Monday, 7 February 2011

Wood, Wood and More Wood......But The Fireplace Too!

I have been working on my wood pile today but I have also finished the fireplace. I gave it a complete wash of 'sandstone' paint to try and tone down the camouflage effect. Then I added the balsa 'oak' mantle and dirtied up the grate and chimney. For the soot I used a sprinkling of fine black glitter mixed with a very fine black powder/dust that I found in one of my jars. I think it is from Hobbyland and would have been in their model railway department, I use quite a lot of railway finishes.
 I made a tiny little shelf to hold one of Nikki's jars and added a "Floo Powder" label, this idea was courtesy of Michelle who always adds wonderful finishing touches to all her work. I think I need to age the edges of the label somehow as it looks a bit too new in the photograph. I am hoping to put a candle box or similar on the other side.
The mantle decoration is by After Dark Miniatures one of my favourite Etsy sellers. I am not sure if it will stay here but it feels right at the moment. 
 The fire is a mixture of small logs topped with painted balsa shreds to make it look like the fire has just been lit. Again I have used the black 'soot' with a sprinkling of black and red glitter (a trick I think I read on Nikki's Blog), which catches the changing light in the room. I like this fire a lot.
 The photograph makes it look very creamy but it is much more sandy and fits in well with the floor and walls. I still need a couple of bits to go on the hearth, a quirky coal/wood bucket maybe??
 I have also been working on the interior wood. I washed the planks in various dilutions of raw and burnt umber but just could not get the colour right. Plus the more I washed the more the wood swelled so I had to keep on distressing with the darning needle.
I have always used woodstain before which is really easy and much quicker. I am not sure I am really getting the washing technique right at all. For example do you start with a dark base and add light, or vice versa!?
 My last wash tonight was a grey/umber colour to try and get rid of the orange tone I seem to have acquired....Mmmmm. Then I will rub with linseed oil for a waxy sheen. If this doesn't work I am heading for the dark oak wood stain and starting again!
 Treating the proto-type doors has come out ok except for the PVA glue stains.....These will have to be rubbed down in patches and painted again.
 The doors a la Michelle. All the planks are individual and will be distressed and painted before gluing. These already look better than my first attempt.
The door surrounds will bed added once the doors are finished and glued to the walls. I can't wait to get going with these tomorrow. 
Wish me luck!


  1. Janice! BRAVO! I commend you, you have done brilliantly! :o)) I love your fireplace and I see you have made a little shelf for your floo powder too! Marvellous! lol lol

    I added raw under paint to my PVA for the doors, as I knew it would be such a messy job. However, Balsa is so easily sanded and you will easily remove the dried on PVA.

    For my exterior doors. I did a wash of raw umber and black, one coat and then a wash of white (not all over, only in places and more in places than others). I then did some green mossy colour for mould at the bottom of my doors. Interior doors can be darker as they are not exposed to the elements.

    Your floorboards can be done like interior doors, wash or raw umber and more black (my Slug and Jiggers floor wash is this colour and ready for my own floorboards).

    For all my washes on any wood I remove excess water with a tissue/baby wipe, this helps prevent the wood swelling too much.

    I can't wait to see your doors stained!
    Michelle xxx

  2. Thank you so much Michelle.

    I will definitely follow your colour scheme for the doors tomorrow, and not have such a watery wash perhaps?

    I wondered where I got my floo powder idea from, it must have been on your blog when I was researching for the doors! I hope you don't mind.

    It's really hard to understand all the paint mixing when you have no real arty background or real understanding. But....I am getting better at accepting mistakes and moving on even if that means losing a whole day's work.

    Going to try and fit the LED lighting tomorrow too, I have high hopes for it! Bring on the dremel!

  3. Wonderful Janice! And such fast work. The fireplace looks great and everything seems to be coming along really well.

    I love the idea of using red glitter on the logs the way you have. I don't remember that from Nikki's blog but I sure will remember it now. When I use washes, I generally go from lighter to darker...except if I am planning to do a final whitewash, in which case that is the last step...obviously.

    Curious to see how you are doing your LED lighting and what brand you are using. I have some from a US company that I can use a battery for easily but I know there are many that can be wired right in to the dollhouse wiring.

  4. Janice, Good Luck! :):)

    You have done a great job with the fireplace . Thanks for telling us about the glitter. Sometimes, when you add just a little bit of extra, you add several notches up the realism scale!

  5. Love your fireplace and the doors are great.:)

  6. Looks wonderfull so far and Good Luck for tomorrow;-)

  7. oh this post amused me as we are travelling on the same path! I added logs, soot & a little bit of glittery embossing powder in black and red to my fireplaces on Saturday ... then my balsa arrived to make my doors!!!! if I blog about my 'doings' I'll look like a copycat LOL
    Love what you've acheived :o)

  8. Looks wonderful Janice! I love the fireplace and the decor. Can't wait to see the LED lighting.

    Victoria ♥

  9. The Fireplace has come out very well and I particularly like your fire I would never have though to use glitter but it's a great idea.

  10. The fireplace looks so good! Quite jealous :)

  11. Hi ladies, I really don't know what I would do without Blagland now. It has been such a great source of help and advice to me.
    I love sharing ideas, shopping and techniques with so many creative and enthusiastic people.

    It makes life as a hobbyist so much easier when you know you are not plodding along on your own. I have learnt so much from everyone and I hope that I am able to contribute too every now and then.

    Thank you everyone.

  12. Wendie, I know it's different for Miniaturist's but for enthusiast's I do not believe it's copying. We are sharing advice, techniques, mistakes and best of all sources.
    It is hard for us not to be doing the same things when our projects are similarly themed.
    I love reading about other people's projects and how they are tackling them and am constantly taking note of ideas and techniques, how else can we learn?

  13. Hi Tabitha, I haven't tried the whitewash effect yet but this project has a long way to go!
    Have had quite a lot of mini time lately so have been able to plough ahead, I will pay for it soon with an ironing marathon!

  14. Hi Kate will send you the two sample colours I have tomorrow and you can check out the product. The grey might seem a bit too dark but it can be lightened up with a white or pale grey wash I expect.
    He may do a lighter grey will check him out for you at Miniatura.

  15. Ooops!


    You know what I mean.....


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