Wednesday, 13 March 2013

A RED DOOR

A Red Door

A STONE HOUSE WITH A RED DOOR
*****
Here is the ARTHUR with a new Red Door!
and that's not all!
This is what I have been working on for the past few days and what an exercise in patience and discovery it turned out to be!  I had been collecting egg cartons for quite a while with the intention of perhaps doing a brick building of some sort and had even considered doing the ARTHUR  in brick.  But I know 'ME'  better than anyone, and I know how bored I would become as I am very impatient.  Janine said that I like to race to the finish line and she wasn't far wrong, I admit.  I also know that trying to stick to a straight line for a course of brick-laying is crucial.  Crooked drives me CRAZY and I know that it would be too much of a challenge at this point when I was trying to get the 

'MOJO 'BACK! 

I figure that I have only so much MOJO allotted to me and I didn't want to run out of it while doing brickwork.  I chose to do stone in a random pattern making it rough and irregular using a tutorial of VICTORIA MINILAND'S  and some of my own ideas to execute the job.
What you see is NOT FINISHED!  but its a start. Keep in mind that I was making this up as I went along, and now having gotten to this point, I HAVE TO keep going with it.  I should mention as well, that the roof is only hanging on by a thread.  It is here just for the pictures as it is easier to build the inside with the roof unattached.  So if you think that the roof looks like it is caving in, 

it is.
(Uh Oh!,... a wee bit blurry )
***
This is the stone work prior to grouting it!
 I was pretty happy with the facade up to this point as the stones were not too shiny and there was some great texture in the rocks that I liked.  I had sealed the egg carton with Matt Mod Podge and left it to dry overnight, then came the nightmare on Elm Street....
I knew that grouting the stones was going to be trouble!  I had 2 tubs of  DRYDEX spackling compound, of course one had to be dried out, but the other one was fresh.  It starts out pink and then changes color as it dries so you know when it has fully cured.  So, I dipped in with my fingers and began to fill the 'inbetween' spaces of the rocks.  This was not the worse thing that I have done but it was very annoying.  Before the grout could completely set up I had to remove the excess with a  very wet cloth and rub and rub and rub, to get it off the stones.  If I hadn't sealed it as well as I did then the water would have turned the stones to oatmeal.  It was challenging, let me tell you!


(ARTHUR with a face only a mother could love)



A close up of the stones with the grout drying up
fast!
 

So after it was done, I needed to seal the grout!  I used Matt Mod Podge and some black water color paint mixed in to give it a grey cast and proceeded to paint over the stones.  (see photo below)  Why I did this was to grey up the grout, what I SHOULD HAVE DONE WAS ADD THE COLOR TO THE GROUT NOT THE SEALER!  The way I did it muted all the great color that I had so painstakingly applied to the rocks in the first place!  Now everything was too greyed washed out and not as interesting as it used to be.  Get ready, I am about to cry.....
WHAAAAh!!!!

Then if that wasn't bad enough I tried to bring some life back into the rocks by using the regular Mod Podge that is SHINY and now I don't like it!
I am going to have to go back over all the stones and try to fix what I messed up.
MOVING ON
I had already removed the scroll work over the front door after I had decided to do the stone.  I just didn't see how I would be able to build around it without it looking funny.  I decided to use some planks that I found in my collection of wood.  It is the Greenleaf flooring and it is YUCKY as wood floor unless you are looking for real shabby and slivers in your feet.  I cut three pieces to act as a rustic surround for the door frame and I sealed and stained it over and over trying to determine what to settle on.  Okay, I will go for this!  Sort of a bleached out pickled wood.  I found the lion earring that I had made into a door knocker; at least 12 years old by now!  Blue tacked it onto the door to see if I would like it there permanently.

Hey!
Not bad!
Rummaging around I found the lion head architectural piece that again was 12 years old. I decided that it would be nice above the door.  I tacked it on and when I was happy, I traced around it and then cut the rocks out and away so that it would lay flush against the wall.
Watch Out!...


 I AM ON A ROLL!



I have been wanting to try out Dale Fluty's crackle tutorial for some time and as I like old and worn  and because I am leaning now towards a cottage close to the water where the wind and rain would be instrumental in the aging process, I decided to try it out.  If I wasn't happy I could always repaint.  As per Dale's instructions, begin with a darker undercoat of paint.  I used one of my favorite browns
Delta Ceramcoat  Brown Iron Oxide.  It looks like dark rust.  I chose this color mainly because it is the color of the wood door surround and it shows though the pickled stain kinda reddish even with the grey wash on top of it.  I was making a stab at continuity and had my fingers crossed that this would turn out okay.  I'm putting my faith in you DALE FLUTY DOLLHOUSE DESIGNS. 
I brushed on the base coat of the brown iron oxide color and let it dry and then used the blow dryer to speed it along.  I want to crackle something, NOW!



Here is what it looked like right after painting.  

Dale said to use school glue and paint it onto the surface of the project and then add your second coat of a lighter color while the glue is still tacky.  I did this too.  I used another Delta color called
"MUDSTONE ".  I think the trick is getting an even coat not too thick or too thin so that you get an even coverage.  I laid way too much glue on and got lumps in the corners of the shutter and then I had to pick them out!  I gave the surface a shot of heat with the blow dryer too, I am tooo  impatient.
LO AND BEHOLD, CRACKLE BEGAN TO APPEAR!
Now this was quite fine crackle and I wanted a bit more but it works!  A big plus was that I wanted to age the finish with a bit of sanding and because the glue is layered in between the paint, it sands easily and the base coat peeks though just the way I wanted!
HOORAY FOR DALE !
AND HOORAY FOR ME!
Check it out!
So this is what the windows now look like and I am very pleased with the results.
The stone walls look not too bad with the color of the shutters and as I said earlier, I shall touch up the color of the stones a little further along.  The rock over the window was/ is a header stone and runs the width of the window but you can't tell because it is all one grey tone.  I want it a wee bit more noticeable.
I wasn't going to paint the door until much later on, but things were going so well that I bit the bullet.
Because the interior is going to have red walls, I wanted the entry to reflect what was going to be happening inside.  This, by the way is NOT THE WAY I USUALLY WORK.
I usually start with the interior and work out.  This is totally backwards for me.
I also chose red because the whole building was Dull.  Let's face it grey looks GREY!
I did not want to be thinking of this house as BLEAK and BORING.
I love REd and a Red door would be fun., and if I didn't like it I could blame Dale Fluty! hahahh
(just kidding Dale)
I LIKE IT


elizabeth

42 comments:

  1. I like it too! Can imagine that little stone cottage being buffeted by the wind and rain, it's weight holding it from flying out to sea. I'll bring some seaweed next time I'm over!

    Crackling turned out well. The door colour is great ... Wondering what you will use for the roof!

    It is looking very interesting. Don't go to bed yet you have lots of work to do.
    Janine

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    1. Hello Janine! I like the way you turn a phrase into a vivid picture! " Buffeted by the wind and rain" is exactly how I see this little house too! As for the roof, I am still undecided as what to choose. I am leaning towards You and Bruce's SLATE TILE TUTORIAL! It would look very nice with the texture of the house to have something that is smoother in appearance. Any thoughts? I'm open to suggestions.

      elizabeth

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  2. Wow, what a transformation. I'm sure poor Arthur is starting to feel pretty good now! I've been collecting egg cartons too but haven't plucked up enough courage yet to do a stone or brick project. I love the way the shutters have turned out and the red door makes the cottage very welcoming. Look forward to seeing Arthur's progress.

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    1. Hi Sharee! Yes, I can hardly believe the transformation myself, and I was there though the whole thing!? I think that Poor Arthur is feeling soooo good right now that he is just about ready for a permanent name change! hahha Yes, I am very happy with the red door! I look at the front of the house and it all just feels RIGHT!

      elizabeth

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  3. Hi, I Love your way to say what you do. I am new in your blog and this is so interesting.
    It takes me a while to get to know your blog, but I have already found many great things. Thank you for sharing!
    Hugs
    Kikka ( http://pienisammakko.blogspot.com)

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    1. Hello Kikka! Thank you for joining my blog and making a comment! I have a tendency to talk a lot and so you will have to read a lot whenever you visit! I like to explain why I do the things that I do so that others will know how something comes about! I like to show the finished piece but I also like to explain the process so that others can know' WHY?' Why this choice and not some other??? So just be prepared to get the full story when you visit 'Studio E', even my replies are long winded, as you can see!
      hee hee!

      elizabeth

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  4. Your hard work has paid off. The house facade looks so great. I love your shutters, I must also try that once.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs
    Wyrna

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    1. Hello Wyrna! Thank you! Fitting the stones together is a little more complicated than you would think even when they are made of paper! haha The hardest part was the grout but that was really for frustrating than anything. Deciding on what color for the shutters and the door, NOW THAT WAS HARD. Color is so important as you know. With your lovely little shop you chose very feminine colors to reflect the ladylike clientele that you are catering to. The cottage here, is on the coastline facing the elements head on. I needed something gutsy that could realistically tough it out. The shutters were a harder choice than the door because there were 3 of them. The color had to be there but more discreet. They had to compliment the stone and not compete with it. What better name for a paint color for this project than ' MUDSTONE' this color for the shutters, was a match made in heaven!

      elizabeth

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    2. Elizabeth, Will you call it Red Door Cottage? J

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    3. Hi again Janine! . Leaning more towards "Number 43, Green Dolphin Street". The house number being like a sign over the door and ' Green Dolphin Street', after a Favorite Book of mine by Elizabeth Goudge, which begins in the French English Channel Islands, moves to New Zealand in the pioneering late Victorian era and then ends back again in the Channel Islands.
      This cottage seems to have the history of having had an adventure that speaks to me the same way the book did. So, it is just a question of mentally trying to retire the Arthur as a name and re-christening it as " Green Dophin Street" and making it stick!

      elizabeth

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    4. P. S. I also think that the Green Roof will be changed up to something else but the Green color may just remain. I have been pondering alternate colors for the roof and I keep coming back to Green as it compliments the red door as a definite contrast, and would also be a tie in with the new name. In short thinking of having a green slate roof a la' your MINWORKS tutorial and calling the house...... " # 43, Green Dolphin Street."

      elizabeth

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  5. Hello Elizabeth,
    Man oh man are you ever on a roll. First of all, the door and the windows are just wonderful. So vewry well done and I love your color choice. The red especuially brings life to the structure.
    As for the stone, It might be just the pictures because they look pretty good from what I can see. Is it the color or just the shine that ruins the effect live? I wish i could suggest something to help, but I have not yet ventures into exterior finishes yet.
    Keep at it my friend, you are doing TREMENDOUS work.
    Big hug,
    Giac
    p.s. Dale kicks butt!

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    1. Hello Giac! Thank you for the encouraging words! I have tried to lightly sand the stones and that did help a little with the shine. I have a feeling though that I am going to have to repaint some of them again. It is not so bad as it may sound as I don't have to repaint them all just selected ones and then, only enough to break up the solid color. The color is too grey but it is mostly the shine that is my biggest concern. Ah me, it is always something! You just wait, Giac! You have a mansion to finish and you will no doubt use a variety of suitable applications that will each present their own challenges! Till then I shall keep you informed about how this mini project is taking shape. Thanks again, my friend!
      A big hug back!
      elizabeth

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  6. I like it too- a lot! The red door looks amazing with the rustic exterior- and I really love how the shutters turned out. I hope your mojo continues on and is back for good- so frustrating when it leaves :)

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    1. Hi Kim! Mojo is on a coffee break as we speak! I have a few things to do to try to get the front closer to the finish line. I only had one lantern and I would like another to balance the front door and I have to get the foundation cut and attached with new steps so mojo better make a reappearance soon! hahah Thank you for your comment about the shutters, Kim. I think that they turned out really well too. It makes me happy, happy, happy!

      elizabeth

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  7. Hi Elizabeth! The facade is stunning! I love the stone look and it does give the impression that it could be a cottage by the sea. In case you're interested, when I crackle anything, I use crackling medium by Ceramcoat or Folk Art. It does the job well as it should. In real life, I have crackled a complete dining room set with buffet so I can say that it's good stuff and a bottle goes a very, very long way. The red door feels just right with the stone work. I am very fond of red doors, so your red door hit the spot for me when I saw it. The aged shutters and lion door knocker contribute greatly to the finishing touch for the ancient look you were after. For your information, Casey of Casey's Minis is at the moment giving a tutorial on stone work done with egg cartons. You might want to take a look for future reference. Now what did I tell you about not seeing you as a procrastinator? Would a procrastinator have done such a beautiful facade in such a short amount of time?!! Your facade suggests a touch of history and the onlooker wonders what things went on within its walls in the years gone by. So, going inside to have a look is the next step. Carry on, Elizabeth, so that we can one day walk in and look!

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    1. Hi Lucille! Thank you for saying that! I think that I shall take up residency in this cottage by the sea!
      I already had some crackle medium which was years old, and when I opened the bottle, it had gone the texture of 'GRITS' ? I didn't know it could do that!? Most curious, I wonder if I can use it in my mini foods? hmmm?
      I am excited to hear about your crackling experiences Lucille! I bet your dining room furniture turned out very pretty. I had heard after the fact, about CASEY'S MINIATURES doing a stone finish with the egg cartons and did stop by to have a 'look see'.
      She is using the carton as more of a finished stone as she is cutting them individually and making them with a more formal application. Surprisingly, she is also using a GREENLEAF DOLL'S HOUSE KIT/ the Storybook Cottage. I think that both the paper cut and the paper torn is good to try with the egg cartons. Each has a unique appearance that translates well into really durable finishes! Hers is more flat and mine is more textured but each convey the personality of the projects. How wonderful that we are doing them 'side by side' so that the techniques can be viewed simultaneously! Thanks for the reference Lucille and keep me posted on the progress of the little bed. I haven't forgotten your pledge to get it dressed!

      elizabeth

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  8. Woohoo! It is looking just like I imagined it would. I'm so glad the crackle technique worked for you. I have to admit that once I saw my name and what you were doing I started holding my breath and quietly mumbled to myself "please work, please work". Yea!

    I'm loving the stonework on the cottage and the red door adds a touch of brightness to the muted earth tones of the stone. Bravo! Someone is goi g to have to come up with an easier way to do the grouting on mini stonework. The grout is what has held me back from doing that finish. I have an idea but I'm not gonna share until I do some experimenting. I can say it involves a pastry bag. :-)

    Love the progress Your Majesty and can't wait to see more. Now get back to running. The finish line isn't too far. HAHA

    HUGS
    Dale

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    1. Hello Dale Fluty of Dollhouse Designs! My Hero! I can't thank you enough Dale as the shutters and the door turned out sooo well and as you can see, they are a HIT! especially with ME! You were reading my mind about the stone house, it was uncanny!
      I love the tiny crackle in the finish on the shutters, but moreso, I like the way the paint peels realistically with very little sanding to get that aged look that I was most desiring! Just to see what kind of difference it would make, after I did the window shutters I painted the door frame with out the layer of glue under the second coat and then I sanded and the result is that the paint came off in a not so nice way. It was dull looking and the raw wood came up and out and it was not very pretty. I did the door then the same way I had done the shutters and when I went to sand it the paint came off in a realistic and authentic fashion that I was sooo very happy with. It DOES make a difference! Thanks to your tutorial for the information. I shall be using this technique a whole lot more as I love the presence of wear and tear and this really KICKS BUTT, as Giac,so poetically put it.

      elizabeth

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  9. Elizabeth.......Ditto, ditto, ditto...to all the comments above. Can't really ad any more! Love love all that you have done and what a lot of work accomplished! ....me thinks Arthur may be going to the West Coast Dollhouse show in June after all....
    This little house reminds me of the stone house I lived in in the Acores before coming to Canada. I can really identify with the rock work. Apparently I used to plug up the holes on the rocks when I would see a garden variety lizard go into it....Do you think there is a very tiny lizard in the rock work in the Arthur.
    Have a wonderful mini day my friend.
    fats

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    1. Hello Fats! I would love to have the house done for the show in June if MOJO is up to the challenge! hahah
      I am delighted that this reminds you of a house that holds good memories. You know that as I was walking the dogs around the neighborhood, I began to notice that there were a lot of retaining walls that incorporated the irregular stones. The mortar that was binding them together was much more pronounced but the stones were the same. In the cottage, I wanted them to look like they were dry fitted with the mortar almost invisible. I guess that would be consistent with the house you lived in. This makes me happy to have it identifiable like that.
      Perhaps you could find me a tiny lizard that could find a crack under the foundation as a tribute to a childhood memory. But I must tell you, Fats, I am already getting ready to move in myself!

      elizabeth

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  10. The facade of your house is wonderful. I like the stone walls and the red door is perfect.
    Bye Faby

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    1. Hello Fabiola! You always have such nice things to say! Thank you so much! I am sooo happy with the red door and the stone wall was a new and very interesting experience for me. I found that by layering the paper on top of the stones, I was able to get the texture that I was looking for. It takes longer but the effect was worth it for me and I am glad to have done it and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a cost effective but Special effect!

      elizabeth

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  11. Wow! Its fabulous! =) I'm collecting egg cartons myself now too, hope to make a floor to a greenhouse =) Thanks for sharing, I will come back to this post for my floor later =) Hannah

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    1. Hello Hannah! I have nothing but good things to say about the egg cartons as a means of making stone effects! Aside from the application of the grout, it was fast and actually soothing and I listened to lectures on 'You tube' as I worked on the house. It is quite durable and the tip that I would pass along is to use school glue as it helps to strengthen the paper from within and make it waterproof and also use the Paper Sealer such as Matt Mod Podge to help seal the stones from the outside. Egg carton stone is lightweight and only looks heavy enough to 'withstand the elements'. I haven't gotten as far as a floor yet but when I do, you will be the first to know! Thanks for your comment Hannah!

      elizabeth

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  12. Oh my, I like how it's turning out! thank you for sharing and thank Dale for the wonderful tutorial.

    Hugs
    M.

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    1. Hello Marisa! Thank you for the comment and I hope that things are getting better on your end!? Dale has some wonderful techniques and his tutorials are really good so I hope that this testimonial is going to encourage others to give this a try, too and see for themselves how a shabby, aged look can be easily achieved with school glue as a sandwiched layer between the paints. IT is So easy!

      elizabeth

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  13. Me encanta el tono que has dado a la piedra y las ventanas, el rojo de la puerta llama mucho la atención a simple vista, vas a ella, si esa es tu intención , has acertado de pleno, felicidades por este trabajo tan fantástico:)

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  14. Hello RosaMaria! Thank you for your wonderful comment! I am sooo glad that you like the way the house is taking shape and I am very pleased with the windows and the door as well! Paint makes a big difference and since I have had them painted, a story is taking shape inside my head and that is a major factor in how the rest of the house will develop. But as always, sometimes my vision is made reality and sometimes the house has its own ideas! hahah

    elizzabeth

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  15. Hello Elizabeth! Thank you for your nice comments in my blog. I'm really glad that I found your wonderful blog which is full of interesting tutorials. I have tried making grapes already and have to come back several times. Arthur looks real stone build house. Messing with different materials brings most interesting results :) And I love the red door.

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    1. Hello Riitta! Thank you for your comment and for trying out the grapes tutorial! I have had some very positive feedback about that posting and it makes me glad that you have decided to try it out too!
      As I write this, it is at the end of 'messing around' with the stones once again! I am trying to take some of the shine down and also adding the header stone back over the windows again. There is always the dissatisfaction in me about what I do but I am glad that the stones look real for the photos. I would like to get on doing the inside, soon but first things first. I must say again that your doll's house is very lovely and I greatly admire your work! I hope that you were able to find some more of the material that you made your wonderful drapery from. It was perfect!

      elizabeth

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  16. It looks great - well worth all the angst!

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    1. Hello Irene! Thank you for that feedback! I guess it is always worth the angst and the frustrations in the end when we are looking backwards, but not so much fun when we are in the midst of it! hahah

      elizabeth

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  17. In the first part of your blog post, I thought you was wrihgting about me....I'm just the same! I like to work fast and want to see result immediately. Sometimes I think why did I choose this hobby? You have to be patient, and I'm soooooo not;) I think Arthur looks so handsome:)))) you did an amazing job on the stones, they look so real! The red door is just perfect to complete the picture:D

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    1. Hello Sab! I am happy to learn that I am not alone in working fast! I think I work fast to make up for all the time lost procrastinating. Sometimes I think about things for so long that they are done inside my head and I can't then be bothered to do the actual work to make them a reality. I blame this on an "artistic temperament", thereby allowing me to put off doing anything because I'm not in the mood. Then when I am ready to work, I race through it like there is no tomorrow and that is when I make my mistakes. The consolation is that when I have to fix them, I usually discover a new technique along the way! That is why I will probably never change. How about you?
      I thank you for your compliment about the stones, Sab. I am still working on them. I think that you are still working on your pantry too? Your settee with the cushions look so pretty, I wonder what new changes there will be at my next visit!?

      elizabeth























      elizabeth

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    2. Wait a moment...you really wright about me! I think I have just the same artistic temperament,lol:)Most of the times I'm thinking of new ideas and than there is nothing that can stop me...must do it immidiately, despice if I have the right tools or materials to do the job and like you it has to be finished yesterday!

      I just finished the livingroom, and what I not showed yet, is that I have give the seilings and walls a fresh coat of smoke stain...now it look more realistic, the walls where simply to white and clean.

      I am working on the kitchen in my head,lol;)I was a bit afraid that I would not be able to match the same French style like the rest of the house. I did some research and made a board on pinterest with loads of inspirational pictures. So, I'm working on some ideas and it helped that I also have give the sailing and walls a stain of grease and dirt from all the baking and cooking.

      Stay tuned and I will show it soon...I'm just working like a mad woman:)))

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  18. E! You are so funny ! :):) I mean you got me laughing while you were crying. Sorry, just couldn't help it.

    What a huge makeover for the facade, my friend. You have done a great job and I thought I know all about weathering but Elmer and crackle is a new one ! I have only 1 way of doing it, a dry brush. I will definitely try the glue method sometime.

    By the way, my most used paint is also brown. It's almost gone now while all the other paint is still almost full. :)

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    1. Thank you Sans!
      I agree there is always one particular GO TO COLOR that never fails to satisfy. It is hard when you have to begin to ration it out because you realize that you are getting low. What will really make you cry is when you have nursed it to the last drop and go to finally get some more and discover that it has been discontinued and that the day before, the very last one was sold!!!!! So don't wait too long Sans before you have to get more of your favorite brown. I don't want you to start crying too!

      elizabeth

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  19. I've heard of using white glue for a crackle finish. Never tried it yet but looks easy enough! :) The house is coming along great! I guess your frustrations are paying off. :)

    toddlindsey.com

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    1. Hi Lindsey! This was the first time that I tried the white glue for a crackle finish as well! The crackle is very fine so if you were looking for something more pronounced I would suggest the products that Lucille talks of in her comment. I LOVE the way the glue between the layers allows for the top layer to peel away when lightly sanded, to show the base color through and for that reason alone I will recommend this technique because I tried it without the glue (around the door frame )and the difference was very distinct! Plus the sanding to age the pieces was a lot smoother and the results better with the glue between the paint layers. I also put some oil based aging product on the shutters and the door to make the crackle even more noticeable and to age them further. I love the shabby look on most things so Dale's tutorial was invaluable to me, helping me to achieve the best results for this kind of finish. Far less frustrating than if I was trying to do this my old way of just painting and hoping for the best!

      elizabeth

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  20. From so little you've created so much! It looks like centuries have passed since this cottage was first built. Fantastic!!

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    1. Hello Susan! Always a pleasure to hear from you! Thank you! I have been working on my show items but now I am going to be able to resume work on this cottage! I am really getting into it and although I have left the exterior to work on the inside for a while, I am still going over how I want to proceed with the roof. Undecided as yet but something will eventually present itself. I hope that all is well with you Susan and that you haven't been working TOO hard in your garden, since staring at the bedroom ceiling can be quite boring!

      elizabeth

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