Since my nephew was born, my brother started getting real trees for Christmas. When the season is over and it’s time to toss the tree, my brother cuts some slices off the trunk. I then sand his horrible cuts for hours, until I have a clean surface to burn my nephew’s name and the year which that slice is from on. I like this idea, but it is a little tricky. You rarely burn end grain, and this is all end grain. On top of that, pine is not the best candidate for wood burning, depending on the grade. Plus, because it’s literally a cross section of the entire tree it’s going to have sap pockets and pith which may have to be burned, both of which are a bitch.
I did both of these yesterday, as my brother forgot to give me last years cuts until this year. Both turned out really well, and will look even better after a couple coats of polyurethane deepen the grain and the bark. Unfortunately I have to wait, as they are now getting a paint job on the opposite side featuring the themes of his gifts from each year. I almost wrote ‘backside’ when it dawned on me that the side I worked on will likely be the backside. Shit. I used the best sides for my burning…
Have fun sanding Lisa!
Today is my brother’s birthday, so this morning I spent some time making him a Dr. Who themed card featuring his favourite doctor (Matt Smith) partying with a Dalek and a plate of fish fingers and custard in his honour. I figured since I already made him a Dr. Who gift, a Dr. Who card would be suitable.
The gift took me about 40 hours so far, and I probably have about another 20 to go now that I’ve decided to make a second gift (more about that further into this post), so I decided to spend significantly less time on the card. It still turned out okay I think.
I got the idea to make his gift back in January, shortly after watching the entire series on Netflix. I decided to get an early start on it because it’s quite large, and I didn’t want to be stuck scrambling to finish it at the last minute. Originally I had planned to frame it so he could hang this somewhere in his house, but then I reverted to my usual gift giving mentality – ”What if the recipient doesn’t like or want this and now feels obligated to keep / display it because I imposed it upon them?” – so last week I showed it to my brother and asked him what he wanted me to do. I offered the option of the frame as well as a key rack or a cigar box or anything else he could think of. He asked if I could add his street name and number and make it an address sign for the front of his house.
I downloaded some free Dr. Who fonts and played around with how I would lay it out, but nothing looked right to me. As a result I’ve decided to just say, fuck it. I’m going to frame the piece I’ve already made, and I’m going to start another for his address sign. He’ll just have to deal with the fact that he gets two gifts and will likely be the cause of my future carpal tunnel syndrome.
Here’s what I plan to do for the address sign. I can’t decide which of the two I like more but I’m hoping once Holly brings home the printed templates I’ll have an easier time choosing. Both are going to be difficult as a result of all the straight lines in the T.A.R.D.I.S., but I’ll just have to go super slow and try my best to keep a steady hand. Which might be even harder than usual given the fact that I’d like to have this done and stained before I go see my brother tomorrow evening.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY X
Hope it’s a good one!
Recently I discovered the gold mine that is the back of Home Depot. They put all kinds of stuff out there that is mainly scrap, but some things are still very usable. A couple weeks ago I found a large pile of 2″ x 6″ x 42″ pieces of pine, so I grabbed a bunch. First I made a bench which has thus far been used in the shed, but was intended for the yard, then I made this footstool for the newest version of my nephew – Mighty Mobile Felix. He’s started walking on his own recently, and has even taken up sprinting at times.
A while ago, my brother and I discussed how cool it would be if I made Felix a turtle shaped footstool akin to the ones our grandfather had made years ago. I still plan to do so, but the one day I had free Depot wood, and an urge to play with my router so I did this.
I wish I had an enormous workshop.
Around noon yesterday we went to Holly’s brother’s house for his daughter’s birthday party. We had barbecue and cake, then had to leave to go celebrate my mum’s birthday, where we had pizza and cheesecake (was it my birthday, or my mum’s?), then played a couple games of Pinochle (an old tradition in my family). My dad and I owned the first game, but the second game was a very close loss (if it wasn’t for one card, we’d have had it!).
Also there to celebrate was everyone’s favourite little warrior, sporting a fashonably mighty hairdo. I only got to hold him for a few minutesÂ before he started unleashing his mighty battle cry and I turned him over to someone with bewbs. He calmed down once Holly walked around with him for a bit. She tried to convince me to do it, but I’m still terrified I’m going to drop him and would be better off with him on my lap.
Unfortunately Felix had to leave before the cards started, but before he did he posed for some photos.
Rock beats scissors everytime.
Today I sent James a revised edition of the entire book (minus the appendix and glossary), and set the record straight on how to properly spell diaphragm (I swore there was a “g”, James told me on two separate occasions I was wrong… currently my spellchecker has my back). I also modeled a couple of bar clamps I need for the appendix. I’m not sure if I need both, or just one (and if one, which one?) so I just made both. Neither took me very long so I won’t feel bad if I only use one, but James pays me for both.
After I did all that, I submitted my hours and went to see my friend Andrew (who I have seen, in person, twice in the last five years or so) and his newest addition to his family (both his boys are named after Stargate characters!!). He had a barbecue in his backyard this afternoon, and I saw a couple friends I hadn’t seen in years. It was really fun hanging out with all these people I used to see daily, and now rarely do. I also got to have some of Andrew’s famous Ceaser salad, which I have been missing for years.
Today is also my mum’s birthday. She went and hung out with the Mighty Felix this afternoon, while my brother and Lisa cleaned their old place. Sunday I will go visit her with Holly and Roan, after we go celebrate Holly’s niece’s birthday. We’ll have lots to celebrate that day as my brother also got news that he landed the job he was hoping for, securing his future apprenticeship. You can read all about that over at his new blog.
Here’s some Mighty renderings I made over the last few days. I’ve added a cape and battle axe at my brother’s request, as well as some hair which I felt was appropriate (he’s got more than his father already, a regular occurrence in our family it seems).
I think I’m going to make a version of him with P.J.’s on. Every baby (robot or not) wears P.J.’s. I’m thinking it would be sweet to make him P.J.’s with little humans all over them since Holly and I got Felix a pair of P.J.’s with robots on them. Not sure how hard it would be, so I might have to cop out in a couple ways (i.e. wingdings, clipart).
I did this rendering without any light source except for the light emitting materials in the model (as oppossed to background/ambient light like above). I will turn both into desktop wallpapers for myself and my brother, because I can’t decide which I like better. You can view slightly larger versions by clicking each image if that’s what you’re into.
I think the next time I am bored, with nothing to do, I will download and fiddle with a different renderer for Sketchup. I have seen some that work lightning fast compared to Indigo, but I’ve refrained from trying them thus far due to lack of motivation to learn another new program I can’t afford.
Holly and I finally got over to see the Mighty child on Friday afternoon. It was the first time we got to see him outside of the hospital. I saw his little bracelets on the coffee table and I had to grab a picture. Hopefully this child shares my brother and my personality and when he gets older he will love to see these things and appreciate their awesomeness in the same way.
This is me nervously holding the most delicate thing I’ve ever touched. I was terrified I’d drop him or squeeze a little too hard. He’s only 8 days old in this photo, and he is huge. His legs were all wrapped in his SnugliÂ® and he lied perfectly still for the first five minutes or so. When he finally kicked his legs slightly and I immediately thought I was getting pooped on.
I held him a little while longer, then handed him back to Holly. I think girls are more connected to babies. Or maybe I am just bad at babies.
Holly is great at babies. She’s had tons, and is already an aunt. She’s assured me Felix is nowhere near as delicate as I think he is, and I’m sure she knows. Plus, he’s Mighty. With a capital M.
Yesterday I went back to visit while Holly watched the boys, and I saw my cousin Cory I hadn’t seen since my Gram died, as well as my parent’s (and their awesome car they really want to let me drive). I got a picture of Mighty Felix with his Noble Nan, then shortly after we all left and let the parents have some time without visitors (something I think they’ve had a shortage of recently).
I’ve been trying to go see my nephew for the last few days, but it never seems to work out. I was supposed to go on Sunday, but my brother and family weren’t home in the morning, and we were at Holly’s parent’s all evening. Then I wanted to go last night when Holly got home, but after reading numerous updates about how little sleep the new parents have been getting I was hesitant to call for fear of waking anyone up.
Possibly tonight I will have a chance, but we’ll see. My brother has an interview in the evening with some union or something, but I’m hoping afterwards he’ll have time for us to visit. I know he’s dying to see the UFC from the past weekend (which I have) so perhaps I can bribe him.
I also need to give him the M.F. Loomis model I made for him. I want to make some changes, and my brother had a few requests so I will spend a few minutes this afternoon fixing it.
Above is a new X-family portrait.
I really wish I had a rapid-prototyper.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: the newest member of the Cobra Clan – Mighty Felix Loomis Clark. He was born July 1st shortly before 7am. He was 9lbs 4.2 ounces and is already almost two feet tall!! At that rate, I estimate his height at age 16 to be around 9′.
He’s got a sweet mohawk, and apparently loves boobs. There is no question regarding his authenticity as a cobra.
Expect more to come, but for now this will have to do as someone has come home and found her Marilyn Monroe picture smashed by a clumsy cobra who needs to go make it up to her somehow.