Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dolls, graphic novel, miniature adventure, miniature photography, miniatures, On Our Own, photo novel, Photography, toy adventure, toy photography, toys

(Re)Begin the Beguine

Well, that didn’t last long. I appear to have redone my redo one day after posting it.

Here’s the thing – there’s a rhythm to a graphic novel panel that just isn’t there where you post all of the photos in a blog. So, take the first panel from On Our Own (which I didn’t change)

I very deliberately set it up so it was 3 good things to one bad, all of which could have happened on a single day. That calculation wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t had the idea of a “page” encompassing those four photos.

The second page keeps the pace, but changes the focus

Now the pace has sped up a little – the first three events could have happened in a few hours, as could the fourth (depending on how far she was travelling.) BTW, is any of this clear from the photos? So, on the first page, there’s a sick person in the fourth panel and some idea of happy play in the other three. In the second page, I tried to include enough of the clothing to make sure what was happening (sick person is running a fever, two other people make a phone call, then a new person packs her bags, and she arrives in the fourth panel.)

Now we get to first problem panel.

What the hell has happened to our pacing? Three of the photos *could* have happened in one day, but the fourth? Clearly the person who has died in the second photo could not have been buried already. So, that seems all wrong.

And the fourth panel?

Now we’ve somehow spread it out over at least a month (based on the eviction notice). And, wow, those girls sure have bounced back fast.

So, anyway, I think I was really rushing to get them placed in their trailer, but it really goes outside the bounds of the pacing in the first two pages.

So, I backed off and slowed the pace down. They’ll get to the trailer when they get there, and there’s no time for them to get someone buried in the first episode. I also won’t be able to spell out exactly who died, but that can wait as well.

Here, then, is the (hopefully) final version of the last two pages.

Same two pages are the same, here’s the new page 3.

and the new page 4

Now all reasonably within the bounds of a day or two, and I’ve gotten the characters to the point where they are on their own.

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Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, graphic novel, In the picture, miniature adventure, miniature photography, movies, toy adventure, toy photography

In the Pictures: Start of Summer (Redo)

These last two weeks I’ve been working on finishing up the first episode of In the Pictures – where the two sisters discover that one does not simply put a movie away, because it has a way of coming back. I’ve left the first part of the story the same, and added a bit on the end to make it a less abrupt stop. I’ve also moved the action from the front door to a wardrobe (in part, because I loved the Narnia series and the wardrobe-into-another-world idea. I’ve also (naturally) given the sisters a dog – a bull terrier named after the bull terrier in The Incredible Journey.

So here, then, is the new Start of Summer.

Maybe a movie? [dang – doesn’t look like the videos work on this site. You can see the post with videos at my main site

or just see the video

Link to just the video

[dang – doesn’t look like the videos work on this site. You can see the post with videos at my main site

or just to the video

Link to video

Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, graphic novel, miniature adventure, miniature photography, toy adventure, toy photography

Underfoot: The Doll Graveyard

Underfoot has gone through some changes since our last adventure. The two characters have new names and a new location. Meet Cosette and Mathilde and their adventures in France.

Also, the new site is up at www.smalllifestories.com. Still in pretty preliminary form, but some pieces are ready.

That said, I’m going to post the new adventures here, as well as on the new site. And so, on to the Underfoot adventure.

Posted in Camellia, Daisy, doll adventure, doll photography, Ester, Fashion dolls, graphic novel, Lily, Maskcat doll, miniature adventure, miniature photography, photo novel, Photography, Rosie, toy adventure, toy photography, Wildflower dolls

Episode 35: The End

Last time we checked in, all of the characters were converging on the airport in an attempt to find Camellia.

Did they make it?

Let’s see.

Well, hmmm, not sure. Let’s see if we can get another angle

Oh, yes, I think I can make it out. Let’s try one last angle

Ah, good, looks like they all made it there. Oh, where are the rest of the dogs?

Ah, there they are. And then, they turn and . . .

. . . it looks like it’s time for us to go.

*****

Thanks to everyone for following along for this last year. August 22 was the official anniversary of *my* adventure, and I hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as I have.

I’m going to make some changes going forward.

First, I’m going to split my behind the scenes mirror sites (mydolladventure.com and mydolladventure.wordpress.com) from the production site (coming soon – to be named Small Life Stories). That gives people the choice to watch what it looks like constructing the adventure, or just to follow along with the adventures themselves, or both.

For the next few weeks, I’m going to play around with constructing more substantial sets, and I’ll probably slip in an Underfoot episode while I’m doing that. Then I’ll cycle between the various adventures.

On the topic of Underfoot and my other adventures, I got one of my 1/3 scale dolls this week, and he’s totally bonded with little Ester (who was supposed to appear in the Underfoot adventures.)

So she’ll be joining the Betwixt adventure as a kind of fairy/sprite, leaving Buu and Jinjur to continue their journey alone. That actually works out a little better, I think, because it leaves a space for Buu to grow into.

Buu is also (I’m almost sure) going to also take a supporting role in the second draft of the Mia Fiorello story as young Daisy. She’s pretty much the right size, she looks a bit like Daisy, and she has all of those great joints that my toddler Disney doll is missing. There are going to be a few more recasts in that story, but the main Wildflower dolls will go on in their current roles.

So, thanks again for joining me on the first phase of my adventures, and happy doll adventures to all of you.

Posted in Amy, BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dollsbe, graphic novel, Iplehouse, miniature adventure, miniature photography, Olive, overhead, photo novel, Photography, Strawberry, Supia, toy adventure, toy photography

Overhead: First night in the treehouse

After building a rough platform in their last episode, Fern and Olive are finishing off the floor of the treehouse.

Well, maybe Fern is doing most of the work.

When it’s all done, they relax and admire their work.

Then Willow puts on a record . . .

. . . and everybody dances.

All three sisters decide to spend the night in the treehouse.

The sisters sit up in the treehouse
The sisters sleep for their first night in the treehouse

******

I loved every part of working on this episode, from the sweet vibe between the siblings, to being able to totally forget about developing a plot and really focus on the moments.

I tried to get real moonlight for the two nighttime shots, but it’s been extra especially hazy up here in Portland and the quality of the light just wasn’t all that great. So I relied on the toy lantern and a long exposure for the first shot (with the sisters awake), and I rigged up a small flashlight on a microphone stand for the second one (with only the dog still awake).

We’ve got one more week in the trees, where I’ll try to complete the treehouse structure. Then I have to catch back up with the Mia Fiorello story. Surely they’ve made it to the island by now . . .

Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dollsbe, graphic novel, Iplehouse, miniature adventure, miniature photography, Olive, overhead, photo novel, Photography, Supia, toy adventure, toy photography

Building the treehouse

Early morning, and Olive and Fern are busily discussing the treehouse.

Olive scouts out a likely tree.

And then the sisters get to work.

Willow arrives with some refreshments

and all three sisters admire their handiwork.

*******

Next week is going to be a little discontinuous. I’d planned a little dance session for the three sisters – I’ve managed to snag both a record player and a radio in 1/4 scale – but after I took the dancing pictures, I ended up re-wigging all three of them. Now I’m not sure how to merge the dancing scene into the next scene where all three will look entire different.

In any case, the floor of the treehouse is all done, now I just have to figure out how I’m going to attach the sides. I *think* I’ve ended up with a good template that I can use for all of my dollhouses, but we’ll find out on Tuesday (I’m at the coast on Monday, so pushing back a day) how that all worked.

Posted in BJD, doll photography, Dollhouse, graphic novel, Iplehouse, Olive, overhead, Photography, toy photography

Back to the treehouse

While the Mia Fiarello team is making their way to Camellia, let’s check in with the treehouse sisters.

When I started working again on this story, I realized how incredibly slapdash and haphazard I’d become about setting up for episodes – just grab a few items, set up the camera, and shoot.

I *could* do that for the treehouse, but I’m expecting them to spend much of the next year there, so I think I have to slow down and really create a space that works.

That task has become somewhat harder because of my inability to find a tree that really works as a 1/4 scale treehouse. The trees in my yard that have the right kind of branch arrangement are far too big to work at 1/4 scale, and the ones that work at 1/4 scale don’t have the kinds of branches you could build a treehouse in.

For example, here’s Olive standing next to one of my (fruiting) cherry trees:

which looks great, in scale. But the branching on the cherry looks like this:

with really no place to build a level platform.

That means that I’ll just need to show them working on a treehouse in one of my outdoor trees, but that any building of the actual treehouse will take place in my workshop.

So, let’s look at what I have.

Because I want a permanent space, I need something solid to use as a base. For my 1/4 scale dolls, I find that Ikea Lack side tables are just the right size, and dirt cheap at $8 a pop. The top of the table (which I’ll use as the floor on the Overhead treehouse and as a side wall for the In the Picture rainforest house) is a 21 1/2″ square. The legs (if you use them) are 17 3/4″. That’s plenty big for the In the Picture space, since the legs define the depth of the of the space, but it’s not quite big enough for the Overhead treehouse, since the legs form the upright corners and the dolls themselves are almost 18″ tall.

Fortunately, it’s a treehouse, so I can slot in some sticks for the four supporting beams. That would look something like this:

The table comes with four double-sided screws and pre-drilled holes

so all I need to do is find three more corner supports for the walls.

The flooring is a little more difficult. I can’t leave it as is, but I haven’t found any rough wood surface that really works for this scale. What I’d really like is some kind of wood that has a distinct grain, but where the knots are not overly large for this scale. I’d thought of just using small branches, but nature isn’t in the habit of producing a straight line, so I can’t really lie them flat or have them join nicely with each other. Really, no one wants to live in a treehouse where the floors look like this:

I have some contact paper with a wood pattern, but it looks both unnaturalistic in close-ups and far too precise for a tree house. Same thing with the parquet floor squares that I use for my 1/6 dollhouse floors. I’ve yet to see a real treehouse with parquet floors.

What I’d really like is scrap wood, but from a 1/4 scale house. Cast off cupboard doors and table tops would be just perfect, but I’d need a 1/4 scale house to start from and, once I found a 1/4 scale house, I’d never scrap it.

I’m going to take one more look around Goodwill to see if anything looks right. If not, I may have to mock up the wood grain.

In any case, the girls aren’t going to have a completely built treehouse this week, although they are going to start working on it.