Suzanne Forbes, an expat New Yorker in Berlin. Made possible by the generous support of her Patrons. https://www.patreon.com/SuzanneForbes. Former DC Penciller for Star Trek, former courtroom artist, painting portraits and teaching drawing.
Being at home sick has given me a lot of time to work on the new dollhouse.
Which is good, because it is a long fiddly-ass business building a dollhouse!
I have made great progress on the days when I was strong enough to sit up or stand up.
As you can see the first light is in! I have cut nearly all the floors, cut and installed the first floor floors and moldings, and installed the first floor staircase. Some of the floors are stained wood, some vacuum-formed plastic faux-tile, and some carpet.
The stairs are painted to imitate stain (being solid MDF, they didn’t take stain well) and carpeted. And the staircase banister rails and newel posts are stained and varnished.
I built a foamcore base to go under the stairs and wallpapered it.
My dollhouse building principle is, if you can’t see it, it doesn’t have to look good!
Things like this are”intuitively constructed”, i.e. assembled cheaply and quickly from materials on hand, with absolutely no planning. My first husband once saw me quickly making a styrofoam globe out of random foam pieces I was carelessly cutting and gluing to shape on the fly. He said, “Why don’t you do that with math, you know, and measuring?” I said, “Because that would get in the way of getting it done.”
I am using battery-operated LED lights with adapters to make them externally controlled.
Dollhouse lighting is in a transition phase right now. Manufacturers and hobbyists are switching over from the round wire or tapewire powered 12 volt systems that have been used for decades to LEDS.
LEDS last far longer and are far safer, but so far are only available as bulbs, strips, or battery-operated individual fixtures. You can’t buy fixtures that take LED bulbs and are designed to wire into your house. So the market provides adapters.
Here are the adapters/light holders installed in the ceiling of the dining room. The light fixtures just snap into them. Below are the wires for the adapters/holders, running in the channels routed in the floor of the room above. There are three sets of wires here, the wires for the lights for the foyer and the wires for two light holders/adapters in the dining room, but all three sets fit in the tiny channel because they are tiny wires! Stripping them and making connections is quite challenging.
I had to buy quite a lot of these adapters, in order to light a whole big house.
Usually people buy just one, to light a roombox or small project where they don’t want to have to reach the tiny on/off switch on the fixtures or change its little watch battery. But they are not terribly expensive. At least, until Brexit! I get absolutely everything I can from two excellent UK sellers, Tumdee Miniatures and Melody Jane Miniatures.
And here’s test fitting the furniture for Kitty and Illyana’s room.
I couldn’t find the dresser style I wanted (vaguely dated, boarding-school quality) in the same finish as the beds and nightstands so I bought unfinished ones. Then I had to use three different shades of brown and red markers, then stain, then satin polyurethane varnish, to get them to match. I am a crazy person, like many artists. But look how comfy ‘Lock is!
Anyway, getting close to done here. Still think the X-Men can be home for Christmas.
previous posts on the School for Gifted Youngsters:
I know there haven’t been many unterwegs this Fall!
I have been having some autoimmune issues with my health and I am sometimes terribly weak, so I haven’t been out and about anywhere near as much as I’d like. It took me ages to finish this drawing of two guys with very different style on the S-Bahn!
And this is a very sweet couple, the lady enjoying her bouquet and her attentive companion.
I am so incredibly grateful for the support of my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial contributions make it possible for me to work as I can, when I can. My documentary art is licensed Creative Commons and free for all!
And here is a member of community just chilling the heck out.
They are relaxing in the safe space that is queer bar and art gallery, Ludwig Berlin. Opening a radically inclusive, trans, lesbian and nonbinary welcoming, gay art bar in Neukölln has been a challenging journey for Maurus and Ceven, who run the space. I am so grateful the community has stepped up to support Ludwig, a beautiful and warm clubhouse for creative queers and their companions.
The great passion of my life, fantasy and science fiction storytelling, is full of the contributions of trans people.
I wanted to make some art for Trans Awareness Week. I have made many drawings and paintings of trans, non-binary and Gender-Nonconforming folx over the years; you can see some of them here in my “Visibility” album. I try and will always try to tell the stories of the people I meet, with the love and honor they deserve.
I wanted to do more than document trans people, though. I wanted to celebrate their contributions. Last night I lay awake thinking, how can I talk about how much the creative power of trans and GNC people means to me? How can I tell the world how much their work and lives inspire me? And I realized, it was by imagining a world without them.
Imagine the world we’d have now with the ones we’ve lost to violence, despair and lack of medical care.
I can’t bear to lose any more. We must protect trans, non-binary and Gender-Nonconforming people, all their lives.
I made this image myself today on November 12, 2018 and I hereby release all copyright to it. This image is copyright free. It is a Public Domain work. You can download it in a variety of sizes here on flickr.