Monday, December 30, 2013

Diorama for Dinosaurs Part 1

Christmas was last week, and while I had hoped to finish building a modular dinosaur diorama, a virus kept me from my deadline.

I've been wanting to build a diorama for years, but have always found more pressing projects. This project may be as much for me as anyone else.

I knew I wanted something big with lots of features, but at the same time it needs to be portable. That transitioned to a tiled diorama. I considered squares, but that did not provide enough customization. A hexagon was it. I decided magnets would be used to hold it together. I didn't want the tiles slipping apart.

This is where we will end today's post.

Did I mention this is for a two year old? I'm not sure how well construction will hold up to the rigors of a two year old, but I will found out in a week!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Graphic Design: Directory Cover

I was asked to design a church directory cover.

On my quest to design an awesome directory cover, I settled upon an art deco inspired style.  It's classy, evokes that sophisticated, upon the edge of greatness feel, and I like it. Here is the final image.

 I also went with an interior image, bucking the trend of a steeple image on the front. I did this for a couple of reasons- a steeple is typical and what you would expect.  Second, the church had just renovated the sanctuary, so it made sense to show it off.

The finished cover, less text.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Free Christmas Card & Wallpaper Downloads

Free designs by WardWorks.

I decided to polish my photoshop skills, and being December, I chose a Christmas card theme.

These are the results, and I will let you reap the benefits. I only ask that if you choose to download an image, either for your Christmas card or as a wallpaper, shoot me a message and let me know which one you chose.

All cards have a text greeting, not all of the desktop images do.
The cards are sized for 5"x7" and are ready to print.
The desktop images are sized for standard screen 1280x1024 and wide screen 1920x1080.



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Novel Complete

I finished the novel in just three weeks during November, averaging  2,600 words a day. The title I finally chose is "The Cost of Living."

I started with only a premise- the protagonist dealing with the repercussions of accidentally killing someone.

 I didn't have an outline or a guide, and the novel took unexpected twists I hadn't anticipated as the characters developed. I had thought the last half might turn into a mystery/detective story, but it never materialized. I wondered whether the protagonist would get away with it or have to assume responsibility. It wasn't until the very end, but I finally figured it out. Many decisions weren't decided by me per se, but by the characters I had developed which was a fun way to generate content.

There were two times I thought I might not finish as I reached a block, but luckily I overcame.

The novel challenge was much easier this year than my first year challenge. The first time I attempted it (and completed), I was writing through Thanksgiving.

 Maybe I'll impose a challenge upon myself in the summer to write another novel.

I encourage everyone to check out NaNoWriMo next year. It's a lot of fun and if you complete it, you can say you wrote a novel.

Designing an Out Building (with Video)

I decided I need an out building, so of course I designed one. It's ten feet by twelve feet. I'm planning 2x6 wood joists, plywood floor, wood studs, wood joists, wood siding or something similar.

Then I made it into  a video. Enjoy.

Out Building Time Lapse Video
 Out Building Time Lapse Video

Monday, December 2, 2013

I Made a Four Foot Tall DVD Costume

Who hasn't thought, 'Hey, I need a four foot tall DVD case costume. What do I do?'
Wonder no longer, today I take you step by step.  through the process.

Monday, November 25, 2013

How to Turn an Image into a Blueprint

Blog posts have slowed down since the inception of the blog. Unfortunately I've been tied up with projects. Expect a post or two in the next week!

For today, here is a quick tutorial on how to turn an image into a blue print. Also, the object depicted will be one of my next projects.

This was done in sketchup (which is free) and photoshop, but the same techniques can be applied to or gimp.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Noodle Incident: That Time I Cut Off a Finger

Noodle Incident: An incident in the past referenced but never explained with the understanding that it's too ludicrous for words.

Since I've referred to 'the injury' a few times as I completed the project that caused the injury, I figure it's time to share and boost safety awareness. We're coming up on the one year anniversary after all.

Be forewarned. There are some mild graphic images. These images are thumbnail size, so if you don't want to see it, don't click them.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

More Photoshop: Spoofing Holiday Classics

A few months ago we were talking about my contributions to the Christmas production. Today I have a few photoshop renderings.

The plot of the Christmas production is a modern take on A Christmas Carol using life size DVD's in lieu of ghosts. The entire thing is a spoof, that's why the below images will look oddly familiar, yet distinctly different. Faces have been blurred to protect the innocent.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Under-rated Television Shows

As I'm busy writing  a novel, I haven't worked on many projects this month. So today, we are going to look at a few under-rated television shows. Let me know your thoughts on the list, if you've seen them, and share any televisions shows you think deserved to make the list.

This was an HBO show set during the depression following a traveling carnival and it had a fair bit of fantasy and magic thrown in. It was canceled too soon, and it's at the top of my list overall for television shows. The characters are engaging and the production values are amazing.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Upcoming Projects - Router Table, Vacuum Former, & More

NaNoWriMo is here and I am trying to crank out two-thousand words a day in an effort to meet the challenge of a fifty-thousand word novel by the end of the month. So far, so good. At the end of day four, I have 9,097 words. So you may not see a lot of actual progress on anything this month.

Now for a good excuse for pictures. Here are two upcoming projects. A router table which will be constructed of wood 2x4's and 3/4" plywood.  I will create some kind of track system for the guide board.
 And the more exciting project, the one that has caused me to collect toaster ovens all summer, is the plastic vacuum former. This device heats plastic, and in conjunction with a shop-vac will form plastic sheets to whatever plug I use. Expect to see toys, armor and whatever else I can image once it's done.
That's all for now. I've got to get back to writing!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Templar Knight Photoshoot

Here  are a few images from the photoshoot. It was the best match to a medieval building I could find.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween 2013 - Templar Knight

I started early this year on my Halloween costume. Around January to be exact. (Yeah, I know.)

My costume is a Templar Knight from Assassin's Creed.

You may have seen various parts of the costume on the blog previously. But today you get one glorious post of all components. I've got a photoshoot set for Saturday. I'll update with more pics then.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Medieval Helmet from a For Sale Sign

Just as the title reads. I took a plastic 'For Sale' sign and crafted it into a medieval helmet. My basis of design is a Templar Knight helmet from Assassin's Creed. See PART 2 for the conclusion.

Good execution calls for a good plan.
This is the start. A for sale sign from a home improvement store.
The paper pattern.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mantle Complete

And finally, the mantle is complete.

I started with this design over a year ago:
And here is the near complete mantle.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Writing a Novel in November


That's National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words during the month.  That's approximately 175 pages, writing 2,000 words a day.

There are people who write novels and those who talk about it.

I'm a person who wrote a novel. I was surprised to discover that was back in 2009.. Has it really been that long?  That was back when I actually wrote often, I don't write much now and when I do write, I hardly ever finish.

But that's about to change as I embark on a novel next month. When I did it before I finished the novel I had envisioned after 12k words. That's just a few short of the goal for those keeping track.

I did eventually manage to hit the 50k mark.  I've never so much as glanced at the novel as my instincts tell me it's not good.  If I never look at it, I'll never know for sure. It's better not to know. It was an amazing process, struggling to reach the daily count, the triumph of hitting the mark late at night. I felt like most of the time what I was writing was complete rubbish, but there were brief shimmers of hope interspersed.

Be someone who writes that novel! Or follow me as I write my second novel.

And since I'm not going to leave you without an image, here's the preliminary cover of this years novel. I don't have a title yet, but with an image like that, it's got to be good!

Monday, October 14, 2013

What is a Knight Without a Helm?

This is the start of my helmet for Halloween. I've drawn the pattern and made a head band. By the end of the wee, I'm hoping to have it done.

I'll be making it out of EVA foam, and painting it to look a weathered and worn steel helm.
Perfect execution starts with the perfect plan.
The headband.
More coming soon!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WardWorks in Costume

Halloween is just around the corner and I'm trying to finish my costume.

Every year, my Halloween costume raises the bar. Is it due to my holiday cheer or my insatiable desire to one-up my previous year's costume? I'll let you judge.

The first self-made costume was a hobo. I used it for a number of years, and every year, someone resorted to calling me Lieutenant Dan. Every. Single. Year.

He just wants something to eat!

It was simple, funny, and I even had a liquor bottle prop the first year (realism for the kids!).

The picture doesn't do the mohawk justice.

The next year, the costume was a 'punk'.  I cut my hair into a real mohawk.  Denim vest with a skull marker image I drew on the back, ragged shirt, blue hair dye, and re-purposed Darth Vader gloves. Who cuts their hair for a costume?

Ward of the Dead!

I may be the most proud of this costume. Shaun of the Dead from the eponymous movie. It featured my first prop, a cricket paddle cut from scrap, and a paper-craft name tag. Granted, very few people had heard of the movie, but I won't fault them.

Looks friendly enough.

This costume was not for Halloween. I was a robot. What better inspiration than the most famous robot of all. I even wired up a switch so that the eye 'socket' lit up when I spoke. I may have scared a few children along the way. Now, all I can think is how I could make it so much better knowing what I do now.

A detective without a gun?

The detective. This one may not have raised the bar by a high margin, but there are worse costumes.

That is some bodacious hair.

Not for Halloween, but a sheriff. If only I could have grown a legitimate mustache.

He even has a bundle of dynamite. How villainous!

Two-face, probably my 'best' costume.  I didn't intend to start as a comic character, but as the concept evolved,  I went with it.  My first foray into makeup and sewing. The kids loved it. I just wish I could find more occasions to wear the suit.

My upcoming costume has been the most time consuming. Luckily, I get more use out of it due to a medieval themed production.  You can review my various tutorials on how I made specific sections of the costume.  I've add numerous touches for Halloween. I'd say this raises the bar, and may just be my new favorite.If I had tried to buy all components off the shelf instead of making them, I would probably be in debt. =)

You'll have to wait until Halloween for the full reveal. Let me know which of my previous costumes is your favorite.

Monday, October 7, 2013

One Man, Four Toaster Ovens...

Unfortunate as it is, I have no project progress to post. While many projects are in the planning stages and I will post no more mantle photos until completion, I leave you with an image of a future project. Feel free to venture a guess as to what I may do with them.

Yes. They are four toaster ovens.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Foam Fun: Building a Sword

Here is sword that is relatively safe as it's foam, cheap to make, and light weight.
You need a hobby blade, a hot glue gun, and a solder iron. A rotary tool would also be useful.

I am using the Elder Scrolls Daedra sword as inspiration.
I started with 3/8" eva foam mats. I scaled the sword to 36" overall as it 'felt' right to me. I printed a full size pattern and began cutting.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mantle Progress: Actual Results

The hearth is finally done. For almost a year my to-do list has included, 'select granite'. The wooden hearth panels have been in place with no cap. As the rest of the fireplace nears completion, I finally completed the task.

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