And On It Goes

Well, barring some small touches of paint when we look at it in the morning, we’ve finished painting the spare room. Tomorrow should mostly be spent reassembling and reconfiguring it all into something both more useable and less cluttered. In the meantime I’ve also tried rationalising some of the stacks of books in the bathroom so there’s less danger to life if anything falls over.

We were so caught up in sorting the room out that I managed to completely forget that I’d rescheduled my counselling for this evening, which led to a rapid phonecall to apologise and mention I was still covered in paint after I received a text mentioning my lonely coffee.

Still, it’s worth it for how transforming it has been to the room with colours other than plain white now. We’ve again used the Almost Oyster for the roof and used a Gentle Lavender for the walls, both in a silk finish which reflects the light smoothly.

Hopefully there won’t be too much last minute touches needed before we have the flat back in one piece.

Decorating Day

Well, we had planned to be in the Midlands today for an extended photoshoot, but quite aside from the minor issue of large portions of it trying not to be under water right now, our photographer is currently recuperating from an operation to deal with a bleed on his brain a couple of weeks ago.

Quite understandably he’s under strict doctor’s orders to not work, and while we talked about coming over to be sociable anyway he wasn’t feeling up to it so we’ll catch up another time. It’s only the third time that fate has intervened in our plans for shoots so we’re not going to get a complex about it. We’re just glad that he’s making good progress back to health.

So instead we said those immortal words: isn’t it time we sorted out the guest room?

Not even a fraction of what’s been unpacked

Now it’s true that it’s been a bit of a dumping ground while we sorted out other rooms, but at least we’ve already got all the paint and supplies. This morning therefore became an exercise in stripping everything feasible out, as well as excavating the paint and brushes from the boiler cupboard – the same one containing all the Funko boxes from our collection.

In addition to the general debris, we also had most of our cosplay props, some costumes, and what felt like half a ton of material and scraps – along with most of the games we’ve accumulated over the last few years.

So, it’s been a busy day so far. We’re currently on a break to let the ceiling dry before we give the walls a quick wash down and get on with finishing the room. And then we can reorganise what’s in there once that has all dried.

There are three sofas in this picture

Hopefully we’ll make good time this afternoon, or we’re taking turns sleeping on the sofa and piles of costumes this evening.

Wand Prop update

I spent a couple of hours the other day painting the prototype wand that I’ve started making for MCM Comiccon later this year. It’s a simple enough process but has proved very effective at helping to focus past the extremely low place I’ve landed in recently – and that’s partly because it’s a simple set of techniques that very quickly give a useable result.

The basic wand, larger than the types typically seen on screen, is composed simply of tightly rolled up magazine pages, with a lattice of hot glue lines laid over it.

In terms of the structure I’d defined with the glue lines, I would best describe it as a wand with a blade protruding from the hilt, so a clearly boundaried area needed to be created.

This was simply done with a ring of glue at the top and the bottom of a length of the wand big enough to accommodate my hand.

I started by blocking the colours with Sharpie just to see how colour changes would help emphasise the sections of the wand, before giving the entire length a simple black acrylic paint base coat. This covered both paper and the glue lines, and helped seal the paper spiral edges to strengthen the whole thing.

Then I used a combination of thinly painting and drybrushing silver acrylic across the whole length. This picked out details and gave highlights to the raised glue lines and knots. Finally, I lightly painted and distressed the handle area with an ochre acrylic which gave the impression of a leather binding in that area.

So far so good. I next intend to try using a diluted black ink wash to darken shadows and joints, and am considering painting the traditional wand area to represent wood between the glue lines. I’m also thinking of staining the handle with a red ink to differentiate it more from the “wood”

I’ll see how it goes from there. Making new wands is such a quick process that if I make a horrendous mess of the painting or break anything I’ll just make another. As I’m not trying to replicate any particular design I don’t feel any pressure as to its final appearance

Redecorations and Rearrangements

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Life’s busy at the moment, proving that something will usually crop up to keep me from having idle hands for too long. Between overtime at the library, commissions, and competition entries, there’s been not too much time to carry on with reorganising the flat until this weekend.

That said, we’ve managed to get a lot done in the last 36 hours. We’ve finished the last paint touch-ups in the hall, sanded and repainted the homemade ottoman retrieved from Lady M’s family home, and rearranged the bedroom to give us more room, more shelves, and a view of bits of the carpet that haven’t seen daylight in about four years.

I’ll admit it’s not been without it’s fair share of groans, grumbles, aches and pains to forge on through. Some of it has been from the exertions of a long week (even with a delightfully diverting lunch with Lady G on Friday as a contrast), or from the succession of ills plaguing Lady M in her exhaustion at the moment. We’ve had moments of snappiness, fits of giggles, long-suffering silences, and contented sighs as things start to take shape.

Hopefully in the next day or so we’ll hear from the people from who we ordered new flooring for the hall and can finally count the first room completed. Then we’ll think about the next room on our hit list. It seems odd to be finally putting our stamp on the place, even though it’s just a lick of paint and moving a few things around. Between that and the ongoing decluttering we’re doing though, the flat is starting to feel brand new again.

I could probably make a pithy comment here about the effort taken to renew and refresh a flat and compare it to the ongoing work we put into being awesome together, but you already thought of that, didn’t you?