Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Breeze

Spring means kites. Kites, yay! Everybody go get your kites... or make them, as you please.

This pattern is the best one I’ve found so far for a small, quick build that flies well. It’s a great choice for a fast project with kids. Unfortunately, the original gif file by Jeremy Carson (1987) is older than most of the net itself, low-res, and badly deteriorating.

A friend of mine from down the road in Towa village, showing off a couple of kites we made from pages of a calendar.

Using Carson’s original measurements, I’ve rebuilt the file in Illustrator, giving the kite a blank face so that you can decorate it on your own. (Click for full sized file.)

OR, here’s one I already decorated with part of the coat of arms of the Czech Republic, for no reason better than that I really like that lion.

Heraldry symbols are COOL.

Build Notes:
The file prints on letter size paper. Please note that you don’t need special lightweight paper to get this model to fly well – regular weight printer paper works best. I suggest bamboo skewers, available in most grocery stores wherever the toothpicks are, for the spars. Use regular cotton or polyester sewing thread for the line (NOT serious kite line, because it’s too heavy), and don’t skimp on the length of the tails. This kite needs heavy rear drag to stabilize.

Flight Notes:
Once you’ve built it, you might think your kite’s sail area looks pretty small compared to the weight of the paper, the spars, the glue, and the huge twin tails you’ve rigged it with... BUT, don’t worry! She flies very well... provided you have steady wind. This kite will dance for gusts, but like most small kites, it doesn’t launch easily in on-off winds. Still, it doesn’t take much to get her airborne. Launch in steady winds, minimum 8 mph. If you have steady winds above 12 mph, you should be able to launch without any running. (Serious kite flyers hate running starts, did you know that?) Optimum wind speed is 12-15mph, maximum is 18 or thereabouts.

I’ve never had to add wing tassels or mini tails to my builds, but Jeremy suggested it in the original instructions, so it’s likely worth a shot if you have a balance issue. If your kite takes some altitude and then suddenly starts spinning around in a tight circle, it’s because the winds are simply too strong for the sail to cope with at that altitude, and the balance can’t be fixed. You just need a bigger kite.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Eastre

I'll get better at rabbits someday, I hope. These guys are two of my first-ever attempts at softies.

I've been meaning to post this egg pattern for a while, but I couldn't think of a good excuse for it... But, hey, it's eggs-n-chocolate day, so now I have a reason. ^_^

I'll bet money that somebody else has beaten me to the idea of a fried egg softie. It's just too easy. You could probably figure out the pattern by looking at your breakfast, to be honest.

PS: I spelled it like that on purpose.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Hangover Day

...being that day after St. Patrick's Day when everyone who thought it was cute to pretend they could drink like an Irish sailor is regretting it.

A random long-tailed rabbit creature that I have named "Kiffy" on the spur of the moment would like to remind you that it will soon be Easter. Please put away the whiskey and fetch the chocolate. >w<

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Tiny Stuffie

It’s very small, but I bet somebody’s got a smaller one out there.

I’m on a hunt for the smallest stuffie on the net. If you have made or found images of a smaller stuffie or plushie, please share them with me in the comments section!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Strawberry Love

La la la, strawberry~

It’s a variation on the persimmon pattern, minus one panel and plus a different type of leaf. You can add seeds if you want, maybe with beads or French knots.

楽しみしてね!(Have fun!)

PS: If you make a persimmon body in red felt and add one cutout of leaves from the strawberry pattern, you get a tomato. XD

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

RIP Gary Gygax

"We've all gotta fail a roll someday."

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A few more marbles

I had to leave some marbles in the kiln for annealing back during this spectacular adventure, and my kindly aunt Mari has since sent them along to me. Showing off my (barely extant) flame working skills, part deux!

I made one for my Dad. He's a big ND fan, and I figure he could put it on his desk. Then again, how maddening would it be to keep track of a marble rolling all round your desk when you're working? (Oops.) The technique for making this kind of marble is maddening enough in itself... you have to blow out the tip of a glass tube, build up a bunch of stringers, draw the stringers onto the thin bubble and invert the bubble around the stuff you've drawn in. Suffice it to say, I only made one of them.

And then there's this one, which is just a sandwich of clear glass around a shard of silver dichroic and some red frit that I was going to twist up into a regular, smooth marble. BUT, it got way too awesome in the middle of the twisting phase, so I just stopped it there and left it a glob.

Yay marbles~! ^_^