Monday, November 11, 2019

Slow Progress....

Moving at Warped Speed....

I Probably should Not be surprised, Dear Readers, at just how warped the the plywood walls for the base of the Dollmaker's Studio have become in the nearly four months that have passed since I launched this project back in July. I had thought I would build a nice sturdy little base for the Sugarplum Cottage kit to perch atop, and thought the quarter inch plywood would be quite strong enough given that the kit walls are less than an eighth inch thick. But I wasn't thinking at all about the warping possibilities! Alas, the weather is now much drier than it was in July, and the pieces that looked just fine in the humid air are no longer just fine. In the above picture you can see how much the right hand wall is twisted.

And here you can see just how much the floor is buckled.
I had thought that by putting primer and paint
 on both sides of the walls, 
I could prevent this sort of warping, 
but apparently I was wrong.

Even the top edge of the front wall, 
where I needed to cut openings for the door and the alcove,
 has become alarmingly twisted out of alignment!
This will need some adjustments!
So, for starters, I had decided to add a rear,
 opening wall framework, (much like for the Castle)

Which would allow for me to (hopefully)
 with screws and glue,
 align the twisted front the way it should be.

And even allow for the addition of
 hinged doors to the front of the Studio!
(When I get to the hinges, of course)
But you can see how far out of alignment 
the front wall is on this corner!

The other corner is not too bad.
The addition of the front framework will 
really add stability to the whole building,
 so perhaps I should be thankful that the warping
 has caused me to re-think the structure before I had gone too far!

And the view from the arched doorway 
will be much improved by having the fourth wall there too!

I was all set to get started
 adding the screws and glue, Dear Readers,
 when I discovered that my battery powered drill
 was no longer taking a charge!
Well Dang!
I have been using that drill for over twenty years
 and it always charged up just fine....
 but not this time.
It was too late to go out and get a new one... 
if I could even get a battery for the old drill.
Clearly, Everything is going to just take longer to get done!
But at least the Dollmaker's Studio
 is now on the Worktable...
And Progress is being made....
Even if it is at Warped Speed!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Cleaning Up.....

After The Party.....

I Suppose, Dear Readers, that after the tumult of the recent few weeks in my mini worlds, the Old Witches can be forgiven for taking advantage of the refreshments after all the guests had gone home. Ken stayed to serve the Potent brew and The Deadly Nightshades played until Dawn.

They wouldn't want to fall afoul of the Witches, after all!

And they could wait until morning to put the Hall to rights...
whatever that would entail!
Who knew what Era it would turn out to be!

And I am sure you can understand, Dear Readers,
 that I was equally curious to find out
 how all the Mini-worlds would return to "normal"
 once the fervor of the Holiday was past.
There was so much that needed to find it's way home.....

Because during the story-telling frenzy, 
most of the Castle is turned inside out more than once!
It makes a Grand Mess!
So in the Aftermath, I find myself needing to rearrange everything...
(Especially now that I am not making Lilac bushes any more...)

The Folly, which has spent the better part of two years
 sitting at the end of the work table, finds itself moving aside.....

Leaving room to move the Dollmaker's 
Workshop onto the work table!

Where maybe I will finally be able to get some progress
 made on the now quite warped structure!
And after waiting in vain all fall for
 the sun to come shine on the Summer Lilac shrub
 in the Folly garden, Dear Readers,
would you believe that this morning
 as I was rushing to get ready to go to work...

A little sliver of the low sun
 reached way into the dark corner of my workroom
 and caught the lilac shrub in a magical morning light....

Can you believe how beautiful it looks?

There is nothing like the early morning sun!

So unexpected.... and so brief.....

And so beautiful!

Such a narrow Tiny sliver of sunlight!
And I could not have planned for this if I had tried!
It was a bonus Gift...
From Cleaning up
After the Party!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Now....Or Never....

Fear Not.... The Time Has Come.......!

I am Sure you will Remember, Dear Readers, that Tommy's little sister Beatrice was always following him wherever he went, and this afternoon was no exception! She had something she really needed to tell him, and he hadn't bothered to wait for her. She knew he had headed to the Castle Ruins so she set off after him. But her legs were short and she quickly grew tired. She knew it was a long walk to the Castle and wondered if she should turn back after all.

 You can imagine her surprise when she spotted
 a pony with a furry rider just ahead!

She was even more surprised when the Furry fellow
 came right up to her and said "Hello"!

"My name is Sir Orion..." he said bowing politely.
"I am a Fairy Bear and I help Adventurers when they get tired."
Beatrice didn't know what to say, so she said nothing.
"Would you like a ride to the Castle...?" asked Sir Orion.
Beatrice could only nod her acceptance...

and before she knew it 
they were both on the pony's back
 and away he ran!

And I hope you will recall that the Little Dreamer Amy
 was also riding as fast as she could 
towards the Castle trying to find the Wizard.

The Wizard was telling Perry, their brother, 
that he must help to find the missing Little Dreamer Beth.

"When you find her, you must bring her to me" he said.
"And you must remember that many are seeking her
 and might need your help!"

The children had barely left when Old Meg appeared.

"Don't go far..." she said. 
"They will need a potion...!"

Meanwhile, Tommy was the first to arrive at the Castle, 
and he was relieved to find the stables were empty and deserted.
 This let him hope that he had arrived at the right "Time" 
to return the Sword to its rightful place,
because when he had taken the sword, 
the Castle had been empty.

He headed through the kitchen and was glad to find it empty.
Sometimes when he came the kitchen was busy
 and Henry and Belle would greet him.

When he reached the Hall, it clearly was not empty.

But he kept going anyway...
 hoping it would be empty upstairs.

But his heart sank when he reached the room
 where he had found the sword in the first place.
It was not empty and there was no old wooden
 chest where the sword had been found...
Something was wrong! 
He headed back to the Kitchen, 
wondering if he was supposed to leave the sword anyway...

When who should he meet but that other boy...!
"Oh, it's You! " said Perry.

"Hey, what are you doing with that sword...?" he added, accusingly.
"I'm trying to put it back..." said Tommy... 
"But the room is all wrong...
 there's furniture and stuff and no chest!"
"I'll take it..." said Perry....
"No!" declared Tommy. 
"The Gypsy said it mustn't be used at all
 unless it is to help the Little Dreamer!"
"Whoever that is!" he added.
"She's our sister and we're looking for her..." said Perry.

Just then Beatrice arrived in the stables.
 She could hear voices in the kitchen, 
and she was sure Tommy's was one of them.
When she reached the room, the other boy was saying
 "she's our sister and she's missing..."

"I know where she is!" said Beatrice.

They all turned and stared at her.
"Who are you?" said the other boy.
"She's Beatrice. And she's my sister..." said Tommy.
"What are you doing following me...?" he declared.

"I came to tell you I know where the Little Dreamer is!" declared Beatrice.
"You wouldn't listen to me, but she is very very Tiny
 and she is upstairs in the Castle!"
"The Tiny Fairy told me..." she added.
"Fine, said Tommy.... show us where she is."

I Hope you will not be alarmed, Dear Readers,
 to discover that the Hall was a completely different place
 when the children crossed it this Time!

Nobody seemed to think it strange 
to see a parade of children pass through... 

or even seemed to notice them at all!
Which suited the children just fine!
So they reached the chamber undisturbed.

And found it just as Tommy had said.

 "See...." said Tommy...."There's no chest...
 and all this stuff that wasn't here before!"
"We could leave it here anyway..." said Perry frowning.
"If we're supposed to leave it...." he added.

Nobody even noticed the black cats by the hearth.
The larger one heaved a big sigh. 
"They're never going to figure it out" he groused.
"We're going to have to help them." he added.

"Spook..." he said to the little one... 
"You'll have to go catch the Tiny Dreamer
 and bring her here..."
"Why me...? whined Spook. 
"You know I never hurt a thing, Mephisto..!" 
"That's why.... said Mephisto.
 "I might just bite her... by mistake!" he added.
"Now hurry up... go!"

So Spook headed for the Hall... 

to catch the Tiny Dreamer... 
who was just saying to Tiny Alice
 that she thought she'd like to have look around...

Only when she looked around,
 she saw an Enormous Black Cat
 staring hungrily at her!

And before she could even blink,
 the cat had caught her in its jaws!

And then carried her away!

Spook carried her right up to the children
 who were still arguing about the sword....
But they didn't seem to see her...

Mephisto came over to lend his support...
"You better put her down..." he said....
"We won't let her get away..." he added.

The Tiny Dreamer Beth was so shocked
 she could not find her breath...
 but out of the corner of her eye
 she could see the handle of a sword...
 and her only thought was
 "If I could only reach that...."

And in the blink of an eye... 
she leapt for the sword and grabbed it with both hands
 and swung around to face her demons.....
And for a moment nobody breathed at all....

And in the next moment,
 Everything had changed!

"I see you have Awakened..." said the Wizard.
"You can put down the sword now..." he added.

Beth lowered the sword and looked around....

Wordlessly, she gave the sword back to Tommy....

Who sheathed it and returned it to the chest...

Alas, he thought... he still had not
 had a chance to use the beautiful sword...
But it was getting late...

"It is Time to take your sister home..." said the Wizard...
"You will find your pony in the stables..."

Tommy didn't want to admit it,
 but he was awfully happy to find Prince waiting for them....
 and he was even glad Beatrice was with them!
It was much easier to travel in the dark with company!

But I am sure you are wondering, Dear Readers,
 if we will Ever get to the Party?

Well, I hope you will Not be surprised
  to learn that the Party is just begun!
Helen and Charles are checking out the decorations...

Victor and Chip are checking out the libations....

The girls are all checking out the
 Gypsy fortune Teller's predictions....

And high above the rafters, in the Minstrels Gallery,
 everybody's favorite band "The Deadly Nightshades"
 are setting the night atrembling 
with their rendition of "Wherewolves of London"....!

So Fear Not....! It's Now or Never.... 
The Time has Come to Party! 
Happy All Hallows Eve!