I'm pleased to have three new followers to welcome to the blog. They are MiniJoJo of http://minijojosmountfield.blogspot.com/ and Heather and miniaturas_eduardoefilipe, neither of whom appear to have blogs. Thanks for following and my appologies for taking so long to welcome you to the fold. You see, I use Blogger-in-Draft rather than the regular Blogger dashboard so when Blogger changes the layout of the dashboard, or changes the way we upload photos (etc), I get put onto the new system before regular Blogger users. A month or more ago they came out with a new draft dashboard that's totally different to the old one. The new one is OK I guess, but it has some aspects that I really don't like; one of them that I can't see my number of followers at a glance anymore. In fact, I have yet to figure out how to see my followers at all in this new dashboard and if I can't see you, well I'm not going to know you're there so I can't welcome you. Does anybody else use the in-Draft version of Blogger? They've replaced buttons that used to say things like "Create New Post" with a button containing a picture of a pencil, no text. Maybe I can't see my followers because they're now hidden behind a button with an indecipherable hieroglyphic? I do like the new way they have given more space to the previews of posts on blogs I follow, but frankly, I prefer the old dashboard.
Anyway, I'd better stop sidetracking and get onto some miniatures. Last week I reached a point where I was happy to start populating Castle Starcaster, but as yet the "people" moulds I want to use to do this haven't arrived so instead I decided to work on the long neglected exterior of the castle. I have spent the last six months trying to find a suitable pattern or design to use to faux leadlight the windows and found nothing. So I decided just to go with the basic leaded windows that came with the kit. This allowed me to finally glue the windows in place. The catch is that without electric lights inside the castle, the windows just look like black holes. I'm going to try coating a piece of mirror paper with some amber gallery glass paint and putting this behind the windows in the hope this will give them a "lit from within" glow. (Remember that I modified the castle so that the fronts lift off rather than hinge open, so the insides of the windows won't ever be seen and can be blocked off like this).
For the front doors, I used faux leadlighting outline to make some hinges-come-all-over-decorations. This too is still in need of extra corrective work. I need to remove the circle around the hinges (it's just wrong, isn't it) and add some more decorative bits in the empty spaces. Hanging the fronts in position for the first time in what must be at least three months and standing back to take a look, I discovered that the front of the castle looks very . . . . Grey. Bland. Dull. Even ugly. It needs some flowering vines to grow up the front as well as some ornamentation like perching gargoyles or plaques with "green men" faces, anything to add interest (and preferrably colour). With a sigh, I realised I was not as close to having the castle finished as I'd hoped.
Unable to summon the motivation to tackle all that grey, I turned my back on it and spent the rest of the week working on the Witch Shop instead. Hetty's bedsit was the least advanced of the rooms in the shop, so I figured it was time to give it a little attention. First up I changed my mind about the layout and moved the bed from along the front wall to along the side wall. For this to work, I hand to cut off the edge of the hearth to fit the bed in place and add a fake wall beside the fire to block off the alcove in the corner of the room. This new section of wall only goes up to the height of the bed, creating a space for some storage shelves above the bed.
The drop leaf table and wall mounted shelves that I used to have in the now blocked off corner have been moved to the left side wall. They were both painted burgundy and crackled to reveal a layer of "oakmoss" green below. With the addition of a few accessories the room is now looking much more finished.
Outside in the garden I decided to cheat and bought a small selection of premade flowers, some of which are now growing in the grassy patch between the fence and the pavement along with a number of mushrooms.
All together, it's not a particularly great amount of progress for a week is it? I'll admit, I did spend a lot of "miniature" time with my nose in a book instead. The "Atlas of Legendary Lands" is just as interesting a read as I had always thought it would be. For example, we all know that Christopher Columbus is erroneously famous for being the "first" to propose that the earth was round, but did you know that he didn't actually believe the earth was spherical? Instead, he believed it was pear shaped and that paradise could be found at the "pointy" end which he thought was somewere in the south Altantic. I promise I'll be more dedicated to actually doing something productive this week, especially if my moulds arrive in the mail . . . it could be any day now!