Sunday, August 25, 2013

angry strongo #39 the new wallet

I normally don't write about my Angry Strongo comics but this one is rare for two reasons. First, Angry really isn't hassled throughout the entire comic. It ends well with him getting what he pays for, rare indeed!. Second, I really do love my new paper wallet! This thing is awesome. My d.i.y. blank mighty wallet by DYNOMIGHTY DESIGN was well worth the $15 (free shipping!!!). I was skeptical at first because I did think I could build one like it. After getting it, I was instantly sure I couldn't pull it off nearly as well. There's nothing worse than paying for something you could do on your own with a little bit of effort. This wasn't one of those times.

The worst thing about ordering the blank version was what to draw on it (also, DON'T MESS IT UP!!!!!). The Tyvek material doesn't bleed much when the Sharpie hits it which allowed for some stress relief. I decided that Angry should be on the wallet with him presenting his proudly. I do have to find some Sharpies with those odd colors so I can finish the coloring. 

Inside, I let my kids sign it with a small date in the corner. Clare (4 yrs old) hasn't had many reasons to write her name this summer. She'll have her lower case "a" back on track in no time!

Also, a big "thanks" to Sarah (my sister-in-law) and her boyfriend, Luke, for showing me these wallets online. BIG thanks!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

hand painted signs everywhere!!!!!

It was my first experience at Knoebels. It has been around since 1926 and has done a fantastic job of retaining some of that antique charm (without seeming rundown). It has also survived about a half dozen floods....not sure how!

Small stone cottage that sells fudge/candy apples/ etc. inside. Very cool. Would live here in a heartbeat (if it was closer to my job).

My children loved the rides and all of the interesting things to see. The older the ride, the more they seemed to enjoy it. 

Self-propelled rail cars.

As a "flatlander" up here in northern PA, the park reminded me of what Lakemont Park used to feel like back in my hometown of Altoona. Lakemont had huge trees when I was a young boy and rides packed together as well. It had large picnic areas and an enormous swimming pool. It also made an effort to keep a classic charm about it (now, after chopping down all the old trees, it is almost all new and lacks any historical charm!  booo!!!! hisss!!!)

random cool old stuff

Our family will make this a yearly adventure!!!! (maybe twice!)

almost forgot....some hand painted signs!!!! (too many to show from the park, so here's just a taste!)


Monday, August 19, 2013

i'm not bitter but i sure have soured

This idea has been on the cork board for about half a year. I drew several attempts that left me feeling flat about the whole affair. I knew I liked the wording but couldn't get a visual that didn't totally stink. I put it on Society6 last evening.

I wanted it to look like a lousy piece of candy....the kind you would have to read first and not just trust the coloring/design and gobble it down. Other than that, I haven't much to say.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

local font find #13

On our trip to the Museum of Play in Rochester, we stopped in Dansville for a doughnut and a drink. Upon exiting the vehicle, I noticed this gem of a sign at the nearby strip mall. 

I can image what the conversation was like at the sign shop when this business person was looking to have a sign built for his/her shop. Maybe something like this...."I need a sign. I've gotta go to Walmart, I trust that you can knock somethin' out by the time I get back. Oh, and I ain't got much cash since I'm startin' this here shop and all so keep it cheap. Thanks!" 

The signmaker (a loosely used term) then put down his low grade bottle of gin and got to work. Type out the letters. Stretch them vertically so they fill the space. Three minutes later he was weeding out the cut vinyl and transferring it onto the plexi. Everyone involved was satisfied. Low expectations earn you low quality service. 

If that lousy "I" has hidden meaning, they should let us all in on it... it's hideous! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

slow and steady loses the sprint

It has been some time since my last little bit of design for my stuff over at society6. I am constantly thinking about some future designs, either images or strange sayings. 
In my youth, running and jumping meant the world to me. Being fast and being able to jump over things others couldn't became part of my self-identity. I remember being very bothered by the story of The Tortoise and the Hair. That rabbit could have destroyed that turtle if he just would have pushed on....ATTACKED the moment!!! In my book, this was a race! SIMPLE! A chance to show your stuff! Nope, he took it easy and was forever remembered as a slowpoke. I have never ran a sprint or distance race with that mentality. Slow and steady wins the race?!? Slow and Steady gets you crushed!!!! I heard that saying a bunch in my never made sense and it still doesn't. I know what people are getting at when they say it, but, come on!, how about GO HARD till the FINISH LINE!
Anywho, this design had these things in mind as I drew it all out. 

The background is the back of a book on ants from the late sixties. I noticed it while browsing about my wife's art classroom. As soon as I saw it, I knew I'd use it for something.

Friday, August 2, 2013

old barn wood is cool...WAY COOL!

I am constantly looking for ideas for birthday gifts for my folks. They live in Florida...this creates a problem...What do they need?!?!? You can always use a hand made sign from your youngest son! YES, a dock sign to greet all their canal-traveling visitors. With this solid tidbit of knowledge, I set out to build one. 

My father-in-law, Mr. Burrous, wrangled up some terrifically aged barn boards.

I pulled two of the 4 boards that were of similar thickness, length and grain weathering. I lined up the nail holes on the left side and ripped them at about 43 inches wide (making the sign 24x43.5). I was beginning to feel quite good about the whole thing at this early stage...very rare indeed.

I ripped two thin strips to use as bracing on the back. I really liked how the back looked at this stage....also very rare.

I had to decide on a fish for the central theme. We were given this book while on vacation down in FLA a few months ago.

There were several options for the fish. Redfish...Snook....TARPON!!!!! Really there was only one option for my first barn wood sign.

I kept the finest board for the tarpon. One inch thick (this makes it kinda old! ...the modern wood sellers never give you what the labels say!). It has deep cracks, knots and numerous quality abrasions. I wanted this sign to look old as soon as I give it to them. This board sealed the deal!

I sketched it out and jigsawed the lines. Pretty straight forward. I took left over pieces and cut out fins. This was very fun to do. Very. I liked the fish just like this...that rough unfinished state often looks like you should consider it finished.

I rubbed white house paint (using an old rag from the garage) across the main body of the tarpon and on the adjoining parts of the fins...then some gray/black on their tips. I added some greenish-yellow along the top of the body and then some bluish stuff above that and around the outside edge.

Then came the anxiety. Every work of art (not that this is Art but ya get what I'm sayin') I've ever done has this phase at some point. Some are even entirely anxiety-ridden. I only had 4 boards and if I mess up carving into them, I'm up the creek! I practiced on a piece. I still was stressing. I sketched out some letters and went right in.

I tried not to be precise. Anyway, the wood would not allow the unskilled hands I possess to be precise. Things just work out some times. 

This staged photograph was to show the Dremel bit and the angle of attack. It also showed how the wood splinters A LOT! In the end, it adds to the aged look I wanted.

The THE came last as I wasn't sure how I was going to draw it. Also carving this small was scaring me more than any other aspect.

I left large spaces below the  C & O and above the C & K for lag bolts that will attach it to the dock. I still hadn't figured out the eye and face details. Like the THE, I wasn't sure how to accomplish it. My wife said that it had to be done. Four or five hours passed before I dove in. Stressful!

I roughed-in some yellow house paint (Ashley had it left over from some project. She said I should use yellow. I don't argue color much with her anymore. If I do argue color, it is really just to test my arguing skills....I hope to win but will just go with her opinion in the end).

The eyes were carved and some gill lines and such. And, well, that is that. Whimsy and old. Instant aging. Old barn wood is cool. 

I'm still figuring out what I should coat it with...exposure to saltwater and all. I definitely don't want any shine. Thompson's water seal or something. We'll see. I'll post it again when it's in place (months from now!).