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In which I dig and sew leather and do electronics and take pictures - typical weekend really. - Tactical Ninja

Sep. 30th, 2013

10:04 am - In which I dig and sew leather and do electronics and take pictures - typical weekend really.

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This weekend Dr Wheel did DIY. He removed the door to our shed, planed it, and put a slide bolt with a lock on it. This means we now have a lockable outdoor storage area. Squee! We can get the tools sorted and I can bring my shearing gear home and and and...

I am getting all domesticated and suburban and shit, aren't I? ;-/

This post is quite long. It contains stuff with photos about what I got up to, as normal. But in an attempt not to bore the pants off people who aren't interested in one or the other topics, I've separated it into bits. Check it out:


On Saturday I deemed that the pumpkins and squash Michelle gave me when I shore her sheep were suitably hardened off for planting out, so I fashioned a frame from bits of branch that I'd cut down last week, and bunged them in the ground:



I'm not convinced that those branches will be strong enough to support the fully mature plants, but they'll do for the time being. The idea is that I train them up this rather than let them sprawl along the ground. Believe it or not, that part of the garden doesn't catch the wind too badly, so we shall see.

Then I got stuck into the rocky bit round the end of the driveway. It was all overgrown like the rest of the place so it was a repeat of pull weeds, dig over, freak out at the big hairy spider, find a bit of old rebar with my knuckles, add some compost and lo! A magically-transformed ugly bit:



We have a pair of blackbirds that have claimed our front garden for their own, and they seem to like when I dig the soil over because it makes it so much easier for them to scratch my plants out dig around for worms and slaters and hopefully the aforementioned big ugly spider. I also put in some lilies that were in pots at the apartment.



These are lily of the valley and are supposed to be shade-lovers, but I call bullshit on exactly how much shade they are supposed to love. They got all spindly and never flowered, and that says to me that they need more sun. The place I have put them will get quite a lot more sun, but a patch of shade will fall over them through the hottest part of the day. We shall see how that works out. Also, they'll have to toughen up and withstand some wind. They got bashed around Saturday, but lilies are hard to kill so I reckon they'll be ok eventually..

And then on Sunday Dr Wheel enabled me by taking me out to the big giant Bunnings in Lyall Bay and there may have been plants and well, you know how this goes right? So another 6 metre strip got dug over. This time I remembered to take a pic of what it looked like before:



The spade shows the length of the dug-over patch, and you can see my vague arrangements for how things ought to go so I know how much to dig. This is very much a piecemeal project and 6-10 metres a week will see it done by the end of October. I hope.



Planted! I can't remember the names of everything I planted this weekend but there are livingstone daisies and verbena and some little blue spready things and gazanias and two kinds of salvia and some pink things that get quite tall and two shrubs (one pink, one white) and statice and a rosemary of the bush variety because they are unkillable, and violas and some other daisy things and in a couple of months it should be all riotously colourful and hopefully there's enough perennials in there so that it stays gardeny-looking through winter too.

*cough* And then grist came round and I dragged him out to show him and while we were out there the lady across the road complimented me on how it looked and said nobody had done anything with that garden for years. So that was nice. ;-)

And then I planted some more seeds, because it's bloody addictive, this making things grow business.



So far we have spinach, broccoli, radishes, mesclun and sugar snaps actually coming up. I had a surreptitious dig in the beans and they are also coming up but taking a bit longer because they are big and grunty. I planted more of the vegies we're likely to eat the most of, and also some trays of stock, cosmos and sweet peas because they are good things for filling in gaps in the garden and flowers are pretty.

I'm also hardening off some broccoli, tomato and spinach seedlings for planting out next weekend. I see more digging in my future.



But you can't dig all the time, right? And I have a present to finish and the birthday was last Thursday. When we left this project, the gubbins were with grist who was transferring code onto the tiny microprocessor. He brought that back at the end of the week, and so my next mission was to make a wee pouch to carry the excess wire and battery:



Not the prettiest pouch I've ever made, but serviceable:



It's actually tidier than this, because the wires are tucked in better and it's all tied on firmly so it doesn't all stick out like that. That metal bit that's sticking up is the heatsink for the voltage regulator. I thought it'd be a good idea to have this reasonably free of hindrance and away from any potentially-melty bits. The heatsink for the Brainfart gets up to 80 degrees. Hopefully this one won't, but the leftover energy from dropping the voltage is dissipated as heat, so it'll get warm.

Anyway, after that I mounted the skull on the main staff (milestone!) using hot glue and also wire through the skull and strained around nails driven into the sides of the staff. Then the whole lot got covered with leather left over from that old leather jacket, and a thong wound around to hold it firm. Halfway down the shaft of the staff there's a sticky-outy bit where a branch used to be. I decided to attach a bone spur to that to make it look more weapony:



This is a bit taken from a bone carving my Mum made years ago. She used to do it for a living and when she died she left a few behind. This one is now part of a gift from me to pombagira, and I think it's neat that one of Mum's things went in there too. ;-)

So after that there was the attaching of pre-spun bits of slubbly wool and leather thonging to make a 'mane' that would cover up the electronic gubbins. This mostly involved hot glue and being very very careful.

Top tip: when the stand on your glue gun needs putting up so you can stick it in a small space, and you've a bit of art in one hand and the glue gun in the other, it's probably a good idea to look before using your chin to tip the stand up. Otherwise you'll have a hot glue shaped burn on your chin. No reason...

Anyway, then it was done and I took pictures because that's what you do, right?






[clicky to embiggen]


It's not finished yet. My rare earth magnets haven't arrived yet (I picture them having magneted onto the side of the postie van and gone unnoticed for days) so the ring isn't made - but that's a small job of maybe one evening. Also, the eyes are flickering a bit and I suspect a loose wire on the sensor, so I'm going to recheck those and see if I can get it working a bit more consistently.

But, so.close!



Just kidding.


We finished up our weekend watching comedy while Dr Wheel taught himself to iron shirts. First we watched a self-edited show by Louis CK. I found him somewhat amusing with some laugh-out-loud moments, similar in style to Bill Hicks but less depressingly overwhelmed and more vaguely offensive. I like the way he uses facial expression to convey humour and also he has a relatable style, as in I found myself going "Heh, I've thought that!"

But then, we found OMG new Bill Bailey! I mean, not new new, but one I hadn't seen yet. And in the contrast comedy battle, Bill Bailey wins hands down. The man is just a walking bundle of talent, and he can be hilariously funny without having to resort to stereotype gags and I love that about him. And the musical stuff is awesome. <3 Bill Bailey.

Any weekend that includes compliments from strangers and finishing a project and partner DIY, and ends with new Bill Bailey, is a good weekend.

Comments:

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From:pombagira
Date:September 29th, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
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aww man.. i was so expecting to see blood and gore and dead neighbours...

*pouts a little*


yay yorick he is awsomesause!!

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From:tatjna
Date:September 29th, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
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You should totally play Portal and then you'd see what really happens in the part where he kills you.

;-D
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From:crsg
Date:September 29th, 2013 11:10 pm (UTC)
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I've always especially loved Bill Bailey's musical stuff as well. His classical vs. cockney music sketch is still one of my absolute favourites. XD
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From:tatjna
Date:September 29th, 2013 11:14 pm (UTC)
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Last night's show included using medieval 'hey nonny nonny' plinking as a backing track for porn dialogue. It was brilliant.
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From:pickleboot
Date:September 30th, 2013 10:18 am (UTC)
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wow, yorick looks great. i keep on thinking i have some beads that would look great with him, and sure enough, if you do another similar one, i do. i made them in college(we had to make beads as part of a necklace project, and i liked making them so much i would make them in my spare time) and have loads of different ones. since i had to pull most of my gear out to fix our fence(yay for welding! my torch set up can work for a welding torch in a pinch) i think i might use some fire bricks on the patio to make buttons and a few other things in my pitch pot and over some shaping stakes and dapping punches this week since i have the gasses all filled up.

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From:tatjna
Date:September 30th, 2013 07:16 pm (UTC)
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I would love to see photos of what you make! ;-)
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From:pickleboot
Date:September 30th, 2013 08:23 pm (UTC)
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i need to make "frog" closures for a cardigan i knit about 2 years ago that was supposed to have a zipper but since it is now way too big for me(damned weight loss) i figured if i made fancy buttons/frogs for it out of silver i might be able to sell it or gift it to someone. or i might wear it or share it with rei. i put so much work into it and i do have yarn to knit another as i know what i want to do to change the pattern(add some knot work/cables in the center of the back, restructure the hood) or just knit something from one of the old books my m-i-l jan sent me a few years ago. she has amazing op/charity shop luck.

but yes, i will post photos. i had stuff out to clean last night and the neighbor's brother is making me a portable drum filled with concrete to hold the forming stakes so i don't have to rig them up with saw horses! so excited!
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From:kotturinn
Date:September 30th, 2013 12:06 pm (UTC)
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'tis great to see the garden project. Fingers crossed all seeds germinate and all plants grow! Also, Yorick is tremendous!
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From:tatjna
Date:September 30th, 2013 07:16 pm (UTC)
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If they all do grow I will have to do even more digging! ;-)
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From:pundigrion
Date:October 8th, 2013 10:35 pm (UTC)
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Yorick is looking awesome!

Also my lily-of-the-valley don't like full shade either and tend to march straight away from it. Putting them in a bit of shade is good though since it slows down their world domination schemes. IME it isn't too much sun that makes them go all brown and spotty early on, rather lack of water. They hate being dry.
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