Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Swedish House Progress ...

The Swedish House:

A new day dawning.



Believe it or not, lots has been happening at the Swedish House despite the silence from this blog.  I was a bit sidetracked trying to create a silicone mold from silicone caulking.

I thought it would help to make a frame to extrude the silicone into before pressing the fireplace I hoped to replicate, into the silicone.


To make a long story short, my experiment was a failure. Perhaps I did not add enough powder to the silicone. I had done it successfully for a very small item so I thought I knew the correct "feel" of the substance. The mix never dried and believe me it was a very difficult and sticky mess to remove all of the silicone from the original even though I had been patient and waited a week before I attempted to remove it from the mold.

On to the backup plan to find a picture frame that I could use as a fireplace. I managed to do so for about $6.00 at a home decor store.




Below you see the frame attached to the backboard with a support for the faux marble mantle.


Almost there.  If you look at the previous post you will see the fireplace (unfinished) but in position.  It still needed a hearth and an exterior chimney.



The Chimney:

Egg-carton bricks rule! Well, yes, it is a bit tedious to paint, measure, cut, detail edges, place, glue, mortar, seal .... but it is worth while for the realistic results at minimum cost!

Planning below. First attempt at colour for the bricks. We were also thinking of some very fancy brickwork but ...


decided on a much simpler pattern mainly because the bricks did not fit properly without cutting into the patterns. On the left of the picture below you can see the prepainted egg carton. It did not look very promising but when they were cut I was very excited about the effect.


This was the result. It was a mix that looked authentic but once on the house we could see the terracotta tones did not compliment the red doors.


I liked the result of mixing several colours and splattering some before cutting and mixing them up to create a random brick colour. I realize the colour softens when mortar is applied.


But no, not the look we wanted for this renovation. Our new colour choice shown below is Craft Smart acrylic "French Wine".  It did look harsh in its entirety but once grouted with tinted spackle it mellowed and we are very happy with the result.


You can see below we did a small sample before we did the whole chimney to check the final result.
There will be some aging to do before we consider it complete but for now we can move on.



The extension is still held on with a clamp.  The chimney is attached with earth magnets for easy access to wiring which feeds from the attic down to the power supply.



Project Kakelugn ... Swedish Stove

You can see images of these stoves online. They can be very decorative. B has made it very plain as it is in the bedroom. I have laid out the components to give you an idea of how it was made. Firstly a cardboard tube which is made larger with an extra layer at the bottom. Flexible tiles (Elizabeth made me take these from her some time ago), glued around the cylinder create the basic stove shape.

The decorative element on the base is part of a plastic princess crown from the dollar store. The metal crown is part of an old light fixture rescued from one I found on the road.
The granddaughters used it as a crown but as they are now "so over" the Princess thing I decided it was safe to cut it up.


Plastic heated and bent and glued for the base.


Tiles now glued in place, black rubber seal for transition between bottom and top. This rubber seal has been a difficult thing to paint as the paint just seems to slide off.


Of course I had to check it out to see if the light would cast a glow inside the stove.


Bruce preferred to play with fire and scorched some wood for the stove.  Boys will be boys...


Grandchildren always like to get into the act..... hide the blow torch!


Extension:  At last the extension has been attached, roofing and gutters also. The siding is being glued.


Siding has been completed and chimney in place.


It is sometimes difficult to know what to attack next. but we decided to make slate tiles for the winter room floor and the landing.

Once again we used dry-wall spackle on card for texture and painted it our colour of choice.  The tiles have been grouted for the interior of the winter room but not for out-of-doors.


Texture of tiles. This is very easy to do - of course you need to paint the edges too.


Bedroom:
The floor has been glued down as have the ceiling rafters. Where the white and blue panel finishes near the red doors there will be a door and wall for the bedroom. The circle on the right side near the window is the light for the interior of the kakelugn stove. On the left is the stairwell.


Stairwell wall panels, hand rail and almost finished stairwell banisters.


Now they have proven that they fit they will be painted but not glued into place until the rest of the walls and lighting has been installed.


Below:

The winter room is attached, the slate paving installed as are the downpipes on the gutters. The red steps lead inside. They are detachable using earth magnets again to make the building less cumbersome to move.

And so ends this epic of the renovations to the now called Swedish House. I am not sure when it will be finished and we can reclaim our living/dining room. We have had so many luncheon and dinner gatherings sitting around our coffee table instead of the dining table - people are beginning to wonder if we will ever finish.




In Vancouver the snowdrops are up and daffodils are nodding their unfurled heads. However tonight snow is predicted. On Thursday the Miniteers are gathering for a day together. I am looking forward to that!

All the best everyone .... keep on mini ing.
regards Janine

30 comments:

  1. Absolutely STUNNING!!!
    And although I loved the color of the bricks on the chimney before, I can see that giving them a thin whitewash was BEST; it looks natural and doesn't take the focus from the entry.
    The downpipes are discreet and so appropriate and THE STOVE ...
    well its Simply FAN TAS TIC!!!
    Love the floors love the tiles love the railing love the walls - in short
    I LOVE ♥ LOVE ♥LOVE♥ IT ALL :D

    elizabeth
    p.s. beginning to snow over here too!

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    1. Hi Elizabeth, Thank you, thank you. Your enthusiasm always pushes me .... sometimes further than I want to go but .....
      See you tomorrow!
      Janine

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  2. It all looks magnificent! Starting with the fireplace... What a great idea to use an art frame and adapt it to your needs. You have so many great ideas. Then the brick chimney... That looks so realistic from the perfect brick placement to the colors. I love the way you achieved it. I was a huge fan of your technique for making slate shingles! So seeing how you have used it for the floor tiles is very exciting. Everything is coming along beautifully. I just wish I lived close enough to see it in person. ;-)

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    1. Hi Catherine, Further to my message on your site when my replies were not being printed here.
      On StudioE if you look under roof on the right side of her posts you will find the method of making slate tiles that may be of interest to you.
      Cheers Janine

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  3. Votre maison suédoise avance à grands pas. Comme Elizabeth, j'aimais beaucoup la première couleur des briques mais l'enduit harmonise l'ensemble, c'est une réussite.

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    1. Bonjour Jean-Claude, Luckily I did not have to remake the faux bricks but simply repaint them. That part was very quick and it made a big difference. The other factor that completed the front was the red stairs leading to the winter room. It seemed to balance everything.
      Take care, regards Janine

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  4. Wow, there are a lot of updates, you two have been busy. I love the chimney... they shape, they brickwork, three first color and the second.
    The stove looks great. You may have to leave the rubber ring unpainted... did you try a coat of gesso first? Or maybe you could wrap masking tape around it?
    The slate tiles look fantastic. It's always stuck in my head that I'm going to make your slate roof tiles one day.
    The winter room is just beautiful.
    The flooring, the guttering, all so precise... oh my!

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    1. Hi Keli, Always like to receive your input. You are right about painting the rubber with gesso. I did do that and it certainly made a difference in the "grip" of the paint.
      As I mentioned above Elizabeth of StudioEMiniatures gives an excellent tutorial on making slate-look roof tiles easier than my method.
      Hope things are better for you.
      regards Janine

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  5. Hello Janine,
    This is AMAZING! I just love every detail on this house. the brick chimney came out beautifully and the picture frame mantel is an inspired idea. The house is looking fresh and beautiful, but I must say, yet again, how amazing your slate tile technique is. I cannot wait to see more.
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Hi Giac, It has been quite a winter and I feel B and I have been hibernating. Soon we will be out of doors again and everything will be put on the back burner. I certainly feel the exterior of the house has become as I envisioned it when I first bought home the blue original. I don't think I would have extended it if Elizabeth had not "demanded" it but it has made all the difference to size of the interior spaces.
      All's well on the west/wet coast hope things are well for you too/two.
      Janine

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  6. Hi Janine! What a wonderful update this is! You have accomplished so much! I Love the chimney... I have used egg carton bricks in many builds... they are the best... but slow to install! The color change is just right... different regions have different colored earth and end up with different color to their bricks... at the very least this chimney is more harmonious with the Swedish Red trim ! The hearth you made from a picture frame is awesome! Can we all copy that idea? LOL! And I love the tile stove you have built... and plan to make one "someday" for a future build! (I did make a small one using ceramic beads for my "Tree House" project ... which is still incomplete...!) What a wonderful detail the "charred" wood chunks are! I love that your grandchildren get to work on the project too! And maybe you should just admit that the Dining Room is really the Hobby Work Room! LOL! (I have given up calling mine the Dining Room too!) As always, I look forward to seeing more!

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    1. Hi Betsy, I do have moments of longing for all the BIG mini mess to be gone. When the renovations are done on the Swedish House we will move it up to my small workroom to complete the interiors.
      Re the bricks I did paint some of the egg carton a red tone to match the door shade but it was not enough. It was a great terracotta look though and I kept a few samples for a reference.
      regards and thanks for visiting.
      Janine

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  7. Hi Janine... So many updates! You say you are working slowly but I think you are trucking along nicely. :) I love love love! your chimney. I liked both colours of bricks but agree the red is better for this house. Your stairwell railing looks wonderful, I love the cross pattern. You make me want to attempt new railings for mine. Will your stair balusters have this pattern also? Your Swedish stove is wonderful, very authentic. Lol at B playing with fire. :D I'm disappointed your mould didn't work, I too have a fireplace mantle I want to replicate. I need to make a mould and though you had struck upon a plan I could steal.. back to the drawing board. :) On the upside I've learnt about your wonderful slate technique. I will definitely be giving these a go. The house is looking fantastic and you will be finished in no time at all. I do agree that perhaps you should just rename the dining room the workshop though. :D

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    1. Hi Sam, I am presuming you are on your vacation by now and enjoying much cooler weather than Brisbane.
      I decided not to put a balustrade on the stairs. I did not want to interfere with the pattern on the walls behind the stairs so put a hand rail instead that is painted out. All things can change but for now I like it that way.
      Re the silicone mould. I have not given up yet on that idea and I think I will try again. I did learn from the experience.
      I mentioned in a previous reply about the roof tutorial on StudioE... it also shows how the downpipes are made among other information that you would enjoy.
      The miniteers Fatima, Elizabeth and I will get together tomorrow but we are going to the Seattle Show at the beginning of March so hope to find some Gustavian style items (or my interpretation of it) at that time.

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  8. Hi Janine. What an epic post and filled with brilliant pictures and updates. I really loved your chimney, the French Wine colour looks so realistic after the grouting, definitely worth trying, especially after all the work you put into the first brick finish.
    The extension looks as though it always was there.
    Congratulations on superb work.
    Simon

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  9. Hi Simon, Thank you for your comment. Yes, it was epic but Bruce will take the computer away with him when he heads to Australia for a few weeks so it was a chance to get up to date or wait another month.
    The French Wine colour turned out so well. I was aghast at how flat and strong the colour looked as I painted. We had done a small test and grouted it so felt confident it would work out. When we put the grout on the residue had to be removed until we felt satisfied with the texture. It could have looked a lot more hazy if we had not kept wiping the grout away.
    regards Janine

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  10. Hi Janine, Love, LOVE, Love it all. Thank you so much for sharing such an epic post with so much detail an inspiration! I have just recently (re)discovered this fabulously wonderful world of all things small and am completely blown away by the amazing ingenuity, skill and sharing in this wonderful mini world.
    Sending lots of sunshine and warm winds from South Australia Anna x

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  11. Hi Anna, So nice to hear from another Antipodean mini enthusiasts. If you have rediscovered miniatures it must be an explosion of information available to you via pinterest and blogs. It is a very supportive and sharing community.
    We do need that southern sunshine at the moment. One reason husband B is heading to Qld for a few weeks of reconnecting with family and soaking up the sun.
    Enjoyed browsing through your blog Anna.
    Regards Janine

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  12. Wow, you have done a LOT of work. I love the brick colour, and everything you did is so neat.
    I work with mold making silicone often. Every once in a while a batch won't cure for no reason I can figure out. I have learned from the silicone manufacturers that it can be rescued by placing in an oven at 100 degrees Centigrade for six hours. So far it's worked every time.

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    1. Hi Megan, Thank you for the hints on the silicone. I did put the mould on the hot-air heater to try and cure it but to no avail.
      I am lucky I have Bruce working on the renovation. Sometimes I have trouble restraining him. We are having fun working together on this project.
      Regards Janine.

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  13. The picture frame is such a clever and elegant solution to the fire surround. It looks lovely, as does the brick work, tiles and fire. I'm about to embark on a project of slate roof tiles and will attempt your fabulous tutorial posted earlier. Thanks for sharing 😊

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    1. Dear Pepper, So nice to see your name pop up, you have been missed!
      Others have gone before me in the use of a picture frame. The problem is that you need to fill the side and top to complete the mantle.
      I’ll be interested to see how your slate tiles work out.
      Regards Janine

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  14. You've achieved a lot. What a great idea to have used a frame to make a fireplace, the result is perfect. Great chimney too. The Swedish stove is a must and I like it very much with the light. The colour of the bedroom walls is fantastic. I can't wait to see more, it's such a wonderful project.
    Geneviève

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  15. Hi Genevieve, The house is going well but I am feeling a bit lost on the interiors as yet because I have not settled on how to furnish it. Most interiors I see are quite sparse but it always feels more lived in to have “stuff” around. I should not worry really as it took me so long to complete the French House. It will probably take years to develop the interiors of this house as well,
    Have a good weekend. Janine

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  16. Wow! This house looks stunning! Everything is perfect.

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  17. Hi Fabiola, Thank you for leaving a comment. It is so nice to know that people find the house interesting. I am having fun.
    Regards Janine

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  18. Your Swedish House is beautiful! I love seeing the details of all the different steps of the construction. Using a picture frame for the fireplace was absolutely ingenious - I wish I had thought of that for my villa! I think you made a great choice to use the "French Wine" color for the chimney - it looks perfect. It also looks like a really hard job, but it turned out exactly right. I'm very impressed with the Swedish Stove and your use of all the "found" pieces - although the scorched wood looks a bit scary. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this project.
    Marjorie

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    1. Hi Marjorie, It was quite a challenge to work out how to create the Swedish Stove but there is a lot of great examples in blogland to encourage me to give it a try. It is amazing how one can product something from such a collection of almost-nothings.
      Great for our minds to apply ourselves to such things - no stress involved just a fun challenge.
      You are a master at that!
      Regards Janine

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  19. Hi Janine(and B). It is looking fantastic and you really have achieved a lot. Very impressive! The brickwork for your chimney came out amazing. Although I loved the colours before, I think if they weren’t going to work with the door colour, then no good leaving it. It was well worth the effort anyway. Hope B has a great trip to Oz and gets some lovely sunshine. Xx

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    1. Hi Shannon, B escaped to Brisbane during a snowstorm after a three hour delay due to deicing and snow clearing for takeoff. I know he will enjoy the wonderful light and sunshine in Qld for the next three weeks.
      The egg carton bricks are a bit tedious but it is very satisfying and almost free. People have done such wonderful replication of stonework and brickwork that it may be fun to try a cottage exterior sometime. (What am I saying!) Ignore that as I will be ten years finishing the interior!
      Thank you for leaving a comment. It is always nice to hear from you.
      Regards Janine

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