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!!)


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.


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!)


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. 😛

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! 😀

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! 😛

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.



Thanks for letting me vent! 😀



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 😛 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! 😀 There’s a poll at the end of this post–please vote! 😀


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! 😀

Are you guys up for that?

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