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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Furniture Making

Welcome to my newest followers, CrisColás  and Caroline.  Thanks for following.  You picked a good time to join up as for the first time in weeks, I actually feel like I did a good weeks work on my miniatures and have something worth showing for it.

Ever since I started working on the castle, I had no firm plan for the use of the room in the exact centre, or heart, of the castle.  For a long time I simple ignored it hoping that a brilliant idea would just burst into mind some day.  Unfortunately, this never happened, so for the past couple of weeks I've been trying to work something out.  Of all the inventive an unique purposes the room could have been given, it's ended up being just a plain old sitting room.  Well, the folks who live in the castle needed somewhere to sit back and relax. 

Once I decided on the basic layout, I made a bench seat/settle for the left side wall by the library door.  Rather than make a seat with a high back that covered over the wall panelling, I incorporated the seat into the wall so that the back of the seat is the wall panelling. 

Next up I made another seat for the room, this time a free standing chair.  Mostly, the chair is made of balsa wood and would have been rather boring, except for the fretwork panels in the back and base.  These were bought from Angela Downton on ebay (the same lady who made the chest/coffer along the right wall).  I designed the chair by pulling out all the pieces of trim and fretwork I had and fiddling about until I had something that I liked.  The first chair design I came up with only had a fretwork panel in the front side of the back of the chair, nothing I had would fit on the sides or base with the particular panel at the back.  So I moved the panel to the rear side of the chair back so that the front and sides of the chair were plain but the rear of the chair was fancy.  Once assembled I put this chair in the Witch Shop's reading room facing into the room so only the back was visible. Perfect.  It now adds to the ecclectic feel of this room.  I then went back and came up with a design for the chair in the centre room and I'm utterly thrilled with how this one turned out.  No one is ever going to be allowed to sit in this chair and cover up how gorgeous it is!

 Less successful was the cupboard for the back left corner of the room.  I felt this corner needed a piece of furniture, but everything I had was too deep and blocked the doorway in the back wall.  I made a simple rectangular box our of balsa wood then used cut out sections of the embossed paper used for the downstairs ceilings to add "carved" panels to it.  The panels were then overlaid with strips of balsa wood to give the cupboard a panelled look.  Some prebought wood turnings were glued on the bottom for legs and some cotton trim was run around the top to finish it off.  All this went quite well, but then I decided to paint it.  Why on earth did I pick those colours?  Aren't they ghastly?  At the very least they are wrong for this cupboard and this room.  Maybe if I used a deeper purple close to the colour of Artie's robe?  Maybe I need to totally change the colour scheme or maybe it should be given a wood look finish?  Be prepared for it to change colours at least once, and probably many times over the next few weeks.

For the remaining furniture in the room, the coffer on the right wall will probably remain where it is.  The chess table I pinched out of an earlier house and is really a little too modern to be right for the castle so I'll make something more suitable for this space and put the table back where it belongs.  The X frame chair I took out of Highcroft Castle but will leave where it is as I never really liked it where it was. 

Well, what do you think of this room so far?  I think it needs one more piece of furniture, perhaps a floor standing harp so the residents can listen to some music while they sit back and relax?

This isn't all the furntiure I made this week though.  I've also re-furnished the kitchen.  Remember the wall mounted shelves and the large central table?  I was never happy with them, so I ripped them out and went back to the drawing board.  The shelves have been replaced with a free standing unit of shelves.  The three doors on the bottom level of the unit actually open and the kitchen staff can either use them as general storage or as livestock cages.  Even fantasy castles like mine don't have refridgeration, so animals were often brought into the kitchen while still alive and kept there until the cook was ready to start preparing the meal.  The big table has been replaced with two smaller trestle tables that make the kitchen look less crowded than the big table did. 

After spending all this time working on things for the castle, I decided that the witch shop needed some attention.  I made a simple shelf for the wall behind the counter from a plank of balsa wood and a pair of brackets.  Some wire hooks fastened to the underside of the shelf were intended to hang the shop's selection of broomsticks.  You'll notice there are cauldrons hanging there now - that's because the broomsticks I'd made were taller than the distance from the shelf to the floor.  So instead I made a pair of racks to display a couple of brooms horizontally on the right wall of the shop.  I'd collected some "witchy" images from various printables sites and printed these out and placed them around the upper walls of the shop.  Some are ads, some are posters for sale.  I've also filled up the display area in the counter and the display cabinet at the front of the left wall with various bits and pieces.  The shop has also gained one more display area in the form of a shelf under the front window.  The items you can see on it now are just temporary; I hope to do some sort of proper window display for it in future.

Let's see, have I forgotten anything?  Oh yes, I also rearranged the furniture in the castle bedroom.  Yes, again.  The screen is now by the door where it will block any drafts that come through the door.  The bed now sits in the middle of the right wall with it's foot toward the fireplace.


  1. Wow you have been busy!!! looking great! :D Linda x

  2. You have been busy :) I need some play time. Everything is looking wonderful :)