Moving and ArtPrize

The castle was done. Yay. It really wasn’t, though. I hadn’t put the last tower in as it was upstairs and the rest of the castle was in the basement. I was about to move and I wasn’t going to deal with that twice.

So, we moved the whole castle when I moved. Actually, we moved the castle two days after I moved. It was a remarkable process. Seriously. It is huge, heavy, bulky and incredibly fragile. At least it was modular. My friends respected it enough to know how important it is to me. They were clearly terrified. It took seven people, a U-Haul and two SUVs to move it. We did it on my birthday and after moving my workshop the week before, moving me two days before and then this, well, we were all a bit tired. We did it though and remarkably, it survived with minor wear and tear. This move was in November 2013. In early 2014, I decided to enter Artprize in Grand Rapids. Not only would this require some repairs, but some adjustments. I wanted this to be good. Hundreds of thousands of people would see it. After which, it would move back home. This was its moment and I would do it right.

When I started putting it back together, I thought I would just make sure lighting worked, and stuff like that. Then I decided that if I was going to have to do this again, I better learn how to do it right. I would have a day to fix it when I got there. This was a lot of pressure. So, as usual, my immature self decided to avoid it for a while.

The only consistency in this creation is when faced with annoyances, I ran away and regrouped. I was frankly, flat out scared it wasn’t going to be good enough, so I needed to think about it before approaching it. I did some easy things. I bought a ton of black velvet for the skirt (25 yards – on sale, thank God.) I bought a large roll of bubble wrap and designed church carriers as it is the most fragile and the most precious and makes my friends break out in hives. Then, I worked on my real house for a while.

When I came back to it, it turns out the wiring was damaged more than I had originally thought. All the torches in the Great Hall had to be re-done. A number of others had to be reworked. There was quite a bit of swearing in the re-syncing of the church.  One day, I literally was crawling all around it totally exasperated only to find out that all the lights actually were working, but I hadn’t re-plugged one whole set in. Sheesh. Finally, all 72 lights worked at the same time.

A whole bunch of stupid things needed to be done. Trims and connections all over the place. Plastic coverings on some parts. Lots and lots of ivy. The front courtyard needed a little pizzazz. I painted little areas here and there all over the place. I re-wove a basket here and reworked a washtub there. Slowly, it all came together. As I did the miniature movies for Youtube, I discovered the mistakes that were too small to see from a normal distance, some of which could be fixed and some couldn’t.

I started to wonder if I ever would think this was done. Would I always be thinking of things to do? Who knows? But it’s done enough to call it that (though I do have some cool ideas ready to do for it. We shall see. )