Need some miniature mail?

The amazing Jenn at Looking Glass Miniatures is having a giveaway of her vintage miniature mail. Use the link below to enter: become a follower and post a comment, and you may win on March 31!


Adventures in balsa wood

Once again, I decided to cut apart my work and make the proportions correct. The first picture shows the stairs before surgery. Notice the little ledge between the stairs and the door under the stairs? As I was painting the stairs, I realized the proportions were too skinny, so I cut the whole thing at a seam, and added more balsa and air-drying clay to make that section look more like the set photo. Probably too picky on my part, but I just knew I wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it.

The next task is to complete the stone wall that backs the stairs. Painting the clay to look like stone is really fun, by the way!


Just a Word About Movie Houses

An interesting conundrum I have had to deal with in making Rosehill Cottage from the film The Holiday is the fact that movie houses don't always look the same on the inside and out. The exterior of the cottage was built in Shere, England as a shell, while the interior was built on a soundstage. For the most part the structure matches inside and out, with a few exceptions regarding window placement.

Here is an exterior view of the back of the house.

Here is an interior view of the same wall.

Notice the small window in the staircase area? Doesn't exist outside. While this wasn't an issue in the movie since the rear of the cottage was never on screen, it becomes an issue for me. There is just no good place to install a window on the back of the cottage without it looking wonky.

Another glaring discrepancy happens in the upstairs bathroom. Here is a shot of the set.

There is a window built into the angled roof line wall which looks great on the interior, but magically disappears on the exterior. This isn't the only instance that dormer windows happen on the interior, but I'm not going to list them all.

My decision has been to follow as closely as possible the matching areas, but on the discrepancies go with what works from the exterior point of view.

By the way, if you're into movie houses like I am, you may want to check out this blog called Hooked on Houses. There are some great shots of many movie houses and their accompanying sets, as well as celebrity houses and others.


I Made Stairs!!!

I am having WAY too much fun here. This project is actually coming along, and not falling to the wayside like so many of my others. I managed to build a flight of stairs that I really had doubts I could do. One of the pictures is a view through the front door, straight to the stairs. The little bathroom under the stairs won't be accessible, since that would just be TOO insane.

Apologies for everything being the color of balsa wood... I know it's difficult to see detail right now. Just imagine lots of stone and wood colors.

Also, I found a great resource for LED lights, including a kit for fireplaces, so I know how I will handle the lighting. There are actually a large number of lights in this house, and I was worried about adding heat inside a closed space, plus having a bulky transformer hanging off the house. These LED lights don't heat up, plus they can be powered by a 9 Volt battery, which I can hide inside a chimney or something. Yay!



Well, I couldn't live with the discrepancy I noticed with the amount of space between the fireplace opening and the bookcase. I cut the wall apart and added a bit more wall, then sculpted new stone over it. Still not perfect, I am sure, but I am much happier with it now.


Fireplace Stonework

Here is the result of a day of working on the fireplace wall with LaDoll stone clay and balsa wood. I am really happy with the results so far. I can't wait to accessorize.

Did I mention this is in half-inch scale? Kind of a challenge, right there.

Rosehill Cottage Progress

I got on a roll last night working on this project, but figured I had better stop and post on my progress. Here is a shot of the living room fireplace wall. I am especially happy with the built-in bookshelf, scratch-built from balsa wood. I still have yet to do the stone work, but I think you can get the idea. I am going to work from wall to wall, dry-fitting as I go. Now that my momentum is going, I am really excited about this project!