Friends, Romans, countrymen…I am here. Although I only want to be friends with some of you, none of us (I think) are Romans, and most of you live on a different continent. About ten years ago, now, I retired my old blog. That would be Glorious Twelfth on Blogger. And why, might you ask?
First, I respawned. My son needed, and deserved, most of my attention. In the early months, I could craft during his still frequent but anyone who’s been around babies knows that the “I actually sleep” stage doesn’t last very long. Second, I got sick. And by sick, I mean with a rare form of ultra super speed cancer that very nearly wasn’t caught in time. I’ve been in remission for a number of years, now (huzzah!) but minis took a back burner amid various setbacks and struggles. I also wanted to try lots of new things, including moving back with my family to the EU. Somehow, at some point, Blogger changed things around to the point where I could no longer access my old blog without an email belonging to a service that was by that point defunct. I was, officially, despite numerous calls, emails, and etc to Blogger, shut out. Which, truthfully, didn’t bother me that much as part of what had kept me from coming back were some absolutely awful, and I do mean awful fellow enthusiasts.
Listen. I create these tutorials for free, because I enjoy sharing what I know and, or so I used believe, sharing something of myself with a community I (naively) regarded as friendly. Yes, there’s a certain contingent who seem to believe that they’re going to strike it rich, somehow, the same contingent who pass off others’ tutorials, and even completed projects, as their own and who no longer seem to understand the line between “life” and “commercial endeavour.” When I saw my pictures on others’ blogs, I didn’t care. When people started messaging me, ordering me to literally rise from my hospital bed and goddamn well answer their mini-related questions, I did. What had started out as purely fun, purely an opportunity to connect with friends worldwide, had turned into feeling taken advantage of.
This comeback suffered a few false starts. I’d post a tutorial, then get a bullying comment. Or email. Or message via Instagram, or Facebook. In response, I’d close the door. I wasn’t ready, yet, to show myself in this new environment. Since those halcyon early days of Glorious Twelfth, the internet has changed. Less and less are we sharing, more and more are we competing. As someone who’s not interested in competing, at least regarding hobbies, I had to decide: was there a point to sharing tutorials, at all? My goal certainly couldn’t be praise, or really any kind of positivity; positivity had been replaced with, in some cases truly nasty messages explaining why everything I did was wrong and how this other person was in fact the far superior talent. Which, I mean…great for them?
I asked myself, should I produce tutorials again but charge for them? No, I decided, charging for my knowledge only fed into this increasingly popular notion that hobbies aren’t allowed unless they’re lucrative. I don’t need the money and, moreover, expectations are already high enough. The last thing I need, or want, in my life is someone screaming at me because I charged them for ideas. There’s also far, far too much gatekeeping of information in this hobby as it is. Where other makers, like Warhammer and model train enthusiasts, share techniques freely too many miniaturists seem to regard any knowledge beyond “craft supplies exist” as trade secrets. Resultantly, we’re all left constantly reinventing the wheel. Which is, of course, why I started my blog in the first place. I wanted to share the knowledge that no one else would.
Hence, I suppose, the hate. Those who didn’t feel like they owned me felt, at least judging from our correspondence, like my discussions of golf tape and etc were robbing them of the millions they’d undoubtedly have made by now without my interference. But the truth is, with this kind of attitude, the hobby will die. No one should make enemies, teaching techniques that have been common knowledge elsewhere (ie within the model train community) for decades. Every technique I’ve ever taught, in these tutorials, has been one I’ve developed on my own and, even so, who cares? I’ll repeat it again, for those in the back: this is supposed to be fun.
I did, during this time, learn some new skills. I taught myself how to create and work with SVG’s, as well as 3D modelling. That certain things just aren’t available on the market, or at least not in any kind of decent quality, bothered me so I created them. In doing all that, though, I discovered something: 3D modelling, especially, is a bottomless pit. There is literally no limit to what you can bring to life and, with enough work, with how much detail. Eventually I came full circle in deciding that, at least for me, the challenge lay not in creating from scratch but in successful kit bashing. So, going forward, this blog is going to be about one thing: taking every day objects, ranging from readily available kits to odds and ends found around the house, and transforming them. My plan is to take the skills I’ve honed, and use them for readily accessible, non-expensive projects that almost anyone can do.
Chrysnbon kits, Greenleaf dollhouses, the back of the junk drawer, I’ve got plans for it all. And if there’s something in the back of your junk drawer, something that seems like a mini but you’re just not sure what, send me a picture! I’m on both Instagram and Facebook. The same goes with Chrysnbon, and really any brand of kit. I’m currently working on a series of Chrysnbon beds, but is there another piece of furniture you’d like to see? Perhaps you wish you had a Swedish stove, a sofa, or a mantel? As always, let me know!
Unless, of course, you’re only here to complain. In that case, don’t let me know. As a survivor of more than one terrible thing and, quite honestly, simply as a human being I can assure you that life is too short to suck. None of us knows for how long we’ve been put on this earth so you shouldn’t waste a single second of your precious time letting someone else live your life by competing with them.