When my friends Alice Zinn and Lorraine Heller came through El Paso on their way from the CIMTA Show in Las Vegas the last of January 2011, they both gave me some wonderful gifts.
Among them was this colorful little chest of drawers from Lorraine.
... and I had thought this Potion Book was from her, too, but she informs me now that it's not hers. Maybe I made this in my early days, maybe not. I frankly can't remember now; just had fixed on the notion that it was from Lorraine, perhaps because I have one of her open books in Anachronon's dome. If anyone has an idea about this book, please let me know.
After the problems with my hands and my inability to use scissors very much, I have decided to put together settings that mainly require gluing things in place. so when I started thinking about how I might use the chest of drawers, I remembered an intriguing suede leather trunk that I came across when I was looking for a trunk for my Netherlands scene.
Those items - the chest, the Potions Book, and the trunk - were the impetus for this scene.
The chain was from an inexpensive bracelet from a dollar store, and the spider was in my stash.
I don't recall where I got my Skellie Sweeper; he is only an upper body. He was the first thing I placed in the trunk. He was already posed this way and it worked out perfectly so that he could hold the broom with one hand and raise the lid of the trunk with the other.
The black cat was in my stash; his shield is an old button; I think it was in my mother's button box. I glued a piece of felt inside the open back to make it easier to glue in place.
After making the decision to pose the skeleton in the trunk, I removed him and added a couple pieces of fabric to flow out. In retrospect, it might've been better to let more of the old leather trunk show, but at the time, I wasn't sure what else I would be adding to the trunk or the entire scene.
And speaking of the trunk, there are other items inside that don't show up in my photos, although they can be seen if one peers in at a certain angle in real life. That orange bit you see to the left of the cat is part of a big potion bottle of Orange Enhancer that looks a lot like some that my friend Anachronon the Alchemist sells in his cart.
At that point in the creating process, I printed out some board flooring and glued it atop a cardboard floor cut to fit within my dome. That way, I could determine which other items would fit best within that circumference.
In addition to the trunk and the chest-of-drawers, my other main piece was a "writhing wood" table which was in my stash, just waiting for the right place; not sure where it came from. I hated to cover the top, which looked like a cross-section of wood, but some contrast was needed with the darkness of the chocolate dessert, so I added a piece of needlework which I purchased at the Dona Ana Doll Show and Sale held recently in Las Cruces, NM.
The dessert was a Chicago IMA purchase. The pitcher and bottles on the tray were MacFarlane pieces. I made the lilies many years ago in a workshop.
The three little skinny-legged cats are marked Hallmark 2004 on their paws and I purchased the red-eyed mouse for 50 cents at the doll show.
The little skeleton dog is a MacFarlane figure from a Tim Burton movie, as is Mr. Blue-Green Man. The hand creeping out of the drawer was part of a full figure which I took apart.
The golden hat has a bell on the tip and was removed from an elf figure that I remade into somebody else. The purple shoes were in my stash. I don't know where Mr. Blue-Green Man's body has gone. lol
Screaming Sam and the hand with the long pointy nails are from Ozzie Osbourne's Bark at the Moon album figure by MacFarlane. (I will be using the rest of the body somewhere else one of these days. I do tend to eventually use all body parts. lol)
The blackbird atop the books was another MacFarlane piece; not sure which movie it was from. My husband had to prise off the books from a faux wooden base for me. I do love those MacFarlane pieces! Hadn't realized how many I have collected and used until now.
The bottle was actually a pendant from a strange necklace that I think came from a box of jewelry at a secondhand store. I also found the wonderful brass pitcher and bowl pieces at the doll show. (A great haul that day!)
The Flies container is half of a plastic pill capsule. (I am not sure if these are pets, or food!)
I purchased this weird little plant from LadyBug at one of the Chicago Shows (don't recall if it has a name; maybe Dragon Tongue or something like that). I set its little clay pot inside the larger brass pot and added the grass.
Another of her creations, Dog Wood, resides in a corner of Mother Goose's Cottage.
Screaming Sam's Pod was in a package of very odd dried things that I found at either a Big Lots or a Dollar Tree one time.
The claw crawling out is just a piece of the unraveled stem from the Magic Apples ...
... left over from Adalberta the AppleSeller.
The jug was in my stash. The Poison Herbs book (which has real pages with pictures) is from Heather Cutting-Rayl in Albuquerque, NM, and the pumpkin was made by Diann Shull of Canada.
The ghost in the trunk and the bat were both in my stash. It doesn't look like it in the pictures, but I flocked the bat and the spider and in real life they don't shine like this.
My flamboyant serpent was in my stash. Not sure where I got him. As luck would have it, I came across this page when I was gathering stuff for Anachronon the Alchemist and remembered it when I started working on this scene.
It, and the scrolls shown here, came from Suzie Q., part of a prize I won on the MiniDolls list, a fabulous collection of scrolls, letters, open pages, maps, etc., that I have used in so many ways over the years.
The crystal ball was in my stash, part of a long-ago Medieval swap. The tarot cards are like those I used for The Wife of Bath.
The magic lamp was a metal piece that I painted and antiqued and the two star wands are also from the Medieval/Magic swap.
The stirring jar is a little old brass knob that screwed onto something else; perhaps from an old clock mechanism; it was in my stash. The mortar and pestle were handmade, also part of a swap years ago.
I lined each of the drawers with silk that matched the colors in the box design. It made it easier to place and showcase each item. It took quite a bit of fiddling to figure out how open to make each drawer so that the items would show, without tipping over the chest!
The hard-to-see market basket is also from Diann Shull, although I added the Yum-Yum fruit.
And there's a Green Head at the base of the trunk that you really have to look for! Not sure where it came from. He was silent the whole time I was there. lol
The magnificent Fly-Eater is a real pod that I didn't have to do a thing with. It was also in a cellophane package of really strange potpourri pieces. The giant flies are leftovers from doing Grandmother Matamosca.
The vine of the Tongue-Tie Plant is from a faux evergreen pick; the curling stem is a wire from the end of the pick, painted. The tongues were made from cut-off petals of a little red silk flower. The eyes are googly-eyes and the nose is a flesh-paint blob.
Thanks to Lorraine for her little gifts, which started it all, and all those miniaturists whose handiwork contributed to Emeralda's SecondSpell Store.
The shop name, by the way, was my husband's idea. Isn't he great?