Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Metal detecting tally for 2008

In 2008, I found 343 coins, plus a few Hot Wheels cars and a few other relics, old and new, of little interest to anyone else.

I don't think that's too bad, considering the most of my hunting was done on lunch breaks and I had little time to spend anyplace "old" (I don't have any silver and I only found one wheat penny; that will all change this year, I'm sure.)

I have some good places to hit when the weather warms up and I have a few hours.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Linoleum block print: Ohio River Scene

Here's the 6 x 9" linocut I've been working on. I don't think it's too bad for being the first one I've done since Reagan was in the White House. I'm pretty satisfied that the cutting on it is done, although there might be a few tiny areas I could fine-tune. What I really need to work on is my ability to put ink on the block. My brayer is a little too hard for the job, I think. There is also a strong possibility I just need more practice to get rid of the white spots where ink is supposed to be (see the far lower right for what I'm talking about.)

For those of you unfamiliar with the process, or who just don't remember it from your elementary school art class, linocut printing involves taking a sheet of linoleum that has been mounted on a wood backing. One cuts into the surface; the areas that are cut away remain white. Printing ink is then applied with a roller to the raised areas. A sheet of paper is then pressed onto the lino and mashed down really well to pick up the ink.

I want to work on a multi-color print next.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

3-year-old comedy

I was just reading The Order of the Stick (at when Jill walked through the room. She slowed down, looked at the monitor, and got a big grin on her face. "Charlie Brown!" she exclaimed with delight. "Not quite," I told her, although I guess I can see the resemblance.

On a somewhat related note, Jill was sitting on the potty yesterday when Kim walked in, and I overheard their conversation, which went something like this:

Said Jill, "I made a mess, but I cleaned it up."

"You did? What kind of mess?"

"When I pulled down my panties, some poopies flipped out, but I wiped it up."

"Uh, OK. Can you tell me where it was?"

"On that carpet."

"Where on the carpet?"

"Riiiigghhhtt where your foot is."

Monday, January 12, 2009

My sensitive metal detector

Last night I retrieved a cardboard box from the garage
and started dismantling my metal detector to ship it back to the manufacturer.
After I had it broken down, I got a damp cloth and wiped dust and grit from the
shaft and inspected the parts. Then I thought for a moment…I hadn't ever taken
it apart this far since I first received it a year ago. I decided to experiment
a little more.
So I held the unattached detector coil in my hand,
and plugged into the batter/circuit box the long cord that is normally wrapped
around the detector shaft. I turned it on and waved it around. It seemed to
function fine. I was basically just holding the battery pack in one hand and the
coil in the other.
I cleaned the shaft a little more and put it all
back together. It worked fine.
Just now I came back from lunch, which I spent
detecting over at the park near my office. I had no trouble with the detector,
and found about 95 cents in coins as well as a little metal car.
My theory: There was some debris caught inside the
shaft/handle of the metal detector that was rattling around and throwing things
I think it's fixed, but I'll be keeping a close eye
on it.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

linocut printing progress

Last night I pulled a print from the linoleum block I'm carving. It was just a test. I have a lot of cutting yet to do on the linoleum before I have a finished image, but I wanted to see how the cuts and gauges I've done so far carry over into a print. I'll post a picture of it later, probably along with the finished version. For now I'll just say I'm pretty pleased with how it's turning out. I think that by the time I work on my second piece I'll have a pretty good sense of how to handle it, and I'm even more excited about starting on a multi-color print.


Monday, January 05, 2009

metal detecting

My detector is beeping erratically and annoyingly, even when pointed at the sky. It is going back to the manufacturer. Yay, warranty!



Last night I started cutting on my first linoleum block print since high school art class. I really don't have any good idea how it will turn out. A little natural finesse and intuition are qualities I feel I possess when it comes to exploring new media; I think I often get a pretty good sense of how to manipulate the physical objects to get things to look pretty good. There are, however, some basics here that are unknowns to me. How deeply do I have to cut to get a good printable relief? Is my ink any good? For multi-color reduction prints, which will be my next project, will getting accurate registration be a job that's just too frustrating for me to want to fool with?
Yesterday I made some apple bread from scratch. It turned out really good, and even better with cinnamon butter on it. The recipe called for a cup of grated apple, but I grated a whole apple and ended up with about 2 cups, all of which I threw in. I liked the results much better than the orange mini muffins I made on Saturday.
I actually mowed on Saturday. It was mostly to run all the gas out of the mower, but I also wanted to chop up and obliterate the leaves that I'd missed while raking. Some of the grass was actually long, but it was brown and horizontal so it didn't look too much like it needed to be cut. It did look better once I had mowed it, though.
I also dug up more gladiolus bulbs. That's pretty much all of them now. I don't know for sure where I'll plant them in the spring, but I have lots of them- and I'm willing to share. Many of them are new baby corms ("cormels") that might not flower for another year or two. I hope they will be safe in the garage during the winter.