Sunday, 11 January 2015

From top to bottom.

Happy New Year everyone!

Am I ashamed?    Well, yes I am.   It's been nine months since my last post.

To be honest, I've been struggling with my Cobbler.   I have a rough idea of what I'm doing with the space and I've been collecting bits and pieces but I just can't get a clear picture in my head of where I'm going with this room.

This is the space and so far all I've done is dealt with two walls and the floor.

I decided then to leave it, walk away and hope for inspiration (which hasn't happened yet!).   I left the very top of the property and moved to the bottom.

Up until recently the whole thing stood on a tray so I could move it more easily to access the wiring without having to take it apart.   That worked for a while but it meant I couldn't open the door to The Cloth Booth.

A quick trip to the local DIY shop and a piece of mdf and four castors later, I had a base.   This was covered in cobbles which had been purchased ages ago for this very purpose.   I then gave it an edging as I liked the effect of that when seen on Simon's Miniature Enthusiast blog with a property he had been working on.
It also meant creating a little base for the building to stand on in order to open the front of this particular room and this was done using three layers of foamboard with the edges painted.   It gave me enough height to open the door with ease and avoid hitting the edging as well.
It did however mean I had to create an extra area of cobbles and this was attached to the bottom of the door and held in place by the pillars.   This prevented the whole thing sagging in the middle.
I'm pleased with the way this is working out.   Usually this stage is reached after much angst and a lot of staring but everything fell into place on this occasion.

While the said "angst" didn't happen with regard to the base and the pillars, it did present itself while searching for a way to tidy up and finish off the top section.   Due to the very nature of my miniature building it doesn't exactly copy the real one on the outside but I did want it to be as authentic as possible  in terms of historical accuracy and I scoured hundreds of pictures and loads of websites in my hunt for ideas but there didn't seem to be anything out there - at least not that I could see.  I even looked at art work but couldn't find anything.   I then went to the source!   I asked a colleague when doing my volunteer stint.   She was able to give me some ideas to work with and with any luck it should all now come together.   I hope!   I just have to track the items down.   Thank you Ioanna! 
Due to space restrictions I have also had to alter the direction of the staircase from that of the real building and this is being done using a pre-made stair (complete with decorative spindles and handrail).   I took the thing apart, sanded down the treads to create years of wear, removed the spindles and replaced them with plain ones and I now have to create a handrail (a job I've been putting off as I'm not sure of the best way to deal with it!)
So, that's what I've been up to and as it's been quite a while since I last said anything about my Merchant's Booth, here are a few pictures -

There is still a fair bit of finishing off to do to the main building and I'm not sure if I'm entirely happy with the overall exterior finish.   The stonework itself is fine, I think, but I may just go over the thing with a paintbrush again as I've learnt a few things about that technique since it was first done.



  1. Hi Irene! I am just without words. You are so very clever and persistent which is why you always achieve your goals. The merchant's shop is absolutely perfect! It looks so very accurate to the period! Looking forward to what is to come.

  2. Hi Irene! It is Wonderful to see the work you have done on this project! I Love seeing the entire building! I had NO idea it was that tall and skinny! LOL! It just goes to show how much can be hidden by artful photos.... and the fact that what we want to see needs to be viewed up close one room at a time! The solution to your base looks Inspired! I had not thought of castors... And the extra layer of "ground" that swings away with the door looks very effective! Most American doll houses don't have the front opening doors... so we are not very good at planning for that opening side. I am dealing with this now with my Conservatory project, so I am looking closely at your solutions!
    As for the Cobblers space.... would it help to add a "knee wall" at the back of the space? Sometimes it makes it feel more like a room with some vertical wall to put furniture against... maybe even a tiny "dormer" window high up on the back wall? I have similar problems with the attic of my Lovely Old Dollhouse... which I never show because it is such an unfinished mess! LOL!
    It's great to see your blog again!

  3. Irene I love what you've done:) The Merchant's booth is perfect and a great idea with the base and castors. You don't realise just how tall this is until you see the last photo!! Inspiration will come for the cobbler's room when you least expect it:)

  4. All your cobbling and stonework is beautiful Irene. Also, you did a great job on the base, it looks very neat. We spend so much time agonising over decisions in our dollhouses - makes it a not-so-relaxing hobby sometimes, doesn't it??

  5. Hi Irene! I think that your Merchant's booth is Wonderful and it has a lot of atmosphere in it that I love! I really like the curtained off space at the back which gives you the idea that the occupant is lingering temporarily out of sight. And like Bestsy, I had NO IDEA that the Tenement was such a tall structure. What a splendid idea to have all of the different professions installed, within.
    Good to see you here again. :D


  6. Me encantan los avances que has hecho,la estructura es preciosa,al igual que cada detalle!!

  7. Irene, I haven't been to your site for a while, and have not missed a lot. LOL I feel the same. I am working on my florist, but just don't have the inspiration most of the time. Now and then it strikes, but that happens only occasionally.
    I love the work that you have done so far. It's a beautiful house and the rooms and finishings are superb. Hope inspiration strikes again.... :-)
    Regards, Marion

  8. Oh, and a Happy New Year to you too!

  9. Irene, this is marvellous. I always am amazed by the detail you put into your work. I agree with Daydreamer, to put a little wall to the back to give a bit of 'space' to put things against. My nursery/attic is the same shape and that's what I intend to this point in time anyway...but that could change! :)
    All the best

  10. It's fabuluous. I am always amazed by your work.

  11. Hi Irene!

    I don't mind waiting 9 months - I think that' sa short space of time when you divide your attention between all of your properties. I only have one, and sometimes I have to wait for inspiration to strike too! I have a similar attic problem as I have the same Dolls House Concept attic - there isn't much floor space which is realistically available. I have put a small back wall in to make it look more like a room, it seems to help.

    As for an attic cobbler, I keep thinking about the father in Dicken's Tale of Two Cities. Granted, he's a cobbler in a French prison during the Revolution (so far from your cobbler) but he cobbles in a confined space, and as far as I can remember, there is quite a good short description of his workshop. I'll see if I can dig it out for you.

    Lovely to see you back!


  12. PS - I've just had a quick search, and you can find lots of lovely images if you google: Colonial Williamsburg shoemaker

  13. Qui c'è un post tutto per te! ;-)

    Tanti cari saluti, Irene! :-)



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