Monday, March 9, 2015

Year 16, Week 07, Day One (week 753)

Year 16, Week 07, Day One (week 753)(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-07-15 Saturday
    48 degrees early morning, 80 degrees in the afternoon, solid cloud cover in the morning, breaking up some allowing filtered sun to shine a few times. Some fast moving clouds carried moisture, mostly as a mist, dampening everything including activities. Even with the cloud cover, the sky had already lightened slightly as I drove to Mom’s house. For a while it was pitch black. Of course, with the time change, it will be pitch black again next weekend. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    By the time you read this you’ve already gone through the time change. During the week, I started a practice that I learned years ago to make the time change easy on my body. Each day, I would adjust the alarm fifteen minutes earlier until the time arrives to officially change the clocks. I am not hit with having to get up a whole hour early.
    This morning, I was up my hour early. I had seen a article on making crochet projects, starting as a triangle. You start on one corner and work your way side to side, increasing till you get to the size you want the corners to be, then decrease until you end up at a corner again. If you did it right, it will be square. If you are using a patterned yarn, the stripes will go diagonally rather than across the width. Since I had an extra  hour to kill I started on one. It is working. I have a gigantic skein of white cotton yarn with grey and orange dots along the length. I decided to use that for the experiment, ripping out something someone else had started before I got the yarn. This will be more a hot pad than a dish cloth. This will be a project that stays next to the computer when I have to wait for something to load.
    After breakfast, we found out that a “manufactured home” (trailer court) community a friend of ours used to live in, had some yard sales. The problem is that many people don’t set up until ten. We went through anyway. One guy had some tools. I got some clamps, some router bits and a couple long spade-bit drill bits. The Router bits will go to my nephew. I need to dig out a spare router I have for him), the clamps will be set up for our projects (you never have enough, especially if you cannot remember where you put them the last time).  There are times where long spade bits are exactly what you need.


    We got home, and then I went out again. I wanted to visit the brand new HOBBY LOBBY store that opened late last year. I took one of our rabbit runs known for yard sales that was taking me in the right direction. There was nothing. No signs, no displays in yards, nothing.
    I visited Hobby Lobby and walked most of the store, pushing a shopping basket.
    I was reminded about a fantasy I used to have years ago. That was to be “stuck” in one of those craft stores and working on whatever projects that caught my interest using whatever they had. I realize now that while it would be fun, I would find I would want to do something else also. 
    While going through the isles, I was reminded of hobbies and projects I would like to try or do. I also saw there were hobbies and projects that weren’t as fun looking as they used to be. I once considered the use of stamps. I would walk past a stamp display and start to drool. I now realize that I would not get as much fun out of it as I once thought. For one thing, you have to have several hundred stamps to have enough variety, even with techniques like streaking and smearing as I have seen on Tv. While my painted greeting cards are not spectacular, I can do anything I want just with a couple brushes. I don’t have to buy another stamp.
    The yarn section was tough. They had some new yarn that was really soft. I had to hold my hand to the cart to prevent me from reaching for my wallet.
    I loved the beads and jewelry making section. I love glittery items anyway. I’ve seen some recent beading shows and was surprised at all you can do besides just stringing them.
    The silk flower section is impressive. I don’t have a use or a place for artificial flowers so I left that section alone.  There was a time I was making flower baskets and other decorations, but that has been many years now. The center of the store was decorations and other than some sayings I saw, it was not really interesting. There was a time I would have loved that stuff but not now.
    I find different chain stores have a different emphasis. We have five or more chains down here. Some you can find exactly what you are after, while others you come out of a big store with empty arms. I have found that the Jo-Ann’s Cloth World seems to have exactly what I want. They happen to be located exactly for what I need.
    That was a long time on my feet, walking around, examining what was on the shelves. Even with periodically putting my weight on the basket, I was wore out. I was glad to leave.
    There were no yard sales on the way home and once at home, I took a short nap to recover from my exertions.
    I went out to get lunch and the mist started coming down. It was very light near mom’s but was heavy enough a mile away to use the wipers on medium. I got back to Mom’s and one did not need it other than once in a while. Mom’s plants did not get the watering she was hoping for, at least during the day.
    There is something called  “a perfect drizzle.” It is where it is coming down hard enough to soak you, but not hard enough to warrant an umbrella. It nearly was that at one point.
    After lunch, since the weather was not cooperating, I confiscated Mom’s kitchen table and worked on a teddy bear I had nearly finished. I added fill to the arms, legs and body, stitched the neck so it was smaller, then stitched the nose. I had buttons to use for the eyes so I attached them, using 8 pound test fishing line. I went through the hole in the post of the button quite a few times, wrapping the crochet stitches all around it so it is held quite well.
    Now I had made several errors when creating this teddy bear. I did not count the stitches like I was supposed to and several points were out of scale. Even so, the bear came out fairly well. I had figured out why the ears on my first teddy bear came out so badly and did them right on this one.
    I figure my tenth teddy bear will be perfect.

 Teddy bear number three.

    Getting up an hour early is hard to do. I had also been sitting quite a while with the teddy bear when I was done so I took another nap. That pretty much killed the day.
    Tomorrow I hope the weather will be better, though that is in question. I would like to work on some wood tomorrow. I never have a shortage of projects to work on.
    I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 16, Week 07, Day two (week 753)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-08-15 Sunday
    68 degrees early morning 80 in the afternoon. The breeze held flags out straight and could blow hats off if caught right. Broken clouds coming from the Ocean that in the early morning, were watering the plants. They dried up and the sky was mostly blue from directly above, to the north of us, but became solid to the south. There was even a little sunshine during the day. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I got to Mom and set up in back. I sat with my dremmel and the steak knives I was making new handles for. With one of them, the blade was not kept into the handle by anything other than glue. Last week I started to drill a hole through the blade to set a pin.
    I pulled the blade out of the handle (The glue I used is rubbery) and started drilling the hole in the open. My brother said the only way you really can drill such holes is to run a rod on the metal until it turns blue, so the temper is taken out of it, then you can drill it. I had some small drill bits. I dulled two of them last week. I put one in the dremmel and set it on a piece of wood and started drilling, and drilling and drilling. I had a lot of pressure on the bit, having tightened the chuck of the dremmel with a wrench so it would not slip. The bit started to glow and I would lower the pressure and it would stop glowing, then I would add pressure to cause it to glow again. The blade was so hot that it was burning an impression in the wood I was using as a backing.
    After a while of letting it spin, I stopped and saw there was a slight dimple on the back. I used a grind stone to level out the dimple, then started drilling again. I did this three times before the bit finally got through the blade. Grinding the dimple made the metal thinner there.
    One of the drill bits had mushroomed on the end. What I did was to put the blade back into the handle, drilled through the other half of the handle, and then dropped that mushroomed drill bit as the pin. The mushroom holding it in place in the hole.
    The handle there had started splitting out so I added pieces of wood to fill in the broken wood below, then added a split piece of oak that matched the handle and glued them in place. This hid the head of the pin so the handle is not going to be coming out. That means the blade is not coming out of the handle.
    Next weekend, I will sand the handle flat, removing the damage I did in adding the blades, and then shaping them.
    I got an idea for something to test. I know that when I spin wood really fast, or rub something fast against it, I can and cause it to blacken. It happens that I have some white buttons that would be better eyes if they had dark centers. I got the idea that if I mounted them on the little lathe, I might be able to blacken the white plastic to make them look more like eyes.
    I took out the little lathe. A lot of stuff have to be moved to open the box. None of it is heavy, but there is a lot of it.
    I set it up and stuck a rounded button into the lathe. I found that post is not round, and it caused the button to be slightly off center. I decided to go with it. A few seconds with a metal rod against it showed me that what it did was remove a coating. I decided to use a marker pen on it instead. The first one came out pretty good. The second one did not come out quite as good as I did not remove the coating and my marker was now damaged. The fibers of the felt tip stopped giving ink. I have a feeling that there is a melting involved on it.
    I then tried another type of button and held it centered around the edge of the button and the marker did poorly on them.  I gave up and tossed the marker. I will use my markings as a guide to mark the buttons by hand.  Mostly what I did was mess up a couple buttons.
    Other doing a few stitches on a dark green teddy bear I started, the only other project involved a tiny piece of wire. I have a nail clipper connected to the bag I use for my carry yarn. The “handle” sometimes slips out from the closed position. I decided to add a slip-wire that I can pull up onto the body of the nail clipper to hold the handle in place.  Two pliers and five minutes solved that project. I should have used better wire but it was at hand and I was almost cleaned up and this was an after-thought. It appears to work.
    I have a number of projects for next week. Much will depend on the weather as to what actually gets done. There is always Crochet for poor weather (or is it pour weather?).
    I will see what I actually do next week.

    All three teddy bears. Somehow the blue blear is smaller than the other two.

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