‘Mannequin a day’ is inspired by the fine work & background to Noah Scalin’s blog ‘Skull-A-Day’ via photography and a love of styling with clothes that currently, mainly due to a reason below, I can’t fit anymore, however someone else does. Noah Scalin’s blog page was highlighted within the pages of a book on getting your blog page to more a happening thing. The title resting pretty on the book that is currently in a 10 metre radius from my desk, hiding somewhere within my creative void space. Due to complications with my current pregnancy, at the half way mark right now, unfortunately I can’t drive to far or carry much, even with a trolley, this makes it hard to lug around costume changes & my mannequin known as Magenta, previously known as Manny. But fxxk these restrictions, it’s now or never!

Magenta is adolescent in age & has a permanent seating position but she seems ok with that. I found last week that after hours of photography, like real models she gets to a moment in time when she is ‘done’ for the day. I sometimes push another 10 minutes but this inanimate object of beauty within the camera lens indicates ‘it’s a wrap’, respect..

My favourite place for a photography shoot location to date, love the name too is ‘Field of Mars Reserve’ in Sydney. It has the standard stock park features, but ever-changing snippets to the foliage & greenery, plus a bonus secret location of a wooden path through a mangrove swamp area, perfect for darker & more surreal costumes.

It’s unsure as to whether I’m going for a two week duration for this project or continuing on. More costume ideas came to play last night, I’m definitely up for quality, more interesting shots over quantity. I have a few days work up my sleeve so the ribbon is cut with my imaginary scissors, it’s now time to upload a picture of my girl Magenta. :)

Down the yellow plastic road here to the ‘Mannequin a day gallery’

Garden beds of purple and green hues, carpets laid of burgundy and silver find their way onto both floors of this revamped miniature mansion. After walks around local areas to where I live, inspiration has lead me to make a tiled floor pathway for the front of house. Some of the glass tiles where painted with nail polish to get the right cohesion. Most of the artificial flowers where purchased from the same place as they have such great variety and detail.

Ivory embossed paper blankets the exterior of the building, love the texture of the floral print! Lots of slow moving work to the exterior area of the staircase where the stained glass bird window panes reside.

The carousel has been pushed to the side line unfortunately again as need to be in the right head space, whoa! Still working on the front garden in the midst as to what will surround the water feature and fence to the property, then down the back garden path to be lead astray!

Space has become an issue as the garden is literally growing in all directions. The two matching flower bed bases that will surround the circular hedge where my beloved unicorn will reside has tiaras and other elements from an artificial hedge to make up the base frame, positioned onto pieces of timber cut to size with a jigsaw. Once fixed all in place and spray painted white, the artificial foliage was glued in place.

The pineapple feature was an uncertainty like other recent additions but after much toying has blended more successfully, still more refining to go across the board.

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Refining and wonderous additions welcomed like the chandeliers added and tested with glee.. After positioning the lights in place, had to order extension parts and drill holes where elements best fit out of sight. The floor bases on the middle and top right rooms where mapped out by pressing into and cutting around the creases into paper. Will further work this guide to get a near exact mapping, as I have a lovely burgundy velvet fabric with hints of cherry to rest on top of thin foam core.

The interior panels to the front of house, has lead-light panels added some time ago, now has green felt surrounding with varied plastic foliage. The bulk of it was from one piece with a grid backing where I could cut panels out and add other faux vines with ease.

Long overdue is the central animal feature for the top of the interior stage, a unicorn. No surprises there. Attached is a flower piece from a vintage Barbie from the 1970’s amongst paper roses and other artificial pretties. Finally sealed off this area where the animals reside within with a gold crocheted scarf of roses cut to size and glued in position, such a great find from Vinnies, has saved me so much time.

A light spray of gold, green, white and silver where added to areas throughout the interior and exterior of the house. Refinements to this dolls house are in full swing, skirting boards, odd ends and and pieces previously left unfinished are now flowering or in completion.

Still to do on the house is finish the floors, stain the floorboards; this is after I experiment to get the right colour as I don’t want the stainer to take to much. Will try a clear with green paint to give a moss induced look as well as try a coloured traditional stain. Also finish the new pineapple tower that’s still evolving as well as add a lovely white satin handmade paper to the external walls of the house.

On a mission to finish the house in totality then back very soon to the enticement of the gardens and wonders outside and more focus again on the written material.

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A garden that talks in charms and dreams.. Artichokes flowering of plastic nature, parading a skirt of purple little pretties. This surreal predominantly plastic miniature world is thriving in growth, glue gun top speed!

There is now three main features of the front garden, a now hybrid native gum tree (branch found in the back yard) with fern leaves, to the left, a unicorn ‘show pony’ starring in it’s circular bed on the left and a water feature on the right.

Bought lots of new props a few days ago for the front fence to be, seem to be on an animal fetish still, there is an owl and bunny rabbit as side kicks.

Also working on the left panel of the house that’s been neglected and back to the door features. Had to fill in the holes with putty on the door handles taken off from the original Barbie mansion. It’s nearly time to add the lead-light panels to the doors of what used to be lounge room made a month ago or so.. Still unsure of the handles, have bought many pieces, think I’ll mash up the different prop bits and see what happens.

Had on hand 5 miniature lion statues that were placed around the first layer of the water feature, which rests on a vintage crystal plate, which reminds me of one of the water features in the Botanical Gardens in Sydney. Other layers are predominantly glass, metal and a resin miniature water feature. Made in stages, cut up cardboard pieces were added to the base of the lion statues, added a timber panel to each piece at the front. Glued each piece in position adding putty to the sides, then glued the rest in place with all pieces painted white. Have some artificial foliage to add, also for the gum tree which stems from a plastic pipe base used for plumbing purposes, found at the hardware store.

The base to the tree centre piece needed a bit more work, decided to add some plastic animals, found three that worked well together and lightly painted them white, more work required before a glimpse to date. For now, back to my ice-cream whilst ideas are at play..

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A merry-go-round with carousel horses and a unicorn equals love.. Still working on the house which is still a joy, but starting the gardens full throttle is a good change of scenery and challenges ahead. The merry-go-round is developing at a faster rate than expected, however mainly conceptually as awaiting goods, inclusive of a range of miniature vintage carousel horses from America. Really beautiful pieces as per one of the photos attached. Think the merry-go-round might witness its own demise, thinking the carousel horses have a grand departure, or be set in their original placements, won’t know till I receive the pretties..

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A revamp of the animal featured panel front left of the house and development of the back featured panel. The three animals (yes, they don’t look happy do they?) in the photo below were evicted due to the fine detail of the animals (Schleich) purchased recently for the back of the house. The peacock is now the centre piece at the front and a unicorn (still to be added) at the back.

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Lead lighting on the front door & main room were completed. A simple design worked on for the main room and gorgeous frost patterned glass for the main front door. Just bought more artificial foliage to surround the interior door, maybe a dark overgrown setting to come.

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Much work a happening thing on the roof, new tiles, fashioned cookie bread men style, further back yard development and more work on the Barbie surreal feature on the front left of the house.

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Very cool to receive via the post some miniature statues from Greece (Nike of Samothrace and Aphrodite of Milos) which influenced the blankets of white throughout the back garden. Will show hints of colour with the creeping roses and merry-go-round as the main feature.

Prior to recent work, naughty me hasn’t been updating this blog for the past weeks. A lot of work primarily on the top right room facing the house, on the curtains as well as coloured glass panels inserted. Refinements within the house and the exterior on the intricate detail, inclusive of making it more sturdy. This dilapidated palace will need to be moved soon for a light spray of gold paint. Over the next week or two, it’s working on the doors and their surrounds, designing the front yard, finishing the animal panel at the back with a unicorn as the centre piece, and?

This girl, purchased lots of great materials the last few days to amp the progression into my art. For the interior, coloured & decorative glass in clear & colour, for some of the window & door panels. Haven’t done any lead lighting in many years, so always nervous cutting the glass. Ok so far.. Also got some great Art Deco rubber stamps which I pressed into the clay covered wall of the top left floor. I might like the colour pink but it’s really got to go.. Also using ear-rings, shells, fake flowers & the last object ‘stamp’ was the back pattern of a plastic dinosaur, ROAR!

Finished the main frame to the ramp that connects the staircase to the top floor. Need to work on all of the floors for both the top & bottom levels, maybe more stamps as such a therapeutic thing to do! Also need finish the lighting as a priority before the floors to hide the tiny cables in the best fashion.

For the exterior, last two days have been thinking more seriously about the design for the front and back yards, in-particular the merry-go-round as the centre piece to the back garden, mocking it up with items on hand.

Got some great stuff today from a site online in Melbourne (Tom Thumbs Miniature Emporium), will use their old fashioned red sofas & x4 ornate mirrored hall stands to be fastened onto some sort of rectangle beam as the stem for the merry-go-round. Bought the basic mechanic structure of a ‘lazy susan’ online, to go underneath a plastic potting tray (once a base is added).

Cleaned up all my small accessories in a neat packaging box, ah, the benefits of finding things quick! Have really cranked the pace of recent, determined to finish the gardens asap so I can move onto the written material, costumes and elements to the merry-go-round, like the carrousel horses. Much respect to one of my favourite artists for inspiration ‘Edward Kienholz’, his mesmerising work seen at the MCA ‘The Merry-Go-World Or Begat By Chance And The Wonder Horse Trigger’.

Faux grass reminds me of New York, have also fond memories of the gorgeous merry-go-round & ornate park, Bryant Park. I just looked it up then, so gorgeous, I have a similar however miniature version to the real fence guarding their splendorous ride! Mine in white however :)

The front yard has a bird bath feature on top of a circular hedge, made of a dodgy old plastic clock & a vintage sweets tray turned up-side-down. I covered the clock face with faux grass then surrounded the frame to the clock in faux leaves from a topiary ball, the glue gun running at top speed! And so the fun continues..

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..in this a nondescript place, on the stairs a red theatrical feel, faux velvet, once lightly painted, they should fit within this meshed landscape of obscurity! Tried glitzy small squares, various other trimmings, settled with many layers of fabric & red ribbon to make more sharp angles on the each stair. For extra detail are my pseudo bright lights, multicoloured circles on a strip, whoa! Love the pretend tree trunk added to the left of the staircase. As my sister pointed out, there is no linkage between the stairs and the top floor. I had previously thought & bought elements for this area, but yes time to revisit and get this sorted.. Have some Mediterranean styled miniature pieces, originally I was to add a swing, still might, this is the next few weeks little project.

The staircase underneath has the barebones look, made from pre-made miniature timber skirting, sawed to size.

Looking down from the rooftop in the ornate frame, welcoming painted brown bear, seal and giraffe as new recruits to the plastic animal family. Still not convinced of the giraffe as is, think once he/she is painted & has extra detail he/she will cut it with the rest.

On the top floor, across the board, have utilised a pair of cut up faded green fishnet stockings throughout, previously mine, then my mannequin Magenta previously known as Manny, sported them for a few years. Also incorporated the ‘most expensive’ faux foilage piece as there is only so much $2 numbers you can get! Will definitely get another down the track to use within a surreal wig.

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Tinkerbell styled gal in my doll house, one costume half worked out already! :) Post titled accordingly as the light from the tested chandelier is a small but equally brilliant illumination, scattering flickers of colour by reflection. Recall being memorised by chandeliers when I was a little girl, equaling a mouthful of fairy-floss and more recent times, last July, seeing fireflies at an outdoor concert in Prospect Park, Brooklyn NY, whilst Kishi Bashi was on stage, unreal!

Tonight is about sorting the lighting, where the cords go & how to hide them. Costumes need to be worked out. I actually drew some years ago a green bug style outfit, time to find it or revamp from memory, it’s green for go..

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Feature creature! Is thy bat.. in the top central room, testing the chandelier, now trimmed with gold. Worried I’m adding to many random bits, hopefully this collision of items will have a sense of unity. Doilies cut haphazardly & paper flowers hacked to the similar flavour are the perfect quick fix gap fillers. All the detail of the ‘spring’ elements are making it feel I’ve come along way tonight, ha! this morning..

Wooden strips cut to size surround the main window frame, hiding what needs to be hidden! Preloved ear-rings acting as glitzy wall features are positioned & mounted into place. Small holes are drilled into the plaster piece above the window frame. Cut off skewer pieces are wedged inside and sealed with a glue gun.

A spur of encouragement as sparkly accessories glisten in the light.. It’s interesting to see how the colours of all the elements blend as more detail is added. Originally I thought there was to be more doll house ‘wallpaper’ and paint for more consistency, however I’ll definitely now keep the original colours, with light paint layers applied, or lashings of full colour, all dependent on which section of the interior or exterior, mainly gold, green downstairs and a dark violet or blue, near black for the exterior?

Porcelain beauty queens Lola & Lana ‘inspect the landscape’, reference to one of my favourite artists Tom Phillips, his work ‘A Humument’, introduced to this ace book by a teacher at uni, thank-you Sean Callinan, amongst other sources of inspiration!

On this second day of hardcore making.. realised I went a bit overboard with the fake flowers therefore added more doily bits & wooden pieces to tame it down. Bought some animals today for the picture frame feature for the inside of the house. The tiger is awaiting new friends, a panther and giraffe, the other animals bought today, especially the kangaroo (what was I thinking!) can stay in it’s invisible box..

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Earlier workings

Tiger finding his room

Later workings, more to go..