Archive for the 'Creativity' Category

Altered Book – MAGPI

Back in November a group of MAGPI was working on completing the ExploreWV Geocoin Challenge. And since we are a sensible bunch on ocassion we thought that perhaps making one big sweep from Morgantown to Charleston to Huntington to Lillyhaven to Beckley to Cass would be a great way to get all the required caches and have a lot of fun.

And so yours truly, pbump, mrs. pbump, wvhunter, Gentleman-Carpenter, Aquacache, Rock_Rat & Knight Who Says Ni set off for high adventure! To commemorate the trip, I made this altered book. 

Enjoy.

chris on April 28th 2011 in Creativity, Geocaching

I’m Crafty

The 5th Great MEAT-n-Greet at Coopers Rock is coming up. And it’s always good to have cool stuff to give away.

As modeled by my lovely assistant sidekick Little Wooden Boy, I present….a selection of shirts. (no worries, they will be laundered before the event)


Everyone that attends the MEAT-n-Greet will have his or her fair chance to win one of these fabulous shirts. There are 9 in total, three each of Medium, Large & XL.

See ya Saturday!

chris on July 12th 2010 in Creativity, Geocaching

Wheel of Morality, turn, turn, turn…

Tell us the lesson we should learn. And today’s moral is…..The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. (Except in New Jersey, where what’s blowing in the wind smells funny.)

Every house needs a Wheel of Morality, how else are you supposed to make important decisions? 

And so armed with only a rather large wooden disc (destined to become the WoM) and banking on the wood working expertise (and loads of power tools) of  the Brothers W, we set to work.

Step one: Come up with a plan.  That was all Bob & Keith, since my plan was this: leave the wood shop with a WoM. I mostly just kept my mouth shut because at a certain point I had no idea what they were talking about.

Step two: Make the Wheel of Morality

Sounds easy, right? Uh-huh. Sure.

So first things first – Make some smaller discs to hold the bearings. I’d say this was easy (and for me it was because mostly I just followed Bob around and held stuff if necessary) but in reality it took a darn long time to make these two little discs, then fit the bearnings in them. First there was drawing them, then using the band saw, then making sure they were round. Then routing them. Then sanding them. Then drilling a hole in them into which to sink the bearing.

It was sometime around using the 25th different giant powertool to get these things round, that I began to wonder if it was going to take an entire week to make just these little hubs. It had not ocurred to me that making two little discs would take so long (I also didn’t factor in that some people are perfectionists). But hey, who am I to complain, this WoM is going to last through generations to come. Years and years from now someone way down the geneological line will be making important decisions using this very Wheel of Morality…all thanks to Bob’s hard work and patience.

And so eventually (thanks to Bob’s patience and a kickin’ assortment of tools) the bearings were nicely sunk into the two very round, very smooth, very pretty hubs and it was time to start gluing stuff together!

So what you see above is the wheel face down with an I-beam and some assorted weights on it to make sure it was going to glue nice and tight. And trust me. It did. There will be no taking this thing apart. Ever. (And in case you might be wondering, I had originally painted the checkerboard on the disc years ago for Chad. But I don’t particularly like to play chess, so it didn’t get much use and had most recently been reglegated to living the basement with the rest of the scrap lumber.)

So while the glue did it’s thing,  I got a lesson on how to use a wood lathe. Oh yes, yes I did. Me and big power tools. But relax, I counted my fingers and I still have 10. And I have to say it was lots of fun. You might not thing it would be, what with the standing in one place and making slow progress, but oh boy! oh boy! oh boy!

   

The most important part of my lesson seemed to be, hold my left hand on TOP of the handle. You know, to prevent the  tool from flying across the room, through the window, through the hedges, over the neighbor’s car and eventually landing 300 feet down the street, should the tip somehow get snagged in the wood I was turning. The one thing I came to realize was that I am way too short. Yep, short. that’s me. These things are set up for tall people. I needed some serious platform tennis shoes  or maybe some cinder blocks to stand on. Or maybe build myself little stilts that I could fasten to my shoes. (Being a short person in a tall person’s workshop makes things awkward.)

Anyway, after letting me play a bit, Bob got down to business and turned a very nice spindle which fit the bearings perfectly (as if that’s a shock).

   

After confirming that yes, the bearings did fit perfectly, it was time to line up the hubs and glue the second one down. And today’s moral is….make sure your spindle is done before gluing the second hub on, so you can line up the bearings properly (and also, Do not back up. Severe tire damage.)

Next up: the stand.

Bob went off to the far reaches of the wood shop in search of the perfect piece of wood to turn into the WoM’s stand. When he had not emerged in a reasonable period of time, and after hearing some suspicious sounds of thumping and clunking, I was beginning to grow concerned that perhaps he had encountered the giant ground hog that lives under the wood shop and had somehow ticked it off. Not concerned enough to venture back to the far reaches myself, because it was HOT back there. But concerned none-the-less. Around about the time I began to consider sending Chad back to check on the situation, Bob emerged with some rough hewn, not quite square pieces of wood.

Ok then. And I thought making the hubs was an undertaking. In order to turn that rough looking stuff into suitable pieces from which to craft the WoM’s stand we had work to do. Work that involved planing, cutting, planing, sanding, planing, measuring, planing, cutting….

   

All of that meant I got to try out some other power tools. The first of which gave me a bit of a start, not because I’d never used one before, but becuase I’d never used one that had more power than my car! Holy cow. When I pulled the trigger the darn thing nearly drug me out the door, down the driveway and across the street. Which, as you may imagine, amused the guys.

From a rough, uneven piece of wood scrounged from the back, came this beauty of a stand!

   

And so just in the nick of time, before we all died of heat stroke, the Wheel of Morality was done!

     

Well not really because even thought Bob re-cut it to make it round it doesn’t spin quite right. Which means I need to add weights to balance it. And then divide it. And then paint it. And then create a ticker at the top so it doesn’t spin for 300 years. But mostly, it’s done!

Wheel of morality, turn, turn, turn. Tell us the lesson we should learn. And today’s moral is…..Never ask what hot dogs are made of.

While Bob & I (mostly Bob) were slaving away to make the WoM, Keith and Chad were working on another project. This lovely shelf set for the touchscreen computer in our kitchen. Chad brought his mock up (which he’d cobbled together in our basement out of random scraps that we had flung about) which is on the right in both pictures below. And from that Keith helped him create the New Hotness which is on the left in both pictures. Stain grade gorgeousness baby.

   

So much heartfelt thanks to the Brothers W for letting us invade the wood shop (and the house) and spending their entire Memorial Day working on our projects. You guys are the bestest.

chris on June 2nd 2010 in Creativity, Geocaching

Prom Dress 2008

I was a day late and a dollar short when it came to deciding what to wear to the company Christmas party this year. Oh sure, I have a closet full of elaborate dresses. What girl doesn’t? But unfortunately quite a few of them had allready been pressed into service over the past 9 years. And I was too lazy and far too short on time to whip something together.

What did that mean exactly? That meant I reached into the magic closet of dress up and pulled out something rather old. I’m not sure the exact history of the dress I wore this year, but it came to me from Chad’s grandmother’s house. I had the same issue with his grandmother’s dress as I did with my Nun-nun’s dress last year. Man, our grandma’s were tiny. WAY tiny.

Borrowing from last year’s lesson, I took out the side zipper on the dress and stitched that seam up. I then cut the center and put in a placket & eyelets so the dress could be laced up. Voila! Perfect fit.

ChristmasDress2008-101.jpg

Picture 1 of 11

chris on January 12th 2009 in Creativity