Thursday, January 10, 2013

Two steps forward, one backward and the moment I dreaded...

For an easy fix option, the extension has brought it's own problems and has already needed modification. By itself it had lovely proportions, once placed against the cottage and roof angles studied it became impossible. A thatched roof has to be at least 50 degrees for correct water run off - the angle on this extension was more suited to a corrugated iron skillion which was not an option! Lowering the walls and shortening the windows by one pane kept the proportions right, but the ceiling was then an inch lower than the opening to the main house. So the ceiling had to incorporated into the roof - what a pain! I'm still deciding between just plastering and painting the sloped parts or putting timber slats to line up with the flat part of the ceiling or having a dark wooden piece around the visible join... Opinions are welcome! Maybe I'll play with curtains first.

The moment to be dreaded was cutting the window in the sitting room into a doorway. In a 400 year old cottage (give or take 397 years) many things could go wrong. Out came my saw (which is the saw I use to do most of my building - you should see my impressive arm muscles!) and my girly stanley knife. Attempts were made to remove the timbering on both sides - minimal success then it all worked much easier than I had expected - Phew!

It was really nice to see the fireplace straight on, amongst the sawdust and building debris.

There is a step down to the extension, as at the other end of the house to the scullery and I plan some angled wooden bits on the top corners of the doorway as being in keeping with both the Tudorish/Jacobean and Arts and Crafts styles.

Next step will be thatching. Scary stuff!

Welcome to those who have called by and stayed. I really appreciate the feeling that people are interested and would make tea for you, but right now am a woman on a mission!


  1. It's looking great Christine. Despite the change of style, the extension looks so at home with the cottage somehow. I'd tend to treat the sloped bits the same as the walls.

  2. Thank you. I think that is the way I am leaning right now so that it doesn't become too cluttered with architectural detail, but then I look at the old ceiling and I really liked so much wood...

  3. Christine,
    Your project is amazing, I would love to have tea
    in the midst of it's progress. I vote for some embellishment on the sloped ceiling.

  4. It always looks scary for a dollhouse when a saw comes out. Your braver then me.

  5. I'll bring the scones and make the tea. I'm mesmerised by how this cottage is coming together, it all looks so livable and already seems warm and inviting.

  6. I am loving what you are doing to this,what time do I come round for tea, I can bring fresh cream cakes

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Ooops ^^^ sorry about that!

    You've done a great job on the extension, it's very impressive!

    The wood slats idea would look quite appealing. Wood is lovely! But then, I do see your point about too much artichectual detailing. I'm sure you'll come up with something amazing as usual!

    Looking forward to seeing the thatch!!

  9. The extension looks fab like its always been there! You are so brave attacking it with that big saw lol I would have been having a heart attack :-) xx

  10. Hello Christine,
    It is looking just ebautiful. Your craftmanship is impressive. I honestly can't pick a finish...they all would work and I think it's juts a question of preference.
    Big hug,

  11. Very unusual project, I like the windows all around the building. Mini hugs, Natalia

  12. Hi Christine, well done with the alterations - I doubt many of us would have the nerve to take a full-size saw to our houses! Speaking personally, I'd be tempted to leave the sloping ceiling section totally plain - not even stick a concealing strip of wood over the join, just skim with a little white render. I think the windows make a lovely strong pattern as they are without adding any more vertical lines. PS Have you considered old-fashioned brown or green blinds rather than curtains - with tiny acorn pulls?

  13. Goodness, it has become quite a party! Thank you all for calling in and especially the offers of cake and scones. :-D

    Thank you too for ideas and opinions and wonderful compliments (blushing and beaming like crazy here).

    After staring and staring I've decided to go the easy route of skimming and painting cream - mainly because the lines wouldn't match up with the window uprights. However have also thought a nice Mackintosh rose style stencil would be appropriate as a border around the top - watch this space!

    I love the idea of blinds(especially with acorn pulls) and would have been tempted to go that way, but received an ebay parcel today of the most exquisite lace - dolls house budget blown this month on it -expensive (by my standards) but worth every cent. If anyone is looking for a really delicate cotton lace for curtains, look here:
    This will cover the lower 3/4 of the window for privacy.

    For anyone scared of big saws (and I know no one really is) it actually cuts straighter lines and more quickly than my sadly deceased jigsaw did. As said though, I did dread the moment in case I changed my mind again or cut lines through the flagstones!

    Christine xx

  14. Christine as you know I am a huge fan of hollyhock cottage and the extension is perfect. You are so brave taking the saw to it and the photo made me giggle. The lace is divine thanks for the link. I would have chosen the cream look but love your idea of the border - can't wait to see more :)

  15. I love the photo with the saw! No half measures for you then? It's all worked out really well and looks great.

    I'm keen to see what you use for thatch. Lots of pics on that little exercise, please!

  16. Hi Christine, I just saw the weather report for your area, not good mate. Hope you are ok. Stay safe.

  17. Hi Sue, thanks for thinking of me. :-) Weather is wet and wild here but nowhere near as bad as further north. There is some flooding which makes everyone uneasy after 2 years ago and lots of blackouts. Perfect weather for dolls housing, except that work keeps calling wanting cover for staff who can't get in!

    Australia - the land of contrasts. Its so hard to imagine that there are still fires elsewhere.

  18. Hi Christine,

    I have just joined your blog and I love what your doing!!

    I saw your comment on AM's blog and your photo attracted me to your blog. I opened up and really like your Dollhouse immediately and was even more thrilled to find you are a fellow Australian!! I used to think there was hardly any Aussies out there doing the Doll house thing but now I have found quite a few!!

    How are you handling the rain up there?? I hope you haven't been too affected.

    Fi x

  19. Hi Fi, Thank you for your lovely comment. I'm grinning at you being attracted by my photo - that is my most flattering picture!

    I am in Toowoomba so our weather, while wet and wild, has been magnificent compared with the rest of Australia and other parts of Queensland in particular.

  20. Wow your blog is wonderful and your work very beautiful. Kisses from Spain.

  21. Wow your blog is wonderful and your work very beautiful. Kisses from Spain.

  22. Hi Christine, I'm really late here!!! I hope your weather has improved and that you are safe!
    I LOVE the addition to your House... and thinking Arts and Crafts... and Medieval/Jacobean... I would have voted for lots of timbers!!! :) But then they covered it all with plaster whenever they had enough money.. that and paneling!!!
    I look forward to seeing your Thatch methods... am contemplating a project that would use thatch.... Ha Ha, do I need more Projects??

  23. Wow your cottage looks very well done so far. Will follow your progress with interest.
    Sylv :-)