"}
Visual

Toy Story

A DIY Adventure

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Speaking both as an incurable outdoors crusty and a consummate artiste, I cannot, for the life of me, think of a more suitable home than Bellingham. From tide pools to tree lines, there is an awesome convergence of energy in this place. It slants down off the mountains. It washes in on the tides. It sprouts and it sings. It raises its wings and goes flapping around all over the place. It nurtures my urge to create.

Meanwhile, back in Minneapolis, my younger brother—a fellow artiste—continues to play the big-city game. From skyscraper to suburbs, his surroundings move faster. And so does his life. 

Fortunately, City Mouse knows how to unwind. Whenever the day-to-day grind of the Upper Midwest starts getting to him, he zips out here to the City of Sublime Inspiration for a quality dose of brotherly Pacific Northwest adventure. 

Mostly, I let him know what he’s in for ahead of time. But sometimes I like to surprise him—and the bigger and weirder the surprise, the better.

Not to toot my own horn, but a few weeks ago, during his most recent visit, I managed to devise an activity that proved to be, in my bro’s own words, a “real shocker.”

We spent four days making our own action figures. 

We didn’t build them from scratch, but we did go rummaging through various local thrift shops looking specifically for whichever secondhand action figures seemed most closely to approximate the general dimensional anatomy of the specific characters we intended to create and scooped those puppies up for a song. 

Then we set up a serious repurposing laboratory—including, but not limited to: scissors, X-Acto knives, bailing wire, modeling clay, paint, markers, sand paper and a flat file—on the dining room table and commenced experimenting zealously and with reckless abandon to our boyish hearts’ content. 

On our first day, doing Michelangelo proud with the clay, my brother managed to flesh out the sleek, futuristic body of a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger we picked up at Value Village into a scruffy, plaid-shirted mountain man he named “12-Foot Davis.” 

And on our second day, exhibiting surgeon-like precision with an X-Acto Knife, he whittled down the hard plastic, swivel grip likeness of pro-wrestler John Cena into a distinctively more plebian-looking yeoman hero named “Meat Fist.”  

Meanwhile, although I did manage to transform a rather plane-Jane-looking plastic horse into a character called “Dynamite Mule,” the effeminate, Barbie Doll-like proportions of the Justin Bieber figurine I scored at Goodwill ultimately proved completely inadequate in my repeated attempts to conjure forth Meat Fist’s yeoman partner—a squat, super-brawny lunkhead named “Gronk.” 

Thus, the lion’s portion of day three was consumed by an extended foray into the deepest depths of Bellingham’s O’Donnell’s Flea Market where, after almost a full hour of studious searching, we considered ourselves fortunate to find an Incredible Hulk.

After working late into the night under a heat lamp on the backyard picnic table, making Gronk out of Hulk, we promptly lit out into the wilds of Whatcom Falls Park for a photo shoot of our newly hatched creations early the fourth morning.  

“Please, don’t take this the wrong way,” my 37-year-old sibling said as he struggled through misting rain to stabilize Gronk in the stump moss. “But this seems like way more fun than we should be having.”

SVCR Don McLean
More Visual...
Paul Havas
A life of painting

Paul Havas, best remembered for his beautiful landscape paintings, was born in 1940 in a New Jersey town named Orange. After receiving his MFA from the University of Washington, he first attracted attention in Seattle for paintings of trucks writer Sheila Farr described as being “Big,…

more »
Winter Wonders
Warming up at Jansen Art Center

If you haven’t visited Lynden recently, get ready for a surprise.

Some of the finest attractions of Fairhaven have opened branches there, including Village Books, two cafes—Drizzle and Avenue Bread—and a brand-new, 35-room hotel in the completely remodeled Mercantile Building on…

more »
Erotica
Your body is a wonderland

Before leaving my house to trudge through the snow and razor-sharp wind to the downtown bus station, I double-checked Tillie Lace Gallery’s Facebook page to make sure the Sunday night reception planned for “Erotica: Nudes and Interpretations” hadn’t been cancelled due to inclement weather.…

more »
Events
Today
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Interurban Trail

Spanish Storytime

10:30am|Lynden Library

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue

Weird Washington

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Whatcom Humane Society Wine Social

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

PhotoLUSH 2017

6:00pm|Lairmont Manor

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Always…Patsy Cline

7:00pm|Conway Muse

And I Remember

7:00pm|Village Books

King John

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

International Guitar Night

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

James Hunter Six

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Borealis Wind Quintet

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Cupid's Arrow Final Weekend

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

IGN Cascadia Trove
Tomorrow
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Weird Washington

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

PhotoLUSH 2017

6:00pm|Lairmont Manor

Always…Patsy Cline

7:00pm|Conway Muse

King John

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

Cupid's Arrow Final Weekend

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Snow Play Day and Survival Skills

8:00am|Mt. Baker Ski Area

Children's Literature Conference

9:00am|Performing Arts Center

What's New in Organic Gardening

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Plant Society Ramble

9:30am|Maple Creek Loop

UFO Primer

10:00am|Syre Hall

FiberFest 2017

10:00am|La Conner Middle/High School

Intro to Ancestry

10:00am|Ferndale Library

Winter Trail Run Series

10:00am|BBMX Park

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Smelt Run

10:00am|La Conner Middle School

Kids Can Cook

11:00am|Community Food Co-op

Washington Beer Open House

12:00pm|Whatcom and Skagit counties

An all-season outdoor expo

1:00pm

Tax Help

1:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Weird Washington

1:00pm|Lynden Library

Raising Pigs

1:30pm|Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Peace Corps Revisited

3:00pm|Lynden Library

Geology Underfoot

3:00pm|Deming Library

Starry Night Chamber Orchestra

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Whatcom Writes

4:00pm|Village Books

Wishes for Our Stars Gala

5:00pm|Hotel Bellwether

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Varsity Vocals

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Comedy Fundraiser

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Boating Center Fundraiser

7:00pm|Elks Club

Light in the Night Gala

7:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Wetzel's World

7:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Bayshore Symphony Winter Concert

7:30pm|Central Lutheran Church

Bellingham Farmer’s Market Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Sunday
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Bayshore Symphony Winter Concert

7:30pm|Central Lutheran Church

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Refugee Talk

2:00pm|Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

Northwest Cancer Summit

2:00pm|Bellingham Golf and Country Club

Sting and Piano Chamber Concert

3:00pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

The Tao of Raven

4:00pm|Village Books

Making time with Oscar

4:30pm

The Irish Rovers

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

see our complete calendar »

MBT Rovers Northwood Steak and Crab Trove Bellingham Farmer’s Market Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Bellingham Technical College Village Books