Friday, 3 February 2012

The Magical Menagerie is on Fire!!!

It has been full steam ahead with the interior of the Menagerie mostly due to the wonderful lady who runs the online shop Dolls House Wallpaper. I bought this Brodnax print a while ago at Miniatura but as usual severely underestimated the amount needed for the whole house and inside door panel.
I spent an evening tracking down the same paper and eventually discovered this fabulous site which is full of Brodnax prints.
The ground floor went in beautifully despite my concern about the windows. They are a very curvy shape and I always seem to get in a bit of a tizz with windows but at last I seem to have got it right!
The key for me seems to be in painting the inner sills and ledges of the windows with a complimentary colour. Then you don't have to worry about the wallpaper fitting absolutely perfectly. I made a template of the windows and then cut out the shape with a very sharp craft knife.
  It took a bit of time and a lot of care but these are definitely my best attempt.
 The upstairs is going to be a Dragon Wizard's room. In my post-Voldemort Diagon Alley dragons have become very popular, small dragons that is.....think of fiery micro pigs!!!
So I want the wallpaper to look a bit singed.
 I tried matches....too powerful lost a few practice off cuts, joss sticks....not powerful enough and ended up using a disposible lighter to burn and dis-colour the paper.
Then I matched up my burnt wallpaper and where the holes are I smeared Art Mache as if the wall  exposed.
 I then had to wait overnight for the Art Mache to dry as I wanted to to distress it to look as if it had been burnt.
 I tend to approach paints with a great deal of caution. I am always concerned that if I make a huge mistake I won't be able to rectify it. So I usually start off much too drab and add layer upon layer....
 So one layer of my dirty water mix followed by smudges of black and brown pastel dust that I smoothed on with my finger.
 I then dabbed on a tiny bit of glue and which I sprinkled with red and black glitter. I wanted it to look fiery, as if the walls were touched by a dragon.
 Lastly another coat of my dirty water mix to finish off the edges. 
Oh and I emphasised the burnt patches with the pastel shavings.
 I was a bit concerned that having messed around so much with the wallpaper it would disintegrate once I tried to hang it but Brodnax paper is great quality and it went up nicely.
I know that a lot will be covered by 'stuff' eventually but I wanted to try and create the atmosphere of a room with a tale to tell.!


  1. Well, your wallpapering method for these impossible windows is a huge success. My shop windows are slightly different, I think I have 3 of the thin frames to negotiate! I'll try the template thingy for the teashop, I will be in touch when I attempt them if I need to.

    Micro pigs indeedy! lol have been lurking upstairs huh! lol lol What a great concept and it looks great. Not sure how much of the pastels you've used, but if it's a lot you should seal it with hairspray or similar otherwise overtime it disappears into the atmosphere.

    Michelle xx

  2. Wow Janice! What a fantastic and unique idea! The shop is going to look great! And the dragon room will be so interesting to see come together.

    Oh here I go again with my 'I can almost see' comments haha.. But I almost a little set of books upstairs on a shelf by Charlie Weasley all about dragons and how to train them... I thought it would be quite funny as the shop keeper would obviously not have read the books with the look of the wallpaper! Or maybe that's just me haha... I do amuse myself with my ideas.

    You move so fast with them.. So great to see a street come together now and I'm sure this will be a great addition.

    Can't wait again to see what's in store next for the shop

  3. Thanks Michelle. I will definitely seal the walls.

  4. Hi Kim, it is not often things turn out exactly how you wanted!

  5. Hi Michael,
    I like the Charlie Weasley book idea. He would definitely have written one by now I think.
    I think my wizard is a little careless but at least he only has small dragons!

    1. Just love the dagon fire holes, such a cool idea! Really lovely paper. Lovely to see you full of enthusiasm for the shops , and it shows in what your doing. Ive done nothing all year, im thinking of having a year off to save for things the projects need and to hope my motivation shows itself. Seeing your wonderful street evolving is making me feel the need to do something though, maybe some little things to get me in the mood again! Cant wait to see more! Xxxx

  6. I love, love, love the Dragon Wizard's wallpaper.. What a wonderful idea!

  7. Very intriguing room!!

    As an aside, whenever I wallpaper, I always apply the paper over the window openings (when that is possible such as new construction where the windows are not yet installed...). When the paper dries, it tightens up and become very taut over the openings. When it is totally dry, I take a very sharp Exacto knife and cut around from the outside. Perfect fit every time.

  8. Holy, that's awesome!!! :D

  9. Those windows will be perfect for my haveli! I am curious, Janice. What material is the kit that you can cut with a very sharp craft knife? I need to cut many many many holes for my American dolls house. Mine is made with MDF. A pain to hack!

    Love your step by step to dragon-fired walls :)

  10. I love how it looks.. I can just see baby dragons having the hiccups here :D

  11. Wow, I love this!!! What a wonderful idea to burn the paper like a dragon has set it on fire :-)It is looking great!!!

  12. Hi Janice, You are so imaginative. I love your dragon room idea and look forward to seeing it coming together.

  13. Excuse my spelling my ipad dosnt like blogger so i cant correct things and this is the fitst time i could leave a comment on your posts! Xxx

  14. Well done! The result of your work on the walls is amazing.

  15. Outstanding!!!
    I love the the burns :) It really does look like dragon damage.


  16. Gosh, you were brave! What a great effect. I'd never have thought of doing that.

  17. Oh, my Gosh, what an imagination! Can't wait to see more details on the Menagerie on fire!


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