As I have been working on my latest projects (Raggedy themed), I have been thinking about why I can and can’t get things done in miniature.
The first thing I figured out was that I am a perfectionist. Ok, I knew that. But what I learned most recently was how that perfection comes at a cost – hours. Making it perfect (for me) requires time that I sometimes don’t want to spend. It may require materials or techniques I don’t have. Since this is my personality and not easily changed, I have tried to figure a way to deal with this so that I am most productive. So I can get more minis done, not just play with them, although playing is good and just fine for those days I just don’t have the energy to do. Course usually when I don’t have energy, I don’t play with minis I find other means of entertainment.
So my answer to the perfectionism- well, my most recent attempt was when I decided to redo the finishing on a trunk I am working on. I have had this trunk for several years. I started with gluing wrinkled paper tissue on as an effect to look like leather. Well, either I didn’t know how to do this or I just didn’t like this effect. (Works great as a stucco look, though.)
My second step (after many years of sitting) was to add some antiquing medium (rub in – wipe off). I let it dry overnight and also to think about whether I liked the color it turned and the effect I had gotten (Great for a spooky color effect but not my raggedies). Well I didn’t like it, but mostly because it was too dark and my matchy-matchy gene was giving me fits. Color must either match or be coordinated. Now if I was truly trying to reform my perfectionism, I would have left it but I am not trying to reform it to the point I no longer care. I just go read a book if that’s the direction I am going to go.
Since I no longer liked the color, I needed to remove the paint. I started sanding. I used just a foam block at first, but wasn’t getting anywhere fast, (multiple layers of paint plus the tissue wasn’t going to come off easy), so I got out my dremel tool. I picked a drum sander bit. Not sure what level of sanding it gives but it was coarser than the others, so I used it. It worked great. I was trying to be careful not to gouge the wood once I got the paint off, but apparently there at the end I got to agressive so I had some issues. I went back with a different sanding wheel to even it out, plus a sanding block and that helped, but still was some unevenness to it. So here’s where I didn’t let my perfectionism interfere with the project, I got to a point where it was good enough and I am leaving it that way. Since the trunk is a container for my project and not the featured item, I could deal. I painted the trunk a different shade of blue and I am happy with the color and just forget about the leather idea. The unevenness is on the bottom of the trunk which will be in the back of the project, but if there is anything to see in the back, then I will use the other things added to cover it (might landscape that side).
I still need to add some corner trim, but just willing to point out the not so perfect bottom of the trunk.
Next problem with getting minis done is possiblities. Whoa that’s a loaded issue for anyone. When I buy a kit, I like the kit for itself, but…. I do not want mine to look just like the kit maker. (I am an artist. I make art in miniature so I want my creativity to show, otherwise I might as well buy the completed kit as a finished thing, although I couldn’t afford to do that.) Some people do make their kit exactly like the maker intended and I am ok with that, just not for myself.
Well, changing the kit get’s me into trouble. Suddenly, I have just turned from kit builder/finisher to kit redesigner. Having designed kits before, I understand full well the implications of redesign and sometimes it means I really bite off more than I can (or want to) chew. Changing things on a kit can be as simple as moving a wall, using different wallpaper or colors or as in depth as adding to it and truly ‘bashing’ the kit into our own creation. Typically I am on the simpler side, but it still gets me in trouble for completeing the kit.
Changing paint colors is an easy thing to do, using differnt wallpaper if I had it on hand would be fairly easy as well, but usually I don’t have them on hand and I have to print or purchase something. Of late that is printing, but to print, you have to have something to print, and that means designing.
At one point I had an ME themed kit in the red/black/yellow colors and I wanted to do it in pinks and greens. Fine, but I didn’t have the wallpaper. I bought several small print scrapbook papers to use but they were really too big (it was 1:48 scale kit) and finally when I got back to doing the project I choose not to use the scrapbook paper. I used the kit makers papers and just the inside was different. It is very similar to the original which at the point I finished it I was fine with that.
Time does help me with narrowing the possiblities, but in trying to motivate myself to finish things it is helpful to realize that up front. Deciding to commit to a redo is going to take time. Do I or do I not want to commit to that time? Sometimes I will and sometimes I won’t.
In thinking about possiblities there is also the way things get placed that affects how long it takes to do something. I like to glue things done so my projects which are small, so can be handled without the fear of things falling over. Deciding to glue requires being happy with the placement of everything. I can’t finish it if the wall isn’t glued down or this shelf isn’t or whatever.
More possibilites to deal with getting it done, well adding details to make the project snap come to mind. My current project in the trunk has blue outside and white wallpaper with tiny red hearts. It looks good together but a lot of white when the furniture is low so I want to add some details to the top parts of the trunk rooms to spice up the white. If I had this as a kit, would be much less likely as an issue, but working on my own with inspiration by others projects, well it boils down to do i want to purchase some details or use what I have, then if I just use what I have, what colors do I paint. Decisions, decisions…
I have to make decisions to keep moving to getting it done. If I had someone else guiding me and I was copying theirs to a T then I would just follow step by step. But making it my own, I must make decisions. Decisions I can live with whether it is this color or that, letting a minor flaw go because no one will notice or will likely be hidden or whatever. I must make decisions.
Want to help me make some decisions?? Give me feedback on these
I am making a 1:48 scale raggedy (RA) theme scene in a 1:12 scale trunk. This was inspired by others who made a similar type of project – the first being a RA scene.
I am happy with my trunk (just need to add the corner trim), happy with the heart wallpaper, but deciding how to set it up and which pieces to use, well that’s those annoying, hm-mm, I mean fun possiblities.
Most everything furniture-wise is from swaps.
Here is one layout:
The BPF (brown plastic furniture) grandfather clock will be painted to match the color scheme if I decide to use it.
Here’s another layout with the lid folded more and the tray to the side. I also show a matching chair to the red sofa. These are resin pieces I painted so I am considering do I want the matching pieces or include the sofa from the swap…
This view shows the tray and the chest I plan on using in it. I will add shelves to the side of the dresser.
Also here is a quilt rack I want to include (turned around). In this view, I have included the sofa with white hearts as well.
The bench at the end, might be a toy box instead….
I want to add details to the top of the trunk. In the inspiration pieces I have seen, they used some ornate spindle pieces from Grandtline (love that companies stuff) but I don’t have the same pieces I have seen used. I do have some trim and I have played with the painting as seen here:
But do I do just the spindle trim and none of the lower, this trim in both parts of the trunk and then what about the tray…
Here are some other trim options I am considering
I really like the red and I can cut it to put two hearts on each of the trunk pieces and then something else in the tray. Course I would stiffen, trim up and paint these lace pieces to use.