Monday, 22 October 2007

Got my lights (and a bunch of other stuff)

Dh drove me around the M25 to visit Maple Street, a mail-order/shop dollshouse store near Cambridge. They have a huge catalogue but I wasn't really sure what to expect from the actual shop. However, it turned out to be quite large as well - rather ramshackle and disorganised, but I was able to find almost everything on my shopping list. I got some lights for the attic, some bulbs for the lights I already had, some shingles, some moulding to trim out the staircase, handles for the front door and bathroom door, some paint which may be the right colour for the clapboard, some heavy vinyl which may work for the shop window (although I was hoping for thin plexi), some railings and turnings which may turn into decoration for the flat roofs, some fluorescent bulbs for my shop window, and a few other bits and bobs.

I have now laminated/glued together all the window frames and the front dormer trim. I gave the balcony, porch and front dormer trim a coat of gesso and have started the laborious process of trying to smooth them down. I spent quite a while on the balcony dabbing filler into holes and sanding, and it looks a lot better now, but it is never going to look as good as more expensive solid wood with 3-D turnings. I've made a start on the porch but haven't got very far yet.

Last night I spent a few hours surfing the Greenleaf Forum gallery and googling other people's Willowcrest houses. It is a bit depressing because so many of them are so beautifully finished, especially where the makers have treated the house as a shell and basically re-clothed it in wallpaper, ceiling covering and floor coverings. Mine is much more bare bones than that, and I know I am not going to get such a beautiful finished result. However, it was fascinating to see the many different ways that people have treated the exterior - I particularly loved the stone clad one at Deb's minis, that almost makes me wish I had another Willowcrest to build again and do as a stone mansion! But I think I am going to stick to clapboard for mine.

Now that I've got the lights, I've started work on the electrification. I am adopting a fairly Do-it-yourself approach, partly because all the components and twin tape etc. are very expensive here in the UK. I use a mixture of round wire and basic copper tape (like the kind for stained glass) and am trying to find ways to hide all the wires since I haven't wallpapered. I will post some pics. It is such a buzz when you connect it up to test, and the lights come on! Haven't electrocuted myself or the house yet, although I did have a short and a few sparks which luckily didn't blow the lights.

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