Thursday, October 18, 2012

Moving right along: Bricking

 And so it is now time to cover up the ever so irking upside down siding!!!  <-----  Do you see it??

I used a homemade paper mache clay recipe and then used a fondant stamp to push the bricks into the clay.  Really putting the clay on the house took longer than making the bricks!

No more upside down siding! Yay!

After the brick laying was finished I went back in with a knife and cut the mortar lines just a little bit deeper in a few places.  I was hoping this would give the effect that they brick was old enough that dirt had built up around a few of the other bricks.

Here's the house with they clay on... I let it dry for a good two weeks because the clay has water in it and I didn't want any chance of mold if I painted it too early!

After waiting to weeks I put a really dark bast coat on because I wanted the mortar cracks to show boldly.

Here you can see how the brick wraps all the way around the front to the front door.  It was touch getting the clay just right under that porch.

I then started layering the colors for the bricks one at a time.  I just used a paper towel to dip into the paint.  I figured a paper towel would be more flexible for me than a sponge.

Color order was: Dark grey (for the mortar), white, red, brown, and then another light layer of white on top.
Here's the finished product with the wood cleaned up a bit. 

Question time:  Do you think the bricks make the shingles look out of scale now?  I dunno... it's been bugging me and I have an idea of what to do about it but I wanted to get your opinions as well!

Thanks for looking!  Will take a big picture of the progress so far with my nice camera soon!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

 Here is the continuation of the work I have been doing on my clue project lately.....  The Windows and the railing of the whole house were very plain and not the look I want to be going for.  I was thinking about trying to rip it all off.... BUT.....  that would be a lot of work and maybe a lot of needless destruction.

So I decided to use puff paint to jazz up the window sills, columns and banisters.  It was a lot of work too but relatively low cost and very much like icing a cake!  It was fun until my hand started getting tired!

Now I am slowly making my way around the house painting all the white areas with puff paint and then over with brown to make it look like carved wood.

I know the brown makes the whole house look darker but I plan to paint the siding a lighter color so I think it will look nice in the end.  It is a slow process but I am happy so far!

This is my first project that was previously built and its kind of fun figuring out ways to make it change into how I want it to look!  Hugs to all, Ara

Saturday, July 14, 2012

It's only Been 30 months....

30 Months!!!  HolyCow!  Poor little neglected project!  Well I am trying to make it up to the clue house by paying LOTS of attention to him! 

I made a list of things I needed to do and I just threw myself into it.  It also helps that my parents got my a huge industrial grade table that this guy fits on so I don't have to wait for DH to get home to move my project where I need him!

Here's a photo of how the house came to me ... all $5 worth of him lol.

I realized I need to glue him back together before I could do anything else.  His roof was unattached and pieces were missing... luckily it came with a big pile of broken pieces to look through.

I finally found all the pieces for the roof and missing attic walls.  He was not fitting together so great so I decided this would be a job for Gorilla Glue!  And lots of it.  I personally hate the stuff because it puffs up and can ruin your nice clean corners.  But this guy needed something that would puff up and fill in the gaps where the pieces didn't fit.

Here he is clamped up to where I thought at any moment he might implode!

After letting him sit and glue together I started taking a closer look at the inside and I realized both sets of stairs are glued in upside down!!  Of course the pieces that they got wrong were the ones that were holding tight lol.  So I took my box cutter and worked and worked until I could pop them out.  (Also there is siding that was put on upside down and in unremoveable...grr...  I will deal with that in another post!)

That's it for now.  I have big plans for this guy.  I was going to give up on him but I got a second wind to try and turn this amazing house into the beauty it's supposed to be!  Wish me luck! -Ara

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Gifts for Bentley Manor

This year I was truly blessed in miniatures!! My family went all out for Bentley Manor! haha! Maybe its because of the name :) I went on a shopping trip with my MIL and SIL and found so many things that will be perfect including the little miniature Clue game! Thanks Kari for spotting that! Also... the sewing table, fabric and buttons are extra special as my MIL wanted to get something special for Bentley Manor that was just from her! Sewing supplies are the perfect thing seeing as she makes beautiful quilts and it will remind me of her everytime I see it!

Also, my aunt got me this entire Jadite-looking set from Chrysnbon! I LOVE this set! It is so perfect for the time period I am going for! Now I just need a large lovely cabinet to show it all off in the dining room! Oh wait... first I need to work on the dining room!!

Thank you family for the awesome gifts!! I am truely inspired to get this sucker going! Or at least start making a game plan to get these minis in their rightful place! hugs, ara

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The time has come and everything as finally come "Up from the basement!!" If you have no idea what I am talking about you can click here and read about the swap that myself and 5 other bloggers have participated in.

And now for your viewing pleasure I present the swaps:

From Sans to Karin F.: Karin F. gave Sans a story of a party going on in a hollow pumpkin with brooms skattered everywhere. And this is what came of it:

Please visit Sans blog to see the whole story of the 3 witchy women! Full color pictures and slow-mo effects are included! And Karin tells how the witches arrived to her home here.

From Karin F. to Jodi: Jodi's favorite Halloween characters included skeletons, ghosts and witches, yet little did she know Karin F. had the perfect character in mind for her:

Please visit Karin F's blog to see more on how she created this delightful mop who's squinting from the light and Jodi's reaction to it! He now sits proudly on Jodi's Nightmare Before Christmas shelf!

Jodi to MiniKat: Minikat told us that she is planning someday to create a Haunted San Fran scene. Jodi sculpted this frightful lady:

Please visit MiniKats Blog to see more on this ghostly lady. She has been given the honor of becoming the future mistress of the Haunted San Fran. And stay tuned to Jodi's blog for her post on this lady too!

MiniKat to Sans: Sans has one of the most interesting projects in Blogland... the Maharajahs Palace, and she told us her favorite Halloween characters were Dead Maharajahs!! Here is what MiniKat made for Sans:

This is actually the face of the goddess Kali. This bust was sculpted and hand painted by MiniKat herself. Please see MiniKats blog here and stay tuned to Sans blog for a post on this rare mini!

Rosanna to Ara: I told Rosanna that my favorite Halloween characters were, of course, the Addams Family! And here's what she sent me!

I couldn't be more thrilled! The stitching even glows in the dark! Helpful on those picnics under the moon. Please see my post or Rosannas post on this beautifully haunting picnic set!

Ara to Rosanna: Rosanna told me that she liked pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns. And suddenly an idea sprang to mind, this guy:

I hope she still likes Jack-o-lanterns as the are crawling 'Up from the Basement!' Please check out my blog post here for more pics of this guy!

Thank you all so much for participating! I know I had fun and was really challenged by having to think about what other people liked and how to bring that to life in miniature! Please leave a comment (whether you were a participant or not) if you liked doing this, if you have any suggestions on how to run this better, and if you would want to do participate in the future. I had fun hosting this swap and wouldn't mind doing it again if enough people were interested.

I must commend all 5 people who did this, everyone was on time and very responsive through the whole process and you made hosting this very easy (and from what I've read on other swap blogs this may be a first ever..... but its prob because mini people are just great people!!)

Thank you all again and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Long Needed Update on Bentley Manor

Needless to say, this poor project has been highly neglected :( Poor Bentley Manor. But the other day it was just too beautiful to not take it outside and ....... dust it off!!!

I hadn't dusted it since I got it and it was looking pretty bad. So my dear husband, the Lord of Bentley Manor, helped me out with the aid of his trusty leaf blower. Unfortunantly there were a few casualties in this event..... not sure if you can see it but the railing on the very top floor is starting to collapse. *Sigh* there is lots to do here.

And once I removed the roof, even our doggies decided to help out. Happy dog tails attract dust like no ones business! (the one on the top is Clemy and the one in the bottom left corner is little Audrey).

Also, for those of you that follow my Addams Family blog you might remember my dryer lint monster that I did for a contest. Well, he won first place!!! So I decided to use some of the prize money to buy the first piece of furniture for Bentley Manor... the Billiard Table for the Billiard Room. Spacious in there isn't it???

And lastly a very exciting piece of news..... my Dad who has been following along with my blogs has kind of caught the building bug and has asked if he can help out with anything. So here we are below as I am delegated the daunting task of building the shelves for the library!! Such a wonderful dad!! It was also fun getting his Engineers take on possibly including secret passages! dun Dun DUN!!

Anyway... so there's your quick update.... Next up I need hubby to build a base with rollers so I can roll it into my work room to work on!!! (It's currently taking up a corner in the guest bedroom!)

Hugs to all, ara

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Swap Order is announced!!

So here is the Swap order guys. You will make something for the person your arrow is pointing towards. So that means you make something for the person clockwise from you. The order was drawn blindly so the order was done at random.

So, starting today, you have until October 15th to complete your item, package it and get it into the mail. I will give addresses to the correct person when the time comes.

Feel free to contact the person you are making something for if you are in need of some ideas. If you already know what you're doing then you can surprise them!!

Please respond to this post so I know you have seen the order. If I don't hear from all in a couple days I will send out an email to make sure everyone is in the loop :)

I will also be sending out weekly reminders until the Swap is completed for those of your that are super busy this time of year (this being practically everyone!!)

Please let me know if there are any questions!!! -Ara

OOPS: For got to add every ones favorites Halloween Characters!!:

MiniKat: All Halloween characters, eventually she will be doing a Haunted San Fran....
Sans: Any dead Maharajahs
Karin F.: Witches
Jodi Creager: Skeletons, Ghosts and Witches