Monday, September 7, 2009

Wise Ways Relocation Project Begins

Great-Grandma Sarah Ann is a very happy little lady right now. I started building the Brimbles for her this weekend and she's already starting to pack up her inventory and get ready to move. She's never, ever liked the store I built for her and told me that she only tolerated it until I could find a Brimbles. I reminded her over and over that Brimbles was out of production and finding one on eBay would cost an arm and three fingers (and how could I build without my fingers anyway). She told me not to fret about it, she'd make sure that we found one. Then Brimbles came back into production and was re-released in laser cut! Hmmmm.............she may only be 6 inches tall, but apparently she's still a mighty little witch. I need to get her to tell me which spell she used for that.

Anyway, the building has started and I think I'm happier than Sarah Ann. For one thing, I've lusted after a Brimbles for sooooooooo long that this is a dream come true. It's an awesome house and it's HUGE! I mean, those rooms are really, really, really big! I had no idea from the pictures just how much space there is in this house. I already made over 350 books for Wise Ways and now I need to make more. Oh well, that's okay. I found some burgundy leather and mixing that in with the black and brown books will look excellent.

And it's laser cut! OMG! This is the third laser cut kit I've built and it just gets better and better! Before the laser cut I had cringed at the idea of sanding all the porch pieces and dormer window parts and trim because of what it would do to my hands, but there's NO sanding needed at all. Woooooohoooooo!Wait till you see how the laser cut window frames take stain! It's SO gorgeous that I've been drooling. I'm using bombay mahogany and the dark laser cut edges make the stained wood look even richer and really pop the grain. After seeing this, I'm positive now that I have to pick one of the laser cut kits to simply stain both and varnish just to showcase the wood grain and the lines of the kit.

I had planned on putting in four or five lights but Sarah Ann had different ideas about that. We ended up planning for 18 lights and a total of 26 bulbs. I decided to put lights in the front windows to highlight the displays there and discovered that if I turned a couple of floor lamps upside down, they look exactly like those old department store ceiling lights on brass poles and are the perfect length to show in the windows. Cool! We're going to have two more chandeliers downstairs and one upstairs plus lights in the display cases, on shelves, and on the desk in the research room. Oh, and Sarah Ann wants to have glowing crystal balls on the shelves so we're going to do that too. All these lights will really make the mahogany woodwork and parquet floors glow!

When I was planning the design, I had fully intended to put the staircase in coz it's as cool as the one in the Glencroft, but Sarah Ann nixed that idea. She pointed out that if I put in the staircase there wouldn't be enough room for all of her shelves and counters for inventory. She wants wall-to-wall shelves from floor to ceiling downstairs. Okay, no stairs.

One thing we're still discussing is wrapping the porch around the side to make a boardwalk. I still have the porch post assembly from the Willowcrest and it looks *perfect* with the Brimbles porch. It's not an exact match, but it's close enough to work nicely. I was all excited about it until I did some measuring and discovered that if I put the boardwalk on the side, the store will be too wide to fit into the space allocated for it on Magick Street. I'm going to go back upstairs and mess around with the Glencroft and Orchid to see if I can possibly rearrange anything to make it work. I might be able to make it fit if I make the boardwalk really, really, really narrow. It would be more of a facade about an inch and a half wide but if I make some shadows with paint I might be able to create an optical illusion so it looks like it's wider than it is. Wish me luck.

Sarah Ann is telling me that break time is over and I have to get back to work. I'd call her a bossy old woman but the truth is that I'm so excited about this build that I don't want to stop for anything!!


  1. I cant wait to see phohots of this one! Do you have any advice or photos on how you did the lighting? I bought a Brimbles Kit on ebay ( not laster cut Im afraid, the old style :-( ) and its to be a chocolatiers, but I havnt lit an open fronted house before, most of mine can have hidden lighting in the back as they open at the front. Any advice welcome thanks! Would love to see if you take step by step pics of this project as its one id like to start on after Christmas. Have fun with it, sounds cool so far. Kate

  2. Kate, I'd be happy to share pictures of the wiring process with you. I do hard wire, not tape wire and it's easy as pie. In fact, I did an issue on wiring in the Greenleaf Gazette earlier this year so I'll find that tonight and post it tomorrow. I'll be looking forward to seeing your chocolatiers! Brimbles will be perfect for that!

  3. Thanks thats great! Im not too hot on wiring, and its easy to hide wires at the back of a house. My Beacon Hill was all wired for me so I cheated! I cant wait to see pics of your Brimbles , its such a perfect house I love it. Im looking for a Willowcrest too but they are like hens teeth in the UK! Not that I need any more projects really, already have too many on the go, but then dont we all! Kate xxx