Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to each and everyone. Maybe with a tiny Holiday vignette frozen in a little glass we might always possess the possibility of having whatever we could wish.

Last year's card was so popular I wanted this year's to be as special as possible. I knew it should be handmade, duh, and an old-style folk toy. I was so nervous about it, I thought of what to make this year on December 26th, 2006 and have been mulling it over the entire year!

I kept searching for the right materials and trying different things that didn't end up working. Some things about this year's came out better than I'd hoped, other things I thought of doing I left off by the end batch in order to get to the real essence of what the cards were about; I wanted them to convey the unforgettable wonder and joy of Christmas morning when everything we could wish for is magically under the tree in the morning, ready to be torn into and enjoyed.

Folk Art Bottle Whimseys, (you know, like ships in a bottle and other puzzle scenes assembled inside old glass bottles?) was the concept this year. It, like so many other obscure things, lives large on the web. A little Googling turned up photos of fantastic examples of these works, by infirmed or otherwise isolated individuals, dating back as far as 1697! Who knew?!

If you haven't yet received your handmade Christmas Bottle Whimsey from us (and you should have by now), please let me know!

Six images that tell the story of how these Bottle Whimseys were made!

Here's how the trees fit into the bottles--Secrets Revealed!
Here's how I wrapped the tiniest present on Earth--Prove that wrong!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Perfect Timing

My Halfland Week turned into Christmas Elven Headquarters as I once again made something too complicated to do in any practical sense. Oh well. I have been having the time of my life doing it when...

Paul and I are sick in bed today with different bugs. His is stomach flu caught on retreat last week. Mine is a cold with joint/body aches that are enhancing the crisis I'm going through from overworking my tendons and joints in doing full blown ballet at my age. I'm moving as though crippled over the last few days. Hoping all of you are well. Got to drag myself over and finish another 50 Christmas cards in a last ditch effort to mail them tomorrow so they'll have a chance of being delivered before the 25th. I've lost two crucial days' work time with the above. So, if they arrive late to you this year, please know they come with our heartfelt sentiment in full.

In a better example of timing, the kind kids over at Photojojo have put together a simple primer today on time laspe that I found really helpful, especially the Photoshop automated batch process tip. I've always wondered how to do that.

Their method is exactly what I will be following the gist of when I film Rachael DiRenna's art for Halfland's Flowering Thoughts sequence.

Here are some photos of flowers in various stages of bloom around my house the other day for Rachael to have as sculpture references. I can't decide whether the flowers should be Narcissus or Gerbera daisy. Rachael, do you have any affinity towards one or the other for this? Red Gerbera Daisy (the all green bud in the daisy group is courtesy the web.)
Paperwhite Narcissus growing in sand filled jars in our bathroom.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Slightly Moved

"The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving." --Oliver Wendell Holmes

This is good to know because there aren't any results yet where I am however my sense of direction is excellent.

I've had my hands flying over this year's Handmade Holiday Card production--once again--even though I started earlier--getting all 100 (!) cards mailed out early next week will be another impossible achievement, achieved yet again. I'll start with furthest away friends and work concentrically localized until I have one left for us.

I've been taking pictures of the progress all along and will post a slide show Christmas week, after everyone reading this that requested to be on the list should have theirs. If you don't, it may be because this year's concept is brave for a "card" so it's a gamble that the postal service will deliver them, but we'll hope and see...

A few days ago I did literally move the entire Halfland main set fully into my workshop, as opposed to it hanging *half* [HA] out invading into our living quarters. Paul is very good about accommodating the project but it was more chaotic than I'd like. The house never looked neat with the set in progress oozing out in greater and greater square footage Plus, now all the whole fun house antics are contained within my work area making it feel very domain/private magical lair like around here.

I've yet to rearrange the worktables and tidy up the zoo, it's tighter, but that will have to wait for next week. I'm on my own for the next 10 days and I'm planning on devoting every waking moment, and then some, to Halfland action.

You know the suffering I'm sure, the pain of working at home perhaps, living within inches of the tantalizing ideas and materials beckoning you to apply your hands to them. The sink in the pit of your stomach when you gaze at all the heaven of fun while other obligations of home and work are requiring you to be elsewhere. The new ideas that continue to pile up on the cluttered, dusty stacks. [...and scene--bow low --wait for applause.]

Yeah, it's a drama like that.

Excitements and photos very soon.
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