A quick update

by brae  

I spent part of the evening vacuuming all the moss that didn't make it onto the chimney or back into the storage container.  The other part, I spent playing.  :D

First, I made another seven books so there are now 37 of them in the bookcase.  The remaining books to be glued are the thinner volumes, so I will need more of them to fill in the rest of the shelves.

To make sure they sit prominently on the shelf, I added some scrap balsa wood to the shelves.  The pieces are held in place with mini hold wax in case I ever want to rearrange the shelves and remove the wood supports.

In a recent craigslist miniature lot purchase, there was a beautiful wood and brass toy train.  The wheels spin and the cars are attached to one another with hooks.  Isn't it wonderful?!  So tiny!

I'm not sure where I'll display it, probably not in the Heritage, but I wanted to share it.

Finally, Fran sent me a suggestion for reinforcing the pocket door hinge: adding a piece of Tyvek to the inner part of the hinge.  Tyvek is that strong, waxy paper that tear proof envelopes are made from, and since I work in an office, it is a daily material for me.  :D  I snipped a corner from a FedEx envelope and cut a tiny piece for the hinge.

Once glued in place, it keeps the hinge from twisting as it had been doing with the leather on only the one side.  And, it's so thin it doesn't interfere with the hinge when the lever is straightened.  Excellent idea, Fran!  Thank you!

Fran had also suggested adding wood to the bookcase, but I had already planned to do that.  Great minds thinking alike!

Chimney from start to finish (well, 99% done)

by brae  

A recap of the Heritage chimney from inspiration to 1:12 scale reality!  :D

The original W E Masonry chimney as inspiration

And the process from start to finish with a foam core, wood and cardboard base topped with egg carton brickwork.

I tapered off the moss application as I moved up the chimney.

The chimney is now 99% complete!  I'll do a bit more color correcting and add the ivy vine once the chimney is permanently attached to the house...close to the end of the build.  Most of the house wiring will run down the inside of the chimney so it will be one of the last things I finish for this project.

I took this photo in low light to show its spookier side.  ;]  I love it!!!

Just a few updates since this post.  The smaller inset fits into the attic.

Update: chimney has been finished and attached to the house.

Update: the chimney is finished!  :D

Note: to read about the original W E Masonry project, click
here.  It, too, was a massive undertaking!

Beautiful flower in a milk carton planter

by brae  

I've added a little bit of life to the Heritage from a True2Scale kit.  It comes with the glossy printed milk carton bottom, clay, soil, a stem and a little paper sheet with leaves and flower petals you color yourself.  I chose to make mine a vibrant red orange, my favorite color.  I added a bit of the soil included with the kit to the center of the flower as well as a light sprinkling of the foam I've been using as moss on the chimney.

The kit was very simple to put together and the results are so realistic!  :D  Love!!!!

Books and treasures

by brae  

As I was finishing up the books for the parlor bookcase, I was thinking about what to use on the top shelf.  I could have put a stack of larger books on their sides, but that seemed almost too cluttered.  I ended up buying a matched set of orange acrylic turned items from CW Lubin Wood Turning, two vases and a bowl.  They were advertized as quarter scale or half scale items, but I often find those smaller scale items look wonderful in full scale scenes.

I arranged the two shorter items on either side of the taller vase to make the most of the space on the top shelf.  Getting these in there was interesting.  My normally dainty hands became giant paws inside that shelf and tweezers were no help since the pieces are so smooth.  I finally managed to get them to stick to the shelf with some mini hold wax and pressed them down for a good bond.  I think they'll be there forever as long as the wax holds!  :D

Old mossy chimney and a window upgrade

by brae  

Can you call an old window in need of a paint scraper and some elbow grease a window upgrade?  Well, yes, if you are familiar with old splintered die-cut window components.  Ha ha.  This is a Houseworks working window I am using to replace the original Dura-Craft pieces that just could not be saved.  I added wood to the window and to the wall in which it sits to get the proper fit.

I've crackled white paint over a black base for the exterior portions, and the interior has its first coat of Vintage White by Folk Art.  I don't have the glass in yet since I am still working on the interior portion but I popped the main assembly into place to see how the exterior aging worked with the siding.  We have a winner!  :D

In between all the interior planning and various other projects, I've been working on finishing up the chimney.  I first aged it with a wash of black, brown and grey paints.

It darkened the grout and gave a more realistic coloration to the brick.

I painted the inside of the topper black and dry brushed black paint on the top lip and over the upper rows of bricks.  Grandma needs to call the chimney sweep!  :O

Then it was time to apply the moss: Fine Turf, Burnt Grass by Woodland Scenics.  This time I used a glue syringe to apply Aleene's clear gel tacky glue.  It's faster than applying it with a toothpick, especially when working on a larger area.  I don't apply it to all of the grout lines, just here and there, and on some portions of the face of the bricks.  Makes it seem more realistic to me.

I like to use a plastic container to hold the moss as I work since the bag it comes in can make it rather staticky and you can't really pour the excess back into the bag without making a huge mess.  I also work on a sheet of foil to make it easier to catch the excess and put it in the storage container.

Using my fingers to disperse pinches of foam, I apply a liberal amount over the glue.

I press it in with my fingers and let it sit a few seconds before tipping the chimney and letting the excess fall back into the plastic container.  I use a large soft brush to lightly remove the excess.

So far so good!  Once the glue dries completely, I will brush the chimney more vigorously to remove more of the moss material.  The plan is to also taper off the moss toward the top, with only patches here and there.  Have to leave some brickwork exposed after all that work!

I added more moss along the connection with the house to disguise any minor gaps between the siding and the chimney.  Once the chimney is permanently attached, I'll add a bit more moss in the gaps to fill in.  I'm also thinking a dried out old ivy vine would look marvelous!

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