Portland-based artist Maggie Rudy creates cute little rodents from wool and pipe cleaners, dresses them in fancy clothing and poses them in elaborate sets.
A collection of her creations, shot by photographer Bruce Wolf, became her first children’s picture book “The House that Mouse Built”, a story about a pair of mice who live in a fabulously turned-out loaf of bread.
Maggie Rudy inherited her artistic trait from her mother and grandmother, and had always enjoyed making and collecting things.
Smitten by an exhibit of E. J. Taylor’s dolls at the Brandywine Museum in Delaware in 1982, she started making dolls. For the next several years, Rudy made a number of commissioned portrait dolls, with polymer clay heads and jointed cloth bodies.
She made her first mice doll in 1992 as a gift for her son’s kindergarten friend who had a recurring dream about mice.
Soon she was helping kindergarten teachers and the kids make their own mice, a project that is now in its 17th year.
The idea for a picture book came during Christmas when she was making mouse photos for Christmas cards.
Many children are enthralled by the magic of a tree house, and at Treehouse Point in Fall City, Washington, visitors can indulge in that whimsical fantasy as an adult.
Only 20 miles from Seattle, the small eco resort is home to six unique treehouses located near plenty of hiking and winter activities. The first treehouse built on the property, the Temple of the Blue Moon, was designed using lines from the Parthenon.
Situated on a lush chunk of land, Treehouse Point feels like a world away from the city. Set in a quintessential Pacific Northwest forest scene, large moss-covered spruce and cedar trees dominate the landscape as the rushing river below provides the soundtrack.
The retreat was opened in 2006 by Pete Nelson and his family, whose construction company has built tree houses around the world.
The hosts are friendly and informative and offer tours of the structures by appointment. And, if you’re inspired by the trip, Nelson offers workshops on building treehouses.
Between 1908 and 1911, the photographer and social reformer Lewis Hine travelled the U.S. for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) documenting child labor — in factories, textile mills, canneries, and coal mines — focusing in particular on the Carolina Piedmont.
Amongst the hundreds of photographs he made in this time is this unique set of composite photographs of Southern cotton mill workers.
Each image was created by purposively rephotographing several workers upon the same photographic plate. The idea of overlaying portraits in this way was not without precedent.
The technique was invented in 1880s by Sir Francis Galton who used multiple exposures to create an “average” portrait from many different faces.
For Galton, the primary purpose of the method was so as to advance his views on human ideal types, and it could be argued that Hine used it in a similar way (albeit divorced from the somewhat suspect context of phrenology), to generalise his observations regarding the damaging physical effects of the back-breaking factory work on young bodies.
However, the fact that Hine overlays faces of quite different physicality perhaps implies a subtler motive, one perhaps more orientated around the haunting quality of the final image.
The composites were never published in Hine’s lifetime, although the portraits of the same children used in the process do appear in posters for the NCLC alongside such headlines as “Making Human Junk: Shall Industry Be Allowed To Put This Cost On Society?”.
In general, Hine’s heart-rending images from his time with the NCLC — often the result of putting himself at great personal danger — helped to influence the change in several laws, including the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act of 1916.