Build Thee More Stately Mansions..

   by Mary Paris and Peggy Paris for Build A Dream (2014)

I took apart the bottom box and soaked off the top layer of paper that I used for papier mache. I used the papier mache to make the skirt and skin for the girl and the girl's skirt and the base for the mermaid's tale. I used the softened cardboard to make the tubes for the towers of the sandcastle. I used the box from the manikin for the tall tower. I shaped the mermaid from the wire mesh and covered it with the papier mache. I sliced the styrofoam cylinder into thin circles which I used as the scales for the mermaid. I used the rest of the styrofoam cylinder to make columns for the castle. I used half the canvas to make the man's shirt. I pulled threads from the rest of the canvas to make the girl's hair. I used half of the sponge for the man's beard and hair and used the rest to make coral out of the foam ear. I used the wire to make the people's hands, the man's glasses and a water design behind the mermaid. I sawed the square wooden dowels into cubes for the steps and the stones around the front door and used the rest for the door jamb. I used the sawdust from this plus from sharpening one of the dowels to make sand texture on the castle. I used the plaster tape to provide texture on the sandcastle as well as to secure it. I used the instruction book to make the man's pants and for the red roofs on the towers. I spray painted the castle with sand colored paint. I used the clay to model the man's shoulders, the girl's face, and the mermaid's face. I also used it to model the Nautilus shell, the small shells on the base of the castle and the front door. I printed the poem on the piece of paper. I used the egg for the man's head. His hat is made from the spool from the thread and plaster tape and a circle of cardboard. I used one dowel to secure the tall tower to the base. The metal rod was used to secure the mermaid to the sandcastle. The two discs were used to represent bubbles near the mermaid. I used the box top to make the base of the castle, put the masonite on the bottom of the base to reinforce it and the canvas board as the base of the castle top. I made the mermaid's hair from the cellophane from the box and the clay wrapping. I used the thread to sew the mesh for the mermaid and to sew the shirt for the man. I used the cellulose peanuts in water to make a clay which I used to add texture around the castle. I believe I used at least some of everything in the kit.

My inspiration was the poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes "The Chambered Nautilus" which has a verse that begins "Build thee more stately mansions, o my soul." This was a theme for my husband and me when we began our life together. The builders of the sandcastle are two people, Amazin' Walter and Sandy Feet who have been sculpting sandcastles all over the world but especially in South Padre Island where I live. They have spent decades building dreams for people. I wanted to honor them.