Monday, May 20, 2013

What Story Do You See?

I had an amazing experience on Mother's day. I discovered my older brother is AWESOME! Admittedly, my mom and dad are also awesome, but I tell them that all the time. But my brother? This is the boy who picked me up, threw me across the living room and concussed my head into the wall. This is the boy who taught me that no room in the house was safe. This is the boy who smashed my right hand with a bowling ball and to this day I'm unnaturally left handed. Truth be told, I learned to handle a knife at the ripe old age of 6, pick a lock at age 7, and he's still scarred with teeth marks in the center of his back.

Violence aside, my brother did teach me my multiplication tables when I was 4, all the known species of whales at age 8 and how to fly a plane at age 12. He also taught me how to use power tools and not lose a finger. What I remember most, is him building train sets in the garage complete with detailed plane crashes, ripples in ponds and WWII bomb sites. I marveled at the worlds he created. Then for 20 years we went our separate ways and I forgot that he built dioramas.

Last weekend, my mother asked him, "When's your next Nerd Olympics?" That's when I learned that my brother, my injury inducing, fear provoking (he's calls it confidence building), but highly educational brother, is a gold medalist diorama creator. I never even knew these competitions existed, but holy crap, my brother is phenomenal!

Above is a current project he's working on, a bombed out bridge with an urban cafe and a live-in studio above. And a river. Good grief, he built a river. You can see how he builds everything at this website:

Below are two other award winning diorama's. What stunned me are the multitudes of stories his diorama's tell. My mom is an avid reader and my dad is a writer. So I guess it's no surprise their two kids turned into storytellers.

Grandma's Quilt
I love this one! My brother even sculpts the people, which I really think is his key to storytelling. I have to ask my brother how the fleeing pantless soldier is able to stand at that angle. That guy is hauling butt. The vixenous sisters already miss him, and have absolutely no respect for the months of work that went into sewing the quilt that shields one sister's indiscretion.

Captains, Castles & Kings
What's the story here? What are these boys playing at? There are two boys holding shields and hurling rocks at each other. The youngest boy is wearing an oversized helmet backward and raising a stick into the air, commanding his troops below. Spikes protect his tank/fort against a siege. The older boys have a vague recollection of the horrors of war, but the youngest is king of his castle, completely ignorant that the tank he currently claims as an invincible fort is also the weapon that killed his father.

What stories do you see?


  1. Impressive! A peasant army fighting Vikings! That's what I'm going with.

    1. Ha-ha! Yes, the Vikings shields held by the boys certainly send in that direction. :)

  2. The grandma's quilt story is cute, but I instantly envisioned that the guy running away half-naked is the guy she is cheating with while her husband comes home. Of course, I have no explanation for the two other women in the equation, but that could be even more entertaining!

    1. Oh, a cheating husband - that's an interesting take! I like that idea. The husband leaves his two "playmates" to suffer the wrath of his wife and father. Ha-ha!