that this was indeed a precise job, Betsy, and very, very time consuming!!! But you did it! It looks wonderful.
    WOW, what a fantastic and very original idea of creating a castle at the mantlepiece, that's soooo you! But cutting out those crenelations and those teeny tiny windows, omg, it must have taken ages!!
    The whole looks gorgeous, Betsy!
    Stay safe and well!
    Warm hugs, Ilona

  5. The fireplace is amazing and the floor is perfect for this wonderful room.

  6. Un trabajo muy original , me encanta el resultado de tu chimenea.Cuídate

  7. The mantelpiece is a work of art by itself. It's simply magnificent.
    I love the floor. The hall looks truly medieval. Fantastic work!
    Hugs, Drora

  8. WOW!!! This fireplace is the most stunning place to lit a fire I've ever seen! What a gorgeous idea... and what a terrific result. And why am I not surprised that this ended as a small version of the castle... I see a pattern here remembering the living room having the tiny version of itself in its shelves... or last year's gorgeous Christmas card. I'm already looking forward to see the tiny version in the Tree House... *teehee* Wonderful work, I've enjoyed studying your photos very much. It's impressive that you've even added an iron gate - but on the other hand... you never miss any detail. ;O)

    And the floor is pure beauty... so much care and work but worth the effort. This room is going to be beautiful and impressive and I'm looking forward to see the floor with the grout.

    During these special times working at home and not going out too much is a good thing... I only hope you will get the needed peace regarding your desk neighbors. Let's hope the Deadly Nightshades won't practise too loud - but who knows, maybe they're playing motivational songs... "Working Class Hero" for example or "9 to 5"... And of course let's also keep fingers crossed that the giggles of the butterflies and the beary gang are not too loud while you try to concentrate on your work. ;O) Take good care of yourself - best wishes for you and yours to stay safe and healthy!


  9. It is lovely to see the floor being put into place. It really adds character to the room. The castellated fireplace is quite an eyecatcher. A bold decision that payed off!


  10. What a triumphant moment to finally have the tiles installed! They are beautiful! You have done such an incredible job with the spacing and I know that is a huge challenge! I am sending good luck prayers and positive mojo that the grouting goes like a dream!!!
    The castle mantle is absolutely delightful and is just one of the reasons I love your creative mind and your blog so much! Carved windows?!? I LOVE this and the room will be a marvel to see when you have shown us the finishing touches!!!
    I am glad that you are able to stay mostly at home and I hope this gives you more time to play! Stay safe and well dear Betsy!