Still need a Bob

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A while back, I painted the Belcher children to line my stairway:

belcher children acrylic paintings

It’s been on my to-do list forever to paint the parents to hang on the other side of the stairs.  Linda Belcher has been in progress for months now.  With summer here and the grass growing, I haven’t had time to finish it.

But it was raining this weekend, so I was stuck inside instead of laboring outside in the overgrown jungle that is my yard.

acrylic painting of linda belcher
 

She’s almost done.  I need to do some touch ups, paint the sides so it’s not bare wood and put a sealant on it.  Somehow I manage to paint even on the messiest table ever.

Even though my crafty time has been lacking the last few months, my yard is starting to come together.  Last weekend I finished the front tiers that are in my front yard.  It took me several weekends but I ripped out all the weeds and filled with rubber mulch.  Under the mulch are layers of tarps because I don’t want anything to grow down there…. ever.   It’s such a paint taking care of a yard on a hill.

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There’s still so much to do.  The top tier needs some work.  It has a large fountain, grass, and several trees.  I haven’t decided yet what I’m doing there.  I don’t even want to think about the staircase that runs down the other side of the front hill or the backyard.

Business Embroidery Patches

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A friend asked me to make some embroidery patches for his work.  Which, at first, I rolled my eyes.   Then, to my surprise, he sent me the image.   For once, someone actually knew exactly what they wanted.  THAT I can work with.  I rolled my eyes back from inside my head and got to work.

I grabbed my laptop and pulled up my embroidery software and started poking around.  Embroidery software — good software — is extremely expensive.  We’re talking thousands.  So it was nice to have a new project to actually use it on.

Digitizing artwork for embroidery isn’t very easy.  The software is great, but there’s a lot to know.   My first few attempts at stitching this out were flops.  I realized pretty quickly how the layers were building up and getting too thick to stitch.   A needle broke on one of them trying to get the letters on top of 2 other layers.

Finally, I got the project down to 2 layers: a background and lettering.  I could’ve even got it down to 1 layers, but I wasn’t confident it would look great when it was done based off what I was seeing on the screen.   It looked like there would it was producing a gap between the letters and background. So I did 2 layers and slowed the machine way down to minimize mistakes and breaking of needles.

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It looks like it came out great.  Though I am wondering if they’ll say it has the wrong colors.  The problem is that businesses have very specific colors for their brand and embroidery thread does not come in a color range that will support that pickiness.  I sent it off last weekend so I hope to hear back that they like it.

Putting shelves in the closet

Making shelves for the broom closet

Last weekend, I found my new table saw.  By Friday night I finally got down to the workshop and put it together.

This closet has been a pain since we moved in.  It didn’t have shelves and we always just stacked everything inside.  Then all those things toppled over and we couldn’t shut the door.

Do you think anyone fixed it?  Fast forward about 5 years and it still won’t close and we just keep walking past it every day.

Saturday morning I headed down to the shop and cut some wood for the shelves.   Circular style saws scare me.  I have used handheld for years and it has scared the bejezus out of me every time I use it.  It always kicks back and I drop everything and go running while it’s soaring through the air.

My voice may have jumped a few octaves on some occasions.  So far I haven’t cut anything off so I may still have some dignity left.

So I take all the wood I cut upstairs only to find out I cut everything wrong.   I realized after remeasuring that I misread the little laser measuring thing.  It said 2.0′ and not 20″.  Everything was 4″ short.    Of course, I only bought exactly how much wood I needed because I don’t make mistakes.

I threw things down and walked away for a bit.  Shortly after I told my roommate how I screwed up and he pointed at his old bed he had just finished tearing apart.   Glorious sideboards that were only slightly smaller than the boards I bought.

I dragged it down a few flights of stairs to the basement, removed all the metal hardware and started chopping his bed into pieces.

putting shelves in the closet

As you can see it all worked out in the end.  Is it perfect?  Nope.

Do I care?   Nope.  You can see some of the 4″ short pieces holding up those shelves.

I do have to go back and repaint all the replaced pieces.  Only some of them got primed through the whole process.  But for now, it is done.   I have other shelves around the house to make and a fence to rebuild, so I’ll be back to finish painting this when I’m running around the house painting those things.

I’m just happy the vacuum and mops have a place to be now and they are not just randomly found around the house.  Oh, and I’m happy the door shuts now.

My life is pretty boring lately

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To be honest, my life is pretty boring lately.  I’ve been working long hours and by the time I get home, I have enough time to eat and go to bed.  Fun, right?

I am working on some commissioned paintings, but I can’t really report those either since they are a surprise for someone which makes my blog even more lackluster until it’s complete and given away.

I did, however, do some shopping this weekend and bought a table saw.  I don’t like saws as they like to scare me by kicking back on me.  But I have some closet shelves and DIY projects around the house to get done.

I don’t plan on using a saw much so I got one of the cheaper ones.  But, it came with a cart so that sold me on this low-end model.

Make sure to stay tuned for some boring shelves in my boring closets!

wen table saws 3720 c3 1000

3D Print Painting

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This weekend, I promised my co-worker I would spend some time doing some painting on some of the 3D items he requested. Why? Because I volunteer myself for everything.

I’ve done many many paintings, but 3D Prints are a bit hard to paint. First, they have a texture from the plastic layers (unless you do some post-processing). Second, they’re 3D, and unlike a painting, they don’t have any definite lines where the paint should stop. Third, I didn’t prime the object, because I printed it in the character’s main color so it took many layers to cover the green plastic. And last, I didn’t give it a clear coat to lock it all in, so I’m just waiting for him to accidentally scrape some of the paint off.

Basically, it can easily come out looking very messy. My co-worker seemed to really like it this morning when I brought it in, so maybe I’m being too picky. I hope it gets easier once I get a few more painted.

Dehydrating All the Fruits

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I don’t know why I do the things I do.  Most things I decide to do are done on a whim.  Last week I went to Costco and bought a ton of fruit.  Why?  I don’t know, I just felt like doing it. I bought apples, pears, dragonfruit…   Then I  took it home to dehydrate all the fruit.

kitchenaid sheet attachment

Mostly, I was excited to try this fruit and vegetable sheet cutter by Kitchenade.

How easy would it be to dehydrate the fruits with this?  No slicing or peeling.

And it was easy, except when you do it this way, a single apple will fill several levels of my large dehydrator because the apple sheets are so thin.   Days later I have almost all the fruit dehydrated.  I still have one batch left to do tonight.

I learned 2 things from this experience:

First, dragonfruit is gross when dehydrated.  Like, really gross.   When it’s dehydrated it turns into a dry slice of seeds and tastes like dirt.    At $5 or $6 a fruit, it’s basically a lot of expensive garbage.  So don’t do that…. or try blending it and remove the seeds.

Second, the sheet cutter does not do well with very ripe fruit.   My pears were pretty ripe and it basically made pulverized it into pear sauce.  I got a bunch of pear sheets, but most of them ended up being a mess and I had to slice what was left by hand.

John is the Terminator

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I’m pretty sure John is trying to take over my 3D Printer.  He decided we needed to do another 3D scan and turn him into the terminator.

Surrounding his print with gallium, now he’s the Terminator being melted at the end of the movie.  He may need to do some chrome spray paint, but overall it’s was a pretty fun idea.

Roger Smith

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I finally printed something for my desk.  Everyone else has little chotskies all over their desks and mine just has paper everywhere. So I browsed the 3D repositories for something I’d like and found Roger Smith from American Dad on thingyverse.

3D Print of Roger the Alien

As soon as John (the guy I 3D scanned) saw it on my desk he took it.  What a jerk!  This is why I can’t have nice things.  And why I shouldn’t bring my 3D prints into the office.

At least I can just print another.