The Den of Slack

Victorianna – preparing the flat roof

Goal: I’m going to finish the Victorianna in 2020. I think I’ve said that for the past three years, but this time I mean it!

I haven’t really worked on the Victorianna since early 2019, when I finished the kitchen and updated the second floor bathroom. I packed it up when Geoff redid my workshop in March, and when I moved everything back into the workshop four months later, it was hard to get back into it.

After my October 2018 post about shingles, I continued shingling the front and started the back. I was getting to the point where I needed to attach the roof. And this is when things got complicated.

Normally the Victorianna (which is a long-discontinued half scale version of Greenleaf’s McKinley) has two gables in the attic, with the roof sloping down between them.

I modified it to make the center portion flat. This makes the third floor space more usable. I have a master bedroom on one side, and a master bathroom and nursery on the other side.

With the roof pieces in place, the rooms are pretty dark, so I decided to add skylights. The smaller ones on the sloped roof are hinged windows from and the big ones are large cottage windows from Dollshouse Emporium.

I made the sloped part of the roof from a piece of basswood (same thickness as the kit wood) and Geoff cut the larger piece out of 1/4″ plywood. I can’t remember why we used that size, maybe just because it’s what we had.

I planned all of this out back in 2017 and although I wasn’t exactly sure how the pieces would fit together, I figured I’d make it work when the time came. But as I progressed with the shingles, I started anticipating problems.

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Kashkuli Gabbeh petit point carpet

This is a carpet I charted myself, based on a photo I found online. I’m planning to post the chart for download but I want to tweak a few colors first. I’m going to make a smaller version to try out the corrections and then I’ll make both charts available for free (for personal use only).

A couple of years ago I made a safari nursery rug based on real rug, but the Kashkuli Gabbeh is a lot more complicated! I was surprised I couldn’t find any how-to articles online for how to convert a carpet picture into petit point, so I’ll walk through the steps here, as best as I can remember (I charted it about five months ago).

This Kashkuli Gabbeh rug happens to be one I had my eye on for my real life house but didn’t end up buying. I thought the different bands in the center would be fun to do in petit point. I like stitching rugs that have a lot of different motifs, to keep things interesting. Along these lines, I’ve already stitched two Bakhtiari carpets (one designed by Sue Resseguie and the other by Lucy Iducovich), but one can only have so many Bakhtiaris!

Here is the picture I adapted.

I started by shrinking it down to 199 x 307 pixels. I think I used Photoshop’s Bicubic Sharper setting when I reduced it, but it might have been regular Bicubic. One pixel is equivalent to one stitch, so this comes to about 5″ x 7.5″ on 40-count.

In hindsight I have no idea why I chose this size. I knew I would be stitching it on 40-count so it might have been as simple as wanting a size that could work in half scale. But then why didn’t I make it 200 pixels wide? Due to my lack of note-taking, we’ll never know.

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Mr. Spatula part 3 – the snow globe experiment

When I left off with Mr. Spatula’s water cooler, I’d made a rather sad attempt at using resin and decided that would not be a good way to achieve a water effect. My second attempt was going to be a snow globe, but I was concerned about the castle (which is a metal charm) rusting in the water. Mr. Spatula wouldn’t like that.

Snow globes are made with regular water plus a few drops of glycerin, a clear gel-like substance that adds weight to the water so the snow/glitter/whatever in the globe drifts when you shake it. My aquarium won’t have any drifting pieces, but I planned to make my snow globe the same way (because why not?) and bought a little jar of glycerin for that purpose. In the comments on my last post someone suggested using just the glycerin and not the water, so I wouldn’t have to worry about the castle rusting. Hey, good idea! (Why didn’t I think of that?!)

I painted another castle and put together another base. (If you’re just tuning in, you can read about the process of making the base here.) This time I used the waterproof Silicone Sealant and Adhesive to glue everything down. I don’t know if “waterproof” applies to glycerin, but it seemed more likely to hold up in wet conditions than regular glue.

I used monofilament to attach Mr. Spatula to the base this time. It’s more invisible than the plastic shopping tag thingie I used last time.

I covered the top edge of the dome with masking tape, to prevent getting glycerine on the glass where I would want glue to stick.

I measured slightly more than 1/2 tablespoon of glycerin into my little shot glass measuring cup and used a funnel from the kitchen to pour it in. (The glycerin is food safe — it’s used in cake icing.)

Like with the resin, I wasn’t able to get all of the thick glycerin out of the shot glass and the funnel, so I ended up with less in the dome than I wanted. I even added another few drops out of the glycerin bottle, but I didn’t want to overdo it. I added the silicone adhesive to the cork and pushed it in.

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