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February Soaps

I’m cheating a little.  I didn’t make all of these soaps just now, but I did re-take all my photos of them.  The Sandalwood & Rose clay is a new soap.  I was experimenting with madder root for color, thinking I’d get a pale pink and wanted a darker red swirl inside it.  That was the plan… but I had some separation from high temperatures and wound up having to hot process the soap and the swirl was destroyed.  C’est la vie.  On the plus side, it will be ready to use much sooner.   I still want this to count as something creative, but is it 1 new thing (sandalwood soap), 2 new things (soap & photos) or 7 new things? (soap + 6 photos?)  I’ll go for 2.  #21-22/365.

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My daughter found a website that will read blocks of text to you. She’s composing an essay and letting various actors read it back to her like a live audition. But I knew that I needed a Scottish accent! A bit of  searching and I found one that we can’t use for longer blocks, but there is a quick demo.

I’m trying to decide if there is some creative way to use this for our next RPG session.

We need to get one of the voice actors from ‘Honest Trailers’ to do a voice bank.

Update: it has been pointed out that my computer can download various accents for its own text to voice

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Mousetrap cars

I lead a 4-H club that is mostly devoted to hiking, kayaking and general outdoorsy stuff, but we sometime dabble in some kid-size engineering projects. In the past we’ve built pop-pop boats and a pumpkin-hurling trebuchet. This week I built a prototype mousetrap car.  The kids tested and critiqued the design and will have a month to build their own version and race them when we meet again.

I’ll get some video of the race next month.  I was able to get the still shot on the right because my duct tape construction method was failing and so the boom arm was no longer exerting enough force to move the rear wheels.

Back in 2002 I was backing up my computer to CD – this seems like a good use for that stack of old backups.


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A Forest in the Making

I made another tree with a more oak-tree shape than my first. The ferns are present, plus a few of the little ferns that grow on the trunks of trees in the rainforest.  This oak had a large horizontal branch that needed some owls.


The first owls were based off a movie – but I wanted to draw my own version this time.   As it turned out the cartoon owls looked the way they did for a good reason: this is just what owls look like.  My own owls are very similar. If I change anything it will to make the eye edges more distinct from the white face and perhaps to make the feet more fuzzy.