Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Progress on the Scrap Box Studio diorama

I have come a long way on the Scrap Box Studio diorama.Walls are up, and windows are painted. I had purchased art paper large enough to cover the walls, but it did not work because the walls needed to be reinforced a bit, even though they are thick cardboard. So I used white foamcore, which works much better. By the way, Michael's is having a sale on foamboard Buy1 get one Free.

When I purchased the expensive art paper, I also purchased a picture frame mainly for its form. Michael's had frames at 40% off and a $20 was almost half of that, so for what I wanted it for- the frame base for my cardstock shelves, it works perfectly. I had to compromise on my shelves- I wanted each shelf to be individually divided off, like 'real' scrapbook shelves, but realized I would not be able to do that. The frame had a 2 inch depth with a frame piece that held the glass, so my shelves do stick out a bit but you can see the paper better. I figure the brighter the colors of paint chips I use, the better and more it will pop in the scene. 
Here are some photos of progress so far. Poppy and Katniss are stocking the shelves. I found these round little empty containers for beads in sets of 6 or 9 in a package at the dollar store. 

The shelves are pieces of foamcore wrapped with wood grained shelf paper. You can see some edges so I need to go back and clear tape them down. But so far so good! This showed up so much better than I expected! I am wondering if another shelf for printed patterned paper would not work too in the shop. But we also have to have a counter, a table for classes, cork board, and I am hoping for a magazine rack with art and scrapbook magazines, as well as supplies like scissors, punches, glue, and so on. I made punches for the 1:12 scale scrapbook store, but the ones in 1:6 scale will have to be more realistic. 
Enjoy the pictures!~Lisa

Monday, August 26, 2013

Photostory: Part l When Opportunity Knocks

When last we left Poppy, she was having an in depth discussion about her and Ryan planning on getting married, with her great friend, Cindy Sometime. She still has not approached her parents about meeting Ryan, but that part of the story is for later. Today, opportunity does knock, and it is Cindy with the offer of a new business adventure.

McDonald's diner is busy today when Poppy visited at Lunchtime to have a quick word with Ryan before meeting her friend, Cindy. Cindy had requested to have lunch because she had something important to discuss. Everyone is busy eating, or getting their orders to eat. 

Nicole's face lights up when she sees Becky. 'Hey there Becky! How have you been?"
'Busy- my new part time job feels like jail time!' Becky replies goodnaturedly.

Meanwhile, Poppy catches Ryan at the take out window. 'Hey there!' 
He looks up and stops wiping down the counter. 'hi, didn't think I would see you today!' he said.

                             "Well, Cindy wanted to meet me here for lunch. She has something she wanted to ask me. Don't know why she hasn't asked me when I was at her house the other day.." Poppy says thoughtfully.
Ryan smiles at her, amused. 'you don't know?"
Poppy shakes her head.'Nope, she just said it was something she needed me to think about."

" Well, don't look so down Poppers. Cindy's a great friend. She probably wants you to be her partner.' Ryan jokes..
"Partner?? in what?' Poppy asks astonished..
"Maybe in crime? dont' sweat it.Hey, looks like she has arrived. Better get to lunch, & I'll get back to work" Ryan says, and turns back to the grill.
Hey Poppers, glad you found us a seat!" says Cindy, adjusting her purse as she sits down.
"Oh look, FOOD!" She says cheerfully.
Poppy adjusts her tray.'I had Hannah make up our orders so they would be ready when you got here.'

"You think of everything! No wonder I wanted to talk to you about this!' exclaims Cindy
"About what?' says Poppy astonished. They are only hamburgers!

Cindy looks at Poppy speculatively.'What would you say to going into business with ME- if I asked you?' asked Cindy
Poppy is astonished, and is quite frankly shocked. She was thinking Cindy was probably going to ask her to go shopping, not go into business!

Finally, Poppy speaks. 'Why me? and WHAT kind of business???"
'Don't say anthing yet- just listen!' says Cindy. " I have been long tired of doing commission work without a studio, and I'm a multi-media mixed artist- you know, the dollhouses, the scrapbooking- writing- and you're a photographer working for Her Majesty slavedriver, the Baroness..."
"Cindy..." says Poppy Gravely, "THAT particular slavedriver is my AUNT."

"EXACTLY! I knew you would get it! Why work long hours for her when you could be naming the price, your hours and pocket the profit??" says Cindy
"You're onto something. Ok, I'm listening." Poppy is more interested in spite of herself.

"I can see I have your interest!" Cindy smiles. 'That's great. I want to open an art studio, but also a shop. We would sell supplies, offer craft type art classes, and both you and I would teach. I can get a few artists who do this on the side to teach as well."
Poppy is floored."ME? Teach a class?"
Cindy scoffs.'You act like you've never done it before! You've taught a photography class at the school one time for the high school kids! Remember Ryan's brother Ricky thought he was a world class photographer when you finished!" Cindy reminds her.
"Yeah- but those were high school kids!" Poppy responds.

Cindy nods her head.'Yes and you got alot of private photography sittings out of that didn't you?" Poppy nods yes. "Well, I would be teaching the art, as well as the scrapbook courses. I have my own line of cardstock coming out, designed specifically for the shop."
Poppy is honestly astonished. Cindy had not mentioned all of her plans in the works.
"You're kidding! When were you going to tell me about it?Your very own cardstock line??"

Cindy smiles." Yeah Poppers, I'm tired for working for peanuts. Design, design and more design on a dime. I'm tired of people with champagne taste and a beer and peanuts budget. If I'm going to do this, I have to have something to bring in the regular funds to sustain the studio when business gets slow. That's where you come in. Resident photographer- we could offer photography services, as well as getting our names out there. What do you say?"

Poppy hesitates only for a minute. 'When you put it like that- YES!'
Cindy remains calm. "You won't regret it! We'll go over everything. The studio is in the works right now."
"The studio is being built?You've already into this deal? What about money,
 contracts, and---" Poppy is cut off by Cindy.
"We'll go over that in a bit. I want you to see the studio soon and tell me what you think- then make your decision. This is something you will need to talk over in depth with Ryan, Poppy. If he doesn't want you to, then I won't hold it against you- this is just business."
Poppy looks at her friend with respect , and says with feeling-"Thank you so much Cindy, I would love to see the studio you have picked out."
While Poppy & Cindy finish their meal and get ready to leave, other diners are gathering their orders from Tina & Hannah, who have been working non stop during the lunch rush.
Tina adds up Lisa's order.'There ya go Miss Lisa- 5.95 for the deluxe meal"
"Thank you Tina" says Lisa

Lisa compliments Tina on her work. 'Is this your first job? You do it like a pro!"
Tina Blushes-"Yes, but Mr. Ryan really has trained me well!"

Meanwhile, Hannah laughs and jokes with Charlotte, the new preschool teacher. 
"How is your new class at the new school? I heard it was larger than it was supposed to be." Hannah asks
Charlotte shakes her head.'They hired me an assistant, but Michelle Graham and I have our hands full! She and Evie are doing the middle and high school students. The school is still fairly small, you know." Charlotte avoids speaking of the strange occurances at the school.

                     "well enjoy your lunch Charlotte! And than you!" Hannah says
Poppy and Cindy can hardly contain themselves, giggling and laughing. 

"You know Poppers, this is the start of something BIG!" cINDY says
"You bet it is!" says Poppy
They are so engrossed in their conversation they do not notice Ryan walk up.
"What's up you two- have a nice lunch?"

They look at him in astonishment, so much so poor Ryan feels like he has said something
"What'd I do??" he asks

Poppy gasps, and stutters, realizing she has made a decision without talking to her parents or Ryan! Cindy starts to speak quickly
"I was just telling Poppers here about me starting my own business- I'm going to be opening a shop/art studio!" she said, watching Ryan's reaction

"Hey Cindy- that is awesome!" Ryan exclaims
"YOu think so?" Cindy asks, noticing Poppy is quiet
"Yeah, this town needs more small business. I've been meaning to re-think my business plan, here for the diner. It is alot different than what my dad thought up, that's for sure." Ryan muses. He notices Poppy & Cindy looking at him strangely.
"ok, what gives you two...somethings up!"

Cindy starts, but Poppy interrupts. 'Well Ryan, Cindy has asked me to consider being her partner. I've told her I would think about it" is all Poppy says.
Ryan looks at them both in shock for a minute.
Poppy explains..."Well Ryan, you know I have always meant to go out and expand my photography gig anyways...Cindy is an artist as well as an entreprenuer, and I am going to think long and hard about it. " she looks at RYan and then continues-"But you've never told me you were re-thinking the diner? Are you thinking of closing it?" now it is Poppy's turn to be shocked.
"Closing? Not on your life. But-" he says slowly,'My dad and mom just wanted to open a little diner, and it has turned into a fast food joint. I went to school to be come a chef, not a short order cook on the grill. I have always wanted to open my own fine dining restuarant. That's why I said change is always good, especially for small business."

Seeing their reaction, he continues.'Poppers, you and I spoke about this. If you want to do this, go ahead- I will be with you all the way. You think about it long and hard. Both of these decisions you and I make will take alot of work and alot of dough. We also have to think about our future. I can't send Ricky to college and Hannah has given up going to college and her career and dreams so we could make ends meet. I don't want to do that anymore. If we get married, there will be more than just you and me as well as household expenses too. "
It was a long speech for Ryan, but to his relief, it looks like it was well received.
Poppy turns to Cindy, who is almost suspecting after hearing Ryan's speech, that Poppy will back out. 
"Cindy, call me this afternoon or tomorrow and let me know when I can go with you to inspect the work on the shop. "Cindy smiles with glee.

"I want so much to do this, but I need to think over some things first. "
Ryan smiles, glad he has encouraged Poppy to follow her dreams
Cindy gushes- 'I'll call you tomorrow. The painters and all should be finished by then!"

Ryan chuckles.'You two are something else!' he says
Cindy interrupts.'Oh no you don't Mr. Maturity. "
Ryan looks puzzled" why are you calling me that?"
"Standing there encouraging Poppy while dropping the bomb on her about your dreams for this place! "Cindy exclaims. "Now if you're going to encourage her- you better get started on that business plan to re-vamp this greasey spoon into a fine dining bistro!"
Poppy looks at Ryan and smiles. 'Ryan, I will work in both businesses to make them grow if that is what you want to do. We're in this together!"
The three of them shake on it.

Stay tuned for Part ll, coming soon!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Diorama build: The Scrap Box Studio

Many of you may know by now my penchant for scrapbooking- and now that has crept into my doll world. A few years ago, I had created a miniature 1:12 scale scrapbook store from scratch, and with 1:6 scale one of my bucket list dioramas to do was a scrapbook store. But not just any- no, everything must if possible be made from found materials, the dio must be lightweight though permanent, and built and finished.
I started on this project a couple of days ago, but made alot of progress today. This project could easily be finished within one day IF- (and I mean if!) you don't have a suspicious husband on the alert for more large fashion doll dioramas that will be 'in the way' -meaning his line of vision to the TV, or kids asking you what are you making? every hour, or a hubby that wants you to stop at a key tricky moment in the glue and paint process 'to show you' what he has excitedly found in his truck) Ya know what I'm saying- no interruptions. Diorama building for me is a huge relaxation/stress reliever factor, and I hate stopping once I am on a roll.
I used a large cardboard box 20 x20 x 20 cut down to size. I also used 1:12 scale dollhouse Houseworks window components as well as a 1:6 Houseworks crossbuck door that I already had on hand- will need to buy another. 
Here is what the project looks like right now-

This is the outside front and back with the big window. The windows are still unpainted. The exterior I used spray flex stone in a cream with flecks of black, white  and beige in it all over the exterior three sides of the box. 
Here is what I started with-
First, I cut down the box with one side open for furniture and doll placement.

Katniss and I taped down the bottom flaps of the box with packing tape. The floor will be made of foamcore cut to fit, then papered with contact wood grained shelf paper.

There we go!

                                       All safe and secure. You don't want these flaps of cardboard coming up into the display....

I used a black piece of foamcore that was past its show/backdrop prime, and cut it down to fit. Remember, I did not want to go out buying cardboard for a cardboard box dio! lol. Use what you have on hand.
Next we're going to cut out our window and door spaces.

Be sure to have your windows and door on hand so you can measure.

                             Ta da! Inserted door...now moving on!

I DID buy this tan packing tape, but you can also use masking tape, or painter's tape- it won't matter since your exterior wall finishes will cover up this tape. I do this to seal the unfinished edges of the cardboard. Remember, this is a layered paper base product, we want to protect it as much as possible, while also reinforcing the cardboard.

Here is Kat inside, welcoming us into the new shop. Her clients will be happy to see that it is moving along so well. The black foamboard has been covered with wood grained contact paper. 

If you have noticed, I also lightly primed the interior of the cardboard with white spray paint. You can see where the window openings  have been covered with the tan tape over the unfinished edges. If I had had my interior wallcoverings I would have been almost finished. The ceiling is another piece of cardboard, spray painted white that will be fastened and glued on top. Tomorrow I will probably buy the strip moldings for the floor and ceiling and the wallpaper. I am planning on using a coordinating color with the flex stone on the exterior of the building- everything must be neutral colors , that way the miniature scrapbook papers, punches, and pages will all 'pop' or stand out more and look really awesome. This scrapbook store will also be more of a mixed media Somerset studio type of deal-- my favorite scrapbook store that closed near me was into this and we did classes with creating bracelets with pictures, charms, buttons, etc. as well as memory jewelry and boxes, art dolls- not just scrapbooking albums. She also had drawing classes, which I may do here in this little diorama too. My Poppies love art and I cannot think of a better thing to have in Barbietown than an art/scrapbook studio! 
The name for this business in Barbietown will be The Scrap Box Studio- catchy isn't it? After I finish the interior wall coverings, then it will be time to make the cardstock shelves. In Between I have been cutting down my paint chip samples for my cardstock and the Poppies have insisted on all colors of the rainbow. 
Enjoy the photos and the mini tutorial! ~Lisa