Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can This Title Be Made Any Larger?
[Utterly & Completely] DONE!!!!!!
Mouse House World Complete

In order to build in as much unity, cohesiveness, and calmness visually as possible:

1. Stay with color theme; Mud brown canvas, greens, rose, magenta, pale orange, vivid orange as accents.
2. Stay with symbolic motifs; Seeds/Pods, Eyes/Glasses, Books/Journals, Roots (Answer Tree), Writing
3. Stay with concept/meaning; Wisdom in Consciousness of the Tree, Role of Mouse as Scribe for the questions people ask, a cheerful, comfortable home sanctuary.

Follow your established protocols and then create within their perimeters. Savor the finesse. And be sure to:
Project Rule #6: Sacrifice anything that is making the task difficult.

I thought I was at 97% 2 weeks ago. Seems I was actually at 60% because I worked and humped hard yet another 40% to actually completely finish this world. So, either my 97% meter is off-range, or I made this set at 137% of completeness. Probably both things are true.

I do know that I had the time of my life making it. I stole moments doing it, before dawn and instead of doing things people were waiting for. I was possessed because of the fun it was. I really liked how it was turning out.

I learned an enormous amount about the Writing Mouse and his role in Halfland. Enough such that he could absolutely take center stage in his own illustrated story book, and may very well.


At a certain point, with enough details, a place becomes alive on its own. Here you see the Mouse's writing desk and accoutrement. To make the buried Answer Seeds I first 1. cut a hole in the set floor, installed a clump of dried kitty grass via tape on the underside; 2. painted, flocked and arranged a clump of various clay and real seeds that were half buried (with sifted mulch for soil) applied to a base of matte medium; 3. the Seed Answer mound is covered with a preserved dried leaf treated with matte medium for durability.

Here's what I've learned;
There are seven root/pod beings with faces in the chalet that represent the wisdom of the Answer Tree. The Writing Mouse sits at his desk and hears the soft voices of people whispering their important questions into the ear hollow on the truck of the Tree above.


Spent some time enhancing the root/mud/pod faced fellows. Leaves form the upper lip on the mantle guy. The eye of sauren guy has a seed jar near him with a tiny smeared, muddy paw print. The natural features on one of the roots were augmented with the Flexall and then finished with seeds, pods, and paint. Mr Pod lips now has careful color and two buck teeth made of seeds. The main face now has a seed pod pupil that can be positioned to shift his gaze.

He transcribes the answers to those questions he hears form the wisdom of the Tree onto seeds and scrolls made of birch bark and buries them in the middle of the floor of his house. They accumulate over time until the answers are drawn up into the Tree, eventually to grow out and be readable upon one of the Tree's thousands of leaves. Of course, by the time this transpires, no one could have remained that long to search among the leaves for their answer. After so long, all questions become irrelevant.

I learned that The Writing Mouse eats his meals with Rana in her large cottage, where he emerges from the tunnels under the roots of her hearth.

I learned that each chapter/tale in Halfland is entered visually through the opening of another of the Mouse's beautiful journals.

Please note that now the little side table has a tiny acorn pipe (made as a gift for 1/2L. by Sharon Ferg)that has another cap filled with orange saffron as fresh pipe tobacco under a copper lid. Spent pipe tobacco is dumped out onto a leaf. For diehard fans of Nightmare Before Christmas, you'll recall the wonderful detail they made of the back of Jack's Santa sketch made for reverse angles. My homage to that is a proper back on the Mouse's seed painting for a realistic view when seen from behind, through the tunnel. One of my favorite props so far was this infinitesimal candle flame made of florescent glitter scales glued onto a piece of mica (pencil in shot for scale).

Above the mantle is a proper portrait of the Mouse's partner, friend, object of adoration, Rana. I took her sketch and put in in a forest, shifted the colors to match his house and printed it out. I cut it to fit a miniature frame, purchased from a jewelry supply, that I embellished with small seeds and the smallest acorn and cloth leaves. Once installed, I had to knock back the intensity of the portrait colors with translucent taupe and walnut ink, so it blended into the room as much as possible, to keep it from being too busy. Canvas texture was added to both paintings by pressing a piece of canvas into a top coat of gloss medium.

7 comments:

  1. Shelley, this is amazing! This one of the most beautiful sets I've ever seen!

    This is so good to see how the things are evolving, no matter how long it takes! And as you said, you had loads of fun making it. – Sounds perfect to me!

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  2. Thank you, thank you, Jessica!! I am thrilled you like it so much. Me too!

    It's exhilarating to take part of the project to a state of complete realization. So fulfilling!

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  3. Adore it!!! Adorable! Want to move in!!!
    xoxo Karima

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  4. "I learned an enormous amount about the Writing Mouse and his role in Halfland. Enough such that he could absolutely take center stage in his own illustrated story book..."

    oh, shelley, i love art projects like this, where you learn as you make. i hope the mouse gets his own book. :)

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  5. Thank you, Karima! That is my number 1 favorite comment I get on the blog. I think I'm making these hideaways to answer a very deep need in my heart for a cozy sense of quiet. So, nice to think other people might understand and maybe even want to have one too!

    Right on, gl!!! Right on right on right on. I go insane inside when dots get connected that I didn't know about a moment prior. WHAT A THRILL! (Just Tweeted another one about the Time Frog actually!)

    And I adore making books. Books, stories, art, books, story art books >>>GOOOOOoooooooooooooo>>>>>>

    woo hoo!

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  6. It is all so fantastic Shelley. A great talent and heart...is you.

    Marcie

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  7. Thank you so much, Marcie HON (Halfland's Official Naturalist!)

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