Friday, 23 February 2007

Don't stop me now.........

.........I'm having such a good time.... I'm having a ball. (with apologies to Queen!)

I have successfully slain the time-wasting displacement activity goblins and have been forging ahead on all fronts.

Multitasking? Ha!

Problem solving? Tish!

Lateral thinking? Pshaw!

I am positively riding the crest of a creative wave and boy does it feel good!

And the reason for this surfeit of joyous declarations???

Well, everything shop-wise is going swimmingly. Yes I'm having the odd wobbly moment when things look like they might start going a bit pear-shaped, but so far, all problems have been successfully, and more importantly, quickly solved.

Since the weekend I have finished constructing the dormer windows, which will sit in the hinged front section of the roof. They are painted and the roofs are tiled. I've even made proper wood-framed windows to put on the front of each dormer. Each mitre cleanly cut and NO MISTAKES.

Yes I know.

I can almost hear the gasps of disbelief.

But I promise's all true.

Moving on......... the tiling of the main part of the roof is continuing smoothly. I am not having a perfectly tiled roof, having decided that as the building is so old, the roof would probably be in need of some work, so I have been 'distressing' lots of tiles but cutting corners off, or slicing ragged, zig-zag slashes into them, to simulate cracked and crazed tiles. I've even put some slipped tiles on a few sections of the roof. Goes against the grain a bit but once I'd done one, the others followed more easily. I'm using little pre-cut cardboard tiles, which are very easy to distress. When the tiling is finished I will paint them in various slate colours, with some green, mouldy bits where the water runs down. I'll be adding little bits of moss, growing out of the holes where the tiles have slipped, as well as clumps of greenery blocking the guttering.

Moving even further on....... I have started the brickwork on the shop door fronts.
I'm using stencils and brick powder supplied by Bromley Craft Products and have decided on a herringbone brick pattern, which I will divide using oak beams to give a Tudor-style effect.
I have used a similar system before, on my Gothic Baronial mansion. It was sold as Magic Stone, and involved sticking a self-adhesive grid all over the area to be covered, then the powder was mixed with water and spread over the grid. When almost dry, the grid was pulled off, leaving the stonework intact, but the grid itself was then thrown away as it was not re-usable.
The system I am using for the toy shop utilises a re-usable stencil, which must be temporarily fixed in place on the wall using a stencil mount spray. After the brickwork compound is spread onto the wall, the stencil is removed, leaving neat bricks with mortar lines in between.
The stencil must then be washed and carefully dried before using again.

I spent ages yesterday trying to decide which was the best place to start and how to achieve the pattern I wanted, but the herringbone is so confusing that in the end I just trusted to luck and started at the bottom and worked my way up, carefully leaving gaps so that I would be able to glue the bay windows in place later.

Here are the results so far......

Pretty good eh?

After I have finished bricking both fronts, and have all the wooden beams in place, I will then distress the brickwork. I want some cracked bricks, and will be painting individual bricks to give some colour variation, rather than just a flat, brand-new brick look. After they're painted they will have to be sealed to protect the finish.

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