Monday, March 30, 2015

Is that a fish bowl or my spare head???

Yep we missed last week. It was Lisa's turn but you can blame me. In two words kidney first bout with the buggers and things got complicated. But, everyone is feeling relatively better now.

This week we have two fun things for you.

First a new armor weave I've been playing with

This is scale maille. The scales are a proprietary scale made and sold only at, but the general design would work with a similar scale you make yourself. The materials seen here are also the exact materials used for the elf armor in the Hobbit movies...

Here's the back

As you can see this kind of scale maille is a form of chainmaille. There are two others: one where the scales are riveted to cloth or leather (like to try that), and one where the scales are laced together (tried that not as fond of it as the chainmaille kind).

Scale maille is interesting because the force hitting one scale spreads out to the scales around it, softening the blow in any one place.

Not ready to say what I actually intend to make with it (this is my first test/learning piece) but its going to be fun.

Second item:

Some time last year I bought a cheap fish bowl as part of a line of jokes Lisa and I were doing. The guy at the store thought I was kidding when I said I was going to put rocks in it but,,,

Now the scary part from today...

It's getting full! and that doesn't include the other bowl that I'm putting little stones in (or the ones that I've pulled for projects, actually made projects with, given away, left in the car after showing someone, or Lisa's private museum of natural history in her office...). So if anyone thinks I've got rocks in my head... nope they're on the coffee table!

Tumbler is on park for a couple of other projects but I doubt I'll be running out of shiny rocks for a while (and instead of playing with the tumbler in ten days that's another hour or so I have to actually make something with these things (Hopefully pictures of some of that in April))

Well, I think that's today's post.
Be nice
Be kind
Be good.
Hopefully Lisa is back next week.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sew you want to be an artist...

Yep as promised we have a project to show this week...

Do you feel like the choir isn't quite tough enough for you?

 Want to sneak a little 'heavy' metal into church?

Are you just a fan of shiny things?

Well then this project is for you

The chainmaille hymn book!

Ok, technically it is the chainmaille hymn book cover....

And yes there are still some modifications to go. But the first one is up, running and standing on it's own.

This first run is 16 gauge 1/4 inch aluminum rings sewn onto a denim backing. The book is held in with 2" elastic and some pockets at the end.

The pockets are actually proving to be problematic, both in getting the book in and in securing the sides of the chainmaille (that's why the ends look a little wonky)

The top and bottom do ok, but the sides with the pockets are a sewing problem... Of course anyone familiar with good blue jeans knows the riveting solution to the problem... rivets! (Ok, did you really think I was going to play a whole blog post straight?) I'm planning on replacing the pockets on the mark two with brass strip (abt 3/4 - 1 inch pieces) bent into a U and riveted to the end of the maille and the cloth backing this will make the ends look cleaner, hold the chainmaille better in that direction and add another color element. They also create a pocket that doesn't have some of the problems the cloth ones do (like tending to get sewed shut when you try to attach the maille).

The rings are aluminum so it's lighter than you might think and you can get a decent grip on it. Of course if you want to you could do brass, bronze, or stainless (you can also use anodized aluminum in pretty colors (Just in case you want to convince someone you got your hymn book from the Tardis...))

In other news both Lisa and I are writing away. I've got both blogs running. My novella is driving me nuts but coming along. More about my writing in two weeks... Lisa is still working on the dissertation and will be doing three conference presentations next month (and more goodies in the works).

Any one thinking that's all the mischief around here has probably forgotten what tomorrow is (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints...Irish heritage... and Patrick for a first name... I'm just saying...).

But that is another story... (hey any chance to make a Conan reference...)

Seriously that's it for today. See you next week (unless Lisa forgets again...don't worry  Lisa actually wrote that.)

Monday, March 2, 2015

But his girlfriend is the blond...

Ok, last week Lisa said I was going to talk about one of my 'cool' projects this week, and I am! (several actually) But, I'm probably not going to show you the one she was talking about. Why? Sewing machines... Apparently 1) they're more complicated than they look; 2) in spite of my skills in a number of areas I'm not really all that good at sewing; and 3) no matter how many cool settings your machine might have there is no sewing machine I'm aware of with a 16 gauge 1/4 inch European four in one setting!

I've got two chain mail projects that will be ready to put up soon. The metal part is done, but both require a fabric inner section that I haven't quite got worked out yet... Hopefully I'll have them (or at least one) worked out before the next time I post. I would have had one ready but the sewing part is taking longer than I planned (like I said sewing ain't really my specialty (I'm more of the cut/burn/explode persuasion...))

Both of these are classified as serious projects because they are my own developments and I'm planning on writing up and selling instructions for them both (both are simpler than the dreaded Christmas owls (sorry about that!))

Lisa's book chapter is ready to go. As of last I knew she just had to sign the permission to print form, scan it and send it in. But, as of last I knew she hasn't done that yet... So, Lisa, no publication party for you! (at least until you get the forms filled out and sent in)

On one level my novella is finished. On another level it's in that 'sensitive' phase of editing (that would be the one where someone who isn't me is reading it over and giving me notes on it). On the one hand I really hate this part. On the other hand this part, and the editing that follows, makes the story better and stronger.

In this case the first 'note' to come out of it is that I need to improve/clarify the voice for one of my characters...

In a weirdly related note...I do listen to music while I'm editing and in some cases writing. When I put on Youtube just before I started writing this post this is the first video that came up...

Now the question is: Is Rory standing in for me or my character?

In all seriousness I had some ideas how to fix things for the character and watching this really did cement what I need to do for him. This is important because in addition to the novella I'm working on a novel that has many of the same characters (related but different story) and the character in question moves into a more central roll in the novel.

Also in this area my other blog Words Mean Stuff will be up and running again this week (and this time I mean it!!!)

Well, that's about it for this week. (well except for cooking news (but that's not quite ready yet either...).

Lisa should be back next week (hopefully with a book chapter permission form sent in...) and I will be back in two (with either: pictures of a finished chain mail project or two, or pictures of Lisa's sewing machine on fire!)