I brushed, and then slathered by hand, regular plaster of paris onto the entire cottage interior. It looks exactly as I wanted. I also bare-handed papier mached a layer of painter's masking paper onto the entire tree. This paper is very thin yet strong even when drenched in liquid starch, whereas newspaper falls apart.
Good chunk of work done today. I started late in the afternoon, after watching yet another primo 1/2L. day go down the housework tubes. I lamented my plight to my Twitter peeps when Sven egged me to get 10 minutes done on the project, you know, a baby step. Well, that was 10 hours ago. Thanks Sven!
Here's something. I've never heard of anyone doing this before, forgive me if everyone knew but me, but I may have invented papier plâtre. Using plaster instead of starch, I tried to make one of the cottage's curved walls stronger in situ. Strips of heavy brown bag paper dipped in a thinned plaster/water solution worked perfectly going on, just like regular papier mache would. I'll report back on whether it dries out at all and if so, whether it is tougher than regular style mache.
I like where this is going and hope to do another 10 tomorrow.
gooey but happy, night.