15 years ago it was Easter. We still have a little over a week to go until Easter this year. So I am feeling extra on top of things right now! To me the big difference between Washington Easters and Louisiana Easters is temperature. Louisiana is going to be in the high 70's and Washington the high 50's. So the weather in Louisiana is wonderful and prime for outdoor family gatherings and so many bouncy castles! Family gatherings in Washington require a back-up plan in case it rains.
Originally Posted April 08, 2007
I took a sick day on the couch watching movies like Thumbsucker and An Inconvenient Truth. Gore puts on a good show. First it was the sore throat, then the cough, then the fever. Hopefully I'll get through the stuffed faze overnight. I was invited to attend the family Easter gatherings but I declined. THey were kind enough to bring back a plate for me. I made it up to eat dinner at the table and watch granddaughter Haley stamp up her face. Tomorrow... I won't make it out until after Claudia's back from running the crawfish traps.
The only photo contest I can remember entering into:
Black and White Photography Contest
December 6-12, 2007 Vol. 16 Ed. 49 THE PRESS in Anchorage.
I won 3rd place for this cockroach photo in the "Things" category. I won $20.
Some other headlines include:
Obama? Opening a campaign office? Here?
Russian word for "illegal"?
A rich, dark marriage of chocolate and stout
Originally Posted April 04, 2007
I woke for the second time with the comforting feeling that tomorrow I'd be back on the road. But not until 11 would I know this to be true... Then it wasn't until the wheel was delivered that I found the wheel to be too big to fit between the fork. Sometimes I can identify all too well with the cockroach next to the toilet laying flat on its back wriggling for movement.
On another note... Kinder shut down a Wal-Mart. I have a new found respect for this small town.
April is heavy with birthdays (including my own). I use a perpetual calendar and there are 15 birthdays on it. Typically it is my birthday gift to me to (almost) ignore everyone else's birthday with the assumption that they will all ignore mine. But this year I am going to try to send out a few more cards than normal and it made a great excuse to finally make a bunny stamp.
I first started carving stamps when I was about 40 weeks pregnant with Karl in 2014. I've largely gotten away from it and the supplies have been stashed in a drawer. It was great fun to dust off the lino cutter and share a new craft with Karl. In reality I sat down at the dining room table and started to carve my bunny stamp by myself. Karl quickly noticed I have two carving tools. After telling him not to touch it 15 times because it is dangerous and sharp... I relented and found him a larger piece of carving block. Thankfully he required little instruction and he is quite pleased with his handiwork.
Originally Posted April 03, 2007
My wheel did not come today. This fairly definitively means I won't be leaving until at least Thursday. It's 6 days 7 nights with out the pirates or romantic plot line. I guess the only commonalities are the timeline and the feeling of stuckness. It's not Kinder. Let me be clear. Kinder is quaint and slow. But I so desperately want to be working on my last 21 days. 1050 miles is all I have to go. The salt water spray is nearly stinging my nostrils. April is a heavy month for birthdays. Maybe the fourth of July is an exciting time for a lot of people. I made tuna today. That was exciting.
Originally Posted March 29, 2007
Today I started to imagine a cycling version of the 12 days of Christmas for this trip.
9 flat tires
2 broken spokes
1 cracked rim
I wouldn't want to rush to fill in the blanks. Today I got my 9th flat tire. This time it was a tiny cresent shaped piece of metal. However, the shoulder on this road has been fairly decent. I was warned that it wasn't good, but I don't think most people have any idea what a good shoulder looks like. Not that I really expected it to, but Louisiana doesn't have Blue Bell icecream. It was decent icecream that is Texas made by the pint at a reasonable price of 2 for $3. I like that.
The real news of the day is that yet another spoke broke. The assistant principal here gave me a ride in to the baptist church. They thankfully are putting me up in "The White House" where their youth ministers live. This is the second broken spoke on that rear wheel that I just had the rim replaced on. Disappointed? yes. Showered? yes. I did not make it to Basile where my package of camera is waiting for me. I'm about 20 miles short.
9.7 ave - 19.3 max - 2093.6 odo - 5:02:12 time
Does feeding a squirrel count as paying it forward? Not likely.
Originally Posted March 24, 2007
Houston - 26.06 miles
All is well that ends well. I am in Houston. This was not on the route. However, when I noticed the pinging of a broken spoke, plans had to be changed. With the help of my mother, I was able to call Tecky from the warmshowers list. He drove the 60 some miles up to Shepherd to get me. Since warm showers isn't about paying back your hosts directly, he deserves excellent warm shower hospitality in the future. His wife fed me tasty Indonesian leftovers with some brown flakes called fruit cake sprinkled on top. I was warned that the chicken was overcooked, but it was delicious. Tomorrow my wheel will get dropped off somewhere where it can get fixed. It's the same wheel I just had the rim replaced on.
7.5 ave - 24.8 max - 1873.5 odo - 3:27:35 time
You can get used to anything. Get used to good things.
Prior to my bike trip a friend gave me some very good advice regarding noises and sounds that my bike might start to make. He warned that if I didn't take immediate action when I heard something new, it would quickly fade into the background. Then bad things would happen because I didn't take care of it early on.
I've kept this advice in my pocket even after my bike trip. It easily applies to other home, appliance, and vehicle maintenance. But it can also apply to relationships, eating habits, and penmanship. The list really can go on.
A little story about something I've gotten used to... following the purchase of our home, we discovered that it basically needed to be rewired. We made some great progress before we moved in, but it wasn't complete. Little by little more work has been done when time and motivation have allowed.
Our bedroom hasn't had a working outlet or light for five years. We've totally gotten used to it and it rarely frustrates me. We have a nice stash of flashlights and book lights for task lighting. My husband has a magic desk (flashlights with dead batteries magically get refueled with fresh batteries). A bedroom is primarily for sleeping; an activity that requires very little light.
It will be amazing when we do energize our bedroom though. Getting that ceiling fan to work before the next heat wave would be especially awesome.
Originally Posted March 23, 2007
Coldspring - 62.12 miles
I'm tired. The detour to Huntsville to kill my clink was lined with pine forests. The state has transitioned and the roadkill of choice is now turtle and possum. The countryside over the last several days is what you imagine countryside to be like. Why I'm watching What Not To Wear, I'm not quite sure.
8.9 ave - 27.1 max -1847.5 odo - 6:54:20 time
Good News: We got the house vacuumed.
Bad News: I can't find the blender cup we are missing in the house.
Good News: I tried out my bluetooth remote shutter control for my iPhone camera. It allows me to start and stop video recording on a tripod outside my office window while I am inside.
Bad News: Said recordings are going to be very slow going. Meaning that I set the tripod up where I think the birds are going to visit. Then I wait for the birds to show up in my shot and I also have to press record. The iPhone has to stay "on" the whole time and one battery charge I might get one or two clips. Charge the phone. Rinse and repeat.
Good News: The weather was beautiful and warm today.
Originally Posted March 22, 2007
Richards - 40.24 miles
Good News: I'm on map 5 of 7.
Bad News: My bottom bracket or crank of something needs tightening. There is a click.
Good News: Snowflake Doughnuts gave me extra doughnuts.
Bad News: My camera has decided it doesn't want to take pictures anymore.
Good News: Amy and David have offered me their spare bedroom and a warm shower.
1785.4 odo - 4:28:15 time - 9.0 ave - 28.7 max
I love making these themed tic tac toe pieces! The kids get really excited about it too and I try to keep the shapes relatively simple. Just an easy space saving way to enjoy the holidays! This time I used a couple Noodler's Inks: Green Marine and Rome Burning.
Originally Posted March 17, 2007
Austin: Day 4 - 14.36 mile
The pace of the city is fast and Oscar wanted me to see everything. One minute we were riding around Town Lake and the next we were waiting for the bats to emerge from Congress Bridge. We ate at a pizza place not called Vinny's with Ron Leon. He sells software. Everyone has a day job. Ron declined the invitation to ride to Bastrop with Oscar and I tomorrow. FOr this triathlete, it would be too much. We walked the streets taking in St. Patrick's Day color and Marvin Gaye cover bands. Let's get it on. Tired we wove through the stand still traffic with a breeze-like-flourish and chatted till Jenifer came home. It was midnight and we all needed to sleep. I quickly packed up my gear freshly reorganized with the help of more dividend purchased ditty bags from REI. It all packs a bit cleaner. It should load nicely on my clena bike with a fresh rim.
7.1 ave - 22.9 max - 1616.8 odo - 2:01:01 time
I was chatting with an unnamed friend yesterday about Texas. I already knew he doesn't like Texas. But I have some fond memories of Texas and I thought I would engage him on the topic. The complaints ranged the humid, hot, or humid and hot climate to country music. He's concerned by the way Texans have more pride in their Texas Pride than they have directly in Texas. He also noted that the vegetation is completely unfriendly because it is covered in thorns. This friend who-shalt-not-be-named was able to rattle all this off and more with great confidence and authority...I don't have the same way with words in discourse and thus he was unmoved by my notes about how Alpine, TX was a "cool town".
Originally Posted March 14, 2007
Austin - 25.47 miles
The misty day began with a flat tire as I pulled my bike out of the barn. That brings me up to seven for the trip. Six were thorns. After about twenty miles I rang John to make sure I wasn't going in the wrong direction. I was so he picked me up. He quickly expressed me to the shower and I joined his family (Lisa, Colby, Conner and Conner's friend) out to dinner. Following discussion regarding American Idol, we rolled back up their neatly paved driveway into the garage. With the wonders of digital recorders, we discovered Brandon - the back up singer - had been voted off. I also learned what happened to Jack after he was kidnapped on the island. John filled me in because I hadn't even known Jack had been kidnapped. I'm staying in Conner's room tonight. Painted a calm boyish blue, the walls and sheets are decorated in a "surf's up" theme. Tomorrow the bike will be well cared for.
29.2 max - 1602.4 odo - 2:34:34 time - 9.8 ave
Reminded of the great memorization efforts I made in the hill country, I decided to to a bit of copywork. Copywork and memorization are great ways to get to know a poem better. I've had a giant book of unread Wendell Berry poems sitting on my shelf for a couple years. So lots of great material to work through. But tonight I decided to work on Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken that I referenced in the blog post below 15 years ago.
Reading it again now... I would guess that it is set in the fall because he references "a yellow wood" and then later "In leaves no step had trodden black." Traveling alone by foot with winter fast approaching makes me think of this poem differently. The choice of the road seems to carry more weight.
In advance of my bike tour I'd printed off a couple poems suggested by my english professor (if I correctly recall). I trimmed them up nicely eventually I pulled them out as a welcome distraction. This copywork provides a similar relaxing distraction only made better by a lovely journal that lays flat nicely and smoothly writing pen.
Sailor 1911L Wicked Witch of the West Fountain Pen Broad Nib
Diamine Seasons Greetings Ink
Life Noble Note Ruled A5 N39 Japanese Journal
Originally Posted March 09, 2007
Leakey - 41.24 miles
I began to memorize some Frost today. If you're traveling alone, you really need something like that to keep you sane. Otherwise I think about things that I shouldn't. Love, for example... Trust me, love is something that can make you crazy when you haven't spoken with anyone in the last 6 hours. The best you've gotten is a head nod or a steering wheel wave. But at least I can no longer call the countryside barren or endearing. Cedar bushes are prevalent and sucking up the ranchers' water. But in case you were ever going to ask, the descents are worth the climb. Those fleeting moments down curvy chutes are worth every minute spent going 2.5 mph walking my bike up the other side. And I take pictures. That breaks things up. I eat carrots too. If you want your faith in humankind restored, just take a bicycle trip. The hospitality I have been given tonight is characteristic of everyone I've met. I was eating my ice cream cone: waffle, one scoop mint chip, one scoop cookie dough. The First Baptist Church van drove by twice. Mark waved both times. So I rode to the church and inquired about their lawn. Would they let me inhabit a corner? Fist there was strawberry cake from the day care... turned my lips purple. I'm sleeping on the couch in the office after showering and eating at Vinny's. It's an excellent Italian place. For some reason people don't want me to eat peanut butter and jelly. Who wants to eat that and canned fruit all the time anyway?
9.1 ave - 32.7 max - 1443.5 odo - 4:31:45 time
eating canned peaches
I wrote this little poem to go with my post from 15 years ago. That post is about my first day touring by myself. These days I am aware that I am more introvert than extrovert. So it is no surprise that I seemed rested, happy, and writing poems on my way to Brackettville. While Jon was a wonderful traveling companion, I found it stressful traveling with another person (any other person). Group decision making has never and will never be my favorite thing. And there were a lot of decisions to make all day, every day on a trip like this.
Originally Posted March 07, 2007
Brackettville - 35.33 miles
bead board bathroom
cap on a string
office shower ring
I took two showers today. I feel spoiled. I drank my paper towel filtered coffee, it was ginger nut good. Ann read about the other side of George Washington as I packed. As I put on my sunscreen, I really wondered who would be the next Australian top model. It was more amusing than learning about the woman who brought plastic surgery out of the closet. The day was warm as I pedaled past Laughlin Air Force base. I read the four historical markers while eating canned peaches. Jet engines ripped apart the sky above. I thought the silence might never heal. But here I sit next to a fire nestled amongst trees at Fort Clark Springs. Sean, Sue, and Linda found me at the post office. They have permanent lots for RV's here where turkeys and deer run rampant. Harley Davidson, a year old terrier, rambled around on rope, while Linda and Sean fed me spaghetti cooked on a Coleman. They like to eat out as much as possible. When turkeys weren't lurking a few feet away, there were white tails crossing the street or cardinals sitting in the tree. At six, the women of the RV circular go walking round and round. I met Mary. But most went out to eat for the night. Susan and Stan let me check my email, while half the residents gathered in cheap lawn chairs around a bustling fire. The group eventually fizzled out with the fire after exchanging news of the day. One man piped,"you're lucky you met me." Linda warned me not to be concerned about the sounds of deer and armadillo in the night and went off to bed.
9.2 ave - 1370.1 odo - 3:49:31 time
This farm was hard to look away from in the evening light. Cotton farms are pretty common in this area.
Originally Posted February 16, 2007
Thatcher - 75.21 miles
Once again we're nestled amongt RV's. THatcher is a college town this Friday night. Easter Arizona College...Not a bad spot in the middle of relative nowhere. THis was our longest day and it didn't really get going untill 11. Jon finally shipped off a couple pounds worth of stuff. He came to show me while I was typing up my blog. It was about time for him to get rid of his water filter. After I scraped something out of my brake pads and we posed for a picture, we set off. We began by pushing our bikes up a brief hill. There is something defeating about starting with pushing. We rolled into the Apache reservation and stopped at Bashas' for a taste of their deli. I participated in the pizza, potato salad, and pink frosted heart-shaped cookies. After a couple hours, the hills ended and my average increased. Darkness fell and we hit Pima. There was nothing in Pima. We rode on. Finally the RV park appeard around 8pm and I am showered and about to turn in.
11.8 average - 608 ODO - 34.9 max - 6:20:43 time
I don't send out Christmas cards because I'm not in the mood in December. But in January I have a festive string of family photos and glossy cards in my hall and I feel inspired. This year I sent out a Valentine's Day Update. I settled on a booklet format and started reflecting on our last year and a half. Working around the theme Write With Love made it easier to outline each page/topic.
The other bonus about waiting until February is already having updated return addresses from all those cards and letters. I do mail out to a ton of people that never mail me anything. Sometimes I hear back and it is rewarding to reconnect with friends and family. Sometimes I never hear back. I hope that the news from our lives brings some joy to yours.
Originally Posted February 13, 2007
Mesa - 49.69 miles
Phoenix puts me in a foul mood. When riding through this city, communication is more important when dodging traffic, but it is extremely difficult. We stopped for subs and Jon checked the grass for needles. I rode from Glendale to 8700 University. Grandpa's spot on the golf course was right where its been for the last 20 years. Sharon, feeling better, greeted me with lemonade. After dinner, I hugged goodbye and rode the half hour backwards in the dark to the warm showers in Mesa. They weren't expecting me to show up and Jon was busy competing with the 14 year old unit of the household. They both take starwars trivia to another level. Currently I'm lying on the couch, my bed for the night, listening to Jon and Layne in a regular rant. The hot topic of the moment is education. There is something comforting about the consistency of the rants. They Mormon storyteller who works for the Interdisciplinary Program at ASU is eating it up. The story about parent teacher conferences where Jon tells the parents that their child should drop out and start life and a trade...degrees in carpet laying.
11.1 avg - 4:26:24 time
In my writing 15 years ago I mentioned PIPs (Previously Important People). I don't think I came up with the term, but I really can't recall. Giving this some serious reflection I realize that there aren't just PIPs. I'm also considering other titles we give ourselves:
PAP Previously Adventurous Person
PEP Previously Energetic Person
PCP Previously Carefree Person
PHP Previously Happy Person
I know it is easy to get hung up on the past and think that the best is behind us. It is also easy to think that the best is yet to come. I recently watched the movie Hector and the Search for Happiness and it reminded me that happiness is in the pursuit.
As long as I'm not a PLP (Previously Living Person), I'd like to embrace what I am:
CCP Currently Creative Person
COP Currently Organized Person
I'm probably also a CTP Currently Tired Person otherwise I would be able to come up with better acronyms.
Originally Posted February 12, 2007
Glendale - 25.25 miles
Surprise deserves some serious reflection. It has PIP's (Previously Important People), running trash men, themed brunches, and beading groups. No on really gets buried here. Myrna and Larry have a plot in North Dakota.
We're staying at our second warm showers of the trip. Susan and Greg are wonderful and they've left us to go about our business. As we rode through Surprise and Glendale, Jon asked me if my speedo was working. I was confused for a moment until I realized he was refering to my cycle computer. My Vetta wasn't calibrated correctly or I'm not really sure. It wasn't giving me reliable information. So I returned it to REI. As always, they took it back only asking what was wrong. I picked up a wireless cateye. It is a bit more user friendly and it works. I tried to explain to him the dangers of calling it a speedo in the states, but there was too much traffic. I've eaten the ham sandwitches I'd made earlier in the day with the supplies Myrna provided. They were quite wonderful. That was one of the many things I'd done before our 3pm departure. Jon was having technological difficulties and it appeared he was about to have a nervous breakdown. I also took a nap, ate leftovers, ate two ham sandwitches, chatted with Myrna, watched Larry get ready for his softball game and watched him return victorious. All in all it was relaxing day.
Avg. 11.4 - Max 18.6 - Time 2:12:17
I prefer decorations to parties. One involves fun crafting. The other involves people. These are two of my favorite ways to decorate for holidays. I made cute little egg tic-tac-toe for a birthday party and I'm just reusing the grape vine, twine, and hot glue grid again. Hearts are a pretty easy shape. The eggs were easier to cut out though. The hearts are all painted with fountain pen ink that are very richly saturated with pretty pigments. I used Bristol paper for the heart garland too. The hearts are hot glued to the string and then I needed to add a little extra to the bottoms of the hearts to keep them from flipping up. All in all, pretty easy and they will pack up small. I'm thinking a string of clovers for St. Patrick's Day?
Originally Posted February 11, 2007
Surprise: A day of rest - 0 miles
Once again Sunday is our day of rest. The Hinkel's home is a warm home full of good chats and wonderful hospitality. It is also part of Sun City Grand. The grass is gravel and it never needs to be mowed. The plants don't really seem like plants and they all died when it got cold. It actually rained today. I thought it was exciting. Everyone else seemed somewhat afraid. Myrna and Larry took us to the neighborhood Valentine's brunch. The mimosa fountain seemed to have a leak, but it wasn't anything that a cookie sheet couldn't fix. There was also a chocolate fountain, but it never seemed to flow. Great conversations. Everyone seemed to really be enamored with the Alaskan and the Australian biking across the country. Then Larry drove us all to REI. Over the last week Jon and I have been telling each other what we need to remember to get. When we actually made it there it took a moment or two for it all to come back. The most exciting for me were some gel padded gloves and extra handlebar tape. Hopefully, I can still fight the numbness in my hands. On the way back through the maze of houses that look all the same, we glanced at green patches of grass and streets named for desert plants. Century Plant looks a bit like Agave. I'm probably spelling this wrong. Lori and her husband Ken came from Las Vegas for dinner. These cousins don't actually live in Las Vegas. They live in Anthem, but were out there for a show. More good conversation and pork spare ribs led me to remember that I needed to look into accomodations for the next few days. After a few calls, we have warmshowers for the next two nights. I chatted with Grandpa and I plan to stop by on Tuesday. His lady friend is sick, so he wouldn't recommend that we stay there. The warmshowers isn't too far away from him. Finally the project of uploading photos is done and I can relax or put the tape on my handlebars. I think the grammy's or something are on.
Please excuse the pretty rough quality on this comic... new format for me...
We do not know what was really going on here. There was a woman alone on the side of the road who looked like she needed help... but she didn't really want help from us. You can read Jon's version of the story here.
Maybe we only narrowly escaped being kidnapped?
Maybe she was a secret agent trying to bait the bad guys into abducting her so they could catch them?
Leave your theory in the comments!
Originally Posted February 07, 2007
Blythe - 53 miles
This is where I am currently in the library. I haven't yet composed my thoughts for the day so I'll change this at my next stop. I need to tap out John outside and let him come in.
Today was relatively uneventful. We descended from the Chocolate Mountains. I took pictures of Palo Verde Peak, agricultural canals, and fields. There was also a phenomenal sunset that was kept away by the fence of the RV park. We had an interesting interaction with a woman on the side of the road 14 miles out of Palo Verde. John's blog of the encounter really does it justice. But in short and until he posts... there was some "business" gone bad with a schizophrenic and a gun. How she is in the desert without water. Here at the RV park on the Colorado River it is noisy, but the water his hot. There's a pool, but it's not worth the trouble. I'm really getting into burritos. I had two yesterday and three today.
What are you doing tomorrow? I am not getting on a train or doing anything earth shattering. We'll probably reconcile our bank account or paint some trim we replaced a couple months ago. Do I wish I were getting on a train to go on a bike tour? I'm not sure.
I've been having fun lately reflecting on some mundane daily events through little poems. A couple nights ago Karl even helped me write one and you can hear him reading it here:
YouTube has really evolved in the last 15 years. I never really used that much on my bike tour 15 years ago. I've got a new YouTube channel now. There still isn't too much on it; just a few reviews. My most popular one so far is my review of the StablO Portable Easel with 1,700 views!
"Time has escaped me without much definition between the days."
I love this quote from 15 years ago! Early pandemic I heard this exact sentiment so many times from so many of our customers. People were home alone doing the exact same thing everyday or doing nothing at all. For me early pandemic meant working from home (like always), but homeschooling and lots of other random stressors thrown in there. I didn't have any trouble remembering which day of the week it was. I loved that my social calendar was wiped clean! I had more time to do a lot of things I really wanted to do (like go for a walk everyday).
I am sure that I didn't properly appreciate 15 years ago this feeling of having time. Time to exercise. Time to rest. Time to let thoughts wander. Oh and quiet! My life was so much quieter then. I miss the quiet. Of course in another 15 years I bet I will even miss the noise of little children arguing.
Yesterday I stole a few moments and popped out to the now updated Waterman Pier.
Originally Posted January 24, 2007
I'm no stranger to Advent calendars, festivities, and traditions; but the Diamine Inkvent Calendar really was something else. Every morning my kids and I hunted for the next door and popped it open to a reveal a new color, sheen, or shimmer.
In my spare moments during the day I plotted how I might integrate the new ink into a drawing or sketch. Ideally the sketch would feel like Christmas or winter. On a good day I was also able to have the sketch relate to some of my devotional texts: Christ in Our Home or Bread for the Day. I've always struggled to actually retain any of the daily readings. However, doing some copy work and the act of choosing one verse to focus on really helped a little more stick. If you followed me on Instagram where I posted daily my inksplorations, you might have noticed the majority of my posts were after 10pm and there were about 6 days that I was a day behind. I still loved the daily reading, writing, and painting practice. I already have my next project lined up and that will be rolling out in the next week or so.
Here is our full review of the calendar. Which inks were your favorites? I'd love to hear in the comments!
Find me on Instagram to see more pictures @anotherbunny14
I love this time of year. I tend to get 40 amazing ideas for decorations and traditions and I manage to pull off 2. I am glad we did this one. It went fast and the kids even helped hammer in the staples.
Lay out the boards.
Grab your fence boards and lay them out on the ground. Keep adjusting them until you have a star that looks as symmetrical as you want. Don't worry about which boards are on top and which are on bottom. The boards are pretty thin and long so they will flex for you. It didn't hurt that mine have been soaking in the rain for the last several months.
Screw the boards together.
Use two screws at each point and two screws at each cross section. Make sure that you don't have screw tips poking out the back side to get hurt on. I used screws that were exactly the length of the two boards' combined thickness. So I had to be careful.
Attach the lights.
It is easier if you move the star up onto sawhorses or a work table at this point. Start at the center of the bottom of your star with the female ends of the plugs. Tack on all three light strands at once. Stagger the starts of the strands so that your lights will be more evenly spread out. Orient the plastic staples on the boards to ideally strain the wires the least.
Let me know if you try it out in the comments! Any other exciting light displays that you've made?
Do any of you experience seasonal productivity?
I've started to notice that different seasons of the year bring their unique traditions, flavors, and demands on my time. Duh, right? In the spring and summer much time is spent in the garden: planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting. The spring's return of light is so exciting that I need to get outside and sketch. In the summer I get so distracted with all the fun random projects (this summer was screen printing). In Western Washington, the fall brings a constant drizzle from the sky and then the daylight just evaporates. It is just so so so so dark in December and there are holiday festivities that distract me. In October 2020 I started to draw bunnies... and I didn't stop until the weather got better and the sun came back. I drew a lot of bunnies. Check out the post about it here. Also, 2020 holidays had a refreshing lack of activities which left me room to get my creative repetition on.
I am hoping that Winter 2021-2022 will be equally awesome.
The bunnies happened by accident. My sister, Chelsea, turned me on to the idea of projects. She recently re-picked up photography (and a new camera) and this video gave her some great ideas. So now I am in the process of being proactive in choosing a winter project. I'd like to pick something:
This is probably going to be my exciting thing for the summer and it is SO HOT right now! I've been working on some designs as far back as April. Most of them were initially hand drawn, scanned, vectorized, and cleaned up using Sketch. Then I started to investigate the whole screen burning process. There are lots of great YouTube videos and a number of different approaches to building screens, coating them with emulsion, exposing them with the design, and then finally getting some ink on shirts.
I took a pile of thrift store frames and stripped them down to the wood. I heard that some screen frames made from wood like to warp. I had some clear coat laying around so I added some to the frames for good measure.
Then I smeared some activated Speedball Diazo Photo Emulsion on one of my screens. I was trying to get it on there with a nice consistent coating... but I missed some spots. I let it dry overnight in a dark dresser drawer. The next day I used clear scotch tape to attach my transparency to the prepared screen. There is a way to do this backwards... so be careful. I'll really have to go into more detail in another post and actually take pictures. Anyways, burning the screen was easier than I thought it would be because it changed color for me.