Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Day Dreamer

I spent my rest up time reading and when I was bored with that, I watched some YouTube stuff. You'd think I'd do something smart like watch how to make delicious meals. Well. I did look up a recipe on how to make beef stew from scratch over the weekend, so does that count?

I watched interesting videos regarding photography. Toy photography and perspective. 

Years ago I created stories with photographs of my dog Morris and his stuffed squeaky toys. I know my husband thought it a bit odd, but once I presented the ideas in a little book form that the grand kids could enjoy, it wasn't so weird after all. 

Years before that I wrote short stories about a mule named Billy Bob who pined after a beautiful sorrel mare who lived on our property. Billy Bob often wrote about the shortcomings of riders and funny things they did and how to properly train a human. Those stories became articles in a small magazine called Mules and More. Billy Bob was a huge hit and at shows I'd have people come up to me and ask if I was Billy Bob's mom. I had a few moments of 'fame'.

Billy Bob passed over the Rainbow Bridge and I couldn't write about him any longer when he wasn't in our pastures.

So I guess I am saying that my mind doesn't generally wander over the subject of cooking. 

I'm that person that can walk by a tree and imagine what story it could tell. 

I was that kid in school who would stare out the window and dream up story in my head. The teacher would notice and my parents would be notified that I was NOT paying attention in school. Those teachers were boring, they droned on and on. My dreams were more interesting.

By 6th grade there was a teacher that actually held my attention and made learning interesting. My grades jumped and my parents must have breathed a sigh of relief. For a while, I stopped daydreaming. After all, Life gets in the Way. 

My father was big on kid imagination. He didn't want us kids to have any toys that had batteries. He'd say let the kids imagination power their toys.

My brother was a genius who would take our little plastic soldiers and make up a war games. I never won against him. I bet to this day I'd still lose in chess to him. Heck, I lose in chess to my young friend Briar.

I've let my imagination come back out to play in full force. Maybe it is a waste of time, but I can say it keeps me from going bat sh-t crazy some days.

So in honor of International Woman Day there is this shot of some of my 'can' do Lego Gals.

Where is this leading to? 

I have no idea.

However I did get to try out some methods for making toys look like they are in the midst of some sort of action. I took two figures from the Predator movies and photographed this:

The concept was simple. I set the two toys in a mud puddle in the driveway and set the camera on a delayed timer [on a mini tripod]. When the camera was shooting, I scooped water with my hand towards and slightly behind the creatures. The water droplets gave off a nice glow and slight sense of motion.

What it looked like when I was shooting it:

I tried this again in the machine shed with some cast off toys. I used dirt instead.

The late afternoon light was so fun with the blast of dirt and hay chaff I threw. I just had to try it from another angle.

...and again. Until I realized that I better wrap things up and get back in the house to get supper on the table.

Half of the fun is getting things set up and imagining just how to present it.
The process is the fun part.
Thinking it through, and the presentation.

Well, soon enough spring will be here and I'll have more exploring to do as the wild flowers, skunk cabbages, and marsh marigolds begin to appear.

And tomorrow?
We have a Winter Storm Warning!

At least our furnace is back up and running.

I think I'll spend the storm cleaning, organizing, and thinking up new scenarios for my enjoyment.


  1. All I can say is: go you, V!! Such imaginative power.

  2. No wonder I feel like you are a kindred spirit! I was the girl in my glass gazing out the window and making up stories, too! "doesn't pay attention", pshaw! And I understand how all that "practice" has lead to the great vignette's that you create for your toy photography.
    I had no idea you were a famous author, too! Congratulations.

    1. My father worked in the advertising industry when I was little and I used to go and get to play and draw with some of the animators of commercials. I got to sit and draw with one of the artists who worked on Disney's 101 Dalmatians.
      Dad encouraged imagination and he was a day dreamer too.

  3. Anonymous7:09 PM

    Sounds like you got your furnace at the right time! I bet you would have a blast working in the animated film industry. Lori

  4. The things that bring you happiness cannot ever be a waste of time. I enjoy your whimsy and the movement scenes really work. Play on!

    1. My husband had an uncle who devoted his free time to a hobby of building a replica of Circus World in Baraboo WI and even went as far as to make a train set to match the Circus Train.
      I recall how much pleasure it brought him and how others in the family thought it was neat but odd.
      Now I understand.

  5. Good to hear the furnace is up an keeping you warm, one less thing to worry about! Have fun what ever you do today a snowball fight with your toys maybe! The snow today is South of us...but it sounds like tomorrow we may get some :)

    1. It's about 1PM and the snow just started in on us. I got back from walking Charlie and doing some fun mini stuff!

  6. The water treatment was a great result. "Can Do" lego woman are something to be appreciated. I don't have that many females in my Lego sets. The boys had mostly space things that had male pilots. I really like your imagination/creation.

    1. Thank you. I had mostly male Lego minifigs too, but sought out specific female figures last summer.
      I am enjoying the play time!

  7. Great job setting the scene for active toyagraphy. You sound like you are feeling much better, the furnace is fixed and you enjoyed creative photography with toys ~ life is good!

    1. I am doing better, but the dang cold has moved to the sinuses! Oh well, I can do things so I will not complain!

  8. Having a good imagination is a gift. Now days many kids don't, because they're over programmed and never have time to sit and think and daydream. Beyond toys with batteries, everything is done for them. Cleaver idea filming your toys.


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