Sunday, September 14, 2014

La Grande Citrouille Opens, as a result of The Great Culling

Welcome to La Grande Citrouille, where big-headed yarn people come to play. They do not leave because I've been doing some serious culling of projects to accommodate being more into playscale these days, so they have nowhere to go.

There's something for everybody at La Grande Citrouille.
The name is a play on local emporium La Grande Orange, which is sort of an upscale grocery, only it serves hot breakfast and the sit-down place where you eat your hot breakfast is sometimes a pizzeria, and by the time all is said and done, valet parking is required.

The look is inspired (very loosely) by shipping container houses like the one Upcycle Living used to have on display in the Roosevelt Row Arts District. La Grande Citrouille is clearly just the thing for one of the few remaining vacant lots (new condos have been taking over).

The Great Culling has been brewing ever since Katie and Hayden were unexpectedly joined by Alexis, Sophie, D'Laura, and Cleo, which somehow turned 1:6 land into a boom town that now has a "permanent" population of thirteen or fourteen. I want to work on Katie & Hayden's house. I want to sew a winter wardrobe for the entire gang. I approach other paint-and-fuss projects (beyond the Old Schoolhouse, which is Katie's dollhouse) with a grim sense of duty. (I secretly wanted to do playscale for years.)

This all came to a head when I (grimly) (dutifully) came up with yet another plan for the Victorian Fixer and realized that if I responded in the affirmative to a (kind) (friendly) comment about its being a "labor of love," I would be perpetrating a LIE OF ASTOUNDING PROPORTIONS. So I found a buyer for it on Craig's List and went on a culling spree to get things down to only the projects I actually do love -- which gives me much more space and breathing room. The amount better that I feel is astonishing. Reshuffling items has improved a number of projects, and I found a monkey for Meygan.

How can I be the Funky Fashion Monkey if I do not have a MONKEY?
Now I just need to be dressed for something other than a PTA meeting. Jeez.
La Grande Citrouille happened because I am very fond of my collection of big-headed string dolls, and I'm very fond of certain items of half-scale furniture -- but I lost interest in Big Head Maude's house and Casa Conejo as soon as they were finished, partly because they don't accommodate crowds well. So the guiding design principle was to display the favorite furniture and use up scrapbook paper that I really like, in an environment that could be rearranged for parties and other mayhem.

The Tea Room
Miss Petunia (left), newly arrived from the vending machine at Zia, welcomes Arturo and Wilburine to her tea room. Grenouille, back in the corner, is hired to bus tables.

"Welcome, Arturo and Wilburine. Would you prefer Formosa Oolong or Darjeeling?"
Live chamber music is scheduled from two to four on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. This piano (a vintage Midwest of Cannon Falls ornament that my parents found for me) is the most stylish of my several half-scale pianos. I may paint the music stand next time I have the black spray paint out.

The "painting" came from a package of collage pieces my mother sent, framed in a notion from GreenHAUS.

Miss Petunia is still working on stocking gifts to put out for sale on the baker's rack (as I slowly transfer the hoard to actual houses, in hope of freeing a shoe box).

Grenouille, you must bring fresh napkins immediately!

The Club
Don and his twin Dean discuss the news of the day, ignoring Big Head Maude's attempts to lure them into a game of pool.

Don doctored in mathematics; so did Dean, but he preferred to go into administration.
The card-playing art is also from the collage package. The green alabaster pig is because every club needs an inexplicable thing that's always been there. The phone will summon Grenouille to bring scones.

The Music Club
Billy is not at all pleased with Bodell's playing video games during Billy and Trisha's set.

Dude, I was about to make the high score!
A few video-game beeps and bings cannot stop Lilang Kuneho and Kat Black from rocking out.

The shortage of bar stool is inevitable; the pipe organ, less so.
The bar stool is a refugee from Lambsy Divey's, which was spontaneously falling apart and isn't going to be preserved.

All three spaces will get more accessories as I sort through the accessories, but the nice thing is: they're done. The entire project was done in less than 24 hours, including letting Modge Podge dry. The shallow space and standard size should make it easy to stage scenes.

The half-scale patio furniture is going to the Moose Lodge, while the favorites of the 1:18 furniture are being distributed into two contemporary condos in the upper "floors" of the black bookcases. The middle floors are now mostly overflow hang-out space for the playscale dolls (they're sharing half a floor with the Chicken Coop, but that can be moved later, plus the result of making foam core interior walls for the condos is that I now have extra foam core to base it, finally). The Swamp Home and the Steampunk Orchid are the other survivors... and I suppose a good daughter would stop taunting my mother with news that the Steampunk Orchid has new residents and add a photo.

Isn't it cute? Tonala thinks the cow-hide chair is hers.
Meet Abigail Washburn and Manuel Estrella. She works in state government. He works for a community agency in south Phoenix. They met at a protest march. A little house in the depressed/transitional neighborhood around the state capitol -- which is the only place where Victorian houses survive in their original locations -- is just the thing to allow Abigail to walk to work and to keep Manuel in touch with the people.

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