A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:

The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:

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Monday, January 11, 2010

The Bakery - Stage Two - Week Two

I started the week with the quick and simple task of fixing the balcony railings in place. The 'spindles' are made from a wooden fan, cut down and stained to match. As I had already done the cutting and staining all I had to do was glue them in place and add a top/handrail of balsa wood. This took all of five minutes. The rest of the weekend was spent working on the roof. Having spent most of a week trawling the internet for pictures of tudor-ish houses for ideas as well as looking at miniatures sites for available products and how other mini rooves were created, I decided to tile my roof. Rather than spend a lot of maoney and wait a long time to buy premade tiles or tile sheets, I chose to make my own tile effect with paper clay. Actually, that should be I chose to TRY and make my own tile effect as there was no guarentee that I wouldn't end up placing an order for roof tiles after I made the attempt. I chose paper clay because it is lightweight and doesn't tend to crack when it dries as much as normal air-drying clay and is a lot cheaper to use than polymer clay. The disadvantage with it is that it remains so soft when dry - the first time a cat tries to climb on the roof it'll be torn to shreds! It's quite a steep roof, so maybe the blighters will have the sense not to try and curl up on it! I started by cutting pieces of foamboard the size and shape of each side of the roof and porch roof, cutting an opening for the chimney to pass through in the appropriate place. I finished the inside sides of the roof pieces the same as the walls. To be acurate, they should probably be finished to look like the underside of the tiles, but my way was easier and I can always change it later if I decide to. For the outside side of the roof, I started by rolling some paperclay into a rectangle a bit under 1/2cm thick the size of the roof panel. I spread some PVA glue on the piece of foamboard and laid the clay over the top. With wet fingers I carefully rubbed the clay until it was smoothed down and carefully curled over the sides of the foamboard. I then trimmed the excess clay off from around the edges. I pressed a plastic ruler on it's edge into the clay to make horizontal lines accross the roof marking the height of each row of tiles. I then sprinkled a little more water over the clay and wrapped it in cling wrap to keep it moist, leaving only the bottom row uncovered. A good tip here is don't use air drying clays in 30+ degree heat. I used a palette knife to press the top of the bottom row of tiles down along the ruler impression so that it looked like the bottom row emerged from under the row above (as tiles usually do). A blunted toothpick pressed (not dragged) into the clay marked out the horizontal lines to separate the row into individual tiles. I then peeled back the cling wrap and repeated the process on the next row, then the next, then the next . . . etc. All this was done 'by eye' without measuring. Some rows are higher than others, some tiles are wider than others and some are simply crooked. The plan is that the end result will look 'rustic' or 'traditional' rather than just plain crooked. This was repeated for all four roof sections. When the clay was dry, I gave it a quick coat of a grey blue acrylic stain. This is primarily to get rid of the white in the hard to reach places between tiles so that if later coats of paint miss a spot it won't show up as much as if it were still white. Next three of the roof panels were glued in place. The fourth panel, the left hand main roof, was glued on later, after I had cut a hole in it to allow access to the attic. The hole was careully cut along the lines formed by the grooves between the tiles so that when the cut out section is put back in the hole, the join will (hopefully) be almost invisible. The exposed edges of foambaord along the cut were given a thin coat of texture paste to help stop the foam from falling out of the board and toughen it up. The roof stills need painting, but that will have to wait until it's a little cooler, just enough so that the paint doesn't bake before I even get it onto the brush! I'm planning to make it look like a greyish slate as this will look better on a lavender house than, say, a terracotta tile. While waiting for various bits and pieces to dry, i also made the steps to connect the first floor to the attic. They are very steep; steps often seem to have been in times past. I really don't know how the miniature residents are supposed to haul a bed up them, but I have found a solution on how to put a big four poster in an attic. Click here to see the beds I want to try and copy . I still need to do some measuring and thinking, but I think something like that might work and it's such an obvious answer to the problem!

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