Life is like LEGO

I don’t mean the “L’Eggo My Eggo” kind (although I bet you’re now thinking yum, waffles). Last year, I rediscovered my old LEGO Moon Landing set and bemoaned the fact that there are no plain LEGO sets these days. LEGO today are all themed, and expensive themes at that. It’s impressive–most impressive–that you can build a $400 LEGO Death Star, but with such specialized pieces, what else can you build with it? Actually, would you dare tear it down once you built it? Where’s the room to stretch your creativity beyond the printed step-by-step instruction books?

I had been moping and moping for months and months about this. I wanted a new LEGO something, but not a playset. I wanted just an old school set where I could create more than just what the box showed me I could. I couldn’t even find a Bricks & More bucket. Even if I had, I’m quite sure a paycheck would only partially cover the price. Maybe my husband was tired of hearing me bemoaning LEGO legacy or he just really, really loves me, but my Valentine’s Day gift this year was a LEGO set I found tolerable and inexpensive. No Harry Potter this or Toy Story that, just Log Cabin bought from a dying bookstore chain using a coupon. Sweet!

Simplicity. In the form of 355 pieces. I dare say that this college graduate had to refer to the two instruction books to figure out what pieces went together to build the door and frame. With those basics down, I proceeded to build a house frame. Steps up to the front door (it swings open!) and into the living room. [Note: not to scale.] Inside is a couch made from the house roofing shingles. That sits in front of the entertainment system. The TV, made from a window frame, televises the minifigure as a chef cooking a chicken leg. Oh, I couldn’t overlook the 5.1 surround sound.

I used other pieces to create a separate display. A LEGO block-type person sits on couch, made from more of the roofing shingles, tapping his tree leaf fingers onto the laptop computer placed on the large coffee table. A tribute to the man who brought these to me.

How often we forget to create, and I mean really create, from nothingness. Writers do it all the time, plucking a story out of the air and turning it into art. We have no instruction book to guide us; there’s just us. We slam into our writer’s block wall when we overthink what we need to produce, when we think of the audience before us.

I have been faced with that in recent days. How do I ePublish a book that will sell? What theme? What genre? Poetry? Fantasy? Nonfiction? Fiction? Vampires are overdone, so what about dragons? I need to step back, breathe and focus on the project, not the result. Structure = yes. Obsessing = no.

This week’s Diva challenge was to create a Zentangle using only one tangle. I immediately thought of Hollibaugh, the signature pattern I use on almost all of my artwork. It’s my fallback pattern and a cool one at that, similar to a computer’s “Pipes” screen saver. Once I figured it out, man! was that cool. I drew my string and launched into it.

Excitement grabbed me as I worked my pen to paper. I can do circles. That will be unique. Then…I got bored. How many ways could I draw the same criss-cross pattern? Thick? Thin? Ooooooh, that’s thrilling. There are no mistakes in Zentangling, and every space is it’s own challenge. The circle idea was really exciting, so I repeated that. I interspersed the standard line pattern, but then I drew Hollibaugh inside Hollibaugh. I deeply love the black-white contrast, so I found a way to work that in. I experimented with different forms of Hollibaugh, and different definitions. From the last challenge, I left some open space. My result is this:

It’s hard when I create something I expect to publish, or in this case, post. I self-edit, or I think that I do. That’s the issue with my writing these days, and I catch myself stepping back when I should be pushing forward. Am I really thinking of my audience first?

Maybe I’m just thinking waffles.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathy Kristinnson
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 05:43:25

    This looks great.. love all the circles..


  2. Sande
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 04:37:36

    The second one is a very nice exploration of the patterns. The first one doesn’t show up on my computer for some reason. I just get a blank box with an x in it.


  3. dwhirsch
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 09:46:45

    @Sande, thanks. It was an easy fix, but, boy, that’s annoying. I had problems uploading the actual Zentangle to be thwarted by this. *sigh*


  4. Christina Vandervlist
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 18:12:43

    Looks really fun!


  5. Lisa
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 15:43:09

    I love the depth of it! :)


  6. Barbara Finwall
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 17:23:24

    It sure does look like fun!


  7. Jane MacKugler
    Mar 06, 2011 @ 14:31:36

    What fun! I do like the hollibough circles… I’ll have to give that a try too!


  8. Joy
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 08:43:35

    This is very cool! I love the way you thought outside of the box. :o)


  9. dwhirsch
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 19:36:21

    Thank you all. @Jane – I started inserting one or two circular Hollibaughs in earlier tangles. This is the first one with all circles. *phew* Tougher than I thought.


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