Friday, 21 September 2012

Outside the Old Swan Inn

Hello Everyone!

I said in my last post that I had been working a little on the outside of the Swan Inn, my dolls house pub.

The biggest and most time consuming project has been making the wisteria that I wanted for the exterior of the pub. I bought it at the Thame Dolls House Festival, way back at the beginning of this year, from The Miniature Garden Centre. The lady who sold it to me did warn me that though the kit was fairly simple, I would need a lot of time and patience to complete the kit, this was also mention in the instructions!!

Well, I didn't start on it for several months so it hasn't taken that long to make, but it has indeed required patience and time.

The flowers took a while, as each petal had to be shaped individually, and stuck onto cones made from tiny gravel which also had to be painted. The leaves also took a while to make as each leave had to be stuck onto the wire stem individually and there were nine leaves per stem.

The pics above show the production line of finished leaves and flowers! The next job was to think how to attach all this to the pub itself.

The kit included paper covered wire, which I twisted into a stem and branches. It took a lot of repositioning until I was happy with the arrangement of branches. I then thought about how to keep the wisteria in place, as it will be on the front panel which lifts off to gain access to the pub interior.

I found a selection of small eyebolts that did the trick, I threaded the wire branches through them and the kept the whole thing in place perfectly! I also tried out a few leaves and flowers on the branches, looks a bit sad at the moment doesn't it! LOL.

You might also have noticed the sign with the pub's name attached, I made this during the summer too, The letters came from Hobby's in London.

I painted the eye bolts a shade similar to the branches to disguise them, using enamel paint. Once that had dried I was ready to add the leaves and flowers to the branches, the end was now in sight!

and teh results....

I think it looks pretty good myself, it may not be as perfect as the original one I saw at the show, but I am very pleased with how it turned out, and it really makes a feature on the front of the building. The wisteria pot is wired to the front panel too, so it also comes off when you remove the panel.

You might also have noticed the little bench, bought as a discontinued item (therefore reduced!!) from McQueenie's Miniatures, which I have painted and polished.

I have also added a hanging bracket for a pub sign, which I have yet to make. The bracket is from Black Country Ironworks.

And finally, here is how the pub looks now!! Worth all the effort I think, now I need to get some plants to put in the tubs by the porch!


  1. Hi Andy
    I love love love it!! It must have taken you ages but it is well worth the effort. The bench is perfect, I really like the green colour. Cant wait to see the sign when it's up.
    Have a great weekend
    Simon x

  2. Hi Andy,

    Wow it looks amazing!! It adds so much to the front, all that work was well worth the effort, it looks like it must have taken forever, all those little petals and leaves. You have done a brilliant job of bringing style and character to the front. I just love the lettering and the bench and the tubs and the sign will just finish it off perfectly.

    Well done Andy, You should be very happy.You know I think I could just sit myself down on that bench there, it looks delightful.

    ML Fi xx

  3. Wow! Your Wisteria looks so Real!!! I think it adds the Perfect touch to the front.... sweet but not too sweet! Your patience really paid off with that kit! When I eventually complete the landscaping of my Folly I hope to include a great many garden plants.... but I have not really tried any kits so I still have a Lot to learn! (I really like your "drying rack".... I will keep that tip in mind! Lol!)
    I can't wait to see your sign.... the bracket looks Gorgeous! I have always Loved English Pub signs.... (and Names too!) This is really looking Wonderful, Andy!!!

  4. I love your wisteria, one of my favourite flowers, it is perfect outsid your pub.

  5. Hi Andy,
    I have been told how many work it is to make a Wisteria, it seems there is no end to it, and what a task to perform with men hands!
    But yours is absolutely beautiful *applause*!
    The bench and tubs look great and I especially love the letters you made the name with, and the hanging bracket.
    All the additions makes it come to life.
    When does your pub open to public? :)

  6. Hey Andy,

    Your wisteria looks spectacular, in spite of your 'men hands,' lol! (Hi, Gee)! Anyway, that was a brill idea to attach it to the front. Your sign looks wonderful, and the iron frame for the future hanging sign is so authentic-looking. I could imagine a carved, wooden swan hanging there, right? Nice score on the bench, too. I'm attempting my first hand-made flowers...wish me and my men-hands luck!

    Big hugs,

  7. Yo creo que has hecho un gran trabajo, ha valido la pena la paciencia que has tenido al hacerlo y el tiempo invertido en ello. Te ha quedado perfecto, a mi me ha encantado. Besos y feliz otoño

  8. The Wisteria looks great Andy, plants are things that I prefer to buy :-)

  9. Amazing. I can't wait to see the interior!

  10. Hello Andy!
    Wisteria looks great! My congratulations on your staying with it to the end. Flower making is tough..... I love the gold lettering you used for the sign on the front of the building and look forward to seeing the hanging sign.
    Kind wishes from Ray

  11. Lovely wisteria! Thanks for sharing how you attached the leaves and flowers. :D The Inn is going to be amazing!

  12. The wisteria you have created is incredible, and the placement has a really natural appearance. I look forward to seeing the inn's progress.

  13. Wow, you did a superb job, it looks amazing!

  14. Great job, Andy! It looks like it was a lot of work! xo Jennifer

  15. Muy bonita, felicidades!!

  16. The wisteria is lovely! It is one of my favorite shrubs. My, the patience required to make plants and flowers! :)

  17. The front looks wonderful Andy! Love everything you have done with it. Wisteria's are so pretty but last for such a short time, this way you can enjoy them year round ;-)

    The bracket and wall anker (is that the right name for it?) look great. I love the strong contrast of the black metal against the white wall with the soft colours of the wisteria.

  18. Hi Andy! Your wisteria looks great! Yes, miniature flowers and plants making is very very very time consuming, but it is great to see when it is ready and on the wall of this wonderful Inn.
    Greetings, Ilona

  19. Hi Andy,
    those plant kits do take a lot of time but don't they look fabulous when they're done? The pub is looking great. It's amazing how fast it comes together when you get all of those finishing touches in place.

  20. Hello Andy,
    Great job on the Wisteria, it looks wonderful and is so charming in front of the inn. It's so great to have a new post...we've missed you!
    The sign will be wonderful and the entire look of the inn is just perfect.
    Great work andy,
    Big hug,

  21. 10/10 for your wisteria - take a Gold Star! I admire your patience.

    Your pub is looking really good and it's nice to see a full photo of the whole building. Love the wall tie too - that's a great finishing touch.

  22. Hi everyone, thanks for all your great comments, I am so pleased that you all like the wisteria. Now it is all finished, I can just sit back and admire it, but whilst making it I was thinking about throwing it away! I am glad that I carried on, and I am pleased with the end result. I didn't follow the directions that came with the kit exactly, for example, I was supposed to crease each individual leaf down the middle, I did try with one or two, but wasn't sure what to use, and the results didn't make much difference overall, so I didn't bother.

    I forgot to mention the tie beams/cross threads/black crosses (not sure exactly what they are called) The real thing is designed to tie in a bulging wall, and various examples are often seen on old buildings in the UK, sometimes they are S shaped too. The ones on my dolls house came from Black Country Ironworks.

    I can now focus on some other little jobs that need doing, curtain making, rug stitching, re-upholstering etc.

  23. Hey hai Andy,

    How beautiful!
    I think the purple colour looks so nice on the wall.
    How pretty is your pub.

    Lots of kind regards, Alexandra.

  24. ¡Hola Andy!

    ¡Que alegría tenerte de nuevo por la blogosfera! Pero que rabia me da no tener más tiempo libre para poder comentar los blogs de los amigos, el trabajo me tiene sin tiempo libre.

    Bueno, esta taberna tiene cada vez mejor pinta!! Me encanta la glicinia que has hecho, desde luego no se te resiste nada!!

    ¡Un abrazo enorme y no tardes mucho en volver a dedicarnos una nueva entrada!

  25. Hola Pedrete,

    A veces es difícil mantenerse al día con todos mis blogs amigos también lo intento y comentar tan pronto como me sea posible, pero no siempre notar nuevos puestos.

    Gracias por sus amables palabras, aquí y en tu propio blog! Usted es un verdadero artista, no hay duda de eso!!

    un abrazo grande amigo mío
    Andy xxx