Monday, November 29, 2010

House of Fun

I built a house today!

I've been channeling Oscar the Grouch lately. Not because I have Seasonal Affective Disorder...quite the opposite! I'm really content with my job and living quarters with an awesome view and eucalyptus scent. Sadly, my happiness seems to be impeding my usual escapist fantasies and nightmares, which inspire many of my story and image ideas. And THAT makes me UNhappy, because I really enjoy writing and drawing comics, and NOW I have WRITER'S BLOCK and I feel COMPLETELY WORTHLESS!

This got me thinking -- I didn't always write for fun, and only when I felt like it. In elementary, middle and high school, I had creative writing assignments and two options: write a poem or story in time to meet the deadline, or receive an F. I usually did alright, even though I was forced.

When I was a kid, we had this neat advent calendar that folded into a 3D house. Doors and windows, each with a different message inside, were opened every day from the 1st through the 24th of December. Today, I made my own little house.

Check it out UNDER THE CUT!

Other than pop-ups, I never made 3D models before. Because of this, I decided to create a prototype on graph paper before making a larger model on watercolor paper.

I just winged it at first, but when I went to fold up my house, I noticed that the roof measurements were inaccurate (not that I had done any measuring). It was too short! This was completely due to my own laziness.

As you can see in the above diagram, I redrew the main part of the house, this time using the Pythagorean Theorem to calculate the hypotenuse, a.k.a. the length of the roof. It worked! Not too surprising, since math is an exact science.

That's right, kids. Next time you're in geometry class passing notes to your friends that say, "Why do I have to learn this?! I'll never have to use this in my life!" Remember, maybe some day you'll have your own art/creative writing/comics/librarianship blog, and you'll have to make a 3D paper house, and if you don't know the Pythagorean Theorem you won't be able to measure a roof correctly.

After verifying that my measurements would work, I did the real thing on watercolor. I used this scale: 1 unit of graph paper = 1 centimeter.

And then I painted my house/garage/chimney and used an Xacto knife to cut 3 out of 4 sides on my windows and doors, so I can later fold them out to reveal little drawings.

And then I used tabs to glue the house together. Now I have a little advent calendar!

So, I thought making an advent calendar would be a good way to force myself to write and draw something CREATIVE every day. Yes; providing I'm alive, well and with Internet access, I'll be writing and drawing a little something EVERY DAY from December 1st through 24th and posting it to this blog. I'm dependable, if nothing else. You can count on me!

And who knows -- perhaps this will be my most accessible endeavor yet! Frequent, short messages seem to be on trend these days, while weekly, 5 to 6 page pen and ink comics are old hat!

I'll try to keep it funny. See you Wednesday!


  1. Really cool, Chrissy!! :) Maybe I can take some of this and put it in pre-school level for my new step sons-to-be and I to make for Christmas!! I love your blog and will be checking in for the advent messages! ;D
    Happy Christmas, my friend.

  2. Glad you liked it Becca! So you're engaged, now? Congratulations if so. And a Merry Christmas to you, too!

  3. John asked Daddy and Ross this past Sunday for permission to marry me. :D We got pictures with Santa and the boys (he's got a 7 year-old named Mason and a 2 year-old named Colin) and my Christmas cards this year will have our first "family photo" on them. :) I'm so excited! No ring, yet, but soon. ;P