Saturday, November 16, 2013

Where does time go?

No pictures today friends... Just me coming back to say hi. And to let you know that I will be back.

Where does time go?

It seems to get sucked away by other obligations, life in general, depression, inertia... So often, it seems to just pass by... one day turns into the next, and the next, and the next, and before you know it *poof* a whole week has gone by, or a month, or a year...

Almost two years ago, I started working for a communications and design firm here in the city I live in. It's a great place to work, full of fun smart people who are dedicated to writing, design, and serving their clients. We're an eclectic bunch, with varied backgrounds and interests. What we all have in common is an appreciation and respect for each other's expertise and talents and a passion for our own work and interests.

As a workplace, we have many traditions, including our annual literary journal, which serves as both a creative outlet and a small token of our gratitude to our clients and partners. The journal is published just before the holidays and we all look forward to the big "reveal" at our annual holiday party.

This is our second year including visual art in the journal, and I'm very excited about my submission--a diorama that is the "stage set" for a colleague's one-act play that is her submission. I had the opportunity to work with one of our art directors throughout my creative process. What an amazing experience to be able to TALK about what I was creating and to verbalize the thoughts behind my decisions about what to include and what not to include in the scene! I dusted off my literary analysis skills from bygone college days and stretched into the artistic representation of my colleague's play.

Early last week, my art director set up a makeshift photo studio in one of our conference rooms. I was surprised at how I felt when I looked at those first test photos. Having my work professionally photographed somehow legitimized this hobby (obsession) that I have. Adding to the legitimacy I am feeling are the ongoing discussions about visual representation of a piece of writing and the kudos from my colleagues as they curiously poked their heads into the conference room to see what was going on.

I can't wait to share this creation with you all. The team working on this year's publication of our journal, Praxis, is feverishly getting it ready for press. Some of us are still putting the finishing touches on our pieces of writing and art. I cheer my friends across the finish line. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such creativity and camaraderie. This experience has reignited my artistic fire and I'm very anxious to get back to creating minis and blogging about them.

And to all of you I offer this: Take your art seriously, whatever form it takes! Do not discount your talents. Find a community that values your art and encourages you. Do not let others diminish the legitimacy of your art with dismissive comments--they just don't understand. Time has passed, but now I'm back! I'm back to create and to cheer you all on in your own endeavors!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Been a while...

Hopped on here for just a minute to check in. I've had a nasty cold and haven't been doing much of anything except knitting the same dishcloth pattern over and over again in different colors of yarn while watching Law & Order reruns.

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to my new followers! I was surprised to see that I have a few new followers even though I haven't posted lately. Thank you for taking time to read my blog. (This goes for all of you who've been with me for a while too.)

Mini stuff soon! I promise.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Witch House Progress

I haven't posted much lately, but I have been pecking away at getting things done on the witch house and it's coming along... I've been busy finishing the exterior. I had to add on to the roof to make an overhang (not sure what I was thinking when I originally measured and cut the roof pieces). My daughter has been asking lots of questions about the witch house... I finally explained to her that this project wasn't completely planned out at the beginning. Instead, it has been a process... a journey that is developing over time. She seemed satisfied with that. It has been a bit therapeutic for me. I'm having to be patient while I consider each "problem" to be solved or wait for the answer to what to do next, while I wait for "inspiration"...

An example of this is the roof shingles. I wanted to use wood shingles, but couldn't find any in the right scale. So the witch house sat on my kitchen table while I mulled over what to do. Then, toward the end of December, I bought a 2012 calendar for the kitchen. Part of the packaging was a piece of cardboard that seemed exactly the right thickness. Ruler, mechanical pencil and my favorite pair of scissors plus a little time, and "Voila!" Witch house shingles!

The next example of this was what to do about the exterior walls. I had a stack of illustration board that I had rescued from the recycling bin... So I cut and glued pieces to cover the exterior walls. This did a couple of things: first, it hid the rounded edges and corners of the box; second, it eliminated the need to sand the surface. I painted the entire outside cream and let it sit on the kitchen table for a few days while I thought about what to do next....

Enter the tattered kitchen scrubby! I had decided I was going to use a sea sponge to dab on a little darker color to make the exterior look a bit like stucco and not so "new", but I didn't have a sea sponge... Rooting around in the kitchen, I found an old (clean) kitchen scrubby that was falling apart and had big pills all over it. Turns out it was the perfect thing to dab on the paint.

Again, the witch house sat around for a few days while I thought, "What next?" Some architectural details were needed. The tall, narrow house made me think of Tudor style houses. I looked through my wood stash but didn't have anything the right dimension. Then I came across the leftovers from the bamboo placemat I deconstructed to make Abigail's floor. Perfect thickness and width for whatever scale this little house is. I painted several strips with dark brown paint, then trimmed and glued everything in place. Here's a (blurry--sorry!) picture of what the witch house looks like now:
Not too bad, so far, I think... Up next, some aging and some ivy...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wanna run off and join the (mini) circus?

The Penobscot Marine Museum has extended the run of its popular circus exhibit for another month. The free exhibit is comprised of art, photography and memorabilia, but perhaps the biggest draw for us mini-loving folks would be the Bex Brothers Circus, described in a press release by the museum as, "a complete circus scene comprised of thousands of scale models depicting every element of a traditional circus, including sideshows, clowns, trapeze artists and animal acts."

The Bex Brothers Circus is on loan from its owner and creator, Capt. Les Bex, who has spent decades creating the 3/8":1' scale scene. If, like me, you can't jet off to Maine to see the exhibit, Kay Stephens has written a great blog post about the story behind Bex's circus scene, which includes photos and the story behind certain scenes, as told by Bex himself.

It sounds fascinating to me (all except for the clowns!). Admission is free. The exhibit is open every Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 4 through February 26.