Thursday, May 3, 2012

Etching Brass

My partner and I were having a talk about possibilities of things to make from the drawings I had been doing.  My partner is an electronics maker and has experience with making circuit boards.  Making them involves a bit of etching with chemicals of the copper on the boards.  He suggest we make an one of my drawings into an etched brass "thingy."
First Step above:  Take the image and size it as well as give it thicker, solid lines and touch it up in general.

Second Step:  Put the drawing on some Brass, this is done with a laser printed and some transfer paper (for this kind of thing).

Third Step:  Apply some Green stuff that is an extra barrier on top of the scan.  This photo (above) is the back of the piece which is solid.

Fourth Step:  Make some Etching stuff up and then stand there for almost 2 hrs etching it.  Partner is currently working on a spray etcher to get the process down to 10-15 minuters for up to 50 pieces...

Ohhhh, its almost there!

And done! This photo shows the hand put inside its outer shape.

Voila! Brilliantly Awesome Hand!  Yeh-hes!  Polished up with Ajax!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Like Packet Cake!

Yep! I do really like Packet Cake Mix. Now don't string me up too quickly. I am the first to admit that a lot of packet cake mix does taste a little bit like poison mixed with acid, flour and sugar. I usually just buy the 79c (of is it 69c) HomeBrand cake mix in the vanilla or buttercake. They are great to use as a base when you are doing something where it isn't just a cake. I used a Buttercake mix to make an apple crumb cake. I cooked my own apples and made my own crumb mix and even made custard (it was packet custard though, heck from scratch stovetop custard is poop!) Or Lemon Curd Butterfly Cakes. I made the curd from scratch (and tbh Lemon Butter tastes nicer) and whipped cream and cut out all those cakes.

I only have so much free time, and I like to make more fiddly recipes, so cake from scratch isnt worth the time when a packet mix is an okay stand in.

Two weeks ago Mum picked up two new Packet Mixes from Woolworths, Duncan Hines Brand. This Brand is American, with instructions in both English and Spanish.

She made the Chocolate ones (a crap load of cupcakes!) first. My gosh, these are the best chocolate cakes I have had! The most wonderful thing is how light they are. They were just stunningly light and airy and yet moist and delicious. Mum didn't put on icing and I wouldn't recommend it, icing would ruin them. If you like something with your cake just a dollop of fresh cream.

Today she did the vanilla, as pictured. This cake isnt as nice as the chocolate one but it is still amazingly light and airy yet moist.

In particularly like that the recipe calls for three eggs. From baking with Silkie Eggs I learned that adding extra yolk (silkie eggs are half the weight of regular chook eggs, but the yolk is almost as big, so in baking you'd use two eggs which would give you double yolk) gives a very moist cake.

Anyone else out there like a good Packet Cake Mix? And what are your favourite brands and types?

Friday, February 24, 2012

In Memory of Pinchy

Pinchy, my pigeon, died not too long ago.

We had Pinch for 7 years. Pinchy was found by my mum on the footpath when she was heading to school to pick up my sister. We dont know what happened to Pinchy to be lying there but it was suspected he may have been attacked by a hawk. Pinch never recovered the full abilities of his legs and wings and was disabled for the 7 years we had him.

Pinchy and I used to have afternoon naps on the couch. He really loved those naps and would get grumpy when I would wake him up to put him away. He sat beside me on the couch while I watched Prisoner and did my needlefelting and the dog would sometimes bring him her toys to show off.

As with most birds and most animals, Pinchy was more bonded with me than anyone else. Pinchy was a pretty good friend to have. Even if he did encourage me to nap for hours on the couch.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On Making Hearts.

The first time I made my old style of heart I was pretty happy with the result. I think the heart was the 2nd or 3rd Body Part I tried to make and the image I worked off was an easier one.

Hearts are one of those things where everyone seems to represent them differently and concentrate on different elements being important. Sometimes it the fat on the front you see first, sometimes its the valves, sometimes the whole heart is all about the veins and arteries feeding it.

I based my new heart design on a diagram that showed the veins and arteries, the chambers and to a lesser extent the valves (they are just kinda hinted at if you know where to look. This New Heart has only been twice and the first two are gifts for a cardiologist and heart surgeon. I hope they love them!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cocoon Caterpillar Friends

I wish I knew what these caterpillars in these cocoons were. I know they are caterpillars who make a cocoon and carry it about with themselves, but I'd like to know their name and what their story is. Why they are carrying around these cocoony caravans?

These caterpillar are pretty tiny, about 1-2mm width each, and the cocoons are 1-1.5cms long with holes at each end (easy to change your direction). They hang out in the downstairs bathroom and come out mostly at night. The night I took this photo there were 6 of them visible. I always move them out of the way of the foot traffic but I'm sure they just hump along back to wherever they were.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm Baaaack.

It certainly has been a L O N G time since I wrote on this blog, heck, the last time was June 6 2010! I have decided to start using it again this year, and for my first new post, a competition! YAY!

The prize is the Sebastian Ghastly Brooch, and the Umbrella Necklace shown in the photo. Who can resist Sebastian Ghastly, this guy is super awesome, look at him preen his footsy. The Umbrella is drawn by me on calico and fixed to felt with a ribbon loop to attach the charm to the nacklace.

To win these just leave a comment. I will randomly choose the winner on Feb 1.

This competition is open to everyone worldwide!