Sunday, 14 January 2018

"You Can Leave Your Hat On!" - ballad of a Stove Hood

Inspiration can come from many different sources. 

As I was writing this blog, the theme song from the movie 
The Full Monty 
was looping through my head- hence the blog's title: 
"You Can Leave Your Hat On" 
In a way, it was an appropriate choice 
in that throughout the making of 
I kept putting things ON
only to 
                                   strip em off....

But once again, I am getting way ahead of my story.
Let me begin it this way

When working on the left side of Villa Leone's kitchen my original muse was a 

MINWORKS blogpost 
from several years ago.
My friends Janine and her hubby Bruce,
had made a Fantastic Hall Lantern 
for their
Award winning
French House, 
by gluing together

 2 night lights from the dollar store 
to form a single hanging fixture.  

Remembering what they had done, had me cruising the aisles of different dollar stores, 
looking more closely at what night lights had to offer.

Last year I stumbled across this one which I thought might one day make a pretty good stove hood. 

           It's shape reminded me of a hat.  
Funny thing is that what I both Liked and Disliked about the shade, was it's unique hat-like shape, however I didn't  want it to continue looking like a hat once it was installed in the kitchen.

But another reason that I thought the shade might work as a hood, was that the plastic was easy to drill through, and since it was already hollow, adding lights and hiding the wires inside it would be pretty easy. 
I was eager to try it out with my FANTASTIC- NEW-TOTALLY GORGEOUS  8 burner, double oven, MOLLY SUE MINIATURES 

 I could see the potential of a beautiful relationship between the two, so I decided to proceed with the hood
 as planned.

  I would need a tiled wall behind the stove, 
I dug through my 
"used- to- be-organized- but- is- now- really- messy" 
stash of building supplies, 
and located some leftover plastic embossed "tin tile" which I would paint and install beneath the hood.
I used an earlier tutorial of mine for painting these particular plastic tiles
"Big Tiles- try- try again"

To widened the base of the hood I cut a rectangle of foam core board to equal the width of the stove, and glued 2 wooden corbels to the underside for supports. 
These I'd also found in my messy stash. 
 I cut some wood trim to bulk up the base, then tried it out with the doll "cooking" at the stove. 
 What I had was a plastic hat with a wooden brim.  Clearly additional work was required. 
To make it look more interesting, I cut up a plastic picture frame to add some carving.  
It was very heavy- looking carving and Naturally, I thought I could "lighten it up" with Even MORE 
Heavy Carving

I kept on adding things: a lion head, a plastic circle,  rhinestones, and metal bits and more wood trim.
"maybe it will look better, once it's painted"  
Base coat on

then 2 finish coats of black acrylic paint.  

And although wouldn't admit it out loud,

 I thought it looked like 
a halloween witch hat. 
Even so;
 I persisted in the belief that I could fix it up
by adding still more to it.

I randomly brushed a gold nail polish over the black paint which gave the hood metallic highlights.
The general idea was to make it appear in harmony with  the brass trims on the Italian stove. 
However, no matter what I did
it still wasn't doing it for me.

This was THE Moment
 my career as 
A Stripper 

Off came the top!
to bad for me-
 the crowd WASN'T going wild :(

Perhaps once it is actually installed in the kitchen?...

and so
 I was back to putting things on again

(lyrics from the song)

so I drilled two holes into the plastic bottom 
of the night light hood,
I added two gold glass buttons I'd found in my stash.

I threaded the bulbs through the buttons,
 then gathered the wires into the hood, 
which were then fed through the kitchen wall 
and hooked up to the transformer.
At the back of the hood, I covered over the hole with filigree 

right where the shade would have attached to the night light bulb,  

this became the hood's Exhaust Fan. 

I tested the lights before gluing the hood to the wall 
The buttons make the lights HUGE! 

I remembered I had some brass strips and some brass doweling.
I cut the brass trims to fit the hood 

then glued them both in place. 
                      Then the tiles were glued to the wall. 
                    The hood was positioned above them.
I couldn't get a crisp a bend at the corners with the brass, but it still looked better than I'd expected. 
I was stoked about both the brass and the tiles. 
The Lara Copper fry pan was a Christmas gift from Linda Park!
and since I'd made hooks for utensil bar,
 I was able to hang the pan right away and 
 LOved it!
Linda emailed me, asking about how things in the kitchen were progressing?

I had been on a roll- 
 I had already done a lot-
and I liked it a lot - well mostly 


To me
My dollar store night light still resembled 
a hat-

a tall Top Hat wearing a lot of brass!
All interest in the kitchen, suddenly "bump and grind-ed"  to to a halt. 
I felt like slinking off stage.  
In my frustration, I was going give up on the kitchen and go to work on the second floor of the villa instead, since nothing I did; helped, and I could no longer pretend to like- THE HAT!  
However, working on the second floor of the villa meant working on the second floor staircase- Arrgggh!!!
nooooo- I'm not ready for that yet either! 

So, I put on my thinking cap  to try and come up with an viable solution; because having glued the hood to the wall, I had no other choice but to leave the hat on.   
 Then a light switched on!... I had an idea
What if- I lowered the ceiling height to hide the hat? 
much like a burlesque FAN DANCER; it's all still there,                          but you just can't see it
I tried out a section of wood across the top of the hood to see if it would work and what it would look like. 
"YES-I think that I could live with this"
           but first I had to pry off that lion medallion

  Sudden Exposure-
(you can see it's undies!)

I made second hat 
to cover the first hat
I cut a length of foam insulation to span
the width of the wall, which I then covered with 
wallpapered cardstock on the narrow front face 
as well as on the underside. 
Then the new hat was glued in place 
right over the old black hoodie. 
I added the ceiling beams for a little Venetian character
and permanently affixed the lantern to the ceiling.

To finish off the top of the hood, I cut 2 strips of self-stick gold ribbon, doubled up, and glued them to the top of the hood to form a thick band to cover the gap at the cut out.

I chose to use ribbon because it was flexible and would easily conform to the contours of the hood AND because I had lots of it, therefore, IF I made a mistake, 
which I usually do; 
I could try again. 

This gold lame ribbon has a fuzzy texture like velcro
I applied the first of 2 layers

I used my finger to smear a layer of drywall putty over the surface of the gold ribbon which I had painted black. 

I smoothed drywall putty over the ribbon and let it dry. 

I cleaned off the overage and waited until the putty had set.
When it was dry to the touch, I painted it again with black acrylic paints. 

 then highlighted it with more gold nail polish.
                   Everything was Looking good! 
The crowd was going wild!!!
Ta Dah!
With the new dropped ceiling over the stove,
 the rest of the kitchen
became fun to play with again.

In the photos above and below,  you can see that
I've placed the sewing box which I won last year as part of a multi- Giveaway from Pepper's
MitchyMoo Miniatures blogspot

I'm treating it in the kitchen as a Spice Box. 

Here's a view of both sides of Leone's kitchen

mmmmm.. good!
Sauteed mushrooms in butter
Irina Miniatures

I LOVE cooking on my new Italian stove

Oh, by the way-
would you like to stay for dinner?


 Well then,
"take off your coat" 


 I think You know the rest

and thus ends my brief career as a Stripper.
rated "G" for all audiences 

take it away Tom Jones!