Soon after I arrived in Crete, virtually miniatureless,
I saw a magazine advertised on Greek Television - sold fortnightly, each issue containing either a piece of a dolls house or an item of furniture.
I bought the first copy, and was very happy to see from the information given that each floor was in one piece, as were the front, sides and back for each level of the house.
The first two pictures show how De Agostini represented the finished house.
Unfortunately (yes, there had to be an unfortunately, didn't there), as soon as I started to receive pieces of the house, I discovered that in fact each floor was in 4 pieces, the back and sides on each level were in 2 pieces, and the front in 3.
Of course by the time I realised this I had already bought several issues, and the magazine, Kouklospito (Greek for Dolls House), was so attractive and interesting, even though I couldn't really read very much of it, that I decided I would continue to buy it, and hope for the best.
As soon as I started to build the house, I discovered major problems. All the instructions (in Greek, of course) were only relevant if there were 5 parts to each floor instead of the thirteen that I now had.
Working in wood is definitely my worst craft nightmare, my solution to most problems being to hit it with a hammer.
As you can imagine, the hammer was very soon working overtime.
After a great deal of struggling, trial and error, swearing and cursing, and yes, hitting it with a hammer (thereby annoying the neighbours), I eventually managed to get the ground floor together in a reasonable manner.
I discovered that two pieces on each floor had been wrongly numbered, which wasn't very helpful. Then, when I started to put together the three parts that made up the front, I discovered that they were (at least, I hope they were!) about 6mm wider than they should have been.
Fortunately, one of my main craft skills has always been finding ways of covering up mistakes and mishaps. I think that skill is going to be called on a great number of times in the construction of Rose Cottage.
My next step now is to decide how best to divide the ground floor space. I want to move the staircase from the right hand side to the centre, creating an entrance hall. This will of course mean making the kitchen and living room smaller, but the house is quite deep, and I think it will work.
Once the room measurements have been decided, I can start the fun part - designing the floor and wall coverings.
This page was last updated on: 13 October, 2013
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