Sunday, November 13, 2011

Squee Sunday: A Random Photoessay About the World's Least Dramatic Dream Deferred.

So I guess the first Order of Squee is the fact that all my owls (ten in all, including a couple who haven't been introduced to the internet-at-large yet like Ms. Hedwig above) went to a craft fair with my mom yesterday, and all of them except poor zany, pineapply Shawn got sold!  And there are more craft fairs to come, so I have to become an Owl Factory over the next few weeks, I guess.

But before I get down to the owlin'...

It probably won't come as a surprise when I say that I was a weird kid.  (Was?)  One of my many quirks was my strange obsession with this papier-mache book, which I would pore over all the time and wax poetic to my mom about wouldn't it be cool to make one of these SNAKES? or a CAT? And yet somehow, I just...never actually did any papier-mache.  (I wasn't very craftily-inclined as a kid, so that's not too surprising.)

I unearthed the book a little while ago and decided it was high time to fulfill my childhood dream.  A few weeks ago, I made this silly spider (one of the first projects in the book!) to be part of my Halloween decor.


And oh my gosh, I was in love.  Just the process of sitting on my kitchen floor at like, 8:30 in the morning (don't ask) and smooooothing flour-pasty newspaper strips over a stuffed-and-shaped plastic bag was so meditative and relaxing and then it actually dried (...I wasn't sure.  It's really humid here and sometimes that ruins projects.) and painted up like a dream, despite its overall amateur lumpiness.  I knew I wanted to make more.

So this weekend, it was cat time.  I've always been a Cat Person, so I was pretty stupid-excited about this.  I sat down with my exceedingly gorgeous model:

And got to stuffing-and-taping to try and get a nice sleeping-cat shape.  (This particular sculpture---I feel weird calling something this haphazard a "sculpture"--- is going to be a sleepy-zen cat for my mom, as her hobbit-gift for my birthday.  She's big on the "giving other people stuff on your birthday" thing, much like Mr. Bilbo Baggins.)

This is a terrible shot, but I love the shadow!

The next morning, I shifted everything over to a non-carpeted surface (hello, kitchen floor again...) and got working.  Process: still amazing.  Although this one was a little more difficult than the spider due to the ears and tail, which required fiddlier little strips of paper and more fancy wrapping.

Gloriously gooey.

And today, dried and covered with some gesso as I try to decide how it should look.  Do I make it a splotchy grey-and-white replica of my cat?  Make it whimsical and teal with spiral-spots?  ...Paint it black to hide the flaws as much as possible?  Whatever I end up doing, I'm happy (squeeful, in fact) that weird-kid-me was totally right about how much fun this papier-mache business is.