Five years ago -- yes, five years ago, before this blog was born -- I started building a Greenleaf Washington 2.0 with my goddaughter, Mollie. She was eleven years old and I was ... never mind! Anyway, apparently our combined attention span was that of a two year old. The house, which was meant to be a farmhouse populated by a family Mollie was babysitting for, was put to one side and ignored. I don't know why, but it began to attract Hallowe'en items. Witches, skeletons, pumpkins, a pirate's chest by Nuttiwebgal and other scary things.
A few days ago the Washington gave out a raucous cry that could not be ignored. There it sat, stuffed with skeletons and covered in dust. How could I pass it by? If you poke the photo and look closely, you can see a weary witch collapsed on the roof. Not a good state of affairs.
I emptied it out and gave it a good cleaning. It cleaned up so well that it didn't look at all abandoned except for a little buckling in some of the scrapbook paper we used on the walls.
I discovered that the roof was not glued, which will make working on the attic a lot easier. I found some crackle medium, which got me to thinking about aging the house. I slapped on a coat of raw umber acrylic, which aged it in a hurry! A friend came by and said she thought it looked great that way, and I tended to agree with her.
Note the position of the porch posts in this photo. The instructions indicate there should be two full posts spaced across the front with the half post on the left corner. Having not read the instructions -- this is an easy house, eh? -- I managed to put the two full posts in the wrong place.
The more I looked at the house, the louder the crackle medium hollered at me. So this afternoon I used it in some spots and then put a layer of Ceramcoat Buttercream paint over the raw umber. It didn't crackle as much as I thought it might. (What? Some of you actually test a new technique before applying it? What a concept!) I thinned the paint a bit so it would not cover completely. Between the modest amount of crackle and the undercoat showing through, this technique did produce a nicely aged finish. Check out the porch posts. I made a duplicate and glued it in place. Nobody will know there are one too many unless you tell them.
While waiting for various layers of paint to dry, I hot glued shingles on the porch roof sections. Here is one painted raw umber. I'll wash them with some dark green and black before installing.
When I took this house out of mothballs I figured a day or two would do to make it spooky enough to display. Ha. You'd think I'd know better by now!