A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:

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

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Highcroft Castle - Week Seven

I haven't had much time to work on Highcroft this week, so haven't much to blog about. I did start to adapt the top floor dormer windows into something more castle-like, got as far as pulling the original windows apart and then had to go and do something else and never got back to them. Instead I made a start on the arch surrounds at long, long last. The surround for the triple arches in the Great Hall was made from air-drying clay using a template of the arches I made before installing the back wall in the castle. The clay should now be dry - I just need the time and courage to put the surround against the arches to see if they are the right size and shape or not. For the arched doorways at either side of the Great Hall, I used regular air-drying clay mixed with paper clay. The reason for this is that normal air-drying clay tends to crack as it dries, paper clay doesn't. Normal clay dries hard, paper clay dries sort of soft and spongey. By mixing the two, I hope to get a non-cracking, hard-drying clay. So far it seems to have worked resonably well, at least there hasn't been a disasterous chemical reaction from mixing the two types of clay. I made the arch surrounds using a cardboard template to get the appropriate size and shape and then glued the clay to the wall before it was dry so it could be 'moulded' to the walls for an exact fit. a lion's head adorns the top of each arch (made from a mould made from a lion ornament). Still waiting attention are the doorways in the tower, which will need a different template drawing up as the one I used in the Hall is too big/tall for the space available in the tower. Once they are done, all the arches will need painting. The question is; what colour? Probably 'stone' to match the other stonework in the castle. I made a start on the top floor 'royal bedchamber'. I had been using this a convienent shelf for tools, bottles of glue and general junk I had been using in other areas of the castle, so started by cleaning it out and discovered it was so neglected it had a spider living in it. Urk. That tended to, I covered the ceiling with some pearly white wallpaper (for a full sized house) I pinched off my mum. The problem now is what to do with the walls. Given their state (having been decorated once already and stripped) it will be best to paper them to cover the imperfections, but what paper to use? I think there is enough of the paper I used on the ceiling left to cover the walls. This has the advantage of being neutral and hardwearing. I also have some cream paper with gold 'swirls' which is also quite neutral and subtle, but is only very thin, so will need some backing and will probably be hard to fix in position without marking the paper. I haven't had a chance to go through my collection of fabrics, but I suspect, like most of my papers, they will be too 'patterned' and look too much like Victorian wallpaper to work in a Castle setting. Another possiblity is to 'panel' the walls in wood or in clay scuplted to look like wood. At the moment it's a case of too many choices but none of them are quite right.

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