Monthly Archives: August 2013

First Day of School, 2013

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More Watercolor Sketches

Did some more sketching lately. The first is of a seagull that was hanging out with Lori on the balcony when we were in San Diego. The second is Lori in front of a bunch of flowers at San Diego Zoo. The third is an autumn view from Frankenstein Cliff in the White Mountains. And the last is something I saw in downtown Newburyport last week.

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Kung-Fu at Echo Lake

Lori took our kids plus their cousin Ryan up north last week. Here are a couple of pics from a day they spent at Echo Lake. I love the pic of Carter and Ryan - but I really love the second pic! It looks like a Kung-Fu battle is about to go down!

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Took a day off last week and went into downtown Newburyport to walk around. I've never been down there before - it's a nice spot. There were all kinds of sailboats in the harbor, and the buildings were the typical New England coastal city style - lots and lots of brick.

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Mt. Chocorua

Hiked up Mt. Chocorua with Lori, Dad, Andi, and Aaron today. We got an early start, and had an absolutely beautiful day. There were lots of people on the trail on the way back down, though. A little too crowded for my tastes. Still, you can tell that Dugan sure had a good time!

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Multi-Uke Hanger – Getting Started

I've started on the carved multi-uke hanger I mentioned a little while back. I found a nice wide mahogany board, printed out my pattern and used spray adhesive to stick it down. Then I started carving the first flower and leaf. I've got a lot to learn, but this project seems totally doable. It will take a while, but it's sort of a relaxing activity. I'm in no rush to finish it, so I'm just going to chip away at it as the mood strikes.

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I've been waiting for the lacquer to cure on the cherry soprano uke before I can finish it up. While I've been waiting, I started working on something I saw in a recent issue of Make magazine - a banjolele. It's a cross between a ukuelele and a banjo, as you might have guessed. It is essentially a ukulele with a metal resonator rather than a wooden body. It was super quick to build - only took a half-dozen hours on a weekend - and is pretty fun to play. I figure the whole thing cost me maybe $30, and it sounds surprisingly good too. There is no proper fretboard - the frets are just laid right into the neck itself (which is some leftover quartersawn cherry I had lying around). The resonator is just a pair of aluminum cake pans!

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Day at the Beach

Lori and the kids went to visit a friend who was renting a house at the beach. The kids all worked together to bury Sean in the sand.

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Multi-Ukulele Wall Hanger

Now that I've been finishing some of the new ukuleles - and I've got plans to build a couple more - I need to come up with a wall hanger that can hold more than one uke. I've seen a few online, but for the most part they are pretty boring - just a long board with multiple hanger hooks screwed into it. I had this idea to do a bunch of Hawaiian flowers in a sort of flowing, irregular blob-ish shape, and relief carve them into one 4-5 foot board and then add four or so hangers to that. I've always wanted to give relief carving a try, so I figured here was a decent excuse. Below is the pattern I put together in Photoshop. I've ordered my tools already. I'm going to try and post pics as the project progresses, so you can see the process as I go. This will be my first time - so I suspect I will do some things that aren't quite the normal way to do it, but it should be a lot of fun!

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More Sketches

I've been sketching a lot lately, and decided it was time for an update. These first two are a couple of watercolors I did recently. The one on the left is from Maudslay State Park while the Rhododendrons were in bloom. The one on the right is a duck Lori and I saw at the San Diego zoo, just wandering around on the walkway.

These next two are just pencil sketches. The one on the left is a church we saw in La Jolla, while wandering around town. The one on the right I call "old man Ryan" - it's a drawing of my nephew in his big winter coat, but for some reason every time I try to draw one of the kids' faces they always end up looking a lot older than they actually are. I think it might be that I'm not drawing their faces wide enough for kid proportions - but I'm not sure.

This last one is a pencil sketch of a tortoise we saw at the San Diego zoo - the sketch doesn't get across the size of this thing, though. He was big enough that I could have climbed on his back and taken a ride around his enclosure - my feet might have touched the ground, but not by much.

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