Been busy working on the plant kits I’ve bought in from Georgie Steeds at The Miniature Garden. Managed three of the kits so far and just bought a couple more; will ‘share’ them when I’ve got them all made up and in their new homes.
Along with these wonderful kits I’ve ventured out into the odd cabbage of my own design, and they don’t come much odder than these …
I’ve used fine interlining tape, painted in shades of green and fiddled about a bit, winding/pleating them like making roses then planted them into the newly set out veg bed at number 1 Victoria Villas
The bed is made of some of that fairly solid white foam packaging, not polystyrene, but other stuff you don’t want to go to landfill. These were just strips so they’re stuck down and covered over with yet another piece of packaging – the thin soft tissue-like manmade ‘fabric’. Glue, paint and bits of mini earth (also from The Miniature Garden) have been added, with the veg bed edging helping me use up some of the Richard Stacey roof tiles I bought back at the very beginning of my mini-ing about eleven years ago and which have been ‘living’ with us ever since.
Many more cabbages to go and some other greens plus a number of the aforementioned purchased kits too.
Finally got around to completing the roof on the outhouses and adding a chimney over the washhouse boiler
Bit big, both the chimney and the pot, but it’s what I had to hand 🙂
Just started on the washing lines over the yard with quite a bit more still to do
The lines are set out so that no washing will directly overhang the waste water channel coming from the sculleries and they stop short of the two coal houses (one each end of the outhouse block) so that no one popping out for fuel will have to ‘swim’ through the clean and wet wash while going back and forth. Mind you, if something falls off the line it might well land in the central drainage flow anyway.
In the meantime on with the cabbages!
Am still adding bits to the outhouses, but reckoned it was time to brave the problems of the backyard area and the domestic drainage needs. So far these houses have a scullery into which they bring buckets/jugs/bowls of water and do the necessary washing up in a shallow stone sink from which the waste water runs out of a hole in the bottom and into a channel flowing out to the backyard. But that’s all going to need to go out and away from the yard and the properties generally and go somewhere else.
There are lots of great photos online such as these on a BBC website which show the sort of water runnel/drainage arrangement much better than I can describe it. Basically I need to make some sort of slope to provide a lower area for the water to get away.
While I was fiddling away with setting out the backyard and waiting for things to dry I added a couple of packets of dolly blue, made some rough and ready dolly pegs and put too much bubble effect into the washtub.
I bought a kit for a small pump (plastic) but boosted its height on a brick plinth. The scullery water runs out, passing the pump on the way so that can be used to help wash it away more efficiently, and then the whole lot flows across the yard and out under the yet to be built outer brick wall of the site.
I’ve used a sheet of stone walling I made with my oldest stencil on to the usual 2 mm grey card and cut it around the in and out shapes of the doorways of the outhouses and some job that was too I can tell you!
Then, feeling frisky, I risked trying to make the two halves of this project fit back together again … This can be a little nerve-racking as, in the past, I’ve known projects to have become slightly off alingment due to some untoward sticking of an object or placement of the odd piece of woodwork on one of the parts. However, and v surprisingly, it all seemed to OK.
The outhouses almost full of their bits and pieces.
A view along the alley way created between the sculleries and the outhouses.
The ’empty’ bits of the backyard are for growing veg and storing personal items.
All the galvanised tin items I remember from childhood such as a washtub we used as a toddler bath (and when it comes to it the few we own now such as buckets) had already oxidised with age by the time I saw or owned any. They were no longer shiny bright but a marbled grey colour.
You can find on the web how to age newly bought very shiny items of this sort should you wish to for example here but, as with everything in life it takes a little time. I’d bought some lovely items for the mini washhouse from Sussex Crafts which came already oxidised – a dolly tub and a bucket of suds – but bought a tin bath and another couple of washtubs elsewhere and these came to me in a very shiny state. I needed to get the two sets of items to match and was too lazy to wait for the effects the various ways of oxidising the metal to do their job – also I felt it would be a gamble as to whether they ended up the way I wanted them anyway or just corroded and/or rusty.
So I took a couple of paint brushes to the shiny ones, drag-painted the surfaces and finished off with some sponge-applied dobs of eye make-up.
One shiny washtub and one painted up bath
The bought in dolly tub (now with home-made wringer on it) and the bucket with suds next to it. Though in shadow you can see they have a dark grey, non-shiny, oxidised look.
And now hanging on the wall the once shiny bath with the no longer shiny washtub standing next to the Sussex Crafts’ bucket.
Dressing the outhouses a bit at a time
Gate access for the night soil man next to the loo
I bought a lovely pre-painted metal wringer but found it too sturdy and inclined to take over the space.
Had a try at making a wooden one that bit smaller and less bulky. It’s a bit twisted and lop-sided but if you don’t look too hard I can just about get away with it
The row of outhouses so far:
two coal sheds 9wood needed chopping for those too), mangle sideways on doesn’t look quite so wonky, and the loo now has an ash/earth bucket next to the bench seat.
Phew! Got that posted before the line’s gone down.
Keep safe and all the best …