and a flurry of activity – with photos


Arguments to consider during problem solving

Deep breath and am away again, off up the last few slopes of this mini mountain.

Starting a task without having a total solution

  • Dreadful habit, improvisation can go only so far and it does mean that all ‘works’ on any such job go in fits and starts whilst there’s a great deal of pondering on some half-baked idea, mocking it up and pondering some more. (Experimenting is all well and good but this bit is solidly about hiding things under the carpet as it were, not flights of fancy.)
  • Item to be ‘hidden under the carpet’: covering the horizontal gap caused by double wall with wire in.  If need access at that point will have to cut into outer wall (am OK with that)
theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – wall head gap with wire

The offending gap

Position:  moving from flat roof area to vertical face, and after a balustrade

Description: horizontal, long and thin (non-symmetrical and all dimensions fixed), insufficient depth, back to front, to create rake to give small slope

The trick is going to be coming up with a solution that I like and that doesn’t solve the problem by creating even more.

Solution 1:  largish piece of normal sized moulding which will cover the whole thing


Against:  bulky, stands too high at rear edge and demands the eye rather than blending in

Solution 2:  paint like more lead roof area
Against:  enough already and will be another stripe of grey across that face like some road crossing (see making of lead strip in Mind the Gap)

Solution 3:  find various pieces of mini moulding that can be put together to make a whole that might be less demanding for the eye of the observer

Against:  might be fiddly and will definitely need simplifying into as few pieces as possible but still does not fulfill the simplicity requirements.

Solution:  keep thinking about it.

Two day’s later

Kept trying out mock-ups of possibilities but am going all out for the more delicate moulding pieces because of their ‘delicacy’, an over complex solution or not.

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – stripwood pieces and adapting them

Takes a couple of days for the process of glue and paint drying for all these things.  The balustrade has to be clamped and wedged at 90º whilst drying so no vibrations around the whole area therefore all work stops

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – stripwood pieces in place

Build your own moulding in place – clamp on balustrade at top of image and heavy gray lead gutter for join to extension below as in Mind the Gap

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – adding some greenery at height

Time for some whimsy and a little ledge greenery. Well it’s a flat surface and anything might grow up there

Why didn’t I use roof tiles?  Considered it but felt that the whole visible area in this part of the house consists of very homemade looking items.  It will be sandwiched between two roof tiled areas, one above one below the ledge, but any tiles that might be applied to the ledge would be lying flat and need cutting about probably for each and every one.  Thought it looked ‘neater’ in homemade finish and went for it.

Behind the balustrade

This area of flat roof, like its counterpart on the other side of the back attic, covers the lighting controls for its side of the building.  There’s a trapdoor for quick access to the on/off switch and fuse plus two ‘rope’ handles, one at each end, to lift the whole roof piece off for more major goings on.  It’s just a flat piece of card slotted in behind the L-shape of the balustrade.

Review of decision

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – over view of new ledge

On the whole the terracotta colouring and the daintier moulding combo looks OK and disappears nicely into the brickwork and balustrade areas. Certainly better than another lead line across would have looked

Bit late now, but I think I like it😉

What’s next?

Well, there’s a little man to go on this part of the building, probably climbing in over the balustrade, cornily echoing the figure directly below on the great hall balcony.

Will deal with the second man later, but am hopeful that these two figures will give a feeling of things linking together with the other roof workers.  Then there needs to be one or two more bits of wood/tree/branch etc lying about on the new flat roof and the back slope of the extension.  Plus I want to add some birds’ nests.  Got the birds (Magpie Miniatures) but not sorted the nests yet.

Two side items:

  • Cleaning a paint brush

Steve was cleaning a paint brush yesterday (he’d been painting up the outside of the porch – full size not mini).  The brush had been kept in water for a day or two in case there was a little more to do but now he wiped it back and forth on the (unfortunately) ever present kitchen towel.

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - kitchen towel with pattern enhanced

and he produced this – pause for thought, though not very hard-wearing it certainly makes me think of ’70s wallpaper and fabrics – hmmm

  • Mushroom food trays

My favourite container of the moment is the 10” long supermarket plastic container we get containing large mushrooms.  They are approximately 4” wide and are great to use as holders for the elements of each new stage or task.  I use one either popped on part of the roof whilst I’m up a ladder or, for doll construction/dressing I collect all the disparate bits into a different one and they all get popped on a serving tray so that they can be carted around from point to point as a related group according to need – usually to the kitchen table where the light is better.  It’s so easy afterwards to sort their contents back into their original hidey-holes.  And they stack really well too.

[Having to share a computer at moment as Steve’s has gone phut so sneaking in when can – aaaaagh!  Back when can:) ]

A breath of fresh air – not a photo in sight


Probably due to all the dust being raised

This is about the ongoing job that takes up more time than any of the stuff that does get photographed.

There are sessions when mini activity becomes stodgy and slows down and I tend to worry that I’m running out of steam and thus become a little up-tight.  The more likely cause (and I’ve found this to be the case every time so far) is that I’ve been working away in such a determined style that I’ve not straightened things out enough after each step.

I clean away and restore most things after sessions but some bits from a job get left behind.

You know what I mean, don’t you?  I’ve cut card but not cleared away all the off-cuts in case there’s more:  eg I’ve prepped window shapes but might the door need to be the same material?  So, there some of the pieces will lie, neatly stacked, but clogging up the thinking and working space and, ultimately not every bit makes it all the way home even when the decisions have been made and they’re no longer needed.  Long sentence but I suspect you might have experienced this tale for yourself, perhaps?

Eventually there comes a moment the working frenzy has to be slowed down and a machete and a sweeping brush need waving around to hack a way back to some better order and a clearer view of life in general.

Ah – now you can breathe more easily.  This helps relax the brain and buys more clarity and forward thinking time.

By the end of the clearance exercise not only is there more elbow room but there’s a sharper, more defined perspective on the whole job and where it’s supposed to be going.  Everything is re-energised, some redesigning of your layout has been achieved (possibly leading to ‘missing’ some items later and finding some things refiled last time) but it was such fun to do and the ‘lost’ will be found – they’ll turn up some time too.  Won’t they?

And I do so enjoy sorting.

Joining up the bits of the saga so far


A long time ago – at Hogepotche Hall’s beginnings

Not an elegant title but the heading serves its purpose very well today as this is where a three to four and a half year-old roof finally gets its last tiles.

Why only now?

Because I can’t run away from it any longer?

Sometime between autumn 2011 and summer 2013 the great hall extension block was built and brought up to today’s appearance, more or less.  (The next question is how could I leave it that long, I know, I know.)

At that time I hadn’t got a clear picture of how it would look (and join) the main block at roof-level.  I only knew where it had to go geographically as it were.

I’d like to be able to say I’m a little wiser with the passing of time and all the intervening fiddling about but really it’s more a case of a solution had to be found – now or never and the main block had achieved its finished height at last.  So roofing and ridge tiles, and missing roof bits it is then.

What’s been left unfinished

Lots of edges, lots of horrible gaps needed sorting and working on too before the tiling could be done plus, round the other side there was a removable section of roofing not yet made to cover the separate electrics for the extension.

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – long view of back of Great Hall extension 2016

Here’s a longer view of the back roof of the great hall extension and guild meeting room now the roofing is finally on.  The ridge tiles on the removable roof on the left are bits of tiling rolled and glued so that they overhang the join to the rest of the roof slope when the section is in place.

Better check that those electrics are still operating – last checked about two months ago, I think.  Then back to the main block’s bits and pieces.

Mind the gap


The Gap

a not quite cartoon strip

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – marrying great hall extension to the main block

Main block on the left and the yet to be tiled slope of part of the great hall removable section


(click on the gallery very mini first image and it should open up to something that you can see)

And paper the moulding too

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – moulding papered over with painted paper

Finally I’ve thoroughly papered over the fixed moulding on the main building wall with the lead effect painted paper

Er, why?

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – Great Hall extension block

Good question.This is the great hall extension block. It’s made up of three storeys. The lower one extends the length of the main great hall room and therefore doesn’t need a fourth wall.
The room above also overlaps part of the main great hall and its fourth wall is a sliding fretwork arrangement for looking down into the hall. (This room is the guild committee room and a clerk works here.)
Above that is an ‘L’-shaped gallery from which you can look down into the main well of the committee room.
Now this one needs a fourth wall.

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – Great Hall extension block upper committee room

The crux of the matter. This upper gallery’s fourth wall is the back of the main block i.e. the part below the newly fixed moulding.  Ta da!

and voila

theinfill Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall – main block wall with moulding above part of great hall

The other part of the great hall (that covers the first two floors of the extension) is there below the wall, with much worked on moulding now affixed .

Do not ask me how many times I’ve lifted the extension block back and forth for all these fittings.  But I think it might actually be ‘getting there’.