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Thursday, 18 December 2014

My Wall of Shame: UFO Number 1, December 2014

This is one big beast of a project: a fishing shack on a pier on a beach. It was the Camp MiniHaHa 2008 project, based on a Joann Swanson design (we got permission from her), from the larger format NN. The shack sits on the pier, which is fixed to the beach base. The pilings are real Bay of Fundy driftwood, aged and darkened to look like the sea comes in regularly.

The shack itself is barn red board and batten siding, and a cedar shingle roof, battered by years of Atlantic Ocean storms, with white trim. My original plan was to have a woman tugboat captain, in retirement, now writing her memoirs and living in the shack she inherited from her father. However, the shack turned out to be too small to make it living quarters for anyone, so the project has sat for 6 years....

The captain's bed will go, although the bookshelf will stay. The dog will also stay, he'd look quite nice lying on the deck of the pier. The wonderful writing table was purchased from an Australian miniaturist, during an on-line miniature show, several years ago, and will be the main take-off for the "story" of the shack.

Did I mention that I collect "stuff" in shoeboxes for my projects? This project has 2 boxes, the stuff above is the landscaping stuff; driftwood "logs", shells, seaweed, sand, gravel, rocks, you name it, it is there. Funnily enough, none of it stinks any more, but perhaps I am smelling selectively! The beach already has a coat of sand, but as you can see the front of the beach needs more, the coverage on the built-up area wasn't great. This is something I can probably do indoors; however, pouring the resin for the seawater will have to wait until I can do it outdoors, in five months or so!

And then there is the shoebox of "stuff" to go inside the project! A dory, lobster pots, fish barrel and creels, food, pots, pans, chair, slicker, 2 sou'wester hats, 2 pairs of rubber boots, lobster buoys, more shells, starfish galore, pictures, cushions and paintings, enough gulls to clear out a garbage dump, even a pelican, it just goes on and on. There is also a tiny, 3-prong fishhook, less than 1 cm (3/8") long. There's a can for worms and a fishing rod, two rope mats and one braided one, as well as nautical brass minis. And a lot of it will probably not fit; the scene is massive, the base measuring 50 cm (19.5") by 43 cm (17"), while with the shack on top, it is 50 cm (19.5") high. The shack itself has a footprint of 25 x 20 cm (10 x 8").

What will likely happen with this scene is a complete change of story; it will be a writer's retreat, rather than a place to live in, a sort of weekend cottage, with minimal facilities for making meals and hot drinks.  There will be lots of nautical and maritime stuff on the deck and beach areas, and perhaps a sleeping bag in the loft for long nights. I have a lovely Shaker stove kit, nice and compact, which will go into the scene, and I'll likely add a small sink area for washing up, along with a small table and chair for eating at. The outside will have lobster floats, glass floats, fishing gear, and as much beach stuff as I can get in without overcrowding the scene, with the boat on the beach, of course.

It may yet change as I get back to work on it; certainly the shack could be done indoors over the winter, and some of the basic landscaping. Only the water has to wait for spring. That should empty one box nearly completely, while the decorative indoor and shack stuff can be pared down to what will fit and look good, and the remainder re-purposed.

There were 25 of us at Camp the year we made this, but at the moment I can only recall 2 or 3 which have been finished; a couple at least were antique/junk shops, with so much stuff you never really see everything, it is new every time. It was a rather big project....

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