Monday, February 27, 2017

Egg house Part 1 - Development and some stages

I have wanted to do an egg house for a very long time.  I have considered several variations of this over the years. Initially I bought a big but short sided rectangular basket for a base as I wanted to make a village with multiple houses.  This would work in 1/144th but not 1/4".  So the basket was given away.
Later, I think, oh I can use these plastic eggs.  Just regular size eggs, but then I get out my ruler and the size is too small.  I couldn't put more than a chair in those and how can a 1/4" bunny person stand up in it?  So that idea gets tossed as well.
Lately, I have been planning my thoughts on paper.  Just a simple sketch, adding notes about details I want to add.  I sketched an idea for my latest idea of an egghouse.  Based on that sketch, I went through my stash.  Sure enough I had several egg shapes available.  One was a L'eggs (old pantyhose container) egg.  I went so far as to glue the two halves together.  But then I decided it was bit small.  Next consideration was a plastic egg already had a hole cut in it.  It was ok, but looked at my other options.  A paper mache egg also was pre cut.  Nope, then lastly was a plastic egg that the opening was around the oval or side as opposed to around the middle like the typical plastic egg.  This egg was larger than the other 3 and has a clear half and not clear other half.

This egg house needs something to hold it up. My sketch was to have a tree trunk.  This became something that was open and would be in addition to the egg having living space.  That solved a problem that the egg was still small so not enough room for more than a stove and chair. 

When I started this I was working on more than one project at the time as I was doing similar things.  For example for the Mushroom house I was using an ice cream container as a starting point for the stem and for the egg house for the trunk.

Here I have drawn a line to determine where to reshape the opening.
Notice the extra cardboard to make the shape and to the side is a circle cut from builders foam to go inside.
This picture shows test fitting inside the dome and how it might sit on the base.

Test-fitting made me realize this wasn't the right trunk yet.
My new trunk was made using a manila folder and I didn't have to add extra pieces to wrap around.
I actually made a shorter one as had decided it would sit on several layers of foam to raise it up.
notice that the egg has a line on it.
Here's how I got that line - used a mug to draw the line with a sharpie.  Later I used isopropyl alcohol to remove the sharpie

After setting the egg on the short trunk and on the layers of foam - I realized I could still have my tall trunk and the layers.  By cutting into the layers I was able to insert the trunk down in them.
Here can see the back view of all that cutting
Along about now is when I should have been deciding on where the electrical would go.  But no - I can't seem to think that far ahead.  I am sure it was because I was thinking I would not include electrical but that is really crazy thinking now that we have these wonderful LED's.

After more trimming of the foam - I was ready to add the plaster cloth.
Here is the back after adding the plaster cloth

At some point between these pictures, I cut the opening in the back of the egg. Then  I painted the stump and that's when I realized I wanted to light it.
I added 4 lights. 
For the top floor the wires ran on the outside of the egg in the groove where the two halves go together.
The lower floor of the egg has the wire going up the side and I covered it with spackle. The wire along the ceiling is hidden by a thin card with a hole in the middle.
At the bottom of the egg I drilled another hole for the floor below the egg.

The lowest floor then also has a thin card for the light.
The wires for the trunk floors was hidden either with spackle, or I ran behind the plaster cloth I used to make the bark on the trunk. That is where the tricky part was. This is why we should always plan to light and think ahead for the placement of wires.
Here is the egg with my markings to tell me where to not paint. I painted the inside first. Plastic doesn't take paint well and definitely I had issues with opacity. The paint brand I used has something to do with that, but ultimately I painted the outside as well. Eventually I built up both in and out side enough so wasn't see thru anymore.
I then cut door and window trim from thin card and glued it to the egg.
I did paint the egg a matte pink and then later changed to a lighter pink with pearl finish. Same with the trim - painted it lime green and then later painted it a darker green.
My next phase was to add the deck. I started with the pieces around the trunk. Each piece was measured and cut. The measuring was not precise. I did a lot of holding up and marking with a pencil. EVERY PIECE WAS HAND CUT. Other than having an idea of how deep the deck was going to be, I didn't measure the pieces with a ruler.
Then I added the lower brace. These I kept in mind where the deck edge was going to be. Then connected together with a horizontal. These pieces I made sure they were in line with the others.
Next on the deck framing was the outer piece, then the middle pieces for support.
Here it is all supported.
Here with the boards all added on top of the frame. I glued a section at a time, trimmed all the ends after the glue was dry.
The railing was added as a end support and then a top rail the length of the section. The between supports then added in.
Different view - each board that was cut at an angle on the inside, was done by either eye-balling it or by marking with pencil the angle. Sometimes I had to cut again, but most time it worked. 
Here it is with a white wash to the deck and the new pink and green colors. The base also has been painted with green where I was adding in the grassy areas.
The landscaping is where I have gotten stuck. Last time I worked on this was in 2016.
I'm sharing this now, before this post gets any longer and so it can get published.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Alice in Wonderland - part 9 the court

When I decided to make this project there were certain scenes that I wanted to do. But then I also had other space so I can't really say why the courtroom is one I decided on. Maybe it was the card people I made initially that helped me decide.
Back when I did the tree for the tea party scene I also finished up the wallpapering for the court section. I envisioned this stately court with a dais and paneling on the walls... but then I went to my stash; I didn't find what I was looking for. What did happen was just a nice brown paneled room - wood wallpaper and floor plus a shiny ceiling. I am pleased with this section despite the grandiose ideas I had to start with. That is normal for me to dream and then scale back once I realize I don't have the space, materials or whatever it takes to make the dream happen.

This week I have finally gotten back in there and made progress.
First, I finished up the top.  I just went with a hedge of sorts. But before I glued it down, I decided to make the rabbit hole smaller.
The hole was just too big and it bothered me, so I added paper inside and painted it. Then I added more paper (after the above photo) to make it even smaller and more ragged. Once painted brown under and green on top, while the paper was still wet with glue, I poked the new hole. I added glue and filled the area with greenery.

This hole actually goes down into the ground some and I am pleased iwth it now.
Also note the light down below - to the right.

Mr. Rabbit looks quite dapper, but almost too small. Yet, I remind myself, that he would be smaller than her.

Back to the court

I already had the two guards made so next was to make the queen. 
I really wanted her to be over the top and I think I did with her. The king on the other hand was more robust instead. One touch I added for the king was the wig. It was in my notes so I added it.
I discussed how I made them previously. The king has a bead to enhance his girth. All the card people are enhanced with bits of ribbon, shiny paper, trim, beads, sequins and glitter. It was fun to pull out different parts of my stash to play with.
I also got creative to cover the heads on the K and J because they are two headed. Just looked funny to have that head upside down. The Q it was hidden in her skirt, but for the K I used a half of a sequin. For J I used a whole heart sequin and added the sash over it.
I was also trying to make him look guilty for stealing those tarts by folded him over a bit.

The table with the tart tray is a gold painted bird bath using a paint pen. It covered the best although getting into a few spots was tricky.  I used a heart shape sequin for a tray. The tarts are some things I made years back for a swap and I went crazy making extra for once.

I also added glitter to the rabbit's clothes to enhance him. 

This one shows the full court and how it is with the rest of the project on that side.
I still need to add edging and then lastly I will be finishing up the tea party.