Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Some dino tricks...

Today was the big push for making the dinosaur kits to hand out for the trick-or-treaters. Originally, we were going to do 2 days to get the 400 kits done (200 for trick-or treaters, 200 for my mom's science program), but we ended up doing 200 in 2 hours, so we (perhaps foolishly) pressed on and went for the whole 400.  My friend Soryda came towards the end and helped revived us a bit, so the last couple batches weren't nearly as backbreaking.  I'm kind of glad we went ahead and did them all--I forgot how sore you get afterwards from the bending moving of these bits of plaster and sand when you pop them out of the mold to dry, or turn over to 'bake'.  The recipe is pretty simple--2 cups of play sand, 2 cups plaster, 6 cups vermiculite--makes about 12-15 depending on your mold.  Mix ingredients (with heavy gloves--the vermiculite is terrible on hands) with water until the consistency of slightly watery oatmeal.  Drop a handful into molds/containers, add a dino, cover him up with a little more, set out to dry.  Pop out of mold/container to fully dry each side.  I left these out in the hot sun for a few days in a crate stacked with newspaper in between to really dry them out as much as possible. This is important, because if you put them away even a little wet, they'll turn moldy on you; which is a situation devoutly to be avoided, cause the smell? Just awesome.  We had it happen one year.  Lesson. Learned.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dilophosaurus (frilled lizard)

Why do I do these things?


Clearly it's a masochistic urge.

Ever since I decided on a Jurassic park theme, I've wanted to make this project.  But it's not essential, and it would take a fair amount of time.  Time that could be spent on other projects.  But as with most projects, I decided to go for it anyway and attempt a frilled lizard, Dilophosaurus.  It was one of the scariest dinos from Jurassic park--and one that was the bringer of such justice to the terrible Dennis Nedry.  *sigh* You can't get quite any better than a face full of acid and being eaten soon after.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

My what small teeth you have...and claws...

Picked up some air dry clay at Joann's today--a 10 lb block of terra cotta Amaco brand.  I wasn't sure how many teeth I'll need on my frilled dino, or how much of a claw I wanted for my compys, so I figured I might as well get plenty of extra.  It doesn't hurt to have a bunch for screw ups too.  I cut some pieces of wire roughly twice the size of the teeth I wanted--though I quickly realized I was making them way too big, so I shortened the size and went for more of them but shorter.  I may even have to make more--two rows might look cooler, but I think I'll have to see what will actually fit in there.  Also have to see how the clay dries and if it'll be sturdy enough; again, may have to make more in case a bunch of them break.  I'm planning on painting them white and using hot glue to shove them up into the foam mouth.  It'll be a last step after a tongue and a mouth has been painted--these are going to be hard to maneuver a paintbrush around.  These weren't absolutely dry, but I went ahead and did a quick test run with a small half row just to see how they'd look.  I'm pleased with the result--once they're all painted and filled in (possibly a second row), my guy will be looking pretty scary.

Pulled out the air dry clay again and went about making claws for my compys.  I'm a little fearful that they'll break--the clay is pretty delicate, so I ended up not doing feet, figuring they'll definitely break off.  I clipped the excess wire on the hands, then did pretty much the same process as the teeth, making them a little more curved, and smoothing them over a bit with water to rub out the lines and wrinkles.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

All the ears!

Side project--a coworker loves the disney/disneyland mickey ears, and was wanting some of her own customized pairs--like the ones that get sold on etsy for upwards of $40.  Now no offense to said Etsy makers--you've found a niche and more power to you.  But I'm not willing to spend $40 on something I can make for myself with a little work.  So.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Compsoganthus--the mache machine

On our (somewhat disappointing towards the end) day of dyeing, Sarah and I also got a bit done on the mini dinos (Compsoganthus--Compsoganthi?).  We got the first round of mache on about three of them--the first round is actually the hardest, as the mache is not super fond of being wrapped around duct tape.  It will work, just not easily--you have to layer them on a bit before it will stay in place.  The other thing I made sure of was that they dried on their sides.  On one of them last time, I had just propped him up on his feet--the wire moved enough that it warped the form a bit...then dried.  So this time they got dried with their feet in the air.  I still have quite a bit of mache to do--will try to work some in over the next week.  I've also been saving phone books to have a contrasting color--which should help to keep track of what layer I'm on.

Finished the first layer of mache for ALL the compys.  They definitely need another few layers, but I need to wait between layers to make sure they're completely dry and solid.  I also did another time lapse video on doing these last couple.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Qapla'! It was a good day to dye!

So today was full of highs and lows.  Some awesome moments followed by disappointments.  The bottom line is that we learned a lot and have a ways to go.  Our foray into ice dyeing fabric started out well.  We had 7 batches (4 large, 1 yard; 3 fat quarter) with 3 different types of ice: block, medium, and pebble.  We took lots and lots (and lots and lots) of notes and pictures at each stage, trying different methods and variables.  The ice melted in about 3-3 1/2 hours.  We washed them in cold water, then set them in a hot water wash with the recommended detergent.  Unfortunately, what resulted was for the fabric/dye to run together so that we ended up with a few different shades of similar greens.  Not useless (or ugly) by any means...but not nearly as awesome as when we first pulled them out of the dye.  So we're going to try a few different things.  Not washing it in SUPER hot water (our hot water is turned up), washing them separately, and re-dyeing some of the fabric.  But for a moment there, we had some really exciting results.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Compsoganthus 2 (wire form)

So because Sarah is coming over tomorrow to attempt ice dyeing (yay!) and help me with a bit of paper mache, I wanted to have all the compys ready to go.  Now SOMEWHERE I know that I have made 7 of these lil guys.  But could only find 5.  So I went ahead and made another one and this time I attempted another time lapse video.  Bit better than the last time--I had better settings, and most important a better stand so that it didn't fall over after a few minutes.  So.  Here is a time lapse video of making the basic form of these guys.

*as a side note, I find it kind of hilarious that throughout this whole thing, I look like grumpy cat when I'm concentrating/zoning out.