Retro cats and summer trees

by brae  

I have some new additions to my etsy shop.  For my blog followers -- Get FREE shipping in the US through June 15, 2015 with coupon code OTTERINEFREESHIP.

Retro cat pillows in singles and in pattern.

Summer tree pillows.

Ticking stripe pillows in sateen.

And poplin (these come with pillowcases, too).

I still have a few potted plants left in small and large.

And I put aquariums back on custom order now that I've figured out my resin issues.  :]

Milo Valley Farm - removable back wall, part 1

by brae  

When I constructed Baslow Ranch, I made a standalone board to enclose the open back when photographing from the front.  It has siding on it just like the rest of the building.

However, it is not easy to prop in place and has warped over time with nothing to keep it stable.  With Milo Valley Farm, I'm going to incorporate the back wall into the build.  But, it has to remain removable to access the interior.  To that end, I will make it a sliding wall using channel molding.

The channel molding measures 1/4" x 3/8" and holds a board 1/4" thick.  I left space for this trim on the foundation when planning.  I cut two vertical boards floor to ceiling for the back edges.

I cut a piece of foam core board to serve as a template for my final wood wall.  As you can see, I'm not making the removable part go all the way to the ceiling.  I think having a static wall at the top and a removable wall on the bottom will work better for stability.

I cut two channel pieces to fit the width between the vertical boards.  I notched the ends to fit inside the vertical channels.  This will keep it locked in place when closed.

I cut a board from 3/16" basswood to serve as the stationary upper wall base.  I chose basswood since it was easy to sand into an angle along the upper edge.

The upper and lower channels will be glued in place as well as one side channel.  The remaining side channel will be attached to the removable wall and will move with it.

We have a plan.  Now to tinker until it works.    #HBSCreatinContest2015

Milo Valley Farm - construction begins

by brae  

With the floor board now glued in place, I checked the fit of the side walls with the two main cross beams.  I had to cut away some siding to allow for a proper fit.

I added a darker coat of paint/stain to the cross beams.  The front one won't be seen at all, and the back one will be difficult to see, so they really just needed to blend into the background by being a similar color to the wood siding.  I brushed some paint in random lined patterns to give the illusion of a grain.

I glued the side walls in place.  I have only one long clamp, but it kept the building steady while masking tape held the rest.  I taped a triangle to each side wall on the interior to hold the walls square.

I taped the front inserts in place and then decided to alter the front door frame further.  I had originally left the vertical beams taller, but I cut them off this time around.  I cut a new insert to fill the space above the door frame and between the side inserts.

I tested out the windows and curved beams.  So far so good.  :]

Since I haven't made any further progress on the Datsun, I used the Beetle to test the fit.  It's slightly smaller than the Datsun, though both are 1:12 scale.

It's starting to take shape.  :D #HBSCreatinContest2015

Milo Valley Farm - siding, part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on the siding.  I sanded the exterior surface to age the wood and bring back some of the grain.

I marked where the interior wall beams will be on the outside with tiny pencil marks.  I didn't measure precisely since nails wouldn't be completely even in real life.

I used an awl to indent each of these marks, two per board.

Interestingly, when I pushed on the pencil marks, the graphite remained reflective and looked like tiny nail heads.  :D  Happy accident.

I tapped my utility blade along the bottom edge to wear out the lower edge.  It's subtle but it's a good texture.

I used a watery paint mixture of Terra Cotta and brown to make rusty nail halos with a tiny brush.  The paint sank into the indentations, and I dabbed the excess with a tissue along the way. #HBSCreatinContest2015

Yes, it's tedious...but the detail will add to the realism in the end.  :]

I didn't add this detailing to the top edge since the trim board will cover that area.

I think the siding looks fabulous with the stone foundation.  :]

Milo Valley Farm - siding, part 2

by brae  

Continuing work on the siding.  I finished applying the siding strips to the side wall templates, both interior and exterior.

I applied Weldbond glue to the previously primed kit walls to attach the finished templates.  I use scrap pieces of foam, foam board, cardboard, etc. to spread the glue evenly.

Using Staining Medium by Americana, I aged the planks with a mix of grey, brown and black acrylic paints.

The Staining Medium acts somewhat like a glaze, looks a little like an ointment, and makes acrylic paint behave like a liquid stain.  I apply it thinly and then wipe away the excess with a paper towel to reveal the grain.

I did a second pass on the exterior for deeper color and less grain.  I allowed the boards to dry to the touch and then pressed all of the boards under magazines to minimize warping.

I painted the cross beams and door frame with the remaining mixture.  I will do more to these later, but it's a good base coat.

I drilled a hole in the floor board for exiting wires.

After feeding some florist wire through the hole in the foundation, I glued the floor board to the foundation.  #HBSCreatinContest2015

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