Baby Godzilla

It was totally unintentional (and a bit of a struggle), but I recently embraced my inner cutie.

How did this happen? How else but a wicked Craftster Swap. You’ve seen my work from previous wicked swaps — the Wicked Circus and the Wicked Forest.

Suitably wicked, I thought.

For this wicked swap challenge, the goal was to take your partner’s favorite villain and imagine them as a child. After getting my partner and seeing “Godzilla” on her list, I knew, almost immediately what I was going to do. But I didn’t know it was going evolve from dark and dingy and wicked to…


I knew that my partner was a big fan of Lilo & Stitch (as am I) and so I knew that I had to recreate the scene where Stitch builds a city out of toys and books and then stomps through it. Just like Godzilla. I mean, how perfect is that?

But I thought I could do it wickedly — dark colors, drippy vines… maybe some slime somewhere. And then, well then, I decided I wanted pictures of monsters to hang on the walls of Baby Godzilla’s nursery.

And then, well then, I remembered who my partner was — the incredibly talented Kira Nichols of Oops, I Craft My Pants who just happens to draw some fabulous monsters.

Fabulous and cute. I was happily on the cute train, no turning back.

Baby Godzilla Nursery

Even the child’s artwork in the lower left corner is from Kira — a piece she did when she was a child — how perfect is that? (Yes, unbeknownst to Kira, I snatched a bunch of images off of her web site. Of course, once she received her tin, my thievery became undeniably “knownst”.)

The abc blocks are individually folded paper cubes – an idea that was much easier in theory than in execution.

Now I know you’re probably wondering how high and low I had to search to find that absolutely perfect monster foot pedestal, but, tut-tut, no searching at all, it was in my stash.

The serendipity of which has dealt a serious blow to any de-cluttering efforts I may have been considering.

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A couple of months ago, I stumbled across clock inserts.

Wait. What?

Clock inserts are clocks without all the decorative bits that make a clock a “desk clock” or a “kiddie clock” or etc. Just the clock bit.

And I knew I had to build a clock.

the hannah clock - full

I look at that clock and I almost forget the weeks of discarded designs, profanity, and complete and utter despair.

I like my clock, but it was not easy getting there.

Let’s just say that the first (or even thirty-first) idea was not the one I ended up going with… and that I had no idea I’d end up using parts from two different lamps, an eyeglass repair kit, an old necktie, a July 4th “shadowbox” made in China, and a 1:48 scale dollhouse trunk to build my clock.

But I did.

And why, yes, that familiar curved rectangle is what you’re thinking: Altoids tin.

Here’s the inside back of the clock insert — and if you know steam engines, you’ll recognize at least part of what is powering my clock.

On the other side of the interior are the tools needed to recharge the clock.

Yes, that’s the tool to remove the back of the clock and a box of magic. I’d love to take credit for crafting the carved box, but that’s the creation of a lovely lady named Ellen Crane (sadly, she’s no longer selling her marvelous little trunks). But, ho! What sort of magic is this?

The magic energy cell for powering the clock. And the number on the back of the box lid?

Why, the number needed to procure more energy cells from your local “Ye Old-e Wizard-e.” ;)

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banner pile

I knew. From the moment I joined the Wicked Circus Tin swap, I knew I wanted a sideshow banner in the style of one of the great banner artists, Fred G. Johnson.

In my stash of digital art, I found a vintage fairy postcard that was perfect – she didn’t have two heads, but that’s the beauty of Photoshop. No, creating the image wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was determining the right medium that could withstand distressing, but still be bright enough to be seen. Plain computer paper failed miserably. I used transfer artist paper to get the image on fabric. No. Tried transferring to wood. Maybe. No. Yes. No.

In the end, what I used was the result of a mistake. When using transfer artist paper, the image has to be printed in reverse. I had done several correctly, but then I printed up a sheet of banners that weren’t reversed. They were useless — when transferred all the text was backwards. I decided to use them for testing materials.

Totally frustrated and ready to set the whole thing on fire (again), I sighed and picked up one of the mistake transfers. I had given up on transferring to paper or wood and decided to just experiment with distressing my “mistake”. Since I wasn’t transferring it to anything, the text was readable. The transfer paper is a mixture of paper and plastic. I started distressing it… and it looked good.

Wicked Circus Exterior

And I never would have thought of printing straight to transfer paper and using that (without transferring the image to anything) — but I love the final product. It was tough enough to withstand distressing without losing all of it’s color — and strong enough to withstand the corner grommets.
Grommet Closeup

Another mistake I made was with the stage portion. Initially, the stage was going to be solid. And then I was using a piece of scrap wood to measure the size of the stage. I was wangling it around and it got stuck… as I was trying to wriggle it out, I realized that I liked the look of the open stage. But what to put under the stage?

Chains. Lots of chains. Attached to the leg chains. Perfect.

The original mockup didn’t have this chain underneath the floor… and didn’t have the bit of “above floor” chain attached to the “underground” chain. And now the whole piece was thrown out of balance.


Which is when the “ball” of “ball and chain” came into play. I needed a space-filler and the ball was it…

In all honesty, this little mistake is one of my favorite aspects of the piece.

I love making mistakes.

And that, my friends, is the final chapter in the Wicked Tin saga.

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