Thursday, 13 October 2011

Food in Fluffville

Well, the year is flying past and I am aware that I have not blogged for some time. I suppose this is really due to feeling I have nothing new to say; Of course I could blame it on 'being busy' and running around with work and schools....but the truth is, I am just doing doing the same old thing and my career as an illustrator hasn't moved beyond the boundaries of Dumfries and Galloway. I don't really know what I expected, perhaps not world-wide recognition - but I thought I may have got a little further. As it is, I am still just a hamster on a perpetual wheel, maybe that's all I'll ever be...... I feel if I made a bit more effort and could be more motivated I might achieve something, but I'm kinda tired in a chronic, insidious sort of way. It's not nice. It's not the kind of tiredness a holiday could cure either, as I've quite a lot of those, ha ha! It's the Turn The Clock Back and Work Harder, Stick to your Game, Shoulda Listened to your Art School Tutors kind of stuff-up; Like you need to go back to the start - but you cant. It kinda sucks. On a more positive note, Food in Fluffville comes out next year - here's one of the pictures.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Update on Fluffville Films!

Things are going well at Fluffville Studios PLC, with lots of young people making new residents of Fluffville - we have a hippopotamus, a crab, a camera-man dog called Stuart, three rabbits, Eddie the Elephant and Gnasher the Crocodile (who drives about in a wind-powered car!)
The Fluffville sign is a facia for the puppet theatre and is made using recycled cardboard and squashed-up loo roll - it's that simple!
Many of the puppets have been made by students with additional support needs and everyone is really enjoying the process of making the film, it's such fun! Stuart ( the real Stuart, not the dog!) and I have also managed to film a piano and tin-whistle recital - using a little toy piano from the 1960's and a papier mache tin whistle! I hope you enjoy these photo's showing some of the puppets, I hope to get some video links up soon too.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Lights, Camera, Action!

Yesterday, we held our first Fluffville Films session! I was working with Stuart from Sharkbait Productions at Maxwelltown High School Learning Centre, where the students started to make twelve new residents of Fluffville, including a crocodile, a hippopotamus and an elephant! The young people are thinking about the script and the energy-saving tips they want their puppets to promote - this is going to be a really cool project! I staggered out of school two hours later, covered in glue (occupational hazard!) but very happy with how things had gone. Off to Stranraer on Thursday for Session Two!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Fluffville Films and Food in Fluffville

Happy New Year! Golly gosh and goodness me! It's been a long time since I wrote anything on my poor little blog - it expect it feels quite abandoned. Since the launch of Fluffville Saves Energy, back in October, life seems to have been a whirlwind of visiting schools, driving up and down the A75, applying for funding for Eco-Schools to continue, worrying about funding and getting some funding...... We also had some terrible weather; freezing conditions and deep snow. I bought a new car from EBay (not a good idea, in hindsight) which then proceeded to break down five times in two weeks! All this must have had a cumulative effect on me, as I got ill on Boxing Day and stayed ill for the next three weeks! It was a flu virus-thing, really nasty and probably came because I stopped working!
Anyway, on to bigger and better things - Tiddles is about to make his debut as a film star! We are due to start working on Fluffville Films in February; I will be working with a professional film-maker and various Secondary Schools to produce a series of short energy-saving puppet shows. Our endeavours will be recorded as a documentary-style film and premiered at our local independent cinema How exciting!
I will also be working on the second book in the Fluffville series, Food in Fluffville, to link with the launch of the new Eco-Schools topic, Food and the Environment. I'm really looking forward to it, as it will have Tiddles and the Bunnies looking at growing their own fruit and veg, making jam, visiting a farm, making monsters out of unwanted food packaging, all sorts of exciting things! (If you are six years old or short and orange!)
So, the year has got off to flying start! Spring won't be long now and planning of trips and things can commence! Watch out for Tiddles in OK Magazine - no doubt he will be negotiating with Dancing on Ice and Strictly Come Dancing before too long! I wonder when I should tell him what my management fee is!

Friday, 15 October 2010

At last! The Children get their copies of Fluffville!

Well, we finally managed to hold the launch of Fluffville Saves Energy and what a hoot it was! Everyone who was invited turned up, including Tiddles, who arrived in his used-chip-fat motor car! He was an excellent host, welcoming all the guests and posing for numerous photo shoots. He is currently 'in talks' regarding a TV series, 'What Tiddles Did Next'.....Hmmm, we'll see.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Puppet-Making Master Class, Part Two!

Here we go, Folks! Dig out your paintbrushes and find those needles and threads - we're makin puppets!
Here is the final instalment of my fascinating guide to making a Tiddles puppet - just think, if we all make one or two, Tiddles will take over the world! Now our puppet heads are nice and dry, they can be painted to make the little characters really come to life. All you need to do after this,is make a puppet theatre out of an old box and write a little play for your puppets to perform! Seemples!

The first thing you need to do is paint the paper mache head with an undercoat. I used a tester pot of white emulsion. This means when you paint the colours on, you will get a nice, bright coverage and it will look brill!

Here are the base coats on with cute little black noses!

Now for the fun part! Painting the detail on the little faces - I used a fine paintbrush to do this, as you can control the furry-ness better. I also used good quality acrylic paint, but poster paint or squeezy paint would do the job! For the eyes, I used stick-on plastic eyes, as they move around and look quite realistic. If you don't have any, just paint the eyes where you want them.

Now you need to make the glove part of the puppet - the bit where you put your hand! I have used felt for mine, but you could use any sort of fabric, as long as it's something which doesn't fray too much. I hand-stitched mine, but you could easily use a sewing machine if you have one. Remember to make a paper pattern first, roughly the size of your hand - you need to make sure your hand will fit inside and not be squashed!

Here is the finished Tiddles, made from recycled newspaper and a bit of felt!