Thursday, 6 March 2014

Some Product Shots

Okay, Dearest Readers, we now take a break from our Great Grand Adventure while I construct a fabulous pirate ship (I know!  The suspense!  But that's how it is in virtual communication), and turn instead to some product shots and an introduction to some of the other characters who live in The Land of Small.

As you will have already inferred, this is the house where Mawse lives (designed by me and sewn entirely by hand).

And this, of course, is the Grassy Knoll where Grandmouse lives.  She is more or less in charge of the Uzzles in Grappling Hook.

You've seen these guys before too, in the Halloween episode.  They mostly only come out on Halloween, but every so often, they push through the veil between their Hallow-town and the rest of The Land of Small and cause no end of mischief and mayhem, along with a few of their friends.

Of course, there are many other characters in the land of small.  Perhaps some of the most important are the Uzzlings; very tiny Uzzles (no more than an inch tall and sometimes even smaller than that!) who live in a fairy tale world of their own creation.

This is Princess Mousseline.  She gets around in her royal Snail Carriage (bejeweled of cou.

These, of course, are her loyal subjects and the handy thing about them is, that they are also necklaces for the fashion conscious Biglings!  (That's us, by the way, in case you hadn't worked that out yet).

There are also a variety of woodland creatures and some slightly scary monsters who live in The Land of Small:






And Fat Birds!  
Then we have several species of monsters who give more comfort than creeps (but don't tell them becuase they think they are Supremely Scary!)

Spikedy monsters!

Shiled Bugs!

Crash Helmet Critters (the daredevils of The Land of Small).

The Fang Gang (hoodlums of the highest degree-only in their own estimation of course).

Close cousins to the Fang Gang, the Bootsies only want peace and tranquility among their monster peers.

These are the Thangs.  Long ago they were rejected by the Fang Gang and they have had trouble fitting in ever since.

And of course, no Land would be complete without a smattering of Super Heroes!  Because sometimes, even the smartest Uzzle needs a helping hand (or at least a friend with a really cool mask and cape!)

The Land of Small prides itself on its diversity and multi-culturalism and more interesting (or odd) Comforting Creatures arrive everyday (which is a hint to stay tuned).  But for now, back to the Adventure!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A Great Grand Adventure!

One warm fall day, Mawse was summoned to the top of the tallest rise in Grappling Hook. 

Until he arrived, he did not know who had summoned him and when he did arrive he was surprised to find that it was Grandmouse!

Even more surprising was what she had with her.  Mawse knew then, that something extraordinary was about to happen. 

He gave a little hop of excitement.  Grandmouse did not waste time or words.
"Mawse," she said with that crisp stern-ness she was known for, "this is a Traveloon and it is time you were off!".

"Off?"  Said Mawse.
"Yes, off!"  Snapped Grandmouse.  "Now get in!"  So, in Mawse got.

"But off where?"  He asked, a bit uncertainly.
"To find the others."
"Others?"  Said Mawse.
"Really Mawse, you are tiresome aren't you.  Of course there are others!  Probably hundreds.  Maybe even thousands, and more arriving every day.  You must go and find them, remind them of their...unique capabilities..., bring them together."  Mawse shook his head just a fraction.  Talking to Grandmouse was often like being caught in a whirlwind:  you could never quite get your bearings before she had swept you up and carried you along.  But today she was windier than usual.
"Now, where is that lazy Whabbit?"  Grandmouse looked around and tutted impatiently.  Mawse's heart gave a little leap of relief.  He wouldn't have to do this great and mysterious thing alone, of course he wouldn't.  Grandmouse had recruited a friend, a companion, a peer and Mawse was pretty sure he knew who it would be.  No sooner had Mawse finished that thought, when Bash came over the crest of the hill.

He took one look at Mawse standing in the Traveloon, turned sharply around and made to head off back down the hill at a swift double hop.  Except he couldn't.  Because he was caught.  By Grandmouse's crooked staff.
"Now then," she said, "into the Traveloon."  

Before he knew it, Bash had been bustled into the Traveloon with Mawse.

"Nice day."  Said Mawse brightly.  Bash looked at him balefully.
"Time to push off!"  Said Grandmouse.
"Wait!"  Yelled Mawse.
"You really are very tiresome," sighed Grandmouse.  "What on earth is the matter now?
"Where are we going?  Why are we going?  Are we ever coming back?!"  The words rushed desperately out of Mawse's mouth.  Grandmouse took a deep breath.  She looked like she might be counting.  
"It is time for the Uzzles of Grappling Hook to return to The Land of Small."  She said after a long pause.
"The Land of Small?"  Mawse clarified.
"It is where all Uzzles come from, and most still live.  Except for us, of course.  It is where our purpose lies."  Grandmouse explained more or less patiently.
"And you want us to go there?"  Said Mawse faintly.
"A cutting out expedition!" Bash burst out unexpectedly and Mawse thought he saw a look of thrill flit briefly across his face.
"Exactly."  Grandmouse smiled.  "Now, hold on.  Lift off can be tricky."  She shoved her shoulder forcefully against the basket of the Traveloon.  It lurched over the edge of the hill and floated, rockily, upwards.

"But where is the Land of Small!"  Shouted Mawse as they floated up into the sky.
"You'll know it when you see it!"  Grandmouse shouted back.  "You can't help but find them."  And with that, she turned and walked purposefully down the other side of the hill, back to Grappling Hook.  Mawse looked ruefully at Bash.  Like it or not, they were off.

A New Year in The Land Of Small

There have been many new developments, dearest readers, in The Land of Small since the grand Halloween adventures of our stranger Uzzle friends.  The first, of course, was Christmas!  The Uzzles all love Christmas and this year was no exception.  Take a look at Christmas in The Land of Small.

Of course, no holiday would be complete without a visit from Grandmouse.  One of her favourite activities is reading to the grandchildren in the Land of Small Library.  Luckily for her, the grandchildren love to listen to her stories.  Grandmouse is much more adventurous than she looks and the things she tells the children about attacks by pirates and adventures in flying balloons would make your hair stand on end!  The stories are so thrilling that it is very difficult for the children to calm down enough to go to bed.  But, of course, like all children, they do eventually settle down to sleep on this most magical of nights.

Just as in the world of the Bigglings, in The Land of Small on Christmas Eve, a very special Uzzle visits all the houses and burrows, spreading cheer and handing out small gifts.  He rides a red sleigh pulled by his five reinUzzles.  It takes many trips to and from the workshop to carry gifts to all the creatures in the Land of Small, but Santy Uzzle doesn't mind, and neither do his little Ganomes who love to work long hours in the workshop, tinkering and inventing, hoping to create just the perfect gift for every Uzzle in The Land of Small.

In the Gingerbread Village, while the gumdrop kids eagerly await their annual visit from Santy Uzzle, they pass the time skating on the pond near their house.  Still warm from a long bake in the oven, their parents brave the cold weather to admire the superior skating skill of their offspring.  

In the woods near the Gingerbread Village, even the animals eagerly await the arrival of the magical sleigh and their reinUzzle friends.  Santy Uzzle knows how long and cold the winter nights can be in The Land of Small, so each year, as a special treat for the woodland dwellers, he sends his Lantern Children to warm the forest and light it against the dark.

The first creatures in The Land of Small to be visited by Santy Uzzle, are always the Carol Children.  They guard the gates on this magical eve and wait to welcome any visitor who chooses to to visit and even those who wander in by accident.  They ignite the magic of the winter night with music.

The Land of Small might be a small place, often overlooked or unnoticed by the Bigglings, but never doubt the magic that dwells there...

Small Disclaimer:  I like to put these in because, you just never know, in the land of virtual communication, what people's expectations will be and I would hate to confuse or disappoint, so here is the disclaimer.  In the background, in all these pictures, you can see my studio.  I really like the creative chaos of my studio, especially when I am working in mixed media, which all of these sculptures include and this is why I have chosen these shots in particular.  Also, a short note:  These scenes were part of an activity for a festival called Christmas in the Village (in Wortley Village where I live) and then they were shown at the Westland Gallery in Wortley Village for the month of December 2013.  I thought you might like to know that.  Happy Christmas (better late than never!).

Friday, 1 November 2013

Halloween in the Land of Small

Welcome to the Land of Small.  A place where the adventures of the Curiously Comforting Creatures called Uzzles will be chronicled.  The Uzzles have been put here by The Powers That Be to bring comfort, courage and a sense of whimsy to the Biglings (us!).  Because it was Halloween yesterday, I thought the place to start was with the somewhat creepy and oddly quirky town of Pumpkin Hill.  Let the adventure begin!

It was a fine night for trick or treating:  crisp and clear.  All manner of ghosties and ghoulies, both funny and fearsome were out strutting their stuff in a helter skelter dash to procure as much candy as possible before the night got too dark and the veil between the world of perpetual Halloween and our own became too thin...

Wendy the witch, and her little sister Willa the copy cat, scampered happily from door to door with their friends.
Little did they realize that the night had grown dark, and they were about to step through a portal to the perilous world beyond:  the town of Pumpkin Hill.

As everyone knows, the fabric between our world and the world of Perpetual Halloween is thinnest after sunset on All Hallow's Eve.  And so, when the friends stepped into the town of Pumpkin Hill, they knew exactly what had happened.  But who wants to waste an opportunity for thrill and adventure, especially on Halloween night?

First, they visited the Wand and Wizard, a supply shop for magical beings both large and small, where they were served by a real live witch!  She told them that they must visit the apothecary and coffee shop up on the hill and so the friends headed off on the next leg of their adventure.

There, the Pumpkin Master and his friends entertained their guests with tales of other Halloween nights, dark and dangerous.  But one story in particular caught the friends' attention.  The story of the mad scientist in the back end of town, his eccentric sister, and wild younger brother who together had created a terrifying monster.  "Do not go to the Thieves Alley where the laboratory lies my friends.  Who knows what horrors may await you there!"  Warned the Pumpkin Master.  But the friends were young and foolhardy and the thrill of adventure had not yet worn off, so they set off, in search of the laboratory!

The Laboratory was a grim looking place, full of bubbling potions, wires, tubes and frightening medieval aparatus.  The scientist and his family were friendly, but odd and when they offered to make the costumes into permanent transformations, they friends decided that it was getting late, and remembered that they had promised their parents that they would not get up to mischief and especially, that they would not have any adventures so they felt it was time to be going.  All in all, it had been a spectacular Halloween-one they would never forget.

A final note:  I am totally new to blogging, being more comfortable with soft, comforting fabrics than with technology, so I hope you will forgive me if the photos are not perfect; I am learning as I go.  I hope you enjoyed the Halloween adventure.  The stuffed Halloween Uzzles are my own design.  The Peggies were inspired by the book Making Peg Dolls but since I never make anything exactly the same way anyone else has made it, they are modified to suit my whims and fancies.  Also, the mad scientist and his family were inspired by the book Steampunk Softies (but again, I modified and changed the patterns and ideas to suit my own quirky sense of whimsy and fun).  

Stay tuned for more adventures to come in The Land of Small!