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Make Your Own Mausoleum!

Some people have asked how to make the little models I do for my book series. Well today I have a fun little craft you can do at home to make your very own paper mausoleum!

All you need is a printer, some scissors and tape (or white glue if you want to be super neat about it), some popsicle sticks or thin balsa wood, and about twenty minutes of free time!

Click the cut-link below for the printer images (they are very big, so they may load slowly!) Print them at exactly the size shown, and note that there's a number for how many you print of each. So X4 means print four copies of a piece.

Paper PiecesCollapse )

Cut out the pieces, following the red lines, then assemble as follows:

For each tower base, fold along the dotted lines into a rectangular box, then tape the edges together (you can also use white glue if you don't like the way the tape looks).

Cut four 5" long balsa wood pieces (or use popsicle sticks) for each tower, and glue them along the inside corners of each tower, so that exactly 3 inches of wood is sticking up from inside the tower. Make sure they're even, or the tower caps won't sit correctly on them!

While the glue dries, cut out your tower cap pieces (4 pieces) and fold along the dotted lines, until they form little triangular cone caps for your towers. Tape or glue the ends together. Cut out a little square of scrap paper that's a little bit bigger than the base of your tower cap and glue or tape the tower cap to the top of it. Repeat for the other three tower caps.

When your tower base sticks are dry, you can glue your tower caps right to the top of them.

Finally, cut out the front arch piece for your mausoleum and glue a small length of stick to the back of it, to make it stand upright. Tape or glue the sides of the arch to the two front towers.

And you're all done with your very own Paperleum!


I haven't been able to update my wockets in a while, because my website wasn't working, and without a way to upload pictures, it just isn't a wocket!

But now I'm able to post pics again, so I wanted to share some collections of mine!

I love collecting weird things. I think it's because I'm such a pack rat anyway, but I just love collecting strange stuff.

Collection 1: Hotel Bibles

Since I travel a lot for my job and stay in a lot of hotels, I have time to work on my Gideon bible collection. I take one of those little bibles from every hotel room I stay in. It's a fun way to remember my trips and it gives the Gideons something to do (namely, print more bibles and put them back in the room).

To date, I have over 50 hotel bibles and ten books of Mormon. Eventually I'm going to get a bookcase big enough to hold them all at once.

Collection 2: Metal Things

When I walk around town or in the city, I notice a lot of weird stuff on the ground. Most of it you probably don't want to touch cuz of germs, but the things I do collect from the ground are weird metal things. One day, I was out walking and found some kind of L-shaped solid metal doohickey, and I couldn't for the LIFE of me figure out the purpose of it. I took it home and put it in an old tea jar, and from that day on, I've collected bizarre metal things from the ground. My only requirement is that they be things I can't immediately identify or figure out a use for.

NOTE: If you take up this hobby, be sure to carry a handkerchief for picking the things up, or you might get tetanus!

Collection 3: Gold Mirrors

I LOVE mirrors, and I love decorating my house, so this hobby just writes itself! I have a bunch of gold-painted mirrors around my house, and whenever I can, I like to surf Craigslist or check out local flea markets to find more!

I hope these wockollections have inspired you to start your own weird collection!

Freeze-Dried Wockets

When science occurs, things get broken. Take for example this metal drink thermos that I use to hold cold water in. Science tells me it's a great way to get my tap water really cold without messing about with ice cubes...when placed in the freezer, the thin metal shell of the bottle will become very cold and chill the water within the thermos almost ten times as fast as a plastic bottle will. I can fill this thermos up with tap water, place it in the fridge and have ice cold water fifteen minutes later, all thanks to science.

But what science giveth, science taketh away. If you accidentally fill the thermos up all the way and forget it in the fridge, the water turns to ice. The ice expands and the metal shell, unlike plastic, cannot expand along with it. Resulting in a rupture.

But as always, science can provide comfort in the face of structural tragedy. In this case, it provided a neatly-formed pillar of ice. And with the help of a pocket flashlight, it became art.

Click for pictures (large pics, may load slowly!Collapse )

(re)Birth Of A Wocket

I can NOT believe I didn't think of this before. I seriously want to slap a)myself and b)everyone else, because it took me like five YEARS to come up with this idea for how to make the centaur work. THIS TIME IT'S GOING TO WORK! It was so obvious, why the hell didn't I see it? I was driving from CT to PA last night and it all of a sudden struck me. I was so surprised I drove right past my exit and didn't notice for like ten miles.


Land of the Rising Wockets

It's been quite a while since I posted a new wocket for y'all, but here's a neat one! I made a reference model for a set in Bizenghast 5:

This is the set of the chapter called Megiddo, and it took me three days to make. The piece is made from like a billion sticks of balsa wood and dowel. I collected the sticks and rocks outside my house. The ground cover is craft reindeer moss, which I chose for its resemblance to bonzai trees.

I started by securing the branches into a two-inch thick piece of styrofoam, then cutting the bases for the platforms out of cardboard:

I covered the cardboard in balsa planking and started to build up the structures from there:

I gathered some small rocks from outside and made a little hanging rock garden at the side of the model, then dusted it with model snow to make it look like a groundfrost.

I also scattered some larger rocks about on the ground:

And I added a little gravestone to make it look cool :)

I used some wide ribbon that's red on the outside and gold on the inside to create little fabric screens on the inside of the main building, which I nicknamed the Temple:

The roof of the Temple was tricky to make...I knew how I wanted it to look but wasn't sure how to shape it. Finally I came up with a paper and balsa base that worked really well:

I tiled the roof with sequins, one by one, attaching them with white glue. I then painted the roof with metallic bronze paint, then coated it with a chemical that reacts with the metal paint and creates a patina (a greenish rust). I then sprinkled snow on the roof to make it look aged.

I also made a little bridge going between the Temple and one of the smaller platforms, as well as a ladder going down to the ground:

The lanterns I made from transluscent red paper and wooden braces, then wired them with small chandelier lights and copper wiring, hooked up to a 4-D battery pack. They light up with a reddish glow to give the set a cool atmosphere.

Finally I gave the whole set a coat of wood stain to age the balsa and make it look like a much older, darker wood.

I had a lot of fun making this model, even it took long hours to make. I kinda got in the zone on this one and just kept at it until it was done. And it'll definitely help me with book 5! Awesome!

Abandoning the Wockets

I always strive to finish something once I've started it, but I'm sad to say that I often don't...not because I give up on a concept, but because once I've thought of it and proved it can be made, I totally lose interest in it.

Leonardo Da Vinci had a very good quote to this effect: "To conceive is inspired...to complete is servile." I think I share his notion on this. As soon as I know something can be done, or drawn, or built, or created, I rarely feel like finishing it, because I'm only really interested in the idea.

This is the main reason my dumb centaur wocket has yet to be completed. And it's the reason a LOT of art never gets finished.

The question is this: is not completing art irresponsible, or just the result of a curious nature?

Wockets To Go

Haven't had a new wocket to talk about recently, other than doing some tedious beading on a dress. But now since I got a Madame Alexander Oz doll from McDonald's in a Happy Meal, I'm determined to collect them all. And give them makeovers.

Each took around 45 minutes to do, on average. They're pretty fun, but the Tin Man was the toughest one to figure out. I'd like to get all the rest but I have to save my money, so anyone who wants to donate a spare toy that's not pictured here, go for it!

Wocket Strips

I've been doing little comic strips on scraps of paper in my spare time...they're kind of nonsensical, but I hate to waste any piece of paper, no matter how small!

More Model Wockets

This is a sculpey model I made about 4 years ago and then did...something with it. No idea where it went, I think I gave it to someone. But I found these pics on my hard drive and was like, "Woah, when did I make this?"

I made this in about two hours from stuff I had lying around in my dorm room...sculpey, feathers, artifical flowers, bits of lace, acrylic paint and glue. I like to make things out of scraps I have, because it gets rid of all the tiny little bits of things I have that I don't want to throw away.

The way I put this doll together was different from how I usually do it. Most times, I make the entire thing out of one solid piece. But in this case I made each limb and the torso separately and then glued them together, using the decorations to hide the seams.

When sculpey has been worked with and handled a lot, it gets very very soft. To keep them stiff after I've made the limbs and they're waiting to be fired, I put them in the freezer. That way, when I'm assembling the doll and comparing the proportions, I won't be bending or drooping the limbs out of shape.

This doll is one of the few freestanding dolls I've made, in that it's actually standing, not sitting. It's also up on one leg. I drove a peg through its lowered foot into the base and then secured it with a puddle of glue that looks like ice. :)

Also here are some models called LollyBits that I make and sell sometimes. These are all the ones I made and sold for commissions.

I like making models. I hope I get another chance soon to make one!

The Wockets Walk Among Us

Sketch of my version of Fantasia centaur for my costume:

Kind of a combination of two different centaurs from the movie. Course, it will look much more articulated than this, but yeah. Totally.