S.T.U.P.I.D. projects: Bug Party Flower Lanterns

Shot with my magical shooting setup, the S5, with a tilt plane lens and 13mm extension magnifier ring.

So much of what has been built in Halfland has been done in between. Between work projects, between debilitating periods, between other creative distractions, or sometimes as creative distraction from other things.

It's indulgent, undirected, unprofessional, and entirely unnecessary. This would be a failure if Halfland were intended to be an entertainment. If I were hired as a craftsperson, I'd have to be fired. But I'm not, and it's not.

It's my Zen Practice where I learn new materials, technology, and techniques to improve what I can do and it's also my creative fixation. It's the giant, all-encompassing, byzantine project that can absorb whatever I think of, learn, and discover. I can and must add the things that mean something to me when they occur, especially if those impulses persist, even if it's only something that just makes me laugh.

In this way, I have made connections and gained understanding far beyond my expectations through building Halfland. I'm fighting hard to arrive at a balance between these indulgences and enough directed focus to get my shots in the can.

I recognize that within this struggle are little Halfland builds that are exceptionally pointless and stand out as a bad purchase of time spent. I've come to call these overactive creative mania as STUPID.

Small Tasks of Unexpected Potency Imprudent Distraction (STUPID)

And today's post features the latest really stupid STUPID project. Ladies and Gents, I give you...

Bug Party Flower Lanterns

I have Brazilian Bell Flowers growing in my garden. They look like party lanterns, even after picking. I tried my best to ignore this fact for over a year. Finally, I STUPIDed and tried to see how quickly I could make some for the Bug Party set. The answer was, not that quickly. Took me several days, on top of trying to slog through multiple other really STUPID tasks. But here we are done. Changing the color from reds to pinks to not compete with the party mushroom tables, I kind of just glued the edges of tissue paper petal shapes together around a stiff floral wire. The inner tip of it was studded with chopped yellow cord.

I found 1/2" round waterproof balloon lights that could be turned off and on by inserting a tiny blade between its batteries. (normally, I avoid battery-op things for environmental reasons, but I caved from the lust to make these and use the extras to tuck unwired lights everywhere, like candles!) I wrapped yellow tissue paper skirts around the lights and fit them inside the outer flower, shaded everything with watercolor, sealed with matte medium, and thought they were done.

Nope! Apparently, I also needed to make tiny bead bugs to stick their butts into the flowers, causing them to light up for the party. So STUPID of me. But they didn't take much time at all. Just chose sets of random beads, ran 30 gauge steel wire through the centers in three passes, trimmed wires to leg lengths, threaded a bit through the head beads, glued both parts together, added tiny black paint feet to the legs, added four little vellum wings and dots for eyes, glued them onto the green tissue paper wrapped flower interiors, directly on top of the brightest tip of the lights, and boom.

Dammit, they're going to look great in that scene.


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