Monday, December 17, 2012
Building a Christmas Mantelpiece.
Firstly, I apologise for the sub-par level
of some of these photographs.
My camera hates indoor shots,
and anything not in
My camera also makes me look like
a middle-aged woman,
which can't be right.
a long time ago I showed you some images
from the on-going project
of Hubby's Steampunk Study.
No, I'm not ashamed.
Hubby is now ensconced
in his study and loves it.
He's in there so much,
it scares the heck out of me
and the dog
when he comes out
wanted for his study
was a fireplace.
This house is built of wooden boards
and plastic strips and so
doesn't have a chimney of any kind
But I found the beginnings of a fireplace
on a neighbour's dump.
I don't know what it was, originally.
I do know how to do some minor woodwork.
My claim to carpentry skills is that
I used to make rocking horses.
I loved the carving and
I loved the designing
I hated the sawing and
So I used a sheet of drywall
for my basic construction.
Yes, I have worries, too.
It's really not one of the things
drywall is designed to do.
Anyway, forging ahead in blissful ignorance,
here is my basic design.
An insert, edged with
moulding for support.
The little ceramic shield
was a gift from my dear friend Kate.
I'd link her blog but
SHE DOESN'T HAVE ONE,
despite my protests.
Moulding, rondels and little heraldic device
all glued with Liquid Nail.
This was a real craftsman's job, ladies and gentlemen.
Gluing the fireplace to the mantelpiece.
Of course, what I'm actually doing is gluing the
PAPER of the drywall to the mantelpiece.
Paint it black.
The black paint was magic.
It made everything fit together.
It even, (kinda, sorta)
looked like cast iron,
which was what I was going for.
Now, the worrying bit.
Even though I left this glued and drying
for three days,
I still expected it to fall apart
when I stood it upright.
That, there, is a fake fire.
Fake as a wig,
fake as a glass eye.
It doesn't even heat up,
it's just a red light bulb
and some split timber.
It's kitsch and tawdry
and perfect for what I needed.
It even crackles like a real fire!
I've made a mantel shelf, by gluing two
boards of the drywall together,
leaving the finished edges at the front
so that it painted nice and smooth.
And I'm making a fireback,
otherwise the Ugly Wallpaper
will show through and rather spoil the illusion.
Why yes! That is a skull
with a paint can on its face.
You'll understand my excitement
because, when this is finished,
I get to decorate a mantelpiece
and hang stockings on a fireplace
for the first time in a decade!