Category: "Ivy Hollow, RFD Post Office - HBS Creatin' Contest 2019"

Sue Bakker - Birds on a Branch, intro

by brae  

I know it might not be accurate to have a stitched rug in an old post office, but sometimes you just have to go with what you like. :D This is a design by Sue Bakker, and I think the folksy look is marvelous. She called it Arts & Crafts Wallhanging, but I like Birds on a Branch better. This is from a 1998 issue of International Dolls House News magazine, but I am not sure which month.

I belong to a group that does petit point, but I usually do cross-stitch and French knot work instead. This time, I'm going to try a technique I saw Elga do - French knots by following a chart. She did hers on silk gauze, which I cannot see to stitch for the life of me. She put one knot per each join of the weave, and I will try to do one knot per square on 40 count linen. This has the potential to be the best of both worlds, working from a chart instead of printing on fabric but getting the lovely pile of French knots.

Sue charted the pattern using the same symbols for different parts - such as the X is blue for one area and then the X is pink in another. That was too hard for me to follow, and I had been told the colors were wrong in places. So, I redid the chart in Pattern Maker Pro by HobbyWare (my original review here). I converted the Anchor colors Sue used to all DMC colors since I have only DMC in my stash of floss. I corrected what I thought were errors and chose new colors for some parts. I also recharted the border since my brain prefers symmetrical patterns. :D

While I loved the wide border of the original, it made the rug too large for the space (low ink here in my printer). I've narrowed the border, which means saved needlework time as well.

I have to pick up a few more colors, and then I will do a test to see if French knots will work on the linen. If not, I can still cross-stitch. :]

Jebediah McCants

by brae  

That's my horse's name - Jebediah McCants. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt anyone guessed it. :D

I looked up the meaning of Jebediah, and it means "beloved friend." McCants is some distant ancestral name, and I thought the names sounded good together. I'm figuring our RFD carrier is Mr. McCants, since the carriers were charged with supplying their own transportation, therefore caring for their own horses.

Jebediah looks eager to get on with things, no? I'm gearing up to gear him up, researching more in depth on harnesses and the like. More on that to come...

Ivy Hollow - building progress

by brae  

Today, I cut the window openings and completed the remaining patch needed. Since I'm using the full height of the walls and not setting the floor into the grooves, I filled those gaps with two layers of strip wood.

Since the plywood patches for the gable and window were thinner than the mdf on one of the walls, I added 1/64 veneer to even out the surface.

The new door wall will need to be padded to accommodate the custom door frame I'll build to hold the door and screen door. I'm thinking of making this angled wall removable to have access to the interior beyond just the removable roof.  I still need to cut one more roof piece from plywood since I didn't have enough boards in my stash. I had used the original mdf roof board to cut the new front and door walls to keep the material consistent.

The height of the foundation is already better - makes the horse look more in proportion, though the landscaping will be built up and around the foundation to some extent. I'm planning a tree as well, possibly a stitched rug if I can fit it into the timeline. :] Feeling motivated finally!

Ivy Hollow - concrete foundation

by brae  

I sanded the foundation just enough to remove the roughness and excess spackling from the base.

After wiping it down with a damp cloth, I patted on some matte gel medium. This added texture that was more in scale than the original spackling roughness.

I then painted a base coat of neutral grey. This sealed the finish and gave me a good base for turning the mdf into concrete (see previous post on my technique).

After some washes, the finish is now varied and has more depth.  I sprayed the base with Testors Frosted Glass spray to move the acrylic paint sheen. I'll add dust and dirt during the landscaping phase.

Now it will sit until I put the building on it.

Ivy Hollow - new foundation

by brae  

With the rough idea of layout chosen, I'm starting on the actual structure. The first order of business is building up the foundation. The cat food cans are 1 15/32" tall. I had some square lengths of mdf from a former HBS Creatin' Contest kit foundation that measure 1 17/32" tall when double stacked. I don't think I can get closer than that. :]

I taped four lengths together to cut at the same time.

While the scroll saw is not the best tool for the job, it gives a reasonably straight cut with some patience. There will be a final finish on these, so close is good enough.

I glued two lengths together...

...and then to the floor board.

I continued with the rest of the cuts to fit the altered floor board. Since the scraps from the angle cuts fit reasonably well, I decided to use them as is instead of cutting "full" lengths for the space. This portion will be covered by the front step anyway. I also added an inner set of supports for stability.

After looking up the history of concrete to make sure it would be appropriate for 1917, I coated the edges with spackling. I put it on thick so I can work with it after it dries.

After the last post, Sheila asked if I had named the horse yet. I have! I did awhile ago, actually. I'm waiting for the next horse post to introduce him properly. I think you'll like the name. :D

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