Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Four Fish (of forty-two lagoon animals...)

Just finished the four leaping fish (that's four of forty-two animals).  They still need to be outlined in fluorescent paint, but I think I may have help with that task.  Hopefully, since we are approaching the final week before the play and I still have lots to do.  Lots to do = not a lot of time to post.  More this weekend.  Wish me luck.  At this point, I need it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Spray Foam Rock Formations

  Apparently, I like to make things out of wire.  I say apparently because I didn't quite realize this until this evening.  A few months ago, when we started this play, someone suggested we make rocks out of spray foam, and I said, "Sure, cool!"

So first I designed a two-step rock.  We started with two oddly shaped pieces of plywood, separated by 2x4s.  We put a third, smaller piece of plywood on the top for a second step.  Here's a picture I previously posted...

 Next, we stapled on some heavy duty wire to give it some sturdy but rounded shape, and over that I attached some aluminum screening.

See my foot in the lower left?  I was standing on the table for some good staple-gun leverage.

 I kept the top of each level clean so that when the kids step on it in their stocking-feet, they don't get boo-boos.  Sorry about the blurry photo - I didn't check it for clarity till the moment had passed...

It's going to get completely coated with spray foam insulation - here's how it looks after it dries, but before it's painted. Lumpy looking, but it dries nice and hard, but don't get it on your hands or your clothes - it's like epoxy.  As a matter of fact, maybe it IS epoxy.

In the picture above, there is a flat, one level rock sitting on top of my two level rock.  

This evening we also formed a round rock out of a box from a former play...

... and we turned an old entertainment center into Ariel's Grotto.

 We added a piece of luan across the back (I'm thinking something thicker may have been better - easier to staple into), and I added a couple of rocky outcroppings with screening.

Then we wrapped the edges with screening to round them out.   

In the play, Kin Triton is going to flip this around and show the back after he "destroys" the grotto.

When we get a dry day, we're going to drag the stuff outside and cover it all in spray foam insulation.  The stuff shown above was the canned stuff, but it took FOREVER to get that as shown.  It sprays out of a tiny tube that's smaller than a drinking straw.  We decided to spring for the two large "professional" cans.  They mix together, epoxy style as you're spraying them, I believe.  We're doing it all at once because once you open the cans, you only have a few days before whatever remains in the cans hardens up into an unusable mass.   I'll post again after we spray it, which is scheduled for Thursday or Friday.  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Scenery Update in Pictures

Update:  Paint cans everywhere.  Painted objects everywhere.  

Plans getting revised...
 and revised again.

Forty-something animals, all painted black on the back, and painted with colors on the front...

...and various glow-in-the-dark paints, that have yet to be decided upon. 

Semi-circular "whale bones" for Ursula's Lair.  (They're primed in this picture -  I told my helpers for today to paint them bright white.  Of course, bright white latex does not glow under black lights - 
Who Knew?

FORTY-SOMETHING animals, I tell ya. Painted multiple times. 

A rock in its preliminary stage of development.  (flanked by some of the animals in their primed state...)

One of the stairs onto King Triton's throne, currently holding up a whale bone as it dries...

The back of King Triton's Throne - behind the framework of a stair for the pit. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Find something you love to do, and fit it into your life

I spent much of the day painting these frogs for the play.  All that's left for them to be complete is for me to paint their eyeballs and nostrils (not too time consuming), and if it works under the black lights we installed, give them some florescent highlights.  Then I have to paint their backs black, so that if the kids accidentally turn them the other way while on stage, they become invisible.  A friend took eight cranes home and painted them (thank you, CM!) and we are going to meet up again after school tomorrow to move along to the next groups of animals.

A nice quiet task like this leaves you with plenty of time to think.  A few friends of mine are going through some tough times right now, and while I painted, I thought of them.  I thought of them, and the healing power of creativity.  When you are low, nothing picks you up like creating something beautiful, or something funny, or just something that makes someone else happy.  If we are created in God's image, and God is the ultimate creator, isn't it logical that creating would make us happy, too?

To those in pain, I wish you peace, and then, when you're ready, happiness.  I hope they find something they really love to do and make time for it.  Like I make time for this, because, quite frankly, my house needs some organization, but that doesn't give me joy the way this does.  And if they are lacking for ideas of what they can create, I have 27 more animals that need painting.