Archive for Making

Salvage Beta notepad… now with more bees!

I made these for you!

More magic with salvaged cardboard and the awesome power of lasers. Ten of them exist in this world. More may exist but probably something else will instead.

Bees are rad.

 

The shop is open!

Soooo I have gotten off on my butt and made some more note/sketch pads for sale.

I also found three more of the Robot? “toys” and put them up as well.

I am working on the next run of notepads now and hope to get about 30 new flickerboxes ready in the very near future.

Soooo

GET EM HERE!

Buy the things! Draw and write! Forward into a brave new future!

A few steps closer to that cliff!

There are still some Robots? left! Get em while you can! Eh? Eeeeeeeh?

I am juggling so many projects right now my mind may explode like an over ripe melon full of something that explodes. These next two weeks are going to be a ballet of time management and not going mad… neither of which are what I would call my strong points.

Fortunately it’s really really hot and humid so I am not left exhausted and drained of vitality at the end of every working day! Or is it that other thing where I am? So easy to confuse the two.

Today I offer you the fruits of something I have been working on for a couple of months now. I am really proud of them and wish my crappy phone pictures could do them justice. Has anyone seen my camera? No? Ah well, we work with what we have right?

SO! I present to you… for $10 plus shipping… The Flickerbox Hex!

Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?

The store is a touch limited in that I cannot post video there so here’s one here.

 

Aren’t they pretty? Don’t they beckon? Aren’t they for sale Right Here?

Eh? Eeeeeeeeh?

A running leap off that cliff!

In a little over two weeks I will be heading to California on an adventure that I can only really describe as moderately epic.

My last day of work is the 15th, I fly out of Indy on the 19th and I won’t be back until sometime after October. I say sometime because I am not actually sure how I am getting back or how long it will take yet… or exactly what I will be doing after that.

Burning Man is happening in there somewhere along with some other stuff. Exact stuff to be determined. I will update the world as details become less hazy.

I am by nature a fairly careful person, or at least I worry a lot about things. This uncertain leap into a hazy future is unsettling, but exciting.

I will be relying on the kindness of my friends and family for much of this adventure, but I am hoping to maintain at least a little bit of self sufficiency during this wild process. To that end I will be making some things this week to sell. The meager money made from these sales will be used to eat food, travel hither and yon on Bart, and to weather any sudden catastrophes that may need sudden weathering. Since I have this store thingy I set up to sell note pads, I will sell things from there… and in person if anyone feels like hunting me down. I will add things as I make them and figure out how to ship them, then I will point at them and say things like “Hey! Buy this!” or “Eh? Eeeeeeeh?”

First up! Something I actually made some time ago in Oakland but was always afraid to actually try to sell.

Robot?

This is Art pretending to be a crappy toy… or maybe a crappy toy pretending to be Art. I am not entirely clear on the difference. It will be interesting on a shelf, or nailed to a wall, or nailed to your shelf… I will leave display methods up to you. You don’t control your message you know? And neither do you control your crappy Art/Toy/Robots once set free on the world.

Buy one! Or two to save a bit on shipping! Nearly two points of articulation!

 

Launching the store!

So I mentioned my Sekrit Projekt a little bit ago and I finished it. And having finished it I am launching a store where I can sell it (and other things).

About a year ago I made a notepad/sketchbook because I was bored and I wanted to draw more. A year later It’s still in use and lookin pretty good!

P1010259

P1010261

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So I decided to make some more and offer them to the world.

NewPile

The full pitch is on the store blog, but in short these are tough little punk rock notepads you won’t be afraid to actually use!

This first product will be joined by other things I will make for sale. These things will include but WILL NOT be limited to art, toys, games, and maybe fiction or jam or something, we shall see as the future unfolds.

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later…

This morning I woke up to this…

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I had been told some snow would be likely, but so many people were saying it would be light and not settle that this was a bit of a surprise but it has been such a warm and lovely winter so I really can’t complain.

I hopped on my scooter to go to work and discovered that the snow hid a layer of hard ice from last nights rain. Rather than die mangled and bent in a ditch I opted to call in. I spent all day cleaning and fiddling with my solar panels (which were not really getting a lot of power covered in ice and snow).

Once the sun had made the roads less lethal, I headed off to the hacker space where I plan to hang out so I don’t have to try to drive through this muck at 5AM, which is what I would have to do to make it to work by 7 carefully creeping through the dark at 10mph…

So far I have worked on my Sekrit Projekt and made these.

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I had a pair of broken goggles and some perforated metal from inside an old Mac monitor and they seemed to call out for one another.

For the record… Riding Rocinante through freezing snow DOES take a little of the joy out of the ride… But it did not kill me!

Sekrit Projekt One, Part One.

So working on one of my Sekrit Projekts I found I needed an awl. Sadly all of mine are missing and my sewing awl is in one of about one hundred thousand boxes full of unorganized miscellany… so I grabbed a nail, a bit of wood, and headed on over to the lathe.

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A little shaping, a little sanding, and a little bashing with a hammer and I have an awl.

I am mighty.

Solar Nerdiness

So as mentioned I have been pretty nerdy about this whole solar thing. I am logging as I go as well as jotting down useful things as I learn them. Actually getting up and running was really easy, fine tuning is a bit trickier, and actually understanding what is going on is downright fiddly.

My initial solar panel is a Coleman 18watt (1.2 amps at 15 volts). A basic little thing with very plug and play wiring. I am using the 7amp charge controller that came with it. The charge controller can theoretically handle another four of these panels before I would outgrow it but I have no idea if it is actually that robust. It does seem to be doing its job though so I’ll keep using it until I find out otherwise… or it explodes for some reason.

The charge controller has a 13 volt cut-in. If I understand correctly this means that no charging takes place unless there is at least 13 volts coming from the panel. My guess is that this is because trying to charge a 12 volt battery with 9 volts would be useless if not actually detrimental… but I have no facts to back up that thought as of yet. It also has a cut-out of 14.25 volts… If this means it refuses to charge if the panel is operating at its theoretical maximum then this could be a little troubling come summer… But I am sure there are very good reasons for it.

The Panel and controller are feeding in to a 12 volt deep cycle marine battery from Rural King… I don’t really know anything useful about the battery but assume its about 45 amp hours… it was cheap. I keep forgetting to actually write down the model number and research it.

Coming out of that is a Microsolar 300 watt pure sine wave inverter. I understand that inverters eat a lot of power converting 12 volt to 110 volts, but I haven’t really dug deep enough for an easy way to run my modem and router directly off of 12 volts yet. I can get a 12 volt power supply for my current laptop, but I am running it mostly off of its battery at this point to try to get as much online time as possible. Plus I’ll want to eventually run some lighting as well so the inverter stays.

In theory it should give a warning alarm when voltage starts to get low, then another alarm as it shuts off. In practice it skips the first alarm entirely and just goes right to the shutdown and at some rather wildly different voltage levels that seem really high (over 11 volts). For now I am chalking it up to just being a pretty cheap unit, but I’m keeping my eye on it and almost certainly it is just a starting point until I can afford something serious.

My main measurement device at the moment is a little volt meter I got from radio shack sometime in the last decade. I really need to add a Kill-A-Watt or similar device and maybe start recording temperatures as well.

That’s enough nerdsplosion for now. If you are one of the four people who are actually curious about this then there will be more to come. And if you are one of the two people who Know Relevant Things, please feel free to comment here or in FriendBookFaceSpace and tell me everything I am blatantly overlooking.

 

The power of the sun!

So as of a few days ago I have harnessed the power of the sun for my own purposes.

At the moment the system consists of an 18 watt solar panel, the cheapest charge controller on the planet, the cheapest deep cycle marine battery I could find, and a 300 watt pure sine wave inverter.

I have been keeping very nerdy notes and tracking how it does for a few days and I am a little disappointed. A full day of charging got me about four hours of power running my modem, router, and a laptop… The battery never charged past 11.66 volts. This is probably pretty good for such a minimal setup in the winter, but I hoped for more. In the near future I hope to add another solar panel which will, in theory, get me up to a full 12 volts much faster. I am kind of seat-of-my-pants learning this as I go and it’s a lot of fun.

More as things develop with lots of really nerdy numbers.

Making No-Face.

GenCon is happening this weekend.

I will talk another time about what I like and dislike about GenCon, but for now it suffices to say that I am not going this year (and that’s fine).

Some of my work is going though!

My sweetie is working the D20 Burlesque show doing kittening/stage management/general awesomeness and decided on doing No-Face from Spirited Away for her costume.

As all costume events seem to go this meant we were scrambling at midnight to finish the mask and solve other problems. I made the mask for her out of “fun foam” which did not quite behave as I expected it to. The whole project was, in fact, a wonderful illustration in the difference between Knowing and Doing. It was frustrating and stressful but I learned a lot and am rather happy with he way it came out given the timing and the fact that most of the techniques were being learned/invented as I went.

One of these days I will start taking better step by step shots of projects… But here is the finished mask.


Shot with an ipad under nasty kitchen fluorescent lighting, but you get the idea.