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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Highcroft Castle - Week Twenty

Firstly, I need to apologise to the readers of this blog.  Last week, I misled you.  I said that once the existing parts of Highcroft were finished that I would start work on the garden wing.  Within hours of posting that I went back to the castle, studied it a while and came to the conclusion that it was big enough as it was.  The unit that will hold the castle permanently is only 10cm wider than the castle, so the garden would have to be very narrow or overhang the edge.  I came to the conclusion to abandon the plans for the garden, at least for now.  I may still add the garden at some point in the future, but for now I'm calling the castle complete without it.

With that decision made, the next thing to do was to seal off the doorway that was supposed to lead to the garden from the Great Hall.  It looked pretty silly as a gaping hole leading nowhere, plus it gave access to cat's paws when their owners decided to pull everything out of the castle! So the doorway became a stained glass window. The basic pattern for the window was downloaded from the internet from of all places a colouring-in site. Once I had the pattern, I used Gallery Glass paints to create the window on a piece of acetate sheet. The clear acetate was laid over the pattern. Liquid lead was used to copy the pattern onto the sheet and once that was dry, it was just a matter of colouring in the spaces.  When it was all dry, the window was glued in place.  As the window is going into a doorframe I made (i.e. a slightly lopsided, uneven one) I used a little extra lead outliner to fill the occasional gaps between the "glass" and the frame.  Should I ever come back and add the garden, the window should be easily removed although I will need to repaint the doorframe.

I kept to last week's intentions in the bedroom.  I thought the walls needed a strip of panelling around the bottom and once I added them, I saw I was right.  Even though the furniture arrangement hides most of it from view, the panelling adds a depth and warmth to the room that it sorely needed.  The panelling itself is just a strip of white cardboard two and a half inches high with narrow strips added vertically every one and a half inches.  It was then painted to look (something) like wood and glued in place.  It was incredibly simple, but it makes such a big difference to the room.  While in the bedroom, I finished off the bath area curtains by adding the tie backs and recycled a plant stand made from a newel post that was in the orginal house.  A few flowers and the mandatory naughty cat finish off the bedroom.  Some more cats have appeared playing at the bottom of the spiral stairs.

The outside of the castle was given a few finishing touches.  The vines that have been on the front of the main building for months were adorned with some blue polymer clay flowers, while a vine and purple flowers were added to the tower front.  The catacombe front was finally attached to the catacombes and had it's own climbing vine.  At this point, I started having trouble finding things that still needed doing.  Somehow, the end of a project always creeps up on me and it comes as a surprise when I go to do the next task and can't find one to do.  Highcroft was like this; I thought there was another week or two of work to do to it, but suddenly it was all done!  So I'm offically calling Highcroft Castle complete!  I'm sure there are still things missing or that need changing but just can't see because I've been looking at them so often for so long.  So, I'll ignore the castle for a couple of weeks then come back and take another look at it to see if anything new jumps out at me.  In the meantime, you can find all the pictures of Highcroft (from start to finish) here in my Flickr account


  1. Congratulations, Alennka, on finishing Highcroft Castle! This was a huge project, but it's turned out brilliantly :) I love the window you came up with instead of a door -- I think it works really well, and is a great focal point. I love the half panelling in the bedroom. And I adore the little kittens on the stairs!

    Once again, congratulations :)


  2. Well done! I can't imagine finishing something which has been such a big part of your life. :)
    Have you your next project in mind, or is it a case of choosing from the many :D

  3. Thanks Nina and Christine. Yes, it is a case of having to choose from many, I'll add a post to the blog explaining this in more detail.