Monday, 9 April 2018

Into the Woods

Mabyn Mossback is Welsh. Like all Welsh people she is descended from the Celtic tribes which existed in Great Britain before the Romans came, before the Anglo-Saxons, before the Vikings, and before the Norman Conquest.

I love Wales and Welsh culture. I tried to do it justice with this witch of 'Good Witches Bad Witches™'. You can read more about her and see the concept art as I developed her character design in a post about her here.

Today she took her ram-led cart (which is carved with Welsh dragons in a Welsh love-spoon style) into this misty forest I created. On the back of her cart are her provisions including woolen clothing, leeks, potions and bones. She wears a type of Welsh stovepipe hat and colors of the Welsh flag. A Welsh mining lamp lights her way (I put a tiny bulb in there and the amber glow it casts is real). She is of course in one inch miniature scale and conceived, designed, hand-sculpted and photographed by me. ;)

If you follow Tall Tales Productions on Instagram you may have seen my live broadcast as I photographed and filmed her in this magical setting. The video was live and disappeared moments later, but if you caught it you might have also caught me accidentally turning the camera on myself whilst attempting to end the video(!!!) Still learning this Instagram live video thing...

Enjoy the photos.

And also, update on Hortense....! If you follow the Facebook page then you'll know that the countdown has begun! I get the prototype back very soon, and after I hand-paint it, I'll photograph her and start accepting pre-sales! It should be by the weekend...

Stay tuned and don't forget you can also subscribe to the newsletter (here) if you want updates such as these.



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Friday, 6 April 2018

Bite-Size Culture

Here in Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world I love that people recognize me as 'the witch girl'.... Somehow the niche I carved for myself in miniatures diverged and it's the witch characters I sculpt in 1:12 scale ('Good Witches Bad Witches™') that people mostly recognize me for.

I'm passionate about the subject of witches, so I'm fine with swapping out the title of 'miniature girl' for 'witch girl'.... I think(!)

However, my past in miniatures and specifically miniature food resurfaces here and there in the form of a commission or an article published somewhere in the world.

Last year it was the Peninsular Press in San Francisco that wrote about my miniature food (article here and below) and today it was the Ukraine! That's the ninth language I've been published in, so I am fairly pleased about that.

It's a magazine called Aeroplan, and you can read it here (pages 38-39) and below.

Anyway, Just thought I'd throw together some old miniature food photos for you since we're talking about mini food and as Aeroplan magazine put it, a 'bite-size craze'. Personally I loved how the Peninsular Press put it... a 'snack-bite culture'.

Enjoy the photos.... don't forget to follow on the Tall Tales Facebook to see more, and watch me work in live time and post (almost) daily updates on Tall Tales Instagram here.

I'll update you very soon with when pre-sales begin on Hortense Pompeux.... it's happening very soon!






Some past miniature food made by myself... Find out more about my miniature food and see tiny food cooking videos at the website here.






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Sunday, 25 March 2018

How Monstrous!


How monstrous indeed? I'm not quoting Shakespeare*, I'm referring to the upcoming celebration of all things horror and beastly... Monsterpalooza.

Self described as the place to "celebrate the art of monsters and movie magic ...with over 250 vendors, a monster museum, special guests, makeup demos, presentations and more..." Monsterpalooza is a place I've been meaning to visit since I moved to LA. This year I'm excited to be there as a vendor! It's at the Pasadena Convention Center here in California on the weekend of 13-15th April. If you make it over there then you must stop by my table and say hi! Godzilla Aisle, Table 111.


Director Guillermo del Toro (who just won an Oscar as Best Director for The Shape of Water) referred to Monsterpalooza as "the monster convention I dreamt could be possible as a kid".
Others have described it as the "best horror convention of all".

Fun, right?! Plus Rick Baker and Elvira will be there, so what's not to love?

I'll be premiering my Hortense figurines at Monsterpalooza, and you can also see many of my witches and some spooky miniature set pieces on display there.

See you there!





*Who cannot want the thought how monstrous
It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain
To kill their gracious father? Damn├Ęd fact!

- Macbeth, Shakespeare

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Hey, Don't Go...!

Wait, up... don't go! ;)

Current politics mean that many of you are choosing to delete your Facebook accounts. I've actually lost 40 fans / followers of my Tall Tales Facebook page since the Cambridge Analytica story broke and #deletefacebook started trending.

But wait... you'll miss things!



What politics? What's going on? 
First of all, Tall Tales takes no political stance and is nonpartisan, but the issue at hand is that a data firm allegedly sold peoples' personal Facebook data to a political organization (story here) and so many Facebook users are now deleting their accounts in protest.

Why does this affect me and also you?!

I love to be able to keep you informed and share my news with you all (anyone interested in Tall Tales happenings) and Facebook has been a great way for me to connect with you.

So, I ask that if you're planning to delete your Facebook account then please be sure to sign up for Tall Tales news via the Newsletter! You can do it in a few clicks here, and then you won't miss stories, promotions and news. Another way to stay connected if you're leaving Facebook is to follow this blog or follow on Instagram.

So, what's the latest Tall Tales news?!

Oh, I'm so glad you asked! I recently finished sculpting Hortense based on the original prototype you liked (here) and she was sent off on her journey towards becoming a resin figurine so that you can all own her, and at an affordable price.

If you're interested in purchasing Hortense - the French witch, as a hand-painted 1:12 scale collectible figurine, then do sign up for the newsletter to be notified when she becomes available for pre-sales. Absolutely no obligation to buy if you sign up for the newsletter. :)

Any questions, please feel free to email me.

Here are some photos of her being made and the original prototype below. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Caroline



Tall Tales, Tall Tales Productions, CS McFarlane-Watts, Caroline McFarlane-Watts, figurine, maquette, sculpt, sculpting, figurine, collectible, collctable, good witches bad witches, laika, miniature maquette, miniature puppet, stop-motion puppet, stop-motion witch, animation, witch character, stan winston, jordu schell, gnomon workshop, aardman, mackinnon saunders, tim burton

Friday, 23 March 2018

Miniatures? That's 'ard, man.


It's already nearing the end of March, and I meant to write about the latest stop-motion offering from English geniuses Nick Park, Merlin Crossingham and Will Becher back in February! I am of course talking about the award-winning studio Aardman...


I was lucky enough to attend a pre-screening of 'Early Man' here in LA, and then a panel with the creators the very next day at the fantastic Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra. Like all their work, it's exceptional. Aardman is of course the creator of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Creature Comforts, so it's no surprise that this prehistoric comedy adventure has the same wonderful look, emotion and brilliant sense of humour. There's just so much to love about this film and I know that my readers of this blog and fans of Tall Tales on Facebook will go crazy for it.
Oh, and did I mention the Bronze Age city sets they built.... youch - so wonderful. I'll have to get this on DVD and do a lot of pausing and rewinding. What an art form. Aardman really are the masters of claymation.

Here are some photos I took of the miniature 1:6 scale (so they're twice the size of most of my work) puppets from the film which the creators brought along with them and showed us. One of them is cut open so that you can see the armature inside. Aren't they fantastic?! I love Ardman's distinct character design.





Do go and see the film, if you haven't already. (Trailer here, and very funny clip here), and until then I have one last recommendation to make; you ought to buy this book - 'The Art of Aardman'. You can get it from Gallery Nucleus or from Amazon here, among other places. It doesn't include their latest - Early Man, but it's still a goldmine of miniatures, puppets and exciting glimpses behind their curtain. I loved getting mine and if you already follow Tall Tales of instagram then you'll know I already flicked through it and raved about it here.

Will pop back with Tall Tales news soon...

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

That wasn't Cricket!

Anyone who has felt upset and responded without thinking it through will relate to this.

Yesterday I posted about a copyright infringement / defamation issue (here) and in less than 24 hours I removed the post. This person had damaged my business, done various things (I wont get back into it) and I had not responded in any way until I wrote the post. That was my response. I used their name.

I felt bad about it and I removed the post. This person and I have since reached an understanding and the case is resolved. 


When others threaten what I create (yes, it happens here and there) I handle it privately and it sucks up my time, my energy and it's awfully unpleasant but then it settles. This time was different and I responded differently - I exposed their name in public and despite removing the post I felt bad about it. None of you want to visit my blog hoping to see miniatures or sculptures or witches and get dragged into an unpleasant scene like that. I should have handled it quietly like I usually do, and I apologize to all of you and yes, to her as well.

As we say back in Blighty, it "wasn't cricket".

These broads have more apology to add. Click the images to enlarge and scroll through with your arrow keys.

Thank you, and goodnight all. I'll do better next time. :)





Monday, 19 March 2018

Design and Dishonesty

This post was a fairly detailed account of my interaction with another artist. I have deleted the entire post at their request, and I think that was the right thing to do.

The post had been about plagiarism. Since this artist and I have reached an agreement I've removed the entire account.

But, the end of the post is still available! See my business news below, and look out for more news in the near future.

A huge thank you to everyone who reached out to me when I first wrote the original post. I do appreciate you all.



---------------------------------------------------------

In other news....
Hello to everyone who skipped past the unpleasantness above! And hello and thank you to those who read it and are still with me! 

In my work news, I am busily working away night and day to create you a beautiful sculpted collectible of my first witch from 'Good Witches Bad Witches™'...! It's taking me a long time as I first created her in 1:9 scale and then realised the factory in China would charge so much for versions of her in this size that it wouldn't be worth it. So I started all over again and have made her in 1:12 scale! Just like my originals! You may have caught a glimpse of her on my official Tall Tales Instagram. She's very well made - I put ever so much time and care into her. She's actually better than the original. A bit more refined and with some lovely added details to the luggage trolley she pushes. 


She will be available for pre-sales in less than a month, and I will be at Monsterpalooza where you can sign up for a pre-sale then and there, and say hi to me in person!

Love and gratitude to you all. 

Caroline
xXx

Monday, 8 January 2018

A Victory for the French

I asked, you voted, I listened!

A huge thank you to every one of the 782 of you who took the time to vote in my poll. Your opinions are important to me. To everyone else (those who may have missed the poll, which was blogged about here) I had some exciting shop news. The news was that Tall Tales will, at long last be issuing affordable collectible figurines of my Good Witches Bad Witches characters. Keen to give you your favourite character first, I asked which one that was and it was Hortense, the French witch who won by 25.6% of the vote.

I will be re-sculpting Hortense these coming weeks and from there she will be cast and then created as a very limited edition run of figurines. Each one will be hand painted, signed by myself and come from me to you, shipping all over the world.

Thanks again to those who participated in the vote and apologies to those who may have missed it. Rest assured that I will eventually be making every single character available, though in limited numbers so make sure you pre-order one if it's one you love.

Pre-sales will be taken at my Tall Tales Productions webshop in the coming weeks.

See more photos of the witches of Good Witches Bad Witches at the website here.

Thanks again!

- Caroline


Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Which Figurine d'ya Figure?

Hope everyone's new year is getting off on excellent footing!

If you're a fan of my witches, you have a chance to be involved in something - and it will only take a few seconds of your time! Choose a witch! No obligation to purchase.

Since I am so often asked if I sell my witches, I am finally producing Limited Edition Maquettes (figurines) of some of my witches of Good Witches Bad Witches™ so that you can collect and own them at an affordable price.


I'd love to hear from you - which witch do you want me to create first?! I have created a poll (link below) so that you can click the one you'd personally like to have the opportunity to buy first. As stated, no obligation to buy at all.

Click over and do the poll. It's just one question - which would you want available for purchase?






Details of the Witch Collectible Figurines

Some of my classic witches you've come to know and love will be re-sculpted by myself and issued as resin maquettes (this means my witch sculptures will be cast into molds, created in resin and then beautifully hand-painted). Each will be a Limited Edition piece and available to purchase through my webshop here.

Final witch will be chosen from the top three answers.
Poll closes at midnight PST on Sunday Jan 7th 2018.
No obligation to purchase.

Here are the choices! See more photos of these characters at my website here, if you like.








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Monday, 1 January 2018

Life's a Long Song

From one of my favourite song's ever, 'life's a long song' and you can 'take stock of the new day' with good cheer... Happy New Year everyone! It's 2018, and if you actually don't know this song (Life's a Long Song from the album Living in the Past) by Jethro Tull I'm chuffed to be the one to introduce you to it. Listen to it here.

I hope you all had a wonderful year and are excited about 2018 and what you can get out of it and put into it.

As you must know by now, I start my new year by blogging about what went on last year and looking ahead to the next. So this post is purely about that. Stay tuned though as I'll have news and announcements coming soon which I'll blog about this week also.

In 2018 I had many private commissions I can't share on here unfortunately and it left me with time to make only two witches this year (yep...yikes!) and also a Captain Hook maquette. The year also saw magazine features about my work including an article on the Peninsular Press, a presence at the CTN Animation Expo, some fun YouTube videos, and trips to places such as Costa Rica where I got a tremendous amount of inspiration which I'll apply to new works.


I ended the year with a fantastic night out at the Ace Theater in Los Angeles where I saw Dita Von Teese's live performance. Whilst we're on the topic of this dynamic performer, I'd like to make a small shout out to someone I consider the most uniquely imaginative artist of our time. That is Franz Szony. His style has been described as bizarre and magical, his genre 'illustrative photography' and I love his work because each image is like a window into a familiar beautiful, ethereal world of the past yet it's so fresh and new, and like nothing I've ever seen before. You should take a look at his site here. He created this wonderful image of Dita Von Teese.



The year's round up....!

Some witchy sculptures / maquettes...






Other miniature and scale set work...



Captain Hook maquette...



Some publicity and events...



My re-vamped website (find it here at www.tall-tales.com)



Trips and travel... ;)



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