“Unseelie Dreams Make Unseelie Fae.”~ Luna Lindsey
I love this quotation from Emerald City Dreamer and the tale of the faerie hunters who go in search of the creatures that are born of human nightmares and nourished on dreams.
And although one summer was remembered as being the stuff of nightmares with interrupted plans, a twisted spine and torn nerves – it was fortunate that York enjoyed something of an Indian summer that September and with the door to my Den open armed with newspaper, masking tape, some old pieces of wood and lots of imagination – I indulged in a dream of mine with the creation of another fantasy structure for the All Hallows Hamlet.
As the All Hallows Hamlet is a marketplace of emporiums, boutiques and other such establishments for discerning folk with a penchant for retail indulgence and a predilection for all that is extraordinary – I was more than a little excited about the creation of this fantastical store brimming with merchandise of the magickal kind and seeped in ancient folklore and superstition!
You’ve probably read, heard or seen on television that the best way to be free of a vampyre would be to arm yourself with a crucifix and a large bottle of Holy water OR for those a very brave disposition – the fiend could be killed by driving a stake through it’s rotten heart, chopping off the head and having a nice bonfire with what remains.
But did you know that there are many different ways of seeing off a vampyre?
Imagine if you will that somewhere in our world exists a little emporium which sells EVERY conceivable tool needed for this task?
Imagine also if you could actually hire the services of a REAL vampyre slayer?
As I have long enjoyed a fascination for the vampyre of folklore and mythology and as I watched Blood Ties featuring the glorious Kyle Schmid as Henry Fitzroy (again!) – I fell in love with the idea of a Monsignor armed only with his faith and a mysterious black box of vampyre vanquishing tools and so my idea for the All Hallows Hamlet proved difficult to resist!
And with the news dominated by the antics of footballer Luis Suárez who had bitten another player as he couldn’t keep his teeth to himself – the name of my fantastical emporium all but suggested itself!
And so without further ado – let me welcome YOU to the creation of the Monsignor Suárez Vampyre Slayer’s Emporium!
With the use of the ‘Garden Pavilion Kit’ from the Dolls House Emporium – I cut a large hole in the back and used some scrap foam core to cover the gap which had been designed for the large door.
And having shortened the length of the MDF pieces for the garden by some 2 inches – I then placed the model on a larger piece of plywood.
As I imagined the emporium to be situated on a mound surrounded by a bank of mud and moss and with space for a small stream – I raised the structure with the use of some scrap pieces of cardboard packaging which along with the plywood base helped to keep the weight down.
The large chimney was constructed with the use of some old building blocks which having been smashed and bashed by small hands over the years were now ready to be put to some other use and to which I added two more pieces of balsa wood.
And as a daily reader of a newspaper (AND no, I won’t share which one I read as I get enough grief about it from my spouse) I was able to do a little recycling of my own as I tore up strips in which to fashion the shape of the stream and others I crushed into balls of assorted sizes to create the foot of the mound.
As my excitement with this project grew so did my desire to get on with it as fast as I was able to and as you can see from the images below, I created most of it without capturing any of the images to share with you; however, I will try to explain the design process.
The walls of the graveyard, the emporium and chimney were decorated using aquarium gravel, lots of glue and with plenty of time in which to let it all dry!
AND however tempting it may be to pick it up one of these walls to admire it, I speak from bitter experience when I tell you that your efforts will all be in vain if all you hear is the sound of tiny stones crashing to the table.
Please, if you do nothing else – trust me on the stones!
With the aquarium gravel now firmly in place; I finished off with a generous covering of stonework with the use of my unique recipe and which is published at Tee Bylo.
The roof ’tiles’ were made from a sheet of mount board in a colour which had caught my eye and which I laid strip by tedious strip (I hate roofing!) over strips of newspaper which helped to create an impression of a ‘bumpy’ roof.
Having constructed a simple door and the primitive looking porch from balsa wood, I stained these along with the windows and frames in a ‘dark oak’ colour and added three steps of scrap MDF to the newspaper base and which I finished off with my special mix of stonework.
I also added several burnt stones to the base of the ‘stream’ which I had snaffled from an obsolete BBQ.
As I love to use ‘real’ foliage, I am an enthusiastic ‘harvester’ who loves to take advantage of the free pickings from my garden and having selected an assortment of branch cuttings which were then attached to the plywood base with wire and masking tape, I sculpted tree ‘roots’ into shape with the use of some ModRoc.
And with everything safely in place, this is where the fun really began as I coated the newspaper mound and the surrounding area with lashings of papier-mâché.
Papier-mâché has been used for thousands of years in a HUGE variety of ways and there is more than one recipe for making it, however, I prefer to use a bag of pulp to which you simply add water and mix well.
I always try to do my papier-mâché sculpting outside as it can be really messy and I usually end up with the stuff on the floor, my clothes and even in my hair!
However, with patience, time and preferably a sunny day, it is really is a fabulous medium to work with!
TO BE CONTINUED…
Before You Leave…
As this fantastical world was the inspiration for the trilogy: ‘Vampyres and Werewolves? Oh My!’ for Crooked Hen Productions – fly over and relish the tale IF you dare!
And if YOU have a vampyre to slay?
On offer and measuring just 2.5 cm or smaller is a collection of miniature vials now available exclusively on the Crooked Hen Gift Shop
Available for sale individually and from the shelves of the ‘Monsignor Suárez Vampyre Slayer Emporium’ in the All Hallows Hamlet, these are exclusive remedies created by the Monsignor himself AND guaranteed to see off the most determined of Vampyres!