MECO Show and Sale

MECO Show and Sale
2016 Show & Sale will be the Saturday 14th May 2016 held at the Peachland Community Centre in Peachland BC. contact person Barb Janes-Yeo at 250-757-2842

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Penny Lane

Jill Castoral's Acorn House
NB: Marginally annoyed blogger's note  - Apparently  today Blogger is being a pain to use so if anything is functioning wonky today, its their fault - THEIR fault, I say! Just so you know, Blogger!

By now, those of you who live in "Daylight Savings Time" areas of the world have changed your clocks. If you haven't, well...good luck explaining to your boss tomorrow why you are an hour late. If you are retired, I guess you can do what you want, although just to warn you, all your TV programs will be off by a bit if you have left this project slide today. Personally, I lament the passing of the long evenings - it is much easier to ride a bicycle in the growing light of the emerging day than it is to navigate in the fading evening. Sadly, this probably means an end to my bicycle riding season - hope grows, though, as it is only 47 more days until the earth gets into position where the days are getting longer again!

On to the topic of the day, which is the MECO club project of the 2011/2012 winter session (makes us sound rather important, doesn't it? "session". Yes, a good solid word indeed). Our project, as many do, came from an inspiration picture. In this case, Jill Castoral's magnificent Acorn Cottage  in quarter scale (see above).  I find it important to note here that we did *not* sit and copy exactly what has gone before us. If a person wants to do that, it would be just better to buy the kit from the artist herself and go from there. In the long run you will get what you wanted in the first place (first rule of crafting, don't re-invent the wheel if you don't have to, you will never be satisfied with a knock off). Our project was more about learning techniques, and each month we had workshops instructing us how to build a quarter scale cottage from the ground up.  These techniques of course could be used on larger projects, but the quarter scale house was a bit more transportable in the long run. Member Elizabeth lead the way with this charming venture, and from the basic muse we all marched out in our own directions. 

Time Lord Pub by Kimi B.
The above house is my interpretation. I am the type of dollhouser who listens to what the structure is telling me. In this case, the house whispered to me that it was a pub. In part I based my pub on one I saw in Cedar BC, the Crow & Gate  - some of the pubs on Vancouver Island are the closest thing you are going to get to the real deal without actually traveling across "the pond".  We ate at large outdoor tables "traditional" pub food on a sunny late summer's day, and although we had to fight off the wasps a bit for our dinner,  it was quite pleasant indeed. 

Back on topic, our houses were all made from easily bought supplies, found items, made items, or items we had on hand. The base, for example, is oasis that was carved and landscaped. The flowers are from silk pieces that I cut down. I made the pub sign from wood and cloth covered wire, and there are always pictures you can find on the internet for artwork, rugs, etc., or patterns that can be modified. The trees are made from twisted painted tinfoil, and the "thatched" roof was air drying clay. 

Side of Time Lord Pub by Kimi B.
Chimney side of Time Lord Pub by Kimi B.
The chimney was made of a lot of air drying clay, which I pushed a stone pattern in and then painted to look a little more rock-like. Spackle was used for the stucco, and timbers were lengths of stock wood bought from a local Hobby Shop. 

Inside Time Lord Pub by Kimi B.
The inside did evolve for me, I built walls happily here and there as the mood struck me. Originally, the Acorn House had one or two rooms. We did divide the rooms, and add floors, and added staircases, etc. I added roof timbers, and encased my winding staircase. I built most of the pieces in my pub, had a few pieces from other sources that I have collected over the years, and used some of the so-called "cheap brown furniture (CBF)" as well. I have seen CBF modified into something you would never have guessed was CBF, with a little creativity, so a very economical source of supplies!  The curved bar in the lower right hand corner is my pride and joy, I built that from thin veneer and foamcore. In the bar proper there is a table with a bottle of Guiness waiting to be drunk/eaten (there are theories that Guiness should be so thick that it is a meal...). The pool room has a pool table, and out of sight in the left hand corner I snuck in a small washroom.  There is also a dart board ready for those who are so inclined. Public houses are often meeting houses, so on the second floor I have incorporated a small meeting area for those who have need for it. There is a small room for those who are in need of a bed for the night as well (Public Houses/taverns do by law here need to have a room for hire). The top room is a small apartment, probably for the proprietor to do the pub business in, although he could perhaps rent that out as well for the right price. The flooring I made from thin wood that I cut down and placed into intricate patterns. This is usually a case where you look and say, but most of it is all covered up! But ... of course...*I* know it is there. 

My roof line is significantly different than everyone else's. This was partly because of an accident. I glued the walls in backwards (I gotta be me...). By the time I realized it, I had already decorated a fair portion, said "not starting over", and cut my roof so everything fit well. It turned into a happy accident, as sometimes these things do. 

Quarter Scale Cottage by Elizabeth

Elizabeth's Cottage, interior

Elizabeth led the workshop, and this is her vision. Our houses were designed to fit under a glass dome. I particularly like the tree over top of this house, and the creative use of landscaping. 

Marnie's Cottage
Marnie's cottage put me in mind of the Hound Of the Baskervilles, for some reason. I could just picture this house up on some desolate moor, with the winds whipping round, the far off howl of a dog, and a detective of some note solving the mystery of it all. Marnie chose to close her house in on the back, and concentrate on the exterior design.  I don't have a picture for some reason, but in the back there is the most darling picket fence.  As you can see, she didn't use a dome, but a re-purposed case she found in a local housewares shop. The base does turn. She also used small lights to showcase the house. 

Rosemary's Cottage

This is  Rosemary's cottage. Again, totally a different idea to anything seen previously. 

Inside Rosemary's Cottage

I like the colour scheme of this house and it is extremely well thought out in terms of the floor plan - it is a house that on the market would be called "ready to move in". The leather furniture was made by Elizabeth, I believe, and was sculpted, not built.

Pat's House

Pat's House interior 

Pat used a more modern look to her cottage in the woods. Note that the staircase was removed for a little extra working space. 

Barb's (?) Cottage

Barb's (?) Cottage
Sorry, can't remember who did this house, think it was member Barb (now I find out who *really* is reading the blog, Bwhahahaha!). This is why we write things down - as my Grade 11 English Teacher always said "it is better to have a short pencil than a long memory". This is another cottage that has a modern feel to it, and I like the cleanness of the straight lines.

Again, it is interesting in how each individual artist took the basic inspiration and took off with it at high speed. If you want to make your own, many of the publications out there have had patterns over the years of quarter scale/half scale, etc. houses, so a little research into back issues in your own library can put you on the right road, so to speak. Off you go then, have fun!

May your slightly lengthened but earlier evening'd day lead to inspiration, gentle readers! 

Little English Village



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