Category: "Watson Mill"

Watson Mill - foundation, part 2

by brae  

Continuing work on the foundation.  I had egg carton bricks on hand, so I didn't bother to reinvent the wheel.  Most of the time, I will measure my board and determine how many bricks across I need and adjust the measurements accordingly.  It's a small foundation, so I didn't think it would matter much once landscaping is in.  Since my bricks didn't end well at the corners, I opted for corner stones cut to fit.

I chose brown based bricks instead of my usual brick red.  :]

I started with an even brown base.

I then stippled on the other colors to create variations before sealing with Delta Ceramcoat Matte Varnish (which always dries shiny with how thick I put it on).

After it dried, I grouted with spackling following my usual water clean-up process.

I added a couple of dark brown and black washes to tone down the grout, then finished off with a spray of Testors Frosted Glass to dull the finish.  There will be more aging during the landscaping process, but I love how it looks so far.  You can still see the subtle color differences.

Watson Mill - enamel tabletop, part 1

by brae  

A Greenleaf forum member suggested enamel tabletops, so I scouted around the net looking at examples. It seemed a grand idea, so I printed some designs I thought would work best in blue, black and orange-red. These are just on regular paper for testing the look, but I have some ideas in mind for transferring the design onto the table.

I was leaning toward the blue, so most of them are shown in that color.  I'm not showing every printed design here since I narrowed down further.  I printed open center designs...

...and filled center designs.

The one shown in all three colors is the design that appealed to me most on paper.

I made my notes on the pics as well. Granted, it is hard to tell with yellowish wood chairs, but you get the idea. The chairs and lower part of the table will be painted to coordinate best, even if that ends up being white with a coordinating color upholstery.  I will also be toning down the red of the oak floors.

This one was too "dollhousy" to me.  The design is rather bold and would compete with anything placed on the table.

This is more of a retro style than I wanted, though it has its appeal in the right setting.

This one is the best of the open center designs.  It's delicate and complements the teacup flower made by Debora.

Here is the same design shown in black for comparison.

This one is delicate but rather busy.

I had thought this one would work well from the paper printout, but it ended up being more "diner" than I wanted.

Here's one showing the red.  This is the design I like the most, but the red didn't do it for me.

The black is almost there but a little stark.

The blue is almost there but perhaps a little too light.

So in the final trials, I printed grey and navy blue tabletop designs.  First, the open grey...a little washed out.

Open navy blue...ooooh, gorgeous!

Filled grey...meh.

Filled navy blue...not as nice as the lighter blue before, and to me the open navy blue still has that beat.  I love the open navy blue design because it will frame whatever is featured on the table.

Next up, trying some tests to transfer the design.  :]  I'll also paint the chairs and stain the flooring, which might sway the final choice.

Watson Mill - main room furnishings, part 1

by brae  

Now that I have the general layout, I can start making the final furnishings.  I've raided my stash of furniture kits and took out a couple that I would not likely use otherwise. For the kitchen area, I will make two Queen Anne Side Chairs from The House of Miniatures. I don't recall starting these before, but the kit is mid-assembly.  It's also possible they were started by someone else when I bought them.  I have purchased a few lots of HoM kits before, so who knows?  :D

I've built enough furnishings to be able to handle a piece already started.  These are simple chairs with just enough interest.  I have sanded the legs, but I never fully round them as the instructions or photos show.  I like a bit of structure to cabriole legs even if it is not in keeping with the true style.  The foam in the kits has been damaged, but that is easily substituted.

The table kit has a resin top and wood legs.  I could not tell you where it came from, though.  :\  I bought it quite awhile ago.  The legs have extra length and are easily shortened as needed.  I'm not sure if I will paint the top or leave it white and just finish the legs and apron.  I like the small size of the table, 2 3/8" square.

As you can see, I still have to cut the legs to the final height.  I do like their lean shape, so I might substitute shorter legs and put these back in the stash.  :]

Two Chippendale Benches (also HoM) will replace the footstool and round stool I've been using as placeholders.  The similar legs will go well with the chairs.

These are what I planned to finish with the bargello embroidery.  One of these might seem a little large for the work table, but in a small home, furnishings have to do double duty.  Once I have the work space set up, that should help, too.

I have a Houseworks 2" kitchen cabinet kit for the space in back.  This will coordinate well with the dumbwaiter on the other side since that has a kit from the same series as the base cabinet.

These pieces fit well and use up some of my stash of kits.  :D

Watson Mill - wallpaper

by brae  

Choosing wall color is a big step in decorating.  I always knew I wanted a pale blue for the main floor, but finding the right shade was key.  There will be a lot going on with décor in a small space, so nothing too dark, too bright or too green to compete with the settee or corner cabinet.  I like using textured cardstock since it has visual interest over flat paper and it can cover rough walls better, especially when die cut pieces have been left intact like the former door location on the front wall.

My first option was a pale sea foam blue from Hobby Lobby.  They didn't have this in the larger 12 x 12 sheets, but the short main floor made this workable.  I would still have to piece it along the front wall, but the ladder could disguise the seam.  Meeko is modeling for us.  :]

But, I knew I had my winner when I received my order from  This is Happenstance - Fluke by The Paper Loft.  It is flat paper, but it has a printed design that looks like old fresco.

The blue would be lovely in the bedroom, but I have a few other ideas milling about.  Nothing has spoken to me yet.  I did buy enough of the paper in case I decide to make it uniform throughout the build.

Watson Mill - foundation, part 1

by brae  

I'm 95% sure I want to do a wood shake exterior on the mill, which means I neglected to leave any space for a foundation.  I made a support system from 1" plywood strips, adding a couple spare pieces of mdf that will help hold it in place when I glue it later on.  I will brick this short foundation.

The change made the landscaping too short on the door side, so I pried up all but the lowest layer of builders foam.

I cut new pieces for the land and added a rounded step for the door.

These pieces will stay loose until later on so I can further shape them for the final landscaping.

The steep grade to the door is more what I had in mind anyway, so adding the foundation was good.  :]

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