Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Adventures in Party Planning: Paper Mache Rolie Polie Olie

I've been wanting to cross "make paper mache Rolie Polie Olie" off of my bucket list for awhile, and now I can.  Okay, I made that up.  It never occurred to me to make a paper mache RPO until friend Robyn (AKA "Aunt Ro-Ro") asked if I was interested in collaborating on a table at the Reading Rocks charity luncheon benefiting the I Have a Dream Foundation.  Because we both share the same brain (and much of the same source material), we both remembered at the same time a post on another blog about a tablescape for a "bedtime stories"-themed baby shower, where they turned the table into an actual bed by layering a kid-sized IKEA duvet cover over the tablecloth and adding a pillow.  Only problem was, our table was round (just like RPO!), but we decided that we could make it work.  Then we had to think of a book to justify the bed concept.  Two out of Parker's collection came to mind - "Good Night, Pillow Fight" and "Sleepy Time Olie."  (Didn't think of "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?" until much later.)  We settled on RPO after coming to the realization that he ought to be really easy to make out of paper mache, on account of his component parts being, well, balloon-shaped.  Oval balloon for a head, smaller round balloon for the body, etc.

Once my paper mache skills came back online, and we decided on the best technique (two layers of newsprint, followed by a layer of colored printer paper - yellow for his "skin," red for his "ears" . . . or transistors, or whatever), it was a pretty easy task.  But that was AFTER my paper mache skills came back online.  Not pictured anywhere in this post, because the evidence has been destroyed:  my first attempt at a torso, which was more of an experiment, really.  We kind of waited to start paper mache-ing until the eleventh hour, so I wanted to see if you could get away with doing two layers of newsprint in quick succession, without any real drying time in between.  Answer:  only if you want the finished product to look like a wrinkled Haas avocado.  Hey, I should have kept The Avocado, painted it black and saved it for a feature Mexican-themed shindig!  Instead, we cut the bottom out of it, Robyn wore it as a hat for awhile, and then Connor cut it down even further and wore it like it was hair.  Justin Bieber-ish bowl cut hair, to be precise.  Gosh, now I'm regretting not taking a picture.

I did take pictures of RPO.  He turned out really well, didn't he?  Dad gets credit for the arms and antennae, which are made out of that tubing that you use to corral your electrical cords.  My long-suffering spouse had to make five stops before he found black tubing that was the right width.  Thanks, honey, for putting up with your wife's odd requests, like, "I need you to pick up plastic tubing to make a Rolie Polie Olie antenna, and while you're at it, can you pick up a pizza for the kids from Domino's?"  For the record, neither he nor the kids even blink anymore when this sort of insanity invades our household.  Connor and Parker think it's totally normal and unremarkable for Aunt Ro-Ro to show up on a random Wednesday night to glue paper to a balloon and make a cartoon robot's head out of it.

RPO was legless.  Less tubing and no paper mache feet required - enough said.  But the idea is that he was sleeping, so the blanket covered all manner of sins.  Robyn created the big bedspread for the tabletop.

I took photos of lots of other tables (there were maybe forty in all?) and will be sharing them over the next few weeks.

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