Friday, 19 March 2010

New project ~ Mandrake House

Here I am, starting a new project and I haven't finished The Wizards and Wands Bookstore yet, but I have come to a little stop on the bookstore, as I want to do the roof next and can't decide on the type of roof tile or colour I want. So whilst I wait and ponder, I thought I would start on Mandrake House.

Mandrake House is a glasshouse and will have soil beds running down each length with a large mandrake table down the middle. I am going to make all sorts of climbers to really fill it up and make it look quite overgrown! If I can find the space, it will sit at the back and side of the Bookstore and possably sell potion ingredients in the future! If anybody has... or has seen any mandrakes ready for sale, please let me know as I only have one so far and I can't find any on Etsy or Ebay!

For the outside, I have stained the exterior wood with Jacobean Oak woodstain and then gave it a layer of light oak wax. The infills are going to be plaster like the bookstore walls.

On the inside, I have painted the brickwork and wood with Craig & Rose 1829 Chalky Emulsion in Hemp Biege, its a great muted colour, perfect for the glasshouse.

Hywel has been busy making me flagstones for the walkway down the middle. He made them out of plaster of paris, using a large roof tile mould. As they were drying, I stained them with Rosewood woodstain, which sunk in and mottled as they finished drying out. I am hoping that when in place, they will look worn in areas, fingers crossed!

The back wall has to be solid for the climbers to grow over, so we have given it a layer of painted brick and when looking something else, I found a lion head water feature. It will be perfect for the back wall, so I gave it a quick coat of woodstain and I will add some scenic water and I think it will look perfect in amongst the climbing vines.

Well, thats Mandrake House so far, this one will fly along, as I have the exact picture of how I want it to look in my mind. So no pondering over colours or styles on this one :0)

Have a great day,
Julia xx


  1. Julia this is going to be Fabulous. I can see it in my minds eye what you want to achieve. xxx

  2. OMG! I simply love the wall's you made/stained! They look sooo realistic and charming! Can't wait to see what else ou have planned in store!

    Hannah :)

  3. Thankyou Hannah, I'm really getting into this one, its going to be wonderfuly old, damp, dirty and messy! :0)

    Hi Debbie,
    Thats the words I was looking for, but couldn't remember.. 'Minds Eye' Oh well, I'm having a dull day today, lol. The image I have is a mix of my nan's old grape vine greenhouse and the large glass houses I used to work in many, many years ago, with a bit of Harry Potter magic thrown in for good measure. I have been hunting around for plant kits and mossed pots that I bought in Miniatura a few years ago and haven't used.. yet. So, this afternoon, I am going to try my hand at vine making! Watch this space!!
    I hope your feeling better this week,
    Julia xxx

  4. Oh gosh, it's going to look fab! I'm going to follow with great interest, as I'm going at some point try to built a partial glasshouse to be my chinoisserie bird-house.


  5. Oooh Julia it's wonderful! It really is! :o)) I can see what kind of look you are aiming for too! My grandmother would have called it an ‘outhouse‘, they tended to be very overgrown! I will send you the link that I think will be useful for all the vines etc. Will email you later and sort your mosses out later tomorrow etc., too.

    Did you buy the greenhouse partly done, or was it a clean slate so to speak? You done a fab job so far! I can’t help you with the Mandrake’s, I only have one of Nikki’s and lose one from Jain, so I‘m looking also to no avail either. If I don’t see any for a while, I will commission some.

    Michelle xxx

  6. Hi Michele,
    The greenhouse is a dicontinued dolls house emporium conservatory, which we got on Ebay, untouched and still in its box.. bargain! I have done it all from scratch to hopefully match the bookstore!

    I will keep an eye out for mandrakes too and anything else that could go in our glasshouse/conservatorys. I have a mandrake which Vicky from Etsy made last year. It is so cute, I may beg her to make some more.

    I am going to sort through my plant tin later too, (I am fighting a very large box at the mo, trying to pack Ivy Cottage!) If I find anything useful, I will let you know.
    Julia xx

  7. Oooo Julia this is excting. As for mandrakes (cough, cough , hint LOL) Both Nikky Rowe and I make them. Email me privately I make them in varous styles.

    Debie xxxxx

  8. Hi Debie,
    I was hoping for a message like this from you, wink wink :)I will be emailing you soon! :0)
    Julia xx

  9. This looks like an exciting project - I'm looking forward to following it. Excuse the ignorance but what is a Mandrake?

  10. Cant wait to see this evolve Julia, fabulous! A great kit and already you are working wonders! Looks like theres 3 of us after mandrakes, Debie and Nikki could be busy lol xx

  11. Hi Irene,
    A mandrake is a plant whose roots sometimes contain bifurcations causing them to resemble human figures and they are featured in the Harry Potter films and magical/ wizical tales :0) And I only know that because the children told me when the first Harry Potter films came out!! ;0)
    Julia x

  12. Thanks for the explanation, Julia - easy seeing I'm not a Harry Potter follower! The posts make sense now. Irene


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