Friday, May 08, 2009

Racking My Brain

Porch construction underway; Cut lathing strips to fit on a cardboard shape for the porch and taped the ends together; attached the taped slats with screws and positioned the now wooden porch to the set but found it needed further cuts around the roots and door threshold. I taped the top side of the revised porch and plan to take out all the screws (slightly too long) and adhere it to a solid piece of 1/8" plywood to increase the heft when seen from the front.
Tested out furnishings on the porch including a new metal bracket that can either hold a porch lantern or a pulley rig forgetting pails of water from the rain barrel. The old iron wheel I have doesn't have a groove but it does have an axle that might do something. Does anyone have a contraption idea?

I looked a long while for miniature glass bottles for a Halfland reason that will be explained when I can make a post about it. I can tease the topic by saying it has to do with Pictorial Metaphor. I ordered a couple of add'l styles of bottles while I was there to use as background props in the kitchen. I was delighted to see that they were not only the perfect scale for the film (I didn't check) but also the perfect color. Plus--as I was opening the package of them tonight, I saw that one of the bottles was wonderfully dusty and dirty, I thought. I looked more closely (love when things like this happen) and saw that a small spider had built a web in the neck of one bottle and expired there. How delightful! Not the death, but the idea of a living spider in the bottle's neck in Halfland's kitchen! I'm keeping it in of course.

I was inspired by a scrap of expensive fabric I've had here (unearthed out of context when I organized my fabric stash (see last photo). This scrap of fabric gave me Halfland's water construction method. I'm THRILLED with the concept now.

I'll describe HALFLAND WATER; I'll buy two lengths of either silk or polyester sheer organza, dye it in two shades of watery colors, like aqua and pale green; the layers will be randomly machine stitched in loose lines running in jags here and there. The silks will sandwich long tendril threads of bright metallic silver lurex, sequins, and real Mica flakes. The stream of fabrics will then get glued to the sides of the stream shore with slack. The swimming mermaid puppet can be pulled along/animated under these translucent layers and it can be animated by running my hand along it between each frame.

ART BONUS: In addition to book projects, ballet, and housekeeping, I've been playing a little with other creative arts such as these (click through to Flickr if you'd like more description of them):
Natalie and WaxBeeswax Fine Art
Wax Dipped Robin's Egg BeadsBeeswax Robin's Egg Beads
Gray-Creme NervousNew Technique of Beading and Textiles
Racking My Brain: Last week there was a mountain of over 100 white wire racks by the dumpster here. I strained myself trying to figure out a way to use them, or a dozen of them at least. They were too good, for something, to pass up. I remembered that people with nice fabric stashes are always complaining about having to refold the whole stack over and over as they grab something when in the throws of a project. I thought these mystery racks could hold each piece of fabric, like a library book shelf, making it easier to grab and put back. I hung a few on the back of a wire storage wall. I added a couple more to the sides of my baker's rack with zip ties too. Makes a great system for stowing armature wire. No more tangles. (Paul told me tonight that the video store next door has closed shop--oh--that's what these were!)


  1. Great idea to reuse those wire racks. Everything is coming along really well! I think the spider/web in the bottle is pretty cute I'm glad you're leaving it :) The little bottles are adorable so is the little bracket :)

    All the best,

  2. Thanks, Allison! If you ever need racks like that, start poking around video stores!

    We all may get to have them because of Netflix!

  3. I love the idea of the spider web treasure found in the little bottle, not so much the idea of his/her demise.
    I have 2 little pulley's here, about an inch long. I could sent them your way. I think I found them in a hardware store. They would need some aging.
    Thanks for inspiring me to get back to work.
    Aren't back alley finds great!

  4. Oh, I know what else I was going to say. I think I read in your blog somewhere that you live in LA? Have you ever been to the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City? It's my most favorite place in the world.

  5. Hiya, DJ! YES! Museum of Jurassic Technology!! ( Hey, I went there (took Paul as a surprise mini-adventure w/o saying where) when they had a fantastic exhibit of the world's smallest sculptures) before the founder of it was awarded the MacArthur Fellows Program in 2001 ("Genius" award)

    Love that he made this whole complete universe out of a nowhere little shop in the middle of an uneventful area. Wild! Do you understand what he's doing? I don't but I think it's cool.

    Thanks! I'd LOVE a little pulley BUT only if you let me send you something in exchange. How about a couple of those robin's egg beads you said you liked?

    My mailing address:
    Shelley Noble pobox 111509 LA CA 90011

    Woo! xoxo

  6. cool stuff lady!

    I likes the water.....Id love to see an animation test too?! hint..he he


  7. Thanks, Riggs. Test it I shall--BUT bummper--my latest point and shoot was designed without the super fab stop mo feature built in! That's so sad. That was sure handy.

    Maybe I should pull the hammer and drop my money for the FZ-50 right away. I'm so chicken.

    Everyone's good has got one and they are for sure the right model thanks to Mike. Such a chicken.

  8. Nice work on that painting effect - with that lighting, definitely Vermeer!
    Wish I could just have a sit-down in the chair on that front porch, maybe with something nice in one of those bottles. Do you ever feel like an outsized giant, after spending days creating that perfect little world?

  9. HI Nick! I do! I do feel like an outsized giant when visiting Halfland! Everything feels real but just slightly too small to be real, like a doll's world. I think that's the appeal of miniatures in general, just the adorable factor somehow.

    I would love to join you to chat on that porch but I'll wait until the roof is on the cottage!

    Thank you so much!

  10. (^ you thinkin' uh usin' some of that grid as lightweight Ariel brace for cloud movements? scarf juggling?

    lighting holders?
    heckles Ican tink of MULTIDOODINAL uses .
    and just because one doesn't work forever in one format does NOT mean it cannot.. evolve.

    spleck MULTIDOODINAL =

    makes me want to start weaving fabrickabrack again.

  11. beautiful sets and props Shelly, you are creating a wonderful world here.

  12. Hi Bryan, You weave tales of a multi-dude-inal nature!

    Good thinking on the lights! I'll think of the extra racks in that LIGHT! HA!

    Thank you, amoebaboy! Likewise! That is one seriously adorable spaceship and alien you've made! Following you now...

  13. Anonymous5:56 AM

    I am so excited about the water/stream idea and can't wait to see it in motion! I love the way you allow ideas to bubble up to the surface as you go. And using the racks for fabric....genius.

  14. Bubble up to the surface.. there's a thought--kidding! Thanks, Peggy, me too!

    It was the two layers of differing shades and the sparkle that caught my imagination. And when I went further and added the mica flakes! WOW! It really acts as a stream.

    Trying to figure a way to make a test. Might do it blind, without onion skinning software, just to see it roughly. Planning a trip downtown for the fabrics (and for cottage curtains!) after the 19th!!

  15. I'm sure, with that barrel and the wheel, you have some sort of wind powered water wheel device for transferring small amounts of water out of the barrel for some reason... now, if only someone could think of a truly Halfland idea as to what the water would be needed for?

  16. Hi Rich! Yes, I see the mechanism as something that pulls up a dish of water from the barrel. Maybe to give to the Birds in Hats right there? They nest on a branch right inside the front door, just to the left of the barrel.

    DJ said she could send me a small pulley as well. I could make a crank that turns the wheel, that then winds a rope?, that then raises a ladle of water up to the bracket, which tips it somehow into...?

  17. it won't have to actually work, just look as though it does!

    Miss Gina (the master professional mechanical artist Gina K), where are you?! []

  18. Ok Shelley, DO YOU EVER SLEEP??? Seems like whenever I visit you've created a million new goodies to drool over! Now its beeswax eggs and jeweled treasures... wherever do you find the time? I love all your experiments and sense of adventure!

  19. Hi Ulla, no--and that's a pretty big issue over here, the not sleeping. I feel like a Niagra Falls of creative expression being pushed through a garden hose of time.

    This makes sleeping seem like a losing game. However, not sleeping makes it hard to keep healthy and alive long enough to do anything creative.

    So far, all I've been able to sort out, is to get enough sleep to stay well, yet stay up long enough to get the satisfaction of a little art getting out!

    It's a compromise both ways.

    Don't you have this too?

  20. (^ oh! found a use for that wheel of yorn..

    It's ironic that while learning to use an 1895 Pearl #3 letterpress i would also be experimenting with an HDV camera, capture methods, and compression codecs.

    The angles and lighting where done with a project in mind. My friend RJ Kikuchiyo will be creating a working model of this press in second life. He need sound samples and some visual record of how things work. From the exploded view of the patent he will be creating the press over the next few months..."

    (^ just watch the piece on using the pearl.

    crazy machine.

  21. Thanks, Brian, Great machine over on Matthew's site, thanks. I love letterpress printing and cyanotypes too. That mechanism is too much for lifting the water though. I'm thinking more like the old Swiss Family Robinson style!

  22. (^ yeah yeah. I know.
    just wanted to share all the sounds and images of old mechanisms.

    not to be watched as anything but field recording for motion studies.

    as are these:

    (^ watch stanley sometime.
    it's actually pretty brilliant.

    enough. catch you later

  23. I'd seen most of Mr. Matthew's work, which I dearly love, but not all as are presented in that link. Thanks!

    Off to find Stanley!

  24. Hi Shelley
    I just realized why I wasn't getting any email follow ups to my comment posts - silly me, when I made the blog, I had Jed on my email and acct and then had to use his for my correspondence, and I hardly ever check his email.
    Anyway, no need to make a swap for the pulleys, though of course I wold love an egg. (grins) I just need to find them and off they will be to you. I'm not sure if they'll be appropriate for your set, but you never know. I'll go look for them in a few moments.
    As for the MJT, yes, I think I do know what creator/curator David Wilson is up to there, but I dare not give it away, for it is in the "wtf?" that the MJT functions. Love it so much! I'm coming down there next month and can't wait to see the place again. Speaking of which, I hear you've had some earthquakes? eeek!
    Ok, I'm off to find them little pulleys.

  25. Pulley for egg beads it is!

    If you have any time while here, you are invited to visit Halfland in person, email me.


  26. (^ so shelly..
    where you want the sobe bottle'd carot shot sent so you can gander it? the way. did you know this "^" i keep putting on my staements is CALLED.. not carrot but a carot?
    like how to measure diamonds .
    a measurement for quality.

  27. 24 carot gold, indeed.

    Please send the photo to: nobledesign[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

    Thanks for taking it. Can I post it?

  28. Regarding Mr. Jim Aupperle (a definite hero artist in Halfland!) if you are reading this, please take pity on me and come over to advise this poor ignorant soul on how to light this set! I'll make good use of your wisdom--forever, and will share it with many children (whose I have no idea--but I will find some!)

    Anything you can do, Brian, to pass that note along? *wink*

    5:00 PM
    Edwound Wisent said...

    (^ try

    first.. i may be swinging in there to see what marc spess has planned this eve:

    (^ I had some shots done of the back yardtoday by Chris rogers.
    i think he got a kick out of trying to "workwith meon this"
    i can be.. a handful.

    I'll uplad a few single frames there. maybe the audio of the end of .. ahhh shoot. I'l just plop some doodads to you.
    .. did the wmv I spewed you make it ok? I mean it's a year old but relates to my back yard fungshwaynanigans.

  29. You embarrass me with my own words, Brian. As if Jim Aupperle would ever come here for this.

    YES! The video came through easily and worked flawlessly. I love your backyard. It's very Halflandian and creatively charming.


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