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Oh, to be lying
On a beach
Somewhere,
With sand in my toes
And the wind
In my hair.

And only the sound
Of the seagulls
On high
On a beach
Somewhere,
Under sunny blue sky.

The gentle caress
Of the waves
On the shore
And you close
Beside me,
Could I ask for
More?

A soft sandy beach
That goes on
Forever,
You, me,
And a beach,
So happy together.

Linda Harnett

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NOTES: This little setting began this summer when my granddaughter Jenna, who will be 13 on November 7, was visiting for the weekend and spotted some of my Dollar Tree purchases. She picked up a skeleton garland that I figured I would use for Halloween, and a little jar filled with sand and shells that I thought might look neat on a bathroom shelf.

"Oh, look, Nana," she cried. "You could do skeletons at the beach!"

Well, by golly! Why not? So, off came the skeletons from the twine garland. And with some difficulty I pried the lid off the little jar. (I can see using that lid for something in the future, maybe the jar and the lid as a container for something in 1:48 scale.)

Then she picked up another Cheap Thrills purchase (I just can't help it; I find these things!) a wierd little rubber something that dangled from a cord, and said, "Hey, you could even use that hat and those sunglasses!" So we took it apart, too.

And you know how these things go - I asked, "Would you like to do the project, Jenna?"

"I sure would, Nana," she said. And I breathed a sigh of relief, because I had begun to worry that she might be outgrowing her desire to do projects with me. And, of course, I got out The Write People work shirt so she wouldn't mess up her good clothes.

We used the other half of a piece of styrofoam packing material that formed the background of her Prince of Egypt setting done a year or so ago. And luckily she didn't have to paint the outside of the box, since I had already done that, intending to do something with it myself, but never did.

I had saved this calendar because it had some wonderful pictures, and sure enough we found one she liked. At first, she thought it wouldn't work because it wasn't wide enough, but I pointed out she could curve it across the back to make it fit. Aha!

The picture was too tall, requiring some fiddling because she wanted more sky at the top so she could match it with paint. Here she has creased the paper to show what needs to be cut from the bottom.

And here she has creased where she needs to cut from the top.

Here she is using sky blue paint to cover the top, sides and back to blend with the sky in the picture.

Boy, this little girl has done a lot of painting at this spot at the table over the years!

 

"Okay, Nana; it's done." She sets it aside to dry. washes out her foam brush and we have a little snack, as I recall.

Next, to paint the bottom with a heavy coat of glue.

Ready for the sand and the sea, Nana!

At this point, she has painted a line of glue around the sides of the box and fitted the background into place, curving the back, which adds to the reality of the setting besides making it fit, too.

Next she added the sand and patted it into place, then poured off the excess onto a paper plate. She wanted to do two skeletons, and yup, this one will work if we turn her on her side to face outward. It also looks like there will be room for another one in the other corner.

The beach towel was cut from a baby washcloth, by the way, and she chose pink to go with the pink sunglasses she wants to use.

After some experimenting, Jenna has decided she wants the second skellie to be holding a shell as she is walking from the left. She selects carefully from the shells that were in the little jar for just the right one. Having a natural pose means we need to alter the straight look of both the arms and the legs. Because of the sharpness of the Exacto blade and the challenge of cutting through the plastic, I do the partial cuts through the knee and elbow joints myself.

She used a combination of Tacky glue and Super Glue to get the re-joins at the right angle. This required a period of waiting to allow them to dry thoroughly.

In the meantime, she has decided the skeleton on the beach towel needs something else besides just the sunglasses. My eye falls on the glue cap and I remember that it makes an excellent styrofoam cup. Aha! "Neat, Nana!" she says.

We cut the arm away from the body to make it easier to work with. Here she is holding the cup tightly against the skelliie's hand while the glue sets up.

To make the slushy drink she uses a mixture of glitter glue and the tiny "ice" beads in one of those little silica packets that absorb moisture.

So, how much clothing do these skeletons need? Well, modesty requires a bra for both of them since they are both girls, Jenna decides, and since she wants to use the reverse of the polka dot for a tie-on short skirt, the other one will wear shorts.

The materials shown here were all part of a little girl's hair bow that was also a dollar store purchase, and she likes the way the black and white show up against the background.

She uses one strip of the narrower white on black polka dot ribbon for the bra. To form the cups, she ties it tightly in the middle with a narrow piece cut from the edge, with the ends of the ties to go around the skellie's neck. (The polka dots are only on one side of the ribbon.)

She used a similar hair ornament for the pieces of the second skellie's pink outfit, but I forgot to get pictures.

The shell in the hand has dried, and she has reattached the arm, but Jenna is cautious as she coats the skellie's bosom with glue before she attaches the bra. This skellie winds up with a black hat from my stash, rather than the bright pink hat that we started with because it was too big, and a tie-on black on white polka dot skirt.

The shell holder skellie is set aside to dry while she dresses the other beach goer in the pink outfit. She decides against a bra and makes a simple little top with straps across the shoulders and shorts.

Here Jenna has dressed the lying-down skellie, including her sunglasses, and is pressing her tightly in place to get the Super Glue to hold her at the angle needed to get her to fit. I had to do a bit of cutting on this one's leg joints, too, so that her posture would look natural.

Although it was a very tight fit, that was to our advantage because wedging the walking skellie in gave her the stability she needed because of the raised foot. Once again, Jenna put the project aside to let the glue dry. Unfortunately, the black hat doesn't show up well in the the pictures, although it does in real life. Also the smallness of the box makes the upper shadowed portion of the sky look darker, too.

And here they are - Skeletons At The Beach!

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