Festive (Sc)Owl

In case there are any more Humbugs out there, here’s a high-resolution scan of my festive ScOwl picture (based on a burrowing owl) which you may print out for festooning places with humbuggery as the season demands.

(If clicking the image just takes you to the overlay you can ‘view full size’, or try opening the link in a new tab)

The Knight of the Ingress

As our New Year’s Eve party spilled over into the new year, I entertained myself (and hopefully others!) by encasing a friend in cardboard armour and helm. Constructed with cardboard, staples, split-pins, bicycle innertubes and double-sided sticky foam. The shoulder-pads rotate a little on the split pins, and the torso plates are mounted on innertube to let them give. It’s all improvised, so in no particular style. My favourite new technique: cutting a fringe into an edge (straight or curved), then spacing out each tab and stapling it to a rim – this spreading gives an interesting flared edge. I got really interesting shapes by combining it with flat or bent base sheets, straight or curved mountings, and flat or curved rims. Versatile! A fun and cheering exercise for the fingers and brain.

Flashback – Wordy lamp

My Mum and I love words – especially unusual or odd-sounding ones. She’s made me a lovely framed list of words which hangs in my workshop, and I made her a bookmark, and this very silly lampshade.

As a bonus, here’s a rather long list of pleasing words:

damnit
pomegranate
greenery
streamer
halo
even
boundary
compartment
groove
bright
vehement
wooden
sussurus
sword
echo
maelstrom
inhabit
incredible
unreal
bright
impulsive
postulate
incarnate
roses
anew
smooth
foreshadow
pangolin
turquoise
splinter
teak
whim
raindrop
crust
fire
squeak
bloom
between
refract
transition
detach
unusual
turgid
claw
oscillate
scandal
wear
verbatim
meander
petticoats
study
drawn
abode
delerium
cord
liquid
bone
float
anomaly
invisible
air
shell
pistol
tumble
whirl
create
teacup
broccoli
unfurl
evening
contain
crow
villany
wet
alive
dare
tendency
flock
transparent
vivid
mellifluous
paradise
tear
hoard
bells
lupine
nest
sea
shadow
smile
unknown
dark
envelope
intense
cessation
wobble
hijack
miniscus
wide
exist
shallow
graphic
absent
verdant
myth
feathers
covet
butterfly
hourglass
nefarious
itinerant
constraint
geoid
enemy
laugh
orchid
sharp
sinuous
serpent
spread
pod
trepidation
song
chasm
apparent
retrieve
drag
leaves
hang
silence
inconstant
rattle
octagon
pleiades
suspension
mango
blade
frequent
care
interior
glide
trill
vanity
everything
irrevocable
flow
incarcerate
miniscule
scent
bliss
reflection
abraid
consume
sphere
swell
fictitious
abate
inferno
wings
device
consume
orbital
declivity
hut
frog
wrapped
spider
panic
return
veneer
motives
tug
motion
copper
palm
polish
object
night
comfy
understand
push
weathered
nebulous
november
skin
contrast
yield
rust
stimulate
owl
spiral
unimportant
taste
distinct
binding
rooftops
twerp
wild
lump
submerged
firmament
another
inconstant
lap
sinew
shift
breath
pirate
silk
billow
cup
deny
comb
ice
grass
ablate
distribute
retrospect
stick
knock
writhe
nemesis
tactile
lured
countenance
underneath
planetesimal
symphony
portent
broken
shine
ravenous
flames
divide
hint
seagull
crouch
despair
footprints
splat
omen
concussion
incandescent
wayward
surge
emanate
tune
abstraction
heart
yowl
curl
coincidence
brooding
luminous
entropy
witch
promulgate
defiance
loose
elusive
smite
nestle
roots
acute
become
sensation
pyre
discrepancy
bite
defunct
shift
sand
planet
undertow
pride
boundless
erode
run
lush
glimmer
hasty
overwhelm
celestial
sigh
resonate
awake
opposite
madness
cheshire
skyline
leather
stroll
satisfy
purr
intwined
warm
glue
delight
yip
transmit
stream
swoop
propagate
likewise
found
elsewhere
spare
canoodle
omnivore
theme
high
delve
hipparcos
intangible
sap
bottom
aimless
induce
warped
direction
capture
photograph
tapir
exquisite
window
offbeat
corruption
snail
dreams
tastebud
fundamental
vial
startle
picnic
simulate
transmit
rot
braid
parachute
permission
illicit
layer
rain
swirl
quintessence
lightning
try
cerebral
legendary
tinker
gamble
oort
confinement
biscuit
brush
gleam
default
minotaur
stray
continue
grin
spice
green
illusion
overgrown
over
ache
thin
current
scruff
diffuse
steep
crazy
eddy
autumn
trumpet
toast
incinerate
ignite
vast
free
coruscate
heel
treasure
bicarbonate
walls
fingertip
crush
melt
dynamism
medusa
coloured
minature
fixed
vision
radiate
chisel
devour
opposite
static
saturated
designs
crunch
taint
spy
elaborate
joke
fallible
gorgon
gently
moon
quartet
matter
extravagant
glasses
murder
potential
blepharospasm
ancient
burn
horizon
pocket
glitter
gosling
blueshift
relentless
restless
resist
cogniscenti
bind
rime
ripple
bely
grind
alarm
undone
rotten
distinctive
oblate
cosmic
midge
hydra
winsome
machinations
concrete
concept
abandon
devious
sink
pandemonium
wash
tension
glow
jewelled
preposterous
edge
etna
glow
verdigris
inverse
sense
ideal
multiple
find
dance
hide
regret
insidious
neutral
ingest
fluff
escape
inspire
listen
raven

Quick and easy costume animal ears

It’s the last minute, and you need a costume, fast! This method lets you make a pair of comfy animal ears with a realistic shape in about half an hour. It’s pretty flexible – whether short dainty cat ears or giant swaying bunny ears, they’ll come together in a jiffy! Mine are pretty bright, but switch out the fabrics with fun fur and vinyl for a more realistic look. Tools and Materials

Materials:

  • Wide, strong plastic hairband (to be nice and stable on your head)
  • 8 Cable or Zip ties (these provide the structure)
  • Fabric scraps

Tools:

  • Hot glue gun (and glue sticks)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Strong snips (I used metal snips, but you could also use wire-cutters or really strong scissors)

Design your ears & build the structure

Decide where on your hairband you want your ears to be – standing straight up, or wide spread to the side. Mark the middle of the hairband, and add the cable ties symmetrically.  I’ve only shown making one ear here, but it’s a good idea to make both at once, so they match. The innermost cable tie should stand up at the front, and the others at the back to add depth to the shape of your ears.  Place the last one a little further apart from the others. Shaping

Where you gather your ears will determine their size – use a rubber band to gather them together. Twist the innermost tie to lay flat on top of the other ones – this will help make a little pocket at the front. Push and pull the individual ties to settle the shape of your ear.  When you’re happy with it, add hot glue to the cable ties below the rubber band. When it’s set, trim the ends off, and add more glue to reinforce the join. Add outer fabric

Take an oversized bit of your outer fabric, and glue it to the back of the ear.  Start with the base, then the tip, then either edge, making sure it’s securely anchored.  If you’re using hot glue, try and make sure it stays neat and tidy, so it doesn’t leave hard splodges to alter the shape of your ear. Once it’s fixed to the outside, trim the fabric down to leave a nice wide hem around the structure, then glue that down.  Trim the fabric around the base of the ears. Lining

Nearly there…  Cut your lining fabric slightly larger than your ear, then glue to the two innermost struts first.  Once it’s firmly in place, trim it more precisely to fit, and glue it around the edges. You’re done!

Wireframe Top Hat

Four hours from an odd idea to something completely worthwhile: a wireframe top hat with crank-rod which drives the motion of flags at the end of long rods, held in position by a wire network on the top of the hat. Wire, tube, blowtorch, solder, pliers and snips. Very simple, straightforward and oh, so satisfying. A source of much glee.