Friday, July 13, 2018

Storybook Cottage: Fable of Gables and Glass

In my last post I told you about the seemingly endless window leading process that I was mired in. I am happy to say that I did finish them, though they are not my finest work, were not easy, and I had several things "go wrong". The first challenge, and one I discovered that I am not very good at, was cutting the strips from the Lead Golf Tape. At first I tried using a straight edge and Xacto knife. I found the dragging metal feeling was like nails on a chalkboard and had to switch to scissors. The thinnest I could get the strips was about 1/16". That was cutting the lead strip in half, then cutting each half in half, and then all four of those halves in half. My cuts, in spite of monumental effort, were not always straight.



I used my saved window frame pattern in the Cricut Design Space and cut another set of frames. I sandwiched the leaded panes between the two frames before I installed them on the house. This made the exterior thickness 1/8" to match the window trim that came with the Storybook kit.



Before adding the "glaze" to the leaded windows, I tested what I had on hand. The first product (T) was Triple Thick, as recommended in the Glorious Twelfth leaded window tutorial. I left it on the window plastic for days, hoping it would clear as it dried, but it never did. The second (M) was Mod Podge. It too remained cloudy, but because of the way the texture stays raised, would make a nice effect if you were gong for the frosted bumpy surface look. The last product I had on hand (N) was regular top coat clear nail enamel as recommended in Casey's Mini's numerous leaded window tutorials. I must have a bad product, because not only did mine remain cloudy, it actually kind of melted the plastic. Faced with zero great results with the products I had on hand, I opted to use the Triple Thick. My panes, after several days, remain cloudy. I may or may not attempt to mitigate in the future.


Here they are, all 18, installed...




Had I known ahead of time, I would have made the four windows (bathroom side, bedroom and two small stairwell) only partially leaded so that you could still see into them under the leaded parts like the other twelve. You can still kind of see the display shelf and clock through the stairwell windows with the lights on. I may remove them and redo if I can find a better product to use in the future.

When I made the interior window frames and tiles for the kitchen's bay window, I knew I would eventually have to make the window sill/shelf. I used one of the kit's exterior trim pieces as a pattern, added pieces to meet up with the exterior window trim, facing, and then applied thick white cardstock for a smooth top surface. I then painted with the vintage white trim paint and installed. I filled gaps, and now just need to do some touch up painting. This will be a nice spot to grow herbs in the window.



Next I began to put some ideas into action on the exterior. I wanted to continue the potted tea plant theme from the interior to the exterior. I cut triangles from cardstock that fit into the tops of all three of the gables, then added the leaf and pot embellishments. I had to cut them down to fit the small area I had.


I also added small crown molding where the roof met the gables, large crown molding with corbels underneath, and board and batten trim.



There's a lot more trimming to do, including all of the fascia boards at the roof line, crown, tea plant embellishments and corbels for the exterior bay window, and framing around the dormer shingles. And then there's the roofing. Some will be copper, some speed shingles. So I'll keep plotting and playing as time allows.




And Camellia the kitty has reminded me that she would really like a comfy place to lie in the sunshine. Better get started on some cushions!


Hope all your experiments are coming out better than mine!

xo xo,
Jodi

28 comments:

  1. I love how the windows look! The house is coming along so well. All the little details really combine for a wonderfully fanciful look.

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    1. Thanks Sheila! Slowly, slowly she is coming together!

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    1. Muchas gracias Isabel! Me hace feliz que a pesar de todos los desafíos, ¡te gusten!

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  3. Your progress is remarkable Jodi! Love the exterior trims on the cottage AND the leaded windows. I've experienced slicing golf lead in the past and your right about it being difficult to cut evenly., nevertheless what you've done on the windows looks Great!
    And kitty Camellia has made herself feel right at home ♥️

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Elizabeth! I really wish I could have ended up with clearer glazing, and will be re-doing at least the stairwell windows this week. But I am happy in general with how the exterior is coming together. I just hope the copper roofs go my way!

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  4. The windows look good and in style with the cottage. I love the cat!
    Hugs, Drora

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    1. Thank you, Drora! They are just a slight upgrade from the kit's screen-printed version, but the color of the lead and the three dimensional effect do add charm. Maybe with more practice I can do a better job! The kitty really is incredible, and such a very special resident to have!

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  5. Honestly, honestly the leaded windows are actually perfect. If you look at old ones on simple buildings (not cathedrals!!) the lead is pretty irregular and the glass not at all clear - your could not be better for adding antiquity and character. Perfect. Super well done for not quitting. M

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    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, Marilyn! It is difficult not to be a perfectionist and to see all the imperfections when they've been my focus for so much of the last couple weeks. Looking at them installed and with all of the other elements coming together on the build, I don't see the flaws as much as just a cute dollhouse. But those stairwell windows will need to be redone.

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  6. Geniales las ventanas con plomo es un toque perfecto para dar carácter a esta preciosa casa. El gato no podía estar en mejor sitio.Buen fin de semana:-)

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    1. Gracias Rosa Maria! ¡Estoy feliz de que te gusten las ventanas con plomo y el gatito! ¡Es realmente emocionante ver que las ideas cobran vida, y Camellia realmente es regia!

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  7. I am totally in awe of you, it all works beautifully together

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    1. Awww shucks, Sylvie - thank you! But this is all stuff anyone can do if they are willing to try, fail, try again. I just keep trying! I hope that you are having fun and trying with minis, too!

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  8. We are always our own worst critics, I think your windows look perfect.
    And like I said on IG, the picture with your beautiful kitty is so deceptive, it could be taken from inside a 1:1 room!

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    1. Thanks Veronique! We really are critical of our own work, especially when we have been hyper focused on it for an intense period of time. Now that I am on to other aspects of the build, I don't see the flaws as much, just that the dream is coming true. But those stairwell windows are too cloudy for all the effort I put into being able to see into them, so I do have to carefully remove and remake them. Sometimes a problem has to marinate a few days before we are ready to overcome them!

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  9. Hi Jodi! I am sorry your windows are giving you more "pane" than pleasure... but I think the leading looks very good! It is tricky to cut the strips thin enough... I have used my scissors and just cut along the edge of the tape as thin as I could... not worrying about exact equal thicknesses. Nobody else ever notices those things that we think didn't turn our right! LOL! I agree with you that it is unfortunate that you can't see into the stairs windows... that was the whole point of them!!!! I would be ripping them off and making them like the others with open glass below. It is partly why I did such minimal leaded glass on my "Hardwick Hall" windows... I wanted to be able to see into the rooms! I think that no matter what kind of surface treatment you give the "glass" it ends up making the glass too blurry to see through... sort of the intent with trying to mimic old glass! It lets the light in but really distorts the view! As for your exterior trims, I think they are Awesomely charming and add so much of that eye-candy to this cottage! I particularly love the "Tea Tree" motif on the gables and the shelf with the corbels and the batten trims....!!! This cottage is just plain jaw-dropping-ly Sweet!!! And Camellia is the purfect name for your resident kitty! I think you are making Awesome progress on all fronts! :):)

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Betsy! It really helps me to let go of the impossible and unrealistic goals I had for golf tape, plastic and glaze. They are great for leaded windows on a dollhouse, and you are absolutely right - those stairwell windows are a no go as they stand. I will be prying them off and remaking them this week!
      I am so happy that you like the elements and details going onto the exterior. Layer by layer I am beginning to see the foggy vision I've had in my mind come to life, and it is truly exciting! I think I am really going to love this cottage, which is not always the case after I finish a build. After I have had a moment to step back and see things as a whole, I see the character and not the imperfections.

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  10. Hi, Jodi - I'm sorry that you've suffered such frustration getting those leaded windows finished - but all the windows really do look wonderful - and they look just like the real thing, flaws and all. (I actually can't see the flaws, but I know that you think they're there!) I think you've made a success of a very long, very tough job. I also like what you're doing with the exterior finish - the tea plant embellishments add so much character, and I absolutely love the board and batten trim! It'll be fun to see herbs growing on the pretty kitchen window sill. And speaking of pretty and windows, I can't believe how life-like Camellia the Kitty looks lying there basking in the sun. She is stunning! I hope that your next projects will give you more pleasure to complete than those frustrating windows! Just stand back and take a good overall look at this pretty piece of work - you'll have to be smiling all over your face!
    Marjorie

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    1. Thanks so much, Marjorie! I think the feeling I had towards the windows was a combination of not being able to cut the lead straight, the glaze not being clear (an unrealistic notion), not having time to focus on the project, and the fear that so much time and effort would be a detraction from the cottage in the end. Now that they are finished and installed, I am much happier with the results than I thought I would be, with the exception of the stairwell windows. Those will need to be redone.
      You are absolutely right - when I stand back and look at the cottage now, all I see is something wonderful, something I love, and I feel so grateful that I can take an obsessive idea and make it come to life. What a blessing it is to create!

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  11. This is shaping up beautifully! I love the potted plant embellishments. Very clever! I agree that, in real life, the leaded glass would be a bit cloudy anyway. I have also had problems with Triple Thick drying very slowly and never becoming completely clear, but your windows don't look bad at all, and if your lead strips aren't perfect, I can't tell. Such a sweet story book cottae!

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    1. Thanks Deb! If I ever find a truly clear product, I'll be sure to share!

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  12. I'm sorry to hear you've had some difficulties with the windows - but although you might have intended to achieve another result they look fantastic now and have a lot of Charme. They add to the lovely, happy atmosphere of your house - and as the others already pointed out leaded glass is usually not that accurate. To me somehow an advantage… *grin* Btw I'm using clear window color or white craft glue and tip it gently to the surface… too much structure for you I fear… but pretty clear. - It's a great idea to follow your tea theme also at the outside of the house - and it was impressive to see the whole house. Not to forget - you really need to add some comfort and coziness to Camellia's window seat! ;O)

    Greetings
    Birgit

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  13. Thank you Birgit! It's hard not to want things to go perfectly the first time, but often in the challenges is where I learn and grow the most. The windows are growing on me, and remaking the two for the stairwell openings went pretty quickly. I am grateful!
    Camellia is sitting comfortably in her shipping box and reminding me every day to get out my sewing machine and finish her window seat! I hope August will be the time for soft surfaces. Now to figure out how to slow down time!

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  14. Nice!!! Seriously, love that cat! :D The windows turned out wonderfully!

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  15. Hello Jodi,
    I love the window effect. It looks like real old glass was used in the leaded area. I think it is very successful. The white trim on the stucco area looks marvelous and adds even more charm to this wonderful cottage. I must also point out the shelf above the sink is perfection. What a great use of space. Love, love, love it all!
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Thanks Giac! I am happy that you like the windows, and the window shelf, too! Hope I can make the most of it when I get to the glorious decorating phase of the project!

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