Rooting for Me

I can't thank you all enough for coming here and supporting, encouraging, and inspiring me to work on this film. Somehow, knowing there is a large group of kind and interested people out there in the world watching and appreciating what's happening gives me the fiber and fortification I need to keep progressing.

On Wednesday as I finished the nailing detail on the cottage floor, I started to move in on the matter of blending the tree to the made-made hardwood of the flooring. A few years ago I had come across a giant pile of tree roots dug up on public property near the beach and knew I would need them to finish Halfland's tree. I was afraid because they likely had some kind of infestation of bugs or bacteria to have necessitated a tree being removed but not afraid enough to not drag a bunch of the most twisted and gnarled back to our place. I never saw any critters on them BUT in the years they've waited to be used here, there has been much saw dust coming from inside them so I know thousands of someones must be making a feast out of them.

I had no idea how I might use the roots on the tree, or if that would even look good. But I also knew that I would never be able to duplicate the natural quality that real roots have, the flaking of layers, the subtlety of coloration, the buckled shapes. I knew that if I could add them then the entire tree would take on a much more authentically natural illusion. It would bring the tree to life in a greater way. I let my hands work quickly before my head could argue anymore.

I rushed to grab some part of the real roots from the boxes behind the set. I sat crumpled and cross-legged all night long (ouch), essentially sculpting real root pieces onto the existing root tips of my man-made tree. The more I worked it, developing a technique as I went, the more fantastic I thought it looked. My special companion loved to lounge on the pile of raw roots as I worked.

And I was both thrilled and weird-ed out by the fact that... the roots as you see them blended onto the tree, noting the ash-pale grays on the left side by the door and the nearly black ruddy colors of the kitchen area on the right, and growing in and out of the blond floor boards... required no paint or tinting in order to match in color perfectly. None. It's as if these roots were made for exactly this tree.

PS: you can see the little shelf made a bit ago hanging on the wall and the finished vegetable bins. The roots curl and run under the door making the height of Clare's door make perfect sense now too. I couldn't know how I was going to use these roots but now I can't imagine the tree without them. (note: if you scroll down a little bit you can catch the before and after view between this post's last shot and last post's first.)

Next stop: larger pieces real roots, to a lesser degree of detail, on the tree's "outside" view


  1. The roots look so good! Look at your cute kitty sleeping there!

    All the best,

  2. Looks great - I hope any little feasters inside don't turn their attention to your new hardwood floors!

    (although it be an extra effect if they did...)

  3. The most lucky roots in the world! They are now part of Halfland and will live forever with your beautiful film!

  4. So lovely, over the years, to see the imagination slowly accrue into concrete reality...

  5. It all looks amazing wonderful! And perfect for a little bear to climb!

  6. I sometimes hardly believe there's only one person creating this wonder-full world. It's a great pleasure to encourage you because by this we all become part of your work.

    Perhaps you should ask the bugs if they could go for another piece of wood? You also could invite them to come back later when you'll finished production... ;) Nature always find its way back into culture, doesn't it?

  7. i'm just flat out amazed at what you are creating. absolutely magical. i look at the pictures, watch the progression of how you create the scene, objects, characters, and i feel glimmers from my childhood - that place where imagination and nature came together to form something utterly absorbing and wonderful. halfland may be unearthing my childhood :)

  8. Unbelievable! I love watching how all of the pieces just magically come together. Those roots are perfect.

  9. Awesome!!! Love Tiina....

  10. Thank you, thank you, each and all for your exciting comments. You really spark me to work more!

    When Jessica says: "...because by this we all become part of your work." I couldn't agree more! It's completely true. Those that are having the patience to watch the slow development of the project being built will indeed be an essential part of the finished film. Bit by bit, brick by brick, if there were any bricks...heh.

    And Miss Kate! Holy cow! What a supreme compliment you make! YES! Imagination and nature coming together creating that elusive place where folktales originate, yes! That is Halfland's aspiration!

    Thank you all! I am turning around and going to glue the porch slats together! woo.

    Wait--I must post John Dods Ariel Brace images first....

  11. Yes, the set seems to be growing at the pace of a real tree, which is slow compared to most film productions, but which gives it a level of detail and excellence that surpasses them.

    Staying *rooted* to the spot....

  12. Thank you, Mikee, (I love the way you talk, it's real real purty like.) Yep, I could probably could have literally grown this tree faster! HA!


  13. This looks oh so amazing!
    Yes like years of growth, mixing
    and combinding into one.
    You lady, are amazing!
    And if you want to use other
    roots with out "friends" in
    them try leaving the roots
    in a wood oil...or any oil
    really over night... those
    little bugies need air... they
    will leave your roots quick.
    Just make sure you rotate your
    roots so there are no air bubbles
    then leave till you need.... test
    it out if you are not sure you
    will like it, the oil may change
    the color but you can always
    dull it down if you don't like it.
    It would be a shame to latter find
    your guests infest and really eat
    your halfland tree.
    You are doing great but I can
    see that everyone thinks so!!
    Loads of good wishes your way!

  14. Rane! What a helpful bit of information that was! Thank you! I never would have thought to soak the roots in oil to dispatch the munchers. You give me an idea. I think I'll brush a coat or two of matte medium on the roots that are now part of the set. That way if there are any bugs on board they won't ruin the work done. Although, I think I'll leave them raw. After all, the critters got there first. It's live and let live around Halfland.

    xoxox Thanks!

  15. With every visit I make here, I take away a new little seed of inspiration. The roots, the bricks, everything is so amazing!

  16. Thank you, Amy! Likewise to you!

  17. consider your self Supported!

    keep havin fun.


  18. Thanks, JRigg, I sure will...

  19. "Wait--I must post John Dods Ariel Brace images first...."

    Shelleyyyyy... please please post the images.. Thanks!!!

  20. Sooooory Yaz! I forgot, got off track....

    Doing it NOW!

  21. Dang Shelley,,,the roots are amazing,,I am impressed,so natural.

  22. Anonymous4:02 PM

    Oh yes, those roots found you! It all is so absolutely perfect. I am awe struck.

  23. Anonymous4:02 PM

    Oh yes, those roots found you! It all is so absolutely perfect. I am awe struck.

  24. Thank you Halfland's Official Naturalist! hee.

    And thank you, Peggy Peggy! xoxoxoox

  25. (^ while at Disneyland a few weeks ago I had these flashbacks to working at landmark entertainment: and to top that off, you p and remind me of the tree clock i made a bear head for .
    recently John Mthews started putting some youtube content out there: i think Ralf S.Mouse has pieces to glance at .
    but you'd have to go searching thru my vlog to find it..

    (^ wait.. why i write all that?..! oh yeah.

    (^ tinting trees with oil hthat won't knock your socks off with toxicity.

    (^ I liked coconut suntan oil for shiny watered soaked looking roots.
    it smells nice and also.ages. changes with time.
    is interesting to timelapse.

    that's enough. lots of natural oils have potential.

  26. Oh, I caught ALL of Mr. Mathews YouTube Channel! Yuji threw me that link a while back. Really inspiring work, you're right!

    Coconut oil ready to go, nice to know it'll work! Thanks, Prosser.


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