Back in 2009, before I rode my bike from Edmonton to Thunder Bay, I went to the now-defunct Gordon Price Music and purchased a $20 ukulele. The idea being that I’d have something to practice on, loosen up my hands after a day of riding, and if it got crushed in transit I would just buy a new one.
It was the chosen one of $20 ukuleles. The variance in the factory tolerances, so lenient that the usually only generate crap, had aligned: The tuning pegs held tune, the bridge was at just such an unsquare angle that the shoddy intonation was compensated for, the pine plywood just dense enough to generate a loud, bright tone.
This uke travelled with me far and wide, and although I did eventually buy a more professional uke with a properly made neck and a pickup and everything, I’ve made sure that the blue uke stayed in rotation. It’s so tiny and light, it fits in most bags and it’s almost good enough to be a real instrument. Canadian standard tuning, too, which gives it a different range than my concert uke. Continue reading
Posted in Bikes, Music, Stuff I made
Tagged bike parts, bike tour, instrument, music, refinishing, restoration, uke, ukulele, woodworking
I made these prototype wire brushes!
They’re made from derailleur housing with the plastic casing stripped off, and the handles are a cut-down aluminium tent pole. The hockey tape is just for grip. They look pretty good, but I think they might sound better with longer wires. I’m not a percussionist at all, though, so really who knows.
With the indispensable help of wood shop mastermind Derek, I constructed and stained this excellent cajon, which, if you don’t know, is a percussion instrument based on a shipping crate that probably came from Peru, although it depends who you ask. It sounds great, and a neat thing about cajons (cajones?) is that because they’re based on actual repurposed boxes, any mistakes, scratches, or poor joins can be written off as authenticity. Apparently it sounds better if you leave it full of sawdust.
the sides are 1/4″ plywood, and the face is, uh, something thinner than that. I’ll post a tips and tricks guide to its construction soon.
I’m so famous, small children in China* dress up as me.
it turns out that my wolf mask is popular with more than just furries. This appears to be a performance of the three little pigs, and the wolf design based right off mine. It’s pretty darn adorable.
I can’t read a word of this site, I’m afraid, but I am seriously excited about this. it’s completely hilarious to me, and I don’t think I’ve been directly credited on something like this before. hooray! plus, googly eyes!
*I don’t know if this is actually in China, but the writing’s in Chinese, although again I have no idea what kind of Chinese
I bought pencil crayons! Here’s a very, very hasty self portrait.
Relevant: I did not add the hearts to this drawing
I feel like a portrait of me as strongbad would be fundamentally unsatisfying.
I’ve got a fairly big thing in the works, and pencil crayons are involved. Stay tuned, all you fans of adventure.
R.I.P TRILOBITES, DEC 19, 521 MILLION YEARS AGO TO AUG 4, 250 MILLION YEARS AGO. NEVER FORGET
I broke a spoon; I carved a trilobite with my pocket knife and a nail. It’s a teaser because now I should find some sandpaper and stain.
I love these little guys. They’re like a rough draft of a horseshoe crab, but they lived through five or six extinction events (If you’re keeping score, Humans haven’t even fought a single match like that yet). Only the Permian extinction managed to take them down, and it made chumps out of 96% of everyone in the ocean and 57% of all species. Actual scientists call it “the great dying” So, you know, no shame in that.
I picked the title as a joke, but now I think I actually might do a Heroes of Evolution series.
Posted in Stuff I made
Tagged arthropod, biology, carving, evolution, extinction, horseshoe crab, marine life, paleontology, permian, prehistory, trilobite, whittling, wood carving
I think I have that for steampunks.
The processor’s not bad, but you have to wrap the antennae with tinfoil to get decent wifi.
Here is the coal powered laptop I’m running. It’s actually not much of an exaggeration. I have a ten year old macbook pro, and it runs hot enough that there might actually be a little boiler in there. I have to write my blog posts in word because the browser can’t handle it. No starting crank for the hard drive, at least. But yeah, this is why I can’t play minecraft.
Thanks to Jill for the request.
Also, I started another blog about music. I don’t know yet if it makes sense to anyone but me, but I’m excited about it, anyway. What is blogging if not blatant self-promotion?
Posted in Drawing, Index Card Series
Tagged black and white, coal, drawing, Laptop, pen and pencil, request, self-promotion, steam, steam powered, steampunk, steampunk computer, technology
It’s kind of understandable. The pine is cheap, and if it’s not put together right it splinters and breaks easy. That works out for me because it means Edmonton’s alleyways are always full of straight, planed, unvarnished wood. Here’s a table I made for my sister out of two other tables that were junked.
It’s made to fit out on her balcony, but during winter it’s more of a side-table. Not too shabby for about two hours’ worth of destruction and re-assembly.
Posted in furniture, Stuff I made
Tagged diy, dumpster diving, furniture, ikea, pine, recycled furniture, recycling, refurbishing, salvaged, table, upcycling, woodworking
Hello internet! I’m writing you from Guadalajara, Mexico, where I am studying until June. I’d like to say thank you to the absolutely startling uptick in viewership of this blog, especially considering that now I am basically unable to post new content. Sure, I’ve got schemes to post some older projects, but nothing fresh and exciting just now. In the meantime, I just want to say hi to everyone. The stats-analytics tool tells me you’re from all over the place, which is phenomenal because it means I’ve gained a scope beyond friends and family that I spam on facebook. Where are you, personally, right now? What brought you to this blog? Did you try making rosemary-mint chocolate cake? Did it work? Did you pass your anatomy exam? Is there a non-sexual reason that everyone on the internet seems to be looking for wolf masks? I hope you’ll take this opportunity to leave a comment, and let me know what you’d like to see more of, or even specific requests, if you got ’em.
I started this blog while I was teaching English in Bolivia, and this isn’t exactly my first art-from-unfamiliar-circumstances rodeo, but it could take me a bit to straighten things out. I don’t have a scanner, or a sketchbook, my laptop is so old it runs on coal, and I don’t have any tools to make more rad stuff. My most recent project was cutting the bottom out of a water jug to make a lampshade for the bare bulb that lights my room, which probably doesn’t require instructions.
I’ll see what I can do to get some new and exciting stuff up. Thanks for reading!
My last baking post was supposed to be the first in a unified series. The plan was to do a couple of different cakes with different ingredients, but using the same formula to demonstrate the system’s versatility. I got accepted to a university in Mexico, and on the way down I stopped in San Francisco for a week. The challenge, then, was to bake a cake with stuff that had been left in the hostel kitchen. I was feeling pretty confident about it.
the tea isn’t an ingredient, but it was delicious.
Posted in Cooking, Stuff I made, Travel
Tagged baking, brownies, dessert, experimental baking, failure, faygo, hostel food, improvisation, ingredient substitution, root beer, root beer cake