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The Terrace by Karen Kolkman

Diorama Competition Jason Wu Event IV - Pittsburgh September 2007

How it was made

My Story Card The Terrace West London

The Baroness lounges in The Terrace penthouse suite located in West London.  A recent new comer to the London club scene she is anxiously waiting for the masked ball at Francisco’s Club Royal a winner of the London Bar & Club Association 2007.

Although the penthouse was luxury defined, she was getting quite bored while Vanessa was taking her sweet time getting dressed.   Making a grand entrance with Francisco at his new Club Royal and being seen with the owner of the hottest night club in town was even better than being on the A-list.

Cisco was busy assisting Vanessa with her zipper while thoroughly enjoying the view (of her lower back) and thinking about the very pleasant evening ahead with his two favorite women.


My Blank Page 

After Pat Henry’s photography course I purchased these inexpensive lamps at Home Depot. Only $20 each, they clip on or sit in the heavy base.   They are only 60 watts but it works. I also have 2 overheads lights in my sewing room with 2 florescent tubes in each unit - they just hang from ceiling and plug in by extension cord to a power bar.  Again from Home Depot about $30

Okay just this once you get a few pics of my messy work area - it’s 8×10′ I used to display my doll but now it’s diorama accessories.  The dolls are mostly nakid in a drawer.

This was my set up for my latest 16-17″ doll outfits.   Even though the FR bed is small it works quite well as a background.


This is my floor. I used peel and stick floor tiles from home depot - inexpensive and light weight for travel. I stuck them onto the 24 x 24″ foam core board. For the balcony I used a different floor tile.  I scored the back so it would fold over to fit in my suitcase.

Here’s a view of the floor showing the change in tiles for the back room which is a balcony. Note the Velcro stickies - these are different from regular Velcro.  You cut them and stick on both surfaces and they “snap” into place.

Here’s the package I purchased at Michael’s for about $16.  Still have lots of it left.

A closeup of the Velcro strip that I cut to the thickness of the walls.  Each wall had the same size piece at the bottom to match up to the floor placement.

The walls are all foam core board. I reduced the height to 18″ again so it would fit in my suitcase.   The window was pain staking.  I drew out the the excact squares with pencil.  I used a very thin and sharp exacto knife from Michael’s.  It’s about $10 with spare blades. I use a metal rulerwith cork backing (these are used for drafting) and it holds your ruler in place.

I cut each line of each square individually over and over again until it went throught the bottom. Then I turned it over and went over the lines that did’t go through.

I don’t know if you can see it but to keep the fireplace wall in place I partially cut out the thickness of the wall into the side wall below.   The balcony wall is a cut up FR box from their furniture packaging and glued it in place on either side of the balcony.

The Fireplace Wall

As in the window I cut out I did the same for the 2 french doors.  First I cut out the door height and then used the cut out for the door - drew out the squares in pencil and then cut them out as I did for the window wall. I did a trial set first so this was my second set.

While I was making my diorama the official convention invitation arrived so it was the perfect Royal chimney accent.  I used a glue stick to put it in place. The silver crown picks up the light nicely. I was originaly going to use a piece of the peel and stick flooring.

My walls are in a bit damaged from the return trip but here is a close up of the french doors. I may add thin strips of balsa wood to make real window trims and door frames.

I cut up my favorite poster (2nd hand store find that I took out of the pictures frame) It didn’t quite fit the size but I didn’t want to go smaller.  I attached it with a glue stick and cut a hole in the back for my lighting cord.  This is now snapped into place on the floor. You can see where the Velcro sits.  I then added thin balsa wood strips to hide the space where the floor meets wall. 

This is my home made lamp.  The base is a 2nd hand store find and I use it as a lamp - it was originally a candle light.

Floor meets wall - with the balsa wood strip.  They can easily be painted and are cut with a scissors.

My fireplace backing.  It’s just a cardboard box cut out and glued, and painted black.  I cut the hole in the top so the light wood show to light up the wood but my light wasn’t bright enough.

A close up of the back.  I score the back so I can bend the sides forward.

Another closeup of my fireplace wall connection.

The fireplace during setup.  The wall snaps in place. I sit the cardboard backing in behind the wall.

I used a white tile from Home Depot for the base on the floor and just lay it in place.

The mantel is 2 pieces of wood glued together the lower one shorter to give the effect of a real mantel.

The front of the fireplace I used the fancy tile trims in the flooring section from Home Depot. I cut out the size of the front that I wanted out of foam core board cutting the opening out at the same time. I used a hot glue gun for the tiles.   The surface around the opening is the peel and stick tiles, they are easy to cut with an exacto knife.

I made sure the bottom of this piece would lay flat on the ground and stay free standing. I did not glue all these pieces together as I was worried about shipping damage.

I used stick stuff from Michael’s to keep the fireplace from to the wall and then again on top to keep the mantel in place.

I stuff the corners of the balcony with lightweight plants.

I made the wood grate out of flexible copper wire.

Branch cut from my Himalayan Birch Tree

Final result

Curtain - I screwed little hooks into the window wall.

I used a round rod purchased at Michael’s.  I made the curtains.  The rod fit perfectly into the hooks.

I used tape at the back of the French doors to hold them in place like a hinge.

A view of the top to show the the balcony

I purchased this bar from a friend for $2.  The backing had cardboard pictures of liquor bottles which I removed.  I want to have an elegant looking bar.

So I cut cardboard and taped my leather look fabric to it. 

The I inserted the pieces behind

My beautiful 2nd hand store vase - which I filled with a floral arrangement.

I like only using the FR bottom cushion as it gives the chaise more room.  I sewed the cushion cover from the same fabric I used in the liquor cabinet.

I made the cushion - copying the FR style of pillows with the diagonal top stitching. I made the ottoman table using real black leather - just a little bit stiff to work with.

The Completed Room 

I made the masks too.

I couldn’t find Cisco’s mask this morning.

The filled bar 

I put a foam core board so no one would see mess behind. At the convention I had little flood lights but they were battery operated and died pretty quickly.

Here is a close up of the lights.

I added a few little details just like a real home

Link: http://datazap.net/ftp/kolkman.kreations/The.Terrace.Diorama.html

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