After a couple of days without the stamina to work on the dollshouse at all, I am shooting for two projects at once today.
The upstairs floor needs to dry after being gently sanded and ModPodged...so I am trying to make a fieldstone fireplace out of egg carton stones. My parents have such a (real stone, not egg carton!!) fireplace in their real house, and I have always loved it. Egg carton, odd though it sounds, does have the potential to create the most realistic results for miniature stonework. (I guess using real stones could be as good, but I wanted to try something new.)
I say "has the potential" because, let's face it, I am going to have to paint those egg carton rocks once they are in place. Can I paint anything remotely resembling fieldstone? Ahh, there's the rub. Let's see how it goes. On the plus side, this method is spectacularly cheap. All you have to do is save up an egg carton -- I used almost one whole one -- and find something to cut the actual fireplace shape from. I used a scrap of styrofoam packing material.
The cut-out for the fire (for which I traced around half a soup can to make the arch) was a little bit shaggy, so I neatened it up with a thin coating of plaster: that is to say, Polyfilla (or Spackle) thinned with water.
I am very much indebted to Casey's Minis for the advice I followed on the method itself, and you could not do better than to visit her magnificent blog for the details. I both cut and tore the stones to shape, and went so far as to use a green egg carton (since that was what I had on hand and I did not want to wait to eat another ten eggs. Yes, you read that right. Here in Germany you do not get a dozen; you get ten. They also do not refrigerate them in the store. I still expect to get food poisoning, but never have.) I don't think the green colour will show through the paint. (If it does, we are almost through another carton of eggs. A brown one this time.)
Here is a picture of what I have so far. No paint yet. This is a first for me, showing a work in progress. If I ruin it in the painting stage, I will try to feel liberated.
The bare white strip is the place where the rough-hewn balsawood mantelshelf will be glued.