BARBIEOLDNEWGREENREDO--JUST A GRANNY HAVING FUN WITH DOLLS< DIORAMAS STORIES AND DIY

The Best Laid Plans

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A week ago,  the owners and staff of Vickie's and Trish's met with Russell the General Contractor and Vanny from BMR Ltd. discuss the upgrades and changes that have been made to the stores, out buildings and parking lot in back.

Russell: Thanks for gathering here at Vickie and Joe's. I just don't want you to be surprised with some of the changes we had to make in the lower level shop. We had to lower the ceiling in order to do all new electrical. The stairway to the lower level had to be brought up to code, and an exterior stairway has been added to the back loading dock. 

I'm turning this over to Joe now.

Joe: ( From the back) The tunnels after inspection ran through this block of buildings and across the street. An exit to the park lagoons was discovered in a hill hidden away. All the tunnels have been blocked and/or filled in. Channel 7 will be doing a special later next month about them and the victims found in the tunnel under Trish's and next to the wall that caved in the lower level of Vickie's.

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CPD has closed the case out---and the details will be in the TV special and later in the Star. When the stores are open, please don't discuss any of the uh-m-mm, supernatural  stuff you thought went on. The department believes the electrical issues and the unexplained sounds were caused by the earthworks failure, as well as the wall ...um, exploding

Zoe: Is it really safe to go downstairs now?

Joe: Yes, the City has filled in all the weakened structures of the cave-ins, and the tunnels on the block no longer exist. 

Russell: And, the walls have been totally rebuilt as well as new ceiling beams and ceiling. There have been lots of structural changes, and the bbuilding will last for another hundred and fifty years.

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Carly: Did the heat get fixed, too?

Vanny: Yeppers, it sure did. You'll have all new ducting, a new furnace and air conditioner for the lower level, safety doors on the elevator and new wiring for that also.

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Trish: May I pull my delivery truck up now, and get deliveries? It's only 3 weeks until Valentine's Day and we've already lost months of sales. St. Charles has been so many miles to travel everyday, I don't even know what my new apartment looks like.

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Russell: As of tomorrow, everyone is okayed to move back into their buildings.  I have a small list of things to be done yet, which should take a day or two, but my guys won't really be in your way at all. So Ladies, tomorrow is moving day as far as BMR, CPD, and the City of Chicago are concerned. Everything has been inspected and is ready to go.

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Vickie: Finally we can open on February 1st.  I'm so sick of staring at a computer screen.

EL:I'm sick of shipping packages.

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Vickie: So if there isn't anymore questions, I'll order pizzas and let's make a plan for tomorrow. Trish do you have enough help?  

Trish: My brothers will be taking care of the workshop and I have a new girl starting in two days to help with the shop.  We aren't going to set up the greenhouse yet with the snow and cold temperatures forecasted. Can we order a Veggie Pizza?

Russell: Pizza Pepperoni, sausage and bacon for me...none of that green stuff.

Joe: Who want's a drink? I'll bartend! 

(To Be Continued)

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SHOP/NEW Room Diorama: Quick Wall Strengthening REDO

 

Dear Readers a quick how to---

After over 5 years, the walls in the Resort/Halloween shop had been used multiple times---the original Skeleton's Bash, Vickie's First Shop, then the Basement Resort shop. Where it was located in the dollroom  semi-permanently, I kept bumping into it...and well, it was getting rickety. So in the spirit of REDO and REUSE, I decided to reinforce the walls and cover them in contact paper.

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First thing I did was cut apart all the corners, salvage the door way (working doorways are a pain to make) and clean up/remove all the tape and left over bits. I then decided to lower the height o the walls to 16", so that was 4" cut off, so I cut all the pieces to this height.

Taking new $$STore black foam core, I took each old piece and copied the size, and cut new ones. Doubled, the foam core seemed very strong, so I then taped all four edges with 'duct/k tape' in white.


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Apparently I had at some time even tested paint on the backside of this piece. I DIDN'T use spray glue-or wet water-based glue---mostly because of fumes on the first, and warping on the second. Tape would have to do the whole job.

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This white duck tape has the thinnest of threads in it, which makes the texture subtle.

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Here you can see the new thickness easily equal to the thick foam core that is now running about $7 a sheet. So two $$$ store sheets are just $2.50---SCORE a $avings of $4.50 a sheet.

Then I covered the new front side completely with contact paper with a generous overlap.

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Working slowly, removing the strippable backing about 4" at a time and rolling my hands across the surface to smooth. I buy name-brand large rolls of white semi-matte Contact paper at hardware outlets or Walmart. This has the nicest body and usually better coverage than cheap brands, so costs about 30-40 cents a foot.

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The door panel was weakened by so many years of usage, so I totally faced it solid. the black area in the middle will have a photo print applied to look like a hall stairway. The new piece was again black, so I faced this after taping with the white contact paper.

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I left the top part blank as I'm doing a build out for the EXIT sign with another piece of white wrapped foam core.

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Here is the walls are taped together on the back side into a trim-fold. The walls that went under 'storyline construction were done in a subtle pattern---reason being they are patched walls in the storyline, and I ran out of pure white. This pattern is from $$store rolls, and was just as opaque as the name-brand. SCORE.

The EXIT sign was placed on a raise small piece of foam core covered in black vinyl paper--$$$STORE.

The corners on the backside are taped in white duct/k tape. The back bottom edges are taped with packing tape, and easily removed if I wish to pack these pieces away-FLAT. The old floor is an old piece of  thick foam core I have resurfaced with a sheet of dull silver poster board (Michaels)

 I do love how silver posterboard photographs and looks like concrete. The edges of the floor are wrapped in silver/duct tape, giving it a tight surface to wrapping tape the walls to. 

TIP: Make circles of your floor/base materials to match the bottom of your doll stands giving a seamless look to your photos. These can easily be changed out from wood to concrete to grass. I keep all the discs in a small box near my stands. A little double stick tape and your doll is standing on the base you choose.

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Tools and supplies used for this project. If you only buy one expensive tool---buy a long square for doing walls-silver on the right---this saves so much sanity!


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 Two thickness foam core is a great way to use old pieces with new. If made from all new product the cost would be approximately

Floor 20 x 30"- 2 pieces of 20x30 foam core   2 x $1.25. =$2.50
           20x 30 - 1 piece of silver poster board  1 x $1.25  =$1.50

Walls 20 x 16"- 4 pieces of 20x30 foam core  4x $1.25  = $5.00
          30 x 16 - 2 pieces  of 20x 30 foam core 2x $1.25 =$2.50

You will have lots of nice left-over pieces to use for fixtures/furniture if you wish. Scrap pieces used for the back of the doors frame.

Contact paper  90-100" total  if using $$ store contact paper 2 rolls @ 1.25 = $2.50

Tape, shiny silver tape for exit doors and edging flooring, you can use silver duct/k tape    20 feet for under 50 cents

White duct/k tape 40 feet under $1.00

clear wrapping tape   Cents

New construction Total Under $16.00 for an entire room. 

My reusing floor and wall  pieces reduced this to only 3 pieces of new foam core,  so my. total of new product was under $8.00. Not leaving the house IS -----$$$PRICELESS!$$$ 

UPSIDE purposes of the contact paper----you can easily double stick tape anything to it, and remove it. The entire room could be covered with wrapping paper, or scrap book  wall papers---to use as another space and then easily removed. Shelving or framed artwork can be double foam-stick taped to walls and removed. 

I can't wait to move into the freshened Resort/Men's Shop
 into the NEW ROOM.


WHAT DO YOUR DOLLS NEED 
A NEW ROOM FOR????

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I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or products shown, or from where I shop. 

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Cleaning my Shop---SORT OF!

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This is the time of year, I really dislike blogging, reading blogs, social media...and even TV, especially the commercials. 

We are bombarded from all directions on the topics of: The NEW YOU, Diet in 2023, NEW Me in 2023, Clean, Organize-which I describe as discombobulize your life, yourself, your home---apparently everything needs to be redone, cleansed,---replaced---- and circumspect viewed under a microscope!

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I do have to admit---I simply take January off----off of everything, no resolutions, no new plans, just give myself some time to SPACE OUT! However---when you can't walk safely in your craft room and can no longer PLAY, it IS time to clean.

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No major changes, just tryed to get it back to USEABLE so the discombobulated tour begins here. 

This corner holds the desk where I have the storefront to Vickie's and Trish's Garden Center---which is currently under construction which I will finish this week for their Grand RE-Opening after the drama last fall.  Below this table are 4 huge bins of furniture, miscellaneous garden stuff, 6 vehicles and 3-4 fold out houses? Not even sure---did not pull all this stuff out! 

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Above this table is my Guy storage, paint sets, clay and sorted boxes of Beauty, Kiddies, Medical/Vet, Sports, and Ken stuff. I didn't even straighten this area, but SHOULD, it's on the list!

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This area really is the work area. The wet sink, is no longer wet. The pump we used for the drain is DEFLUNKED and is totally KAPUT! This involves 10 feet of pipe full of water before we can get to this. SO, I just walk 60 feet to the other end of the basement 
to clean a brush!

The cord you see in the foreground, is from the ceiling and one of my clip lights. The set up on the right was a spontaneous doll shoot!


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I'm trying something new and stacking my girls with their hair hanging over. Honestly storing dolls for using and not just standing around in a gown--is a pain.  Once the shop's all clean and I can get back into the stories---half of these will be placed in their habitats, and I'm going to figure out a better way to keep them not messed up.

My storage on the work desk here is organized not esthetically, but for usability.

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The tier tray on the left is for bits and bobs...and has ribbons at the top. The wall is full of stencils, pegs, and tool storage. Markers are in bins on the desk. The mini tip-out organizational boxes on the right are wonderful and hold all the small bits. On the right, pegs hold all my tapes, stickums, glues, small rolls of stuff in plastic bags. New packaging items are at the back with opened in the front. I go through miles of this in a year.

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My work surface is actually a piece of foam core covered in Contact paper, fixed to the desk. Under this surface I have my cutting board which just slides out to place on top when needed.

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The white tab is the handle to push or pull it out.
Under this table are more dolls, and specific collections of 'rooms/homes' for pop-up dioramas, power tools, tool box, paints/Glues, and all my plastic bits in a bin.

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This is my hardworking small shelf and is full of  Papers/stickers/felt/washi tape collection. Most of which I buy in thrift stores, $$Store or on super %%% off sales. The round bin on the floor holds rolled contact papers, and vinyl stickum type products. I found some Grass like WIDE wrapping paper to use for outdoor scenes--SCORE!

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To the left are the drawers with Vickie's Vintage on top. It's almost time to spruce up the shop for Valentines Days, but Vickie's won't be open until Feb. 1....so I have a little time! 

It's too early in Chicagoland for Spring clothes...that I will have to hold off for a bit.

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Underneath Vickie's are 3 big actually organized Drawers! I did a good sort out last Spring, and it held pretty well for the year!

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Anything you might need for running a vintage shop is in here, as well as mini jewelry, props, bags, packaging, and accessories.

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Bottom drawer is for more merchandising props and gown storage.

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Vickie's can be the most fun to refill, and switch things out. 

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To the left is the table with the 'Resort Wear/Halloween Shop' to Vickie's which is in total turmoil and is getting a rebuilt due to the damage done by the 'strange happenings' last Fall. 

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and the Disaster Wall Cave in!

Sometimes I write myself into a corner as far as having time to do everything needed to fulfill a storyline. I had to step back from all this---with the holidays and work that needed to be done in REAL LIFE...Sigh!
But---February 13th...Special on the Mystery! 

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Moving on to the left...
When you pull out the table of the basement shop---there is all this---stuff to be sold, family heirlooms or other wise known as all my 'mom's chit!' not to beconfused with 'my chit!'

Vickie and Joe's condo takes up two large shelves here. It's all set up for the next bit of story--a meeting about the reconstruction of the shop! 

RESOLUTION: to make MORE permanent Dioramas on wall shelves. 

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When you see these unedited photos, you can get a better idea of how much 'crap' it takes to do all this. 
Below on the left is my shoe and accessory storage, as well as craft baskets full of specific things: fabrics, beading, more mini's.

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I really need to concentrate on selling more stuff this year---I guess that is another (GAG) resolution. 


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Across the room on the north wall is the Girls' townhouse. We have 5 gals living here. Right now Gilly is the only one home. This building will get paint in spring and lighting, I just redid the floors purple...I'm hoping more chairs show up at the $$ stores as these are quite nice and sturdy.

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Above the Girls' house is lighting---batteries, battery lamps, electrical parts, and well a stable/horse, another beauty parlor, and more lighting fixtures and my radio.

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The old HFIM house is now two separate homes---right lower middle, Chris and Lara are talking about adding a third floor for more room---MAYBE???
Ken and Barbie on the lower left are working---from home, while Chelsea has a friend upstairs watching TV.


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One area, I haven't freshened yet is the backyard---and it's a dump ground for the moment. I do my stories in real time, and we just got snow, so maybe.....just for some snow shots! 

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Well this is about as clean as it gets! I had to straighten, so I could do some work on the 'Spooky Story'. 
upcoming deadlines:

February 1: Trish's Flower Shop OPEN
Vickie's Vintage OPEN
Lower Level Resort shop DONE and OPEN

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Now if I can just find all the stuff I NEED......ooops, this gives new meaning to Under the Table....LOL!
I didn't say it was totally CLEAN

JUST SORT OF! 


WHAT PROJECTS/CLEAN UP  
HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?

If you enjoyed this post(s), please join me by email- at FOLLOW IT---in the upper right hand corner of this blog.

I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or products shown, or from where I shop.