#MiniMayhem? That's SO Tee Bylo!

Thursday, 6 October 2016

September Has Ended! Time To Wake Up!

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends...
© Green Day

It's probably something of an understatement to tell you that I'm rather glad to see the back of September and that of the month before when my father died suddenly and even though I had walked away from our painful relationship some time ago, these last few weeks have been rather challenging to say the very least!

He died of heart failure in the morning of an early August day at the age of 68 and now when I think of my relationship with him from my earliest memories and what has been revealed since his death; I really believe at least in the emotional sense that his heart failed him many years ago.

Forgive me if I appear harsh but he really did have a heart not fit for purpose and as my intention is to leave the man to his rest; I shall say no more about it, other than what I have already published on my GeneaBlog The Flesh Is Frail, and which you are welcome to read but if you have no wish to; that's fine too!

Now, can I have a drum roll please? For, wait for it; my website is FINALLY published! 

It's been a long process as I was building it myself and yes, I could have given birth and moved house in the time that it has taken me to arrange the images, text, icons, links and others I have since forgotten about but it felt so wonderful to finally hit that 'publish' button!

And if you fancy a wander through my world in 12th scale, here's the link:

I've also been building in 12th scale over at my studio in Bar Lane and have spent many an hour through August and September wrestling with some MDF, getting messy with paint and glue, cursing at my solder iron, thwarting the mischief from that one Little Big Cat and seeking solace in large cups of tea and the occasional biscuit.

However, as the studio has been so warm and I've been working with the windows open, I have found myself an object of curiosity from tourists who while walking along the Micklegate end of the Bar Walls here in York were also enjoying a great view of my studio and so I've had to be on my best behaviour, particularly when I realised one day that it was me who was at the end of a long camera lens!

And if you should ever stumble across a image on the web tagged 'Strange Folk of York' of a woman with wild blonde hair wearing a paint splattered apron and yellow sneakers with something of a crazy look about her; it will probably be me!

Anyway back to the tale about the expansion of my 12th scale property empire and having received more than one request for the secret of my 'realistic' stonework, I have put together a recipe for the budding stonemasons among you.

There are so many different ways of creating realistic looking stonework but this is the way which works for me and if you are going to use a stencil, I have found the best ones to be from Bromley Craft Products and yes, you can order directly from them.

But what of the 12th scale build that I have devoted most of my summer to, I hear you ask?

Well, as I have also been taking advantage of the glorious sunshine in my garden in which to work on the design for another 12th scale model of the fantastical variety for Yorvik Faerie Productions; my summer works schedule is now a 'little' behind schedule but at least I can be thankful that unlike in the 'real' world, I shall suffer no financial hardship for any late penalty clause.

However, now that September has come to an end and the celebration of All Hallows Eve is beckoning, I do need to wake up and create or I could end up with a wake up call of a different kind!

Now, as to what this 12th scale build will finally be; well, here are some teaser images of my creation in progress to whet your appetite.

And talking of appetites, mine as just been whetted by the sight of that bar of chocolate which has lurked just out of view until now.

Adieu for now!

Friday, 5 August 2016

So Final, So Over. The Death of Marilyn.

Today commemorates the untimely death of Marilyn Monroe at the age of 36, an effervescent glamour puss and arguably the most famous female icon of all time.

My interest in Marilyn began as a teenager as I was waiting for a flight to Spain for having spent most of my holiday fund on the book by Fred Lawrence Guiles in an airport store and to the consternation of my family, I then spent the rest of the week with my head buried within the pages and I have been reading about her ever since!

Her mysterious death on Sunday August 5 1962 has only added to the myth and intrigue which surrounds her complex and fascinating life and with every passing year, the events of that hot and balmy August weekend in 1962 would appear to demand yet more theories and innuendo as the clamour for reasons to refute the official cause of death as 'Probable Suicide' remains undiminished.

Is it likely that we will ever know the truth of what happened to Marilyn Monroe?

And even if incontrovertible evidence were presented that she did indeed die by her own hand, would we believe it?

For is it possible to accept that a beautiful and talented woman took the conscious decision to end her life one lonely Saturday evening?

'I could see from many feet away that Marilyn was no longer living...'
The answer is 'probably not' when one considers the demand for the books which are published in ever increasing numbers with each passing year and which all purport to tell us 'The Final Truth'.

Whether it was the tragic 1997 car accident of a Princess who perished for failing to wear a seat belt or the jealous rage of a successful and affable O.J. Simpson leading him to butcher two innocent people on a June evening in 1994; or indeed the probable suicide of the most famous film star of all time; it could be argued that the most logical explanation would appear to be the most absurd.

However; conspiracy theories, motives and explanations aside, all we can know for certain is that the nude body of Marilyn Monroe was discovered in a partially decorated bedroom of her home in Westwood in Los Angeles 54 years ago on this day.

'There she was, laying face down on the bed, bare shoulders exposed...'

And it was the idea of this 'death scene' which captured my imagination for the design of one of my more controversial pieces and as Marilyn had died in the house she had bought only months before with a tiled doorstep bearing the Latin inscription for 'My journey is completed', 'Cursum Perficio' is the recreation of the demise of this icon in 12th scale and inspired by the photographic images and published material available to me.

'And as I got closer, I could see the phone clutched fiercely in her hand..'

The 'Marilyn' figure is the creation of Jain from the Giddy Kipper and although she is internationally known for her 'whimsical' characters in miniature, several of have now moved in with the other fantastical folk over at the All Hallows Hamlet; Jain would probably be the first to argue that a 'deceased' Marilyn Monroe was very far from the definition of a whimsical character!

'I suppose she was trying to make a phone call before she was overwhelmed...'

'It was just so unbelievable, so simple and final and over.' Ralph Greenson

However, having accepted my commission with some bemusement, Jain has created a shockingly poignant figure of some grace and contention which is entirely in keeping with the maelstrom of conspiracy which continues to swirl around the death of this lady, even after all of these years.

Adieu for now!

Sources Used:
Goddess The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe Anthony Summers (UK: Indigo 1985)

Monday, 13 June 2016

At Home With Mrs Simpson. The Door to Nicole's House Reopens!

For as well as enduring interest in the life and legacy of Nicole Brown Simpson, I also have a passion for the Regency world of the Poet Lord Byron, the occasional bar of chocolate and creating ‘Small Worlds’ in 12th scale.

However, as one of the most popular ‘Small Worlds’ is still Nicole’s House, I thought I’d share a ‘little’ more about this unique 12th scale abode…

"I just don't see how our stories compare -I was so bad because I wore sweats & left shoes around & didn't keep a perfect house or comb my hair the way you like it - or had dinner ready at the precise moment you walked through the door or that I just plain got on your nerves sometimes.

I just don't see how that compares to infidelity, wife beating, verbal abuse...

I just don't think everybody goes through this....
I called the cops to save my life whether you believe it or not.."

These are the harrowing words written by Nicole shortly before her brutal murder on Sunday June 12 1994 in the garden of her Brentwood home in Los Angeles as her two children were sleeping.

Nicole's former husband NFL hero and celebrity O.J. Simpson was subsequently arrested, tried and acquitted of her murder and that of her friend Ronald Goldman in a relentless blaze of publicity the following year.

I began to read about Nicole shortly after her murder in 1994, she was the focus for the research and publication of my BA thesis in 1999 and I have been reading about her ever since.

She was also the inspiration behind the creation of my "California style" ocean-front house 875 South Bundy Drive June 1994 and now known as 'Nicole's House'

In June 1994 and shortly before her brutal murder, Nicole was making plans to leave her home at 875 South Bundy Drive in Brentwood, Los Angeles in order to escape the abuse and obsession that had characterised her long relationship with O.J. Simpson and only days before her death, Nicole had seen a beach house in Malibu available for rent and she was excited and positive at the prospect of a move there with their children.

'Nicole's House' is a House created in Miniature that tells several narratives:

Firstly, there is a recreation of some of the principle rooms at 875 South Bundy Drive as they were discovered in the early hours of Monday June 13 1994 as the investigation into the murders of Nicole and Ronald Lyle Goldman was underway.

The additional rooms are created as a tribute to the style and essence of Nicole who loved the style of interior design that has come to typify the "California Look".

Finally, as we know that Nicole was planning a move to a beach house in Malibu, 'Nicole's House' is a poignant reminder of "what could have been".

To learn more about the life of Nicole and the creation of this small abode, please follow the link: Nicole's House. The Story. The Creation...

Adieu for now!

Monday, 7 March 2016

Vampyre or Vampire? The Yorvik Faerie Enjoys a 'Little' Retail Therapy...

The best definition I can give of a vampire is a living, mischievous and murderous dead body. A living dead body! The words are idle, contradictory, incomprehensible, but so are vampires."
Stray leaves of Science and Folk Lore

Vampires, Vampyre, Vampir, Vampyyri, Vampyras, Vampyr, Vampyras, Vampiro... It really makes no difference how the word is spelt for the meaning remains the same the world over, and for as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed a fascination with (and a sneaky regard!) for these undead creatures of folklore and mythology.

However, as much as I appreciate that this interest of mine will not be shared by everybody and so in keeping with the ideas of 'mischief' and the 'incomprehensible' that Scoffern has attributed to the Vampyre; I have created something of a fantastical store that seeks to offer those essential accoutrements for any discerning hunter or slayer of the undead.

And so without further ado, I am now going to unlock the door of the Monsignor Suárez Vampyre Slayer's Emporium that is located 'Somewhere' in the All Hallows Hamlet…

The design for this fantastical 'Small World' began during the dying days of an Indian summer last year and as I made a real effort to actually remember to photograph the creation of it from dry-build to completion; I am looking forward to sharing this tale with you in a later post.

You fools! You think you can destroy me with your wafers and your wolf's-bane, Me, the King of my kind?! You shall see!

As the All Hallows Hamlet is a marketplace of emporiums, boutiques and other such establishments for discerning folk with a penchant for retail indulgence and a predilection for all that is extraordinary; I confess that I have been more than a little excited about the creation of this ‘Small World’ for not only is it a fantastical store brimming with merchandise of the magickal kind and after a lot of meticulous research on my part (any excuse to read, read, read!) really is seeped in all manner of ancient folktale and superstition!

And as this weekend continues to be one of celebration with the festival of Día de Muertos or otherwise known as the Mexican Day of the Dead, I have another sneaky feeling that a certain ‘Small’ feline may be putting in an appearance within this newly inaugurated establishment, along with one or two other folk from the All Hallows Hamlet...

However, before I disappear for the time being; I shall leave you with a few lines from my favourite poet Lord Byron... 
Adieu for now!

"But first, on earth as Vampire sent,
Thy corpse shall from its tomb be rent:
Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race;
There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
At midnight drain the stream of life;
Yet loathe the banquet which perforce
Must feed thy livid living corpse.
Thy victims are they yet expire
Shall know the demon for their sire,
As cursing thee, thou cursing them,
Thy flowers withered on the stem."

Lord Byron