All that glitters

We’re forging ahead with our stop-motion animation project and can see the end in sight! In our movie, Liberty and Justice, the protagonists (aka Hansel and Gretel) have many encounters as they wander through today’s political landscape in search of a leader. The arch of the story is loosely structured around the fairy tale, with references to the 2016 presidential election. Previous posts about the project include America First Lady, Liberty and Justice in Progress and Stop-motion in action.

This post focuses on glittery stage sets and props that we used in a variety of scenes. There’s nothing like a shiny object to get one’s attention. That and sugary sweet stuff, which I recently showed in this post.

My husband Rob and I have spent the past 10 months working on the movie in our basement studio, where the stage, lighting and photo equipment are set up. Yes, it’s taken us that long to make a short (under 15 minutes) animated film. Stop-motion animation requires a lot of time and patience, but it is worth it in the end, when you see the characters and scenes come to life. We hope to have our part finished soon, so that it can be passed on to the musicians, who will compose and record the sound track. So, you may ask, when and where can I see the completed film? Honestly, we’ve been so busy filming scenes that we haven’t had time to plan its launch into the world. I’ll be sure to announce the release — maybe in the spring or early summer.

UPDATE: The 13 min. movie can be viewed and readily shared on YouTube here.

Building the house was especially fun because I could break into my supply of shiny, glitzy bits and pieces that have been standing by, waiting for a project like this. And I also discovered the joys and challenges of glitter glue.

In order to create the illusion of distance in some setups, we needed a smaller scale house. So, I made a replica out of a block of plywood and foam core.

And what would a cozy cottage be without a gold encrusted door mat? I picked some felt that looked like jute and wrote out the welcome message in chain stitched metallic thread.

This photo is taken from the animator’s view of the set and off to the side is a monitor that shows what the camera sees. It’s helpful to look at the screen while I’m animating and play back the character’s movements.

This part of the story required gold foliage. I almost went blind combing the isles of Michael’s, looking through all the gilded Christmas decorations!

I could have made real gingerbread men, but decided to paint pre-cut wooden ones instead.

Since I normally sew everything, it’s a refreshing to work with paper, wood and paint for a change. But, in the end, I always come back to my soul mates, needle and thread.

As usual, you’re left hanging, wondering what Liberty and Justice will find in the gold house…

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21 thoughts on “All that glitters

  1. I just wanted to say again how much I love 💗 your work! Thank you so much for your wonderful newsletter. Your detail is amazing! I want to stitch like you when I grow up! LOL. I am only 68 years young. I can only do Wool Applique since I had a brain tumor removed 2 years ago. I lost the inner, upper quarter of the vision in my right eye so can no longer sew on a machine as I can’t see where the needle hits the fabric. But it was a blessing that I can still hand sew which is really what I want to do anyway.

    I can’t wait to see your animation of President and Mrs. Trump! She is beautiful as she also is in person.

    Again, thank you for sharing your work on line. I love the whimsy of your work.

    Thank you,

    Sent from my iPad

  2. I am so excited for the premiere. Needle, thread, glitz and politics! I watch Stephen Colbert’s monologue most nights and it always makes me feel better. I know this little movie will be be the same. I’m sure you will get national attention in both worlds of needle arts and political satire.

  3. Thank you for creating this charming and humorous little world. I’ve been a fan of your work for years and still hope to make some wee folk myself. I can’t wait to see the film. If I were going to make one about our current president it would surely be The Emperor Has No Clothes, but no one would want to see that!

  4. I can’t wait. I hope it garners lots of attention. You started it around the time my granddaughter was born. It would be cool if you finished it on her birthday, April 13th!

  5. In Japan, in order to keep traditional arts alive, persons carrying on traditional crafts are considered “Living Treasures”. It is a position of honor. I believe you would qualify, Sally!

  6. Thank you for sharing this. It’s so exciting, I wish I was there with you. I know stop motion is laborious but so, so worth it. A true test of patience. You will be thrilled when it all comes together and you see the whole run for the first time. Best wishes Sandra, UK

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