Aug 092014
 

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! :)

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 :) 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 with  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).

 

Jan 212014
 

I’m in the process of trying to update my links and to scope out new 1/6 stories — so I wanted to ask the folks who visit here:

  • Do you have any links to photostories that you can recommend?
  • Do YOU make any photostories?
  • Want to share the links?

Let me know and as I update I’ll be sure to add them in the sidebar! :D

(also if you have any recommendations for other sites & blogs I should link to please share! Also, what d’yall think of the links having images? I would have to make graphics for the links but wonder if it would be nicer to look at than plain text?)

Sep 232013
 

Yes, yes it’s done! Mwhahaahah! (I’ll apologize now for the photos–I didn’t bother to adjust the white balance so the photos aren’t consistent) :P

brickwall-outside

Speaking truly, it doesn’t live up to my personal expectations.

I AM disappointed.

Even a little disheartened.

Getting the brick wall made–that was a real task this time around. Like the last time when I did the one out of foam core I had a couple of different ideas about how I was going to do this wall. And yes, every one of them was labor intensive. I think the next one I make will be even more so. But for now, let’s discuss this one…

brick-wall-after-1

It’s okay…but just….it falls really short of what I wanted to achieve.
The colors are ok, and the texture was so-so but despite everything I tried (that I had on hand) I just couldn’t get the bricks to look the way I wanted them to. i was going for crooked wonky brickwork–which I succeeded on. But the texture and overall look just = fail.

And the mortar –well. I had 3 different plans for it and none of them panned out. (you can’t see the parts on the wall where I screwed up with the previous 3 attempts). Then I went with my last ditch effort and that’s what it is for now. I might go back through and try to re grout it, but eh, I doubt it. I’ll probably wait until I do the next brick wall (which will be for the Cup & Saucery Cafe).

giselle-brick-wall

Oh, and I am going to say this again:

I do things the way  do them. I don’t expect other people to do things my way, and I don’t think that my way is the only way (or the right way). It’s simply what works for me (using MDF vs Foam-core).

Do what you want.
Do it however you want to do it.
I’m not going to knock you for it.
I’ll do things my way!
And as long as we’re making dioramas (and photostories!!!) that’s ALL that matters ;)

 

 

Sep 082013
 

Sometimes you have to face unpleasant truths.

Only by facing them and accepting them can you move forward and make progress on the things you mean to do.

giselle-9-2013

I have been one of the longest, staunchest supporters of Volks dollfies (27cm). I have collected them for more than a decade and I have loved their articulation, their ability to easily share clothes with other fashion dolls, and the fact that generally speaking they were low-cost and fantastic for customizing. For those reasons they became my go-to figures and make up the bulk of my 1/6 scale doll collection. However, it has now been years since Volks ceased production of the EB body type and the other options that they offer are….not for me. Yes, there are other 27 cm figures–Obitsu/Parabox make but for me those are too small and too petite.

Where does my collecting go from this point, now that I have finally moved out of Denial and into Acceptance?

Don’t get me wrong–I have a number of different kinds of dolls and action figures in my collection. I have Takara Cool Girls/Cy Girls, a few Fashion Royalty dolls, I even have a Barbie or two, but of all the other kinds of dolls that I have, that I really think I am going to start concentrating on are the dolls being put out by Integrity.

Did you hear me just eat my hat? Possibly. :P

Some of my biggest gripes in the past with Fashion Royalty dolls were:

  1. Poor articulation and  body design (compared to my volks-biased experiences)
  2. (cough) the price.
  3. They had hands that wouldn’t come off (pre-handspeak system) which made dressing them a PITA.
  4. Prone to loose joints and tended to be floppy and if I wanted them to sit upright on a couch without slumping I had to tweak the body. Not ideal IMO.
  5. They are Amazonian in height. That part made it difficult to find male partners for them unless I wanted a lot of tom cruise/ Nicole kidman kind of couples…. You get the point, right?

But….to be fair I had a lot of things to like about the Fashion Royalty dolls.

  1. They had some really lovely face molds. (I adore Giselle and Agnes and Natalia)
  2. They come in a wide range of skintones which makes for some nice variation and more realism in the population of people for my photostories. That was something missing in my collection.
  3. IT got wise to the idea that removable hands were a great thing and started using the handspeak system
  4. Integrity makes some nice complete figures, they make nice accessories and often times the clothing they make is done to a pretty high specification. Much better than most of the Barbie clothes Mattel puts out these days.

And of course IT has been playing around with the different kinds of bodies they’re making these days.

They’re making Poppy Parker, Misaki, FR2 and according to the word on the Web they’re revamping the regular Fashion Royalty Line and the FR2 line and will be revealing what the new body style and design will be like in October at the FR Convention. And I understand that in 2014 that they will be doing that for the NuFace line as well.

All of that speaks to the fact that Integrity, although not making dolls as posable as I’d prefer, is still working on making new dolls, trying to do something with their QC and also, giving people like me (head/body swappers) a wider range of options to choose from.

SO Yes. I have officially eaten my hat.

I am going to be collecting the FR dolls again, and doing my best to integrate them not only into my collection but also into the photostories that I have planned for the Quinlan Chronicles.

Just to be clear here–I’m not saying that FRs are my all time favorite OR the be all end all best doll out there… I doubt I’ll ever love them the same way that I love my volks. But for now, the Fashion Royalty/ Dynamite Girls/ Poppy parker / IT dolls just happen to be the ones that I have taken a new shine to and want to see what I can do with them….

 

Jun 102013
 

The weekend didn’t go as I planned. That’s ok. The trip has been rescheduled to later this month and I spent most of Friday and Saturday in bed, and ignored the computer.  Sunday…Sunday my body was feeling better but I didn’t feel up to facing human beings in person or online. So I stayed home (from archery practice as well as from Lowes or Home Depot) and decided it was long past time to get those pesky-half-done-but-not-quite ready-roomsets closer to being done!

This is going to be a kind of short post but I wanted to share how it’s going so far:

You can see the various walls and doors: (I know it all looks a bit rough right now.) It needs another coat of paint and some window treatments (for all 3 sets). I’m also keeping an eye out for fabric that I can use for a rug. or something. We’ll see.

walls-in-progress

The windows are all from my old (UK) dioramas. We cut them out and posted them over. Splicing them into the new MDF walls was a trick and I am thankful that Mark had the patience for that part since I sure didn’t! I did get to do the spackling though to try to hide the join/seams into the walls.

walls-in-progress2

Mark was awesome in making me the two new doors (and he even made the hinges!) He’s now gone back to working on the house related stuff (he just built himself a worktable to make real 1:1 scale doors for our house). We were originally going to use that stain (on the doors) for our house but out of the can and on the wood it’s much darker than we wanted so….back to square one on that one :S

Here you can see the as of yet unfinished floor:

floor-in-progress-1

I want to make a wood floor (mock hardwood) which I can use for any and all of the rooms.  I have the strips of wood cut to size and now I need to stain them and attach them. After I do that I’ll coat them with some lacquer/ PU and see how they look. Hopefully good. LOL.

I’m also working on a new brick wall: (sorry for the blurry pic)

walls-in-progress3

The point of this one is to replace the one I made earlier this year out of foamcore. >:(

Despite my best efforts I can’t get over my intense dislike of the stuff (or its inability to cope with the wear and tear it suffers at my hands!). I know hundreds of people swear by it, and use it for all their diorama needs. Good for them!  But …it’s not so good for me…

So–I had an offcut left from the room-set walls and it’s just big enough to use as a short wall. So I’m going to try using that and see how it goes. I should update later this week (probably towards friday) with *hopefully* finished room set pics!

Mar 222013
 

Ok, so a brief change of gears here–from modern/ contemporary diorama planning back to pseudo-medieval diorama planning & thought!

It seems like I do a lot more thinking these days and not as much “making”! Grr! Frustrating! But the warm weather is coming & that means I’ll be able to make more things (without say, realizing that the house is so cold that the 2 part epoxy won’t come out of the tubes LOL)

The plus side to it being so cold is that I can dedicate the time to think about/ plan/ how to make things.  I have primarily been finalizing the basic *female* character roster for Wrenwood Hall. This is what I’ve come up with thus far: (click on the image–then on the white “X” for larger version). Yes, you’ll notice that at the moment they are all Fashion Royalty dolls from Integrity Toys–I do have a few other characters that I am hoping to use my Takara CG female figures in too…But I’m not ready to commit them to specific roles yet….

female-cast-1

You’ll notice that I haven’t yet cast Lady Merithi. That’s because I haven’t found a doll yet that I like for that character. Still hoping I’ll find one at some point (or  somehow do a massive about face and cast someone who already exists LOL).

Next I have to start thinking about the main male characters…

I’m still working on sourcing them so that will be updated (and decided) later. I know roughly 5 roles that require guys so I am keeping an eye out!  I’ve seen a few male action figure heads on feebay lately that I think could work for them.

Speaking of the guys….On flickr I saw that Hot Toys has put out their True Type Advanced Muscular Body–which appears to be half a head/ or slightly more/ taller than the standard Hot Toys True Type Body.

Here’s a great comparison pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/53915760@N04/8560432997/

That would be awesome if it’s really taller since I want to use Hot Toys action figures as the male cast—but they are short-asses compared to the Fashion Royalty female dolls——-and I really don’t want to have to do constant shots where I’m hiding the fact that the guys are standing on boxes to make them the same height or taller than the women in the cast!!!!

Sets: Hmm, where do I start with these?

Before I left the UK I had 3 ideas in mind that I wanted to do for Wrenwood sets.

  • a small chamber–with window seat. –useable as a small bedchamber/ personal space/stillroom
  • Medium size Hall –with alcove at one end and two entry ways (with doors) into them. Stained glass windows, flagstone floors and faced stone walls.

I know it’s all kinds of crazy work to do–on top of doing my 3 main roomsets for the regular chronicles (university based). Which means that these are going to continue to stew in the back of my head. But I think I’m pretty excited about it anyway. For the cloister/garden area  I’ve been looking into plants and ideas on how I can use them for the settings—and if I should try to do the whole cloister set outside—on the ground—or….on raised beds/ tables outside.

I know it sounds a bit bonkers to want to do it and make a set that could withstand the outdoors and the weathering it would get. I really love the idea of being able to shoot in natural lighting with _real_ weather to color the scenes and give it that added realism.

Anyway, I’m thinking that I’ll leave the cloister set until mid-spring, and see about making the small chamber. From a purely financial standpoint that would be best–it’ll take the least amount of supplies (just to make), and I could use it for quite a few scenes depending on how I shoot it. We’ll see I guess? (I’ll need to decide if I want to do rendered “lime washed” walls, or use faux stone appearance.

 

 

Feb 272013
 

Ok, so you know I think about my photostory stuff a lot. And as one of my good friend says about my attempts to assign roommates/ pairs of students  “You over-think it! Just DO it already!”

Guilty as charged. :P

But I was determined that I’d do it this time. I mean since I have the dorm room / student lounge set almost (sort of) done, I need to know this stuff. Really! And I need to be able to refer to it time and again (since I can remember the characters but not always who’ll be living where). So today (after I finished the last 3 re-paints so I had enough students for this) I made up a chart. It’s a quick reference one, so it’s not all pretty and lovely. But it’ll do the trick. So. Here we are: the female roomates. (you’ll notice that Nerissa isn’t on the chart. That’s because she’s got a private/ single room! Lucky girl!)

If you want to see the image @ full size click it and then look for the white X and then click that. :)

roommates

There you have it!

Now I have to get back to sewing!

Feb 182013
 

Yep, so I’ve got Mark slaving away inserting windows and making me (YES!!) 2 doors to use in the dioramas. This makes me a very happy chickie :D  Ok, so while he’s slaving away doing that (YAY!) I was trying to think up of different layouts I can use for the walls/room sets.

This is what I’ve come up with for the Dorm room dioramas:

This is the old dorm room set (geared for Karly & Astrid)

dorm-3

astrid-bed

It’s kind of important that I can get as many permutations as possible out of that one since I have a lot of students who obviously have to live in a dorm room. ;)  *and while it’s true I may not have lots of scenes set in all of their rooms, it’s nice to have that option!*  Some of these set-ups would depend on the students getting along/being good friends.

dorm-room-A dorm-room-B dorm-room-C dorm-room-D dorm-room-E dorm-room-F

So  that’s the basic ideas for the dorm room….

Next let’s talk about the base walls for the Student Lounge:

It looks a bit bare for the moment because I have to work out how the things I have will work in it. I also need to make a couch for it. So for right now all I know is that the room has 2 windows and a door! :P And when I get around to it (provided I left enough room) I’ll be making a 1/6 soda machine. You gotta have one of those, right?

student-lounge

This is the old dorm room set:

student-lounge-2

student-lounge-8

This one is different, obviously, but I’m still looking for that kind of flavor to it.

So once that’s figured out it’ll be great! Annnnnd depending on how I do the window treatments (Blinds? Curtains?) I could possibly use this as a student dorm room. Maybe for some special student, or as an upperclassmen room. Maybe?

And of course, the Professors’ Office / Academic Office:

It’s a shared wall with the Student Lounge. I’m thinking the windows for the academic office will need to be blinds or something similar. I have the 4 wooden book cases that Mark made me back in 2010 

And I think that I might have at least 2 versions of the offices so I can swap out which professors are in which, etc.

professor-office

Anywho: after the doors & windows are inserted I get to paint the walls and stuff and begin the  process of making and collecting all the stuff I need to actually “fill” the sets! Woo!

Feb 152013
 

Yes, at last I’m going to get to work making replacements for the dorm room & student lounge roomsets! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! ~Waves arms in a kermit the frog dance~>(You *must* click on the pic of Kermit to see the dance!!)

k-f-gif

Ok, so what do we have to do?

The first thing I did was take stock of the stuff I brought back with me from the US… I was gutted to realize I am missing a few pieces I was sure I had, but  oh well.  :/

I do however have enough windows to make a wall to use for the student dorm room and the student lounge. That’s great, right?  And even better—there’s a pretty good chance of me reusing the wall from the student lounge as a wall in the professor’s office.

Maaaaaaaybe.

It’s possible anyway~! The only thing it would really need different is a door…..and I could probably get away using the dorm room one until that was made down the line… Unless I can talk Mark into doing one (or two! ) The Dorm room needs a closet door! Really!). Don’t you think that a room that 2 people have to live in would be big enough for 2 professors to have to work in together?  Or am I pushing too much? I recall seeing some really tiny academic offices when I was in college (both times) so I’m thinking that it could work. And heck, maybe 2 and an adjunct at the same time

It’s not really the ideal plan (because we’re working to a time constraint etc. Mark is going to visit his people next month so I won’t be allowed to use  stuff while he’s gone. So I have to get them now!) but whatever. I want a real roomset again and this will do the trick!

So here’s a quick pic of what the basic set up (for the dorm room) is probably going to be: (ignore Harley, ok? She’s not to scale!)

dorm-1-potential

Actually, looking at that that is the wrong set up! D’oh. The window should be on the wall opposite the door. So just imagine it is there ok? And pretend that I unwrapped & re-assembled the dorm beds! I was tired last night though so I didn’t bother for the lay out mock up. :P

For the Student Lounge, there will be 2 of those white windows on one wall and no other windows.  I’m not sure what the floor treatment for either will be at this point. For all the sets the walls will be basic white.

 

 

Oct 212012
 

I admit it. I’m an incorrigible diorama addict!
I’ve just moved house, am living a little bit rough, and what am I thinking of?

No, it’s not what color should I paint the walls of my studio (white, after we tear off the 1970′s paneling)…it’s Roomsets. Planning & thinking about them!

More specifically, how should I design the layout for the Cup & Saucery Cafe!

I know! Call me crazy! ;)
But I decided that the Cup & Saucery would be the best roomset/diorama to make first…That’s mostly because I have the majority of things I need (furniture wise) and it would allow me to use the widest range of characters in it….And it is very likely the only room-set I’ll make for a while. So it has to really, really has to be multipurpose/functional.

Anyway–back to discussing the cafe: Starting back at the beginning, the Cup & Saucery cafe was named “The Mocha Loca Cafe (MLC)” and was owned by Alison. However, in the time since I 1) created Alison as a character and 2) started mentally designing (and part building a few times) the MLC, things have changed. The biggest change is of course space. I now have space enough to make the roomset the size I wanted to instead of settling for something smaller. That’s not to say I’m going to go batcrap-crazy, but….Yes. I am going to make the most of my space ;) which meant that I needed to get a real idea of how big it needed to be to look right (for me).

I’m a really visual person. Drawing dimensions out on paper doesn’t help me a whole lot when I’m planning on making stuff. So the first thing I decided to do was take out some masking tape and try to mask out the area on the floor.

Yea, I know…Not very awe inspiring, is it? (no, I mean the box, not the floor–which is also a little underwhelming. I’m considering spilling paint on it to make it less…1970-linoleum looking.)

So the next step was for me to get out the misc pieces of furniture I had and lay them out in the space & populate it with some dolls so I could see how it was going to work. (some of the pieces are just placeholders for things I need to make yet).

I tried to include a fair mix of figure types: including volks dollfies, takara cy girls, Hot Toys action figures, Triad alpha, fashion royalty girls (yay Giselle!), and some barbies.

Overall I think the layout that I had in mind willwork out ok.I need to add a few extra inches on to allow for architectural features/fakes.

(Did you notice in the photo above it looks like Viv & Gil are doing a re-enactment of the shootout at the OK Corral? Guess there’s still a bit of bitterness over the divorce!)

I’m going to end up needing 3 windows (instead of the 1 I was hoping to get away with) but since they’ll be simple, single paned windows those should be easy enough & I won’t have to ask Mark to help with them. :)  I still want to do the back-room/kitchen area/ office but that can be a separate set that I’ll but up against it if I need to.

As far as furniture: I think I will probably need to dig out an additional chair & table set and paint it. And I need to replace those chairs with other ones (they are placeholder pieces). And I need to see if I can tweak my ideas about the counters/display units. The spot where Gwen (kenzie on a cg body) is is going to be utilized as a coffee area–like where you get milk and sugar , napkins & crap.

So we’ll see. Our budget is especially tight now so I’m not sure when I’ll actually have the money to buy the supplies for the walls, floors and stuff. But I’d rather put together a plan of action and organize how I want to do it–that way when we can afford to splurge I can get the materials. ;)

Speaking of Roomsets/Dioramas/Displays…
Here’s a quick poll: please let me know what  The poll closed (11-12-2012) and this is what y’all told me call these things!

What do you prefer to call your 1/6 scale sets (or scenes)?

Poll Results:

 

Dioramas 50% 8
Room-sets 18.8% 3
Other *if other please share in comments!!!* 18.8% 3
Displays 12.5% 2
total votes: 16

My thanks to everyone who voted! I love to know what folks think! :D

Sep 192012
 

Something I haven’t discussed very much is that I’m suffering some anxiety about starting from scratch again.

Having made the move meant losing a lot of my set pieces, props and pieces of furniture that I’d have liked to have kept…but couldn’t. And of course some of the pieces and props have been left behind in the UK but if I’ll ever have possession of them again is another question (they’re in storage at my inlaws — but it’s a complicated situation there and I’ll count myself lucky if my stuff doesn’t end up in the trash)…You know, stuff like the 1:6 quilts I made, my 1:6 bikes, my 1:6 vespa and vino scooters :S (not to mention things like my 1:1 diplomas, and papers)

So where does that leave me?

When we knew we were really leaving the UK I sold off my roomset bases & walls (which ok, would have been crazy to ship/take over with me) and a LOT of my props and furniture pieces.  And supplies. And tools. And …well, you get the idea, right?

I know it sounds like it should be easy.
Go out. Buy supplies. Buy materials. Make stuff.
Do it on an extreme budget.
Take photos.
Get busy.

Yea. Ok. It _should_ be that easy. But it’s not.
Sometimes the idea of rebuilding every roomset from scratch totally makes me cringe.

Ok, yes.

I managed to save the windows and doors from most of the older sets…but they’ll still need work. And there’s always the fact hanging over me that whatever house we end up with — because of our budget is going to be a major fixer-upper. Which means time for making diorama/prop stuff is going to be minimal. *sigh* and of course job hunting will have to take priority over that stuff too.
I know I’m whining a lot.
Please just bear with me–I really need to vent about this.

Room-sets I want to make once we get settled:

  • Student Dorm-room / Lounge (two sets on 1 base)
  • The Cup & Sorcery Cafe
  • Academic Offices
  • Academic/ reception area (Shay/Admissions/August etc.)

Those are the main “university related” ones. The ones not directly related to the university include:

  • Wrenwood Hall outdoor set & Wrenwood Hall indoor set
  • Wrenwood Hall – Wardrobe & costume shop /Actor lounge
  • Bar for adult staff & inhabitants of Quinlan
  • Gallery
  • The Actresses apartment
  • Cass & Tori’s apartment

Ok, and if you’ve read my blog at all you can probably guess that there are about 10 more that I’d like to make….if time, space and finances ever permit! :P

That doesn’t even take on board props I need to replace, furniture I need to make (for the above and others).

The plus side on the furniture re-making is that at least I will design specific pieces with one room/set in mind. I know I need to take it one diorama at a time. And not set unreasonable / unrealistic deadlines.

MUST NOT set unreasonable expectations…….

Yeah. right.

Maybe.

 

Thanks for letting me vent! :D

 

 

Sep 102012
 

Yes, it’s me again. I’m still jonesin’ to work on stuff, make stuff etc. But since I can’t I’ve gone through my “favorite” dolls (the ones who are still in my carry-on bag! LOL). While I was at it I was thinking about Claudia.

To refresh your memory this is Claudia:

Claudia was always supposed to come across as sexy, self confident and chic in a way that her best friend Mallory wasn’t.  I had a difficult time creating Claudia to fill that role, and fit (kind of) my mental image of her.

The problem I’m having with her is that she feels too “mature” to me.


Like maybe she’d be a better match in age as a professor, or other inhabitant of Quinlan…Maybe a gallery owner, secretary, or something.  Realistically, I know that you can get a range of students some of whom can easily pass for older adults…..but to me….I’m not so sure about this being the best Claudia. Does it seem right to re-cast her?

If I recast her, then the chances are I’ll end up using this custom for another character *to be developed based on appearance* but if I don’t recast her the odds are that Claudia won’t get much screen time because I won’t/don’t feel comfortable imagining her in that role.

What do you all think?

Would this custom seem to be a better match as an adult of some sort in Quinlan rather than a 19/20 year old?

Does she seem to have more of a “grown up” feel when you look at her?

 

Jan 162012
 

So, you know if you want to make a medieval themed/ fantasy themed diorama  in 1/12 scale you can easily pick up the pieces—from furniture to props to lighting. It’s out there and–if you have the money–you can buy it. Sadly, the same isn’t really true about 1/6 scale.

The closest you can get within 1:6 is to buy the various action figures from the Ignite line of figures, or possibly the ones from that other series (Timeline? I forget what it’s called except there’s a girl in it?And I think time-travel?)

Of course, you’re still left hanging on a lot of things.  Occasionally you’re lucky and can find small bits & pieces that could be worked into it because scale on some things is varied. But I haven’t exactly got much on hand that will make the crossover from modern day use to fantasy/ medieval use.

If you can’t beg, borrow or steal it–that leaves you with Making it! So that’s what I’m left to do! (Darn it!) Ideally I’d like to be able to switch pieces between the two sets *partially so I don’t have to make more than the minimum right now; and because I really want to get these stories off the ground ASAP and not get too held up by making furniture and props!*

What’s on my list of things to make?

  • Benches & Chairs (2-4 of each) also 2 window seat benches
  • Chests (probably 2 will be enough)
  • Scribal desk/table (1)
  • Bed  (1)
  • Soft furnishings: banners/ tapestries, cushions, etc.

Of course I still need to make things like the doors & windows that go into the sets themselves. *sigh* so much work but I really do think it’ll be worthwhile when I’m done.

Anyway this weekend I’ll take some time and photograph how the roomsets (bases & walls have come along so far.) :)

 

Jan 092012
 

It’s been a while since I pulled any of my Cy Girls / CGs out to do some work on (or to take photos of). The good news is that I decided that one of them will be cast as one of the actresses in the Wrenwood Hall photostories/ Quinlan Confidential photostories. It’s going to be a kind of strange mix of dolls & figures but at the end of the day it’s what makes me happy, so why not? Right?

I sorted through my remaining CG heads and bodies to decide who I’d use.  I have a fondness for the Ice headsculpt but I wanted to have some variety.  I narrowed it down to a re-rooted AJ, Catwoman 2.0 (with the prussian blue hair), Midori (in need of a re-root), or Electra who I’d gotten off feebay a few years ago.  It was a toss up between Electra & Midori and I chose Electra because I don’t have any other characters currently using that sculpt.

Well this is how she’s looking now.

Since I got her off feebay, used and out of package with only a smattering of her original accessories  she wasn’t in the best of shape and her hair was pretty awful. D’oh! I didn’t remember to take any photos of her before starting the re-root process!

I’ve started re-rooting her with some saran from Restoredoll.

I’m rooting it in long and planning on giving her wavy or even curly hair when I’m done. At least that’s the plan! It might change as I go along.  If I manage to get her rooted & styled to my satisfaction I’ll repaint her this week.

Nov 022011
 

I started this quilt in the middle of the great internet blackout of 2011 :P mostly as a way to try to keep sane and not constantly be thinking bout talking to my friends online. I’ll say here and now that the photos for this post suck. I switched over all our bulbs to the energy efficient ones and I haven’t been able to get them quite right yet. Even with the custom wb & post processing.  :(

It is pretty bright. Nothing wrong with vibrant colors — but wow, huh?

The patches all started out as individual squares. And no, before you start thinking I’m an absolute masochist–there was a reason for this: I had already had a number of them cut (to the wrong size for my Insanity quilt) and this seemed like the perfect way to use them and not end up wasting the fabric. I didn’t know if it was going to work but I gave it a try and I’m pretty pleased with  the overall look. Next time I’ll try to do it as a Nine Patch rather than just random placements.

This quilt marks a lot of firsts for me.

  • It was the first patchwork I completed. The other one I’d started got tossed in the bin as a needless exercise in frustration),
  • The first time I made my own bias binding (not as hard as I thought it was)
  • The first whole doll blanket that I bothered to quilt by hand. Although I have to admit that it was a pain, and it is part of the reason why Nerissa’s Quilt is only lightly quilted.
  • I used a combination of tying & hand stitching to quilt the quilt.

So I sewed all the patches together, quilted it, washed it and now comes the really hard part–deciding which character gets it!  After sticking them on it I came to 3 conclusions. Shayna could have it (but since I’m working on the insanity quilt for her it doesn’t seem right she should have two. Does it??Nope.) So….either  Mallory or Parker will get it.

Maybe you folks can help me decide? Who do you think owns this quilt? I’ve snapped a few pics of each with the patchwork quilt so you can help me decide! :D There’s a poll at the end of this post–please vote! :D

 

Sooo..what do you think??

Sep 262011
 

What with all the sewing of the last few weeks I realized that I need to assign pieces of clothing to specific characters.

That’s not reaaaaaaally a problem for the volks/obitsu dolls since they can wear the mattel/ barbie clothing with no trouble.  But the trouble makers are of course– my fashion royalty dolls.  Yes, those lovely, fashionable dolls! Although  the fashion royalty girls can wear a lot of the barbie stuff (and their default clothing) but in general I always find myself struggling when it comes to finding them  pants/ slacks since they can’t wear many of the babs bottoms due to their incredibly loooooong legs.  So I made them a few skirts, pants and now I need to start the great clothing assignment of 2011!

The tough thing for me about doing this sort-out is…. who should get what pieces? Which outfits look better on…. well you get the idea, right?

So what I’m hoping to do later this week (probably this weekend) is to start shooting some photos of  the clothing on some of the dolls—basically asking you to be the tie-breaker and help me decide who gets the clothing! :D

Are you guys up for that?

Aug 132011
 

To re-cap—>this Last week’s projects were to make 2 replacement beds for the college dorm rooms & to re-root and  paint 3 new female characters for the cast.

The projects have come along with various degrees of success.  I ran into a serious road-block with having to get the house ready to show estate agents — and then have those self same agents come and check it out and give us their valuations on the property.  It took a lot of time to stage the house (and still need to do some further work) so it really ate into free time (it still is as we have more to do *sigh*)

Secondly–I’d like to update about the beds but part of my progress photos are on a memory card that mark borrowed (and I’m still waiting to get it back–so until then, no bed update–hopefully he’ll get it to me soon!)

ANNNNNNNNNNYYWAY…..

I started out with 2 Neo heads (2 pale ) and 1 old C head that I wanted to give high & low lights to in order to make the purple hair look less “flat”. You know what I mean? I wasn’t really expecting a lot out of them other than they’d be some girls and hopefully they’d have some character about them that I liked.

This is how they turned out: (the photos are rather crummy because I didn’t have much patience and didn’t bother to set up proper lighting.)

**I don’t know what their personalites are like (except for Nerissa)  or what their dress sense is.  So if anyone would like to chime in on what kind of vibe they get or impressions please do!**

April

Emily:

Nerissa

And there you have it. Overall I’m pleased with the results.

I need to think a bit about next week’s projects but I’ll post on Sunday about them.

Yay! I got stuff done! :)

Jul 212011
 

So here we are again! Not a lot to show for the effort I put in but…overall I’m kind of happy with what the repaints came out like. (Excuse the photos since I didn’t bother to take many & I just wanted to get them out of the way!)

First, we’ve got CM 1 (the head has a few issues but whatever).

Not stunning, but still, there’s something there….

Is she a Student or Teacher?

And  yesterday’s Blonde girl after her repaint: *I’ve decided to call her Bree*

Again not stellar, and not a huge difference but it’s enough that I like her and I’m pretty sure about who she is. So, here’s a semi-close up of her face.

and here’s the before & after pic:

Anyway there ‘s what I accomplished.

I was going to try to shoot the pics for the FM today but that just hasn’t gone according to plan. If I manage to do them in the morning then I’ll probably have it done for tomorrow evening–but if not, then maybe next friday (like anyone reads em anyway!)  :P

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