Tag Archives: props

It’s a Mans world!!

Or is it? As you all know I am a prop maker. We use tools of all kinds such an sanders, drills, saws and many many other tools of the building, decorating and carpentry trade.

Yes I am a girl and yes I have long hair, long nails, wear make-up and batter my eye lids when needed but I am in the trade. I went into B&Q not so long ago to enquire about a trade card and when I asked the man behind the counter he just looked at me. He said “You have to be in the trade” I said “I know!” Grrrrrr

So I then went into toolstation and was wandering again how I was going to be treated but this time I was treated really well. They were so helpful and really nice , even though I was given some in-approving looks from some other men who looked at me like I really didn’t belong there.

Then I went into Travis Perkins and I was just stood there like I didn’t belong and all these men were just stood there looking at me, not happy at all but I took a deep breath and asked about Plywood. I new what I wanted so I new what to ask for. This I felt quite happy about. But then for some reason my trade card details wouldn’t show up so I felt really out of place.

Anyway, it’s all sorted now and I am now able to shop where I want at trade prices. This make a huge difference because the materials I have to use can get really expensive. I’m now really looking forward to working with my plywood now 😀

Paper mâche. The tricks of the trade ;-)

Today I had a visit from a lovely lady who was struggling to make a prop for a production they were putting on. Now I don’t Normally give away my secrets but with this one, I couldn’t say no.

Where paper mâché is concerned it’s very easy to do but it’s not easy to get that smooth finish on your cardbored or plaster or expanding foam.

When I first started making props is want to get the job done quick so I would put huge pieces of paper on the item when using paper mâché. This would leave the ripple effect and raised paper instead of getting that smooth finish. So during my research I found out that if you use small pieces of paper (which will take you much longer) you get less raised pieces and a much smoother finish. Then this leaves you with a lovely surface to paint on.

I have attached photos. The first photo is of a very rippled surface which I used large pieces of paper to cover.
The second picture of of a very smooth surface which much smaller pieces of paper and no ripples.

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Fun days at home ;-)

Today my 4 year old and me decided to make some things out of air drying clay. He is as creative as his Mum. While I was busy playing with clay and making a new sword hilt, he was busy making burgers and then decided a bowl would be better.

I love the way they turned out. The first bowl was just us both playing and then the second he used the base of his cup and moulded it around the bottom. Then as a finishing touch, I wrote his name on the side so it will forever be his. I wander what we will make next he he.

The sword hilt I made was one I found on Google images. See if you can guess who’s it is? I really enjoyed making this one. It is now out in the sunshine drying along with Harry’s 2 bowls. Trying to keep myself busy but not work too hard after having a small op last Wednesday. I’m praying I can go back to work on Wednesday and carry on making my big sign 😉

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Name change from Managing Mischief Designs to Prop Maker Wales

We’ve had our biggest commission to date. An entire set for a pantomime of Cinderella to be performed over 4 days in December. I’ve got to say, the most exiting part for me is I get to make a fully working carriage full of lights and all sparkly he he. It’s all going so well for us here so we can’t complain. With so much to do, I feel our year is very much a busy one.

And after we had our meeting with one of our advisers, we have decided to change our name for the better and to make it easier for customers and most importantly our fans to find us.

Wer going from Managing Mischief Designs to

‘Prop Maker Wales’

Please spread the word of our change. The wheels were set in motion last week. But in the mean time we have a lot to do in the studio. So much mess to make and so much fun to be had 😀

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What a week!!!

What a week and weekend it’s been. Honestly I havnt stopped, I’ve even been getting up early which, if you ask any of my friends or family, I just don’t do that!!!!

As most of you know I finally finished the Gargoyle Wings for a truly lovely customer who is going to be performing with them in London in June. I am so excited to see this myself. After completing them, they were then on their way to their new home at 11pm on Friday night. I was glad to finish them and I don’t miss them because they look so incredibly amazing on the lady who they were be-spoke made for 😉

Audrey 2 is coming along. The leaves are all finished, all 35 of them lol. These leaves are quite big. All hand made and painted, then latexed to get that rubbery/waxy feel to them. So I will be attaching them to the vine and decorations that. I have a large ceramic plant pot for her to sit in. For that I think I will use expanding foam so she’s safe and doesn’t move.

The finished prop is going to be displayed in the Gwyn Hall next week to advertise the production of The Little Shop of Horrors.

I’m really looking forward to it myself 😀

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The ‘WAX’ Factor!

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to figure out how to creat the waxy leaves on the Audrey 2 I have been asked to make to promote the production of “The Little Shop of Horrors” at The Gwyn Hall, Neath.

It was driving me totally mad. How on earth could I do this with the limited products I had at the studio plus a limited budget?

I first turned to the thin foam boards I had and started to cut out leaves. Then I used the glue gun to apply string to creat the leaves vains. I then applied tissue paper to the leaves to try and get a good back ground to paint for the colour and texture. It turned out stiff as a bored. My husband said it looked great but it wasn’t suitable for Audrey’s waxy and flexible leaves. He was right. I wanted people to touch her leaves and for them to feel real, and what I had created just wasn’t suitable.

So I then turned to the leather effect fabric I had used for the Gargoyle wings and I started to cut out leave shapes. This stuff is a total pain in my arse but on one side the glue from the glue gun for the sting would stick which was brilliant. Again I applied the tissue paper using PVA glue mixed with latex and then once that was dry I applied the paint.

At first the leaves were stuff because of the tissue paper I had used, but I turned to the think latex I had bought from B&Q. I brushed the latex all over the leaves, front and back. Once the latex had dried, the leaves had gone back to being floppy and playable. Just perfect for the effect I wanted. The best part was that the latex made the leaves feel waxy and real. I was completely thrilled. Now all I have to do is produce the rest lol.

I’m loving this Audrey 2 so much. She’s going to be epic 😀

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Grand Opening Plans?

Where do I start with planning a grand opening?

I’m worried that the guests who turn up are going to be thinking it’s going to be all grand, posh, very formal, and well-to-do because it’s not going to be lol. There will be a buffet, and bubbly but that’s about it lol. It’s just going to be a lot of fun and very informal.

I have asked my friend to do a bit of stand up comedy for the evening but feel guilty for asking him lol.

Anyone got any ideas? I’ve got my friend popping over to my studio this afternoon to have a chat about what can be done. Going to take in a few TVs from the house to have some things on display.

All my items on display and maybe il have a Iron Throne for our guests to have a seat.

Once it’s all over its on to wind street for some more drinks and a bit of a boogie lol.

So, that’s all I’ve got so far, feel free to spread the word, August the 2nd at 7.30pm at Revue Studios, Castle Square, Swansea.

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An ‘End’ is insight :-)

These Gargoyle wings are not far off being finished. I’m shattered but I am completely thrilled with them so far.

Today, I added 2 claws, and I started applying the spines on one of the wings. I have added a layer of thick latex to each part of the wings, so they will move well with the performer and not tear or rip. I still have a lot to do but I am now really enjoying it far more then I thought lol.

I’ve also been informed that the Evening Post will apparently be attending my opening of my studio so that’s good, plus I have a friend of mine visiting my studio tomorrow to help me with a few things for the opening too. It’s all go go go here 🙂

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Woo, what a Bank Holiday shift!!

Been in the studio all day today. What a shift. It’s been MENTLE.

Today my shift consisted on finishing painting the wings, adding all the edges, latex them and paint them, then add the first of the claws. It’s been bloody tough to do these wings, but the end is near.

Then the second job was to start making the leaves for Audrey 2 from the Little Shop of Horrors which was quite fun ha ha.

So all I’m doing is a quick blog this evening because I am completely shattered and I want to go to bed

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Being a Workaholic!

There are perks to loving your job, but there are problems too. I work 6 days a week and if the studio was open on a Friday, it would be all 7 days so maybe that’s a good thing lol.

In work I run on adrenalin but the second I get home I crash. It’s a stunning day out and I am chilling after my dinner and then wer all going to enjoy some ice cream with chocolate sauce (yum yum)

Tomorrow, if my stuff dries quick enough, I will be in work from 12 till 8pm. Still so much to do which is a good thing but I can’t wait to finish 🙂

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