Saturday, June 24, 2006

Walls Breaking Down, Walls Going Up

It seems for me, not moving on things comes from my not knowing how, and here's the even more startling part to me, I may not even be aware that this is actually the case at the time. Is that how I got here? 14 years, etc.? Doesn't matter, it all had to come down this perfect way in the end. But knowing that I need to break tasks into even smaller pieces than I may think, and that this could be at the root of my long standing inability to follow through in as timely a way as I'd like, makes me think I can do projects better going forward now.

Today: I drilled holes in square stock and glued in 4 inch dowels. These "pegs" become vertical framing supports for cottage wall panels.

I then drilled the same size holes into the set flooring, forming the interior areas around the Rana puppet stand in ("Stana" as Mike, Master of Word Combines, calls her). You may be able to make out how much larger the interior cottage has been adjusted as compared to the lines previously drawn on the set.

I glued remaining reference clippings of the cottage exterior to large panels of paper to use as I begin to build the cottage in earnest. (I had forgotten two panels had already been completed months ago!)

I cut into the tree to begin to wedge a small (ready built) cabinet into the trunk. It will be incorporated into the bark as part of the kitchen in the tree.

Himself and I moved my computer desk 15" toward the window away from the set to give me more room to dive into the Halfland set. (I'll get a longer keyboard cable so I can put the framegrabber control on a wheeled trolley near all the animating action and still see the monitor.)

Tomorrow: Glue cardstock onto the cut Styrofoam wall panels and attach them to the vertical support pegs. Then cut windows into the panels. Challenge: figuring out how to position the bay window in the octagonal floorplan shape.

Next Day: Cover the wall/window panels with hardware cloth to provide something on which the compounds can adhere.

After That: Trowel on ready mixed Fixall patching compound and when/if that runs out, I mix up a batch of un-ready mixed Fixall, and when/if that runs out regular plaster.

A Promise to Gentle Readers: I suspect this blog will have more exciting posts as things progress in the project. I imagine only select stop motionists and friends would bother reading today's brand of grinding middle-work business. But if you have, thank you for the virtual support!


  1. Grinding middle work business? Bah!This IS exciting stuff, Shell! Its great to see you getting sets together, I've had a good time this week working on them too (as you know)...has really helped me envision the story more, camera angles and whatnot....3-D storyboarding...lotsa fun...

    How about a couple of pics of your panels of cottage reference pics? I like that sort of thing :)

  2. Anonymous8:23 PM

    I'm with Uba. It's the making-of shots that I live for. :-)

  3. So doesn't that feel better now? YES! - progress is being made.

    I don't want to throw a wrench into your plans and I am sure you have thought of this already but where are you going to put the camera?

    It looks like you have Rana surrounded. Perhaps removable wall panels?

  4. yeah, we're totally reading for the process AND the product! :)

    your first sentence is spot on: procrastination is almost always the result of not knowing what the next task is, and that's usually a result of not having a primary task or subtask broken into small enough pieces. you rarely even have to worry about prioritization if you break them up finely enough: you can just pick the next one and you'll have made progress.

  5. Jeffery & Sven, hi, great idea! I just shot several key images and will post poste haste.

    Mark, hi, yes, the pegs idea was my solution for making the panels removable indeed. in addition, the cottage set floor is composed of three seperate flats, fitted like a puzzle, and will move apart for still further access.

    Hi Gretchin & Mike, yes, thank you! The big trick for me is in realizing that I don't know when the task's in too big a chunk!! My mind and emotions tell me that I SHOULD be able to whip out this step or that, without any shadow of doubt. And then find I'm months/years behind without consciously knowing how it's happened.

  6. guilt or fear are primary way to discover your task is too big. :) if you're emotions are telling you that you should be able to do something, but you feel guilty about not doing it, then it's a good time to figure out if there's something even -smaller- you could do -- even in as little as 15 minutes (which is more time than you think! i'm using this technique on a poem i'm not writing... ;)

  7. writing too fast to spell. ugh! "ways," "your." there. better. :)

  8. Brilliant, Gretchin! I hadn't ever heard this put this way before! You two consistantly impress me with your keen insights!!

    I have heard of how the TRIO of holding an "ideal" in mind, while doing another "behavior", and then merely feeling "guilt" over the behavior that didn't match the ideal, is what can keep ALL THREE going!!! Ha! Ideal, actual behavior, and then guilt, the perfect trifecta for going absolutely NOWHERE all life long!!

    So now, guilt=make EVEN smaller pieces. There, life fixed.


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