A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:

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

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Everywhere the glint of . . . . Silver?

I guess the residents of Castle Starcaster aren't as wealthy as Tutanhkamen; he had gold, but the poor folks of the castle have to make do with silver.  Their 'treasures' are proudly displayed in the entrance hall and will be the first thing visitors to the castle see.  The silver goblets and plates are arranged on the shelves of a court cupboard style set of shelves.  The shelves are balsa wood with wooden beads for supports.  It was made to fit exactly in the space between the steps on the left and the steps on the right (which is why it's a miracle that it fits this space perfectly).

The goblets and tray on the top level of the tray I pinched from the table of my very first castle.  I have to admit there is some wholsale scavanging going on between to oldest castle and the newest.  This is because the old castle is, well, old and there are many things that I can now do better, so sometime after I finish Castle Starcaster I'll go back and give the old castle a light renovation and reburbishment.  This is a good excuse to plunder the old castle dry now.

Most of the thefts from the old castle have been to the benefit of Starcaster's kitchen.  Things like the dead turkey and the good Barehaven pottery are from the old castle.  There is also a continuation of the silver theme in the kitchen.  On the front table is a silver brazier over which hangs a silver bowl on a silver chain.  This is the comfit maker that I started on last week.  This is something I would never have thought of including until I saw one on ebay, but was so simple to do and is fairly effective too.  For those of you who are wondering, a 'comfit' is a nut or other small edible object coated in sugar.  The nuts would be placed in the bowl over the brazier and a glucose or sugar solution would be poured in a little at a time.  The bowl would be constantly swung/swirled to ensure all the nuts were evenly coated.  My nuts are finely chopped balsa wood and the brazier holds red and black seed beads to imitate hot coals.  If you look closely, you'll see more 'coals' in the fireplace and oven.

There is still more silver in the kitchen.  From beneath a new shelf between the door and the oven on the left wall hang an assortment of silver toned utencils such as a ladle and a strainer.  There aren't easy to see in the photo due to another new addition to the kitchen, a ladder.  I decided that there had to be some way to reach the high shelf over the door, so I made a quick ladder out of bamboo skewers.  The rungs were glued to the long sides at an interval of about an inch.  When the glue was dried I used some crochet threat to tie around the joins to give the ladder a more rustic look.

Even the Witch Shop got a little bit of glitz in the form of some silvery sparkles in the fish pond.  The pond is rather obviously a feature in the garden to the right of the path.  It was made very simply by glueing stones around the edge of a piece of thin card cut to the right size and shape.  Any gaps between the stones were filled, the bottom card was painted a greeny-blue and then filled with some clear resin water.  To give it some extra sparkle, some fantasy flakes were sprinkled over the resin before it set.  Although I haven't taken a photo of it, the fountain in the castle's rooftop garden was filled up the same way at the same time.  The two polymer clay frogs I made a few weeks back have taken up residence, one by the pond, one by the fountain.


The most noticable change to the witch's garden was the addition of the fence around the edge.  The fence marks the boundary of the public street leading to the shop door and the private garden leading to the residence beyond the green door.  Like everything else, the fence is made from balsa wood.  I wasn't sure what colour to paint it at first; purple to match the building, brown to match the woodwork, green to match the door, but I settled on basic black.  Crowley the mail crow seems to approve the fence; at long last he has somewhere to perch while waiting for someone to open the door so he can drop his delivery inside.  Now the garden needs plants, lots and lots of plants.  Does anyone know a quick, easy way to make a wisteria vine?  Wisteria is going to climb up the posts and/or walls and hang down from the beams above.  This is going to require a lot of leaves and blooms and take a long time.  Then there are the flower beds, bushes, lily pads for the pond . . . perhaps I should invest in some kits, at least for the more prominent flowers?

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