Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Work Begins At Last......Witch E.T.Grubb's Emporium Part 1

I am not good at beginnings. It takes me a while to set to a new project. I spend a lot of time sourcing and researching, too much time. I find lots of reasons not to start - I haven't a long enough stretch of time today, I need to make a few flowers, I don't have enough paper, it will be hard so I need to make sure I know what I am doing etc etc.
This has been the problem with my witchs' emporium. I have mostly built the core and primed everything but have been putting of the main build. But I have now got out the tiles and started work.
The kit is Sid Cooke's Empire Stores which I bought for a song on Ebay a while ago. It was very easy to put together but I have to say that there are a few things I was really surprised by considering the reputation and price of these kits. The windows are plastic and there is not any internal window or door architrave. The external doors are only moulded on the outside and are pretty rough. The internal doors are basic Dijon doors and are not particularly exciting. The kit does not even include acetate for the window glass which is really mean. The side arched windows are a very pretty feature but do not have an arched window frame!
These points do not really effect me because this is going to be my first attempt a major kit bashing. I have begun to cover the outside with dressed marl stone from Richard Stacey. I chose this brick, dressed marl stone, because there is no need for grouting and I am pleased with the colour. Plus it was really easy to cut by simply scoring with a craft knife. There has been a problem though, I did not order all the bricks at once and one batch is a completely different thickness to the five other boxes. The second problem is that instead of ordering a new box and using the thicker bricks inside, I thought I could get away with it on the fa side wall. Big mistake cos it is now the thing I notice every time I look at the house. Why did I do it? I had to buy another box anyway.....Tip one: buy more bricks than you need and buy them all in one go from the same batch number! Richard Stacey does have a website but you can't order from it which is a bit of a pain.
I have also papered the ceilings ready for painting. I am intending to keep everything pale grey as a backdrop to all the wonderfully coloured hats and dresses and accessories, but I want to use as many different textures as possible. 
One of the things I love about a new project is that anything is possible and while working I start to plan all sorts of different things for the house and gradually it all takes shape. I have lots of ideas for this shop trying out lots of different techniques, it should be fun.
I have decided on this paper as the backdrop in the shop to match the outside but I will be adding different things to it. I also bought three bay windows for the larger windows because I liked their shape, and I will customise these.
My main problem at the moment is time but my eldest starts work for his university placement year on Monday and my daughter will be working at her summer job, while my youngest will be recovering from a week in Palma Nova which will mean I won't see him until 12 every day for a while. I still can't work out why three independent, busy grown up children take up soooo much time! Oh well I am sure I will be moaning the house is too quiet when they all return in September!


  1. It is looking really good Janice, I love the exterior stones and the matching paper for the shop walls. Will you be making flooring from the paddle-pop sticks?

  2. Thanks Margaret. I am thinking of using the paddle sticks for the walls of the 'attic' to differentiate this area from the stone built lowers floors. I am hoping this and a number of rafters will give a sense of this room being in the roof.
    But I like the idea of using them for flooring too I hadn't thought of that, thanks for the idea.

  3. I love your stones and the colours Janice, looking forward to following it all coming together.
    Julia xx

  4. Janice, I know what you mean about projects being difficult to start, and having to think a lot beforehand. They do seem to have a life of their own though, the more you get into them!
    This is looking good!!

  5. i love the texture of the stones!

  6. Me gusta mucho esas paredes de piedra seguro que te quedara magnifico, los ventanales son preciosos

  7. I like it! Can't wait to see more!:)

  8. Love the colour of the Stone Work Janice. Looking forward to watching your progress..

  9. I found my Empire Stores a problem Janice, I still havnt got the walls all put up as I wanted to decorate mine all before putting it altogether. It is still sat there waiting for me but cant get the enthusiasm to do it which is bad of me as I have all the things to furnish it and even the dolls. I saw a good shop on ebay and thought of you, its a toy shop now, and was only £40 starting price, full of furniture etc and they will post it too. May be a good one for your Diagon alley? item no is 280539717849 Kate xx

  10. Hi Janice,

    This is looking good!I see you love Richard Stacey bricks etc., too! :o)) I don't think I've noticed that colour before, but I just hope you don't want to move your shop about when it's done as it will weigh a ton! lol :o)

    You can order items from their website, you just need to print an order form off and send a cheque (the order is dispatched within 1-3 days,and I found them to be extremely quick and efficient and I've ordered about 3 times now). It's the only way I have bought items from them. I have also used bricks/stones from different batches and they didn't show. I would add that I have ordered the same batches and still had different thickness's in the stone! lol However, I wouldn't recommend a different batch for slate as this is cut differently and is a whole different stone etc.

    Looking forward to seeing this progress.

    There is never enough time is there? Time just flies. :o(

    Michelle xx

  11. Hi ladies, I am very pleased with the stone, no grouting required! I have just received the flagstones and and they look super too. I am intending to paper clay the floors but I am tempted to look at the rest of the range as I have found these so easy to use.

    I am so glad I got started a new project is exciting.

    Michelle, Richard accepts cards on the phone now and I received my flagstones the next day!

    Kate, thanks for the tip. Had a look but it was too finished and I have learnt my lesson from the toy shop. Off to Maple Street Miniatures this week as they have a 20% off sale plus their Sid Cooke houses are much cheaper than the website so I am hoping for a bargain.

  12. Hi Janice,

    I hope you manage to grab a bargain at Maple Street! I've only been once to their shop (when I lived in Essex) and I LOVED it!

    WOW next day delivery fantastic! I've been paperclaying for a change! ;o)

    I think I might 2 of the houses I wanted from them as it's still 10% off online and that's not to be sniffed at, especially on a house or 2! lol

    Michelle xxx

  13. Love the stones. I'm thinking of adding stone to the outside of my next project. Great to see what others are doing!


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