I’m almost done with the contest build, the only thing left on my to-do list is
I’m almost done with the contest build, the only thing left on my to-do list is
Mussels, sea stars, crabs, more anemone, and more resin.
I may have glued the rocks down prematurely, but can slice them off if need be.
I glued down the first layer of sea life into the bottom of the tide pools last weekend. It looks superfluously colorful and busy now, but keep in mind this is just the first level.
Wednesday I poured the first layer of resin. Then I remembered I hadn’t poured on Sunday because I wanted to put some crushed up shell on the ground first. Also, I forgot the sea stars.
The sea stars omission is not of great consequence, I can add them in subsequent layers. I walked over to Joann’s yesterday afternoon for air dry clay. I don’t want the sea stars flat and lifeless, I plan to shape them and let them dry in position. Practice sculpts will commence this afternoon.
i am using a different resin than I have before. EnviroTex Lite. I decided upon it after researching model railroad forums. I really like it so far, but each layer is a shallow, 1/8” pour, so this will take a while. I will report my findings when the project is complete.
It’s been almost two months since I posted. I’ve worked on a post several times, with a preamble on the current societal situations...how I feel anxious about the future, scared for loved ones, angry at my fellow citizens, guilty for being in a better situation than so many others. It’s stressful for us all and I want you to know you are not alone, and I care about you. I’m going to skip the planned preamble, as the stress, combined with everything else going on, makes me alternately cry and shout. I am mostly coping in a balanced, healthy perspective, but some days it’s very difficult. Thankfully I am much better about talking honestly with friends and family now than I used to be, and am not bottling it up inside.
I was working on the back wall of the conservatory build when I last updated you. I finished bricking, then grouted, but I forgot to seal the wall first, so I had to remove all the grout that was loose then let the wall dry. Some bricks came off. It took a long time to dry, as it has been a humid summer here, then even longer to let a slight warp relax.
While the wall was drying I thought I’d work on the seascaping. I mixed various sand colors then glued some into the bottom of the tide pools and immediately HATED IT. I can’t get it back off without making a worse mess of the base, so I’m going to have to live with it or cover it. I think I’m over the disappointment now.
On a good note. A wonderfully generous note, I got a box in the mail from blog reader and friend Bill, with a fascinating, beautifully documented assortment of natural supplies from the Pacific coast for the tide pool and future builds. I am contemplating a biological station in the near future, next door to the Boatworks.
After gawking for days I used some shells to fill a 1:12 printer’s tray from Stewart Dollhouse Creations.
In an attempt to meet the deadline I’m going to continue on with the seascaping and leave the conservatory‘s back wall until the contest kit is done. More to come soon.
Thinking through the tide pool seascaping...
I am planning to build the seascape upward, in steps to match intertidal zones.
I have been accumulating flora and fauna for months, as I researched. I’ve arranged the fauna by zone, with the exception of sea stars, which will be sculpted in situ...
I have lichens, flocking and lycopodium to serve as flora...
I have sand, small rocks, and crushed shells to serve as substrate, and some larger faux rocks Nancy made from air dry clay...
Nancy also sent some beach-combed treasure...
I’ve also a few items gathered from nature that aren’t meant to be anything that lives in a tide pool, but won’t look out of place if I need to use some as filler...
I am waiting for one more box of supplies before I start seascaping. My friend Bill, who lives on the Pacific coast of Canada, assembled a mix of treasure for me, it is en-route now. While I wait for it to arrive I have been happily engaged in Bill’s online research assignments. :)
The right wall is “finished”. The components are prepared, but I won’t fasten the roof piece in place until it’s clear I won’t need to lay the project on its side, nor glue the decking down until the base is complete.
I positioned the outer deck support at a slight downward angle, which should make the far end of the dock sag. I’d like it to look dilapidating but still functional. Hopefully the slant is sufficient, I couldn’t adequately test with only two hands.
Construction of the bit of roof progressed faster than I anticipated, despite my indecisiveness on the finish.
You’ll notice I am short one rafter. I miscounted, but then liked how that looks.
I put down an underlay of tarpaper, simulated by dark blue cardstock, as black would have faded by the sun. A metal roof to cover this, with bits of the tarpaper peeking through. I have some thin corrugated aluminum that’s been in my stash for years which I thought I’d use.
Though it’s dented it’s still too new looking in comparison to the wood finish on the building, so I used sodium percarbonate (Oxy-Clean) and heat to age the aluminum. The chemical dulled the finish and flame melted spots, but I didn’t get a finish I was crazy about.
I splattered on rust spots with ink, which helped...
I was going to examine additional distressing, but then saw this tossed out of the garage by my husband while cleaning.
The corrugated aluminum was a bit small in scale, and the corrugations in the coffee can are too big for scale, but the real rust finish...oh my.
Looking at the pictures again this morning, I’m still torn. I like the scale of the aluminum but the rust of the coffee can...though the coffee can is maybe too rusty.
What do you think?
Progress on the right wall :)
I moved the door away from the corner a bit and put in a smaller window.
The siding is on and the wall is stained. Nancy shared her “secret recipe“ for gray ;)
The door and window weren’t very absorbent, but I’m going to accept them as they are. Nothings ages evenly, including myself.
I attached the ledger rail for the dock... I didn’t wipe off the excess glue from the bottom edge, but pressed in green flocking.
Next step...a bit of roof... it’s hard to explain, you’ll see.
I also fixed the rubber bumper under the boathouse door on the left wall. You can see the difference from the first picture to the second.
I’ve spent most of the past few weeks working in my gardens, communing with the chipmunks and birds, but did get a bit accomplished on the build.
I finished bricking, then grouted, aged, and shadowed. I stained the boathouse door, applied layers of gloss medium to make faux windows, and added a bit of signage.
A bit of cheesecloth between the layers of the rightmost window made an acceptable spiderweb.
I used bolts, washers, and nuts to fasten the rubber bumper to the bottom of the door opening. I’m not happy with it, the hardware is too high on the bumper, so I will make corrections, and most likely reduce the fastenings from seven to five.
Because I didn’t want shiny hardware, nor rusty hardware, I used heat to remove the shiny finish.
I decided, as I was gluing a piece of stripwood to the side of the door so it would fit the opening, that I didn’t like the blue I painted the door and window, as it created a focal point in competition with the boathouse door. I was pondering whether to sand and refinish them, or flip them over and stain the unfinished other side, when I thought to test others from my stash.
I really like the shorter Timberbrook door (bottom left). I bid on eBay for a matching window in a small lot, but fell asleep a half hour before the auction ended and lost it. I suppose it was for the best, since I am trying to reduce my stash, not add to it. I will use the small double-hung window I already have.
The door needs to be moved to the right, and the window hole resized, so I’ll do that this weekend, unless transplanting overgrown ferns from the front to the back garden wears me out.
I did get the bottom section of the wall painted to look like concrete, then aged, along with the supports the dock posts sit on. I am not happy with the paint job but I haven’t figured out why yet....too gunked up maybe? I’m not necessarily unhappy with it either, though. I’m over-thinking it. Most likely it won’t matter, because by the time barnacles take it over not much will be visible.
I have plans for a roof edge but have to work out the construction. I also need to decide on siding. I stained some thin wood strips already but might use clapboard instead.
I sanded the edges of the cut-out and painted. The paint is primarily to seal the MDF, don’t be alarmed by the color :)
During the past few months I’ve been collecting, scavenging, and crafting sea life to fill the tide pool, but I will cover that in its own post, later.
My friend Bill sent an email suggesting I coat the boat with PC Petrifier. I should have thought of that, I used it on the edges of the roof of the English Cottage Kitchen. I still had half a bottle in my supply cupboard, so gave the boat a couple coats. I haven’t started sanding/filling the inside yet.
I have been patiently and thoughtfully bricking the left wall over the last week and a half...I finished yesterday.
I also built most of the door...I have to stain it, fashion windows, and add a rubber coated bottom. I have no idea if a “soft” bottom is realistic, but it makes sense to me, as boats will be gliding over it.
The bricked in windows and darker bricks around the door are meant to give the wall history, as if the boathouse door were added some time after the building was completed. I will play with the color of the grout, as well, to make the darker bricked sections look newer.
You may have noticed the coloration of the bricks darkens at the bottom of the wall. That is deliberate, as it marks the high tide line, where the bottom of the wall will be wet, and the even darker shadow under the dock. Something you may not have noticed, since it doesn’t photograph well, are the lintels and sills of the bricked up windows...I will need to paint in some shadows to accentuate their depth.
This is what I mean....
I wish I had done the windows differently. Now is the time to decide if I want to remove bricks to re-do it....before grout. I will ponder the situation, but your opinion is welcome.