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 😀
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.
It will soon be apon us, Panto Time. It’s strange isn’t it that I’m talking about this and it’s only June but has anyone else noticed how fast time is flying this year? It’s crazy but I will soon be building sets apon sets for stage and I’m so excited about it.
I’ve been off from work since Tuesday last week and it’s driving me crazy. I’ve had a small op done and I’m not aloud to be in work for 5 days so I’m just itching to get back in the studio.
She is finished. Oh how I love saying that. I am so thrilled with her she’s brilliant. The colours are vibrant and eye catching as a promotional piece, and she is big and small enough to be a table top piece. She was completed in about 20 hours in total.
Our Audrey has a purple tongue and ivory blood stained teeth and very bright eye catching colours as an advertising piece. I have used the style from the film and also from the production poster of the play it’s self.
I am very pleased with it. Now all I have to do is get her to the show on time lol 😀
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 🙂
As this is a new business venture, I have been doing the right thing and letting all the theatre groups, companies, burlesque dancers know I exist. Some emails I receive back are positive and the companies are excited to hear that there is someone like me near them, and then other emails ask me for a list of shows I have supplied, but being a new business, I don’t have this sort of list yet, isn’t that what I’m trying to achieve? And because I can not supply a ‘List’ I hear nothing back. these companies arnt even big. You’d think being small that they would want to save money and support a local business, but I guess I’ve been wrong.
So I guess it’s back to reminding companies that I am here, getting the word out and shouting my name from the roof tops. As it’s only me and my daughter so far, making these items, I still need to take it slow, but how on earth am I meant to get work if these companies don’t give me the time of day. They havnt even seen my work yet.
On the other hand, 1 theatre group seems extremely keen to meet me, they have seen some of my work and they seem pleased. I don’t know what they want from me yet, but what ever it is I am so excited to find out. As Stacey would say “Onwards and Upwards” 🙂
So here’s to getting bigger, better and more skilled at what I do. This is my passion, my dream, my job and my skill. I love what I do and work every day. Surly this will come to something,
Today has been a very strange and draining day. First of all my lovely friend offered to have my little 4 year old for me after school so I could work from home in peace, then after 30 mins relaxing with a coffee I remembered I had to be at my favourite shop Crafty Beggars to do a small interview on camera explaining my love and connection with them.
All my tv related friends know I am not good in front of the camera. Even though I have gone through it all in my head and recited it over and over again. I still manage to mess up or continuously say the word “Erm”
So I was asked to stand I between 2 of their aisles I clipped on my mini mic onto my top and proceeded to be asked questions. As I mentioned before, it was mostly erms and silences lol but when I did manage to get a few words out I told them that if it wasn’t for Crafty Beggars, I would not of been able to start my own business. About 75% to 80% of my stock comes from them, the other 20% is divided between B&Q, EBay and Others.
If you ever get a chance to go then it is well worth it.
Crafty Beggars is a charity. They recuse rubbish, recycling from going into landfill and the money they make goes back into the charity again. They also have a lovely and very low priced shop there which sells anything from air drying clay, plaster or Paris, paints, varnish, gloss, chalks, paint brushed, face paints and PVA glue. I live in there. The kids love it too.
Take a look at there website Crafty Beggars, Swansea
If you get a chance, honestly you won’t be disappointed 😀
Maybe I should camp out in my studio? I seem to be living there. Not that I mind, I love it and trust me, if you were there, you would love it too.
Today, I have to figure out how to best apply these wings. I lay in bed last night doing a Da Vinci. I was mapping out what I had to do technique by technique. Not easy when it’s 12am. I normally need complete silence so in bed is always the best time, because I sleep with ear plugs in. I lay there, and do a step by step reconstruction of the item I’m building. I need to see it from every angle. This way I can also see potential problems and work round them virtually before actually starting anything for real.
Quite clever really. A bit big headed I know but being the only Be-Spoke prop maker in the whole of South Wales, I haven’t met anyone else who can do it through construction and because of my disabilities, I have been classed as “Different” for years so why not get excited about something amazing ;-).
At first I just thought everyone was being kind when they would compliment my work but now I am starting to believe that I could actually be good at this job. I guess my problem is, I am still very much a beginner in the field, so I don’t feel confident enough to say I am good at it.
So in 7 hours or so, I will be back again, in my awesome studio, doing what I love and full filling a dancers dream of having her very own pair of Gargoyle wings. I pray I don’t let her down xxxx
What a brilliant day today. I had a new commission for the Little Shop of Horrors production, which will be performing at the Gwyn Hall in Neath on the 10th of June (can’t wait) and I managed to paint the hilts I built yesterday. They are looking amazing if I do say so myself lol.
Tomorrow is a day off but I will be back in the studio on Saturday doing what I love in the best studios ever. Revue Studios, Castle Square, Swansea. Why don’t a few of you pop in and see what I’ve been up to? It’s like a big kids toy room in there, so much to look at. I love it. It’s my second home.
Good night my lovelies xxxx
I love my job. Tomorrow for me is a fresh new start to a potentially awesome week. I’m really hoping that my meeting will finally happen this week and the first few sword hilts are going to be fitted to our Iron Throne.
We have decided if wer able to, to get Julian Glover (Game of Thrones) to sign our throne at the Heroes and Legends Autograph Show in Margam in August. I am so very excited but so nervous that it won’t look amazing. I am my own worst critic with my own work so I don’t want to let any one down.
Il be in the studio from about 4pm onwards tomorrow and it will be hours well spent. I will be there on my own because Monica has to revise for her GCSEs in May. To be fair, she is gutted to be missing her studio shifts.
Last night my night time reading was the Game of Thrones book, all about the series. They have some fantastic pictures of the Iron Throne in there. Wow what an amazing piece of art work. It said that even though the throne was meant to be really uncomfortable but for the sake of the actors, they made it a bit more comfy. I was saying to Mon last week that I would have to change this throne, because it is a bit to nice to sit on lol. Oh well I have plenty of ideas up my overalls sleeve 😉
Keep checking back to see how wer getting on