Thursday, 28 June 2012

Singing praises

Two suppliers have just come up trumps in a big way.

The wonderful Amanda made me these veggies, eggs and Dundee cake to order.  I even got the variety of veg I wanted - a savoy cabbage and King Edward potatoes.  Yes, I know I am silly picky but these were the seasonal veg for October and the spud for a Brummie could only be a good King Edward.  She usually cuts cakes so you can see her extraordinary work inside - cake crumbs and fruit - but I wanted mine whole as it will be cooling on a cake rack.  I also wanted all the eggs and veg loose as I haven't settled where they will be yet.  The eggs will be in a bowl somewhere.  They were bought loose in 1911 - no egg boxes then!  As a child of the fifties I can remember buying eggs loose in a brown paper bag and them being put in an enamel bowl when we got back from the shops.  I would like to devise a string bag to hang on the back door for the root veg but they may all just go in a box in the pantry or a wash tin under the sink.  I am so very sorry my photography is so poor and you only get a flavour of the beauty of this stuff.  Thank you so much Amanda.

PS - she also sent me a perfect little birthday cake with stripey (!!) candles for Nanny in the Wentworth.

The second supplier is new to me and I found him at the York show.

The Lyddington kit has some pretty crude MDF stair in it which need rails and newels and spindles.  I spent a great deal of time debating whether to just bin them and buy some decent already made-up stairs. I decided I want to try as much as I can doing this hobby so stairs would be my next challenge.  I was also dubious about getting stairs which would fit properly; at least the ones which came with the house were made for the house.  They need to be the right width, slope at the right angle (and this varies hugely) and fit exactly between floor and landing: it seemed best to use what I had.

My staircase wasn't going to be carpeted so I didn't like the fact that they didn't have a proper tread on them and wasn't confident that the MDF would look good stained.  I remembered I had seen someone who sold treads you could add.  Huge search of the web and finally located (I am pretty sure)  the one and only supplier of dolls house stair treads.  It is in the USA so the postage would be prohibitive on a four dollar purchase.  

At the York show I was looking at various trims on the Dolls House Cottage Workshop stand and told this tale to the young man manning it.  He said he would make it for me and, hey presto, within a few days it was in my hands being chopped into treads.

It is totally brilliant.  Slightly too deep for my stairs but so easy to cut that I cut twenty-four of them without error.  It took stain without any nibbing - so no rubbing down and only needed one coat to get a good colour.  In a nutshell it is perfect for the job and has transformed my MDF clunkers into a potentially nice looking Edwardian staircase.  That's assuming the chippy (aka me!) can do a decent job with the rest of it.

There are a few more photos in my web album showing the process if you are interested.

Check out his site, it has some terrific stuff.

I have finished and hung the doors so Bentleys is, at last,  starting to look like a doll's house.  The bad news is I then began to think about doing the roof and this reminded me that I had celebrated too early when I crowed about doing the last brick.....  mmmm.... what about the ones on the dormers? 

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