Monday, 5 November 2012

In at the ground floor

I got two sheets of plain wood strip flooring from Jennifer's of Walsall at the same time that I bought my brick cladding from her. The planks measure 11 mm (7/16 in) wide, held on a backing sheet so after I've cut it to fit, I should be able to lift or slide out the entire floor if ever I need to reach the wiring beneath. The trick is to allow 1 or 2 mm (1/16 in) wriggle room all round the edge, which you can conceal under the skirting boards, so long as you don't fix them flush to the base.

I stained the boards with Colron's Jacobean Dark Oak wood dye; it's easy to sponge or brush over a small area like this. It came up really well, exactly the right colour, and the individual planks took the dye in a natural-looking way. If you want to highlight worn areas of floor, put some methylated spirit on a piece of rag and wipe away the dye to a lighter shade where needed.

Next came the exciting bit of trying the floor in its future surroundings (nothing is fixed permanently yet, the walls are just taped together - hmm, still looks awfully big though!). From this angle you can picture the front panel opening and also the narrow two-storey panel on the far right, which contains the house entrance door and fanlight. If you click to enlarge the image, you'll be able to make out the low side wall and railings that swing outwards together with the house door and doorstep.

I love the shot above, the floorboards stretching back from the shop entrance make it seem much more real as a space. Don't forget I'm adding a yard to this side as well (currently researching how to make convincing 1/12 corrugated iron from cardboard - the corrugations can't be too big, I need the right sort of cardboard!).

This picture was taken with the three entrance hall sections in place (the reel of tape is supporting the stair wall).

And this is the same area viewed from above. I have an idea to give the little hallway a colourful tiled floor, for relief from all the dark-stained wood.

The caboodle this time is a piece of furniture from Charlie's living room upstairs. My grandmother had a sideboard almost the same as this, and it's still in the family. This one - and most of the ornaments upon it - were the pride and joy of Charlie's late wife Molly.

I had to photograph from an angle to avoid reflections in the mirror and I'm afraid the ornaments on the left are not sharp, which is a pity because the Anne Dalton posy vase is beautiful. I shall post more of her ceramics another time - and in focus!

The brown slipware bowl and china shoe are the work of Muriel Hopwood, and since her pieces are rather rare nowadays I feel very lucky to have them. The art nouveau lustre vase was produced by Glassblowing of Greenwich. 

The bowl of fruit is lovely - a gift made by a South African miniaturist - I know oranges and bananas were seldom seen in England in 1948, let alone heaped up luxuriously in a bowl, so this is going to have to be a display of wax fruit if Charlie is to have it at all. 

I see from my statistics that this blog has reached viewers as far apart as Brazil, South Korea and Lithuania and I just want to say welcome to everyone who has visited so far. I hope you return often to see how the shop/house is developing. I shall be putting faces to Charlie, Frankie and Edna for you before very long - and the mysterious lodger too - so do drop in and make their acquaintance.


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