It’s 3:53am do you know where your dolls are?

Yeah. For the most part. There are a couple who are MIA but I’m sure that I’ve put them someplace that is “safe”…for some reason or another. I’ve been awake since about 12:30 and spent a couple of hours tossing, turning and looking at Pinterest on my phone while snuggling with Jess. I’m so happy to finally have a lap/chest cat again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m slowly dealing with my depression. I’ve been switched onto some new meds last week, and an additional one on Monday so we’ll see how it plays out. I feel much better now that I am out of crisis and don’t have to have someone watching me full-time. Ugh.

Mark will be heading off to england again next week. We both know it’s not the best time for him to go, but his mother (who is geriatric and afaik has everything wrong in the universe with her) is having operations done on both of her eyes and she needs someone to take care of her and the house and her alzheimer-diseased husband -nope. Not gonna be much help there. His sister who lives in London, can’t be assed, so it falls to Mark. They have a strange family dynamic. (Or I don’t know, maybe it’s a normal one, since I had something way beyond that_).

To try to keep from hitting another bad patch, I have agreed to do two things while Mark is away:

  1. Make as many props and accessories as I can for the sets and dioramas I want to get done this year. Small projects, sure, but there are massive amounts of things to be made and if I do a couple every day that will help (if nothing else I’ll have some stuff made LOL)
  2. Take 1 photo each week of the same diorama — each time decorated totally differently. That will take effort and time and I hope I can keep my motivation up while doing it.

Anyway just wanted a quick check in.

Thanks everyone who’ve emailed and stuff. It goes a long way toward making me feel less alone.

e

Bricks & Stones break my bones…but foamcore drives me Nuts-o!

Yea I have a lot of different projects on the burners right now –in fact I’d have to be a professional stove with double the normal amount of burners to handle all the pots I’ve got a’boilin!ย mrgreen

One of those was making a brick wall to use for backdrop image when I’m shooting photos of stuff—-for Etsy & for using in Friday Monologues. It took me a good week or so to get the wall done. It wasn’t fun.

I’m not that happy with itย  because there were too many places I made mistakes and it shows.

However, it’ll do the job and that for now is what counts.

I have to say here and now that I am not, never have been and never will be a fan of foamcore.

Please don’t try to stone me you folks who love the stuff.ย  I know it’s manna from heaven for a lot of people, and it’s the greatest stuff ever. For you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It remains burned into my consciousness as the crap that professors made you use for pointless art projects (when in the day a piece of foamcore cost 6 bucks instead ofย  1 buck at the dollar store!) Anyway.ย  I still think it is the stuff of the devil.twisted It’s flimsy, flaky and just too prone to damage. Ok, that last bit is probably just down to me being a klutz and needing sturdy, break resistant stuff around me!

Anyway, I persevered through and made this: (in the 2nd one down Giselle is modelling in the pics just for the hell of it!).

See, this is where the nit-picky thing really rears it’s ugly head.

A lot of people just use bricks that the y print off of photos or they use scrap-booking paper (or fabric). I’d like to be happy with that for my use, but I … well. I just couldn’t. And I have heard that me putting all this detail in doesn’t make any difference at the end, so why bother with it?

But, I just had to. Really.

Anything else would have felt half-assed.ย  And I really do my damnedest to make sure I don’t do anything that way. Why bother if you’re not going to do it right, you know?

Yes, it meant I spent more than a week scribing in all those blasted bricks. And then more experimenting (and failing spectacularly with different options for mortar!) I’ve kind of got the mortar thing sorted so the next wall will be better (and it won’t be foamcore).

And just a few shots of Giselle because, well….she’s a fave!

I’ll be updating again as soon as I have some more photos (of stuff) to share! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Tutorial: How to customize barbie chairs

Getting 1:6 scale office chairs/desk chairs is really a pain in the ass.

This has come up for me a few times since I’m working on making college dorm rooms, library space &ย  1:6 office set-ups.ย  Invariably in all of these places you find the ubiquitous “office/desk” chair. The problem is that finding them ready to buy isn’t that easy.ย  And getting them in scale with your figures isn’t always as easy as it seems.

I mean, aside from the ZC ones…the rest of them out there….well. Let’s just say they don’t really fit my notion of an office chair.ย  (I’d love to drop $200.oo+ on a Vitra one –but hello, broke here!)ย  The office chair that the ZC dolls made is nice but it’s waaaay oversize for my Volks, Momokos & Blythes.ย  And yes…I know office/desk chairs come in different sizes.ย  I do. But this is about my preferences.ย  If I can’t buy what I want then I’ll make it. ๐Ÿ˜›

I’m going to work with two particular types for this tutorial.ย  (I’m calling this a tutorial but it’s more like a bunch of loosely written instructions to kind of run-with.) Mostly because they start off pretty close to what I want and the less I have to do the better, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

First go out and find the following chairs to work with: They are the chairs from the My Scene So Chic Salon & the chair from the Barbie My House Armoire & Chair set.

The thing that makes me most inclined to work with these is the fact that the bases are pretty sturdy & they bear a pretty good resemblance to the real thing.

The one with the grey wheels is one of the My Scene chair base and the one with the black wheels is from the Armoire Set.

Note: there are actually 2 types used in My Scene doll furniture and both are good with a little work. The thing to be aware is that the My Scene Salon chairs have one type that “clicks” back (apparently for washing hair in the sink) and one that was fixed.ย  I’m using the fixed ones as an example, but you can use the clickers if you cut down the mechanism and shape the hole to fit them.

Here’s what I came up with: the before & after:

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • Barbie Chair Base(s) *as described above*
  • Wood/Plastic/MDF/ Foamex (to make seat parts-use depending on how sturdy you want the finished piece of furniture to be)
  • Brass/steel/aluminum/ wire or bar (to make the back-rest post)
  • Black aluminum tape OR twine (and paint the twine with acrylics)
  • Glue or Contact Cement (I personally prefer cc)
  • Batting/Foam (to pad the chair with)
  • Fabric & Tyvek (to upholster the chair)
  • Stapler
  • Needle & Thread (to match fabric)
  • Acrylic Paints (for detailing)

First:

  • Draw up an approximate size drawing of the seat you want to make, and the size of the back-rest.

  • I cut mine out of paper (I like to judge sizes that way) and then cut them out of foamex.ย  You can use cardboard (not good for long term use) wood (bass, pine etc),ย  etc. Whatever you use you want it to be fairly sturdy.

Next:

  • Remove the seat/top from whichever chair you’ve decided to use.
  • Drill/dremel/carve out a hole in the seat you’ve made to fit the post at the top of the chair’s base. (This is a good time to also carve outย  the slots in the seat back & the back-rest where you’ll be inserting the brass/wire/metal to hold the back rest in place).

  • Check the fit (height wise) for the kind of doll you want to use this with.

  • I cut out batting (using those paper seat & back drafts) and glued it to the plastic. (Do yourself a favor and rough up the plastic or wood to help it adhere) This helps pad the seat and give it a bit more realism. ๐Ÿ˜› At some point I’ll really go to town with one of these to see how far I can push them.
  • After the glue/contact cement has dried & you feel you’re happy with the amount of “puff” on the seat & back-rest then comes the fun part—you get to try your hand at upholstering it with your chosen fabric. I’d like to offer some how-to on this but I basically took some books out of the library and went from there. I’m not an upholsterer–and I never will be!! Experiment & prepare to do it over a couple of times until you get it to look right.
  • While you’re taking a break from upholstery you can cut a couple of thin strips of the black aluminum tape and wrap it around the metal you’re planning on using to support the back-rest. If you’re using twine (make sure it’s a small diameter otherwise it’ll look dorky) layer a light coating of contact cement/glue and then wrap the twine tightly. Once that’s dried then apply the acrylics but do not water them down any more than you absolutely have to.
  • Once you’ve upholstered the chair (the seat & the back-rest) insert the metal piece you’re going to use as the support. If you don’t plan on taking the chair apart in the future you can glue them into place.ย  I like to be able to flat pack my stuff as much as possible so mine aren’t glued in place.
  • To finish off the underside of the chair cut some tyvek and staple it into place (cut out the circle where the plastic base attaches). Paint it black (or whatever color you want, most of my office chairs usually had manky black semi-fabric-fiber there and tyvek seems very similar in texture to me)

And pretty much that’s it. Sit some dolls in them:

ANYHOW….. if anyone gets any use out of this tutorial….let me know, eh? I could use the encouragement.



B.A.S. *Mini Photostory featuring Merrit & Raven * instead of scheduled sewing!

Yes, that’s right!
I played hooky from sewing and took a detour into printable land! ๐Ÿ˜€ (and then from there to a small, pretty pointless photostory with the one requisite “pizza-shot”) ๐Ÿ˜‰

The pics show off Merrit’s new shirt, and one of Raven’s new outfits. The set up is minimal (sorry, it’s all I can manage right now. The story was just an excuse to show off the printables I made today)

Today was nice in so far as taking a break from sewing goes. However…I’m not really willing to classify making printables as “fun”. While I generally am happy with my attempts at making printables to use as props in my 1:6 dioramas I don’t find the actual process of making them that much fun. (I know, you’re asking me, but what about those books? Didn’t you spend hours and hours scanning them?)
I should clarify: I would enjoy the process MUCH much more if I had a flat bed scanner that was bigger than a sheet of A4. I never really thought when I left it behind in the states that I would miss my ledger sized scanner. An 11×17 bed would make a lot of this so much easier. Eventually, when I feel more up to it, I’ll take some decent pictures. And make better printables. They would probably have come out better on ink jet paper. Next time. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Meh.

Annnnnyway—-What you’re here for is the photographs, right?
Click the photos below for the link!


*sorry for the few typos & errors in wordage. I’m tired and I wanted to get this done before I went to sleep. those are my only explanations.*

Close up of basket:
Basket of goodies

Score!!! *pics* I got 1:6 STUFF!!! ;)

Against all expectations the toy fair was a pretty good experience! I managed to not only get the long coveted Honda CR 750 *and for a really really reasonable price* but I also managed to get some miniatures to use in dioramas as props. On top of that cool-ness I managed to score 3 action figures— a Connor McCloud from Highlander *just want his clothes–mark has his head & body now*, a Dr.Who Martha Jones (for 5 bucks how can you go wrong?) and lastly, a figure Called vampyre, but who I believe is a take off (or un-lic’d version of Nosferatu… or at least to my old memory it seems that way)

Cool thing is that Nosferatu comes w/ his very own rats!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m thinking of seeing if I can make one of them have a jointed neck for use in the photostories.

I also managed to pick up a pair of jackboots, and a pair of “bike” boots for Cass to use while riding the honda. As of yet, no helmet, so she’s either breakin the law….or hangin out in one of the no-helmet states…

ok pics!

cass& the honda CR750

honda CR 750 motorcycle

cass-honda2sw

nosferatunosferatu-2nosferatu-3

highlander

miniatures-1

miniatures-2

miniatures-3

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