Diorama stuff: Emerson’s Apartment

I’ve been kind of quiet here on the blog. I haven’t got an excuse–I have got reasons!

Firstly, I have been giving a lot of thought to the two roomset/dioramas I want to get on the ball with making. The first is Emerson’s apartment, and although it isn’t strictly 1/6 (I have to make allowances for that simply because we don’t live in a big enough house to do it to true 1/6 and still have room for us humans and furballs πŸ˜‰

The second is the cafe and that’s just on hold until I can afford to buy the supplies to make it. πŸ˜›

In anycase, I am basing the apartment on one I lived in in NY. It wasn’t my favorite apartment but it wasn’t the worst one I’d lived in either. I also feel that with some tweaks and flips I can use it for other characters who may,or may not be living in the same building… πŸ™‚ I could actually see one of her cousins living in the same building (possibly she put in a good word with the landlord Mr.Benedetti and got her the apt?) And who knows who else lives in the building???

BTW: if I haven’t introduced her—this is Emerson (Emerson Appleton).

5

Top 10 Toys of 2014: #1 *the best of the best*

At last!
Here we are finally at #1 out of the top 10!
Bet you thought I’d leave it until 2016 before I actually posted it, huh? πŸ˜›

#1
Description of Toy/Toyline: Dual purpose 1/6 scale Drafting Table & drafting Chairs by Mark of CKWorkshop

This table and chair set was custom made for me by Mark (that guy who is so talented it makes me green with envy!) I love him but oh, man oh man does he make me feel totally outclassed when it comes to making things! πŸ˜‰

I gave him a brief a few months back telling him that I wanted a drafting table to use in the actresses’ apartment since Taylor (who is one of the roommates is the costume designer/wardrobe person for the Wrenwood Hall production) would be doing some work at home etc… Add to that I wanted something that I could see in their apartment no matter how I end up designing or decorating it since they are all girls on a budget I figured if I could have a drafting table that could also double as a (pub height) dining table, then why not???

taylor-table-3

Although you can’t really tell (these are quick photos, I didn’t do a proper photoshoot for this post, sorry!) the drafting table can be adjusted to 4 different slope heights. I love it, it makes me remember my days of working at one as a freelance artist. πŸ™‚

taylor-table-2

Why did it make your list?
Because it does exactly what I wanted and then some!
I was pretty fussy about stating what I wanted–hey,don’t look at me like that–it was for xmas, you know! Annnnnnd I wanted to be able to use it with both my FR2 dolls and the Poppy Parker bodied dolls (because if you make it for poppies only things end up being too short or small for the FR2s and if you make them for the FR2s they look too big for the Poppies). Add into that equation the fact that I adore furniture (in real life and in 1/6) that can fulfill multiple uses.

Dinner

drafting-table-1

The chairs are little works of art (and made up of over 70 pieces to make each one) with weathering and small details that really do make the difference. The seats and back rests are covered with upcycled vintage leather and are soft (not that my dolls will know but it just looks good!).

drafting-chairs

Downside to it: There isn’t one–although if I could convince Mark to make me 2 more stools to go with it I’d totally do that. I guess if I had to say there was a downside–I’d say it was the fact that it forced me to start making more of the various detritus & props that Taylor would have on it . I managed to make a few fabric sheets and sketches as well as that tatty looking portfolio case, but there needs to be more along with some wall stuff…

taylor-portfolio

Overall: I’m very pleased with it (obviously, since it’s #1 on the list, right?!) and I hope that I can talk Mark into making some variations of the stools to sell on Etsy. I’m not sure that there’s much of a call for 1/6 drafting tables (various colors or designs) since I haven’t really heard or read anyone looking for them…


Top 10 Toys of 2014: numbers 7, 6 & 5!

So I’m a few days late with this but better late than never, right? πŸ˜‰

Back to the top 10 Toys of 2014

#7
Description of Toy/Toyline: Jeremy Renner / Hot Toys HawkeyeΒ 
Hot toys made a Movie Masterpiece Hawkeye from the marvel franchise of the Avengers.

jeremy

Why did it make my list?
He looks good. Look at that face, eh?

That and there is a serious lack of male action figures in my collection. Also, the cast of the Quinlan Chronicles cast is pretty female heavy and I need to add more male characters (who aren’t students).

His paint apps are really, realllly, reallllly well done and frankly, he looks good all around.Β  I love the fact that he has a stand alone neck (meaning the head pops onto the neck-post and then into the body) rather than the heads with the sculpted on neck. Because the sculpted on necks tend to be overly long and you get that weird giraffe neck thing going on.

He’s currently stuck on a Hot Toys Slim Shoulder True Type body. It looks good but he might get a taller body at a later date (I hear good things about the coo body but have yet to buy one). Maybe. At his current height he is still useable with Poppy Parker bodied FR girls. Jeremy was a gift to me from my good friend Will (check out his photos on flickr (some are NSFW).

Downside to it: (aka why it isn’t the #1 toy on the list!)
There isn’t really a downside he just got edged out by other things πŸ˜‰ If you can get your hands on him then do it!

Overall: I’m not usually a huge fan of actor likenesses in my action figures but I think that Jeremy has enough of that “everyman” look to him that you can kind of forget who he is and let him be the character he is going to be in the Chronicles.

And on to #6

Description of Toy/Toyline: Schwinn Green Phantom by Zonex
Based on information on the internet, Xonex made this version of the classic Schwinn Green Phantom bicycle. (you may not know that I had gotten a 1/6 version of schwinn’s Black Phantom a few years back–and still, the quality on that one blows this one away).

green-phantom-1

Why did it make your list?
Ok. I admit it. I have a little bit of a bike bug. I like 1/6 bikes since I find that most of them can be used by the majority of my figures (including my FR girls who have been re-bodied onto Poppy Parker bodies). I like bikes for 1/6 because it implies that there is more going on in that realm than a bunch of talking heads in offices, fashion ateliers, and cafes.

tanaka-phantom
(don’t mind Tanaka’s bare feet in the photo above, ok?) πŸ˜‰
I wanted the Green Phantom for a while but it usually goes for crazy money on feebay–so up until this year it was always a no-go. I got this one for $60+s&h and I felt that that was ok. It was a splurge (like pretty much everything this year) and I don’t regret it.

Downside to it:(aka why it isn’t the #1 toy on the list!)
While it is nice to have another bike in my collection I have to say that quality wise it’s just okay. I have noticed that the spokes on the rear wheel have become brittle and needed to be fixed with some zap a gap. So again, I know it’s an older piece (circa 1991?)but I think that the quality isn’t all it could be.

Overall thoughts It’s nice to be able to add it to my collection–because there aren’t a whole lot of bikes out there that are really good for 1/6 use.

Ready for #5??
#5

Description of Toy/Toyline: On the Rise Elise Jolie, by Integrity Toys Elise Jolie is one of the many characters that make up the Fashion Royalty line.

Elise-2

Why did it make your list?
I had one version of Elise previously (Escapism Elise) but I just couldn’t make myself like her coloring even though I liked the facemold, and decided to trade with a fellow collector for a different doll. When I saw OTR Elise at the reveal I was surprised at how different she managed to look. I loved the combination of the dark hair and fair skin — but I debated about her. I bought her, originally with the idea that I’d probably keep her shoes, purse and jewelry and sell her on, but instead I just kept her. I ended up giving her to myself for x-mas (hey, a girl needs to buy herself a present sometimes!). I’m glad I did though because I have seen some really great photos of her on Flickr which give me ideas on what I can do with her (after I get her out of that orange dress and wash the styling gunk out of her hair).

Elise-1

Downside to it: (aka why she isn’t the #1 toy on the list!)
This year they decided to transition all of their mainline FR dolls onto the newer FR2 body type and they introduced some new features on some of the FR2 line –namely that the arms, legs and so forth were all removable so that you could detach them for ease of dressing and potentially to change out high heeled feet for others etc. I hoped that she had that feature–but alas, she doesn’t, so she doesn’t get a higher ranking because of that. Also, Integrity Toys used to be really good with their accessories being high quality but her purse was crap and I am very disappointed by it.

Overall:As she comes out of the box On the Rise Elise Jolie is pretty nice. She’s got a lot of potential to look good and with some styling you don’t even notice her ginormous forehead. Her accessories were “meh” and IMO her original market price should have reflected that better, but que sera sera. Despite all that I think she’s going to have a good character to play in my photostories.


Wrenwood Diorama #1: with photos of progress

Making the first diorama for the Wrenwood Hall photostories should be remarkably easy–except of course for me having that commitment issue when it comes to allocating dedicated walls to the diorama!

To re-cap where I left off in the last post about Wrenwood:

the small Wrenwood set has 2 long walls (26 inches each) and 2 short walls (22 inches each). Not a huge room by any means. But what I am trying to keep in mind as I decide which walls get doors, windows etc. is that the long walls (26 inch) will be useable in the large (36×26) Wrenwood Hall diorama base too…I really DO try to get as much use out of a wall (in as many sets as possible).

Anywho…I decided that for the first go-round I wanted to have a smallish door (hah hah! This is only small when you consider that the door in the large set will be a double-width door–maybe I should call it “regular” size?) and the window seat/alcove for this set.

The regular door will fit in the side wall, and the window seat/alcove will go in the long wall.

Here are photos of the diorama it as it currently is–in progress! πŸ™‚

windowseat-wall

short-wall-2

long-wall-3

electra

You can tell I messed up a bit because durh! I originally put the “regular” door in the long wall! Oh well. That is part of the reason I wanted to be sure to have a couple of extra “blanks” for the walls.

That wall won’t go to waste since it’ll attach to the set (could for example use the long wall with the door & the short wall with the door and have that room as a bit of a pass through or else an outer chamber to someone else’s rooms…) There are always options πŸ™‚ Like in the photos above I’ve actually included that wall in the shots and think it will work for an entrance to another room, a storage room or something….

You can also see that Electra wanted to help! She’s showing off the window seat wall.

It IS very wide but some of that will disappear with I’ve done the stonework and treatments. My version is supposed to be wide though since I am roughly modeling it on this one: (notice I did say roughly!) Excuse the poor photo I can’t find my other files at the moment. :S

helmsley-castle-window

I guess I should say at this point that I made the openings for the doors and window/alcove large enough so that I could have the Tall Fashion Royalty guys (specifically London Calling Kyu) and the FR2 (or Fashion Royalty 2.0 which is I guess what they are calling the newest generation of the body for the girls) going through them without smacking their heads.

Bearing in mind that I have an eclectic mix of dolls and action figures as cast members I also made sure that they are wide enough that even the super brawny Hot Toys guys can get through them (because, hey, you never know when you might have some marauders breaching the hall and stealing away the hot chicks!)

I have been pondering whether I want to do the walls to appear like they have been rendered and whitewashed (aka plaster/ tudor walls withΒ  linen fold paneling) or to do them all as stone (probably what I will go for).

Pros & cons of doing the different styles of wall treatments:

  • The whitewashed/plastered look (with or without paneling) would be easiest and quickest.
  • Plaster/paneling would look ok but I don’t think I’ll get that dark and semi gloomy look / feel I want with them.
  • Stone look would allow me more leeway on where and how I place wall hangings / lighting without the worry of damaging the plaster look or the plaster getting stained (or cracking).
  • Doing stone the way I plan to will be labor intensive and some of it will require me making it up as I go for how to make the treatments for the windows & doors.
  • The stone look will seem IMO more in keeping with the feel I am going for. More work, more effort but probably (maybe) worth it?

Ok so there you have it! That’s my update for the week. Oh, yea, and I should mention I am working on a decorating scheme for my standard white wall diorama (you know, the one that shows up in Friday Monologues, Etsy pics and stuff).

 

What comes first? Cafe? Apartment? Medieval chamber?

Right now I’m conflicted. πŸ˜‰

There are a lot of things (1/6 related) that I should be working on. Or rather that I want to work on in between jobs and house stuff and cat stuff.

For example:

I’m supposed to be dedicated to making the Cafe diorama/set. And Giselle & Co’s apartment Diorama/Set.Β  And of course at least one interior set for Wrenwood Hall.

Where I stand with these ideas/ projects:

  • Giselle’s apt: Still narrowing down what floorplan I want to use. I’d like big and roomy but not overly complicated. I have 2 frontrunners in that area but I’m still hemming a bit about them because neither makes me go “Rah! AWEsome!” One is better than the other IMO but if I made it the way I want to it will take a lot of effort and I’ll be making rooms I am not 100% sure people will ever see. Yes, I am the person who plans the whole floorplan even the bits behind the scenes. Yes it’s a hassle. I know. (But if I do it this way then if I ever do want to use those then I have it already figured out instead of trying to cobble together other parts into a cohesive unit. You know what I mean?
  • Cafe: I’ve got the basic dimensions down, and a cutting list. However, because I want to be able to shoot the interior AND exterior for shots (including surrounding businesses/facades/street) I need to tweak it more before we start making bespoke bases and walls/etc.

Both the Cafe & the Apartment sets will require a much larger shooting/set-up surface…

Which means I’ll have to re-jig my studio/office and keep an eye out for either a cheap dining room table or throw a piece of plywood on saw horses. The Saw horse table has the pros of being easy to flat pack and get out of the way if I don’t have the set up and being used. And I can cut the legs to a height that is comfortable for me to work with… Hmm. Saw horse table is looking to be the way to go. πŸ˜‰

  • Wrenwood Hall/Interior Set: Since this is not a full set (or I don’t envision it as one at this point) I see it as some simple walls and a more complicated window/ window seat area. We’ll see. this one should be the cheapest of all the sets that need to be made because this should only = 1 room.

Also, on the 1/6 board I’m on there is a challenge that I am running for making some version of a 1/6 garden…container garden, flower bed or whatever. And I really want to do something with that for Wrenwood Hall. I mean I have to set a good example, right? So I’m thinking of either doing the small “cloister” type garden, or else a few raised beds ala Medieval Herb garden looking…. I’m not sure which. I have some stone and bits that I could use for the Cloister idea, and possibly a fountain-y thing….

So these are the things flapping around in the back of my mind while in 1:1 we’re planning out raised garden beds, fixing the basement doors, painting the porch and replacing leaky pipes and I’;m dealing with the stupiditiy from work. Ugh!

Gosh, is it any wonder I love 1/6 so much? πŸ˜‰

Yay! CKWorkshop at Etsy is OPEN!

Woot! It’s aliiiiiive!

cross-end-table-2-4-2014-1b
We started getting the listings done this afternoon/evening…and I’ll be working on them more tomorrow! We still have some shelving units to list, more tables, paintings, that pallet couch (which I so want to keep…*sigh*) and other miscellaneous stuff.

For those of you who read the blog, here’s that promised coupon! CKW28FEB .It’s good for 10% off any purchase of 10 dollars or more. It’s good through feb 28th *so y’all can get a paycheck ready! woo!* I haven’t tried doing a coupon before so if you try to use it and there’s an issue please do let me know.

All this week (and over the weekend) I’ll be updating the store with more new stuff and goodies! Keep your eyes peeled! πŸ˜‰

CKWorkshop Etsy Preview #1! Sixthscale stuff!

Ok, so things are not going according to plan but despite that things are still getting done! πŸ˜€
I wanted to open the shop today (sat) but things happened last night and today. But don’t despair! I have some photos to share of things that will be getting listed when the etsy shop opens! I’m aiming for Tuesday night as the shop re-Opening day! Yay!
Ok, here are just a few pics…

etsy-2014-preview-1

etsy-2014-preview-2

etsy-2014-preview-3

etsy-2014-preview-4

etsy-2014-preview-6

etsy-2014-preview-7

Also, for readers of the blog I’m going to do a coupon on the day it opens >> so be sure to check back on the blog! πŸ˜€

Trying to make progress…

Let’s be honest here: I’m not getting as much done as I’d hoped nor as quickly as I’d planned to.

I haven’t forgotten about repainting Kyu, or pulling Irresistible in India Poppy out (and repainting her lips & tweaking her eyes), annnnnnnd making stuff for the dioramas(mine) or working on the ideas for the Cup & Saucery diorama…but the truth is I’m hustling to get things done for Etsy for the 1st of February!

That’s right. February 1st is the re-open date for the Etsy shop! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

I’ll have a preview post up on the 30th so you all can get a sneak peak at what’s coming to the shop before it gets there! πŸ˜‰

Mark will have a table or two (or 4) in there, I’ll have bonsai trees, a pallet couch, some paintings…and who knows what else!

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