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“Some people have too much time on their hands!” That’s a frequent, snarky comment we get after we post a project with an intense level of dedication to something as seemingly frivolous as Lego spaceships, highly detailed gaming minis and terrain, dioramas, dollhouses, or in this case, desktop Muppet theaters. But those who say such things think nothing of spending countless hours watching TV and movies, reading books, or playing video games. I once did an issue of a zine I published in the 90s, called Going Gaga, on “Pocket Universes,” the term I used for imaginative worlds of any kind that you can crawl into and “lose yourself” there for a time. A movie or a book is a pocket universe, and so are any of the above imagination-driven hobbies that one can disappear into. Anyone who’s ever spent hours, razor-thin paintbrush in-hand, hunched over a single 25mm gaming figure, or rigging a ship model, or building a train layout, knows that the rewards of actually making the pocket universe you climb into are as infinite as imagination itself.

Oh, right… this project… It’s by Canadian maker Lance Cardinal. It’s his take on the Palisades Muppet Theater Backstage Playset that was never produced. Until he produced it. His blog has tons of pictures of the finished stage and amazing making-of photos and notes. He already has a laundry list of additions he wants to make. And check out the other projects on his site. [Via CRAFT and Boing Boing]

Scratch Built Palisades Muppet Theatre Playset

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • John Edgar Park

    “Some people have too much talent on their hands!” This is astounding.

  • http://twitter.com/TieDyePie TieDyePie

    Absolutely outstanding. Brilliant presentation, incredible detail. Fantastic work!

  • http://twitter.com/migpics migpics

    Thank you so much for addressing the ‘You have too much time on your hands’ comment. It’s the most annoying and unmotivational thing you can say to a person.
    I recently asked my former art professor from college at what point do you go from ‘having too much time on your hands’ to ‘it’s her hobby’ to ‘wow, you’re an artist’.
    His response was something to the effect of:
    If you do it once, you have too much time on your hands, if you do it between one and 5 times, it’s a hobby, if you do it 100 times, you’re an artist.
    Anyone up for elaborating in the scale? I’d say Canadian Maker Lance Cardinal is definitely an artist.

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    I recently asked my former art professor from college at what point do
    you go from ‘having too much time on your hands’ to ‘it’s her hobby’ to
    ‘wow, you’re an artist’.
    His response was something to the effect of:

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