Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Gate House: Second Floor

 This is the front of the gate house, with the second story installed.  The second story overhangs the first on all sides, which helps to create a larger living area.

I've added a fireplace on one of the side walls. The open box you see in  the second picture is actually the stairwell, which is closed in so that the stairs won't be visible in the finished piece.

I tend to avoid building stairs unless it's absolutely necessary. They take a lot of time, making the piece more expensive without adding that much interest to the interior.

With the larger second floor, I felt that the house was beginning to overwhelm the base, so after these pictures were taken, I added a 3/8" piece to the front to make room for more landscaping.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The other side

This is the front of the gate house. As is the case with the original, there is a bench on the left side. A good place to leave deliveries, or to sit while witing for the gate keeper to come downstairs.

You can see the 4 x 6 note cards with elevation drawings of the house in the background. They are propped up so I can refer to the measurements when I'm cutting the timbers for the walls - and there are a lot of timbers!  I use N scale 2 x 8 and 2 x 6 strip wood for the timbers, and stain them using Minwax stain pens; usually "Provincial", a light brown.

And now for something completely different

This may look a litttle strange - my husband thought it was some kind of boat house.  Actually, it's the first floor of what is going to be a gate house. I've often seen photos of the gate house of a small English manor, and had been thinking of doing a version of it for quite some time. The  problem was that I wanted to have living quarters upstairs; and for a while, I couldn't decide how that room would be accessible from below without defeating the purpose of the gate house. (If they were outside, then anyone could just walk in.)

Recently, I found some more photos online that showed a door on the inside wall; it obviously led to a stairway.  The actual gate is in the middle of the structure, and when it's closed, the door is beind it. Now I had a solution to my problem, so it was time to build!  You can see the door toward the back on the right hand side. The stairway is enclosed, so it won't be visible when the next story is in place.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Digory and I are very pleased with the finished Walnut Cottage.  Here it is, sitting on the table I made. Some extra paints and materials are on the bottom shelf.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slight Detour

Before my new helper arrived, I was using a small table I already had to suppport the walnut house while I worked on it. Unfortunately, the table was so tall that poor Digory (that's his name) had to stand on a plastic box while he worked. It was very inconvenient, because he had to keep moving the box; so I decided to take the time to make a shorter table. Pictures tomorrow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My New Assistant

This Cornish Elf arrived on my doorstep last week after making the trip from Todd Krueger's studio in a stuffy cardboard box. He is being a great help with my latest project - a new walnut house - although he prefers to work at night, when I'm asleep.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I have begun work on a new project, inspired by a little visitor who dropped by. Pictures shortly....

After the IGMA Show

The IGMA Guild Show was wonderful. The new location in Teaneck, NJ is great, and conveniently close to The City. The hotel was very comfortable, and the staff couldn't have been nicer.  They even chased down pennies for me when I ran out of change!

There was a great variety of talented artists, including a number I had never seen before.  For several I spoke with, this was their first miniature show!

If you weren't able to come to the Guild Show this time, I hope you will make a point of attending next year. It's not to be missed!