New Projects Are Very Near Mint (Volume 2!)

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Hooooo, boy! Have we got some good stuff for you this week. Our new project round-up comes replete with films made from laser-cut woodblocks (see to believe, we say), flower labyrinths, the Beatles personal secretary, puppets, animated muffins, and ... wait, wait, wait. Why are we giving it all away right up front? Read on to find out more on our new favorite projects, and don't forget to browse our discover page to find your own!

"The New America" Short Film & Engraved Art project video thumbnail
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Last week Nando Costa launched a new project bridging many of my favorite things on Kickstarter — short films, laser cutting, art and collaboration. His project, The New America, is a short film, to be created by laser cutting illustrations on blocks of wood, and then animating said blocks. However, rather than setting the film to be 10 or 20 minutes, the length will be determined by how many people back the project. And, in return for their support, backers will receive the laser-cut blocks from which the film was made. Full circle. Oh yeah, and he's offering a temporary tattoo of the New America logo, which I'd rock on my forehead like a real member of the illuminati. — Mike M. 

Aurora Borealis Public Garden project video thumbnail
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Where a parking lot nearly stood a public garden now grows roots. Haley O'Conner and Brittany Mroczek have their hands deep in soil at Aurora Borealis, a public garden in Providence, RI, where they're designing a labyrinthine plot of flowers, medicinal herbs, edibles, trees, and native plants. With a focus on plant shrubs, perennials, fruit trees, and a birch grove (for napping cats) in season one, the duo hopes to soon be giving tours, hosting dinners, and facilitating community events in the garden. A tree grows in Providence! —Daniella J.
Good Ol' Freda project video thumbnail
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If you listen to the Beatles' 1963 Christmas record, you'll hear George Harrison thank "Freda Kelly in Liverpool," just before the other three shout, "Good Ol' Freda!" That Freda is Freda Kelly, who worked as a secretary for the Beatles from before they made it big to when they disbanded in 1970. She also served as the secretary of the official Beatles Fan Club for over 10 years, rode on the Magical Mystery Tour Bus, helped the boys and their families deal with newfound fame and lots of fan mail, and, much to the chagrin of Beatles fans the world over, hasn't shared her stories with anyone. In the interest of her new grandson Niall knowing what she was up to in her younger years, Freda (who still works as a secretary) has finally decided to accept a filmmaker's offer to make a documentary about her time with the fab four. Good ol' Freda! — Meaghan O.

Muffin Buds project video thumbnail
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So. I was just digging into a freshly-baked peach muffin from the muffin shop 'round the corner when I came across Muffin Buds, Eric Aldama and Rachel Yonda's animated series about "two everyday muffins" who live and work together in Buttermilk City (#whatupfate). These poppyseed and chocolate chocolate chip baked goods (aka Harry and James) odd-job their way through life, adventuring and scraping together just enough to cover the rent for Landlord Figgens, the caffeine and nicotine-addicted fig newton who takes their hard-earned muffin cash every month. It's like Laverne and Shirley without the olds meets Aqua Teen Hunger Force without the aggros. …Amirite? Eric and Rachel, y'all can feel free to use that pitch in future meetings if you'd like. — Elisabeth H. 

Very Near Mint Volume 2 project video thumbnail
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Justin Peterson's Very Near Mint is a meta-comic book of sorts, delving deep into the hilarious underworld of comic book stores, comic book readers, and comic book creators. Justin self-published Volume 1 with a successful Kickstarter project last year, so it's great to see him back with Volume 2, especially since Volume 1 ended with a cliffhanger and some of us need to know what happens next. In short, if you love hanging out in comic book stores, then there's bound to be a character or two in Very Near Mint that you'll recognize all too well. It's a fun read, comes in an awesome manga-sized edition, and for a measly $20 you can grab both volumes. For $200, you can be in the comic, which is a total steal! Do it. — Cindy A. 

Make season 2 of Trixie & the Treetrunks with Miss Pussycat! project video thumbnail
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I wish I could write "I mean... obviously" as the entirety of my explanation as to why I like this project, but I feel like that would be kind of a cop out. So instead I'll say this much: this is a puppet show dedicated to the adventures of Miss Pussycat and Trixie, the creators describe their work as "bouncey" and good-smelling, season two is going to center around strange new messages coming from the Center of the Earth via the Happy Tree, again, The Happy Tree, there is a bounteous treasure chest of amazing rewards to be had, including handmade silk-screen posters that look wackyamazing and, to be honest, would also look really good hanging on my bedroom wall. Huzzah! — Cassie M.