Yes, the blog has been quiet lately, because I’ve not had anything worthy to share.

After returning from Texas, the yard needed serious attention. We had lovely Spring weather and it seemed a shame to waste it indoors.

Both May and early June saw Susan and I weeding, planting, shaping, edging and mulching our front flowerbeds. We still have a trainload of work ahead but I’m delighted with what we accomplished so far. Now that summer heat and humidity have settled in, our progress is considerably slower but with the proper precautions against the heat, we’ll keep at it.

Freshly weeded, edged and mulched, the yard looks far better. A cool Spring and plenty of rain produced a spectacular abundance.

This has little to do with modeling, but there is more to a good life than being stuck in a basement, although the cool dehumidified atmosphere down there is nice this time of year.

Another reason for the lack of postings is I find myself in a fallow period where modeling is concerned. The creative juices ebb and flow and experience teaches me that this is normal and nothing to get worked up over.

Fallow times are a good place to rest and recharge. I’ve spent time with good books, and magazines I especially enjoy, soaking up inspiration and learning from the journeys of other makers.

As a magazine, Furniture & Cabinetmaking is a satisfying blend of technique and the craftsperson’s journey.

The book We Are Makers is all about the creative journey as told by makers from a wide range of crafts. I crave more of these stories.

Fallow times are also good for rethinking your creative direction.

My enthusiasm for modeling has waned quite a bit recently and I feel the need for a change in direction or focus. I truly enjoy a challenge and the work hasn’t felt challenging lately. It feels like I’m repeating stuff I know how to do, rather than pushing into the unknown.

Working on the yard provides a good break. The sheer physicality of the work gets me out of my head and into the real world, where, at the end of a day, progress is clear and tangible.

So much of what we do in modeling these days feels more abstract than ever. Technology intrudes itself more and more into the work, separating us from it in ways we don’t consider. For many, modeling has become more of programming a CNC machine or creating a digital file to be printed rather than getting hands dirty with actual tools and material.

How you model is your personal choice of course, and I wouldn’t suggest otherwise. We each have our own preferences and methods that are right for us. I marvel at what people are doing with digital tools that are more accessible than ever, but for my own work, I’m firmly old school. Enjoying the process is what matters in the end.

Creatively, I don’t know where I’m going next. Building another cameo module doesn’t seem likely at this point. If I do, it will be to explore ideas around scene composition and presentation or new techniques and materials for construction. Beyond that, I don’t see the need.

For modeling, I want to focus more on the process itself rather than a predetermined outcome. For now though, I plan to enjoy the summer and let the creative juices refill as needed.



  1. Chris Roy

    Beautiful garden, Mike! Another interest we share. Enjoy your summer.

  2. mike

    Thank you Chris. I will. -Mike

  3. Pete Leach

    Hi Mike, I too find myself in a railroad fallow period. With my layout basically completed and several touch up project out of the way, I needed something to do. I settled on building a model of the Light Aircraft Carrier my father served on in WW2. It is providing me the challenge I seek and bringing me back to my youth (I was a plastic model builder.) I hope to get back to the layout, or at least my next model railroad project later this year.
    Good luck with finding your next path, no matter where it leads!