This is where we left things last week, when I was half-way to bringing this castle (above) into the real world:
You can tell that the person who drew this original illustration of a castle was only thinking in 2-D, that is, thinking only about jamming in a collection of towers without considering whether or not the castle was actually feasible.
The way I figured it, the only way to get all these towers together in a structure was to build them around a very peculiarly-shaped platform:
Trial and error, cutting and gluing and trimming, was the only way to come up with a template for this peculiarly-shaped platform. (Thank you, Dear Reader Sharon, for telling me about templates!) And this is how I turned that flat pattern into a 3-D platform:
While this area is still exposed — that is, before I close it up by inserting the final two towers — I have to make sure it is safe for all the imaginary people who inhabit this castle. It needs a fence of some sort to go around it:
If you remember the design of this castle. . . (here’s a reminder):
. . . the tall round tower in the back needs a topper, a cone-shaped topper. These are rather easy to make, if you get the size right. The trick is to draw a big enough circle. Here’s the pattern:
For this topper, I used a jar as my tracing guide:
Wrap the circle into a cone, like this:
Voila: Topper, installed:
Wait. I changed my mind about this topper. I decided that this tower needed a snazzier topper, so I found an illustration that had a big blue sky and I made a new topper. I also cut out a doorway from another illustration and glued it onto the topper so two little ladies could exit to enjoy the view:
I made a half-tower for the side bit (because it’s there in my original tower illustration inspiration) and that’s where I put the King and his valet:
The finished castle looks like this:
Which, except for its being well-made, is not a success. The original castle is tall and skinny and smooshed together. It had a quirkiness that appealed to me. My castle is not smooshed together. The proportions are off. My goal for the next castle is to make it look more like the inspiration.
In the future, I am going to have to — heart be still — take measurements.
I decided that, since the castle was not a success, I had to make the display a lot more interesting. So now it looks like this:
Any old random book that has a loose binding will open nice and flat. . . or as flat as a book can get. You still have to make adjustments. This is the castle’s front door BEFORE:
And this is the castle’s front door AFTER:
I had wanted to make the castle look as if it were erupting from the innards of this book but that takes — dare I say it?? — advance planning. I will devise that for my next project, the one were I also measure out the proportions ahead of time.
I did manage to drop the trees and the flower pot into the text by using a scalpel (available in packs of 20 from amazon.com and which I happen to have already because who doesn’t have scalpels laying around the house?) to cut into several layers of pages:
I have one more tid-bit of info about castle-making, if you can stand it, but first, let’s go get a cup of tea so we can take a break from Castles and Such.
And by “Castles and Such”, you know I mean “The sense of failure that lurks behind every creative project which is why I will probably have to have another go at making this castle the right way “, and by “tea”, you know I mean “wine”.
Castle tower topper, anyone?
So of course I had to find out what made this perfect castle tower topper tick, so I un-wrapped it:
Now I have a template for all future castle tower toppers. Yay me.
I like the heat of Summer as much as the next person, but this weekend is going to be rainy and finally cool here on the north shore of Long Island. . . again, Yay me! You know where I’ll be: knee deep in paper and glue re-making the tall, skinny, smooshy castle. Or drinking wine. One or the other. I’ll let you know when we meet back here next Friday.
Have a great weekend, everyone.