Thursdays are always busy days here, because that's the day the KnitWits (the four girls I play with) come over. We did accomplish a few things, in between several hands of Happy Families (Evangelista won them all -- well done!) and celebrations of Fred's birthday (she's officially a tween now, a label she cordially detests). Well, she's twelve, she's entitled :)
Tiddles and I worked on the spiral staircase. I had cut a 1/4" dowel roughly to length, and I made a temporary base it could be stuck into so that we could construct the staircase out of the castle, and then move it when we'd worked everything else out.
I was using the rather thin suggestions for construction from Geoffrey West's book Tudor dolls' houses.
This is a close up of it after I put it in the castle this morning, but it gives an idea of the basic construction. We cut 1 3/4" lengths of dimensional balsa (the balsa was 3/4" x 1"), shallowly sliced off one corner, used a rounded file on it to make it fit better against the curve of the dowel, and glued these lengths on top of each other. (If I had been clever, I would have sanded every piece perfectly before assembly -- now I have to sand it afterwards ...)
It was very hard to start the build, because the darned thing kept toppling over! Finally Tiddles and I decided to just glue up the bottom five or six steps and leave it alone for a while, while we had a snack and played cards.
When we came back to it, I got the bright idea of using Quick Grip glue (our unofficial sponsor -- someone from the company, Karen, actually left a comment on my earlier post about the bake oven construction -- it was like a visit from a celebrity :) which worked a treat. I still just glued stairs on in groups of six or so, but it was certainly stickier!
This morning I drilled a hole in the base of the kitchen floor where the stairs will go, and tried them out for size:
Looks pretty good! It's got to be sanded and then painted to look like stone, then I have to figure out the cut out for the upper floor, which may tax all my spatial abilities.
Note: it would be more in scale if the lengths of the steps were longer, but I was building this to fit in a very small space. I've been up some pretty small spiral staircases in cathedrals and so forth in England, but I suspect there aren't any quite as small in diameter as this one!
I made one door for the bake oven -- this one didn't have to be removeable, because I intend it to be closed for display, but what the heck? It is!
And Tiddles sewed on some lengths of trim to her tapestry, made a hanging rod with bead finials, and hung it up, proudly, in the Great Hall for all to admire:
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