Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Just to Prove I Have Been Busy......

 The building of Diagon Alley has started! To be honest, I have been buying a lot of items recently, it is that time of year for witchy miniatures, so I thought I should really make sure I am collecting the right things. Plus, I wanted to get a feel for the whole project so that I can start making decisions about the exterior and interior decorating.
From left to right the shops will be:
The Leaky Cauldron
The Cauldron Shop
Roots and Shoots - my own idea for plants and herbs
Flourish and Blott's
Olivander's Wand Shop
The Apothecary
Magical Menagerie
 I have played around with the layout of the carcasses and this seemed to work the best. I may try to introduce an alley but the space may prove a bit tight. I think I will decorate all the exteriors the same, paper clay and brick slips but individualise all the woodwork.
These are all Sid Cooke kits with the exception of Roots and Shoots which is a very old, dis-continued DHE summer house. I chose the Cooke houses for their dimensions and overall look but having built all the carcasses now I would have to say I am disappointed in both the value for money and the ease of build. Considering they are just glorified room boxes they seem expensive and fiddly to put together.
The mouldings are very basic and I hate the plastic windows. I will probably change all the upper windows and may even add a balcony or two. 
Woo Hoo! Whose getting above themselves after struggling with glue and a hammer for two days!!
Today I have spent ages playing with all the furniture I have been collecting for the different shops and surprise, surprise some of it is perfect and some of it is not, but I feel I have more of a complete view now. 
Plus this is a very long term project, so a mistaken buy today can be replaced way down the line.....
I love reading Casey's Minis, not only for all the fantastic tutorials and tips, but because you get the feel of a long term love of playing with anything that might take her fancy on that day. I suppose that is what I am hoping for, lots of projects that I can dip into rather than - oh no I have to do this before I do that - a more relaxed approach to my hobby!
Well the weather has been dire here today but on Saturday I am off to Seville with my Spanish class. Lots of 40+ students practising their Spanish on slightly confused locals. And lots of Spanish bloggers have given me directions to miniature shops in Seville. Muchas gracias. I intend on taking my camera and I hope I will be able to take a few photos of the shops. Whatever happens I am sure there will be lots of fun to be had.  


  1. OMG Janice I thought I was bad!! I HAD to show John just to show him Im not as bad as he thinks with all my houses he he! I didnt realise you had them all and were doing them all together, I thought youd do one kit at a time and then add them over the years. Blimey you are going to be busy.....and broke with all those projects to fill lol! . But what fun and Im soooooo envious!!! Kate xxx

  2. OMG is right Kate. I have had 3 of the kits for a while and bought them for really good prices on Ebay, less than £50 each. The others I did get in one go from Maple Street when they were having a promotion plus they seem to sell Cooke kits much cheaper that anyone else.
    Yes I know I'm trying to justify myself......
    But...the idea is now I can relax and finish them over a long, long period of time.
    Glad to know I have been of help in your house though!! Who do I point the finger at when my poor hubbie realises he really is living in a toy shop!

  3. looks great, im looking forward to seeing this come together.


  4. will you have honeydukes and zonkos?

  5. Wow, can I come and help :0) I would be in my element with all of them to do. It is going to be superb and a really nice long term project for you. As for the Sid Cooke kits, well you know I feel the same.. a big let down window and price wise. Have a wonderful time in Seville :0)
    Julia xx

  6. Don't they look brilliant together! I love your selection. Diagon Alley is going to be stunning and what fun you will have creating it.

    Isn't it funny how we try and justify :~)
    If you need reassurance that you haven't gone over the top, visit some of the forums where members have more than a dozen mansion style houses with more kits waiting under the bed and in the attic. :~D

  7. You guys are making me want to finally build something! This seems like such a great project that will be quite the journey, lots of ups and downs but still so great! I envy you :).

    Janice, as you go along, if you find little bits of hardware or other small things you don't want (even tiny little one-offs)... send them my way and I'll make you minis to fill your shops :).

  8. Hi Mr Pineapple, once the kids leave home - have officially run out of room!

  9. Hi Julia, it will definitely be long term. Like all of us I have a number of other unfinished projects!

  10. Hi Christine, it is definitely addictive but I love all my pieces that are made with so much care and artistry from all over the world.

    I will look out for the Miniaturists Anon Blog!

  11. Hi Lorraine, as kind and generous as usual. Believe me I will be asking for lots of help and advice.

    I'm in for the long haul!

    I think you should have shadow boxes filled with your best pieces, these will be a fabulous way to keep a record of how your work develops. Your wands would look great in a frame and take up far less room!

  12. I can't wait to see how your project turns out! It looks like it's going to be a biggy.

  13. Oooooo, Janice - Diagon's going to be fabulous!
    It's good advice to relax with it all, something I need to remind myself of :)

  14. Oh my, that lot will keep you out of the pubs and off the streets for a a long time to come ;)

  15. Not to repeat everyone else, but, wow, Janice! This is going to be a wonderfully fun project. I can't wait to see how it comes along. I already love the lineup of buildings.


  16. LOL Janice! You are building a village, I can't wait to see this as you go.

    Victoria ♥

  17. What a wonderful selection of shops! You will have so much fun doing then and filling them! I know most of those kits are quite small and that's one of the reason's why I wand Sid Cooke kits myself. However, you have a couple of the bigger kits too, so how deep is your windowsill and how long is it? I am thinking about whether I could have some of my own Diagon Alley on my craft room windowsill too.

    I wish I was able to start on my own Diagon Alley now...alas I have to wait..only so many hours in a day! lol

    I thought I was the only one who bought things for a project only to replace items later on for numerous reasons, it seems I'm not alone! :o)))

    I look forward to seeing this project progress Janice and soo many thanks for the link for the shoe, etc website too! :o)

    Michelle xx

  18. ¡Una calle de tiendas! Magnifica idea. Espero visitarla y que mi Visa funcione es este barrio tuyo. ¿Cómo lo llamaras, Street Janice?
    Me encanta. Un trabajo muy ambicioso.
    Besos Clara

  19. You are right ladies definitely a biggie but now they are up I feel pretty relaxed about it all and can now choose my tasks as things take my fancy.
    Today I made flowers without panicing about roofs or brickwork still to be done.

  20. I loved your creations. I have always loved dolls houses and the miniature world.
    I am very new on here and yours was the second blog that I've read, and I can assure you I'm going to love being a follower.


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