Saturday, 5 September 2015

Finishing touches on the basement

I know I have said this before: I cannot understand how it is possible to decorate a dollhouse after you have assembled it. I would have never been able to make the elaborate decoration in my two kitchens unless I had worked on flat surfaces and before the roof was on. The final steps were really painful, and I only had to glue on cornices and some small details.

For any kind of work, you need two hands and you need to be able to see what you are doing. In a space 40 cm broad, 20 cm high and 50 cm deep, there is very little margin for movement and almost no light. I put in a battery spot, but I could not get both my arms inside and look into the room. So for the cornices, I had to get in one arm up to my shoulder and feel around. Mind: it was paper, easily attached: I can't imagine how I would do it with proper wooden moulding. (If you know how it is done, please tell me).

In the best kitchen, I had to take down a shelf on the back wall to glue on the cornice, but when I had to put it back, again I had a choice of either using two hands without sight or one hand, and I want to see you work one-handed with tiny nails inside a half-meter deep room. My arms are simply not long enough.

I felt very much like Alice in Wonderland, crammed in a house far too small.

I am, however, pleased with the result. I also found a ceiling light for the best kitchen; I had it in my old kitchen and had completely forgotten about it. It fits nicely with the rest.

The next room, which is the lower entrance hall - delivery entrance - was a bit easier because is doesn't go all the way back. Still I had to do it by touch only, as I could not see what I was doing. The ceiling lamp is something bought cheap; it was a real light with a wire, but I use it as fake. Eventually, there will be tea lights on remote control placed strategically here and there.

I moved the delivery boy to this room from the kitchen, and it made a huge difference.There is a lot that can be added in this room.

The larder was worst because it is just 12 cm broad, hardly enough for one hand.  The shelves are fixed permanently so I didn't want to remove them. The fake ceiling light is made from an eyedrop-bottle cap.

The working kitchen was hard again, because it is full depth. There are also various shelves which I, after the problems in the best kitchen, didn't want to remove. Either way, it's complicated. But since it was the fourth room, I have developed the skills. For the ceiling light, I found a lamp I had made long ago but never used anywhere. It is made from a glass candlestick decoration and champagne wire. I cut the ceiling rose from a chocolate box.


It is very difficult to take decent pictures of such small rooms, so here is a closeup, to show more detail.

Having done all this, I am immensely grateful for the serendipity of my big mistake. If I had glued on the roof six months ago I wouldn't yet have discovered the magic of full-size wallpaper which makes moulding soooooo much easier to do.

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