Beautiful on the Outside,Miscellaneous

The Projects Just Keep on Coming

I’ve got so many fun and exciting projects I want to share with you guys.  I’ve been working like crazy finishing up projects, building products, staging them and photographing them.  Now I’m at the editing stage with some, so get ready for more of my wild, yet fun ideas.  My brain never stops! In fact, so many ideas flood my head that at times it’s hard to maintain peace of mind.  The ideas just never stop!  That’s the way I’ve always been.

My dad had some amazing, old weathered, barn wood at his place that he was going to get rid of or try to sell.  I asked him so very nicely not to sell it and give it to me (his very creative, workaholic daughter).  He had no doubt I would put it to good use.  So he went above and beyond and drove it all the way out from Idaho to my place in Minnesota in his old pick-up truck!  How cool is this pile!  Don’t you worry! I’ve got big plans…

As I was looking at the barn wood in my garage and daydreaming about it’s future,  Nate (my hubby) just smiled and shook his head, as he passed me and said, “the projects just keep on coming…”  When he said that, it totally took me back 16 years to when we first met.  Just to be clear, he new exactly what he was getting himself into right away!  Let me explain further.

My senior year in college, I had a super duper cute apartment on 31st and Holmes only a block and a half from Calhoun Square and a few blocks from Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.  Loved living there as a single lady!

I still remember the expression on Nate’s face when he first walked into my apartment.  He did a good job of hiding his surprise and not standing in the doorway with his mouth hanging open.  My apartment was filled with several studio lights, cameras, multiple 4 1/2 foot miniature movie sets, cords and extension cords covering the floor (like the scene from Indiana Jones where he’s in the pit full of snakes).  A table full of mini hand-sculpted doll mouths, doll clothing and a number of 14 inch dolls with crazy eyelashes for eyes.  Yes, I built, sculpted, sewed and designed the costumes and even sang and composed the music to my final animation. Nate had walked into my own personal stop-motion animation movie production studio!  Not the apartment of a typical college senior! I know! I know! Total nerd!  He was definitely SUPER twitterpated with me, because he stayed up with me all night finishing a shot that needed to get done.  His job was to hit the space bar on my computer, capturing a single image at a time, while I did everything else.  It took about twelve hours to animate a 15 second shot!  And all he got in the end was a hug after that long, long day!  He did get another date after that, and we ended up getting married, so it wasn’t as if I was only using him for his amazing space-bar-pushing skills.

To make a long story short, I was doing crazy big projects then and I’m still doing them now.  I haven’t changed.  And Nate loves me for that… most of the time. 😉

So, I thought it would be fun to dig up some of my super old stop-motion animations I did way back when Nate and I first met.  I’m sad to say I could find all of them. 🙁  But I was able to find one finished video that was later digitized from a VHS tape, so it will look a little jumpy and skip a bit.  Sorry about that.  Again, it was shot sixteen years ago.  The other video is my animation reel showing a montage of clips from three of my other animations from college.

It was fun to dig these up and watch them again.  My boys have been begging me to show them how to animate.  We’ll see if they have the patience after they learn it take 25-30 frames to make 1 second of motion.  Ha!  Oh, and if you’re wondering, “Who is this Melessa Bills?” Bills is my maiden name.

Video 1 – Ally Cats

Video 2 – My Animation Real (A montage of 3 Animations)

The music was composed and performed by Melessa Bills Paynter.  Lyrics were written by Jeremy Smith.  He was so kind to help me write words to my mini animated musical.  I’m sad because I can’t find the finished movie of my mini animated musical.  You’ll only be able to see some of the clips from the montage demo reel below.  Sad.

Don’t you love animations?  I hope someday I will be able to make another one with my boys!



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  • Leann
    March 3, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Little by little I’m seeing more of you and how creative you are. I love it! I’ll definitely show my kids your videos!

    • Melessa
      March 3, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Thanks Leann! I love being creative and thinking outside the box. Stay tuned for more wild projects and ideas!

  • Martha
    March 3, 2017 at 7:38 am

    So cool, can’t imagine all the work take to make such an amazing videos, great ideas too you have for wood

    • Melessa
      March 3, 2017 at 8:16 am

      Thanks Martha! I can’t wait to start the barn wood project!

  • Elane
    March 3, 2017 at 8:50 am

    OH WOW!! This is really good. Thanks for posting your beginnings. You should make your own full length movie. I know Nate would hate me saying this. I can’t even imagine the HOURS that would take.

    • Melessa
      March 3, 2017 at 8:55 am

      It’s a labor of LOVE! I can’t stop dreaming and I never will! Thanks!

  • Allison T.
    March 3, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Oh Melessa, you are the energizer bunny! My kids have been asking to see your art projects from school, so I am really excited to show them!

    • Melessa
      March 3, 2017 at 9:14 am

      And I hope I never slow down!

  • Nate
    March 3, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Would you believe that one can develop a calllus on one’s pointer finger from pushing the space bar on a computer keyboard for 12 hours? 🙂

    • Melessa
      March 3, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Ha! So true!

  • Lillian
    March 3, 2017 at 9:32 am

    It’s fun to be around all that creativity! And lucky you to have helpers☺

    • Melessa
      March 3, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Thanks Lillian! I really hope my boys will enjoy a project like this some day, so I can be the helper for them.

  • Tayna
    March 3, 2017 at 9:32 am

    This is amazing! Loved the videos.

    • Melessa
      March 3, 2017 at 9:37 am

      I’m glad you liked it! It was a blast making them! Yes, as an adult I still like to play with dolls!

  • Alyssa
    March 3, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Melessa, these are SO GOOD! You’re so talented. I’m just picturing how many all-nighters all that work must’ve took.

    • Melessa
      March 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Alyssa, you too are an AWESOME designer and crazy talented lady! Thank you for your kind compliment! And yes, I still remember all to well those long days and nights at MCAD. I wish I could say that the all nighters and super late nights have stopped. But it’s a labor of love create and design!

  • janahogan
    March 3, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I love reclaimed wood! What a sweet dad you have!!

    • Melessa
      March 3, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Yes, it was really nice of him to drive it all out to MN for me! I can’t wait to start using it!

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