Monday, October 15, 2012

Arts & Crafts

It's hard not to get a little bit craftsy this time of year. There's something about a crisp fall day that makes me want to get out my art supplies and get to work. Last week I messed about with mixed media, for instance, transforming an Altoids tin into ...


Whatever this is.


And I transformed a box into ...


a box with pictures on it.

This past weekend, Will and I decided to decorate the dollhouse for Halloween:

We are in the process of making pumpkins out of Sculpy clay. I'll show you those when we finish.

As someone who makes a living as a creative person, it's very nice to get creative with no end in mind and no deadline at hand. But even nicer is to have a driver's license, a wallet, and several craft stores nearby. Do you remember what it was like to be a kid and have some big idea ... and then no one would take you to the store to get supplies? Or else, you had the supplies, but you couldn't figure out how to make your big idea work?

I was always trying to make houses out of cardboard boxes, but I lacked the architectural and engineering skills I needed to make that happen. I remember trying to use masking tape to tape on the second floor to my house, but the floor just kind of flopped. So frustrating!

One of the reasons I'd like to get my attic organized (I know: ha!) is that I have a dream of turning it into a museum of crazy art projects. Actually, I'd like to build a miniature village with its own railroad running around it. Wouldn't that be fun?

 I just read this article about a place in Hickory, NC, called Hart Square. In the 1967, a doctor named Robert Hart bought 200 acres of land for a family retreat. For reasons known only to him, he started collecting old and abandoned cabins, hauled them onto his land, and restored them, furnished them, and made his own village. It's open to the public once a year.

I want to do that! What I really want to do is buy the Henry River Mill Village (pictured below), which is where "The Hunger Games" was filmed. It's on sale for 1.4 million dollars. I don't happen to have $1.4 million on me, but if I did, that's how I'd spend it. The funny thing is, I'd rather dream of playing house in an old abandoned mill house than actually clean my own. Go figure.

11 comments:

magsmcc said...

Oh Frances, two weeks ago a secret house in a secret lane, right behind our house, came on the market. 1910. Built before wars, our railway, Northern Ireland's very existence. And it's on for a price that someone could easily afford, even with the £50,000 of work that it needs just to be lived in. We looked into it, oh yes we did. We'll just not be those people! Very unsettling, but oh the dream- three floors, six bedrooms, living rooms, playroom, outhouses. Mature apple tree in garden. That was the bit that got me! Anyway, so glad to read this post. It makes me smile, rather than fret! I HAVE THAT VERY DOLL'S HOUSE in my attic! And I have two boys who love it too. Just no room for it downstairs. Now, if we had lived in an Edwardian villa..... I love your ideas. Gosh and you can write too. I'm thinking of making a sort of felt cum crochet autumn garland stringy thing for across the window. Hmmm. Dreaming is good!

Angela said...

I have a dolls house too - but mine looks different. And needs refurbishment - one of those projects that will get done one day...

I love the refurbished Altoids Tin. I need to start small. A little tin before I embark on vintage property, I think.

Maybe a summerhouse in the garden...

Jo said...

The grass is always greener, Frances...
Love your craft, and your dollhouse. One of my fave books as a child was from the scholastic catalogue, The Dollhouse Caper, about a family of boys and their dollhouse. It isn't great literature, but it's lots of fun, and there aren't many dollhouse novels with burglars and cherry bombs.. your Will may like it.

Pom Pom said...

Your doll house is so fun!
Yes, I remember having that crafty itch and no supplies or not big enough ideas to do anything substantial.
I DO love having a crafty supply place just a quick car ride away.
I like your Altoids box very much!

Gumbo Lily said...

I love your creations. I especially like your Altoid box. It reminds me of "Autumn in a Box" that one of my other blog friends created here:
http://storybookwoods.typepad.com/storybook_woods/2008/09/autumn-in-a-box.html

Do you keep the doll house out year round and decorate it for each holiday? I like that!

I hope all your dreams come true.

Jody

GretchenJoanna said...

Well, it's quite fun reading about everyone else's Autumn craftiness! I hope to cook some pumpkin, and that might just be the extent of my efforts. I can read your blog and others and enjoy looking at the pictures of your decorations. Oh, and I did put a pumpkin on my front walk!

Tracy said...

You know it's way more fun to clean and organise someone else's home, don't you? Maybe we should swap - my dungeon for your attic?

I was never very creative about making stuff, but I had a great imagination for role playing...by myself. Turns out all that playing 'mums' and 'teachers' was quite prophetic!

Heather said...

This post reminded me of when I was younger and I used to make dollhouses out of shoe boxes. For some reason we had a sample wallpaper book at our house and I would mix flour and water to make the glue to line the inside box with the scraps of wallpaper. It was great, simple creative fun that would keep me busy for hours.

I saw that Hunger Games village for sale on T.V. I think it would be fun to decorate it for Christmas and open it to the public. One house for visiting Santa, one house for Mrs. Claus's bakery, make one house into a church for a nativity scence, etc.

wayside wanderer said...

Oh, you are having FUN and I am jealous. I love what you are doing and have very fond memories of sculpey clay when my kids were younger. I miss those days when we were less busy with work and school. I have got to have some creative fun very soon.

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debbie bailey said...

I sure do remember feeling frustrated as a child because no one would help me create things. And I had such good ideas! Not to thrown off on my mama. She taught me all kinds of useful things. I guess the things I wanted to work on was something she wasn't interested in so much.

I've tried to do better with my own children. If I wasn't willing to help, at least I found someone who would. Good for you for helping Will on his various projects.

I have a dollhouse in the attic that I'm trying to decide where to put. I don't really want to clutter up the house with it, but the grandchildren would love it!