Imaginary playmates

That is what I used to call my blog friends.

While I was planning my recent trip, I thought it might be fun to actually meet a blog friend in person. Shelley Noble is a stop motion animator whose work  I have admired for some time.  I wrote to tell Shelley that I’d be in town,  and her reply with an invitation to visit her fabulous world of Halfland was so warm and welcoming that I knew it would be a special day.

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From the minute she met me at the door I knew that this would not be a typical “how do you do” visit.  Shelley lives and works in a wonderous loft. Her work and living spaces were in a lovely balance when I arrived, the set for Halfland on one side, living space on the other. Shelley’s workspace is chock full of stuff for making  Halfland come to life. It’s an incredibly magical workshop with everything in it. Honest, every color of paint or pastel, ribbons, feathers, paper, all sorts of tools. I could have lost myself in there for weeks.  But the thing that really makes it all work is her resourcefulness. Just read her blog posts about the way she creates things and you’ll understand what I mean. She’ll use a drinking straw to make the perfect mechanism to animate a bird’s head, or a 99 cent container of gloop to make a cup of tea look delightfully real. Incredible imagination, she has.

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Here are a few of the beautifully detailed props that she showed me. I love Shelley’s blog because she is so open and generous with her techniques. She is always willing to share what works and discuss what doesn’t and why.

treemaking

And for more fun, she asked me to draw some paper trees for Halfland! She brought out some huge pieces of cardboard  and we spilled over into  the whole space.  It was the most wonderful blend of life and art. We talked and talked about everything as we worked; animation, dance, art,  food, books…etc. Shelley and I have a lot in common, but the most important thing that I noticed was that we are both curious. The questions flew back and forth between us and it was all so comfortable. We each had a genuine interest in how the other conducts her life/work balance.

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Shelley painted this quote backwards on the wall so that it can be read in her bathroom mirror. Clever.

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We had a great time cutting out the trees. When my family came to pick me up, I couldn’t wait to show them everything. Next thing I knew the girls were painting too! YAY!! They each signed the guest artist board, they will never forget it.  To see how the trees came out check out Shelley’s post.

I could not have dreamed up a better visit.

7 thoughts on “Imaginary playmates

  1. oh, what a delight! how great to hear that you two hit it off and cemented your friendship in person. i love the backward quote on her bathroom wall!

  2. Peggy, I LOVE the paper trees you created for Shelley. I really like how you raise your girls. They are with ART all the time and I am sure it fills their souls with all the good things they would need when they are adults in the future.

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