poetry and prose about place

making stand-ups for my book launch

with 4 comments

On Thursday evening at 7PM, I will be reading at Westminster Books in Fredericton, with Zach Hapeman, poet-for-the-young-at-heart and author of ‘A Crack in the Door’ (Amazon books).


I’ll read from my new book ‘Meniscus: Crossing The Churn’. I have a few surprises for my audience, including life-sized stand-up cardboard aliens.  I also did a set of smaller aliens to include in the Westminster Books display window.


First step: Obtain the cardboard. My very helpful husband brought home two big cardboard boxes from Leons Furniture in Fredericton. A big thank you to Leons! The boxes, originally used to protect table tops were the perfect size (6′ by 4′)!



Second step: Select a couple of drawings of the Gel-head and Dock-winder aliens from my book. Gel-heads are named since their skin is a transparent green gel – muscles, skeleton bits and even some organs can be seen through their skin! The Dock-winders have very long necks, tattooed to keep track of their exploits. They are called Dock-winders because when they invaded earth, they attacked from the sea and their necks resembled the dock piers sailors use to tie up their boats!



Third step: Transfer the drawing outlines to the cardboard. To do this I created a grid on the drawing and a scaled grid on the cardboard. Then I just drew a scaled outline using the grid-lines.



Fourth step: Paint the cardboard figures. Manipulating the cardboard during painting was the hard part. I just used my exercise ball to elevate and steady the figure. I was afraid the cardboard would bend, but no mishaps occurred!



had to add pants to my Gel-head alien … even on planet Meniscus, you need clothing!


Fifth step: Cut out the figure. I used a skill knife and carved away small segments at a time. Then I touched up the edges with black paint.


Sixth step: Reinforce the back of the figure, especially bendy parts like arms legs and necks, with wooden skewers and glue.


The Results: Here is a photo of the smaller stand-ups in the window of our local bookstore Westminster Books, Fredericton. Janet North (owner) and staff have been so good to me. The store is hosting the launch of my book on Thursday May 18, 2017 at 7 PM. If you live in the Fredericton area, Zach Hapeman and I would love to see you there!!!! My aliens would love to see you too!!!!



Copyright Jane Tims (a.k.a. Alexandra Tims)  2017 

4 Responses

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  1. Your window display looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person


    May 16, 2017 at 12:30 am

  2. Did you paint the standup’s with plant based paints, Jane?

    Liked by 1 person


    May 15, 2017 at 10:44 am

    • I use Golden acrylic paints. Many mineral source paint pigments are not safe for the environment but the company has a stated environmental policy. They do not test on animals and I don’t use colours made from cattle bone (their only use of animal sources). I know quite a bit about plant pigments after a great project I did a couple of years ago. Just search for ‘harvesting colour’ on this website! Jane


      jane tims

      May 15, 2017 at 6:56 pm

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