Friday, June 29, 2018

Storybook Cottage Exterior Plot

Whenever I miss a week's posting, it's because I think there's just not much to share. Then, I go to do a post, look at all the photos and think "Ah jeeze! This is going to be too long"! Oh well, I'll just try to briefly catch you up...


In my last post, I was working on getting the interior trim wrapped up. I got the rest of the wall and dormer pieces attached upstairs, and worked to improve the look of the trims. Much better!



Before I could enclose the stairwell with it's exterior wall and roof, I needed to figure out the lighting in there. I am using all battery lights on this project, because I had so many collected from sales and closeouts. Didn't make sense to leave them in the drawer and order all new wired lights. So for the stairwell, I had a string of Darice Moon lights. They are attached to a battery pack that I could run to the exterior for access. The battery enclosure looks like a utility box, so I'll just finish it to look like the one I did on the Garden Shed, only a little less rusty. I don't need much light in there, just a little ambiance, and I was able to hide the bulbs behind the decor. They were very bright white, so I toned them down with a little yellow Gallery Glass.


The exterior is going to have many textures and colors, so I applied stucco to the areas where I wanted it. Then, I applied stones along the foundation and to the stairwell and window seat walls. I used packaging from the Yankee Candles I bought last Christmas instead of egg carton, as I liked the very prominent texture.




I mixed a little acrylic paint into spackle for the grout, but found it was hard to remove without risking damaging the surface of the stones, even after two coats of sealer. So instead, I scraped artists chalk into the spackle. I loved the color, and it was lots easier to remove the excess. Imagine my horror when after drying, the grout turned from light brown to pink! Yes, pink! So, I ended up having to hand paint every grout line. Me + fiber stones = 2 out of  5. Next time, I'm using Paperclay. But in the end they are fine, so all is well...



I got a little undercoating done on the gables to help me decide what I'll do there..


I wanted a little shake shingle texture on all three dormers, so I used the shingle sheets that came in the Storybook Cottage kit to make up my own. The roofing will be done in half scale speed shingles instead.





Applying them has taken a tremendous amount of time, but since I am only going part way up with it on the dormers, I am almost finished. There will be cap trim on top to sort of box them in. Hard to explain, but hopefully, I'll have photos to share in my next post.



This is the part where the project really seems to slow down. There are so many decisions to make for the exterior, and it seems that adding many detailed textures is slow going. But with time, luck and perseverance, I'll be back in a  week or two with a little more progress!

Have a safe and happy first week of July!

xo xo,
Jodi

40 comments:

  1. I love those stones! Gorgeous. And the way you've gone around the windows with them. I need to pay attention so I can do the WQ's cottage similarly. They turned out wonderfully.

    You could always do strip wood for tudor style timbers on your gables. That would go nicely with the stucco.

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    1. Thanks Sheila! I'm happy you like the stones, and curving them around the arched windows would look fabulous for the Queen's cottage! I just traced the window frames onto the "stone" to get the right curve, then cut the stones into equal-ish segments.

      For the gables, I'm thinking more of a beadboard or grooved look rather than a traditional timbered look, but I won't know for sure until I test out a few things. I discovered last night that I need to get all the windows finished before I start the trims, so I have a while before I can get to it.

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  2. I was saving similar packaging, but ended up tossing it because I had no place to store it.(I'm regretting it now) I love the texture it has on your cottage. At first,I thought it was paper clay.

    The colors are so pretty inside and out.....I love it!

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    1. Thanks Carrie! It's always such a dilemma to figure out what to save and what to let go of. I almost tossed the cartons so many times while cleaning up because I was getting tired of looking at them! Glad I decided to keep them. You could always order some Yankee candles from Amazon, though. You get the nice packaging plus they are always so nice to smell when working on minis!

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  3. Too bad about those grout lines. I feel your pain, but those stones look absolutely incredible. I have honestly never seen such realistic stone work! Also love the interesting shake shingle design on the dormers. Seems like it would be tedious, but I'll bet you're very happy with the result. This is going to be such a lovely house when it is done.

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    1. Thanks Deb! I was so disappointed when I saw the pink grout, and am so relieved that I was able to salvage it with paint! I hope that the effort for the shake shingles pays off. It was a bit of a learning curve but fun to try something new.

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  4. I had to chuckle about the grout color turning bright pink! Now, that is somethings really different... ;-) I am impressed with the stone effect of this packaging - it looks perfect. And the little cottage will look so lovely. Looking forward to your next update.

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    1. Thanks Marion! Yeah the pink grout was a horrible shock - not sure if it was some kind of reaction between the two or what. My lesson is, test before you go ahead with something. You'd think I'd have learned that by now!

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  5. La textura de la piedra te ha quedado muy bien y el rosa a pesar de no ser lo que buscabas está bonito. El trabajo del tejado será tedioso pero va a quedar espectacular por lo poco que se ve hasta ahora.

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    1. Gracias Isabel! ¡Estoy tan feliz de poder editar la lechada rosada con pintura acrílica! ¡Un desastre evitado!

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  6. Wow, it really does look like you’ve come ahead in leaps and bounds! The exterior is looking fantastic, and love the stonework. I can’t wait to see that shingling finished. Well done Jodi. And it just looks so cute looking into the house from the back! X

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    1. Thanks Shannon! I changed my mind on gable colors, finished up the shake shingles, started on the trim work then realized that all the windows should be installed first. So, windows are in my foreseeable future first! :O)

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  7. Oh my this is coming along so beautifully. The idea of turning the battery casing into a meter box is brilliant! ... those stones - absolutely worth every unforeseen turn. The result is amazing.
    ... already looking forward to next week.
    Anna

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    1. Thanks Anna! It makes me happy that you are liking and excited about the next steps too! I hope I do not disappoint!

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  8. Amazing, you're so creative and it's all come together beautifully, love it

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  9. Your stonework is SENSATIONAL Jodi! I absolutely LOVE the way it looks and the way you are mixing the finishes on the exterior. The subtle lighting in the stairwell is effective and will allow the arrangement on the display shelf to shine!
    It's too bad that this little house only has ONE bedroom because I think you'll have LOTS of visitors wishing to stay! ❤︎

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I guess I should get to the Greenleaf trailer kit for visitors! Or, you could just come by every morning for tea! :O)

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  10. Wow, Jodi!!! You have added another whole layer of Awesome Charm to this Cottage.... it looks so cozy and sweet with the roof and back framing attached!! I love the color pink you are using for the stucco and am so impressed by the multiple types of decorative trimming and finishing you are using! The shingles only going part way up the dormers has me intrigued..... what are you planning????? This is such a fun project and you have added Gobs of delicious details to every tiny space! I Love it all!!! This is sure to be a "Storybook" cottage like no other! :):):)

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    1. Thanks Betsy! I am so happy that you like where the project is going! Let us pray that I am able to overcome the setbacks and disasters that are sure to arise as I go forward. There is still so much to be done, and so many things that are new to me and out of my comfort zone!

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  11. The stonework is really lovely - maybe the hand-painting grout pain was meant to be and it has brought it a whole new realism? It is developing beautifully inch by little inch. M

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    1. Thanks Marilyn! I broke my cardinal rule to test everything and just assumed that chalk in grout would dry just as applied. But dollhousing is full of surprises, and thankfully, in this case, ended up a happy accident!

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  12. Hi, Jodi - I LOVE the first photo in your post that shows the entire (almost) interior of the Storybook Cottage. The colors and patterns, all seen together, are just mouth-watering luscious! You've done a wonderful job, as well, on the exterior stucco - it's applied so realistically and in perfect scale. It was a good choice to use your candle packaging for the textured stonework. I haven't yet used egg cartons, although I had planned to use them for my next project. But the ones that I've collected don't seem to have as much texture as I recall them having in the past, so I'm looking around for another source. I admire your patience and hard work in hand painting all those grout lines - and applying all those shingles! But the effort shows - your stonework is beautifully done (I'm envious!) and I can't wait to see the final result on the shingles. I like your plan to have varied textures and colors on the exterior; you're a master at fine detail. This is such a fun project, and I look forward to seeing each of your delightful posts!
    Marjorie

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    1. Thanks Marjorie! When I came across these two patterns of wallpaper last summer, I fell in love! These colors just sooth my soul, and I am so happy that they have the same effect on you!
      This was the first time that I have stuccoed, and fortunately, it stayed malleable long enough for me to get the hang of it as I went. I used a small but stiff bristled paint brush and tried to add whimsical swirls. I just love the Cameo Blush color!
      It really does seem like egg cartons are much smoother than they used to be. That is originally why I saved the candle packaging, and I am so glad I did. I bought the candles through Amazon, and used the material from about 1-1/2 of the packages on these with lots of bits left over. I had to strategically cut them and flatten them due to the extreme curves. Might be a great time for you to buy a few candles so you can try out these stones!
      I love seeing people's projects when they are just loaded with details, so am trying to consciously think about ways to add as much as possible. It it very time consuming, but I really, really want to be happy with this cottage when it is finished. I am so happy that you are coming along with me as I explore the possibilities!

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  13. I love the stonework!! Sorry the grouting caused so much challenge, in the end the result is fantastic!!

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    1. Thanks Veronique! Oh the rise and fall of emotions we get to experience when building our mini dreams! I am just so happy that there was a solution and that you like the way the stones came out, too!

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  14. The stone work is absolutely amazing!! Your facade will be marvellous with all those textures and techniques. I´m taking notes. I also admire your positivism and patient, I cannot face a job like that without whining a lot!

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    1. Thank you Alex! It makes me happy that you like the stonework and the facade so far!
      I probably did whine and curse at various points of the process, but it's all about having fun, learning and problem solving. Rarely does anything go off without a hitch, so I've gotten better with time about managing my expectations. That helps a lot, and I just need to remember to test these ideas before I apply them to the dollhouse! :O)

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  15. I really need to join the choir shouting "Your stonework is awesome!" It really is, I admire especially the window trim and the Colour shading. Although the pink intermezzo may have caused a "gulp" sound - in the end it turned out terrific. I'm really looking forward to see how this is going to continue.

    Greetings
    Birgit

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    1. Thanks Birgit! I am so happy to have a chorus of approval, as sometimes when you look at something too long you lose all perspective! I have had to take an unexpected detour to get the windows and frames started this week, so hopefully I will have a less challenging experience with this segment of the process. Luckily, I have lots of plastic to practice with!

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  16. Fantastic progress! Your stonework is beautiful.

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  17. Una fachada fantástica. La textura de piedra es ideal.
    Un abrazo

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  18. I think I mentioned this on instagram but this really is the best version of stonework I've seen. Using those candle cardboard scraps was genius. Did you use the curved parts too? The speed shingles are fantastic! They look so realistic and a lot of character. So worth all the time and effort! I'm looking forward to the next exterior update :)

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    1. Thanks Kristine! I am so grateful to have gone from "Pink Disaster" to "Phew" on that stonework! I was able to use the curved parts of the packaging. I cut each ring into strips with scissors, then flattened them out. They worked well for cutting the curved stones for the windows. In the end, I had used up the majority with only cut offs and thin strips left over. I still have two more halves for future projects!

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  19. It's a beautiful house!
    The stonework is so real.

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    1. Thanks Fabiola! It's great when you find a new material that works better than the old stand by! I don't know why you weren't in my blog roll, but you are now. I look forward to being able to see your new posts there!

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