The Den of Slack

Thimbleweed Park cross stitch

I rarely post about my day job on the blog, but I do contract PR for video games, and I have been working on Thimbleweed Park on and off since it was Kickstarted in 2014. Recently one of the game’s creators, Ron Gilbert, retweeted a cross stitch someone had done of a character from one of his previous games and I thought hey, I can do that! I decided to stitch up Thimbleweed Park’s five main characters and send it to him to commemorate the game’s March 30 release.

Thimbleweed Park is an adventure game with five main characters you switch between while you’re playing. I had access to layered PSDs of the trading card art for the five main characters.

I hid the backgrounds and arranged them in a line-up. In theory, cross stitching pixel art is easy because each pixel equals one stitch, but the Thimbleweed Park characters’ pixels don’t have a one-to-one correlation with the pixels on the screen. (It’s meant to look low-res, but it isn’t really low-res!) I reduced the image using the “nearest neighbor” filter in Photoshop to retain the hard edges, and then did some manual touch-ups on spots that looked weird after the reduction.

I used a program called KG Chart to convert this into a cross stitch chart. This is the image I imported. It’s 196 pixels wide by 113 pixels high, which looks pretty tiny on a high-res computer monitor. The design is stitched on 32-count linen — that’s 32 threads (and pixels) per inch — so the finished cross stitch is about 6-1/8″ x 3-1/2″.

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Half scale bi-fold closet door

My obsession with dollhouse closets has intensified as I’ve started working on the Victorianna’s third floor. The slanted ceilings create weird little spaces no good for furniture but perfect for closets. For a long time I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a small closet next to the tower room.

I bought these out-of-production Houseworks shutters on eBay — they’re meant to go on the bottom half of an interior window.

The height’s good, but since they don’t have built-in trim like the regular doors do, I wasn’t sure how to make a wall they would fit into. Also it’s a funny size and shape for a closet, too short for clothes, but not wide enough to access the full crawl space. (These are clearly very important issues for the imaginary people who live here!)

Next I bought a package of 1:12 shutters, which are slightly wider, and cut them down to fit in the space. (The full space is about 3″.) These are the small shutters which are each 1.25″ wide. Houseworks makes larger (wider) shutters as well, but those are also taller. I wanted the doors to line up with the joint where two sections of the tower wall meet so I the doors couldn’t go above 2.5″ in height.

With trim this would fill up the space perfectly width-wise, but once I saw it I realized I’d also need trim at the top, and that would force my doors to come forward a bit more, so they would no longer line up with that wall joint I wanted them to line up with. It was all making my head hurt, so I vetoed the closet next to the tower room. Instead I’ll add a knee wall and find a piece of furniture that fits, either a dresser or a bookshelf.

Then I started looking at the other side of the room. There’s space for a closet in the corner next to the bathroom door, with enough head room for the closet door to be the same height as the regular door.

I took the end of the 3″ wide basswood left over from cutting the small sloped roof and held it up against the wall to trace the diagonal edge.

In the Victorianna’s bathroom, I combined shutters with a French door to create a laundry closet. I didn’t want to do the exact same thing again so this time I made a bi-fold door. (Note: I didn’t write this out step by step as a tutorial, but there’s a supply list at the end if you want to make your own.)

I started by holding a shutter up next to a regular door to figure out where to cut it vertically. When I did the bathroom closet I accidentally spaced it so there are the same number of louvers above and below the horizontal piece. In real louvered doors, the horizontal piece is closer to the bottom than the top (that’s where the knob goes – approximately 3′ off the ground).

I found some wood in my scrap pile to form the new top and bottom. The top piece is 1/8″ square and the bottom piece is 1/8″ x 3/16″.

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Master bedroom floor and railing

Continuing the Victorianna roof project, I cut holes for the second pair of skylights in the small slanted section of the roof.

Then Geoff cut me a flat roof piece from from a scrap of 1/4″ plywood left over from a house project. I messed up the measurements the first time so he had to do it twice. Oops.

There’s still a lot to do inside before I can attach the roof pieces. Time for some more no mess hardwood floors!

The inside of the tower was the only hard part. I’ll have to decorate the entire room from above before attaching the tower roof.

The railing is a “Hearts and Diamonds” pattern from Heritage Laserworks. I also used Houseworks porch railing and made my own newel post, to more or less match the stairs on the ground floor.

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