“Stories, like people and butterflies and songbirds' eggs and human hearts and dreams, are also fragile things, made up of nothing stronger or more lasting than twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks. Or they are words on the air, composed of sounds and ideas-abstract, invisible, gone once they've been spoken-and what could be more frail than that? But some stories, small, simple ones about setting out on adventures or people doing wonders, tales of miracles and monsters, have outlasted all the people who told them, and some of them have outlasted the lands in which they were created.” - Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things
Again, it has been a harrowing week, although it has left me a little impatient instead of creative. Everything I have done this weekend, I feel like I should be doing something else. I want to create. Sit and build? Nonsense, there is a sink full of dirty dishes staring at me accusingly. Do the dishes? I have to go and get groceries before it gets too late, because I have this odd habit of eating that I don't feel like breaking any time soon. Get groceries? I should really do something so I have a topic for my blog entry today and this is just taking too long in this store, and is that person really serious that they aren't going to move their darn cart 2 inches so I can get in to get that last stupid item on my list and get home so at least one thing I had to do today is actually done?
Suffice it to say, I didn't get a lot accomplished because I felt bad about the neglected chores (outside of groceries, but that was only because I was hungry enough to keep going, despite people's strange addiction of getting in my way and staying there) , and anxious when I was doing the favoured ones. It is for the best, however, that I walk away from the creative endeavors when I feel like this - never get impatient around sharp objects, as it will inevitably lead to tears. Plus, if your heart isn't in it, what you make will surely show it. Here is what I have worked on this week, anyway.
|Valentine Box with supports|
I wanted to raise my Valentine's stage up a little, as I wanted my floor flush with the window opening. I just made a under structure. When you make an under structure, always make sure that you support the middle as well as the outsides, so you won't get saggy - this important fact has been missed by brassiere makers since the dawn of time, come to think of it.
|Valentine's Box Front|
Still a work in progress. I am still not totally excited about the table I made last week...it is in re-design phase. I found a little lace panel in a box craft store yesterday, which of course perfectly fit around the opening. Plus it came with a clear plastic insert. It's like they *KNEW* I was coming in. There is no other explanation for it. I "tied" a few balloons to the chair using Joanne Swanson's idea of the puffy stickers as balloons. I didn't find the clear pink and red ones, as Valentine's day has been scavenged to the point of it being a bleached skeleton, but I found some very fun conversation hearts that worked well. These ones probably taste better than the real thing too, although I haven't tried one - although pretty much *anything* tastes better than a conversation heart, which clearly was never made to be eaten, only given.
I wanted to try a rose again. I did end up buying a new heart punch, and the old one hasn't quite turned up yet. I spotted these little stamens in the store (floral department - not wedding. Never go to the wedding section if you can help it. The stuff you find there is usually marketed to take advantage of the befuddled bride, and often is marked up outrageously - often you can make 10 of the same thing with a little glue gun ingenuity and raw materials for the same price as the "specially made up one for the bride, and aren't you worth it" offerings) and decided these are going to be better than having to prepare cloth covered wire, plus they were a bit thinner than what I would have gotten with cloth covered wire. Note they are double ended stamens - much like you find in real nature...not. However, this means I had a two-fer - I could make a rose on either end! Double the value, right there and then.
Behold, my little punched out hearts (that most definitely is a Country Western song title, I am sure of it). I decided to try to paint after I glued the heart "petals" onto the stamen, with varying success.
|Rose in Progress|
One of the issues I was having today was I kept gluing myself to stuff I didn't want to be glued to, mostly because I was impatient.
Here is what the rose looked like. Again, I painted it after it was on the stamen. Didn't turn out badly, although I think I could do better. Not today, though.
|My intended project for the day|
Here is what I was trying to make today. Just didn't go as planned.
Started with the bed platform.
Added the bed "frame" (which just gave height to the bed).
|Crinkly tissue paper|
Glued on tissue paper for texture to the bed platform.
Built the Headboard.
Looked at it and said "Meh".
As I say, no concentration to finish anything today. I will give it another go when I have more patience.
|Study Desk 1/4 inch|
I did manage to make another piece for my Washtub Cottage earlier this week, although come to think of it it did take me a whack of times before I got the pattern right . Above it is unpainted and ready to go.
|Completed Study Desk|
And here it is finished. I had some lovely marble-y green fabric that worked well for the top. The little chair is a Cheap Brown Furniture piece that I have had for *mumblemumble* years, and was one of my early attempts at reinventing same. It is just for effect here, however. I may make a stick chair like I made last week, only smaller still.
So, here I am now after a bit of a dodgy couple of days with my hands thrown up in the air (and I don't mind telling you, it is difficult to type in this position) , doing something that usually calms my mind - playing with those 26 letters and that handful of punctuation that so amazingly tells a million stories, and is well ready to tell a million more. Stories are amazing things, as my opening quote creatively borrowed from Neil Gaiman so eloquently puts it. Often in science classes we are challenged to tell the professor what defines a human. Some will go on and on about standing upright, some think it is our ability of developing tools and weapons, and others will tell you other features that makes a man a man (beyond his clothes), but what makes us unique as a species, in my opinion, is our story telling. Story telling fuels us, it teaches us, it fires the imagination. No other species (as far as we know, the jury is still out about dolphins) tells stories, and it sets us apart. For miniaturists, our preferred telling comes in a 3-D platform. Lets explore a few stories MECO has chosen to tell, shall we?
|Outside a Paris Cafe by Kimi|
A young traveller and her dog, having a lovely breakfast as she plans her day. That cheeky painter though - he has one eye on his work, and maybe one on the young lady, no? That artist, by the way, often makes his way over to the pretty girl...I often have to push him back to his own space. It is sometimes quite disquieting how often this happens.
|A Hobbit Hole, by Cate|
From the streets of Paris, to Middle Earth and the most defining moment in the genre of fantasy. Gandalf any moment will be coming over the hill to convince yet another hobbit to follow the Took's example of scandalous adventure.
|Hogwarts - one of the support staff|
Off to Hogwarts, where one of the denizens is curiously looking at something, but what? Oh my, another mystery, where is Harry! This Hogwarts scene has egg carton stone walls, and the little gazing ball on the table is lit - and is a repurposed Christmas ornament. There is a Dragon over the window, which offers a grand view of the Hogwarts property. The dragon and the elf are sculpted by Marnie - well, everything save the stage is made by Marnie. One person's story can inspire the next - Hmm, I am thinking, 1/4 scale Hogwarts next...?
|Warning - When I am Old I shall Wear Purple|
Actually, I wear purple now with red anyway. Why wait? Certainly, the lady on the bench has a few stories to tell, and you can be certain she will have some tales you certainly weren't expecting to hear. Never judge a book by its cover.
|Alice in Wonderland|
Be careful of course, of falling asleep under a tree, lest a little white rabbit late for an important date cause you no end of trouble.
Rabbits again. Honestly! Never trust them. First they are leading you into strange lands with slightly suspect imagery, the next they are robbing some poor honest farmer of his livelihood. Bad rabbits, to a bunny.
|Bridge - the game|
Some stories instruct us on how to play. The absence of the players, of course, has us wondering...did someone cheat? Is someone being chased down the street by an angry mob for dealing from the bottom of the deck? Why is the game interrupted? It is all very suspect. Sometimes the best stories there are are the ones that happen in our heads when we try to explain the unknown.
Some stories are written to capture a moment in time, a memory, a feeling. These give us a warm and fuzzy feeling. Especially the bit about the sweater.
I think that is a good point in the day to end, given that food I bought earlier today is calling me.
Since today's thoughts were about stories and books, below is a tutorial on how to make non-opening "atmosphere" books. Enjoy, and until we meet again, my little story makers...