Tag Archives: lighting

Hiding somewhere else


because I’m all blue-d out

Hiding in the entrance hall

I’ve finally sorted some lighting in the downstairs hallway


Sorting out that lighting problem


and more from the Jane Harrop catalogue

The small things in life

Had been going to make any photo frames or magazine rack needed myself but am still ‘infected’ with kit mania so treated room to bought-in ones.

Magazine rack – the first piece

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I sanded it, I stained it and I broke it. Here trying to fix it with wood strips over break at sides of handle. Just looking at this photo makes me cringe with embarrassment over how crudely I’m trying to fix it

Being me, the klutz, the magazine rack is the first one that I’ve manage to break before it’s even made up and I had a bit of a fight with myself to get it to square up too.  Sort of fixed the break and used a total wrap square jig to keep the little item steady while it dried.  I think I got in a mess with it from the start and wasn’t handling it properly.

There’s nothing difficult about the magazine rack, the instructions, as with the other kits, are very good indeed but, obviously this was not my morning for some of the little things.  How did I break it?  The central piece has a handle cut into the wood and the top corners needed sanding.  After reading the instruction, I thought about it and was very careful in picking it up and in rounding off the top outer corners and then I put it down.  Later went to pick it up to stick to the base and left the handle end behind.  I must have strained it while handling it earlier and hadn’t noticed.

As you can see from the top very embarrassing photo, the handle sits across the piece, understandably giving the grain over to the long cut of the slot.  Unfortunately a klutz like me could strain along the grain too and, at some point, snap the handle off.  Any other klutzs out there, I hope you hear this.

One of the good things that did came out of it – the wood strip each side, added to keep the broken pieces together, provided a much wider base and side edge for gluing the base and side pieces.  On the down side they reduce the width/holding capacity of the rack.  The main good thing is an almost finished magazine rack – now must find suitable newspaper and possibly a thin book to go with it 😉

Photo frames with photos

The photo frames kit is a little darling of a laser cut item – should make that plural as there’s the two in a pack.  I’m thinking one for the fireplace and possibly one on sideboard or low cupboard, or even the sitting room – oh so many more places they could go.  I would suggest that a pin or similar might be useful when applying the glue, as these pieces are very small and fine edged.  And I didn’t break anything!


Compare and contrast – not enough light in there

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With full-sized table lamp parked on the work bench and shining down and inwards to the mini room, and still dark in the china cabinet corner

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Set a little high but now we have some light over there

Most of the previous photos taken of the dining room have involved external lighting and often with a high ISO setting.  This last photo has the normal workroom lighting and auto ISO and with the new set up of lights (forgot the fire, sorry) most things can be seen and it hasn’t gone muddy and dark.

What’s changed

Bought a wired and a battery version of this wall light and had hoped to get away with the battery one.  Found it too heavy on the chimney breast return wall – it fell off onto the dining chair below it more than once and would insist on twisting so that the lampshade end was sticking out into the room.

Thankfully not yet stuck down the ceiling in this room so could get at the area and add the wired version, which, so far shows no inclination to fall off or turn through 45° into the room.  We can’t see much of the lamp itself clearly, which is good, as feel it’s a bit chunky-looking in this room, but it does seem to be doing the job and the bird perched on top of the china cabinet seems to be enjoying it.

Link to Jane Harrop 30s and 40s era kits


Thirty minutes sun on an autumn day


Shadow Play

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The two wall wonder. Was leaving Potting Shed to get lunch and, turning back caught this. You can see the outline of the wood struts, the lower chimney breast and a dangling ‘thing’ above. That’s a three-gang for the electrics.

We live at the foot of a hill and, at this time of year, the sun only comes over for about half-an-hour a day.  Can make working in the Potting Shed awkward with bright light and deep shadow, but it is so welcome.  Won’t build up to an hour until mid February.  Hey ho.

Back to practicalities

Walls and electrics and what the … is going on?

The sitting room needs to take a big leap and have a couple more walls added plus the flooring.  But the wallpapering needs doing at the bay end whilst there’s still elbow room to see it head on.

And then there’s the lights.  Am only going for token lighting around in each room.  Just a bit of a glow.  There are so many original (usually 1:16) non-working and some working lights for dolls’ houses of the period that the aim is to use a mix as affordable.  (No longer making the wall lights, by the way, seems very little point.)

Sticky brain here forgot to dig the track for the lighting below the floor before adding it.  Fortunately it’s a self-adhesive wood flooring from Hobbies which is strong and (as long as you don’t let it turn and stick to itself) is fairly compliant when re-lifted, which is why I chose to use it over the electric run.

Up it came and I dug away into the card and foam floor like crazy, added a bit of full size electric sheathing to run the wiring through, punched holes in the chimney sides to take the wall lighting wires into that area etc.  The “plan” is to run these two wall lights up the chimney to the bedroom above, add in the lights there all into a three-gang type arrangement and then run its wire back down the chimney, under the sitting room floor and pop on a plug there which can then either go to a battery to run the cake slice bit by itself or it can join in the main run for the rest of the house.  Theory seems sort of OK but I’ll let you know if it works or not.  Even with reduced lights it will mean wiring a couple of plugs to two lights, but as chandeliers have many bulbs to one wire it’s much the same manoeuvre.

Wallpaper time

I’ve been putting it off:

  • because at any scale it’s never easy
  • the walls here, particularly around the windows are as rough as anything
  • there’s too much to go wrong

OK, it won’t be earth shattering, but it will be oh so annoying.

And so wrong it went.  I’ve put it on upside down.  As started with the hardest, shaped end am not going to take it off.  I can live with it.  Do you get the odd feeling that this whole enterprise is trying to tell me something?

Am applying the wallpaper onto 1.4 mm card making wall panels which are easier to handle I hope, and mounting them on wood strip on the walls.  This will allow a small space for wires to run when necessary and totally cover up the disgusting unevenness of the internal walling.  For the bay curved card is needed, at least at one end.

I bought the wallpaper and some rugs from Miniatureville and I think the paper is printed on 120 card or there abouts, so is good to handle and keep smooth.  Using glue sticks to attach wallpaper onto the 1.4 mm card in the hope that it can’t stretch and distort quite so much if a dry glue is used.  I do have problems with glue sticks at the edges; however much I apply, the edges do tend to lift, but we’ll see.

Been trying to find out who lives here

The mini house inhabitants

I’ve been unable to sort this out and have gone ahead, rolling with it as the mood takes me hoping that something will come to mind.  The question is who would live in the “here and now” surrounded almost entirely by the “there and then” (other than me)?  I think, in a root around to make some sense of the room settings and objet d’art, it might be just possible that these (invisible) folk are a family of re-enactors who have selected to live mostly in the 1930 – 50s period, but have the sufficient bits of tech lying around too to be active in the here and now.  Anyhoo the resultant anachronistic mix will leave scope for fairly hard-line Deco furniture attempts and décor plus the odd tablet and mobile phone too.  I’ve a feeling that this, despite my best efforts, is going to look kitsch and clunky but fun to do all the same.

The imagined next door semi (should it ever get built) is occupied by folk chasing a fashion and is much more up-to-date in its results, I think, with modern bay windows and walls knocked through etc.


Reenactors Directory – have already linked to this in the text but it’s well worth a visit if you’ve not had a look 😉