Things I’ve been up to:
- I refinished another bike seat. You might remember the previous (first!) seat I did a few months ago, but this was a much better job. I learned a bunch on the last one, and I was able to do a much cleaner job on this round. We’ll see how it holds up, now.
- I wrote a tweet.
Let’s put aside the unfortunate typo, shall we? Actually, I relayed in a tweet something my wife does many times a day- which is to make a remarkably smart offhanded comment about something. In the two days since, it’s kind of slow-burned across twitter. It was meant as a quick jab back at the ALL STEM ALL THE TIME mentality. I’m finding that pretty toxic myself- all the stress on tech and science can (and has, I’d argue) led to technically amazing things with no moral/ethical thought. Facebook, for example. Totally amazing what they can do, and clearly without morals about doing it. Heck, twitter itself falls into that category. There’s a reason “Humanities” has the word “Human” in it, as we neglect those subjects at our own peril as a species.
- I’ve been making bike riding videos over here. They’re short, to begin with (I’ve aimed for Instagram as a primary posting spot right now, and that’s capped at 60 seconds…) As much as anything, this is a way to keep pushing creatively. Like anything else, without practicing, creativity drops off, so I’m sharing my practice. If you care, they’re entirely (thus far) shot with my cell phone.
- Did you know you can buy brand-new typewriter ribbons on Amazon? True story.
I’ve not done a SitRep in a while, from the look of my archives. Time to make a list!
- So the OBS software that I highlighted a few weeks ago is pretty rad. It’s not the most stable bit of kit when you lean on it hard, but it can do some fun stuff. I worked out some animated lower-third graphics and got those working, so that’s neat. I’ve no personal plans for this right now, but it’s good to have in my back pocket.
- I’m running Spectacle on my Mac now- it’s a utility add-on that gives you hot keys to manage windows and screen real estate. So now I can mash a key combination and make a window hop to the other screen, or take up exactly half of a screen on the left side, or the top third, or whatever. Super useful for when you’re juggling lots of windows (and I often am).
- As you can tell from my last few posts here, I’ve been shooting more video and making little edits from them. Mostly of my riding bikes, for now, but it’s good to be thinking about framing and shots and whatnot, as that always seems to stoke my creative problem solving in other parts of my world. It’s like lifting weights for creativity.
- I’m working on a bike project outlined here. I’m getting slowed at the moment by missing some stupid little parts (shifter cable housing, electrical tape, bar tape, etc), and from having to swap the bike to a different rear wheel. Anyway.
Vacation is over, now- so it’s time to get back to projects.
- Shoulder bag v4 is officially in the works. I finished making the pattern, and I’ve cut most of the major panels. The bottom and sides are one piece, and I’ve laminated the padding and fabric together- lining will go on next. Nearly all the hardware is pulled and ready, so I should be able to make steady progress.
- My shoe re-soling project is done, too. I didn’t have the amazingly heavy-duty belt sanders that cobblers use to flatten soles, so there was a lot of handwork to be done. That said, I’ve worn them a bunch since and they seem to be holding up well. I got a bit lucky, as the distressed esthetic of the shoes themselves lends well to the slightly less… perfect… finish I achieved. Regardless, they’re lovely and back in service.
- The store is still there, but there’s also still nothing to actually buy in it- yet. V2 of the Chaordic Path Patch is still there and looking good, but I’m not quite there to send it off to production. Yet. YET.
- Two shoe projects remain: a pair made from scratch for my wife, and a pair modified for me. I nearly had a pair to modify the other day- they were a half-size too small, and that wouldn’t do. So: still in the hunt, here. Also still looking for a better sole/midsole combo material for the scratch built pair.
If you’re the one person who follows my SitReps here, you might be aware that I’v been working on designs for a new shoulder bag for some time. I’ve been edging steadily closer for the last few months, but it’s never come fully to the front of my list of projects.
It is now.
I’d like to have it ready for the Autumn, but that means starting to work on it now. It’ll take time to get materials in, make patterns, cut & sew, and finish. If I don’t start soon, I won’t be ready for the cool weather.
So the other night I sat down in the basement studio to sketch some- I had some ideas and design criteria, but I wanted to flesh things out. I’ll need detailed dimensional drawings soon, but first I need to understand the construction. Pencil and paper in hand, I got to work. Which is when the eldest child (8.5) rolled up next to me on her own chair to “help.”
And you know what? She totally did. She started asking really interesting questions about how things would work and how the bag should look and behave. And as I drew, she kept asking these amazing questions- and the sketches kept coming and getting better. And now, after a bit of that, I’ve got the best design I’ve come up with in a good long while. It’s amazing what someone unafraid of asking questions can do for the creation process.
Slowly Getting Things Done (SGTD®)
- Shoe resole project is done. Shoes have been worn and didn’t even fall apart or anything. They definitely weigh more (what with all the rubber I’ve added…), but they’re totally comfortable and ready for the autumn.
- Bike #2 (the Burrito Slayer) is completely ready for my vacation next week. Pedals got swapped, and I even managed to ride it on a bit of a shakedown- so that’s great. I’d love to eventually swap the handlebar, but that’s nothing like a priority.
- Nearly all the picture framing queue has been dealt with- there are two longer-range items that need frames, but for now much of the backlog has been dealt with. A bit of hanging to do as a result, but that’s mostly fun. It’s good to have much of the collection finally up on walls to be seen.
- New shoulder bag design is making progress. I’ve had a couple of good ideas about straps and modularity, so I’m slowly getting towards being ready to source materials and start cutting. I’m still aiming for a very different esthetic than some of my other bag builds, and I’m trying (!) to mostly work with what I’ve got around here already (instead of some god-awful huge order of all-new stuff).
- My new store is (slowly) coming along. I’ve re-designed the first patch offering there (which still isn’t for sale…) after reading some more about the process. Much of the text I’d originally included was going to be far too small to work, so I’ve removed much of it. The result, I think, is less complicated and better on the whole. I’m not entirely ready to pull the trigger on production yet, but closer.