Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Development

Oh No!  
The grass in the backyard has turned brown and is actually smoking.  
The ground seems to be sinking.  
And the scent of sulfur is getting stronger.  

Is it possible the volcano is right in my own backyard?

Smoking!  Here's a night time shot.  Certainly seems to be warming up.  I think I need some marshmallows!

Stay posted......

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Definitely some shaking and quaking

Perhaps it is my imagination, but today I could swear I heard some rumblings coming from my feet up to my fillings.  Did you feel it too?

Most likely it is just my imagination.  There are no volcanoes growing under Florida.  Everybody knows it is just limestone, sand and water.  Isn't it?


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Volcanoes on the horizon


It's been a long time between entries.  Not strictly puppet related, but I heard a rumor that this summer Volcanoes may thrust through the earth's crust and change the geography (not to mention the geology) of South Florida!

If I see any, I'll be sure to let you know.

If we're not incinerated, I plan to explore the blogging world a little.  I bet Blogger has added a few features since I was last here.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Costume - Mermaid and Sea Turtle

This year Lauren wanted to be a Mermaid riding a Sea Turtle.

Take a look...

Styrofoam blocks
White Glue
Brown Paper
PVC tubing
Electrical Conduit
1/4" threaded rod
1/4 - 20 bolts and washers
Painting drop cloths
An old stroller
Hot Glue
Home Depot returns paint
Some spray gold glitter
Plastic cat litter bucket
Zip Ties
Mermaid fabric
Foam Sheet

I used 2 runs of conduit.  The conduit is bent around to itself, using connector fittings.
The 2 oval loops of conduit are joined using the threaded rod.  The rod is long enough for the head (cat liter bucket) to swing freely.
The foam sheets are cut in the shape of flippers and covered with paper mache.  I made an error on the front flippers.  They are not balanced correctly and they are pulling themselves apart.  I retrofitted some cord to take some of the weight, but they droop a little.
The flippers and head use PVC tubing to protect them from the threaded rod.
I took one painters drop cloth and added 1/4" grommets.  This is hung on the top oval and is painted to be the turtle's body (green) and also the ocean (blue).
The other painter's drop cloth is hot glued over a cardboard turtle shell.  It is not attached to the puppet but it sits on top of the oval frame.
The dowel is cut to fit inside the turtle, two holes were drilled to match up with the stroller frame and it was zip tied to the stroller.  If the turtle has to be taken apart (to fit into a mini van) the zip ties are snipped and the body is lifted off.  The back end of the turtle's frame is tied to the stroller as an additional balancing mechanism.

Anyway if you have any questions about building it, please drop me a note and I'll try to be more clear in describing it.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Buying an Iron

I own an iron. Debbie's grandmother gave us an iron when we got married. It's an old iron. It spits, the iron part (research says it's called a sole plate) is stained, scratched and sticky, it's heavy and it's time for it to go.

I looked at irons (very confusing)
  1. They look pretty much the same.
  2. Nobody in the store stops by to help.
  3. Some are very cheap.
  4. Some are crazy expensive.
I asked for advice (very conflicting):
  1. Get one you can afford.
  2. Get the cheapest one you can.
  3. You don't need a professional iron for what you do.
I looked online (not timely)
  1. Expensive = best
  2. Reviewers say "I loved it", "I hated it.", "It's OK."
  3. Best models are no longer manufactured.
  4. Current models do not have same specifications as the reviewed models, even with the same model number.
  5. Brick & Mortar stores don't carry the reviewed models.
  6. Not all reviews have a date of publication.
So I bought one to try. I checked it's reviews online. It was not a popular model! I tried it anyway and I found the online reviewer was pretty spot on.
  1. It was heavy.
  2. The indicator light only told me it was plugged in.
  3. The steam blast didn't work very well.
  4. The temperature controller was under the handle and it was very difficult to see what it was set on. (especially with my eyes)
So I returned it (BrandsMart in Sawgrass Mall). Actually it was really easy to bring back, no questions asked and here's your money!

Then I went back to read more reviews and decided to get a Black & Decker F1060. The review said it was a great buy. It's cheap (about $20). It is rated at 1500 Watts and it performed better than the highly recommended $80 iron. The review said it has a small water reserve and needed to be refilled for big jobs. It also said some people reported leaking and breaking after 2 or 3 months (we'll see).
After exploring 3 stores I found it in Walmart. It is currently rated at 1200 Watts. The other stores only had the F1055. Even though the model numbers are different they seem to be exactly the same. I finally found a review saying that they are exactly the same, but are different colors (mine's green). Even the guys in the Black and Decker discount store didn't know that!

I just gave it a test run this morning. It works great. It does need to be refilled frequently. There was plenty of steam. I'm psyched! This year we'll have ironed shirts and pants, my puppet drapes will not be so wrinkled and I hope that the boost in self image and self confidence is going to do great things for us. (I can dream can't I?)

Now the question of what to do with granny's old iron needs to be pondered. Keep it for an emergency spare or take that step in removing clutter and freeing up a small amount of storage space and toss it into next week's trash......What do you think? I'll be happy to ship it to you, but you have to pay for the shipping!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Some simple puppet making Web Sites

From this BLOG - http://ittybittybookworms.blogspot.com/2010/02/p-is-for-puppet.html

 Web Sites
How to Make a Puppet from an Old Stuffed Toy 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Toy Theater

I have been busy with things. Here is one of them - a Toy Theater made from office supply materials.

I have a few more photos that you can see in this album: