Sunday, 9 May 2010

A shiny floor and new table.....

Here is the promised photo of the 'polished' tudor floor lol. I've been informed that Tudors wouldn't have polished their floors but I do think it looks so much better now, and the tudors in my kitchen liked clean floors ;)
I've started furnishing my kitchen by building a trestle table. I followed the instructions here (as this is my first time furniture making) but changed the design of legs so it looks similar to a photo of one in a reconstructed tudor kitchen. I'm going to work on a shelf next and long stool to go along the left hand wall.

I made these items a while ago, but couldn't resist putting them 0n the table to see how they looked -

Another welcome


Naomi (Naomi, sorry I can't see if you have a blog, please correct me if you do have one)

Puno/Monika from PuNo's Minis 1/12

Maria Jose from Marivigano

Marleen from Marleens Miniaturen

and Glenda from Peppercorn Minis

Thank you so much for following my blog, I hope you enjoy it here. x

Thursday, 6 May 2010

More Flagstones.......

I've been playing around with the kitchen flagstones these past few days and after several colour washes I think I am just about done. I'm going to seal them with an acrylic sealent which will make them slightly shiny which hopefully will make them look like a swept and polished floor (even though I'm not sure the tudors would have ever polished their floors!).

I've suddenly realised that the overall building of the room box is complete - wow, I wasn't sure I would even get this far. I'm looking forward to the next stage though of furnishing it! Again as I have made everything so far from scratch (apart from the lights), I am going to try and make all the accessories myself. I've armed myself with some wood and some glue and already have a stash of polymer clay, so I'll keep you posted with how I get on.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Tudor Kitchen .......Flagstone Floor

I've made a start of the floor of the kitchen. Following Nina's blog and comments (thank you Nina, I really would have been lost without your blog!) I used a knitting needle to carve stones out of the polyfiller. I'm now patiently waiting for it to dry so I can sand it down and start colour washing.
I've also been playing around with the furniture. I've added some venetian gold and more distressing to the dressing table and painted and distressed a chair to go with it. I'm going to find some suitable material to upholster the chair and make a cushion (all firsts for me so this could be quite interesting!).
I know they both look a bit over the top and I'm in two minds as to whether to remove some of the gold, but I'll wait and see I think. With my recent paint purchases I also bought some crackle glaze. I've been experimenting with it on another piece but haven't quite got it to look right yet - I'll post more once I've played around with it a bit more.

That's it for now. We've got a bank holiday on Monday so I'm hoping I might manage to get a bit more done.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Progress is slow........Tudor walls

Sorry, it seems ages since I last posted something about my roombox. I haven't had much time recently so I have only just finished plastering the walls and then I had a go at a few colour washes to age them (thank you nina!).
The result isn't too bad (sorry it's a bit hard to see in this photo - I really need to work on my photography skills!). I had a couple of hiccups to start with. Firstly making the grey wash too thick and dark and despite immediately watering it down as I hadn't sanded the walls first (another one to remember!) the paint sunk into the ridges and wouldn't dilute!

I then ended up going totally in the opposition direction as I found that if you wet plaster (like with a colour wash) the plaster looks grey and discoloured. When you come back to it after it has dried it looks exactly the same as when you started! I'm not sure if I was doing something wrong but I ended up just kind of slapping it on and hoping for the best when it dried.

I still need to do a bit more 'sooting' up above the fireplace but I think that is more or less it for the walls - if I can ever get the bits of masking tape off that I have managed to plaster to some of the beams (pulling making tape off while the plaster is wet is highly recommended!!!).

Next step - a flagstone floor made from more polyfiller. I'll keep you posted.....

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Welcome, welcome......

Hello and welcome to...

Julie at Jakdawsattic
Annie at Obsidian Hall
Hannajaleijona at Hanna and Leo
All the grey text are links so if you haven't visited any of these sites before, go and have a look. They are all great blogs!
and finally
Icecubed001 and Celestial - sorry I can't see if you have blogs or not (please let me know if you do :)
Thank you everyone for following my blog, I hope you like it here. x

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A revamp update

My idea of revamping all the furniture I won on ebay, hit a hitch very early on. I discovered that the dressing table (and quite a few other pieces) must have literally been soaked in wood dye. This meant that despite sanding down, wiping with white spirit and then trying to paint with white acrylic paint it just ended up pink as the dye continued to come through. I even tried car paint primer and I still ended up with pink bits! I finally found an acrylic base paint that seems to have done the trick. The pink still came through in places but wasn't too noticeable after a couple of coats of paint. If anyone knows of the way I am actually supposed to repaint furniture, I would really appreciate some tips!

Anyway, due to the above, I've only revamped 1 piece so far. So here's the before picture -

And this is the after -

I think I need to work on where I put the worn bits as the legs don't look right (I might go back and touch them up) but all in all I don't think it's too bad. One down, quite a few to go!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Masking tape - a girls best friend!

My first attempt at plastering the walls wasn't very successful (as you will see from previous posts). It took forever and I ended up getting the plaster filler everywhere. I must admit I had been putting off doing the rest of the walls as I was dreading how long it was going to take and how painstaking it was. Then I had a 'ah ha' moment - masking tape! Why I didn't think of this before I really don't know.

I've had a (tiny) bit of spare time so I grabbed a roll and got masking. I then made up so filler and slapped it on. As I didn't get a chance to all the walls I only peeled of the tape on walls that I had finished. I'm pleased with the result. It's much quicker and neater (in so far as I didn't get as much on the beams), although where I've left the tape on and plastered one side it has started to crack slightly, so when I get a bit more time I really need to finish all the walls in one hit.

Sorry for the short post. I thought I might get a bit more done when the kids were back at school, totally forgetting the fact that if the kids were back at school then I was back at work! Doh!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Possible kit bashing......

........but am I brave enough ?!? Sans has recently kit bashed her jnr cottage with the most amazing results. Her tribal house is beautiful, such a transformation from the boring Victorian cottage. So it got me thinking that maybe I should have a go at kit bashing and revamp the boring, children's, not quite to scale dollshouse that I have.

So firstly, the existing dolls house is front opening with cheap (obvious) plastic hinges at the top and bottom of the doors. Then the opening front panel itself has not to scale windows and door (I'd already ripped the door out because I hated it) also made from plastic. To put the correct scale windows and door in, I would have to replace the whole front panel. The problem being then that the middle window and the door would show the room divider which is also in the middle of both floors (not sure this was the most well planned dolls house - lol).
Soooo.... can I do a total revamp? I've just had a play with it a taken the front door panel off it's hinges, taken off the front decorations and unscrewed the middle partitions so they are now loose. I've also moved the dolls house to the back of the basement (that I bought thinking it would make the house better but is actually a bit bigger than the house so looks a bit strange) so that the backs of both are flush -

It doesn't actually look too bad, which made me think let's go the whole hog and forget a front opening dolls house and go for an open back dollshouse. I turned the whole lot round, and found some windows (again that I had bought to redo this house but they didn't for in the front panel) and blu-tacked them on just to see what it would look like, and this is it.....

As the basement is bigger than the house, I was half wondering if I could get away with a mini balcony or something similar with french doors in the middle opening out on to it, otherwise it's just going to look silly with a gap at the front and even sillier with a gap at the back.

But then I have the problem, what on earth could this house become? I'm still very keen to do a shabby chic style (I haven't forgotten my furniture revamp :) I currently waiting for a delivery of paint) but maybe I could have a shop at the bottom, but what kind of shop? or well I'm not really sure. I'm not even convinced that bashing it is going to work, are to windows too big? Does the balcony idea work? And will the whole lot fall apart if I cut holes for the windows and doors in the new front (old back)?? lol

Sorry for my long ramble, I will keep you posted with what I decide. In the meantime all suggestions (including 'it doesn't look right like that' and 'It's not really going to work') are completely welcome as are suggestions for the type of house/era/style it could become.

Even more followers....

Gosh I'm stunned, hello and welcome to all my new followers......

Everyone I've listed has a clickable link, so if you haven't visited their blogs before, go over and have a look - they are all fab!

Thank you for following!

Emma x

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Not quite going according to plan...

OK, so I finished cutting out my egg carton bricks and sticking them onto a piece of balsa wood in a herringbone pattern - all good (or so I thought!).

Starting to paint them has highlighted a crucial error - I didn't leave any space between the bricks (and there was me thinking that I was being clever getting them so tightly together) so there isn't any space to see any mortar. In fact when I went to paint it, the bricks all gelled into one and you could hardly make out the pattern - aarghh!

I was a bit reluctant to start again so I've had a go at trying to 'fix' it. I traced the outline of the brick using a pencil which isn't ideal as the mortar now looks a bit shiny lol! Silly isn't it, I'm just typing this and suddenly thought why didn't I use a white or grey pencil (doh!)...
It looks a bit better with the bricks outlined. The next step was to add some black pastel dust....

And I was much happier with this.....until I put it into place......

Errr, it doesn't quite fit in with the existing brickwork lol! Oh well, I'm just deciding whether I can get away it or not. I suppose once I add a cauldron in and add some wood and ashes for a fire, it might not be as noticeable!
I do like this style of brickwork though, much better than my sandpaper bricks.


I can't believe it, not only do I have people following my blog but now there are 12 of you!! I'm honoured. Thank you so much following my blog, welcome to.....
Irene at The Tenement. My very first follower :) Irene's wonderful blog was one of the inspirations behind me starting my roombox. If you haven't seen Irene's Cloth Merchants Booth then go at check it out, it's really beautiful.
M Carmen at Mini Shabby. A lovely blog full of Shabby inspiration and amazing transformations.
Dales at Dales Dreams. Dales does amazing things with fabric and textiles.
Dangerous Mezzo at The Tudor/Medieval/Jacobean/Queen Anne Dollshouse Project. Another inspiration for starting my roombox. Their Tudor house is simply amazing and they have some wonderful tutorials.
Michelle at Michelle's Mad World. I love Michelle's Hogwarts especially the beautiful conservatory and her fabulous Witches house.
Karin at Mini Ramblings and Musings. A lovely blog that is really interesting - you will really want to keep up with it.
Kiva at Kivas Miniatures. Kiva makes the most amazing food. It is so realistic and things that you wouldn't come across in a normal shop, well worth a look!
Anthoula at A life in miniature. Anthoula is another wonderful food (and drink creator - check out her wine!) and is also starting to dabble with transforming dolls house furniture and making her own.
Sans at The Dollshouse Diaries. Sans has created the most fanastic Maharaja's palace and is now turning her hand at 'kit bashing' - turning a jr dolls house into a fabulous tribal house!
Sonia at MiniTink. A lovely blog, she is currently making the most amazing roses!
The Old Maid at The Sunny House 1:12 Miniatures. The old maid is currently is the process of building Professor Severus Snape's office from Harry Potter. It's looking really good and the walls are actually made from real toy bricks rather than wood which adds a great effect!
Lara at Lara's Miniature World. Lara has a lovely blogs and a real talent for flower making.
and just as I'd finished writing Acension from My Miniatures also joined!
So welcome all, and thank you for following... x

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Fireplace taking shape

I've redone the fireplace and I must admit I'm a lot happier with it now. I sanded down the original polyfilla and glued egg box stones in above the fireplace. I then repolyfillered it (minus the PVA glue this time - don't know why I included it in the first place!). It's drying well and it just gives a hint of the stones underneath.

I just need to finish off in between the other beams now and then I will have a go at the colour washes - eek!

I've gone for a herringbone brick base for the floor of the fireplace. The Tudor/Medieval/Jacobean/Queen Annes Dolls House Project listed a fab tutorial for creating the brickwork from eggboxes. The original tutorial is from The China Doll. This is my progress so far -

Sorry it's not very clear. I just need the patience to sit down and cut out a load more bricks now before I can paint it.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Decidedly shabby......

Looking at other wonderful mini sites and trying to work out what I could do with the main house that I have, I've decided to go for a shabby chic theme. It's not going to be perfect as I'm not sure the house is proper 1/12th scale (I must get my ruler out and measure the rooms), but I can have fun making it look a bit better and hopefully it's something that my DD will enjoy when she is a bit older.

I'm not up to the standard of making my own furniture, although I think it more comes down to the fact that I'm not sure I'm brave enough to try (yet). We also don't have a Micheal's in the UK or, from what I can make out, an equivalent so I've resorted to looking for bargains on ebay to experiment with. This is what I have won so far -

As I bought them in 'lots' the actual cost per item (including shipping) was less than £1, so I really don't mind painting them and seeing what I can do with them.

My first 'victim' isn't in this picture as I have already started revamping it. It's a sweet little dressing table. Once I have done a bit more with it I will post the 'before' and 'after' photographs (hopefully there will be an improvement!).

P.S Is this a side effect of miniatures LOL? Starting different projects before finishing the first ?!?


I am! I mixed up the wall filler today and not only did I find out that I'd made it too runny (after I started) but I also think that I should have done the walls before I'd glued the wooden beams on! Oh and learn. The end result is, that it is taking me absolutely ages to get the filler on to the walls and right up to the edge of the beams without covering them.

The colour is whiter than I'd imagined as well, so once I've done it all I think I am going to have to learn how to do colour washes to try and tone the white down a bit.

Another thing I have discovered is that the fireplace chimney is not going to look right with just filler on it -

I'm going to go back to the egg boxes I think and follow New England Miniatures Tutorial. This means that I need to sand all the filler off and start again - arrrggghh. Oh well, I did say this was going to be a steep learning curve.
Back to it now... although I think it may be a fair few days until I get the walls finished!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


Just a short one today. I managed to have a bit of a play with the fireplace. Rather than getting the paints out, I decided to use artists pastels on the surround and to add soot in the fireplace itself. I scribbled on a piece of paper and then brushed the pastel dust into the stones. It actually worked quite well and I'm a bit happier with the fireplace now.
I also finished gluing the fireplace into place and added a hook to the block inside so that I can hang a cauldron at a later date (you can just see it in the picture above). The surround is still loose as I think it would be better to add the wall texture first but knowing me I'll change my mind!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Timbers, Door and Lighting

Today has been the first time since I last posted that I have had a chance to work on my room box, but I am really pleased with the amount that I've managed to get done.

I 'ummed' and 'aahhed' about including a door in the room box but at the cutting stage I decided against it. Now, starting to put things together, I've decided that 'yes, it does need one'. Cutting a hole in the side at this stage would not be the best idea now I've glued together so I have created a 'false' door. I'm gobsmacked with how well it has turned out, it's a shame that this photo doesn't do it justice! It's made from a rectangle of balsa wood which I scored with an empty ballpoint pen. I then stained it and added the wooden braces (again made from balsa wood) and a frame (3 layers of balsa wood).

The wall timbers are also now in place. As this is my first project, I'm experimenting a bit so the timbers are again, all made from balsa wood stained with Medium Oak wood stain. Initially I started cutting the wood in straight lines with a ruler but they looked so fake that I ended up re-cutting wonky bits out of them to make them a bit more realistic. I then stuck them on with tacky glue - it's wonderful stuff!

Finally I've attempted my first ever lighting and unbelievably it worked first time! I bought these wonderful little Tudor torches from They come complete with plugs and all you do is buy the socket and power adaptor and away you go. The only slightly fiddly part was pulling out the pins on the plug so I could thread the wires through the holes in the room box and then re-attaching the pins, but once I sussed out how to do it is was very straight forward. I love the glow they give out...

Next steps -

I'm really not happy with my fireplace surround and annoyingly I'm not sure exactly why. The colour certainly isn't right so I'm going to have a play with it and see whether I can get it a bit more realistic.

The bricks in the fireplace also need 'sooting' (is that a word?!? - but I'm sure you know what I mean).

The next stage for the walls is to put some daub in between the timbers. I'm going to make up some polyfilla and mix in some pva glue and see how that works.

For the floor, I'm going to try and make some separate flagstones from polymer clay (unless anyone can give me any other suggestions) for the fireplace and for the main floor, I've amazingly found some 'dry wall compound' sitting in our garage so I'm going to have a go the flagstone floor tutorial at New England Miniatures - it looks fabulous.

That's it for now. I hope it won't be too long until I can report back with a bit more progress.

Friday, 12 March 2010

The Fireplace

I haven't had a chance to do much prior to today, so I thought I would save it up and include it all in one post.
As I wanted a deep recess for the fireplace, I set about contructing a false wall. I used tacky glue to fix all the supports in place -
After I glued it all I decided that actually I wanted the walls to be flush with the fireplace (why do I always think of things afterwards!). So I glued further supports, and measured and cut some leftover mdf to make the walls either side of the fireplace.

Next up was making the fireplace surround. My woodworking skill really aren't that good yet, plus I don't have the right tools to do precision cutting so I cut the surround from thick cardboard.
I'm really pleased with how well it turned out. I've decided that the back of the fireplace should be brick and as I have no brick moulds or anything similar, I've improvised!
I've cut another large piece of cardboard which will fit on the back wall of the fireplace (you might just be able to see it in the photo above). This means that I can put bricks on this card and glue it into place rather than trying to fit them straight on the back wall. I painted this card a creamy colour (it's still unpainted in the photo below) and then painted some sandpaper a reddish brick colour -

Once dried I cut out thin strips and then cut them into brick shapes and voila....

(It's a good thing tudor bricks were different sizes!) I still need to finish it and then do the same for the inner left and right sides of the fireplace. Once I've done that I will glue it into place.

While I was waiting for the paint on the sandpaper to dry I whizzed over to Casey's Minis and got some fabulous inspiration from her egg box tutorial for the fireplace surround -

Once again it still needs to be finished, I will try painting it a darker stone grey colour I think.
This is the final picture of it all together so far.

I will be putting anothe piece of mdf aboce the fireplace so it looks like one long wall. That's it for today, I'll hopefully be able to finish the bricks later so I'll post more pictures once it's done.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Construction complete....

.....well the shell anyway!

I sanded all the pieces, test fitted them together and discovered that they weren't perfectly straight so wouldn't fit together as tightly as I had hoped. This was especially important as I was just intending to glue the pieces together. So this time, rather than abandoning the project when I hit the first problem I decided that I would also use small nails to hold it all together as well as the glue. This meant that I could eliminate the need for corner clamps (I still hadn't found any to borrow anyway) as the nails should hold it together whilst the glue dries.

As the MDF I am using is only 1/4" thick, I was worried that just hammering in nails would split the wood, so I pre-drilled the holes using a pin vice and this is the result -
It's not perfect, but I'm really pleased how it's turned out. I haven't fixed the top permenantly yet so that I can access the inside more easily. Once I have completed the room box I will just glue the top on -

The next step is going to be constructing the fireplace. As the box has ended up slightly bigger than I expected I am going to include a false wall at the back so that the fireplace will look more realistic and have depth to it. New England Minatures have put a wonderful step by step tutorial together for doing this in their Kitschy Kitchen Part 1 Post. I am also going to be using their fab tutorial to create a flagstone floor.

Sunday, 7 March 2010


OK, I know I'm a bit back to front, especially as I haven't actually constructed my room box yet, but I couldn't resist having a go at making a basket from Jane Harrop's 'Finishing Touches' book. This is the first time that I have tried weaving and despite a few mistakes I am really pleased with the result.

I'm planning on having several different sized backets in my room box, filled with seasonal fruit and vegetables. This one is the log basket - I think I may need to find a few more logs to fill it.

There will also be a trestle table (I need to get some wood before I can start on this), stool, shelves, food and fireplace. All of this I intend to make myself, so I will update you with my progress.

On the room box construction front, I found this great website which gives you step by step instructions on how to put one together - Plan for a Dollhouse Room Box. I've measured and cut my pieces, I just need to sand them down and fit them together. The tutorial suggests corner clamps to hold it together while the glue dries, so I need to try and borrow some before I can stick it all together.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

A very nervous hello...

This is a real adventure for me. I have always loved the idea of creating something in minature and as a child dearly wanted to have a dollshouse. Year after year I have toyed with the idea of buying a kit and furnishing a dollshouse but I knew that I would want to create pretty much everything that went in it (if not the dollshouse itself) and so I put it off knowing that I hadn't got the skills to fulfill my ambition.
Then a couple of years ago a newspaper was doing an offer on a dollshouse and we decided to purchase one for our daughter. However when it arrived it really wasn't going to be suitable until she was alot older so I decided maybe I could start my minature journey with this dollshouse. It really wasn't the house I would have picked for myself, not enough rooms and with really cheap outside windows and front door that weren't in proportion (I think it's because it is a childs house really)and small rooms.

I started by moving the staircases so they were above each other (rather than in different rooms) and by painting the interior a base of white.

Then I got a bit carried away and wanted to redo the roof with proper tiles, but on a brick exterior, have a basement for a kitchen, add skirting boards, ceiling roses, wall paper, wooden floors, lights, lighting, a new front panel etc. etc. and that was before I started furnishing it. Well I got as far as buying a basement (so much for making everything lol!) and then having looked into the cost of 'above' list, my dolls house conversion came to a very abrupt halt! I told myself that it really was 'just' a childs house and really didn't warrent that amount of money being spend on it especially as I didn't have a lot of money to spend and the fact that if I ever had a dolls house I really wanted it to be set in the time of the Tudors.

Fast forward another 2 years and whilst web surfing I came across a number of 'mini' blogs. These amazing blogs offered me inspiration and fabulous tutorials and I suddenly I realised that I didn't have to spend a fortune on those 'essential' items I listed, I could easily make a lot of things and rather than starting with my 'daunting' dollshouse I could start with a room box and then I could build my longed for Tudor kitchen!

And here's where I am...5 pieces of mdf! OK it is dawning on me that I may be completely mad but I'm hoping this blog will keep me motivated and I know that all those other great blogs will keep me inspired.

So here's to a exciting venture into the world of minature and please bear with me whilst I learn 'the ropes'.