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Friday, May 22, 2015

Steam Punk [Art Nouveau?] Window Progress

Hi folks!  I hope this finds you all well and happy!

It's been a day or two (try nearly two weeks!) since I posted, and what I have to show you today is what has been done in 15 - 20 minutes a day over the last several weeks.  Life is incredibly full nowadays and what little time I think I have, I often don't feel quite up to the thinking!  But some small Progress we have, and so Progress we shall report.

The "finished" Grand parlor Windows

I left you with the basic wood shapes cut and formed for the Grand Parlor Windows.  My efforts have been focused on both the Window Box itself and finishing up the Windows themselves.  I have not installed them permanently, and won't until more has been done inside, but they are as far as they are going to go for now.  I will not be finishing up the trims and covering the base windows until much later in the build.

The unfinished Steam Punk Windows, for comparison!

I will tell you, from the point above, to where I am now on these has again been quite a journey!   My muse left me on a somewhat regular basis!  Silly muse...cannot keep him on task.

These windows are actually quite complex...with many steps.  I have been working on them well over a month by now.  I watch all of you put whole rooms together in a month, and I somethings am "moved to despair" thinking I will never finish!   I tend to "look", "stare", "mope" and "emote" my way to a final design for each step..  The whole process leaves me feeling like mush!  I don't know how you all do it!

"Tuxedo" Windows!

Anyhow, my first steps were of course to sand, paint and stain the windows.  I used a black acrylic on the outer trims, and a beautifully red tinted wood stain from Min-Wax named Gunstock.  I loved the effect, it created a "Tuxedo" effect that I find enchanting.  I added the Wire Details, using 4 rods this time rather than three, since the windows are larger, and I wanted to "fill" the space visually.

I then glued the mount board pieces I used to box the window together and Spackled the edges, painting the box ends again, until I had a reasonably smooth, well covered surface, and added a layer of satin varnish to give the boxes a "metallic" sheen.

Cast Resin Detail

I cast the resin "wrought iron details" to match the kitchen doors and pull the two ends together from a design perspective.  I purposely worked to "relate" the two ends, without duplicating the details slavishly, as I think that is one of the keys to creating interest...everything "goes together" but there is always something new around the next corner.

(Please forgive all the steel wool dust!  Arghhh!  I have so much to learn about Photography!)

Hobby Lobby find!  Fairy Tales line by beadtreasures

The last steps were to coat the entire thing with the same satin varnish I used on the end boxes, and to add a bit of detail to the base.  The metal "shield" on the base is simply a charm from the "Fairy Tales" line sold by bead treasures.  I just cut off the top using my jeweler's pliers, and glued it straight on to the wood, as is.  I like the "pop" of the metal against the warm wood colors and accented by the black.  

Those "empty spaces" below the window are very tempting...  So many possibilities!

I am especially excited about the interior view, which at the moment,doesn't look like all that much, but will be gussied up as part of the interior trim work.  That is much farther down the we'll just have to be patient.

The Completed "Steam Punk" Window...why does it look so Nouveau? 

For the moment, these Grand Parlor windows are as far as they will go.  I'll be adding additional trim to the outside while working on the interior trims, so a truly "finished" window is a few weeks away at best!

My next steps will be to move around to the front of the Manor, and add similar related details to the base of the windows along the front.  I say "similar" but never forget...nothing happens the same way twice when I am building things!  Who knows what extraordinary things are yet to come?  (I'll tell you a well known secret. . . even I don't know!  :0)

I'd like to welcome a few new followers on board!  I am excited to share this journey with you, and to learn from you too!

Until next time!

Doug S


  1. Hi Doug! I must agree with your comment about the windows looking Art Nouveau. When I first saw them I thought that they reminded me of butterflies. They are Very Handsome windows with Marvelous Detail so I hope that that doesn't throw you off. AND I really like the way that you have bulked them up with the detail just under them and the shields. It gives the exterior Presence and the butterflies More Masculinity!. I'm Loving the way your Exterior is developing and don't worry about how fast or slow you go. That has always been the nature of this hobby. Sometimes Mojo is in town and sometimes Mojo is taking a vacation and doesn't know when he will be back.
    You just have to go with the flow :D


    1. Hi Elizabeth! I am not too disturbed the the "Art Nouveau" look of the windows, since I am totally in love with the Art Nouveau design movement. I've always loved the "unusual" yet beautiful and almost pseudo natural curves (definitely NOT natural!) and unexpected decorative flourishes that the movement produced. Some of it is a bit too much even for me, but most of it I love, love, love!

      My "style" for this build is by definition Eclectic. . . but I am also finding that I am drawing a lot from the Art Nouveau look, since I think it so perfectly represents the "unique" vibe of Steam Punk.

      I am glad you feel that the exterior is developing a "presence" since that is what I am hoping for! Always nice to confirm that what I think about a design is what someone else is reading...:0)

      So.."Mojo" is his name? Well darn it all! I've been calling my muse everything except that. . . maybe that is the problem! :0)

      Good Luck on your prep for the West Coast Miniatures show! That is just around the corner about now! Sending best wishes for your muse to stay focused!


  2. Ah, that sneaky muse is a pain in the butt sometimes. There are a lot of components to those windows so it's no wonder it takes time to complete. They are unique and hand crafted so you deserve a pat on the back for that alone =0)

    1. Hey Pepper! You got it! On both counts!

      I never think about the complexity of a design until AFTER I figure out what I want. Then I complain. It's just my way! It is just so much fun! :0)

      Having selected the "Steampunk" genre as a theme for this house pretty much forces me into a "unique and hand crafted" solution. . . so no pats on the back! :0) I find that a two edged sword. I am learning so much that I will take into the future, so that is truly exciting...the back side of that business is that it challenges me greatly to come up with stuff. . . scary!

      It's time to go find that pain in the butt muse and get going on the next project. Wish me luck!

      Thanks Pepper! Doug

  3. Hi Doug, wonderful work as usual. I think the windows are marvellous. You would never see anything like that in a kit house. It is easy to put a room/house together when everything has been made for you - but the detailing, blood, sweat and tears that go into making everything yourself (as you do) is to be commended. I love this build as you know, but each and every detail that comes from you just adds to the charm of your gorgeous manor.
    All the best

    1. Hi Vivian! I am so glad you like the windows! Don't tell anyone, but there are some times I wish I WAS building a kit house, because what I am doing takes so much mental energy. . . then again, I am the type that "needs" to push my mental boundaries, so perhaps it is fortunate that I didn't start with a kit. I think "coloring in the lines" would also have it's own stresses for me! But I have seen some absolutely gorgeous kit houses...of course I always like the ones that run in the 1000 dollar range. . . curse it all! Our new miniature shop here in the Edmonds, Washington area (CJN Miniatures) has a partially built kit house needing a little TLC (used) that I have been very tempted to pick up for that "future project". Like I have a place to put it! This "little" project I am already committed to has taken over the house...Dining Room, Bedroom, Garage, occasionally the kitchen! poor, eternally patient wife. She deserves a medal!

      I haven't shed too many tears so far. . . :0) Bloody, sweaty, those I will grant. . . I hope that the Manor continues to bring you pleasure as it progresses! I know building it does for me.

      Thanks Vivian!


  4. Hi Doug! I hear you thinking: oh no, she is back again, hahaha ;O!!
    Okay, seriously now: I don't think your windows are beautiful, no, because they are really marvellous, just like the others said :D! They are unique, so, of course it took you so much time to create them, but I'll comforting one has this kind of windows ;)! And I fully agree with Elisabeth: when I first saw them I thought that they reminded me of butterflies too........they are simply beautiful!
    I've been out the blog world for about 4 weeks and I know what you mean with your muse.......I've lost mine too due the circumstances, but I think......I've got it back and I'll go with the flow ;)!
    Wishing you a nice weekend.

    1. Illona, I am ecstatic that you are back in the saddle! I've missed you! Your blog has been very quiet for you! I'm excited to see where you will head next.

      I guess the windows do have a bit of the butterfly influence in them! I can see that in them now that it is pointed out. Just as long as they don't fly off now that I have them near completion, I will be happy.

      Elizabeth says you need to call your muse Mojo...maybe he'll return then. :0) I hope your surgery went well and you are feeling better now.

      Glad to have you back "online"!


  5. Hello Doug,
    I love the windows. they wake me think of Monarch butterflies. they are beautifully crafted and look amazing. Well done!
    Big hug,

    1. Hey Giac!

      The butterfly thing seems to be the general consensus, which is funny, because it was the farthest thing from my mind during the build! But it is a fortunate circumstance, because "the butterfly" is also one of those Steampunk icons...someone must be watching over me!

      Thanks Giac!


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