No story to spin here today, just a bit of history.
Anyone who followed the Mocies and endured my half-time skit may recall reading about my dog. No, I genuinely wasnít joking, my beloved dog Poppy went to sleep for the last time a few weeks ago due to ill health. The jokes were just part of the way I cope with things.
We had Poppy from a rescue home 12 years ago when she was already 3. She had been mistreated by her first owner, given up by the next family who took her and we knew she was difficult to home. Scared of men, nervous, hyper-energetic, an escape artist fully capable of scaling a 6í tall fence. English fox hounds, as the name suggests, are pack-hunting dogs, not really pets.
She was brilliant. Friendly and eager and so happy to see you all the time. This is my little tribute to my hound dog.
Iíve never tried mosaics before and I can see why some people get into them as their LEGO niche Ė they are really cathartic and watching the picture come together is very rewarding. The idea was suggested by my wife when I read the categories out and from that point it was obvious what I would do.
I knew I lacked sufficient small brick or plates to do a full-colour or very high def picture and likewise I lacked baseplates. Therefore I assembled a 72x72 stud backplate to work on Ďstuds-upí and narrowed it down to the four or five colours I had more brick of. Using paintshop I Ďposterizedí the original image to just a few colours. Then I used 1:1 scale grid paper for sketching out the regions and turning into brick shapes. I finessed the build from a print of the photo as I went along.
The original image I worked from
With my daughter.
The brick papers can be downloaded Here as a PDF and are a great resource Ė this is easily the most planning work Iíve done on a build but entirely necessary when I had to translate my brick resources into a palette. I realised after I had half-completed this that there is a mixture of new and old greys in there (been building at night, but saw them straight away in daylight) but decided against trying to change them out. I like the effect and lacked enough dark bley anyway.
With my son. The flowers were just a way of lightening up that corner of the frame and a play on her name too.
My kids miss her and weíve had to have the talk about not coming back from Doggy Heaven.
I liked the mosaic but wanted something light-hearted too. As my kids love Scooby Doo (as do I, same initials and everything!) and our pampered Poppy was a canine dustbin, I wanted to try and somehow get a bit of Poppy and a bit of Scooby in there too.
Itís also only the second time Iíve tried larger-scale fig construction - my mole from last yearís R1 was popular though so I thought I would give it a go again.
I was aiming at cartoonish proportions and some posabilty too. I think I did OK.
Thanks to Chris and his judges for running this once again and to Dave Kaleta and the Brickworld team for their generous prize sponsorship Ė your contributions in time, effort and financial support are greatly appreciated folks.
Good luck to all the competitors in this yearís contest. Letís try and make it bigger and better and keep the spirit of friendly competition and mutual support going. I hope to see you in R2.
If you want a dog, get one from a rescue home. Itís hard work but the most rewarding thing Iíve done aside from starting a family. I miss my walkies.
To all, thanks for the kind words both about Poppy and for the build itself, they are greatly appreciated as always. As Leda mentioned below, it's been a pleasure and a surprise to get such warm and fuzzy feedback!
Quoting David .
If I had thought about it, I'd of built something for my families past dogs. But this would make me feel guilty for not doing something grand.
David, I felt guilty for not thinking of my dog straight away when this category appeared, but really if you want to do something as rememberence then I would recommend it - it's very therapeutic. I hope your current dog lasts and lives well, even hopping around! Thanks for the heartfelt comment, but of course now we must face each other on the field of battle! The very best of luck to you in round 2, let's see what we can do with our 'worst days'.
If I had thought about it, I'd of built something for my families past dogs. But this would make me feel guilty for not doing something grand. Our first dog, (Which I barely remember) had to be put down, but the dog after that was eaten by either coyotes or an owl. My dad found him and brought him home. All I remember, was that the skin on his belly was missing, and you could see all his guts. I also remember when mom came and woke me and my sister up, and I thought she was joking, and I laughed. I cried right after that though. Our third dog was given away, because he part at every fly, car person, thing, wall, door, and pretty much every thing else, and was slightly deaf and dumb. Our dog we have now is very sweet, and only barks at people in our backyard, but only when they appear creepy. (She barked at my dad, who was in a stocking cap and coat, huddled up) She was hit by a truck a year and a half ago, and her pelvis was broken, her right leg paralyzed. She is alive and hopping (literally) and lazy as ever. We love her, and don't look forward to when she dies. This is a wonderful tribute to your Poppy, and if animals do indeed go to heaven, I hope God has a special place for her. Good luck. :)
A very touching tribute to Poppy, and both the mosaic and the model are pitch-perfect. Although there's no way to replace such a beloved pet, hopefully this build will have helped you and your children to say goodbye in a constructive way (no pun intended!) Thanks so much for distributing the brick grids too, very public-spirited of you.
Anyone who can give a pet the sort of love you gave Poppy is all right in my book. Good mosiac, good poseable pup too. All I can add is that if my dogs aren't waiting for me by heaven's gate, then I ain't going in.
So sad I didn't meet your dog when I visited, but seeing Frasier and Sophie again is wonderful; tell them I send a "cuddle" from Chicago. I rescue is the BEST dog (I'm on #2)! Your mosaic is simply wonderful and the sculpture is excellent is the way it captured the cartoonish look you were going for. Thank you for sharing this loving tribute.
Definitely a very sad experience brother! Hopefully you all will find another "Poppy" to join the family soon. Great work on your first mosaic....I dislike the buggers....though I didn't cheat. :P The poseable dog is a great touch as well! Good luck with the judges!
It is very therapeutic to work on this and a great way to help you mourn. When Sue died I did that tiny moc, nothing like the scale and skill you've done here, but the whole process of building with her in mind and getting back all the lovely comments of best wishes and sorrow from our mocpages community really helped me deal with the loss. Expect a lot more tears in the coming days as people begin to comment on this and each time you are reminded not only of Poppy but of the generousness of people and strangers who have all been there where you are.