Yipes, Stripes; Keystone, Geometry


Work continues on the Yipes, Stripes rug. A new working title has evolved: Stripes Invaded by Checks. It’s a very enjoyable and intuitive process watching it develop. Thus far we have the chaos of irregular stripes organizing themselves into more regular expression, as influenced by the surprise appearance of an upstart checkerboard pattern. I expect I’ll know how it’ll turn out at the end — when the length reaches six inches.

Making steady progress (and regress) on the new build. I finished the interior brickwork, and after a few color assays, decided on a soft white semigloss. There’s like four layers of gesso, some DecoArt Snow-Tex for mortar texture, floor and wall gaps filled with DAP CrackShot, and three layers of acrylic latex enamel paint. That’s authentic, right?


I’ve one more sanding and finish coat to do on the wall cabinet.

I glued in place the three interior walls, back porch wall and supports, and beams.


This is by far the most fiddling I’ve done with a base kit and am encountering many delicious measuring opportunities. The keystone pieces provided with the kit make excellent hide-one’s-crap-joinery structural reinforcing plates. I mentioned earlier how delighted I am with the hardware I ordered from Olde Mountain Miniatures. Here you see her star-shaped anchor plates and some punched paper bolts applied to the keystone.

I also stepped away from the aubergine-stained doors, opting instead to carry through with the gray stain. This leaves me far more options for adding color, and as I intend to use this build as a prop for photographing products, the more neutral the better.


The entire rest of the day was spent figuring out how to build the additional support posts, beams and window casings. I felt like Leonardo da Vinci contemplating Vitruvian Man or something, but I finally worked out the various dimensions (if not the angles; that’s what sandpaper is for). Then it was time to watch the sun set on this warm and mild day with a glass of wine. I’ll sketch out and record my findings tomorrow — many dimensions of strip wood are involved! — and work out how to correct the warp in the kit base board :(

No wait, I mean :) That’s tomorrow.

8 thoughts on “Yipes, Stripes; Keystone, Geometry

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Glad you find it interesting, Keli. The rug is totally spontaneous, with just a few design rules (fixed color palette, recurring black-and-ivory motif, red checkerboards are 3×3 stitches). It’s a good antidote to everything else.

  1. Bennie says:

    Wow, that’s some structure you built to hold it up as it sets. Its’ a good thing you have a nice crafts room. I love how the carpet is turning out.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Haha, Bennie, that’s me trying to get a feel for how all the beams and rafters will fit together, and find a common denominator that will work with all the known dimensions. I use tape and clamps to hold stuff while it sets, just like normal people :)
      Glad you like the carpet! It’s fun and relaxing to stitch.

  2. Barbara W. says:

    The rug is going to be amazing! I cannot get over how quickly you work, By the time I have a small shelf assembled and painted, you have an entire room bricked and painted plus custom shelving. I concede that grey will make a neutral backdrop, but I did so like the unexpected purple. What about an unexpected llama?

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Llama llama red pajama… For my Argo Wool Works research I came across a delightful book ”Adventures in Yarn Farming: Four Seasons on a New England Fiber Farm” by Barbara Parry. It’s an engaging read, well written, and she keeps a llama named Crackerjack to champion the lambs in transition. Now I want my own Crackerjack.
      I really wanted the, ahem, *aubergine* to work, too, but this is a really small build, and I’m reserving my color pops. For, for instance, the Yipes, Stripes, Checks rug :)

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