Category Archives: Family living

Musings on fighting a banana


It’s the stairs

Working away a bit at a time on the hallway but getting different levels time and again.  And then I looked at the staircase – bent as a …

If you lay it on its back flat side down, the two ends are in the air.  If you bend it (with or without steam) it’s back to bent within the day.  So I’m working with it.  I flatten it and do what’s needful.  In this case I want a small, plain skirt edging to both sides; one to give an edge at the wallpaper side and one to provide a straight support (and edge) within the solid bannister that I’ve decided to have.

Possible further action?
May have to cut through the backing hardboard to release the pull and encourage it to stay flat rather than expecting just gluing it in place against the wall and its supports to do the job alone.

et voila the banana

theinfill dolls house blog 1930s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - staircase

Weighted down at one end (top pic) you can see the other end way off straight (btm pic)

Think that, when flat, the stairs meet the quarter landing fairly at the level and am going ahead with that assumption.


The wall over the stairs is a long drop for wallpapering whether full size or mini.  How many joins do I need?  How will I disguise them?  I’ve chosen a wallpaper that comes in a large size as opposed to A4 but it’s not quite long enough to do the full drop.

It’s also a busy pattern, with old style colours (mostly) but with perhaps too modern a twist to them(?)

To go with it I’ve a mid brown runner carpet for hallways and stairs and a somewhat sickly woodwork colouring which reminds me of 50s ladies underwear perhaps.  May try out a different wallpaper, something more nebulous but equally as busy looking and see how that feels.

For the moment it’s this:

Upper wall

Going for an embossed strip at the head of the walls here, probably in white but possibly off white, above the doorways downstairs.  Would like to put a sort of Delft rack – but no Delft on it instead have plates handed down in the imaginary family arranged on it, so that their background is the embossed paper.

theinfill dolls house blog 1930s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - hallway plate rack

Some examples of what might go on this shelf but against the floral paper at the moment – photo should enlarge a little if clicked.
The second from the right is one of those semi-3D scenes that seemed to be everywhere when I was a kid.
Dunno if the plans will work but will give them a go 😉



The delicate craft of self-inflicted idiocy


First why did I think I wouldn’t
try to build another house?

Costs, space, silliness of it, antisocial activity etc etc.

Yet doing itonce again – huh?

For the same reasons as first time round I think.  Learn new skills and physical disciplines, keep brain stimulated problem solving, making an attempt to control a mini environment, general daily discipline of mind and body – keeps me ticking over.  Enjoyment in smaller projects but mostly as mind  ‘bends and stretches’ whereas I think I do prefer the marathon of a house.

Diary of mini doings 

Sunday 2nd to Wednesday 5th

Sunday – Art Deco(ish) House – ooh, I do so like a challenge

Which bay window shape?

Not flat roofed sun balcony Art Deco (there are old models of dolls houses available/new being design built) nor the rounded bay, thin high chimney stacks ‘cos there are the Fairbanks and Mountfield dolls houses – no point me trying to make one, (believe Fairbanks no longer around as new).  Square-ish shaped bay from that period?  Probably not as there are models available both new kits and older.

theinfill dolls house blog Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Deco house designs

This is a style I rather like but far too many tiles and square bay.
Imperial War Museum 1940s house
The film clips of each room are very useful.

Trying for something ‘other’ instead

Monday – Brooding on idea of ‘other’

What’s with the metal window thing?

theinfill dolls house blog Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Deco house designs

Quarry Hill Flats, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Lived first 18 years of life in Leeds, West Yorks.   One of our aunts lived in a house with metal windows I remember but I don’t recall if they were flat or curved. What’s with the windows?  Well I was fascinated by the shapes and look of Quarry Hill Flats which used to stand towards the city centre.

Unusual looking, it is well worth a quick view if only for the trip down memory lane.  There are photos of children in gabardine raincoats using a slide provided in the central area of the flats and behind them there is a horse and cart delivery being made. Generally if you have any interest in the history of public housing provision and haven’t seen the flats, take a look .

Always wanted to know, as this building was round to oval on the face I passed on the bus, were those hundreds of window frames bent to fit.  Strange child, I know – metal windows, bent or not have stuck in my imagination.

Tuesday – Found photo on Pinterest
(first on the page linked below – at the moment – labelled “Untouched 1930s house, N18 | Flickr – Photo Sharing!”)

A pair of semi-detached houses that appeal to me with a bay that has a single curve for sitting room and main bedroom in metal.  In this pair of semis the bays run across both houses so up and downstairs bays together form a block:

theinfill dolls house blog Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Deco house designs

Computer sketch of shape of joined  bays on pair of semis

theinfill dolls house blog Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Deco house designs

The pair of semis together would have been a bit like this perhaps

 Love the possibilities of one of pair of the semis showing the period of its original design when the other one has recent refurbishment.  Houses are ‘living’ artifacts, changing with climate, fashions, entropy …

To do what with?

Think would like to stretch idea of one being still 30s/50s and may fill the second with current take on Deco with compromises.  Shiny kitchen machines, emphasis on chrome/shiny steel, black and/or white surfaces bare floorboards around and about – a possible nod towards fairly recent return to lino?


Get to try for two houses in one, each with totally different time ‘attitudes’.  Time flies and things change. Compare and contrast sort of thing.

How far from 30s to 50s – mix up

Only have memories of bits Edwardian (grandparents), bits of Deco of late 30s (aunts and uncles) and was living in 50s so there’s lots of war time Utility too.  A mix of these probably and try to watch what I’m doing?

Keeping what from Pintrest photo

theinfill dolls house blog Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Deco house designs

  • Going for the bays and roofline form
  • Changing a window size at side of the door and eliminating what I think is a room there, adding other windows. Shifting one chimney I think.
  • Really do like the angular garden wall.
  • Is side door in the kitchen?  Think might put it at an angle of hallway under the stairs in one house and close it off in the other to make way for utility/cloakroom.
  • Perhaps carry on white render band round side?

Doing it up

Been researching costs of furnishings.  Art Deco bits for mini-ing are beautiful and, because of the delicacy of work, are going to take some saving for.  Go for mix of Utility and earlier Deco so have fireplaces, mirrors, ornaments, plus brown Rexine furniture and that pile fabric on old bus seats.  Might be able to make some – 3-piece suite perhaps? Eternal problem:  how to meld together homemade with finer finish of bought items?

theinfill dolls house blog Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Deco designs - Utility stamp during 1940s/50s

Utility mark: stamped with sign like 2 pacman game heads and model number on furniture bedding, everything inc label inside our liberty bodices

Wednesday – Found another picture

theinfill dolls house blog Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - Deco house designs

from the site Early 20th Century Housing – at side heading of  “Hipped roofs which slope”

Showing details of styling.

What from this pic?

  1.  The first photo seems to show in the opening light of bay window what might be slipped lead strips(?) and this picture has a chevron pattern in that same position in similar style single curve window.

2.  Look into having more areas of render. Might not be possible without losing the contrast brick styling?

Later Wednesday – Materials

The woodworking problem

Costs of building materials pus not willing to ask for help cutting every darn piece.  Think probably use thicknesses of foamboard and card and place on MDF or hardboard base – need help cutting that.

Need to find out if can do bendy end to window frames – different types of card, thick foil baking trays, tin strip, adapting ready made shape from other object … ?

Next up: floor plans and elevations

Further Info:


The scent of pastures new


The big think

Planning a possible new build

theinfill dolls house blog Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - getting Hogepotche onto its new table

Hogepotche perched on its new table still awaiting the little hidey-holes to house the wiring.  The build took five years or so and is somewhat thrown together, taking advantage of a mix of fantasy, historical whimsy and how buildings of the period look to us now.

theinfill dolls house blog Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - getting Hogepotche onto its new table

I learned some very basic woodwork skills but no more than a young child would be able to manage.

What I want to do now is going to need less cross fingers woodworking and more of the real stuff that covers cutting items both straight and square; particularly sheets of wood.  I’m thinking of a house of sometime between the wars – a building from around and about the UK.  Say 1930-ish.

Why this style

I always admired the ones I could see around me on my way to school, built in pairs on the level and yet each platform of pairs was stepping up the side of the steep hills that had to be climbed every school-day morning.  Occasionally I went inside an example of one for a party or to play, and an aunt of ours who ‘baby sat’ us from time to time, lived in one with the bay window, storm style porch with terracotta tiles (or was it brick); the whole period thing.

I’d like to be able to tackle the boxy Art Deco houses of the period.  I love the ‘cinema’ style look of them, but am unsure about managing all those curved glass and wrought iron bits.  So I’m going for the more widespread general housing of the time (1930s and 1950s or so).

Despite the Art Deco elements such as fireplaces that these houses ‘housed’, it’s funny how much of the external designs I’m looking at seem to be a pick-and-mix from previous periods:  the tall, almost Elizabethan chimneys on many of them with occasionally some half timbering and overhangs at roof level and below some windows.  Then there’s the odd bay window for the small bedroom at the front, echoing the much larger up and down ones on the facade, looking like the viewing bays of a Georgian seaside resort.

They also nearly all have an ‘orrible number of tiles on them one way and another.

Stage one of shall I shan’t I

Still thinking and pondering, collecting images and building layouts and generally making an electronic scrapbook while also printing out bits to highlight and mentally chew over.  Worrying away at them like a bone.

Key questions and problems

  • Can I manage to simplify whatever I settle on without taking away that which makes it of the period?
  • Have I gained enough rough skills to be able to do what I would like – clean lines seem to escape me and this project needs them.
  • Answer to that is “no” so how dependent on others (S or a DIY store) am I prepared to be?

Where am I with it at this moment?

Sieving and trying to avoid committing myself too far.  This is the third set of fining down of information and I’ve gathered some architectural measurements for rooms, which are very useful, both in imagining the eventual finished size but also in the sieving process itself, figuring out if enough detail can be viewed when outer walls are taken away in doll’s house fashion, or does the accuracy of layout lock away too many hidden corners that you can’t reach by hand or eye – essential when working out which walls need to be removable to view the greatest amount of the goings on.  I’m hoping that just a full front and back house reveal will do the trick.

Filling in time

Can I be making items of the period to go inside this imaginary building whilst the necessary saving of pennies takes place?  I mean, if worst comes to the worst they could still be used in a smaller enterprise, so, as long as I’m mostly using raw materials that I’ve got in stock, what’s to lose?

Whilst still searching around I came across a hybrid version of the 30s style in the Irish Times which already looks like a doll’s house, but I’d best leave it alone for my ideas and go with what I’ve already collected or the search will be never-ending.

Then …

I must stand well back and think about why I’m doing it and what outcome would I like from the proposed input of time and money.

To try it or not to try it?  The only question?

A doll with a mood of her own


Scene hijacked by the 40th doll

but that’s OK

At the last count there were 39 dolls in various scenes around and about Hogepotche Hall and I fancied rounding it up if it could be done without making it look too forced.

I returned to the dairy back doorway.  It has struck me from the beginning of this room that it was inviting something to be happening there but I couldn’t work out what.  So that’s where I’ve sat the last doll, a less than 3″ little girl, sitting playing with her doll and a hunk of bread.

theinfill dolls house blog Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - a Medieval, Tudor, Jacobean dolls house blog - dairy with child on doorstep