Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Weave your own web for halloween ... ...

With Halloween just around the corner I thought I'd share something we did last year, but have expanded a little on this year.
Last year we did a load of Halloween based crafts, conker spiders and such like, and we also made spider webs from pva glue that we stuck in the windows.

This is a really easy thing to do and all you need is a smooth flat surface, flexible if possible (I use a laminator sheet) as it makes it easier to get the web off once it's dried, pva glue and you can add glitter as well.

It's really easy to do, but it will take about 24 hours for the glue to set completely.

This is what you end up with -

The picture doesn't do it justice.

To make your own webs all you need to do is draw a web shape on your smooth surface with the glue.

Drawing the web - 

Web weaving.

Start by drawing intersecting lines, until you have as many as you want, this depends on how big the surface is and obviously how big you want it, I find a tube like the one in the picture is best as it is easy to draw neat lines with it, and this would be better for kids to use.

Easy really.

Once you have enough lines, I find 4 is enough, this will give you 8 spokes to your web. Then all you have to do is draw a line in a slight curve in between each spoke, and keep going until you have filled it all up.

Like so -

Complete with purple glitter.

And that's it really, you can add glitter, or leave it plain and you can use paint to colour the glue, but you'd need to get all the glue out of the tube and then put it all back once you've mixed in the paint, I guess you could also use a piping bag for this as long as you don't mind having to throw it out after, but use a fine nozzle.

You can make a web like the one above and place it anywhere on a window, if your surface was nice and flat and smooth the web should stick with no trouble, I find the laminator sheet is handy for this for a few reasons, one being it's nice and smooth and you can move the web out of the way of little fingers while it dries, and with a flexible surface it's easy to peel the web off once it's dried.

Here's another one, this one is for a corner of a window - 

We used silver this time.
Complete with bat :-)

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween.

Classified: Mom

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Latest wood turning project ... ...

Apologies if you've been waiting for a post, seems we are currently in a situation where there really aren't enough hours in a day (or days in a week for that matter)

Due to other things I haven't been able to spend as much time at my lathe as I would like, although I'm hoping to sort that out soon.

I have managed to experiment further with the cypress I've recently acquired, I have just the other day got a load more of this type of wood, which to be honest I'm liking a lot, it's easy to work with and even though it's very green I seem to be having a lot less trouble with it in terms of warping and such like.

Latest piece -

Do you want soldiers with that ?

Yes I've made an egg, an egg box actually, again this is made from the cypress I got through freecycle, I'm going to get some more of this, but much larger pieces which I'm hoping to make some much larger pieces from, and perhaps some bowls.

Like most of the boxes / pots I make this is turned from one piece of wood, and I've applied the same logic to turning this as I did with the other cypress pot, that being I turned it a little (roughed it out) and then left it for a week or so then finished it off, this approach seems to be working, but I need to test it on some of the more difficult wood I have, mainly the fruit wood.

This piece isn't perfect, there are some small cracks on the top part (the egg) these I can easily turn out as they aren't very deep, this usually happens around knots in wood, least it does for me.

Some more pictures - 

Lid off, you can see the small cracks in the egg part.
Not as bad as they look.

I have been in some what of a dilemma about these cracks, I have to admit I quite like them, they seem to fit seeing as it's meant to be an egg, so I've wondered about making a small feature of them, however this may not be to everyone's liking so I'm not sure whether to as I intend to sell the piece in my shop, technically it's probably not a good idea to sell things with cracks in them, these won't get any worse, but as I said some people may take a dim view of the box being for sale with defects, I guess if I do decide to leave it as is and put it in my shop I'll find out.

The next thing I'm going to try with this wood is turning it end grain on, mainly to see what patterns appear as often a dull looking piece of wood yields some very interesting features when turned slightly differently, so keep a look out for that.

A few more pictures showing the grain -

The grain seems to suit designs like this.

I may turn the egg part from a different wood next time.

Thanks for reading.