Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Bridebot and Groombot

She was beautiful. He was handsome. They were programmed for marriage.
She loved bikes and she didn't care who knew it. She displayed it proudly on her control panel.

And somehow, because she loved bikes so much, he loved them too.
Their robot wedding was beautiful. They danced the robotdance and kissed each other with their robot lips.

The bridebot and groombot were a special commission job, which only encouraged me in my silly robot ways. In real life, the bride and groom both love biking, but she was the one who got him into it, hence their informative control panels. I haven't had so much fun making a robot since, oh, well, last time I made a robot. I chuckled away to myself as I stitched them up. They've gone to live in the big ole U S of A now, but I think they may have been cavity searched at customs because the package arrived disheveled and torn. Well, it's not surprising really. They are extremely technologically advanced and I'm not at all surprised that someone thought they might threaten national security.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

First, you need a plan

Forgive me for being so blatantly sexist in the following description, but I am reasonably good at "girl" craft. You know, knitting, sewing, crochet, cooking. I'm not so good at the "boy" craft, like making things out of wood, putting up shelves, stuff like that. So when the kids come to me with ideas for things they want to make out of wood I feel quite nervous and inadequate in my ability to help them with it.
Harry came to me the other day with an idea for a car ramp "like Stanley's one". Stanley's dad is a builder. I internally freaked out. To buy some time, I asked Harry to draw me a plan.
Bottom left: One wide piece of wood, two narrow pieces of wood, screws at the side to hold it in place.
Bottom right: Hasty sketch of how one would use such a ramp. Propped up on a saw horse with cars scooting down it.
Top right: A plane towing a banner "Have fun". That was a good reminder for me.
You know, we did have fun making this ramp. We went to the hardware shop and bought precut 1.2 m-long pieces of wood, one wide and two narrow. (I can feel the disdain of all the handy types who are thinking- what, you can't saw a piece wood? Um....not neatly I can't. And we don't have a saw.) We charged up the cordless drill. We talked about how it could all go together, and then we built it, just like in the plan.
The cars scoot down it very quickly, and you can fit two on it side-by-side which I believe is an integral part of the design.
This project was rather satisfying for an unhandy person like myself. I did have a very good plan to work from, though.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chicken pox, nude robots, and a happy place

It's chicken poxy at my house this week. After 6 days of being at home with a sick 7-year-old lad, I would like now to extend my personal thanks to the makers of Lego, Club Penguin, and DVD players, all of which have made our week tolerable under the circumstances.
But enough about chickens and their disgusting contagious diseases. This week I started on a very thrilling commission: two robots who are in love. You can tell they're in love because of the soft focus in the photo. You know why I am so fond of making robots? Because they are shamelessly silly. I never want to take my craft passtimes too seriously, and making robots, I know I never will. I stayed up late last night making some really hilarious control panels. I literally laughed out loud. That's LOL to you computer types.
There have been many moments this week where I caught myself wishing I was on holiday somewhere beautiful with no work deadlines and with healthy, non-irritable children. I kept going back to look at the photos from our last holiday in Collingwood. I know there are people out there who like going to different places each time they go on holiday, but I like going to the same place again and again.
When we were small, our parents used to organize our family of 11 to Stewart Island for our holidays. I was asking Mum how she managed the logistics of it, especially since we lived in Dunedin, which is quite far away, and we didn't even have a car. She started to list off some of things she did, and then she paused, and said "Actually, I have no idea how I did that." I'm glad she found a way to do it, because holiday memories are happy places in my mind.
She also told me that when we were little, the oldest four children got measles, mumps, and then chicken pox all in a row. That put my week in perspective. Thank goodness for mothers, and thank goodness for those clever people who formulated vaccines for most of these diseases.
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

The post in which I start to dress like a robot.

A while ago now, oh, 2 or 3 years ago I guess, I bought some lovely woollen fabric from the junk shop. It was 150 cm wide, 100% wool, soft and beautiful and only $6 for 5 metres or so. I thought it might be good for a big patchwork blanket or at least a nice woolly hot-nerd type of skirt. While I was thinking about what to do with it I tried some out on a robot. It made up reeeeeal nice. Beep!
Anyway, never say I don't get things done. I did make that skirt, I made it in a knee-length A-line with acetate lining and intentionally mismatched strait-to-bias yoke-to skirt design. Is that a robot on the wall next to it? Of course it is. That's just what we do at our house.
Anyway, this warm little skirty is a little late for winter because the first day of spring came and went yesterday. However, we still get nippy weather in the spring, and I'm sure I will get a few wears out of it before next year.
I wish it didn't take me so long to get around to things. Now that school is in sight for my youngest child I'm deluding myself that I will have loads of time to get stuff done. Does that really happen? Someone tell me it does.
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