The Dream Builders

   by Nancy L. B. Cannon for Build A Dream (2014)

I started off by sketching a few ideas, and created a full scale mock-up out of cardboard and paper cut to mimic what came in the MB kit (Image #1). Once I got a feel for how I was going to use all of the materials, I got going on the largest component first:
BED: I created the bed using all of the MB kit's cardboard box. The 2 small square wood dowels provide support under the bed's base, while the 2 larger square wood dowels are the edges along the head board section (Image #2). The bed posts are made from the foam dowel cut in half and carved using an x-acto knife and sandpaper, topped with the 2 wood discs. The bed carving design and bed sheets were sketched out in pen and then painted in with acrylics (Image #3).
BOOK: This was made from the canvas board bent in half, a small piece of cardstock to create the book's spine, and the majority of the MB rule book for the inner pages. The book cover is painted with acrylics (Image #4).
PILLOW: For this I used the drawing mannequin's box, the rubber band, white thread, and another portion of cardstock. The rubber band and thread were painted blue and used to create the pillow's stripes. I cut the cardstock into the pillow's lace edge using a boarder dye for scrap booking (Image #5).
CHILD'S HEAD: Created from roughly half the clay. The eyelashes were made out of a scrap of cardstock with white thread glued to it and painted black. The face is painted with acrylic (Image #6). The hair is almost the entire piece of canvas cloth provided in the MB kit, pulled apart and dyed using tea with painted with acrylic highlights (Image #7).
QUILT: I made a paper dummy body to lay the plaster wrap cloth over in order to create the shape of a child sleeping in bed. After the plaster wrap was dry, I removed the dummy and painted the quilt squares (Image #8). A patch on the quilt was created using a scrap portion of the plaster wrap, and "stitching" made from the white thread (seen in the background of Image #15).
WEB and CLOUD: The web was created using the wire spanning from the pillow to the top of the head board, where the large round wood dowel is acting as the anchor (Image #9). The sheet of wire mesh was curved around the rod and used to create the base of the clouds. The clouds were made from the packing peanuts cut down and glued onto the mesh. Then painted with acrylics (Image #10).
*Images #6 and #9: The armature rod was used to support the weight of the piece in the middle of the bed. It also acts as the anchor for the spider web, and is where the child's head and hair is mounted.
KNIGHT: His arm and leg being brought up the web by the dream spiders were made from an arm and leg of the mannequin, and pieces of the MB rule book. I tried to mimic actual armor by creating it in layered sections painted with acrylics. The shield was cut out of the fiber board with added cardstock straps (Image #11). The knight and horse in the cloud are made out of the fiber board cut with wood and jeweler's tools and sanded down (Image #14). Cardstock was used here to make the knight's other arm, as well as his helmet feathers. The horse's tail and blanket ties are canvas thread, and the blanket itself is some of the plastic shrink wrap used for shipping the internal components of the MB kit. The bit, reins, saddle, and stirrups are made from painted cardstock and wire. The knight's sword in Image #14 is made out of the MB rule book, wire, canvas thread, and jewels created out of the clay.
SPIDERS: Found a use for the plastic Easter egg! (Image #12) I wrapped the clay around the egg halves and added wire legs and an outer cover of packing peanuts for texture. The third spider is a ball of clay with same treatment. The heads and eyes are also clay and painted with acrylics. The spiders are held to the web with small amounts of glue.
DRAGON: The body is made out of the fiber board with the leg, arm, and head being additional pieces (Image #13). The wings are the clear plastic shrink wrap with a segment of wire and painted using acrylics. The flame is the white plastic wrap from the roll of plaster cloth around a piece of wire and painted. The dragon's teeth are out of cardstock, and the dragon is held up in the clouds using the mannequin's metal support rod.
FROG PRINCE DOLL: After taking the drawing mannequin apart, I put the parts back together creating a short/stout figure. His eyes are the shoulder joints, and the flippers are cardstock. The uniform and crown have bits of canvas thread and additional cardstock pieces for details. All painted with acrylics (Image #15).
CHILD'S HAND: The small portion of the canvas cloth left intact was used for the pajama sleeve. Her hand is made out of the foam Van Gogh ear cut down to create the 4 fingers, and the thumb is out of clay. A thin layer of clay was used to coat and smooth out the foam fingers and everything was painted with acrylics (Image #16).
CASTLE: Made out of fiber board in 2 layers and painted with acrylics. The doors and flag are out of cardstock with a wire post. The art sponge was shredded and painted to create the tree top and vegetation in the cloud scene. The tree trunk is painted cardstock (Image #17).
ALARM CLOCK: I used up the last bits of the mannequin, which included the round base, head, and one last ball joint. The head and ball joint were cut in half and sanded down. I used cardstock to create 2 more back feet for the clock as well as the face and hands. The face numbers are stenciled on with pen. The second hand is small painted piece of white thread. Wire and the main spring from the mannequin's body finished off the clock (Image #17).

I took the theme "Build A Dream" literally and combined it with the idea of a dream catcher's web. I often fall asleep while reading a book and find that the characters of the story sometimes make their way into my dreams. I used that experience here where a little girl has fallen asleep in bed while reading her favorite book of fairy tales. The dream spiders are now hard at work pulling the knight in shining armor from her imagination to create a dream... hopefully in time to defeat the dragon. Walt Disney's quote on the back of the bed, "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever," ties this year's theme in with the creativity required for this contest.