A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:

The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Highcroft Castle - Week Eighteen

Last week I started to dress a couple of dolls with the plan of doing a few every week until I had the twenty-odd dolls for the castle all done.  Like most plans it lasted a few days.  At the start of this week I thought I should get out all the dolls I'd collected and assign each doll to a roll in the castle before I started dressing them to make sure I wasn't left needing a doll to sit down when I only had dolls with solid, unbendable legs left (etc).  So on several sheets of scrap paper I wrote the various rolls needed for the castle like "cook" and "banquet guest 1" and placed a doll for the job under each heading, rearranging them until I was pleased that I had the right dolls playing the right parts.  Then I piled the dolls on their papers on one side, leaving just the one page of about five dolls to work on to start with.  I make my dolls clothes partly by sewing and partly by glueing them together so I always like to work on several outfits at a time so I can keep working on outfit A while the glue dries on outfit B.  Once I'd finished some of the dolls on the first page, I still had some left to finish, so I figured while I had all the fabrics out anyway, I'd keep going on the next page of dolls so I still plenty of outfits going at once.  This continued until I had all the dolls dressed (and those that needed wigs, wigged).  I've lost count of exactly how many dolls there are in the castle, but I spent so many hours working on them this week I doubt I'll ever be able to get my back uncurved again.  As usual, no one turned out as I originally intended them and I did cheat on some dolls by not finishing neatly the backs of those dolls that would be positioned facing the front (and vice versa).  Still, i'm quite pleased with the way they turned out on the whole.

The next challenge was positioning the finished dolls in the castle.  Those dolls in a standing position had a little tacky wax put on the soles of their feet and simply stood in place.  It was the seated dolls for the Great Hall that were a challenge.  Although I checked that all the dolls to be seated had soft legs from the knee up I forgot to check whether they had a wire frame or not.  Three of the dolls were pure stuffing and although I could bend their legs, I couldn't make them stay bent.  Luckily, these three were all women in dresses, so wrapping wire around their legs wouldn't show, but when I tried this I decided that it wan't going to be enough to hold them in place.  I felt an awful ghoul to do it, but in the end all I could do to make them sit properly was to cut off their legs.  Again, thank goodness they were in dresses so it wouldn't show!  Much fiddling and a little glue saw everyone seated and ready to enjoy the feast.  Despite depleating my supply of dolls, I was still a few short, so stole a couple of polyresin wizards I've had for years from my ornament collection.  They're the twins Jory and Oswin and by sheer luck happen to be 1/12 scale.  Oswin is in the Great Hall entertaining the guests with some magic tricks while Jory is checking out the catacombes.  At the same time I took a couple of small dragons to join the castle's cast.  One is Hubert, who overcome by the excitement has gone to sleep beneath the table in the Great Hall.   The other is Connar who is playing with the children in the throne room.

The weekend was a long one as most of Australia took the day off to celebrate the Queen's birthday.  Why we do this in June when she was born in April?  Well, I think the answer lies in the fact that politicians choose the nation's public holidays and when did a politician ever do anything logical and rational?  In short, I had a whole extra day to devote to the castle.  Much of this day was taken up sorting out and putting away all the fabrics I'd been pulling out of boxes all week, but I still managed to get a few extra bits and pieces done too.  After intending to finish off the fireplaces for months, I finally added the coals and some logs to the fireplaces in the Great Hall and kitchen.  I arranged the food, plates and cutlery on the table in the Great Hall and used Tacky Wax to hold them in place.  The table setting is now finished with the exception of the candleabras.  The two I have are different sizes with different coloured candles and will be replaced as soon as I get two the same.  I added  a banner of red velveteen and gold trim to the throne room as well as a paper crown and pretend septre for the children to play with.  Finally, I organised the table in the Sorcerer's Study adding a mortar and pestle I made a few weeks ago from polymer clay, a couple of glass jars filled with "magical" ingredients and some books and papers.
For the first time in weeks, I made it through the whole, entire week without breaking anything or having it broken for me by a cat!

Finally, just a reminder that I am currently running a giveaway.  If you would like the chance to win a knole sofa like the one in the castle's solar, please see the post entitled "Dollshouse Daydreams First Giveaway" before Saturday 19th June.

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