A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:

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

Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment. I assure you I always read and appreciate everything you have to say. Unfortunately, thanks to Blogger being, well . . . Blogger, I can not respond to comments nor leave any on your blogs. They simply disappear into the ether. Occasionally I will remember to respond in the next blog post I put up, but usually these good intentions slip my mind. So if you want to ask a question or get a response to any comments you may have please leave an email address or other contact method in your comment and I will get back to you.

I have also added a separate page to the blog for the Tower of Magic with a brief summary of all the rooms of the ToM in the one spot. The link is just below this and above the main body of the blog, or you can just click here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Raising The Roof

Bowing to popular opinion, I've made a start working on the Retreat.  Already, the original theme of "Japanese tea house" has been dropped.  The thing is that the Japanese are essentially minimalists.  Take a look at any room or scene I've ever created and you'll immediately see that my usual style is as far from minimal as you can get.  Perhaps even a little further.  I just don't think I can leave a room that . . . . empty.  So I've decided to change the theme to "Oriental Folly" and mix Japanese influence with other oriental styles.

Imagine a garden in England sometime in the 17 or 1800s.  It's owned by a wealthy man who has travelled extensively all around the world, but particularly in the orient, and has brought back many rare and unusual treasures.  To display his collection and impress his guests, he had a folly built in his garden.  It was designed by mashing together different oriental influences; Chinese, Japanese, Indian and perhaps even a touch of Egyptian for good measure.  Although the structure was inspired by his time in the East, the local English builders who actually had the job of constructing it had never seen it's like, nor had any idea how to build it, thus in places they used English techniques they were more familiar with.  Around the building, the wealthy traveller had a small oriental style garden built / planted to enhance the look of the folly.  Within the structure are housed the man's collected treasures such as furniture, teapots, screens and wallhangings all in oriental style, all displayed to impress.

Having looked at various pictures of oriental style buildings on the internet I noticed that the ridge of the roof almost always runs paralell to the front of the building.  The ridge of the Retreat kit runs perpendicular to it.  Could I rotate the direction of the roof?  Well, the basic kit looks like this:

If I turn the roof around without cutting into the original structure at all, it looks like this:

It looks bigger this way doesn't it?  The question is does it now look too big to be a garden folly and more like a proper building?

I can't decide whether I like it or not.  As you can see, I had to raise the walls at the sides of the building which has the strong advantage of making the upper floor far more useable.  The slope on the original roofline meant that only the middle few inches of floor were really practical for positioning furniture and still having room for the mini people to mave around it.  Now I can use the entire top floor, essentially doubling the space of the top floor.  That is if it stays this way.  At the moment, the entire structure is held together with masking tape so can easily be taken apart and put back the way it started out.  I'd love to hear any opinions you have about whether you like it better with the basic original roof or with my alterations.

You'll notice in the photos that Dapper Dan has been pressed back into service as my test model dummy.  With Artie finding a permanent home in Castle Starcaster there was little choice but to get Dan back.  Unfortunately, I haven't broken the news to him that the Retreat is not going to be the Edwardian era building that it was once intended for and thus Dan's permanent home.  Well, maybe he won't notice, his brains are made of plastic after all.


  1. Heehee plastic brains. I love the idea of your Oriental Folly. I can't decide which roof I like best but would go for using the whole top floor because like you I like to pack it in :)


  2. I like it with the new roof and "folly" was what I was thinking when I started to read your post. I like the doors on this property a lot, you'll be able to make it really interesting.

  3. O novo telhado faria da casa uma totalmente diferente de todas as outras !!! parabéns pela ideia!!!

  4. I like the new roof too...more space = more stuff!!! :D Linda x

  5. I`m working on a house almost like yours, you can se it at my blog. My house was ready painted, the doors/windows is a little different and the stairs are different, but the rest looks the same. Mine is going to be for a 6 year girl. It`s a summerhouse.