Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Bed Post

There now, a cozy bed that I would want to climb into on a quiet day with soft sheets, warm blankets, comfortable stack of hay under the mattress, all framed in a finely carved cherry wood sleigh-bed. This prop piece for the cottage was yet another huge question mark on how I could make it. It's finally complete and I'm very happy with it.

All these years, whenever I saw a style of wooden moulding in a lumber yard, I'd buy a foot length of it with the idea in mind of using it to construct Rana's bed. How various pieces of moulding could take on the shape I had in mind was unknown to me. I started by taping the shapes together like a child playing with building blocks (upper left). The bed grew taller and taller still as I went back and forth with it to check how it fit in the bed alcove on the cottage set. I wasn't expecting it to be a high bed as it is, but as I built it suddenly the alcove's window being so high made sense! I knew I wanted part of Rana the goat woman's bed to be made of straw. And at the same time part of it had to be rustic folk cottage style proper furniture too. I like the balance I got with that in the end. When I got the profiles stacked the way I liked, I used stainable wood glue to hold them together (upper right). I tried using a Dremel tool to cut out end caps for each edge of the head and foot boards but it was so weak I did a better job by brute strength. I used a metal point tool and an Exacto™ blade to perforate the shape out of 1/8" plywood (upper middle). Sanded the pieces down and glued them in place, and then filled the gaps with wood putty paste (lower middle). I fastened all the bed pieces together with small "L" brackets screwed on the inside (lower left). Mixed a stain out of Indian Red Oxide acrylic with gloss medium, linseed oil and beeswax, to get color and sheen right.

Made the haystack to fit the bedframe out of a cardboard box base, edges softened with newspaper/masking tape bumps, then painted with a mustard undercoat. When the base was dry, I sprinkled it with loose hay after it was coated with matte medium. I kept layering up the hay with more matte medium until it looked like a stack, sculpting it piece by piece in the front corners so they would remain solid when they extended past the mattress. The matte medium is entirely invisible when dry, even when examining the hay up close it looks completely natural.

The back of the finished bed, that won't be seen in the film as the set's alcove covers it, looks like a fine piano with its polished curves. There's an extra vool blanket over the foot board in case it's chilly in the night. I attached the carved wooden ornament I found at the fabulous Kit Kraft Shop to a moulding base and painted the berries red, the bow mustard. The gap between it and the angle of the surface of the base moulding was filled in with wood putty to make it look as if carved from one piece. How the bed looks in position on the unfinished set (lower right).

The hand stitched duvet cover was one of the first things I made for the project years ago but this week I sewed on a backing of aluminum gutter guard mesh to it so it would be positionable for filming, I then added a thin layer of foam and wine colored silk to the underside to conceal the metal mesh.

I built two additional set pieces... but I can't talk about them today as this is The Bed Post.


  1. So lovely. :-)

    Makes... me sorta...



  2. Me... too.... Zzzzzzzzzz


    Thanks for following along, Sven!!!! xoxo

  3. Hahah, bed post. I get it! :) Looks cozy...

  4. hee hee, Elva!

    Ack, YOUR AND HANS' Flip cam is sitting here unopened! I'm so sorry for the delay. I wanted to set it up and test it but became engrossed in the bed building.

    Gotta get it out to you, it's not fair now!

    This Wednesday I will ship it to you, hell or highwater, ready or not!

  5. Now that's a thing of beauty! Excellent work Shel.

    What does she see in the night sky through her high, high window?

  6. Thanks, Rich! Great question, love it. She looks out over gentle hills towards the sea in dusk blue light and listens to gentle rain fall against her roof.

    If she sits up to look out of her berth-like bedroom she'll see the Pink Snail lumbering home in the dim light, leaving a trail of glisten, its lantern light falling against blades of grass as it rocks in silence. Like that.

    Thanks, Emmy!

  7. Terrific! Has so much character! Right up my street, great work!!

  8. Thanks, Mr. Nofby! Furniture with character, never thought of that! Except for the chair with a face!

  9. No problem! This film is something I might watch in bed lol, its very home-made and everything is beautiful, something that could entrance you into a fairy world dream.

  10. amazing, shelley. wish i had even a pinky full of your talent, passion & dedication. :)

  11. Oh, I know what you mean, Nofby. When I lay down in my own bed I imagine it's this one and I drift off to sleep much more happily! Is there anything on earth better than crawling into bed in the afternoon?! nopes, not much.

    Thank you so much, Gretchin. Talent is relative as you well know, passion and dedication I've got for this for some reason.

    A friend who just left here really hurt my feelings, they didn't mean to I'm sure. But they said something about something being like my film, "that will never be done." Ouch.

    Gotta prove them wrong!

  12. very nice work herself!



  13. Thanks, Justin. Yeah--they just don't understand stick-to-it-ness!

  14. Nick H9:40 PM

    More beautiful modelmaking! I'm envious - still building shelves, except for the last 2 days (and the next two) - 43 degree heat (110 in fahrenheit) makes it impossible to go into my studio. Have to settle for hanging out in the air-conned library using their internet computer so I see the great things you keep making.
    Roll on 2011! (Just read that estimate for done-done in your last post about the Gerald premiere.)

  15. 110--whew--that's rough. Stay cool down there. Up here it's purty cold actually. Them hemispheres really keep things divided. heh.

    Those shelves are going to be like heaven when you're done. Think of how much more room you'll have to create!

    yeah roll on and on. I see things in my mind I'd dearly love to make for the project but each thing in its own turn, each thing in its own turn. Sooooooooooo tempting though.

    Like right now, I'd like to make the vool wig for Rana's puppet. And the Serpent's coat. And his set. And the underwater set. Oh yeeeeeaaaahhh! PROJECT LUSTS!


  16. This is certainly an interesting and unusual place.

    Legibly yours,

    Erin O'Brien

  17. Thank you, Erin. I'd have to agree with that!

  18. ...and of course this window she's looking out of is the window which is wreathed in roses, also forming part of the lattice holding the glass in place, which spread in through the window, across the wall and transforms into the pattern of the wallpaper.

    Can I live in HalfLand please?

  19. Oh my God, Rich, that's unbelievably BRILLIANT! YIKES! I never would have thought of that and now it must be in the film that way.


    Yes, you may come and live in Halfland!

  20. Oh, the bed with the mattress of hay reminds me of Heidi, high up in the Alps, cuddled in bed, listening to the wind in the trees as she drifts into sleep. And in the morning she drinks warm goat milk before going out into the warm sunlight.
    Ah... kind of like the smell of a madeline (however Proust's cookie is spelled).

  21. HA! YES< esther, exactly! Except in this film Heidi is the goat LOL!

    I'm so glad you figured out how to comment here! Welcome, officially!

  22. Are you still asleep? Or have you been hypnotised by the goat?

    (The eyes of a goat are really beautiful don't you think?)

  23. Nope--not sleeping or hip-o-tized. I'm working on some pro bono graphic projects :(

    Still thinking of things about 1/2L every other minute though.

    Yes, goat eyes are indeed strange and eeery. I can see why people lay satanic symbolism on them. But Rana is nothing but good and wise.

  24. This is beyond wonderful...sigh..

  25. Thank you, Marcie! Coming from you I am complimented! Sigh, back. Seriously, if your Southern gentleman tells you where he found those bug wings, I'd be most appreciative to know where!

  26. Hi Shelly

    Wonderful blog and you're a blogger on Paper Forest? One of my faves. Keep me in the loop!

    Gina K ( from Mechanical Confections )

  27. Gina K! My newest artist obsession! Your "loop" is bent steel rod and soldered! HA!

    Yep, Jaime Zollar amazingly asked me to contribute posts to her fabulous paper engineering site Paper Forest a while back. You remind me that I should post a few things I've been working on there!

    Be seeing you at your shop (I mean online. I'm not stalking you in real life!)

  28. I 'ave a stop-mo on me blaarg.

  29. YES, saw that when you posted, Rich. Didn't comment there because it wasn't my thing I guess. Still, any film that actually gets made is a winner.

  30. *chuckles* Commenting to say, 'Not my thing' is completely allowed ;)

    I personally really like it. Of course, I'm not biased at all...

  31. I went to your blaaaaarg after you sent the above and said;"not my ting.... love you though" And I mean it. I learned earlier that giving anything other than a positive comment isn't productive or nice for the blaaarger, so I broke my rule because you were so funny about it, thought I'd play along.

    I don't think critical comments are nice. If someone said to me about something I'd made that it wasn't their thing I say, "well, go visit what you like then!" "There's a lid for every pot!" "Taste is subjective!" "Works for me!"

    I try to say something encouraging on the project blogs I visit. or to say nothing at all.

    And I do have respect for any project, even ones I don't get or like, that are completed.

  32. Hello! I like your blog! I just read a bunch of pages and am looking forward to reading more!
    Kind regards,
    Jed Bramwell

  33. Welcome to Halfland, Jed Bramwell!

  34. I love this Shelley! It looks a bit Scandinavian... straw and all!

  35. Thank you, Ullabenulla! xoxox

  36. Anonymous12:29 AM

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