It’s interesting, but what is it good for?


This project was actually completed a few years ago, as the final project in my Experimental Drawing class. I combined techniques from our puzzle project and our juxaposition project, primarily because I wanted to see how easy it would be to make a tessellating pattern that could also interlock in 3D. (The image above is actually of some of the test pieces, not the final set, but you get the idea.)

I was also interested in exploring what would happen when I scrambled an image (traced onto the acrylic pieces), overlaid some bits of it with other bits, and then linked sets of pieces together to form partial cubes. Since all the pieces are the same shape, the partial cubes can be stacked, made into rows, etc., so you get some depth to the recombined image.

It wasn’t as successful as I had hoped (not that I really had any clear idea what it would be like), and I’ve often wished I still had access to a laser cutter, so that I could do more experimenting. I think it would be much more interesting if I had used much thicker lines on the acrylic, and chosen a pattern that would align better, so that the lines from the original image could link up with other lines that came from a different part of the image, creating an interesting new, fragmented/reassembled picture. It would certainly be easier with a pattern, rather than a picture.

If the pieces were larger – 12 inches on a side, or 2 feet – I could see them being used for shelving or end tables, although I’d want to make them from wood (probably), and work out a good way to keep the pieces together, because they slide apart /really/ easily, and that’s a Bad Thing for furniture. (I could just cut the slots slightly smaller, but then they might bind, especially if they were wood.)

Headphone fixes; jacket to vest conversion

I have a completed project that I should post; I have lots of pictures, even!

It was a pair of headphones, with the foam ear covers completely disintegrating. I replaced the foam with fleece fabric, so they are once again wearable.

The other project is still in process, and I am not documenting it well, but I should do some of that. It was a nice fitting jacket I found at Dollar a Pound, pin-striped, with some unfortunate white stains (nail polish? paint?) on the collar and upper back, not suitable to be worn anywhere nice without removing or covering them up.

At any rate, I was looking for a vest or for a jacket I could turn into a vest. If not for the stains, I don’t know if I could have actually started to disassemble it, because it fit so well.

Well, it no longer has its sleeves, and I cut down the sides to make the arm openings a better fit for a vest. I’m going to deal with the stain on the upper back by making sewing black leather over the shoulders and upper back, and deal with the stain on the collar by putting some white lace over it. Should be an interesting combination.

Also, I screwed up the arm holes – cut them too big, they looked awful. So I am now sewing fabric back on. Argh. But it occurred to me that I could make this less obvious by adding pockets. Yes, to the sides of the garment. Why not? People have small under-arm bags and things, why not pockets.

(Also found at Dollar a Pound: a leather boys’ jacket and a brocade handbag with a neat mechanical hinge closure; I want the leather for my next Arisia costume. The body of the jacket fits me well, but the sleeves are way too short. It was a nicely lined jacket, with a second zip-in liner in addition to the sewn-in quilted liner. I am saving the linings for a potential future project. The bag I couldn’t resist because 1) mechanical closure! and 2) Dollar a Pound. Also, I need more projects.)

To-do – more old things to fix

Figure out what to do with the box with the resistor test kit in it. Nice box, interesting old electronics, kind of a shame to separate them but the circuit boards feel . . . sticky. Like the plastic is melting or something. *dither* Can’t decide what to do.

Have a couple other old wooden boxes which need purposes. One is pretty crude; could do with the outside corners being prettied up – metal wrapped around them?

Um, that lamp base. Some kinda swing-arm dealie. Missing a bolt/screw at one joint. Also missing the lamp bits. You know, the part where you screw in a light bulb. It shall be another frankenlamp. (Another? What do you mean “another”? Well, there’s this other small lamp which is very cute but needs its lamp shade part fixed up or replaced, and I said, “Well, I could always find another lamp with an interesting head on it, and remove its head and put it on this base,” and then the engineer said, “You scare me,” and I said, “But it’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do!” and he said, “That’s why you scare me!” and I asked, trying not to grin too much, “Oh, it scares you when I’m reasonable?” So there’s another lamp that needs some fixin’.)

So I need to fix that thing so I can have a good swing arm lamp again. I even found a matching clamp with which to attach it to my desk!

Find uses for those wonderful, glorious old indicator lights. Uses that can be out of sight of the good doctor, so as not to offend his aesthetic sensibilities.

And then there’s the mysterious thing that looks like a small swing-arm lamp – sort of; it doesn’t so much swing as bend in several places – but has had both its cords CUT CRUDELY OFF and the part that used to perch at the end of the bendy arm was nowhere in evidence when I spied the base and decided I must take it.

Shoes

I confess that I have a weakness for shoes.

I don’t buy many pairs (really!), but that is only because I value comfort over looks, and most cute/pretty/sexy/awesome shoes hurt too much. Largely because most women’s shoes have those &^%#$$#ing HEELS on them that force your feet/legs into uncomfortable, unnatural postures. No thank you.

Flat shoes and boots are really not that easy to come by. And flat shoes or boots with a flexible, comfortable sole are really rare.

So for quite some time I have been thinking it would be really neat to have one pair of awesomely comfortable “base” shoes, with a thousand and one different tops for them. As in, today I want green corduroy, but this evening maybe something shiny and black, so I’ll just peel off the corduroy covers and stick on the leather.

I have just started to work out how shoes (normal shoes) are put together. They are impressively complicated, which is no surprise, though it is a little dismaying.

I mean, you have to start out with flat material, cut into a shape that, when curved around an odd-shaped base, with form the right kind of three-dimensional form. Feet are not a nice, regular sort of prism.

And they MOVE. Your feet flatten and widen when you step onto them, plus they bend. This makes constructing a container for them kind of tricky, when said container is made of anything stiffer and less stretchy than knitting.

I have a pair of very pretty, sequined and beaded slip-ons. They’re too small; it hurts to put them on for even a few seconds, despite the fact that they are actually my size (lies, all LIES I tell you!). However, they are very, very simple in construction, so they seem like an excellent way to get started with patterns.

Except that the sole is almost perfectly symmetrical. And are feet symmetrical?

No, they are not.

So transferring the vamp (that’s the bit that wraps around the front of your foot) and the heel patterns to a sole that more closely resembles a real foot, that doesn’t work so well. You wind up with an unattractive bulge over your foot.

While searching for shoe making patterns, I found this post, which had one pattern that looks like it might work for my purposes, more or less. Haven’t tried it out yet, as I am still fighting with the sparkly shoe pattern as well as one I made up.

As for the other tricky part of this project, I haven’t done more than start thinking of ways the shoe covers might fit to the base.

Tool chest renovation

I recently acquired an old Craftsman tool chest. A small one, with small drawers for small tools. All the drawers were lined with felt. A lot of the felt was pretty worn in spots, down to the metal, and the top most part of the chest had been visited by rodents, so there was that kind of mess, too. Plus, the outside of the case has some large rust patches.

So the whole thing is really in need of a good sanding and repainting, plus felt removal and replacement.

It turns out rubbing alcohol does a number on the adhesive used to glue the felt down.

It also turns out that that quantity of rubbing alcohol should NOT be used in a closed, poorly ventilated basement, so I shall be taking the tool chest OUTSIDE to remove the remaining 95% of adhesive and felt (most of the felt came up pretty easily when I pried the edges loose and pulled).

I haven’t quite decided what to do about repainting the tool chest. On the one hand, I like the old paint, because I like the way old stuff looks. But it’s not in good enough condition to leave as-is. I don’t want it to keep rusting, nor do I want rust to get all over me/other things.

I’ve been toying with the idea of painting it all black, or blue, and then painting a viney jungley sort of scene all over the outside, with trees and flowers and screeching birds and that sort of thing.

I’m also pondering giving it a coat of primer, and then covering it with interesting paper or fabric.

It’s a surprisingly heavy thing for its size. When I first decided that yes, I did want to take it, I removed most of the contents, hoping that would make it a little easier to haul away. It did not. So it might be kind of amusing to put fabric on the outside, because of the contrast between the softness and lightness of fabric, and actual heaviness of the metal.

Upholstered tool chest? Sure, why not.

To-do list

Feather fan. Not the handheld kind, the kind attached to a motor powered by a USB connection.

Bristlebots! With feathers, of course, and those used toothbrush heads I should admit I am never going to mail back to the manufacturer for recycling.

Repair the original mask.

Make the original mask useable by itself again (needs a strap to go around my head), rather than only useable by attaching it to the headpiece.

Brackets for hanging framed pictures from the bookshelves.
– use the metal from ex-fluorescent fixtures