Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bookbinding - Leather Tooling, Finishing and Fluttershy Book Progress

Trying to get the Fluttershy* book finished for the end of term (next week! OMG I did a whole school year of something! :P)

I was almost going to finish it yesterday but I forgot my tube of Shocking Pink Book Cloth ... then remembered I didn't make any endbands either so I prepared to do that in class, then went... Noo I wanna make pretty marks on leather. Look, I prepared a leather covered board at home and everything!

So I went through all the finishing tools we have in class and found allll the swirlies. Happy happy swirlies. AND a tiling swirly so I can make a line of swirly!

Here's my practice board
Leather tooling

I love working with leather. I could grow to love just tooling and finishing... Didn't even do any foil/gold work in this.

Went home and figured out that the purple silk thread I brought back from class would be the wrong colour scheme for Fluttershy - it'd just go a bit Easter colours if I used purple. So I looked through my embroidery floss and found I had a good turquoise like Fluttershy's eyes. And tada! I finished the tailband
Tailband on the Fluttershy book

Just have to finish the headband now. And re-do the mull over the stitches (doh. do things in order next time...)

*For those of you uninitiated into My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy looks like this:

This book was totally going to be sane and reasonable(yellow end papers, red book cloth half-binding with cute dormouse & red berries paper) until I found neon pink acrylic paint to paint the head of the book with... then reason went out the door.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Minecraft in Cake and Ring form

Fleet of Grass Blocks
Ginger cake with lemon water icing

Minecraft Rings
Lava, Cobblestone, Dirt, Grass & Water block rings. The lava and water ones are my favourites. They both use "caning" for the patterns. Mixing the white glitter fimo into the blue fimo is beautiful - it already has AB sparkles which works really well with the blue.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fimo is the most awesome stuff ever

Fimo jellyfish

Experimented with translucent white fimo and baking/forming over a foil form. This actually needs to be balanced a little better, it keeps wanting to face-floor.

It is beautiful, though, for something I just made because I was getting frustrated trying to make fimo ponies :P

Ghostly jellyfish...

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I've not painted onto canvas since high school some mumbley-years ago. I found myself in the acrylic paints aisle at Atlantis Art staring at some incredibly shiny paints. Sometimes I wander the art stores just to see what's there, to try to find something to spark something hiding in my tired brain.

By the till they have impulse purchase buys like 3x4inch (by a depth of about an inch) canvases for 74p. Somehow a plan was forming...

I recently went to the Saatchi Gallery randomly while waiting to attend a surprise party for a friend. Most of the art left me hating all modern art. It made me angry. No wonder people think modern art is bullshit :/ The only thing that was amazing was the pool of used motor oil in the basement. The smell was amazing. It screwed with your head staring at its shiny surface and thinking there's this huge illusion of depth to it (hey kinda like the infinity box...) It's huge. We spent forever staring into the abyss, watching the air conditioning unit create very tiny ripples in the surface.

Anyway, upstairs was a temporary exhibit that had only opened a few days previously. The odd thing about the Saatchi Gallery is that they let you take pictures. So I took some pictures of this exhibit of really big, bold flower paintings. The acrylic paint was just squeezed onto the canvas direct from the tube. It was skillfully done. Purposeful yet simple, yet complex. I really thought paintings like that wouldn't affect me like that ever.

Last night I was faced with a black canvas. Since the canvases are so deep and won't be framed, they need to be painted all the way around... so why not play on it? Turning the canvas into a sculpture, or a zen garden, where you can't see all of the painting at any one angle. Enforced playing of it in your hands.

So I painted a little painting.

This morning I decided I didn't really need a brush... and squirted out paint onto the bigger canvases.
Be bold...
I did decide to shape it a little with a small brush... I'm wondering how many days it's going to take to dry. It's so tempting to touch it but I know I'll just end up covered in paint if I do.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Derpy (Derby) Mini Maker Faire and the Infinite Star Box

My Maker Pass
It's been ages since it happened but I figured I should write about it anyway.

In the run-up to DMMF, I was frantically trying to make my infinite star box. I bit off more than I could chew and by the end of Wednesday, I had... a mirrored perspex box and no lights. There was a bit of the magic blue smoke and I didn't have enough help or knowledge of my own of electronics to really do what i wanted to. I got horribly frustrated and sad and went home crying. It was a serious low point.

My friend Monty mentioned about just using a string of LED fairy lights instead, and my other friend Tom offered some of his lights (turned out to be broken so just stole some working ones that were hanging up around London Hackspace) so with about 8 hours of building the surrounding wooden box and putting it all together. It was exhausting, but at least it was done to some level of working. Just not quite to how I imagined and prototyped it.
More infinity

The setup on Saturday was pretty frantic. It was suppose to be a day for Makers to wander around and look at the other exhibits, but some of the people exhibiting were only exhibiting on the Sunday anyway.

The person checking us in and giving us passes exclaimed "... How many of you guys are from London Hackspace?!" Strangely, by about halfway on Sunday, it felt like the correct response to that was "Not nearly enough".

Sunday was so busy! Over 500 people came to see the faire. We learned that little kids are much better at destroying golf courses than a few semi-drunken adults are (which was the last place the golf courses saw any action).

We had a table set up with some leaflets, my star box and some mini-stylophone kits. We also had Wacky Inflatable Wavy Arm Man! I may have accidentally emotionally scarred a child for life by making Wacky Inflatable Wavy Arm Man lean towards her after she poked it a few times...


We had a podcast recording with Hack All The Spaces too. I managed to hack their Derby Mini Maker Faire stickers to say Derpy. The look of joy/horror on Dominic's face was amazing ;D Both "that's amazingly well done!" also "STOP CALLING IT DERPY!!" hehe!
The actual podcast recording finally

There's an insane amount of pictures on my flickr account:
Derpy Mini Maker Faire Photo Set

Next Mini-Maker Faire is up in Manchester. It's kind of far away so I'm still debating about going there. It's a bit costly train/hotel-wise. Derby was so exhausting too! Not sure if I can do that all again with the golf supervision.

Also I'd quite like to make another project but I'm not sure what yet. We'll see. It's at the end of July.

Bookbinding - Half Leather Book

half-leather bound book

I've been taking bookbinding classes part-time since September. I finally got to the "making leather bound books" level! Weirdly, I think leather is easier to work with than bookcloth and PVA glue. It's slower and more malleable to work with. Getting decent leather and a stone to work on and a paring knife seems like it'll be more difficult, though.

I'm working on a new notebook since I've nearly filled up my current one (the 2nd book I ever made in class). It should be a half-bookcloth (in red) binding with cute little dormouse & berries paper, with either pink or red head colouring and yellow endpapers. Something radically different to the usual blue/black books I've been making the whole year.