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

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Highcroft Castle - Week Seventeen - Part Two

 Well, after many weeks of changing my mind about the "Mystery Room" I've finally made the firm, irrevocable desicion that it will be a throne room and started work to turn it into one. I had made the throne previously, but have now painted the structure gold and upholstered the seat and back with red velveteen. More velveteen was used to cover the small dias on which the throne sits as well as make the 'curtain' behind the throne and to create the canopy above it. Combined with the candlesticks and fake windows made earlier, these make the room quite impressive, but still leave it rather empty. I will add some banners or drapes against the walls to add some more colour to the room and to tie the red dias in with the rest of the space.

I've also spent weeks (and weeks, and weeks . . .) looking for the right fabric to dress the bed in the royal suite. The fabric I've finally settle on comes from an old book of sample fabrics. (You know, a collection of swatches you see in furniture stores for customers to choose from). Some years ago my parents ran a bedding store and my mother saved all the sample books when they were superceded. She was cleaning out cupboards the other day and dug one of these books out. In it was a fabric that is the closest I've seen to what I had in mind for the bed. If only the pattern was in 1:12 scale rather than 1:1 scale it would be perfect. Also, as the samples are quite small I had to use two different fabrics, the same pattern, but one a shade darker than the other. The darker fabric was used for the curtains and rear panel while the lighter is the main bedspread. Two more faux rag rugs fill in the empty floor space. Thanks to some very poor planing, much of the space in this room will have to remain empty or the room looks very disorganised. My main problem with this room at the moment is the curtains for around the bath. The room need them to help define the spaces and soften the join between the white and the black walls - but I don't have more of the bed fabric and nothing else I have looks right with the room.

While I'd been rummaging about in my fabric collection I was inspired to start dressing some dolls for the castle. First is the sorcerer, Tyrrol Tupani. Yes it is a very silly name and he does need a better one, but for now it's th eonly one he's got. He is a Del Prado doll and came dressed in a victorian outfit. He looks very different now that he's been dressed in an under-robe of faux silk dupion and an outer-robe of black velveteen. As his painted on mustache was reminded me somehow of Ming the Merciless (the villan from Flash Gordon) I gave him the high collar and no hair to enhance the resemblance. Tyrrol is not the sorcerer who owns the "Sorcerer's Study" room in the castle. Rather he is the good sorcerer's evil rival who is taking advantage of his absences to sneak into his study and have a poke about for secrets!

The second doll I've been working on is a lady in green. She was going to be Michelana, the newly crowned Queen. The Queen is suposed to be seated in the centre seat in the Great Hall, meaning that she won't really be visible from the waist down. Although she isn't finished yet, I think her gown is looking to nice to be hidden under the table. So perhaps she will become someone other than Michelana. Certainly I will remember to ensure the other women who will be seated in the Great Hall all have plain gowns from the waist down. The men too.

This last photo shows what comes of having cats. My cat Ginny had already managed to ruin the Great Hall furniture once, this time she just tipped the table over and spilt all the food and other items on it onto the floor. The knight/armour was the worst affected and was saved thanks to 5min Araldite. Between me and the cat being clumsy I really should buy some shares in the company who make Araldite. Aside from a few slivers that I couldn't find, the knight is now as good as new. Aside from one permanently mishapen candleabra, the rest of the damage was pretty light and easy to fix.


  1. Good idea to turn your mystery room into a Throne Roome. I expect once you'd finally made up your mind, the ideas came quick and fast. it looks good. I like the canopy over the Throne.

  2. Thanks Irene! Ideas were never a problem. The real problem I had with this room was finding ideas that would fit in the space (I'm never doing round rooms again) and were suited to a room half way up a tower.