Category Archives: Art

Past project: light bulb terrarium

Here’s one of a series of light-bulb terrariums I did a little while back. They’re filled with stones, small ferns, and moss. The ends are capped with bees wax. The stand is copper wire that I bent and hammered to make leaf shapes. The wires were then wrapped and soldered together.


Past projects: N-scale buildings

Made these N-Scale buildings as a test for a larger train set project. I plan on creating a very small bookshelf-sized set based on the Studio Ghibli film Kiki’s Delivery Service. These houses appear briefly in the film and are small enough to use as a test.

They are made of polymer clay. I figured out how to make both clear and translucent windows with proper mullions by printing out the pattern that I wanted on a laser printer and then adding a drop of clear Sculpy liquid. Once baked, the paper will slough off with a little rubbing under water, leaving the ink behind.

All of the details are done with a small pick and include a dove with nest and eggs, ivy, and various window boxes with plants and flowers. These were done around 4 years ago and is part of a much longer-term project.


Past projects: solar guitar amp and radio

This is a guitar amp/radio that I upcycled out of an old boombox and some surplus electronics parts. The amp is based on a simple LM386 amplifier IC. It’s solar powered, but could use one or two more solar cells. When clouds come over the sound gets crunchy and distorted. Nonetheless, it’s fun to play with.

I made the case by hand out of cherry and steam-bent the sides. Above the speaker grille, I carved a Japanese frog.  I doubt that I’ll be doing any more carving as I didn’t enjoy it. The input and the knobs are from a guitar parts dealer on Ebay. As usual, the finish is rubbed oil and wax.


Past project: cigar box ukulele


I made this ukulele out of a kit from Grizzly tools, but swapped out the body for a nice cigar box. The top is solid Spanish cedar. The neck is mahogany. The box still opens and will fit a flask of your favorite drink handily. It’s finished with oil and wax. I’d like to pick up some nicer tuners at some point, but as-is it has a sweet sound and stays in tune well enough.


Past projects: apple wood shaker

Here’s a shaker I made for K. There was an apple tree that she was especially fond of that had a large branch come down in a storm. I hollowed out a smaller diameter piece of the branch and filled it partially with bb’s. The finish is hand rubbed oil and wax. It has a nice heft to it and feels silky.

I have more of this wood, but need to figure out the least wasteful way to cut it into small boards before it can be used for more projects.


Past projects: bleach tie dye shirts

Pretty happy with these bleach tie-dye shirts. Made some paper cut-outs and used straight bleach in a spray bottle.



Project of the day: a gentleman’s bike light


One should have a proper brass oil lamp for safe evening bicycling treks. Yes, it works quite well, throws off a nice amount of light, and stays lit at cruising speeds.

Project of the day: bike wheel lacing

Cleaned, greased, and re-laced an 80′s vintage 27″ wheel for my recumbent today. It’s on the original bike while I wait for a replacement 700C wheelset to arrive.

I tried out a non-standard lacing pattern. I like the looks, but will likely only do the front wheel as it isn’t quite as strong (but plenty strong for this purpose).

I just need to finish trueing it and it’ll be ready for the trails!


Update: I may do a rear wheel if I can dig around for spokes of the correct length amidst my pile of wheels. I have two decent vintage 27″ wheels with new tires now for my recumbent. I may re-lace one with this pattern for toodling around and keep one with standard lacing for long rides.

Update: It doesn’t look like I have the spokes I would need, so no rear wheel after all.

Project of the day: J’s Stop Motion Animations

I fixed J up with some stop motion software on my unused Droid phone today. He took to it immediately. I’m hoping to get him fixed up with sound effects, voices, and music at some point. Here is one of his longer silent films. The speech bubble at the beginning says “Me again.” The green brain slugs have been featured in several of his short films. Keep in mind that he just turned 9 yesterday. :)

Past projects: N-scale train terrarium

I’m going to start posting some of my projects that were completed prior to my website update.

This is a terrarium/micro-train layout built on an industrial machine gear and covered with a cloche from a defunct anniversary clock. Not photographed is the working street light that I later added. Alas, the fern has now passed on to its next incarnation (as has the moss), but I have purchased a replacement that is awaiting installation.