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This sucks, I had better intentions than to start a fresh spanky new year this way.

In my defense, J had a health, well not crisis, but it is damn sure not pretty. He had emergency surgery and is in for a sort of long recovery. So that is keeping me very busy as I am playing Nurse Pammie. Stop laughing, it isn’t that funny and while I’m not going to win any awards he says I’m good at it.

Little child in iron bed with letter

Think healing thoughts for us. I’ll try to get back to blogging as soon as I can.

Happy Christmas

And a Very Merry New Year!

eloise christmas tree

From Me and Eloise

and Piglet, Pooh, Tinkerbell and Frosty the Snowman (the blue one-armed one, who I had since I was a baby)

Excellent Advice

Yeah we are all rushing around like crazy people trying to get all sorts of stuff done. Everyday stuff like the laundry and holiday stuff like decorating and gift shopping. No News There.

However I think there are things we need to stop for a moment and take a breath for. Like reading one of the best pieces of advice I’ve read in a while. Specifically this blog post by Greg Ruth over on Muddy Colors.

Like me, you’ve probably read similar posts before. I’m really glad Greg took the time to write this now, as this time of year is when we tend to forget to think about how important this stuff is. How no matter how busy our lives are that we need to set aside a least a little time to think; that’s it just think.

So take ten minutes and go over and read this truly excellent advice.

Galaxy cover emshwiller 1951

Also a little oddball vintage sci fi humor to cheer your day.

I Got a Makie!

Now some of you are no doubt saying to yourselves “What the heck is a Makie?”

Allow me to explain: a Makie is a 10 inch tall doll which has a customized 3-D printed head and an injection-molded body with detachable parts. Like the hands and the feet so they can be dressed easily and so that optional extra parts; like alternate pose hands* and cool shoes (some are slip on and some are like alternate feet).

Yes, I totally missed the boat on the entirely 3-D printed Makies (last ones went at the end of the summer) but thanks to a wonderful review of the new body by flyingpurplemonkfish I now have one of the new dolls.

Here is my very first Makie, named Thorn, fresh out of her box:

makie thorn box opening

Please note that she is bald because I asked for her wig to be left unglued so that I could swap out her wigs (that cookie envelope on the right of the photo is a blue wig). Also please forgive the background, this is the only spot that still had enough sunlight for photos.

makie thorn closeup

This closeup shows the body color vs the head color. The match isn’t too far off — I think part of the problem is that the head color has a depth and radiance due to the white nylon showing through the skin dye, whereas the body color is opaque solid plastic. It matches better than this in real life to human eyes.

And here she is with her wig on:

makie thorn wig

Now that she’s here I can see a definite resemblance to “Carla Conner” from Coronation Street though I didn’t plan it that way.

Her digital preview:

Makie Thorn digital preview

The create-a-makie on the makie website is addictive, I can spend waaaay too much time here designing faces. Oh yeah, the primary attraction of a Makie is that you design the face, including choice of three skin colors. If you try it make sure to click on the more options button to turn on the custom face screens. The ears don’t show in the digital preview so here is a screen shot of the settings I used for Thorn’s ears. Yes, Thorn is Fae, as in Faerie.

Makie Thorn Ears

I guess I should mention that Makies cost $75 US, they ship worldwide, and that they are very poseable and fun. They also have a range of disability accessories (like hearing aids) and they encourage kids to be Makers. The new career packs (Musician, Veterinarian, Archeologist, Photographer) that they have just released for the holiday season are very cute. So are the new shoe packs and glasses packs.

So head over to Makie land and have some fun.

*The alternate pose hands for the new body aren’t available yet, but hopefully soon.

 

 

Oh the Insanity

The Duel

I find the seemingly endless human capacity for hate, violence and ignorance increasingly appalling.

It is appalling that our world, our humanity has slipped so far towards hopelessness that people fall to this.

Eiffel Tower Image

Je Suis Paris

Yes, things have been crazy busy here. I am squeaking in with a short but sweet halloween greeting to everyone out on the inter webs.

HalloweenTime

Love all those goolies appearing in the upper right!

Wishing lots of good things to eat and drink but not so much that you get sick. Ever the pragmatist, that’s me.

I have recently purchased the most marvelous book. (please note the smudge under the title is a weird reflection caused during scanning)

figs 4dim cover

Figures in the Fourth Dimension by Ellen Rixford is a delight to both the eyes and the brain. If you like puppetry and/or automatons you will love this book. If you want to build puppets, marionettes, or automata, you will be ecstatic.

This book is big, heavy and loaded with beautiful photos, extremely cogent diagrams, instructions and other valuable information. It starts with basics; the parts and devices used in building mechanical things. Then it moves on to tools, supplies, and setting up workspaces. Then there are chapters on artists working in a wide variety of styles both in the visual and the mechanical approach.

figs 4dim 1

Like this bright colorful killer tomato automaton.

figs 4dim 2

Or this modern statuesque carved wooden automaton, both these examples use similar mechanisms but the artistic esthetic is totally different.

figs 4dim 3

figs 4dim 4

Then there is this elaborately controlled elephant marionette who picks up and eats a fruit.

figs 4dim 5

EL Wire body puppets that in performance are light in motion.

figs 4dim 6

figs 4dim 7

This wooden spaceship is an example of how not only do you get a description of how the device moves/acts but also of how the action is achieved.

An outstanding feature of this book is that while it shows many, many different devices it also explains how to make and use the different mechanisms that the various artist used to achieve the motions.

figs 4dim 8

This last picture is here because I’ve adored Paul Spooner’s art for a very very long time and this one is a perfect example of why. It’s called “The Borgias’ Cat” who happens upon some spilled milk and laps it up . . . and dies. Wonderfully Silly! Dark but silly, just love it.

It took me a very loooooong time to decide which images to share, I finally chose on the basis of variety of styles as there are too many entirely gorgeous photos to choose just a few favorites.

So if you’ve ever wondered how puppets, marionettes, ventriloquist dummies and mechanical automata (both modern and antique) work, what their guts look like, or how to build one. Buy this book. Even if you’re just curious about these things: BUY THIS BOOK!

This Book is Totally Amaze-Bones!!!!

Figures in the Fourth Dimension website is here where you can see more about the book; including the entire table of contents (5 pages — this is a thick heavy book — hooray). Then did I mention . . . you should buy it!

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