But I just need some practice (practice)

Getting started on pumpkin house. My first step was to cut out a nice floor with my Cricut. I used damask chipboard cut into a 6 inch circle:

I chose it because I liked the pattern but I may end up covering it. Here’s how it looks in the pumpkin:

The chipboard is necessary because the bottom of the pumpkin is not flat. It has a raised bump in the middle.

The circle is what I will use to define my working space. Any piece I make will have to fit on this circle and be in scale with the other pieces.

I’ve been using another piece of damask chipboard (I bought it by accident, so it’s sort of a waste chipboard) to do some practice pieces, working on designing in the cricut app.

I’m not terribly happy with the results so far. We’ll have to see if I get better at designing. The castle bed came out pretty well, but the hutch leaves much to be desired.

Practice will hopefully make better, of not perfect.

Because I need a break break break break break….

The castle has become a little overwhelming, so for now I am working on a new project that I am calling Pumpkin House. It will be built in this ceramic pumpkin I bought at Michael’s:

It had several advantages over the castle. It is season appropriate, it is only one space, and I can work in a slightly larger scale which means I can use some pieces I already have. For instance, these two pieces I recently found at a vintage shop;

The little cast iron stove is actually one half of a salt and pepper set. And it really is iron. Also, there is this amazing brass kettle I’ve had in my stash for a while:

I think it will end up being a hedge witches cottage, and I can always move back to the castle if this one gets boring.

Love, love!

To the windows….

I’ve been working on the castle windows. I needed to do both window inserts and surrounds before i can finish the outside of the castle. I attempted to make the windows out of chipboard, but either my blade was too dull or the cuts were too small. It made a mess. The version I ended up going with are made from grey cardstock, printed and layered. Here are the pieces:

Some finagling still had to be done, since the windows on the castle are not uniform. I can tell you, I won’t be using a pre-made home like this again. I can’t get the precision I like, working around someone else’s design. There are 3 different window sizes on the castle, so that added to the fun. here are some of the window surrounds and inserts in place from the outside. That one on the lower left will need to be replaced!

And here’s how they look from the inside:

I got frustrated, working with the paper at this point so I didn’t do the surrounds on the inside yet.

Bed’s too tiny without you…

Work continues on the castle bed. I have about half of the embroidery done and have started dressing the bed.

First thing I needed was the mattress. Medieval beds were made of straw, rags, or down. Straw or rags for common folk and down for the wealthy. This mattress, however, will be filled with polyester stuffing. The mattress is essentially a small pillow which I glued to the bed frame:

Next came the bed skirt. It is 14 cm long, about 1 cm wide and stitches with burgundy embroidery thread. The bed skirt features an acorn and leaf motif:

The bed skirt was glued in place along the bottom of the bed frame:

A blanket made of printed cotton came next. It is shaped to fit around the bed posts:

To top this part of the bedding off, the embroidered coverlet, also featuring a motif of acorns and leaves.

That is only half of the bedding. Medieval bedding also consists of pillows, curtains, and a headpiece. So I have those still to make.

This bed is too tiny for passionate love…

So, here I am in my work room, hugging the air conditioning and making a tiny bed for the castle project. Here are the pieces:

My Cricut makes very precise cuts which makes assembling furniture incredibly easy. The bed is actually the first piece of furniture I designed myself. I stained the balsawood and painted the chipboard pieces. Chipboard does not take stain.

This will be the canopy
And this is the base.

The balsa wood is cut into 2.5 inch pieces. These will form the uprights.

And here is the assembled bed.

The bed looked too plain, so I added some cutwork around the top.

So next I will need to make the mattress.

If you’d like a copy of the SVG file for the bed, let me know and I will figure out how to send it to you.

But it’s so tiny living behind the castle walls…

My Cricut is currently in the process of cutting out the pieces I need for the castle four poster bed. It is taking forever. It has been going for a half hour but is only 4% through the cut. It is going to be quite some time I’m afraid.

While the cricut does its thing, I will be installing the floorboards and and the paneling in the great hall. Here are the floor boards. They are made from birch coffee stirrer stained with cherry stain.

The floor is 9cm wide, so I cut the first board to that length and glued it in place. There was a short piece left over so that went next.

I’ll continue in the fashion for the rest of the floor, so it will look like a real plank floor.

Here we are, a few planks in.
About two thirds of the way along.
And here we are, all finished.

Next I’ll be putting in the paneling. If you’ll remember from a previous post (All and all it’s just another panel in the wall), the panels are made from brown card stock. They look pretty good, in place:

They looked kind of unfinished so I added a rail along the top:

Not too bad, I think.

Perhaps tomorrow I shall work on the windows.

Facing life upon the shelf, shelf, shelf…..

I had a crap week and wasn’t really keen on doing anything with the castle except work on the stitching for the bedding. Much of the malaise I was feeling had to do with being crowded with too much crap in my work room. Thus, I spent a lot of time clearing out my work room, assembling a set of shelves and putting my completed projects on said shelves. This gave me room on my table to set up my cricut, a much better location than the left half of the couch.

Now I am working on the benches for the great hall. They are made from cardstock and are from this svg bundle I got from Thicketworks. Though I had to decrease the size a lot to get them in scale with my table. Here are the pieces of each bench:

The side supports are 4 layers of card stock. While the bench seat is three, though that will increase to four when the slats are added. The bottom length supports are two layers of card stock and the top one is three. It took me a little while to see how the pieces went to together I realized how clever the design is.

Here’s a side support with the bottom length supports in place
Both side supports in place.
The tabs in the top support fit into the slots in the bench seats
Almost finished.
Add the slays to the top and you are done.

I’m thinking I will paint the benches the same brown as the table, but you can see they are just the right size:

You may also notice that I have a new work surface. I bought a plastic placemat at the dollar tree to use, since it can be cleaned. I wish I had thought of that sooner.

Good night all.

I got the eye of the gryphon…

Today was a day for furniture building. I complete the queen’s throne which is, as custom dictated, less ornate and shorter than that of the king. Here’s a little photo shoot of the building process:

I also built the table for the great hall. It came out a little more Harry Potter looking than I planned on, but what can you do. At least the Gryffindor animal mascot is a lion, not a griffin. Though I feel J.K. Rowling may have dropped the ball on that one.

Benches for the great hall are next, and a chandelier.

All and all it’s just another panel in the wall….

I was away for the weekend. I needed some time to decompress. Now that I’m back home, I’ve been doing some work on the castle project. Working with the cricut has taken some practice, but I’m making progress. I made my first design which is going to be paneling in the great hall, and possibly the bedroom, of which I totally failed to take any pictures. I’ll put some in my next post. The panels are made from dark brown cardstock. I had the cricut make a bunch of rectangles that were 0.75” by 3”. Then i made a bunch of hollow squares that were 0.75” by 0.75”. Four squares glued to the rectangles make fairly realistic “wood” panels. They will look pretty good and I will post some photos tomorrow.


As promised, here’s a photo of the paneling:

What we need is a piece maker…

My Cricut Maker arrived today! And yes, I have already been playing with it. I have cut out two pieces designed by Spellbound Miniatures. Here’s the maker in action:

Between getting home from work and dinner time I made this scribe’s slope which I scaled down from a 1:12 inch scale SVG file:

I plan to use it and the bookcase I am about to cut out in the Wizard’s study of my castle.

Here’s what the pieces of the bookcase look like when they have been cut by the maker:

And when you carefully peel away the extra card stock you get this:

All that’s left is to assemble. Here’s the completed bookcase:

I want to extend my thanks to the people at Spellbound Minatures for the lovely starter project and the helpful YouTube video.