Making progress is a good thing!

I’m really happy to say that eeven though I’ve been fighting a cold bug & food allergies that I managed to get quite a few things done this weekend. More than I expected to, so I’m feeling pretty good. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

My goal for re-opening CKWorkshop at Etsy is November 1st and I am feeling pretty confident that I am going to have at least some of the stuff photographed and written up for it. The only thing I am unsure about is the new shipping system that Etsy has and if I should try to do their new automated option. I mean, anything that makes shipping stuff out is a great thing…I just hope it isn’t buggy.

So that’s the news for today. πŸ™‚

This is the part where I get serious: Dioramas!

You know how people make “bucket” lists of things they want to do or see before they drop dead?

Mine is pretty simple, if time consumptive–I want all of the dioramas made that I have in my head and in my notebooks! Yeah, it would take years to make them all. I knooooooow. And of late I haven’t been doing much of anything like moving them along…

But this is where that stops.
I thought about all of the ones I want to make, all of the ones I started or planned on and decided I’d pick two and run with them. This year (what’s left of it anyway) is going to be their year.

The oldest diorama that I have been trying to make/scrapping/trying to make is without a doubt the Cafe. It was meant to be a social spot in Quinlan for the University students and other city folk to go to. Open mic nights/ poetry nights, acoustic bands, you know, that kind of thing.Β  You may recall that I have been talking about it on and off since….2010. Six years. I feel it’s one of those do it now or STFU about it forever.

So I redrew up the floor plan for the cafe and the sidewalk outside of it. It’s a big set, but not as big as I’d originally planned nor anywhere near as complicated.

The other diorama I drew up floor plans for is Emerson’s apartment. I know she will be moving to Quinlan and will need a place to live. I debated whether I needed Emerson’s or Giselle’s done first. I think that since Giselle will be seen a lot in the Wrenwood Hall sets and the cafe there isn’t an immediate need for her to have an apartment (although she shares one with one of the other cast-members of WH.)

This means that I now have to start going through my accumulated props and pieces to see what can be used where and how.

This is all made a little more difficult by the fact that our living room is my current studio since the house is in a state of renovation and it seems unlikely that I will have a studio/ office space of my own until next year sometime if I am lucky. (then I will be able to set up my dioramas and leave them set up!!Β  The sheer luxury of that would be Awesome (because it takes me hours to dress a set for a photoshoot) and that would save me the time and effort.

I’ll update soon on how the 2 sets are going.

 

Q&A: can you hybridize a Poppy and an FR2?

I got this question a few months ago from Taylor. My spammerator stuffed it in pending so it has taken a long time for me to see it. Sorry, Taylor!

his/her question was: “but I am asking is it possible for me to take the new bust upper part of the FR2 doll body and attach it to the body of Poppy parker? and would she be taller, than a normal poppy or shorter? like when u placed the 2 nun face body and poppy together. I want a poppy with a bigger bust and her flat feet but not shorter than normal, would it work?

My answer is: I don’t know! But what the heck I can give it a try and see!

I tried it last night and I’m sad to report that it isn’t do-able. The larger torso size of the fr2 leaves too large of a gap at the upper joint. It was a nice idea (and I was really hoping it _would_ work, but no dice!

Another FYI for folks who want their Poppy Parker dolls to have high heeled feet rather than the jointed feet–Poppy’s dimensions are the same as a monogram body. So that’s one fix for you folks. πŸ˜‰

 

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).

 

Wrenwood Hall redux: Planning & Purchasing & Puttering…

What can I say? Wrenwood Hall won out in the competition for which diorama I should work on next (I promise the cafe will be after this–or maybe the apartment) πŸ˜‰

I had to do some research for the best place for me to buy my MDF from since buying it from Home Despot was just too expensive for what I need (it’s about 6$ per 4×2 piece and I found a place I can get an 8×4 sheet for 15$(plus tax) which gives me more wall for money — always a good thing IMO.)That’s turned out well because with the amount of alternative walls I want it has managed to save me about 100$.

We spent my days off this week going to get it (a trip in and of itself) and trying to get it cut to size to fit in the car (difficult to say the best). Yesterday, Mark was kindly cutting it to the real sizes I need and not the weird sizes the lumber yard did.

Here are the cut sheets: (if you look closely you can see Mark’s cutting list with my commentary on how many of each walls/floors I need minimum) πŸ™‚

walls-1

walls-2

and here you can see where he had to glue another piece onto the main piece to get it to be the necessary size…

floor-1

Which means that later this week/next week I get to work on the dioramas for Wrenwood Hall! Yay! WoooWoooWooo!!! πŸ˜€

Ok, so here’s the plan:

1 diorama set which measures approximately 36X26 (this requires a new frame/base be built for it.)

1 diorama set which measures approximately 26×22 — this is my current diorama/roomset base size (the one you see all my furniture and Friday monologues in). I’m going to start with that one for this project since base-making takes more time than I can have at the moment and it requires Mark helping me with it–and he has a lot on his plate right now with the house repairs (me poking him to make things for etsy, and for me ) etc.

Now, this post is pretty much me “thinking outloud” so I do apologize if none of it makes sense…

Out of the 26×22 diorama base & walls I want to be able to do/get the following:

A garden set/diorama
.
While eventually I’d like to be able to build a real 1:6 garden outdoors (raised for ease of photography and creaky bones) I need to be more practical if I want something to use this year! This is me, being practical. I’ll take the 26×22 base, and dedicate 3 or 4 walls for it(meaning that they will be bespoke to that diorama only). And then set about populating it with greenery etc. I’m hoping to pull off a feel similar to a medieval cloistered garden, but since this is a smaller garden (more like a pocket garden) I’m … well…I’m hoping it will work. I have some vague ideas in mind and I’ll have to run with it as I go.

Medieval-esque rooms/chambers.
This is going to be a smaller room whichΒ  could be: a lesser bedroom/study/stillroom or general “background shots” room. This will be what I’m using until I get the larger (36×26) base and walls done.

I plan to work on both simultaneously, since I am really feeling the urge to get working on this project and the more that I can get done then the closer I will be to shooting photos. Being realistic I probably won’t get to work on the Cafe set until October or November (if I stay on track with this one).

So how do I feel?
A little overwhelmed, a lot excited! And of course I’m suffering from commitment issues!

Do I give the walls dressed stone treatment? Do I make them look like rocks? A hybrid? Do I do paneling? How do I want to treat it?

I decided that for now, on the small set I’d take a leaf out of the history books. See the photos below? Those are from a castle in Yorkshire, called Skipton Castle.

skipton-castle-interior-1
You can see how some of the walls are stone, and some are stone which has been covered over with plaster (lime). In the photo below you can see a room where the walls are all stone.Β  It’s possible that they were coated with plaster, but they could also have been left plain. Since I am going for hollywood accuracy (which is to say minimal) I’m probably going to leave most of them looking like stone. I may make one or two to look like rendered plaster. Maybe.

skipton-castle-interior-2

In the photo below you can see a nice example of stonework as well as a small fireplace in a circular tower room.

skipton-castle-interior-3

So you can guess I’m probably going to be pretty busy working on this stuff, eh? And this doesn’t even start to cover my ideas for the medieval garden diorama. Heh. So many ideas.

That’s true. I also have to work on a set for Giselle & Taylor’s temporary living room. And costumes for the Wrenwood actresses (Giselle & co).Β  And of course there’s that whole making things for Etsy thing…

But this is where I am at right now. Thought I’d share some of the process. 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!

Paintings, paintings, paintings….and stuff

I’ve been pretty busy! Aside from doing regular 1:1 stuff, I have been really doing my best to get somewhere with making my 1/6 stuff!Β  What kind of stuff?

Weeeeelll….I posted previously about making and stretching a bunch of 1/6 canvases (36 to be exact) and have since then been working on painting them. It’s harder than you’d think since I like to put thought and consideration into each painting I do—regardless of if it is a 1/6 scale painting or a 1/1 scale painting!

So far I’ve been experimenting with a range of styles and techniques so it’s turning out to be an enjoyable experience with only a few hiccups… I’m trying to push beyond just the things that appeal to my personal sense of taste and see where they go and it’s fun.

Less fun has been working on the last 2 pallet couches. I am remembering now why I stopped making them after the first two– and these will be the last two for a long time I think. And of course, one of these two is for my own collection (woo! at last! a pallet couch for meeeee!)

Annnyway, I’m hoping to update the blog by some time next week with photos and stuff. The Etsy shop (ckworkshop) will be re-opening on February 1st!

 

 

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