Yessica's Journey Blog

Welcome to the Yessica's Journey Blog Site, a Journey through Mental Health, Wellbeing and Creativity.


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Glueing and Fixing the Armature of the Magician

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© Copyright 2011 Anastacia Tohill. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text. Armature drawing in photos by Animation Supplies except for Head.

Making the armature was quite straight forward but does take time and care. It was good fun and very satisfying once the finished armature is complete. Make sure you use a ruler to measure the length of the metal rods used for the limbs accurately. File the ends properly or they won’t fit in the screw. Use plenty of araldite to glue the joints which do not move. Allow adequate time for glue to dry properly before moving the armature.

The hardest thing I found was glueing the balls on the end of the rods and glueing the rods in place with Loctite glue. I found that sometimes when I was testing the joints and wanted the joint screwed tightly the force would cause the ball to come unstuck which would be a problem. I reglued everything and waited longer for the glue to dry. I hope that this is sufficient to hold in place. Sometimes I also wanted the screw to tighten more.

With both of these armatures, including the one I bought from John Wright Modelmaking I am going to make sure after finishing the puppets body, that I have access to all the joints and armature in case anything needs adjusting or fixing. This means making the body in a way that you can access all joints and making clothing which can be taken on and off like a doll. With armatures I have made in the past I used wood and wire and made it from scratch and made the body and clothes permantly fixed to the body with little access to the armature. With ball and socket I think there is more need to have access because of all the joints, its a safer option.

More images to come of finished armature and a video of the making of it.

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Making of the Magician Armature

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© Copyright 2011 Anastacia Tohill. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text. Armature drawing by Animation Supplies except for Head.

These are images at the beginning of the armature making. With my design of the Magician character I carefully laid out the joints and set about cutting the metal rods for the limbs inbetween the joints. I had to measure everything very carefully. To cut the metal rods I used a pencil to mark carefully where I wanted to make the cut and then used a workbench and clamp to secure the rod. I then used a good hacksaw to cut the metal. It is important to file the ends carefully or they won’t screw into the balls and fixtures properly. I really enjoyed making this armature and its the first one I have ever made.


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Magician Armature

Armature for Magician Puppet

© Copyright 2011 Anastacia Tohill and Andy Simmons of Animation Supplies. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text. Drawing of armature in picture above was created by Animation Supplies except for head.

Animation Supplies Website

The armature kit was bought by the person who was originally going to make the puppet for Yessica. When I got the ProPlus Armature kit it was obvious it would never work for the small frame of Yessica. Unfortunately the joints were far too big for her tiny frame. I decided it would be fine for the Magician character and felt it would be too late really to send back to the company.

I still needed to adapt the overall size and proportions of the armature from their drawing (as seen in above image), which is supplied by Animation Supplies. I found the easiest way to do this was in Photoshop. I scanned the drawing of the armature from the one supplied by animation supplies in to the computer and then adjusted the drawing to fit the Magician character in Photoshop. It took a bit of time, but it was worth it and made the drawing very accurate as I did not have to alter the joints. As you can see from the image above the Magician is shorter.

The kit comes complete with all parts needed to make an armature. It has rods to cut for the limbs and ball and socket joints, special glue and screws. Unfortunately the plastic tubing supplied was not enough so I had to order some more, but it was very reasonable, so I ended up ordering different sizes in case I need some more for other projects in the future. The tubing is a fantastic idea and is used to protect the wire on the fingers of the hand. Brilliant idea. You heat the tubing with a heat gun and it shrinks to fit the wire. I am really impressed with this and I wish I knew about it when I made my puppets at college with wire and wood. The kit is very reasonably priced. You have to make the armature yourself.


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Volunteer Day Hellesdon Hospital

I attended the volunteer day which was held at Hellesdon Hospital. Pene organised the event and invited members of staff and organisations as well as service users. The event was very successful and it was interesting to see the many different organisations who use volunteers effectively. The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital attended and Volunteer Norfolk. Peter Gianfrancesco the Chief Executive of Mind in Norwich attended and talked about the new volunteer first aid scheme. Robert Black also attended who runs the training.

I also managed to talk to Peter about my animation script. He really likes it and said he could really see the animation visually now, this is great.


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Anastacias Website

Anastacias New Website

Idea for design of my website

© Copyright 2011 Anastacia Tohill. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text.

Well I have managed to get my new website up and running. Took a while to get online and connected with the host but got there eventually. Made a start on the website, have lots still to do but really pleased with it, especially the rolling slideshow.

The background image illustration is from ‘Harry the Hip Hop Hippo’ book. The image has been modified and changed for the website.

The book is written by Jane Finch and illustrated, designed and constructed by me. It can be bought from Solstice Publishing or Amazon. I finished this book earlier this year, its my first book which I have designed and illustrated.

Once I have finished my own website I will start the Yessicas Journey html site.

Freeway seems like a really good piece of software and the company are really helpful and supportive.


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Events Management Training organised by Mind

When I attended the Mind Inclusion meeting a few weeks ago I signed up for this free course. I thought it would come in handy if I needed to organise any events and the launch of the film. I am a volunteer with Mind Inclusion in Norwich. I have only done one event so far and it was really good fun. I helped last year with a big Culture Event held in the Mind garden. I helped with food and clearing up and was on the info desk selling raffle tickets.

The course was held in Norwich as the Assembly House. The course was quite good and I met some really lovely people who made me laugh all day, a lot of fun. The tutor was very knowledgeable but all the health and safety regulations that goes with event management put me off slightly. I have come to the conclusion I might be better off holding the launch in my parents garden, that way I can’t be sued for anything and I don’t have to take out a loan just to get insurance. I think it is quite sad how our society has gone, because of all this red tape many people just don’t bother with organising anything as it’s not worth it. So much for the big society and community spirit.

Apart from that I really enjoyed the day, loved meeting all the new people and had so much fun, especially the drawing task at the end.


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Freeway Web Design Software

Decided to buy Freeway, think its a good investment and it seems intuitive to use. Its also made with designers in mind, so its visual and does not require a lot of coding. This is all done in the background leaving you to concentrate on the more important aspects of the website which is the design and navigation. Life is too short, I don’t want to spend my life learning code, find this really boring. To me software is a tool and it should be easy to use and intuitive.

Freeway is really good, really like it so far.