Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's so easy to be sidetracked...

and build an extension.

Beginning this cottage nearly 3 years ago with lots of enthusiasm and no knowledge meant that as I have learned more, mistakes glare at me. Some I can live with as a sign of progress but others... oh dear.

The north end timbering (left side of the cottage) was one such instance and as rebuilding it would mean replastering the inside to match, camouflage seemed the better option so an extension was in order.

My plans were to do an extension in keeping with the rest of the house - stone floor, rustic beams, plaster, but that was before reckoning with Great Aunt Marigold! Great Aunt Marigold (Mrs Harold Hollyhock) lived in Hollyhock Cottage until 1941 when she bequeathed the cottage to her great nephew (and godson). It was she who decided in the early 1900s that a room to catch the sun would be a desirable thing and having recently seen a completed Arts and Crafts house, knew what style she wanted! (Great Aunt Marigold was a woman who usually knew what she wanted and usually got it.) She organised the builders and the project was begun.

Back to 2012: at this point the room is still in 3 pieces, stacked together for the photo but in this festive season, building progress is slowed. The windows are actually clear, the pattern being from the glass in the real window behind and I plan to cover the stone floor with a  parquet floor which will be more in keeping. Total size is only 6 inches by around 10 inches.

Welcome to my newest followers, I have popped in for a look at your blogs and I continue to be stunned by the level of talent, skill and professionalism displayed.  (and a bit envious of the workshops being attended!) 

Christine xx

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Oh frabjous day! Callooh Callay ...

...she chortled in her joy!

Hi and welcome to new followers of Hollyhock Cottage. I hope you enjoy the sporadic progress of this little house.

Finally I have some progress to show you! 

The upstairs walls, both sets of stairs and the attic floor are glued in place!  A milestone which has been slow to reach thanks to continual procrastination as it is much more fun playing with the bits done and making new little bits than doing the many boring building bits required. 

Paula you are a wise woman growing your village with ready built houses! 

Doors with latches are in place, wires for lights and fires are in place, stair rail isn't in place...ooops. I knew I would forget something.

I have banned myself from 'trying out furniture to see how it looks' and am also banned from making bits of furniture, accessories and other fun bits until the windows are made, the fronts (walls and roof) on and the roof thatched! At the moment I am thrilled to have completed this much and seeing it actually become a cottage so I will be strong! (wish me luck)

Even the definite slope to the attic flooor isn't worrying me. (Did I actually measure the walls when putting the woods in to hold it a couple of years ago, I wonder?)

Off to grin idiotically at the frontless and roofless cottage and make more plans!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Count your blessings, name them one by one

Hello, what a long time it has been and how quickly it has gone. It was lovely to look in and see that not only had so many remained following but that more of you have joined them and a milestone has been reached! The 306 of you are blessings well worth counting.  Welcome to all.

 It must be time to think about a giveaway. Now though I have a few friends to thank (rather belatedly) from whom I have been showered with more blessings.

First is Susan from minicrochetmad who sent me the most perfect crochet set of baby clothes last August (the 2011 August - you can see why I am embarrassed!) I can't believe the detail in these, tiny frills inside the bonnet and on the back of the little knickers, the smallest buttons on the bonnet and bootees (there are two and I will be frantically turning the house upside to find the second when I have finished this post) 

Next was a giveaway I had won from Marlene at somersethouse and also poppypatchwork last (2011) August as well. This rug dazzled me with the tiny stitches and the patience required to complete something like this. To give it away is incomprehensible, but enormously appreciated. I have it displayed in my rather empty Patchwork shop (begun the same August in 'celebration' of turning 50) as it is far too pretty for weatherbeaten old Hollyhock Cottage. 

With it is a 1940s sewing table made from plans my friend Shelagh sent me which is absolutely perfect for Hollyhock Cottage.

Laura my-wee-life (who sent the snowdrops in the above photo as well) thought of me when she saw this hollyhock kit earlier this year. As you can see it is a work in progress but one I want to finish soon and have already picked out a lovely sheltered corner of Hollyhock Cottage for them to grow. 

I was also surprised (shocked!) and thrilled to have won a competition hosted by Minimum World earlier this year for a period room. I think had I seen the other entries, which included some of the bloggers whose work I hold in awe, I wouldn't have entered and honesty (rather than modesty) makes me know I was lucky that my period was one that people remember with nostalgia giving my entry an emotional edge. It was very pleasurable spending my winnings, but the greatest benefit for me was that people who have been scoffing at my childish hobby now see it with new eyes. The items I chose included this revolving bookcase kit from McQueenie Miniatures and it was a dream to assemble!

a set of two mini mundus kitchen chairs and some wood to make extras

and a bicycle.

How lucky am I!

To top it off I received my first blog award from Irene at smallandstately.

How lovely was that and how lax am I that I haven't passed it on yet.

So for you (in no particular order)

ShellbyFay at anythingminiature (with a special thank you for the favour you did for me)

Laura at my-wee-life

Amanda at stpiransbay

Paula at paulasminiworld

Alennka  at dollshousedaydreams

and because I can't stop at six

All blogs I love dipping into and seeing what you are up to. 

I just have to work out how to add it to my side bar!

Cheers, Christine

Edit: The missing bootee has reappeared!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Time to wash: The Scullery

To get to the bathroom you need to walk through the scullery, or 'back kitchen' as it was called in so many of people's stories that I read while researching what my house should look like. People who lived through WW2 have embraced the internet and many memories can be found. A good spot is the BBC site The People's War.  It was intriguing that in many older houses the kitchen was separated into a wet messy area for washing up and washing and a 'dry' clean area for food preparation and eating. We have an eat in kitchen in real life and I think how much more pleasant it would be to eat at the table without the sink and cooking pots waiting to be washed in the same room. 

In the best traditions of Enid Blyton, spring cleaning has just taken place so the curtains are freshly washed and starched, the windows sparkling to let the sunlight stream in, clothes are soaking in a tub for the Monday wash and the first snowdrop of the season is in a jar on the windowsill.  

Click on the pictures for a larger view

Welcome to my new followers. I have visited some of your blogs and intend to visit more but spring cleaning is a hectic time! (I was pleased to be able to get a post in for February at all!) It is really flattering that people with so much talent find time to pop into my little cottage for a peek. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New year and projects being finished: bathroom

2012! I can't believe how quickly time is flying by. It only seems like a year ago that the world was holding it's breath for the Millennium and worrying about the dreaded Y2Kbug.

Despite not blogging about the cottage recently I have been working on a few rooms and projects, so will share a couple of pictures with you now. 

When I first started planning out Hollyhock Cottage with purchased 'Hobbys' plans, I knew I really wanted a bathroom. Enid Blyton houses have bathrooms even though from later research I have found that in the 40s many British houses didn't and a tin tub in front of the fire would have been appropriate. 
  "That reminded Roger of something. 'Would you like a bath?' he asked Barney. 'Mother says you can have one any time.' ...  So Barney was escorted to the bathroom, where he stared at  the great cream coloured bath, quite overcome."   
  The Rilloby Fair Mystery  

I suspect the Lynton's bathroom may have been grander than that at Hollyhock Cottage - but then again maybe not!

Welcome to all who have joined up as followers. It is lovely to see new faces and new projects as well as a few familiar friends. The variety of ideas and levels of expertise are inspiring: from those beginning their journey (with surprising competency) through those who are embarking on subsequent projects with the confidence of success behind them, to the expertly professional whose creations make you disbelieve that you are really looking at miniatures! With so many of you I am too overwhelmed to welcome you individually and I apologise but I definitely recommend that anyone reading clicks on some of the lovely faces and pictures in the followers box or in the side bar to enjoy what others are doing.