Making, Crafting, Creating... aka Whatcha workin' on?


I started working on one of Ruby, while the big painting is drying, for an example of how they could look. This one’s 10X10, in a diamond pattern. 3 1/2 hours progress, in an alla prima style. Figured I should break until morning or I’ll fudge something up royally.
Pores, finer sculpting, and whiskers tomorrow.




I’m working on my latest webcomic, the graphic biography of David Bowie. I’m already 100 episodes in and it’s so meticulous that I’ve only reached 1960 at this point!
You can check out updates on my page:


Getting close to finished. I’ll be done tonight. Her coat is so full of neutral colors, I thought I’d perk it up a bit with some coral matched with her nose.


In my quest to find uses for lesser Raspberry Pi 2s that have been replaced by 3s, I needed some speaker output. Rather than order a perfectly good Adafruit amp module, I decided to see what I could re-purpose from the local discount warehouse.

Portable Bluetooth speakers are everywhere, so older non-Bluetooth ones are sliding down the price scale. These “Splash” speakers, in fuggly green or purple, take audio and deliver surprising output (3W), powered/charged by USB. In ~$6 range depending on the clearance sale.

Naturally I dissected one. Board date stamp is 9/2012. The main board has an op amp, stereo jack (only right channel used), USB mini for power, a blue LED that could be used for emergency lighting, The 3.7V 320mAh battery unit seems to have all the power/charging/volt-shift stuff included. (I haven’t explored with a multi-meter yet to see what’s going on.) There are a couple of diodes on the main board, probably to prevent back-feeding to USB connection.

I tried driving it from a Pi, via a USB sound card, sending the amp output to a Radio Shack Minimus-7 speaker, and it wasn’t bad. Not head-banger, but loud enough for me.

Meanwhile, the grill fits nicely into a sanitary tee of 1.5" PVC tubing. I won’t be mounting them that deep, but exactly how will depend on what I can find. (A 2" brass washer with 1.5" inner hole would be perfect.)

The Pi, screen and power bank will fit into a 3" PVC piece. Still thinking about it, but hopefully the end result will look like Captain Nemo’s Atari.

ETA: The thing about PVC bits is that a piece that accepts 3" inner diameter pipe will have 3.5" inner diameter female hub connectors to fit it. A 1.5" bit will have 2" hubs. Some bits have male (pipe) connectors, but it’s mainly hubs. Go to Home Depot and see what they have. When the guy asks what you’re looking for, tell him it’s for a Victorian retro-science fiction computer project. No problem!


Surely any gentleman’s calculating device would have copper or brass fittings and tubes? Admittedly finding those in 3" these days may be more difficult than it used to be?


I did see a set of small brass knobs/caps that should look nice around the circumference of main tube, mounted on the shafts of push switches. (The display has 4 switches on it, but as they’ll be behind a 3.5" magnifying glass on the front, not much use.) Careful use of paint might make the PVC look brass-like, but that’ll mean building it, taking it apart to paint it and putting it back together again. Frivolity is a stern taskmaster.

Hmm. Do you think TSA would have a problem with it in my carry-on?


I need to check out this thread more. I finally did something other than wish I was doing something.

Kiddo loves garnets, after her favorite character on the show Steven Universe. So grandma got her some strands of beads for her birthday. We finally went to the store and got the bits and wire to make them into jewelry. She picked out an apple charm for the necklace, as her pre-birth name was Apple Seed. I think I did pretty good for my first time. Found magnetic clasps to make them real easy to put on too. And with extra split rings I can always make them bigger later.

The Unicorn book I found at an estate sale, put the cover in mylar, and gave it to her. It had some really neat pics of unicorn art through the ages across many cultures.


I love Stephen Universe and Garnet!


I made her a costume last year for Halloween.


The baby blanket that took waaayyy too long is finally done, and was delivered to our [gulp] granddaughter this weekend:


I have a couple in progress that are not commissions, so I have time to work on them.
Here is my neighbor again. I’ve managed to resolve a couple of issues that were bothering me with the face.

As always, it’s hard to sell no matter how good my efforts. I tried going to paint on location in La Jolla Cove, but out of seven days I had many positive comments and zero potential sales. The main thing on anyone’s mind seemed to be about what gallery I was part of. Of which there are none. Pulling hair out.

If anyone knows anyone who’s in the market for some art, please contact me. I have some beautiful shots of Seal Rock and the beach/cove I can use. Or I can paint your choice of subject matter.
I’m needing to make up a $300 deficit in the next few hours that 2 or 3 initial deposits could cover (or if someone just felt like paying the total up front) so I don’t get kicked out of my apartment.

ETA: I always want my customers to know that it is not necessary to pay all at once. Often, the greats were paid in installments.


Speaker transformation complete, and it sounds a lot better. A terribly-cute $3 Dollarama speaker to a PVC pipe case conversion. (Getting a picture of it is like the interior of the Disaster Area stunt ship: It’s black.) A little extra glue still to remove.

I picked up a can of Rust-oleum primer/paint Antique Brass. I’ll try that on a test PVC piece before doing the Pi case. I suspect that I’ll want a clear flat protective coating over that, but let’s see.

It almost has a Dalek style, but I’m not going to glue shiny hemispheres on it.


Awesome work!


Ruby is finished. I’ve been talking to a guy in Tijuana who’s been hemming and hawing over $350 for a medium-sized painting of Frida Kahlo (apparently in my own style, his idea, won’t that be interesting?), but I need money now. I’m down to half a packet of black beans and half a bag of rice with no relief in sight.
Anyway, the Frida Kahlo inspiration put me in mind of a better color scheme and title, Ruby y Rosas.

I can’t really do better on the whiskers. My hands are naturally shaky.

ETA: Whew! I just received an offer for a project, so we’ll see if they accept. Buyer will remain anonymous for now. It involves kitties! :smile_cat:

ETA: Yes, we have a small commission. There will be food on the table for a while. :blush:


My kid made a freakin quilt! She’s like some pioneer woman all up in here. I will have to get a pic later.


Please do! Your kid is excellent! Good dadding over there!


I didn’t have anything to do with. I haven’t even gotten to see it yet. But it looks like she did a pretty good job. She took a week long sewing “camp”. I guess she said the lady was sorta grumpy (not really to her), but she learned a lot.


So here’s one that’s been long overdue. This new medication is helping a bit, and I’m becoming more productive again.

My friend’s dog, Lacey, who lives in eastern New York state. Credit to my friend, who captured an awesome image to send me. This is about 15 or so hours’ work over the last few days, with just a few adjustments left to make. The smallest canvas I can stretch myself and feel good about at 15" X 15". I’m sticking to wood panels for smaller sizes.
I’m really happy with that juncture of the paw and the cheek, as I’m trying to become more trustful of my initial gut instinct and let my expressive side control the brush rather than trying to be Eakins-accurate. The color is coming out very nicely, though it’s hard to see the nuances/sheen of the light reflected off the fur in this photo.


I have two small panels to do, but waiting on supplies and a reference photo for the latest commission, so I took advantage of the downtime to make one from a photo I found in my camera roll on my phone.
This one is a cat that belongs to a guy whose home I couchsurfed on my way west on my bicycle trip. She took a gorgeous photo, but I think the painting will be just as beautiful. Here’s to a good start.


This is the most beautiful bike I have ever seen. Great work.

Reminds me of Steve Robert’s Winnebiko and Behemoth.

The '80s. Even the '90s.
Never thought I’d ever be saying this but dang I miss 'em.

Speaking of the '90s, I got a chance to ride in one of these:
while I was in Switzerland in the '90s. Fun! Not too laggy on hills because of the power assist.

ETA: typo (argh)