Monday, October 13, 2008


I had SUCH a great day today, hanging out in the studio with an old friend from home named Todd. He brought over a found object piece he had been working on for his daughter. This project is made up of all kinds of things, from scraps found in his father's shop, to found objects on hikes, to random hardware like door knobs and handles that his daughter loved to carry around in her tool chest (a chip off the old block, she is). Some wood pieces are carved, or drilled into as nifty pencil holders or containers for odds and ends. Todd brought his almost complete gift to my house for me to add my touches with paint. It turned out I was able to contribute a few other trinkets as well that I thought she would enjoy.

Now... I just have to say this. Some people wouldn't get it. It's not your usual girly dollhouse with a picket fence that daddy built or anything. But I absolutely love it. And the little girl in me does too. Being a quirky, natural scavenger myself as a little girl, I would have fallen in love with this wild playscape and added my own collection of various shaped and sized critters and found objects. Todd and I had some great conversations today as we worked, and I know he won't mind me sharing that some of those conversations included what it's like being quirky (which we both are) and how sometimes people can't really understand it. Like talking to ourselves, or bouncing between different projects at once when you get excited, or following your intuition rather than a map. There's room for all of us in this world, and when I think about my friend Todd, I thank God for people like him on this Earth. He is constantly meeting new people and befriending them wherever he goes, and he's a roamer. He has passionate and creative ideas and he pursues them right away, not in a rush, but not put on the list of "someday I will...". I've got more to share about Todd, but let me get to what we worked on today...

Todd and the project.

Top showing the shells and rocks and the painted pasture and stone path.

The pasture with little rocks I painted to be moved around. One with a cow on either side, another with a horse. Behind that is a little fairy tower that is removable (tada! fairy wand!) with painted flowery vines and a little ribbon with this fairy figurine I had hanging around among my collection of random items. The animal rocks (and any of her added animal friends, which I'm sure she has) can hang out in the pasture or get daring and jump the fence!

The tree is another removable dowel painted brown with real branches, a photo of Todd and his daughter and a porcelain bird figurine I got in a box of teabags on top. The wood piece with the red flower on it is also removable and it has slots for her tools, or a feather, or a pretty leaf - whatever new treasure she discovers that day.

The view from above - almost finished. The wood piece with the flower turned into a brick building with a window on the side with a cat in the window. (GAH! I wish I took more pictures! There are so many details!). I should add, those stones and shells are glued on and finished, so they have a cool shine, and the stones in the back wrap around like a stone wall. Todd stained most of the wood and I just added little touches of color. The green square on the bottom has another little fence around it, and the other one is more like a platform for a little box with hand carvings that I painted in two shades of green. I wish I had a picture of that too, but hopefully I'll get some updated pics when she gets it.

Here it is, finished for the most part. The blue dowel will be getting a curtain and he also has this funky fish sculpture thing that will go in there (seen in the first pic) and two other wood objects. I painted the dowel first in this subtle gradation from dark to lighter blue and continued that with other the other elements of trim.

Ok. I was introduced to the amazing music of Fela Kuti today. Here is a clip for your enjoyment.

I've got more to share about Todd and what he's up to, but I'll be saving that for tomorrow. Good night and peace.

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