Sunday, December 06, 2009

100 Days: Mystery Door

The top key, with the heart opening, I made from scratch. The other key under that, with the opening that matches the chalet's eaves, was a doctored store bought. *Have a look at the tiny lines on the palm of your hand to see that the keys are about an inch long.*

Found a little key doodad in a clearance bin for 50¢ that happened to fit 1/2L's scale just right. It was flat on the back so I used layers of glue to build up some dimension. Painted it with iron surfacer and then with rusting solution and got a nice second key for Rana to wear on her waist. I wonder what it opens?


  1. m_) mystery Door? Oh, I see. Not really, I only see the keys.

    m_) Do you have the script of your story somewhere to guide me a bit on what is all this about? I know it is all about this land, half, but I am curious to know clearer what is inside the whole package.

    n_) take a trick

  2. i loff these keys so much.

  3. Beautiful rusty old keys!
    What is Halfland's scale, anyway?
    I've seen real keys like that at 2 or 3 inches long, maybe even 4" if they are for a big iron lock on the tower room where we keep the mad uncle...

  4. Hi Shelley,

    I found an artist you might appreciate, if you don't know her already. Her name is Amy Gross and she makes lifelike natural environments using things like embroidery floss, ribbons and polymer clay. You can see her work here: It boggles my mind.

    She also has an amazing dollhouse which you can visit here: I want Rick Moranis to come and use his Honey I Shrunk the Kids ray on me so I can go live there.

    I love all your posts. Keep up the great work!

  5. Thanks, Emmy!

    You caught me, Dan. There's no mystery door. Just a key that unlocks that imagination to what it *might* open.

    It's a bit more smoothed out and organized in my head since I made this Halfland story outline.

    It's my wholly original folk tale in the traditional vein. It's a fantasy on the surface, but really more of a visual allegory or metaphor in the sense of ancient myths. It's filled with symbols from deep within my own subconscious. It's a grand experiment to see if these incredible, truly, incredible new creative computer tools can empower everyone with basic modern means can be their own movie studio. But most of all, it's the most insane fun I've ever had or could ever imagine having.

    Story/movie/play in brief, it's the audience/camera pov following a mermaid from our shores, undersea to Halfland (Where everything is more clearly half of something else.)

    We pick up a view of the mermaid swimming in a freshwater stream (presumably coming in from a delta) to a half tree/half house where a goat woman comes down the hill with a rain barrel to collect her visiting mermaid friend.

    They share tea and soup and watch various insect goings on until nightfall, then turn in for the night in the ember glow and last lantern light.

    In the middle of the night, the crow woman barges in, wounded, bleeding, desperate. Rana packs up the mermaid in the water-filled barrel and tucks the crow woman onto a sled, and off they go to get her the help she needs in the desert.

    [That describes the action taking place in about 6 micro-episodes of approximately 6 seconds each. And is the end of Act 2.]

    [Act 3 takes place in the desert]

    The troop travels to find the Serpent Sage, he knows what to do for the crow, plays an instrument that causes flowers to grow from his head. This causes flowers to grow from her head too.

    [End of Act 3 as well as the first complete series.]

    Subsequent series involve the moth man, the writing mouse, how answers are discovered on the leaves of the trees.

    Thanks for asking, Dan. It really helps me to write these things out.

  6. Yay! gl! I'm tho happy you like them so much. I almost didn't post about them! Yay! I never can know what will connect with whom!

    Hi Nick! 1/2L scale is dern near exactly 1/3 scale. At least to my eye. Remember I do NOT do math. But the key opens the lock, and the lock fits the door's scale. And the door fits the cottage. And the cottage fits the tree. And the tree fits the landscape. And the landscape barely fits in our flat! xox

    Wow! Thessaly Rose, Amy Gross is an extraordinarily talented artist, you're right! Her pieces are so detailed and naturalistic!

  7. O Ice-ssee now..and I thought Fearoxity was insane but...nevermind. I am healthy after all these flavors -unnaturally speaking, right..

  8. It's actually simple action for Halfland I hope. No dialog at all, not much narrative, mainly uninvolved physical movement made in short bursts and strung together as a film, as if beads.

    Good luck with your project. Sounds really worth doing.

  9. Anonymous1:49 PM

    Good Lord, I LOVE these keys!! They have the perfect patina. I am just too excited about watching this story unfold!

  10. Thanks, Peggy! I'm getting excited now too. I need help finishing the set, do you have any brothers or handy cousins in LA?

  11. Anonymous6:35 AM

    My brother would love to help, but he lives in Alaska! My LA cousins might know someone...lemme see.

  12. another fine piece of the puzzle.


  13. Peggy, you seriously have cousins in LA?! I was stabbing in the dark. Are they who you came out to LA to visit?

    Thanks, Justin! Only EIGHT more props to build for the whole main set! *8* Only eight. Easy eight 8888888888888888 8

    Chandelier --75% done
    weaving loom-- materials ready
    tree lanterns-- materials ready
    curtains & rods/brackets--materials ready
    fireplace tools--50% done
    animatable fire--materials ready
    weathervane--materials ready
    lace spider webs--materials ready

    Then the rest of the set building. Need help.

    Then the puppet building. Can do.

    Then the lighting. Will do.

    Then the filming. Will do.

    Then the editing. Will do.

    Then more much simpler set/prop building for add'l scenes. Can do.

    Then shoot more episodes. Will do.

  14. Love the keys Shelley!! I love your excitement, and ingenuity. I enjoyed these comments, and your recap of your vision.I will be intouch shortly.

  15. When I first looked at the keys you made here, those reminded me the key of my grandmother's house. Actually no need to be reminded it is right here on my table now. An old brass key used to open my grandmother's house. That house was demolished long ago but you know the key stil has the ability to open the door to the precious childhood memories...


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