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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All Booked Up . . .

Being a report on Castle Starcaster Week 20 and Witch Shop Week 9

Wow!  99 Followers!  How amazing!  Welcome to Oberon's Wood who is a pagan artist and miniaturist.  Her miniatures shop can be found at Sorceress Hollow.

I started out the week making books, lots and lots of books.  Some are from a kit and consist of a book sized block of wood around which a piece of leather is wrapped like a book cover.  Some are made from old phone books and covered with printed paper covers.  (I plan to do a tutorial on this method of book making soon, so be sure and check back later in the week!)  Everytime I finished a book I tossed it onto the floor of the Castle's library.  Eventually, the entire floor of the library was knee deep in books.  I knew I still didn't have enough books, but was so tired of making them that I decided to stop and put what I had on the shelves to get an idea of how many more I needed.  To my surprise I had enough books to fill all the shelves in the Library.  It's remarkable how much better the room looks with books on the shelves (especially compared to when they were on the floor!)  The bad news is that I have no books left over for the witch shop and thus still have about as many books yet to make as I have already made.

Before I could fill the shelves, I had to remove the dragons who had decided they were a safe place to perch while work was underway in the castle.  Remember last week I worked on the Dragon Study room?  Well, silly me, those dragons in the library were supposed to be in that room, but I had forgotten all about them!  So when they came out of the library, they went into the Dragon room and set about causing mischief in there.  One of the additions the room still needs is a nest for the little dragons to rest in when their mischief is done.  There are now seven of Nicky Cooper's little dragons in the room, can you spot them all?

Speaking of Nicky, I have another of her lovely creatures to add to the Witch Shop too.  He's the Monster-Under-the-Bed and came in a little cage looking very droopy and miserable.  I bought him thinking to make him an item for sale in the shop, but have since very carefully pried him out of his cage and am now thinking he will be in one of two possible places.  First is hiding under Hetty's bed which will surely make him feel more at home.  The second possiblity is to add a collar and leash and have him in the reading room under one of the chairs as the pet of one of the gathered witches waiting forlornly for all the cackling to subside so he can get a bit of rest.

As you can see in the photo, I have finished some more furniture for the shop.  The glossy white cabinet that's been seen in earlier photos of the shop has been repainted in black paint crackled to reveal the metallic blue beneath.  I "borrowed" a counter from a much earlier shop and found this a better fit than the counter I had been planning to use in the shop, so I swapped counters and repainted the smaller one to match the rest of the shop furniture.  Going back to the dragons of Nicky Cooper, some of them came in clear plastic cases with padded bases.  These cases were turned into display tables by adding a strip of balsa wood around the base and glueing some Georgian style pre bought legs underneath.  A little bit of faux leadlighting outline tape around the edges of the clear tops finished them off and now all they need is something to be displayed in them.

Flipping back over to the Castle, I did a little work in the long neglected dining room.  There needed to be a thick fuzzy rug under the table to conceal the fact that the floor is sagging in the middle.  The fabric I used for the rug is really weird stuff called feather fabric.  It's not as dense as a fur fabric and has a long but sparse pile.  The vivid white of the fabric didn't look right against the black floor, so I soaked it in some watered down metallic platinum coloured paint which gave it more of a shipskin or fleece look.  The two chairs in the room were recovered with red velveteen and a bench seat was made for the front side of the table.  A table runner was made from green velveteen and more of the metallic ribbon used around the tops of the walls.  I bought this table specifically to go in this room, but right from the first time I put the table into the room I worried that the table was too big.  I still think maybe the table should get the boot and this room should become some sort of sitting room, or at least a dining room with a smaller table.  But then what do I do with the very gorgeous table?

While I'm sharing problems, I still don't know what to do with the centre room!  It's the room in the exact centre of the castle being on the second of three floors and the middle of the three rooms accross.  It has to be a public space (not a bathroom etc) as it opens into the library, has a fake door accessing the supposed back of the castle and has stairs up to the next level.  The dining table is not a good fit for this room either, besides a dining room upstairs between a library and a bedroom doesn't seem right.  So what can it be?  I'm seriously lacking in ideas for this one and any suggestions would be welcome.  And no, I don't believe in subtlety when dropping hints.


  1. I would put a nearly room-sized rug on the floor to help it look a little smaller (or at least a doormat). Then I would add a grandfather clock and a piece for hanging coats, hats, and umbrellas. Finally, I would consider a long, narrow table along one wall with a vase or a plant on it. Love what you're doing so far!

  2. Hi Plushpussycat,

    I like the ideas, but I think I must have confused you about the room I'm having trouble with. This room has no direct access to the "outside", so it would be a pretty innconvenient place to hang coats and store umbrellas.

  3. Alennka, maybe it should be the "clock room" for the Keeper of Time! Fill it with clocks telling time from all over the world... and maybe maps too... I am going to make maps a feature in my Castle soon.... but Clocks are anachronistic in the Middle Ages.... but maybe not in the Magical Realms??? Just a thought! I like what you have done so far!