Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blame it on the brain

Shabby Chic is still not done. I've had a severe lack of motivation this week to work on anything and finally got to spend time with a girlfriend who was stuck working retail over Christmas.

However the friend who went with me to the workshop and I are getting together on Saturday to get both of our rooms finished. So I will have no choice but to actually play with it. Oh darn. *snicker*

I've also been attempting to come up with ideas for our miniature group's mini mixer this fall. We've done lots of Christmas themed things and the consensus is we need something new. The trick is we need to try and keep the cost around $20-$25. The other issue is if people are going to travel to our area they will want to leave with a mostly completed scene, not just a miniature to store until they come up with a place to put it. So right now I have the following points to think about:
1. not Christmas
2. mostly completed scene inside a provided (or built) setting
3. cost between $20 and $25
4. can be completed (or mostly completed) in 7 hours, with a break for lunch

At the moment I'm thinking:
1. pumpkin patch with dressed scarecrow
2. Thanksgiving prep kitchen
3. dinner for two on a patio
4. indoor tea for two
5. bakery
6. some sort of garden

The one thing I think for sure is that we should consider a tote bag exchange for the participants. Everyone makes a little something that fits into the scene's theme for each person. Then everyone goes home with lots of little things that will help complete the whole scene. I've done that before with workshops and had a great time doing it. And if we get our act together now and send out the invitations in August, the people would have more than enough time to get some objects made. Of course participation in the exchange could be optional. But generally people tend to like that sort of thing.

Scale is something to keep in mind. There are people who prefer one scale over another. I'm one of them, so I know. Generally I work in 1:12" scale. However 1:48" scale has become a seductive mistress over the last few years. One to 144" scale has also been beckoning like a siren. However most people we've talked to and worked with want to do things in 1:12" scale.

What to put a scene into is another concern. I've taken classes on putting rooms into gift bags but once you get the cost of the thin plexi-glass to make the front and top, the wallpaper, and something to make a floor... it costs around $20. That's without anything to go inside it. But it only takes about 3 hours, with drying time, to get the room-bags put together. That leaves a bit of time to build kits, make window dressings, or whatever applies to the scene.

Providing stuff to build a wooden structure takes times and money. Depending on the design it might eat up the entire project budget and won't necessarily get finished during a 7 hour period. A pre-made wooden shadow box or shelf can work great as a setting, but the cost just doesn't work.

Using foam-core board as a building material is debatable. I'm not a huge fan of using it as material for a finished structure, but it does have it's place. It's too flimsy to fill and hang on a wall and it can look very incomplete as outside walls. If you're papering over the edges or putting a stucco effect onto it, then it can look good. Especially if it will fit into a display case nicely. Going back to the rooms in bags for a moment, I use foam-core for the walls in those rooms. But the gift bag covers up the backs of the walls and provides added support.

Getting a paper mache' box from a craft store would work, provided we can find enough of them in the correct size/shape. It doesn't take too long to decorate both the inside and outside of those boxes. Heck they even come in different shapes which can be pretty cool depending on the theme of the scene you're putting into them. My Valentine room was done in one of those boxes. I painted the outside walls and papered the inside. It was also not very expensive. If I remember correctly I had it papered, painted, and sealed it all over the course of 4 hours, with some drying time in between coats. The floor took another 30 minutes, most of which was drying time for the glue.


So that's what's rattling around in my head right now. There's more but most of it isn't in complete sentences just yet. I wish it had been there during our monthly meeting. Perhaps we could have discussed happy things in addition to the stressful crud regarding our miniature show this year. Ah well. There's always email and next month's meeting.

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