Friday, March 8, 2013

Legos, Peeps, and Creating Small Worlds

Every new mall has Legos Stores. Legos are those little plastic brick-like rectangles with knobs on them which have had a new revival.  When researching this post, I found out that Legos originated in Denmark, and have been around for 100 years. First made of wood, now plastic, and are one of the oldest plastic toys in the world.  Google has a detailed history of this toy.  And now we have Legoland, featuring models of every famous building, church, cities, airports, and more.  These Lego museums are all over the world.

The stores are usually busy with young (and older) boys, not too many girls, with parents and sometimes grandparents in tow.  Fragments of conversation drift through the store.  "I really like this one, grandpa;" "Do you have the XYZ fighter, freighter model?"; or "Please, please, please could I stay here longer?"

There is a certain enchantment with creating a smaller-than-life scene.  In the past there were also models made from balsa wood, Erector Sets and Lincoln Logs.  And encouraging such activities are good for kids, I think -- future engineers, architects and set designers are just some of the professions that a love of making models could lead to, plus just the pleasure of building these   models.

When the Denver Post announced its annual Peeps contest, I was in!  Peeps are those marshmallow, too sugary eatable figures which are made around certain holidays.  Other cities have these contests as well.  The idea is to make a diorama using Peeps with some theme connected with current events, Denver news, sports, etc.

"Peeps Visit Yves St. Laurent Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum" was my theme.  I had seen the exhibit and was fascinated with the couture fashions.  Seeing them up close and viewing them as works of art, which they are, gave me the idea.

Peeps Visit the Yves St. Laurent Exhibit
Using a book from the library, I drew and painted one dimensional  paper doll-like figures using some of YSL iconic fashions -- the lipstick dress, the gown with the huge pink bow on the back, the gown with Matisse-like cutouts, and the Mondrian dress from the 60's.  I added some cut out French furniture I had which was perfect for the scale, copies of parquet flooring and last, but not least, a portrait of Yves St. Laurent himself.  Gluing the Peeps lining up to see the exhibit was the easy part.  Then I took a photo and e-mailed it to the Denver Post.  We will see.  What I did discover, is how much I missed drawing and what a pleasure it was.  

Re-reading my post this morning -- an idea for a short story came to my mind -- The main character is obsessed with making models -- creating small worlds in which she plays the major role to the exclusion of the outside world.  Now this could go either way -- she hates Mr.X and creates a scenario in which he is murdered and he is in real life, or after months of being a recluse, she creates a positive scenario with herself as the main character and her diorama comes true.  Happy ending.  Hmm

All you real writers out there -- where do you get your ideas?


  1. You did a great job recreating the museum setting. Love the drawings! And the peeps lined up to see the exhibit are terrific! Good luck with the contest! Glad you had fun making it.

  2. that was so creative--i love it!---and what a great premise for a story!!

  3. Thanks, Lynn. Guess I am more of a visual person, but I did have fun making the little scene.

  4. Wow. I love that story idea. (Make sure you copyright that before you see it on some bestseller stand one day!)

  5. I always have many, many ideas. It's sometimes the next step that I lack. Thanks for your comment, you are such a creative writer yourself, and a thinker!

  6. I love peeps and playing Legos with my grandsons. For a while they liked nothing better that to knock down what I built. The oldest is past that and the youngest just starting.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

    1. Me too. I think it brings out the little kid in us and takes us back to our own childhood. Play and imaginations are so important.