Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Children's Treasury of Creepy Paper Dolls

It seems we made someone's list "The Children's Treasury of Creepy Paper Dolls", and since I firmly believe there's no such thing as bad internet publicity I'm going to link back to the story. Why the author chose the doll of mine that she did... I don't know, especially since I've got girls with spider legs and conjoined twins, etc... but to each their own, and power to the creepy.

The Violent Acts of Plastic Canvas Sculpture

When it first occurred to me that I wanted to make a physical manifestation of a Minecraft "Mooshroom Cow", I was about 37 hours of sleep deprivation into building. There I was placing the final blocks on my fortress of unspeakable evil, and I hear what used to be an atmospheric "moo" become a loud "moo" that was too physically close to ignore. It was then that the cow sneaked up behind me, and pushed me off a cliff to my death.

I even built a hedgemaze; I have no life.

So I decided I should make a toy Mooshroom Cow. Let's face it... the merchandising for Minecraft has not been very widely distributed or vaired and it's not like I could just go to Wal-Mart and pick a cow figurine up to sit on my coffee table as a safety reminder when working in extreme heights.

Subject: Mooshroom Cow

Plastic canvas and yarn became my method of choice because the canvas is rigid and naturally lends itself to the "voxel" style of sculpture. I google image searched the Mooshroom Cow and counting pixels, converted these dimensions to plastic canvas dimensions by the formula [# of pixels per side by # of pixels per side = plastic canvas holes + 1 by plastic canvas holes + 1]. I got some graph paper and sketched it out. I felt really smart and in charge of this craft project; I mean, I was using MATH and stuff. Obviously I was genius in the midst of my element.

Mooshroom Cow Pattern
It was really in the assembly that I realized things were all about to go horribly wrong for me... not only because the sun had set and my children were snoring and the rest of the world was going to bed while I sat on my sofa covered in frayed bits of yarn, but because I seem to have backed myself into a place where I could no longer access both sides of some of the pieces and thusly couldn't sew these pieces to other pieces. I got through it, mostly by violence... there were moments where I was holding this cow so tightly while bending it into some absurd position while also trying to stab through 5 layers of yarn. But I got through it. I had a cow. It was cute. I felt I was done.

The next day I attended my daughter's school program (where she delivered a public speech with perfect poise, I must brag) and afterwards I went to tell her how proud I was of her. Somewhere during this, she asked about the cow so I showed her a picture of the cow on my phone. At first her eyes lit up but then she got confused and said, "Where are the mushrooms, mommy?" I raised my eyebrows as if to say "To which mushrooms are you referring?" but I knew. We both knew. I knew I'd made the decision at 5:30am to leave the mushrooms off the back because it was hard and would have taken more planning than I had the inkling for 12 hours earlier. My daughter's friends came over and looked at the picture and also said, "It's cool... but where are the mushrooms?" Like a chorus, in perfect unison.

I returned home and slept for 12 hours.

Getting up the next night, I decided I was going to make a CORRECT Mooshroom Cow. An amazing cow. A cow that my whole family would be proud of. I sat about making a new pattern. I cut out the pieces. I photographed all my steps. I made a perfect Mooshroom Cow and the pattern to go along with it. [This is the triumphant part of the story - TAH-DA!]

When it was all over my fiance said, "What happened to our sofa?" but then he ALSO said, "Wow... it looks amazing... and it only took you 18 hours. I counted." Behold the Mooshroom Cow. I put it up for sale in my shop, but if I were to do the math it becomes the least cost effective item I have ever made and attempted to sell. So there will never be another one; it is one of a kind. Moo.