Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Beware Long Post... 'The little Shop'

As I have used 'The Little Shop' in my new header picture, you can all see it as it is now, so I thought I would get the 'building the shop up' post done out of the way, it's also a good excuse to clear my computer of lots of pictures! So here goes... Building up the shop kit...

The build was all down to hubby... I wasn't allowed to touch until he was happy with it! So he started by using Art Mache to cover the interior and exterior walls..

and put in little partitions to give the illusion of a hallway and therefore a staircase.

On the lower floor, hubby has put in a partition wall with 2 steps showing. The steps are built up from Art Mache, with no wood used at all. He got the worn, buffered look he was after, but the art mache took 4 days to dry out, by which time they had gone mouldy!! So, I bleached the mould, dried them as well as I could with the hairdryer and then moved the shop next to the radiator overnight! We have never had this problem before, has anyone else? It's all sorted now, they are dry, painted and looking great, I don't know whether to give them a coat of PVA glue though to seal them though?

Anyway, next he played around creating a fireplace.

As the rooms are small, getting a fireplace in with the partion wall created problems! I didn't want a fireplace along the right hand side wall because I want a dresser or table to go there, but this room is meant to be a cosy snug for the shopkeeper, so a fire would be needed! So it had to be a corner fireplace... and I liked the fireplace that hubby had made for No 3 Ivy Cottage...

So this is what he came up with...

Then it was onto painting.. this was my bit!
So I 'teabagged' the walls inside and out... and didn't like it!
So I painted the upper room green and the shop room cream and didn't like it!! 
So, when hubby came home from work, I asked him to re-cover the inside walls with art mache, so that I could have a blank canvas to start again...
and bless him, he did :)
So I mixed up some new paint....

and painted the shop room in a dull sage green and the snug room in a warm, but pale tangerine... and I love it.. at last, says hubby LOL

Then in went the wooden shop ceiling beams, the cherry wood floor, the lights and the fire..

Then it was time to arrange the shop furniture.
The 'shop floor' is small at 9 by 11 inches, so I had to choose the furniture carefully, so that the shop wouldn't look crowded but I would have enough room to display my treasures. I started with a white wood bookcase which had been in Pumpkin House. It is just over 1cm deep, so it fitted nicely against the partion wall and left a nice gap for hubby to put one of his broomstick cupboards in.

I also had a white wood table and a settle which fitted in nicely, so I wood stained them to match the bookcase and plonked them in too. The table is a standard 7cms deep and the settle is 3.5 cms deep by 11cms wide.

Next I needed a counter, but all the commercially made ones were too big, wink wink :0)
So hubby made one...

out of his quickly depleting pile of apple wood, which he keeps saying I can't have any more of!!

It even has a little shelf for shop bags :) I think it looks great.

So with a little shelf above the table, that is all the furniture the shop can fit. I think it has done really well, I'm happy with room I have for all my miniatures.

So with all of Hubby's hard work out of the way, I am left to add the detailing now and of course I started with the outside flagstones and 'grass'! No sniggering certain peeps out there ! ;0)

First off I gave the flagstones a coat of  dark grey emulsion and when it had dried, I dabbled and 'washed' a coat of Dulux Flagstone Grey over patches, more so on the edges of the steps.

Then I played around with some little pebbles and made a little corner patch of soil. I have put florists oasis material under the layer of soil because I am going to make a pretty flower, or rather try and make one to go in the corner by the door.

Now, the grass!! Don't laugh, but the grass was a lovely gift from one of you last year and when I received it, I was sure that the little note said to use tweezers to individually place the 'blades' of grass... so that's what I did... and it took me forever ... and I could of thrown it through the window by the time I had finished... it was sooo hard to do...!!!

But, it looks lovely and I am very happy with it...

Then in an email, a certain someone mentioned she had put her grass in by using the tweezers to pick up clumps of the grass and they stay upright :0( Oh dear... I wish I had emailed before doing my grass LOL

So, there we are up to date with the Little Shop, which from now on will be called Maysage and Birch.

It will be a special little shop because...
I love doing my blog and I have many lovely friends here who are so talented. I often buy or swap treasured miniatures from my 'blog friends' so along with some of my owl cushions, this little shop will house the witchy treasures from fellow bloggers. So far, I have bits and bobs from Nikki, Kat, Lory and Cottage miniatures. I think it is going to be lovely :0)

Julia xxx


  1. Julia, I'm sure its going to look fabulous once you start filling it with all your Treasures. It looks lovely already..xxx

  2. This is brilliant Julia xxx

    Lorra Luffies

    Debie xxxxxxxxxxx

  3. It is lovely! Can't wait to see more. Hugs~ Kim

  4. Julia, it was such an interesting read and I studied all the pictures! For such a small space I think it's excellent and hubby has made such a marvellous job of the structure.

    I'm looking forward to seeing it fill up.

  5. Totally gorgeous already! I do have to try this art mace, the only bag they had in my Hobbycraft was huge and expensive so Im hoping they sell it cheaper somewhere. EMily has got herself a new project for her Merlin theme and we will need these style walls so its a must and Ill be emailing all the time for advice Im sure! I think the amount of furniture is just right and once all full of goodies will be a real treasure for you to keep! Kate xxx

  6. Julia - a treat to read!! I see your fireplace!! Now that rings a bell . . .
    And I also see your virtual staircase, it's a brilliant idea,and works so well.
    As for mould - scary!! Does this mean that if you don't seal water-base materials like paperclay/mache, then they could go mouldy in the future in damp conditions? There's a thing to think on!

    It's looking welcoming already :)

  7. Hi Glenda,
    I'm not sure on the mould thing, hence all the question marks, I'm hoping someone can help with some advice. We have used art mache on loads of things over the last year or so and have never had this problem and we don't seal other than with paint either, so its a bit of a puzzle.. unless it's just that because the steps were so thick, about 1 cm they just didn't dry quickly enough! I think I will ask Nikki, she is a whiz with materials like this, so she may be able to offer some advice.
    Julia xx

  8. Me ha hecho gracia tu aviso de "entradada larga". Ha sido un placer leer todas tus explicaciones y ver cada paso. El doble fondo resulta muy adecuado para la imaginación.
    Toda la construcción está perfecta. La tienda será muy visitada porque estas pensando en todos :)
    Tienes un marido encantador y muy eficaz.
    Besos Clara

  9. Julia, my dear, You've Got Talent! I am not going to go into the details, 'cause I'll be going on forever. As to your mouldy art maché, my paperclay I hadn't stored correctly either, I guess, because it had gone mouldy in the the plastic bag. I have washed away the mould before I used it, but should have used bleach, most likely. Ah well, I still may be lucky now it's on the walls and dry. What else can I say about your shop. Just fabulous. I wish I could do the same wonders with my florist. Looking forward to your next project. (Tongue in cheek...)

  10. Looks wonderful! You are so lucky to have a hubby to help with your minis.

    Victoria ♥

  11. WOW! This is looking sooooo great! :)
    By the way, I am celebrating too the number of followers with two giveaways, just in case you would like to take part :)

  12. Hi Irene,
    Thankyou, I don't know if its talent or just boredom at being at home all day at the moment!! Anyway, the mouldy art mache... It was only in this corner on the steps, the rest of the Art mache on the walls and fireplace are all fine and we still have some left over in the garage and that is mould free too! Which is why it is such a puzzle, that just this on corner should go mouldy. Still its sorted now with the help of some bleach, but we will be taking Michelle's advice and using PVA glue in the mix as well in the future. Thanks Michelle :)
    Julia xx

  13. Julia- it's so lovely!! The grass just makes the outside areas pop- so worth the extra effort! I love the fireplace too- everytime I go back to look again I notice more- and isn't that the most fun part about minis? I look forward to seeing more- I can't believe how much furniture you fit in there!

    PS- Sorry if this is a second comment- I looked at your blog the other day and then I had to go do something and now I can't remember if I commented or not!

  14. Looking soooo good Julia. You are right the lights add so much atmosphere. You and your hubby are whirlwinds!!


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