Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ready to Roll (pun unintended, honest)

So all the fixtures and basic decor are in place and the bakery is ready to be decorated, accessorized and filled with whatever FIMO delectables this novice can manage to turn out.

I worked on the outside first, by putting up wooden siding (note: avoid buying siding from Handley House; the wood is poor quality and one of the segments was a different scale than the rest). I bought a lovely "French Blue" Glidden paint sample from Home Depot; it cost only $3 and contained enough paint for two coats. The window and door are by Houseworks. While the door is flush on the inside, there's some dead space under the threshold on the outside; I'll have to fashion a doorstep, which shouldn't be too difficult. Also, I'm not very fond of that wide expanse of wall next to the window, so at some point I'm going to fashion a large sign to hang there.

That was actually easy compared to the inside. Because I am capable of learning from my mistakes, I bought pre-made flooring this time around. I found the perfect wallcovering and border in the scrapbook paper aisle of JoAnn's. Scrapbook paper is similar in weight to copy paper and has an unfortunate tendency to wrinkle, so I had to use a glue stick to adhere it to some poster paper before affixing it to the walls. It turned out surprisingly well.

There's a lot of trim involved in this room! Baseboard, crown molding and double chair rail molding. There's no interior door trim in this pic, but the window has no fewer than 12 pieces: in addition to the 4 surrounding the outside of the window, there are 4 surrounding the inside. Plus, the window is not as deep as the door and the edges of the plywood showed. Therefore, there are 4 more pieces of trim covering the raw edges, one of which I fashioned into a windowsill.

And now that all that's taken care of, it's time to put in the furniture:

Note that the door trim has been installed. :)

The display units are purchased. Behind the counter are two things I made myself: on the right is the counter extension that goes from the the display case to the window, and on the left is a "swinging" door (which has glued-on hinges but doesn't actually work) to close off the employee area from the rest of the shop. The countertop is a molded styrene tile sheet that I painted with cerulean blue enamel, drawing in the grout with a white Sharpie. The countertop is not yet attached because I need to be able to remove the display case in order to fill it.

Next up: accessories and decor!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Preliminaries

Now that I've gotten the box put together and test fit the furnishings, it's time to get started for real.

I'll be using scrapbooking paper to cover the walls, so I don't know how much the dark (and, more importantly, differently-colored) plywood walls might show through. Therefore, I've slapped a coat of white paint on all the walls.

As you can see, the paint didn't take to the plywood evenly, although it did do a bit better than I expected (yay, Ceramcoat!). I'll need to put at least one more coat on it before I start papering. I made a bit of a mess on the floor but that's fine, since I have separate flooring to install. I like the color of the plywood; the stain I'm going to use on the floor should make it about that color.

I've also been busy painting the window and door so that I can pop them right into place once the paper's up.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Onward and Upward

So now that the 2010 show is done and over, it's time to start thinking about next year's show.

Next year's club project is a scene inside of a wreath. I've decided to use a papier mache hatbox and a grapevine wreath, and I've actually started to do a sketch or two. That's for later, though, as I'm still in the very early planning stages and am not entirely certain how to proceed. I do know that stucco, "wrought iron" and lots of miniature plants will be involved. Gotta get rid of all that leftover dimensional paint, lol.

The other project, which is already in progress, is a room box that I'm turning into a bakery/gift shop. I need to start now because I plan to make all the food myself (yes, I shall be plumbing the depths of FIMO hell; pray for me).

Fun Part the First was putting the stupid room box together. First off, there was the hole issue. The kit came with pre-cut door and window openings, which was great! The window I'd bought didn't quite fit the opening, but a little grinding with my handy-dandy Dremel sorted things out. However, the door was a HUGE problem; the opening was only slightly too narrow for the door I had (grind, grind, grind), but it was nowhere near tall enough.

Really? REALLY? Okay, doors do come in a variety of widths, but the height is pretty much standard. This door opening was a full 1/4" too short. I love my Dremel; I'm not going to make it do that much grinding. I unpacked the jigsaw I got on sale about a month ago, but had no way to hold the piece stable enough to use it (and frankly, I'm kinda scared of that thing; I think I'm going to give it to my cousin or something). The plywood was too hard to cut with my X-Acto knives. I finally wound up using my Dremel to drill a series of pilot holes into the panel and then followed up with some elbow grease and a hacksaw.

Also, the kit contained no helpful tabs, slots and grooves and the box is too big to fit inside my 10"x10" gluing jig, so getting it glued together with corners that are somewhere in the vicinity of "square" was something of a challenge. I wound up assembling it in the master bathroom, using the counter and the backsplash for support and holding it together with about a half a roll of masking tape. Voila!

I went to my favorite mini supplier and was talking to them about the project. One of them pointed out that if I'm planning to display it, I needed to light it. She's right; there was an exhibit at the show that was unlit and it was rather difficult to see inside. But I didn't want to deal with wiring because the box's final destination will be a shelf in my office/hobby room and I don't want to go through all that trouble for nothing. I figured an LED spotlight would be a good compromise.

Well, I popped into Lowe's and found a battery-operated light bar with 3 LED elements. It attaches with either sticky tape or Velcro and is less than 1.5" deep, so I'm going to slap it up on the the underside of the box top and either fashion a bit of a drop ceiling, or just glue an extra bit of trim on the front of the box.

Next step, finding a nice wallpaper. I'm planning to put posters of baked goods on the walls, so it'll need to be something subtle. Guess I'm going to be hitting the scrapbook paper section of Joann's tomorrow.

Happy Easter, everyone!