Once a year day

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A pictorial overview

WordPress reminds me of each anniversary of starting this blog, (just this week in fact) and that, in turn, acts as triggers thoughts of  reviewing and housekeeping.  It takes a wee while to do both assessing and housekeeping but I think it’s worthwhile to see where you are and when you might be going with things and make sure that the site works for the user.

Some of the early working

 On the housekeeping side

Very important and urgently needed and I must apologies to anyone who has tried exploring just the Medieval to Jacobean build dolls’ house, as I’ve just realised that things there seem to have become a bit of a jumble.  The Deco posts got in amongst the Medieval to Jacobean ones and that must have been frustrating if you’re trying to follow a time-line.

I’m now in the process of seeing whether I can undo the knotty mess or whether I need to redesign the menus and categories.  I’m going for the easier option of cleaning up the categories and we’ll see if that works.  A long job I suspect but I’ve made a start and will just go now and finish off.  Hopefully all will be easier to use thereafter 🙂

And reporting back – done what I think now works so if you do click on the Hogepotche links you should, hopefully only get Medieval to Jacobean … ?  Please let me know if it still seems haywire.

Nowt new about a retiree turning to miniaturing

It’s good to stop and look around

I’ve covered some of the things I’d previously turned my hand to in the crafting line in “About theinfill” but I still wanted stretching by a quick paddle in something new to me.  However, after playing in the shallow waters of various new activities, my skills areas are still the basic attainments expected of young girls in the 50s and 60s of the last century – knitting, sewing/embroidery, simple dressmaking, some self-taught crochet and tatting; you get the general idea.  All of my work still tends to look less finished than you’d like to see and a little bit grubby around the edges.  Sweaty hands and never knowing whether to use my left or right hand perhaps?  Or just plain slapdash. In trying to add to the skills I end up making so many compromises that a skilled individual wouldn’t recognise what I do as having any relation to the real activity.  What has happened though is a build of deediness in the fields I’d dabbled in before and less of a panic response when things go totally adrift in the areas I had previously not had a go at.

How’s it going?

Woodworking ability us still zilch but I have found out where my limits are when working with different woods and also some sneaky ways around problems too.  Adding the bits of skills gathered during my life I can include a little understanding of some of the ways of modelling in clay-like materials,  and have confirmed that I’m still better at carving and hacking out of clay than moulding a good shape.  My biggest aid has been finding that the practical experience of some full-size DIY whilst we worked on our home has helped tremendously, much more than I would have imagined, particularly with how the layers of a building are put together and finished.

Some figure working

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theinfill art deco dolls house blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - Medieval Tudor Jacobean dolls house blog

Figures are fun – as long as I’m using loose bits from kits made by others; though I have to admit to mixing legs from one with hands from another and to breaking bits off to shorten or make them more bendy.  Figures I’ve made myself:  I don’t mind them being more than a bit bizarre around the facial features but they are still too big for my liking.  Don’t seem to be able to down-size them but am thinking of having another go sometime.

theinfill art deco dolls house blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - Medieval Tudor Jacobean dolls house blog - PaperClay figures

Three home-grown street folk

Smaller projects

When Hogepotche was coming to an end the intention had been to move on to room boxes and small box scenes but I got ‘home sick’ as it were and took to doing a full house again.  I have done some of the smaller things but they were interspersed with Hogepotche struggles and worked as a good mind/palate cleanser.

Measuring Time by The Word

and very small projects

and one mad bid for freedom

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Ms Lear, imprisoned on her lake-isle turret

Confessions and conclusions

On a good day and with a following wind, my one strength I have been able to bring to the enterprise is a mind full of ideas and workarounds and an ability to visualise a scheme and, more or less, carry it through, even if it is to a somewhat grubby-looking outcome.  My drawing is still a bit rough so I have to rely a lot on loose notes as aide-memoires; some of my ideas can still be a little off the wall and need controlling.

House number 1

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Hogepotche Hall on the extended table with added castors

So, Hogepotche Hall took just over 5 years and I still need to sort out some tidying up of edges and the electrics need disguising better as they run out of the building, but I did see it through, which is an outcome that feels good.

And it has worked

That is, the activity worked as a day-to-day ‘occupation’ for mind and hands against the background of ill health.  I fought the routine on bad days when health was at the level of crawling to the tasks at hand, but overall it bought me time to heal a little and thereby look around me for a self-treatment and a diet that would help build improvement too and so far, that has been achieved and feels really good too.

Ironically, my self-found solution and aids to my health have become all the rage – that is looking after the health of our microbiome.  Regularly in the various media the health of the gut has become the new ‘thing‘ for all types of health problems.  But that’s all to the good for all of us and a cry of “at last” can be heard within our household.  It’s often the way the cookie crumbles in life is it not, that once you’ve struggled on towards solving a problem you find that the subject it is suddenly all around you – alway assuming, in this instance of cookie crumbling that said cookie is baked using suitable ingredients for your microbiome of course.

The occasional do-over

The dining room was originally done quite early on, but I’d never really liked it so played about a bit and came to a compromise on the decor.

theinfill art deco dolls house blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - Medieval Tudor Jacobean dolls house blog

theinfill art deco dolls house blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - Medieval Tudor Jacobean dolls house blogtheinfill art deco dolls house blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - Medieval Tudor Jacobean dolls house blog

Why am I still doing mini-ing?

Well, there is the time and money investment made in the bits and bobs of materials and equipment and I’ve also taken over a room in the house with them, for a start.   Then there’s a more airy-fairy answer too.

A means of self-expression

I found that, as Hogepotche progressed it became a way  of  expressing ‘artistic’ intent with a very little social commentary built in, using some of the general history, art history and theatre type memories and skills I’d picked up in the first 20 odd years of my life – see ‘The Gossips‘ and the Polonius type figure listening in and the Young Man amongst the Roses eyeing up the women in the Great Hall.

When I worked on the steampunk ‘Time Techs’ (an off the wall example that had to be controlled) it came out of the frustration I feel when only offered certain books and articles in electronic format.  A sign of my age I’m sure, but I just don’t enjoy them as much as paper.  In the ‘Time Techs’ the whole structure is placed within one of those storage boxes shaped like a book.  Inside it I’ve placed a large part of clock innards supposedly being used to power the machinery.  This in turn is churning up printed work and coughing up cogs and other suitable steampunk type bits and bobs in its place.  Not exactly subtle but there you go.  The really relevant bit pf the process for me is that the paper is a couple of pages from Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine notes.  The finished mini construction is some sort of muddled statement about print and the modern world, though I’m not sure that it says anything very clearly but it try to do it with humour.

House number 2 – Art Deco-ish

theinfill art deco dolls house blog, theinfill dolls house blog, theinfill 1930s-50s Deco House, Hogepotche Hall –Hodgepodge Hall - Medieval Tudor Jacobean dolls house blog - external view when new walls in

Frontage getting there

Memory is one of the things in aging that gets a bit slippery.  They say, these days that visiting memories from way-back-when can be useful stimulation and I always liked the 20s – 50s houses I saw around me as a child.  I could learn more, dress things up as I could remember them and have another project to fight with and keep me going.

The particular pair of semis the project is modelled on (assuming I ever get to build the second half) were self-selecting.  I came across a photo on the web and subsequently ‘explored’ the area around this twosome on Google Street View and they showed that some if the houses still had metal windows and the original style of porch and some had gone for squarer looking plastic windows put into the same curved shaped bays and have added a filled in porch area.  All perfectly understandable choices, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to try to build a pair of Deco houses and possibly make a little social comment by contrasting what is with what was – looking at the 50s I think I remember compared to the current retro styling which is perhaps more a 30s – late 70s recipe.

I’ve changed the layout of the house from that of the original buildings and am now in the process of stuffing it with my idea of ‘life’ – one of the houses is to be kept by a household with a 50s – 60s fixation and one housing a contemporary, more up-to-date family who have possibly gone for a mix of the minimal and the current take on retro.

Anyway, the work goes on which is all to the good for me 🙂

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9 responses »

  1. It’s almost trite to say that people lack the opportunity to use their imagination in these techno-times. Any time spent playing in my make-believe world is more than fun, it’s very self-rewarding, therapeutic and a great distraction. Like you, I struggle with poor health and a chance to escape for even a brief time is wonderful. Your blog and creativity remind me that I can do whatever I want, when I want. Most importantly, you box my ears when I question my workmanship. Don’t stop getting grubby and having fun.

  2. Pingback: Fun things and more than a bit of “I told you so” | theinfill

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