Completed Maine Fisherman's cottage

Amos and Star are happy with their cottage.
The fellows are having a convivial drink to celebrate. If you peer through the doorway, you might see Amos's cousin Angus. Amos has his cup all ready for him. Angus is also a Maine fisherman, just like Amos and Cap'.

Here's a better view of Angus, who was came with the help of a friend who happened to find him wandering lost on foreign shores.

The last things I did were to add a few recent aquisitions and some curtains for the living room.

I wanted the cottage to have the same kind of curtains it would have had in real life, simple panels strung on a piece of string, the simplest type of curtains there are, only not in mini. Not for me, anyway. It would have been easy to just glue them to some string and have them in the closed position, but I wanted them open.

I remembered I had some Stiffy fabric stiffener, so I decided to see how stiffened panels would come out. I cut small squares from the sleeve of a lightweight summer shirt (it never looked good on me anyway), and wet them with the Stiffy. I then folded them into tiny pleats and let them dry. I used small clamps on the tops so they could dry flat so I could string them. I think I should have tried pinning the lower ends of the folds, so the bottoms wouldn't flatten out, but we live and learn. The next time I stiffen curtains, I'll try running a pin through the bottom sections of the pleats. You might also be able to do this with liquid starch intead of the Stiffy. I didn't have any starch, so I didn't try it.

Making them wasn't very hard, but hanging them was. There may be a simpler method, but it didn't occur to me, so this is what I did.
With a needle, I ran a piece of thread through the backs of the curtain tops. Next I drilled small holes in the window frames where the threads were going to be attached. I used the smallest Dremel drill bit for this. I then snipped some regular sewing pins down to @ 1/4" long, saving the end with the head. If the knotted end of my thread was on the correct side, I could push the pin through the knot, then dip the pin in glue and push it into the drilled hole.
NOTE: If you want to push the kin through the knot, it's easier to push in the pin, THEN shorten it. Some of my knotted ends were on the right side, some weren't.

I checked my fabric panels to see which side looked better. That was the side I was going to let show on the windows.

I let one pin dry in place for each window so they would be secure before I started the next set of pins. I cut the pins, dipped them in glue, and pushed them about halfway into the holes. Next I pulled the curtain strings tight and wound them around the pins a few times, securing them with a dab of hot glue, then pushed the pins firmly in place. If the curtain strings sag a little, it's ok, they would in real life too.
Here's a view of one side of the room. Note I dirtied the windows in an authentic seacoast Maine manner. OK, so they got dirty without my help, but my real life windows get to looking like that very quickly, and I'm sure Amos has more important things to do than wash windows.

I had found a couple of cute duck decoys while I was out shopping, and figured Amos would like them. I placed the other one atop his kitchen cupboard.

Here's the stove side of the room.

You can see the wear and tear on Amos's cupboard. When you distress a pice of furniture, make sure you think about where normal wear and tear naturally occurs, around knobs, at the bottom, where feet, brooms and mops may continually bump against the cabinet, on the side corners where chairs may scrape or the front lip, where things may be bumped as furniture is moved, or in this case, as dishes are continually laid down while they're put away.

Star is happily playing with her puppy in her room. Furnishings are a little sparse, but that would be normal for a child around 1900 and earlier. I'm pretending her doll is sleeping in a drawer somewhere. Every old fashioned girl should have a dolly. Frankly, I didn't feel like making one, nor did I see one anywhere that I thought would suit. If I ever do, Star will get it.

Here's another picture, showing the bed better. In case you missed it, here's the post about the bed, called Star has hair. Until recently, she didn't.

Oh yes, here's a view of the front corner where the benches are so you can see the plants behind them. I think the fellows were sitting there the last time I took pictures.

By the way, I heard that Amos's old faithless sweetheart Persis was back in town. You remember, the one who left him and ran off with the man on the flying trapeze? Well, it turned out that Willoughby Snavely, the trapeze artiste, was just a snake in the grass. He eventually left Persis in the lurch when a pretty young magician's assistant joined the circus. Persis hasn't improved with age, though, and Amos is steering clear of her.

More pictures here.

Star Gooch has hair!

Amos's little daughter is no longer bald.

She seems to be enjoying her fluffy curls. Wave to the nice people, Star. She's downstairs in my living room sitting on her freshly made bed. Don't bounce on the bed, dear, you could break it.

I also made her a pillow. I used some stiffish cotton fabric, and cut a small rectangle from an old bath towel for pillow batting.

Curtains were on today's agenda too, but they're not quite done. I still have to figure out the logistics of hanging them the way I want to.

In case you haven't checked, I have lots of tutorial links on the New England Miniatures tutorials page. I just added a few more a few days ago.

Continued here

Amos's Cottage - exterior

Yesterday afternoon I finished playing about with Amos's garden, and I wanted to get some pictures before the sun went down.
A few people thought there should be a seagull somewhere. Well, I bought some seagulls several years ago when I first got the idea for Amos's cottage. They've been hanging around waiting for a place to settle themselves ever since. One has settled atop Amos's roof.

Star has been playing at cooking in the side yard. She's been preparing a tasty leaf stew. I hope she remembers to pick up her toys before it gets dark.
I suddenly felt I just had to have some antique style lobster buoys, which were final items I added to the front yard. The other seagull is nearby. You might recognize the bird bath as New England Miniatures' HN142. The Victorian front yard just cried out for a birdbath.

The side of the cottage.

Here's a closer look at the lumber pile and the bouys.

To make the dirt, I first glued on some sand using a spray adhesive, just as I did for the sandy area in the front of the house. After brushing off the loose sand, I painted the remaining sand with brown paint. Some of the sand stuck to the paint as I went along, but it didn't matter, plenty of sand was left in place.
After the paint was fairly dry, I sprinkled a little more sand here and there. I thought I was going to need to spray on a little more adhesive to keep it down, but it turned out that I didn't need to.

Here's a closer look at the dirt.

Continued here

Amos Gooch's garden, continued

It's been a while since I've been able to get back to working on Amos Gooch's cottage. Today I'll show you what I've just finished. There's still a bit more to do to the garden, and I'm hoping I can finish that this week.
Here's the front of the house as it looks now. I still need to finish applying sand to the right hand side, and I feel the yard still needs a little something in the foreground on the left.

I used the wooden, unfinished napkin ring to make a keg for Amos to sit on. I cut a top out of basswood, and sanded the edges a bit so it wouldn't stick out, then I stained it with some brown paint thinned with water. I applied two different shades of brown. If my cans of stain had been at hand, I could have used them, but the paint was handier. I applied it just like a stain, paint on, wipe off. I used first one color, then another. Just a reminder, if you want to use paint like a stain, water it down. Also, there are acrylic stain mediums you can buy, if you prefer. Just mix the medium with an acrylic paint, and it becomes a stain.

Some barrels and kegs are held together with iron bands, while others used wooden or leather straps. Since my napkin holder had wider, rounded lips at top and bottom, I decided to go with the wooden strap look.

I blended a little water into a brown paint, and applied it to the rounded lip of the napkin ring, doing a section at a time. I immediately wiped off the excess paint.

I also gave the walk a coat of paint. It's supposed to represent crushed shell. below you can see it partially painted.

Here's what my pallette looked like. There's white and Payne's Gray on either side, and in between is a mixture. The very white parts of the picture are just reflected light. I'll mix a bit of paint and apply it to the walk, then dip my brush in lighter or darker paint as I need to. The walk should be white, but not pure white. The variations in gray need to be subtle.
Here's a view of the new section of garden.

More sand has to be glued onto the board, and I may still add a few more little plants. The side still has to be done. I'm thinking of painting the sand to simulate soil, to make it all look a little more interesting, and I still want to add a bit more greenery along this side of the house.

Continued here

Amos's Lumber Pile

This afternoon I got back to work on Amos's yard.
First I glued some "mulch mix" in the planting areas out in front of the house. I'll often just paint in my dirt, or maybe mix a little sand with the paint, but this time I reached for the coffee grounds-tea leaf mixture that I used for the Bungalow's garden. I felt I needed more texture to contrast with the sand.

Next I glued in the plants just how I showed them in the last Gooch post. As you can see, I did decide to use the tall grass, using some shorter ones to blend everything together. That old standby filler, reindeer moss, helps as a ground cover, hiding lumps of glue or plastic.

I felt I needed something else along the side of the house besides plants. A barrel seemed to be a good choice, and I happen to have a nice unpainted wooden barrel on NEM,Item #AN141 and here it is.
And now it looks like this.

I started by painting the inside of it a dark brown. Next I used some dark brown and a lighter, warmer brown color. Color names don't really matter, since brands use different names for the same or similar colors. The dark brown looked like milk chocolate, the lighter brown looked more like nutmeg.
I dipped my brush in water, then in the darker brown paint and started squiggling the brown paint on part of the outside of the barrel. Then I dipped the wet brush in some of the nutmeg color and started squiggling it on, overlapping the wet paint and dry, fresh wood. I more or less sqiggled them together, then while the paint was still wet, I wiped the barrel with a paper towel to get the extra paint off. This way you wind up with a stained look rather than a painted one. Of course, I could have used stain, but it was down in the basement and I was up in my studio over the garage and I didn't feel like going all the way down then all the way back upstairs.

Anyway, you get a more aged effect using the paint. As always, when you want to try something like this, try it first on pieces of scrap wood. It's an easy technique, but you have to get a feel for it.

When the paint was dry, I used a black Sharpie marker to draw in the lines for the boards. They don't have to be perfect. Afterwards, I painted on the iron bands with black paint.
For the scrap lumber I just used the bits and pieces of wood I saved from other projects. I stained them with watery paint, rubbing off the extra paint before they were dry. I used a few different shades to make them look more interesting. I poured some wood glue into the bottom of the barrel, and stuck in the scrap wood.

I used more scrap pieces for the stack on the ground, also staining them with paint. I used hot glue for the top plank that's sort of diagonal, wood glue for the rest.
I spread a little glue on the base, sprinkled on some sand, and then artfully arranged some more greenery to make everything blend together naturally.

Continued here

Amos Gooch's front yard

Over the weekend I worked a bit on Amos's house. I felt like starting something fresh, so I began work on his front yard.
Here we see Amos and Cap having a smoke out front. Amos is sitting on a napkin ring, yes a napkin ring. I found this unpainted wooden napkin ring and it reminded me of those old time kegs that came in assorted shapes and sizes, so I set it aside til I needed it. Cap is sitting on a piece of broken coaster set holder.
OK, I bought a set of coasters, and they came in a wooden tray, but once I opened the package I saw the tray was broken, which didn't matter, I never use those holders anyway. The two halves of the holder do look like benches, though. I'm still not sure if Cap prefers the bench or another seat, he hasn't expressed an opinion.

First, I needed to decide on the front walk. Originally, I thought maybe sand, but then decided that wouldn't be right, a crushed shell walk would be better. I was NOT however, about to start pulverizing sea shells to make them small enough for 1:12 scale. I decided to try and easier route, that old standby, drywall compound.

You're seeing it unpainted, and still damp. I spread some glue on the base, then spread on the stucco. Next I used a stipple brush, the kind you use for stenciling, and started pouncing the brush up and down all over the stucco. This made quite a few pointy bits that stuck up, so I waited a while til the compound had begun to set and dry a little, then used my finger to pat the pointy bits down.
Hopefully, after I've painted it, it will look like crushed shells.

You could do the same thing to give a wall that rough stucco look. It also reminds me of some of English houses I've seen in some old photos. They had rough stucco with pebbles in them, sometimes they were larger, more like small stones. I seem to remember a dollhouse made around 1900 with the same look. You could stick tiny pebbles in the stucco.

Next I started on the soil.
I wanted a mix of soil and sand,with a bit of grass. Since I've used painted sand to simulate grass in the past, I thought I may as well sand one side of the yard and see how it went.
I started by spreading some glue on the base, and then spreading some sand on it and pressing it down. Then I remembered my can of spray adhesive and thought I may as well try using it to glue on the rest of the send. It would certainly be better than having a glue coated finger.
I sprayed some adhesive in the rest of the section, shielding the wall with a piece of cardboard. Then I spread some sand and patted it down. After several minutes I brushed off the loose sand, first with my hand, then a soft brush.
It looked pretty good, but I felt I needed more sand, so I resprayed and added more sand, repeating the process as before.
I found that as I brushed off the extra sand, It just kept coming off tiny bit by tiny bit, so I decided to try spraying adhesive over all of it to keep it in place.
It stayed tacky for a while, and I started to worry a little, but as it dried it got firmer.

Next I painted some brown dirt for planting areas, and decided to try out some plants.
I found a great looking silk spider plant on sale a while ago. The baby plants hanging on the trailing stems were perfect for mini gardens. Two of them are in the corner.

I had also found two little clay pots with plastic grass "growing" in them. I thought the grasses would be great in some mini gardens, and I could use the pots for planters. I'll have to take a picture of the one I haven't taken apart. You can see a section of tall grass behind the other plants.
I'm not sure if I'm going to use the tall grass in Amos's yard yet or not. I merely drilled the holes to I could stick some plants in temporarily, to see how they'd look.
I wish I could do that in a real-life garden. Invariably, I'll plant something, and then, when it's growing, wished I'd planted it somewhere else or maybe a foot or two over.

Continued here

A Faux stone floor

 How I used drywall compound to make a stone floor.
By the way, sometimes it's called drywall compound, other times stucco, or some refer to it as wall plaster.

Here's a picture that gives a better view of the floor of Tall Chimneys kitchen. I spread the drywall compound and let it dry a few minutes so it wasn't gloppy. I used a pencil to lightly trace out the shapes of the stones. If you press down on the pencil too much you make ridges, not enough and your stones tend to become indistinct. It takes a few practice trys. I made a couple of errors and just resmeared it up and started over. When your stones are drawn let the floor dry thoroughly overnight or at least a few hours. I next sanded the floor where I had any unwanted bumps and ridges. After that I started smoothing it with a damp rag. A damp rag is the same as sandpaper to unpainted drywall compound. I didn't want the stones perfectly smooth, but I didn't want them lumpy, either. I just kept working with the rag til I got the look I wanted. The nice thing is, if you feel you have totally botched the whole thing, or even just one section of it, you can reapply compound and start over or fix a section. I know, I goofed a couple of times and had to do a fix.

When you're happy with your stones you can paint them. I like to use color washes when I paint stones. I'll cover the stones in a base color, then start applying washes. You can wait for the base to dry or you can apply the washes right over it while its damp. The look can differ a bit one way or the other, you have to try and see what you prefer. To make the washes I select the other colors I want to show up in my stones. I don't recall the exact blend. Most likely it was a mix of ochre, off white, a beigey color, a brown...Color washes are easy to use. They're wet and just flow right onto the surface when you touch your brush to it. If you don't care for the color you can go over it with another wash and change it, or you can intensify it. I did a bit of color washing over my base color in a general way for the first step, giving the whole floor a sort of subtlely mottled appearance. I then began to pay attention to the individual stones. I'd do a stone here and there in a browner wash, then others with an off white wash til I was satisfied. The whole secret to successful painting techniques is to relax, let your wrists loosen up and just fool around with it til it begins to get comfortable and it seems to just naturally flow. I've made many stupid painting mistakes when I was tense and worried how it was going to turn out. It's funny, after years of painting I'm still pleased and surprised when things turn out just right.

A rag-rug idea

I had this idea for a while, for an easy to make rag rug.
I made one for Miss Frobisher's Cottage, back when I was new to making miniatures. I placed strips of embroidery floss side by side and stitched them together with my sewing machine. While I was doing it I kept thinking there had to be an easier way, maybe with spray adhesive?
Well, it took me enough years to finally buy some spray adhesive and try it.
It doesn't look bad at all. I should have spent more time on it, some of the threads got crossed, leaving a few little gaps, but I realized that it was almost 3:30 and I had to get dinner started before family started asking me "is there anything to eat around here?"

I used some embroidery floss my daughter left behind when she moved out years ago, and some cheesecloth. Old gauze bandage would do fine too. I've got some that's been sitting in my dresser drawer for 15 years from when I burned my hand. I should move it to my studio where I could get some use out of it.

I started by cutting out a piece of gauze and laying it on my table, then I cut lengths of embroidery floss a bit longer than the size of the rug I wanted.
I sprayed the cheesecloth with adhesive, and started laying down strips of the floss. It does get to be a bit of a sticky job. I found the best way to do it was to lay down the thread, then hold it down on the gauze at one end while I slid my finger along the thread to lay it flat on the gauze. Then I'd reverse and smooth the other way. I could lay down several threads, then I found that I needed to give the gauze another spritz of glue to continue.
I also learned that it doesn't matter if the glue sprays onto the threads.
Here's a picture of the rug and how it looks from underneath.
I made the rug bigger than I needed it to be, so I could cut off the raggeddy ends.
The spray adhesive stiffens up the rug a bit, and it lays flat.

If you're a bit more careful than I was, taking a little more time, you should have a very nice little rug without too much effort.

About horseshoe hanging

I keep hearing from people that the horseshoe above the cabin door should be hung with the ends up, or good luck will run out.
I just rehung it the way it was in the first place, because there was a shadow of glue left on the wall.

I knew there had to be conflicting folklore about horseshoe hanging, because so many horseshoes are pointed downwards, not upwards.

On the subject of hanging horseshoes:

In depends on where you're from how they're supposed to be hung.
It seems that the horseshoe was associated with good fortune, period.

In some places, they say hang it upwards, so luck won't run out. In others, If it's upwards, the devil will find himself a seat above your door. In an old English tradition, bad luck could be aquired, but good luck could be taken away, so never hang your horseshoes upwards or bad luck will fill it up and enter your home.

Folklore says if you find a horseshoe, take it home with you for luck. On the other hand, if you find a horseshoe, throw it over your shoulder for luck.

There's lots more horseshoe folklore out on the internet, I won't repeat it all. It's pretty much like that old nursery rhyme:

See a penny, pick it up,
All the day you'll have good luck.

See a penny, let it lay,
Or bad luck will follow you all the day.

PS: I was just checking to see if I remembered the rhyme correctly, and it seems there are variations on the rhyme too. Picking up pennies could be good or bad, depending on cisrcumstances.

Some days you just can't win. My teenaged son doesn't believe in luck, period.

The restored shadowbox

In the midst of measuring and taking pictures of the miniatures that arrived for NEM this week, I managed to take a little time off and finish the shadow box.
By the way, would you care to take a peek at what's new on the New Items page of New England Miniatures? I'll just wait here til you get back.

The final additions to the cabin are the bedding on the bunkbeds and the restoration of the door.
To make the bedding, I cut some small squares from the sleeve of one of my old shirts, and some foam to make mattresses. A while ago I bought some spray adhesive, and I finally got to try it out. I sprayed it on the fabric, then folded it over the mattress. I also happened to have some no stitch fabric glue I'd never used before. I put dabs of the glue on the top and bottom ends of the folded fabric and stuck them to the underside of the mattress to make a little foam package.
For the pillows, I used a little cotton canvas cloth which I folded over a few times. Then I hem stitched the edges. If I had glued them, they'd have probably laid pretty flat, and I wanted them to puff just the tiniest bit.

I decided to repaint my own version of the original scene that was in the doorway.
Originally I couldn't decided if the white and purple thing in the original scene was a mountain hanging in mid air or a poorly painted cloud, but as I was relaxing and watching TV the other night, I saw a snow covered mountain, with a foggy valley below it. That's when I knew it was supposed to be a mountain.
I painted in a forest below the mountain.

I'll be getting back to working on Amos's cottage again. I ran into a little problem with his daughter, Star. The poor little thing is now totally bald. When I bought her, she had a straw hat glued to her head. I had snipped off the hat when she played little Red Riding Hood, but there was still some straw left on her crown. I thought if I took her hair off altogether, I might be able to peel off the rest, but it didn't work. I guess I'll have to find some hair for Star.
Here's how she looked as Red Riding Hood.

The Shadowbox restoration

Half of the room is finished.
I had started by cleaning whatever parts of the wood I could with vinegar.
I discovered that it was covered with a stain, that started coming off together with the decades worth of dirt, so I had to decide what I could clean and what should be left pretty much alone.
The stain and painted lines that made up the boards on the back wall tended to wash off easily with a little scrubbing, as I learned while trying to remove the glue that was behind the picture in the doorway. While trying to clean off the glue that held the horseshoe, I inadvertantly removed much of the stain. I tinted the area a little before gluing the horseshow back on, and before I'm done I'll retint to even out the color better.
I've received 2 messages from readers that the horseshoe should be facing upwards, so the luck wouldn't run out.
Well, I knew about that, but decided to replace the horseshoe in its original position.
This side is finished. The original glue turned out to be water soluble, but since scrubbing also removed the stain, I recided to just wet the glue, then scrape it off with a knife blade. Two or three wettings and scrapings were usually enough to remove most of the glue. Some of the glue I left alone, rather than run the risk of damaging the surface.
I could tell from glue residue, that some of the original pieces were missing. Of the items that had been added in my childhood, I chose to keep the 2 plastic barrels, the comb, and the black barrel, which I repainted olive green.
Also, rather than set the accessories in place with a liquid glue, I decided to use glue dots. By the way, although the plastic barrels on the top shelf look almost white in the picture, in real life they're a darker gray and blend in better. They were another reason for using glue dots. If at some point, I decided I wanted to swap them for wooden accessories, the glue dots should be easier to remove.
I had mentioned I had a leftover lid, and no pot to put it on. I found that it fit the top of the bowl nicely. I put some white poster putty in the bowl, the lid on top and squeezed tight til the lid was firmly in place.
I still had some space to fill, so I turned to some unpainted wooden pieces I had purchased at a craft shop.

They're on the second shelf. The original pieces were painted with oil paints. For a while I wondered if I should get out my oil paints and freshen them up a bit, but I decided against it. Instead I selected some acrylic colors that would blend with the other pieces. To age the fresh paint I used my oil pastel crayons. I rubbed my finger on the brown crayon, then rubbed some of the color onto the freshly painted bowl, and then did the same thing with the black crayon. Most people don't happen to have oil pastels in the house, but a piece of charcoal, or some ashes should work the same way. Try rubbing your finger on the charcoal briquet, or charcoal drawing stick, then on the thing you want to age.
After being aged, the item needs to be sprayed with a protective covering, or the dirt and age could come off. I sprayed mine with Krylon matte finish. I've found over the years, that though the product dulls down a shiny photograph, which is what it was originally meant for, it leaves a very soft sheen when sprayed on wooden painted items. This sheen matched the old plates, etc, perfectly,
I nested a small red bowl within the ochre bowl with a glue dot. Next to the bowls stands a bottle I painted olive green.
Finally, I thought I needed a little something else. I remembered that the ad for the other room had a broom, so I made one and stuck it in the corner.

The restored shadow box

1940's Shadowbox

We went to the miniatures trade show last weekend, and returned with a back seat full of bags of miniatures, which are finally all sorted, tagged, photographed, measured, and in the store. The US mail, UPS, and Fedex will be arriving with more things to sort, tag, photograph, measure, and add to the store during the next few weeks. Some, I am sure, are on their way right now.

Meanwhile, last night I started fooling about with my mother's 1940's kitchen room box. I wrote a little about it in my post about the kitchen roombox I made for my mom several years ago.
I found this ad in the back of the April, 1947 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. Back then, the box cost #4.95, postpaid. My version is a little different, but it was obviously made by the same company.
I noticed last night, that the door in my little room could be opened. There was no knob, and I couldn't see any sign of glue from one, but since the frame was coming unglued, I pried it off. I found a painted scene inside.
Although the scene looks pretty fresh in this photo, in real life it was terribly grungy. I took a chance and tried to wipe off some of the grime, but discovered it was painted in watercolor. I dried the sections I had wiped right away. I'll be painting a new scene.
You'll notice in the picture, that the door has a Z on it, to simulate the cross boards. The front of the door is plain, so I imagine it was meant to stay open. Maybe that's why the frame work structure next to the door confused me originally. I had guessed that it was meant to be bunkbeds, and once I took a close look, I could see that nothing had been glued to it. With the door open like that, it's obvious that they're bunkbeds. I'll have to make some bedding for them.

Here's a closeup of the fireplace, with a fire painted on the wooden boards.
The paint used on the chimney is an oil paint, and I found I could wash it with no trouble. The hanging put is securely attached on a wire, and I won't try to remove it for cleaning. The red pot next to the fireplace is also firmly attached. One of the benches was partially loose, and when I cleaned the table, I found that the glue on the back leg washed off easily. I thought I'd try to pry off the bench, but discovered that it was nailed to a support, and wouldn't come out without a fight. I decided not to fight. Apparently several kinds of paint and glue were used on this scene. Some wash off, some don't.
You can see what the wood originally looked like, underneath the painted door panel.
The splotchiness is where it's still damp. I had to remove the old glue and bits of cardboard that were under the original scene. I decided to use vinegar, and although it loosened up the debris, I found that the lines that simulated the boards and nails were done in a paint that could wash off with a little scrubbing.
I think the only further cleaning I'll do will be the gentle kind.
Many of the original pieces are left. I can pretty much tell where they might have originally stood, because of the glue marks and residue on the table and shelves.
I have one extra lid. It doesn't fit the red pot by the stove properly, so I think I may be missing a pot.
I also found some extras that I and maybe my younger sister added to the scene. I think my mother had stashed away the shadowbox before my brother and youngest sister showed up.
The two gray barrels are plastic and say "powder". I remember having a western style playset, maybe they came from that. The other, black barrel, was originally red. the black paint washed off and made a huge mess when I started cleaning it last night. The green lid and bowl are plastic. The bowl is stamped made in Hong Kong. The comb is plastic, painted tan, and the wooden yellow ball fits the extra red lid, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't an original piece.
The metal "cauldron" looks like it was an ashtray.
. There's some paint on it, which I'd like to remove, but there are also some tiny spots of rust on the metal. I don't want to damage it. Even if I don't replace it in this scene, I may want to use it in another project. It's cute.

If you'd like to read about the restoration, click here.