Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Three Years Of Gardening By Sue.

 This our third year living in our home in South East QLD.

The last couple/few months saw the end of a very dry six or seven which had only 50mm of rain in December, we were in Sydney where deluge was taking place. First came drizzle somewhere in March a few mill here and there but ground was so dry it didn't do much good at all. Finally April showers started to fill the water tank green the gardens and grass everywhere. Sue had scattered seeds of all sorts, planted some seedlings which a few were lost as day time temps still reached 30C+.

By end of April mid May what a difference water tank is almost to the 4/5ths mark of 1000lt. Autumn blooms all around, need for mowing and tree trimming.

Time for photos of all Sue's work in and around the gardens from the beginning to recent.
From an almost blank canvas to an amazing colour filled yet with still room to grow and make changes.

The start of something new June 2016.

Changes 2017.

2018 some drastic changes as can be seen in reduction of size of back yard edge garden above. During 2018 Sue did a lot of gardening, sadly the Passion Fruit vines died due to the heat even with watering.

During 2018 the new back fence brought yet more garden changes and improvements mainly in the back yard

 The veg garden bed make over plus the beginning of the new back fence garden and Jasmine frame.

2018 & 2019 saw temps almost daily at this level.
Sue struggled to maintain plants, veg patch and lawn he latter in the end we just let go to almost dirt n dust.

But the rain came at last.

Marigolds seeds which were just scattered came to life.

The main big tree out the front which had been shedding leaves sprung back to life so much so it had to be trimmed. That so during winter the sun warms the front of the house.

 I know this is a long full of photo's post it is to say thank you to Sue for all her hard work over 3 years. The front tree tho we did have an arborist trim them.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Inkle Loom, A Dragon Tail

I have no idea what has happened to Blogger but over the last few months gaining access has become impossible, not just for me/us but searching the net for clues seems many could not get past signing in. I seem to have got in at long last.

This post is "A Dragon's Tail" about a desire for an Inkle Loom by Judit Smorti one of Ipswich Spinners and friend of Sue's. Judith is an artist of many ilkes, who had borrowed a typical Inkle Loom photo on right.

An Inkle Loom is an odd looking thing, it dates back long before Vikings. Yet it's use has changed little in all this time, just some of what it produces has been expanded on.

Judith had her own ideals set on something out of the ordinary for herself. Together we searched the net gaining ideas as we went but not quite what Judith was after.

Below are some of those images of looms we came across.

I finally came up with something I hope she gets years of enjoyment from. Judith having seen the Dragon ones above stated she is a dragon person. I again scoured for images of dragons, dragon drawings, sketches, only one came close but I had to alter it a great deal. I'm no artist when it comes to drawing from scratch. Using elements from the original and my design of the body of the loom this image below was the first I emailed to Judith. It met with a resounding "I love it" thats it!!
A few more modifications and a large print out was done. Then came the wait as officeworks was on the move over a period of months and were closed. We finally got to the new store and the lovely lady  took care and attention to my request for 4 copies 2 each of different sizes.

 Positioning of pegs was crucial as was the overall size of the Dragon to maximise weave length but make it versatile to shorten it if need be by missing out on using pegs. Placement of heddle peg as well as an adjustment tension peg.

Choice of timber left to me, my first thoughts were camphor but some other interesting grained timbers came into play from time to time while searching for the right piece.
I'd spoken to Steve Hay "Woodworking Masterclass" who had some real nice Beefwood but this would have required jointing. It may have caused bigger problems due to size and shape required.

Maleny Wood Show was coming closer May 2017, Sue and I headed up on day one, early as we could arriving by about 9.30am. Our mission to locate and buy the right piece, hoping it would jump out at us. From one end to the other we walked/rolled and walked some more checking out as much as we could (this was tough going, I had to curb my own interests). Nothing could we find suitable either size, grain or colour although a number came close. Come 2.30 we'd had enough empty handed (other than plants Sue had bought), to the car we headed.

Sue said as we past by stalls now low in wood stock (note the pun) we might just find something, I doubted it we'd checked and re-checked. Then out of the corner of Sue's eye she spotted just as we were passing site 92 Beenatree Milling yet again, Sue walked over and pulled out a crotch of Camphor. The guy said he'd not long dug it out from behind some timber he'd moved to restock the stall as best he could.
Out cam the tape measure it sure looked the part faults and all and was just within size with inches to spare. Thus ended the day now with elated hearts, can't say I've ever been to a woodshow without buying something for myself. Ok so I got two Cedar Turning blanks of Stan in swap for chilli seeds.

Days were spent orientating which way round the Dragon would be best suited to be cut from. A plywood template made, even that had alterations drawn and marked on it.
The peg holes were drilled in the template 1/8" enough to screw holding screws through and mark out adding a further 60mm to the bottom edge. Then came the rough cut leaving ample room all round.

 At first on the PC as can be seen below, positioning and re-positioning. Then again on the slab itself.

Chalking lines removing the template rubbing out again and again for best result.
At last marker pen lines for the 2nd series of bandsaw cuts.

Hand planing flat, filling voids with epoxy and CA, more planing and sanding, till finally using the router tracing round the template which was screwed into position, the the stage below.

Ok time to make more swifts, loom repairs, garage shelving installation, supervising Dan the Handy Man, a trip to Sydney, Christmas, weather to hot to do much at 40C+. See numerous previous posts.

I'm so glad Judith wasn't in any hurry.

Back to it drilling peg holes, shaping, making tool handles for rasp's and a bow sander (see previous posts).
Buying material for pegs to be made from, no pine used here hardwood hoe or garden rake handle's, all turned down to 19mm x 40mmL section and rounded true and sanded along the remained x 12. All finished with Danish Oil.

Routing edges and shaping using coping saw, and Dremel and files an occasional chisel (one day I'll buy a carving chisel set).

The Dragon was starting to take shape eye sockets had been formed, now what to use as eyes.?? I purchased three different acrylic pen blanks choosing the best of the lot. Shaping them and fitting them temporarily, panic set in when one went missing.

Yes still rough round the edges etc, but shaping up. You know when something just doesn't look or feel right, so it was with Dragon. See if you notice in the final photos.

Above is dry fit stage, working out warp length etc.

Sideline yet again, this time due to re-occuring shoulder injury, a flu and a broncial/lung infection the latter I hadn't had since mid 20's.

Slowly does it during recovery, making the foot blocks, drilling and fitting those using Chicago screws and inserts.  

 Liberal coats of Danish Oil hand sanding and hand buffing with days of air drying.
Make new adjustment peg and knob.

More wet sanding drying time and buffing, glue in the pegs and eyes, assemble feet and done

Judith came round to pick it up.

I asked if she could make me a new camera strap when she had time.

Jude says she and Dragon are inkling well together, in its first ever warp.

I learned a lot from this project being the last time I carved anything was Lino Carving at primary school. Years of shaping bog on body repairs helped some tho.

Camphor Laurel, approx size 650Lx450Hx43mm thick.

A stand for the dragon to sit on will be made so additional post some time down the track to come.

Almost forgot some Shuttles made also to compliment it.