Whilst working this afternoon, I've been musing on the various work-related projects on the back burner. They are all part of a greater plan, and making progress, any progress, on any of them, would reap dividends, as well as giving me creative enjoyment and satisfaction.
The easiest project is the upgrading of a little single storey corner shop which I built from a kit aeons ago and is in a very basic and perfunctory state.
As you can see.
It must be around 18 years old, and has been living, unloved and untouched on top of a cabinet in the workroom for all of the 6 years we've lived in this house. I don't know why I didn't lavish more care on its construction when I built it, and I can't remember what sort of shop I intended it to be.
Perhaps a funeral parlour given that I decided to paint it all black.
I cringe to look at it now. The tiling on the bay windows was made using little card price tags glued on and painted plain black. The door window blind is faded and tatty. It never even had a shop sign. Inside, there was one awful, tatty, imported. dark wood display cabinet and a similarly dire counter.
I don't know what I was thinking.
In my defence, I must have built it during a period of miniature insanity when I had 17 doll's houses, shops, rooms boxes and settings, not one of which was ever completely finished.
However, I espied it a few months back, dragged it down from the top of the cupboard and gave it a closer inspection.
After I'd wiped 6 year's worth of dust off it. Which for the dust-conscious houseproud among you, is a seriously scary amount.
Of course, after I'd dusted it off I didn't really know what to do with it, so I replaced it on the cupboard top and forgot about it again. However, having shrugged off its cloak of invisibility, it tugged at my consciousness, and I found myself taking it down from time to time to assess its potential. Just a modest single storey shop, with perspex roof which I'd neglected for years.
Then the kernel of an idea took root in my brain. What if I gave it a makeover? A complete upgrade. Outside and in. So before Christmas I managed to track down three display cabinets just like the ones in my Victorian toy shop. The ones with the removable perspex shelves. In my toy shop I installed lighting in each and every one of the many display cabinets, which was a true labour of love. As the little shop has a perspex ceiling, which allows light to pour in, I don't have to do that, which is a bonus. In fact, the three cabinets are such a perfect fit that I don't have room to install any lighting at all.
The exterior needs some serious TLC. I'm torn between a complete repaint, or adding brick slips around and below the bay windows. Obviously I need to re-tile the tops of the windows, make a proper shop sign etc.
But compared to the scale of the other three 'projects' this will be a walk in the park. As always, I'm open to suggestions for interior/exterior decor.
As to what sort of shop it is to be.......well a very high-class toy doll emporium of course, which will sell only the very best dolls for the discerning doll's house child. I envisage something along the lines of the Harrods or Fortnum & Masons of the doll world.
Which brings me to my competition. I can't decide on a name for the shop so I'm requesting suggestions. These can be in the form of comments on this post, or emailed to me at email@example.com
I will award a prize of a boxed toy doll to the winner, which will be picked at random by Small Dog.
Closing date for entries 31 January.
Multiple entries accepted.