Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Packages and pastries

Buying stock for the shop is a bit pricey. I've found some food packaging labels on the internet, and have used them to cover bits of balsa covered in baking paper or foil. I've varied the size for each different product.

I've also started to make some bread and pastries. These are made from a polymer clay that requires baking. These are pre-baked and need some paint:

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Cornice mitre work

The first cornices that needed to be mitred are in the left hand side of the shop. A mini mitre box is a wonderful help for this work.

I've been looking for a more suitable craft saw after a friend advised on types and uses. I really wish I had had one this morning for this work, a hack saw is fine for some tasks, but when you need sharp angles and shaping a more purpose-made saw is another toolbox essential for craft work.

A mini mitre fixed to a bench in my garage:

Cutting the angles is tricky and it took a couple of tries to do it correctly. The most important thing to remember is to cut from the top to the base of the cornice, rather than across the middle, to achieve the 45 degree angle needed for the corner.

The floor has had another light coat of walnut varnish and the skirting board fitted to the remainder of the room. This also needed the mitre box.

And that's about it for downstairs. There needs to be a handrail for the wall of the staircase, but there is no rush: I'll wait until I come across a suitable piece of wood and wall fittings.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

New shop display stand

Slight change of plan. I'm going to use the polymer clay I bought a few months ago to save on stocking costs.

I'll be making cheese and bakery products, so will fit a shop theme around this. Apparently general provisions merchants were pretty normal then, so times haven't changed too much. I'm going to do more research before I start with the clay.

Ordering shopping for home delivery seems such a new development, created to help make our lives easier. But this was pretty much the norm for many Victorian families who used telegraph, mail (by hand or by post), instead of the internet, to make their orders.

I've built a new display stand which will be used for bakery products. This was made from balsa wood and kebab sticks.

The new display stand before staining:

After staining and in place:

Sunday, 27 September 2009

First flight

The floor of the second half of the shop floor is complete. Here it is part fitted with just one coat of stain.

I've also assembled and stained the staircase which will be secured into place once I'm finished decorating this room. The next step is to decide on furniture and fitments, inkeeping with a vintner's, and add cornicing and skirting boards.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Posters and cheese

I've placed some of the cheese in the shop. And the victorian posters are simply printouts of internet images. And check out the cornicing!

Here's the left hand side of the shop, painted and ready for woodwork. I'll be laying a floor, adding cornicing and skirting boards, and of course building the staircase. The latter is already cut, requiring only glueing and staining.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Half of the shop is nearly finished

I've just about finished half of the shop. The fixtures are now glued in. All there is to do is cornicing, and painting the arch. Of course I'll need more shop goods to sell, so will be making miniature cheese and looking to buy Victorian groceries.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Shop fittings

The shelving unit was easy other than the curved edges which took a couple of tries as the wood split. Wood used is lime, although the backing, and side shelving units are made of balsa, much easier to cut but not as durable.

Next step is to stain the wood.

Sunday, 13 September 2009


A food shop, that's what its going to be. Selling exactly what I'm not sure, but I've learned that there were wine shops and cheese shops in Victorian times, so I'll merge the two with some upmarket groceries.

Pictures of old Victorian food shops show intricate fittings and shelves to the ceilings: an overall efficient use of space.

Today I decided that I'd fit out the shop as well as use my freestanding furniture. I bought some basswood which is fairly easy to cut to shape (and would likely be even easier if I wasn't using a hacksaw).

Newly acquired skirting boards and cornicing came in very useful. The skirting board, backed with lolly sticks, fixed to a length of basswood makes a great frontage to the fitted units. Some cornicing has enabled the shelf to sit neatly and squarely on top.

I've cut out two strips for the shelf side supports, and three shelves. The lights will sit either side of this centre unit. So as not to have the centre shelves too dark, I'm shaping the bottom of the supports.

Next I will cut a facia to give the impression that the unit and shelves are fitted, rather than freestanding.

The rough plan:

The skirting fitted (with modification to fit over a raised floorboard):

The cutaways on the supports:

These glasses are made of real glass:

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Chimney breast

A fireplace is just a feature if there isn't a stocky chimney breast to make it stand proud. If you've been looking carefully you will have noticed that the left chimney on this house isn't well placed: it lines up with the staircase. That's been bugging me for a while and its something I'll be looking out for with my next house.

I've built a chimney breast tonight out of strong card. It will be wallpapered as part of the main wall. One of the photos below looks remarkably realistic.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Second coat of shop paint, and lights!

This morning I gave the shop a second coat of green paint, it now looks great. Small, light brushes of paint have helped to keep it as smooth as I can.

I fitted the two shop lights, very fiddly stuff. I've fitted a socket at the back of the house that will connect to all the light fittings.

Straightforward photo:

Camera setting changed to suit the lighting:

With some of the furniture and a doll:

Technical stuff:

Lolly sticks topped and tailed, ready for staining for the remaining floor section downstairs.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Sandwiches, books and a grocer's box

Tonight I've made more sandwiches, which need 'filling'.

I made two books from scratch, using balsa wood and paper, plus a leathery-type of paper for the sides.

I made a grocer's box and lightly varnished it. Here it is filled with some polymer clay fruit I made a while back.

Bricking, and painting walls

I've started to brick the left wall, but it is taking ages!

Also gave a first coat to the shop wall, a light green. More of a Georgian colour than Victorian, but no matter, it will suit a food shop. I've left space around the edges for the cornicing and the skirting boards (the glue doesn't stick as well to paint).

Saturday, 1 August 2009

One wall finished...

I've finished bricking one of the walls. It is a bit tedious but I'm happy with the final look. I've use balsa wood, painted black to appear as rendering at the bottom and middle of the walls. I've tapered the edges to look more realistic.

The next wall is underway and then I can fix the shop frontage on, ready for that to be bricked too.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Roses, cheese and sandwiches

I spent last night making pink roses and rosebuds. Tonight I've made a wheel of brie, edam cheese and some cheese salad sandwiches.

I'm pleased with the flowers, the sandwiches and the brie, but not so keen on the edam. It will do as a shelf-filler, with better items more prominent in the shop.

The flowers were made from paper slightly thicker than tissue paper, cut into tiny squares with the edges of one side rounded. I pasted each to a stem (made from florists' wire and green tape, prepared earlier), and rounded the edges of the roses.

The sandwiches and cheese were made from plastic corks. The texture is spongy, just the right look for bread. The cheese and salad are varying bits of yellow and green paper, and the 'tomato' is just a dab of red paint.