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Reflections 2018 w41

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Fluffy has a name, and even though my first attempt at making a puppet was a little off (character), my son’s smile at being given the chance to name and take him home says his eyes saw none of the imperfections. He has been warned not to brush or comb fluffy without a lint roller present, I even hoovered him, but still he sheds.

Now that this project has been done, a commissioned, one thinks it would still be called this if they just supply the canvas, not sure, but the premise is the same, piece of artwork is to be done next.

This is another piece for the B-WELL group, but after hearing what they wanted/thought I was doing it became apparent they were not the same. But one said I would sketch an idea or two and see what I came up with.

Several sketches later an idea was formed and the artworks concept was born.

It has been worked on several more times now, but tomorrow it gets started, with a now narrow window to complete….No pressure.

Just to throw a spanner in the mix one is doing a style that has previously never been attempted by myself. Well not since Junior school…A long, long, time ago.

Should be interesting.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

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Reflections 2018 w40

It is late so this is going to be a short one.

I have finished sewing my first puppet, all I have to do is place on the eyes when they arrive and it is all done. It has its faults, but I am rather happy with it; after all it was a learning process with some of the equipment as well as the sewing.

I now understand why the fur puppets have the fleece hands, they were a pain to turn inside out, plus in the end the fingers were cut off the foam because one could not get them into the sewn fur hands, fleece has some stretch in it.

The next project is going to dye the fleece I have bought, I could only get white locally, to a colour I think the muppet puppet will look best in. The fur was general fabric fur, here in the uk at least it seems hard to get puppet fleece/fur, once I have more experience I can order from America, I will also have a better Idea as to how many puppets per meter one can get out of the material. One has a couple of interested people who want to buy. It is always nice when a hobby pays the hobbies expenses.

One thing that one wishes one knew before embarking on the fur puppets project, is a simple but effective piece of information. Luckily I already had this piece of equipment.

You will when combing and/or cutting fur, become rather close to a lint roller. Fur, like sand on a beach, gets everywhere, and clings to all manner of clothing. Any one who knows my sisters dog knows how he can at times lie down only to leave a fur coat on the floor when getting up and moving, it looked like we had a visit from his ginger cousin.

If I had not had a lint roller I would have a hell of a job getting the fur off.

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Onto the next project…

Another piece of artwork for B-WELL, I have an idea for it, but not for its layout as of yet.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

My Writing Kiln Potteries Prize Entery 2018

He Comes

I can hear him downstairs rummaging, searching. It was only a matter of time before he came after me, and now he’s here, going through the house.

I had time to hide, to get into this dark, small, space. The door to the loft is hidden on the inside of my built-in-wardrobe. The smell of the mothballs mixes with the musty air held within. I dare not use my torch for comfort, for fear the light will give me away, so I sit here as he searches, not daring to move, my eyes, tightly shut.

He calls up the stairs, telling me he is coming, taunting; why does he taunt? 

A stair creaks, with it I know he is near the top. My heart is beating against my ribs, thumping so hard I think he will surely hear it, my back presses more against the corner of the walls in a desperate attempt to get further away. He doesn’t know about this place, he can’t know about it, how could he know? 

I’m safe here, as long as I remain silent.

My heart races, the squeak of the door handle now a shrill as its turned; he’s here! I can hear him moving around the room, his footsteps getting louder as he gets closer. The wardrobe door quickly opens, my breathing stops as he scrapes the rails moving the clothing across, my eyes scrunch painfully closed. 

Boo! I found you, your turn to count… “One…Two…Three…Four…”

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/writing

Reflections 2018 w39

The results are in for the Writing Kiln Potteries Prize; and I did not make it to the shortlist. But it is still a win for me, at least over my inner critic, because I entered a public competition.

With my second attempt at a short story now under my belt I have moved past the self doubt stage, the voice that says it’s not good enough; it was, it still is, and it will be published here on Wednesday.

What will the next one be about?

Who knows.

At the moment one has a poem that will just not gel together, what I want to say and what fits the timing are not co-operating yet. Normally I move onto another one as it sorts itself out, but this one is like Spot vying for attention when I watch a film at treat time. No matter where I move my head, hers moves in front of my eyes, blocking the view. So I am walking away from it for a week or two, to create that space.

Art too is currently on the back burner, Puppet building has taken centre stage. Plans have been downloaded, printed and pasted onto card, from http://www.adamkreutinger.com/ . Two puppet plans are free, and he shows how to build them on Youtube. I recon one could build one so one is going to.

I go and find the materials later this week.

So thats it for the moment, it feels like a car journey that’s half way done, not there yet but far enough away that a cuppa is needed.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

Reflections 2018 w30

My anxiety has been high this week, and because of it, one has ventured out less than normal.

It was to be expected once I found out I was going cold turkey from my near max dosage of medication. The extreme stoppage was at my psychologists discretion, one found out it was stopped when picking up the repeat last friday. Don’t get me wrong, it was talked about – the stopping it – I have questioned it’s effectiveness for well over 3 years, and have wanted to end it to see if the neuropathic pain is linked to a known side effect of the medication, so yes, ending it was talked about. How they have ended it seems more to prove a point than ‘care’.

I have grumble before about how I was told at the very beginning, treatment, effective treatment, was therapy, but all that seems to be given is pills. So yeh, mouse on the wheel of a cage time again.

But when I cannot go outside physically, my mind now picks a project to do, usually painting, but not this time.

This time it is new ground…

A way one thinks my poetry can be heard how I want it to be heard, but without my fat ugly mug on camera, or being in public.

Inspired by an exhibition of  students at Staffordshire University, the whole thing just clicked at a way to do it.

However, it required me to create a model “me” to do it. The concept of my “me” has already been done with the drawing/paining of the B-WELL tree. The little wooden character is my avatar if you will. But how to do the puppet.

Youtube…

Cloth puppet, wood puppet, clay puppet, foam puppet, silicone puppet, and paper mâché puppets are just the beginner materials. Hand puppet, body puppet, finger puppet, stick puppet, marionette, and the scariest one of all…

The traditional “little person” ventriloquist dummy. These always give me the heebie jeebies. Don’t know why, they just do!

Well a couple were pulled out because of the “wood” of the character, but wow, what a world of puppets out there. I now want to make several types.

But back to my original one…

I bought air dried clay, to create the ‘skull’, and plaster bandage for at least the first two coats of the face. The idea was to cut the plaster bandage, when dry, off the clay to get into the workings of the mouth. To make it simple. Then the paper mâché on top, then paint gesso, then acrylics before finishing with varnish. To reduce the amount of clay required I have done this with plastic bottles…

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This made it clear to me what it was I wanted to do, and it also showed me the problem I was going to have with my mouth…What type did I want to do?

The decision for that will come later…

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

Reflections 2018 w16

Have you ever spent twenty minutes scrubbing a snail with a toothbrush?

One feels the need to firstly explain that the snail is of the aquarium variety, and secondly I thought I threw him/her out with the water change. So there was a guilt aspect to it as well.

This snail has been through a lot really, I got the horned variety to try and stop it from being a snack for the goldfish that lived in the tank, as so many others had been before. It kind of worked, it got pulled off the glass every now and then, but that was about it, an inconvenience for the snail I’m sure, but the horns seemed to put the fish off – until next time.

I wanted the snails as window cleaners and ornament caretakers of sorts, and this they did very well.

The fish got to large for the tank so had to be moved to a new home, which meant a fresh start to the aquarium. Firstly the water was largely changed and the gravel removed to allow a layer of substrate to go down first for plant growth, this is where the mishap happened.

The snail was on the front of the glass and I was scooping from the side, the bag I was filling with the wet gravel folded outwards and spilt all over the carpet, then I went into panic mode, desperately trying to hold onto the bag – finish emptying the tank – and mop up the wet gravel. I did this and proceeded to clean the glass using the remaining water then squeezing it out into a tub inside the tank. When the tub was full it went out of the window – over the lawn.

In goes the substrate, in goes the gravel, in goes the ornaments, followed by half a tank of water. One then proceeded to plant the new vegetation, I have to admit  it will be nice to be able to have living plants in the tank again, the last tenant pulled them up for fun. The water got topped up and I ask the snail what it thinks of its refurb. That is when I notice that it is not there. Outside I go, with a torch, and spend half an hour looking for it before giving up. The snail killed, not by the fish, but by me having a carless moment.

I ‘stirred’ the gravel as much as I could, trying to ‘feel’ it, whilst not uprooting the plants, and when nothing was felt I thought there was little chance unless he surfaced the next morning. That was three weeks ago.

I told my son that I think the snail might of gone with the fish to a new home, which is plausible if it survived. On Sunday morning I took my son down to Pets at Home to buy two shrimp to place into the now very ’empty’ tank. After dinner we released the shrimp he asked if that was the snail in the corner, it was hard to tell as instead of being yellow with black stripes it was a great /black colour, but the horns gave it away. I could not tell if it was dead and the water stirring had disturbed it or it was alive.

We played a little while then checked on our new tenants, the snail now half way up the glass. He must have been hiding in the gravel I said. Two weeks it took that snail to get free from the gravelly grave.

Each time I looked into the tank it was accompanied by shame. So one got the snail out and as gently as one could possibly be – brushed the algae away with an old toothbrush, before placing it back into the tank, once again yellow and black.

So…Have you ever spent twenty minutes scrubbing a snail with a toothbrush?

I have.

 

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

 

ps. the shrimp got out of the tank last night, quite common it seems, I found one quite dried out in the middle of the room.

Supermarket Window… #Poem#Poetry#Prose

Supermarket window

I sit high above the path below,
warm by wall of glass.
Turn away from Friday shop,
from busy I do shy.

The others yet to cross the tills,
to reach this finish line.

Down below the wind it blows,
it dances and it swirls.
Unnoticed round the legs it plays,
of people passing by.

They wrap up well from biting cold,
though rushing for the time.

Children play in pile of leaves,
like children of the past.
Never taught this game to play,
when leafy pile tis found.

Laughing with a leafy rustle ,
such a pleasing sound.

The last of autumns golden leaves,
atop of bush of brown.
A faded mat of colours lies,
n’ covers all the ground.
Blackbird catches worms to eat,
it seems they are abound.

Squirrels in the trees they play,
jump from branch to branch.
Doing giant leaps of faith,
when fall it seems is prone.

Bouncing nests of years gone by,
perched on branches end.

And in these twigs and sticks was made,
by bird, twas once called home.
The young have long since been and gone.
And now from nest have flown.

A shoulder tapped,
it’s time to move,
my shoppers now to tend.

A § M
09/04/2018