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Monday, August 13, 2012

Compose Yourself Child

The other day I was running errands and helping plan events for my nephew's first birthday party, which as it transpires, is pirate themed. My sister suggested that one of the games should be a beanbag toss. I was charged with the task of designing the board as well as manifesting the idea into reality. I immediately set out to work in one of my absolute favorite programs to fool around in, Adobe Illustrator. After a bit of tinkering I came up with this design:

Those jagged bits on the left are either rocks or the world's most impressive Doritos

Those circular shapes on the rock and the boat itself are two of the "score" holes with the third being the crow's nest at the top of the mast. It's actual size is 5 feet wide by 3 feet high and required a trip to Kinko's to print it out. After getting that we ran to Home Depot and bought the most inexpensive plank of thin plywood would could find. It was far larger than the 5'x3' dimensions we required so we had it cut (the first two are free!) down to size and kept the remaining bits for backing boards and other games. Lastly, we grabbed a few of the undesired "oopsie" paints - which is the technical term for them - in the paint department. Now it was time to work.

The first mission was to sand down the board and give it a nice white coat of paint, which would be helpful in the next part. I then took the 5'x3' printed image and ran over the back of it with some charcoal making sure to cover the spaces that had black lines on the printed side. By now the paint had dried. I took the charcoal backed drawing and laid it with the charcoal side touching the white of the board. I grabbed some of my graphite dispensers, which resemble giant mechanical pencils in a sense, and drew over all the printed lines. After lifting the paper off the board we then had a nice outline for the all the lines I drew perfectly mimicked on the plywood.

Charcoal smudges will be but a happy memory when all is said and done

Next up was painting. There isn't a finished image of it yet as there are only bits of color placed so far. The plan is to tape over the parts we've painted already so we can get some nice straight black lines which describe the outline of the ship.  As soon as that's all finished I'll post it here. The last step of course will be to drill out the three scoring holes and then this should be ready to go.

In other news, I've been making a short but growing list of the things that I plan on taking with me to Japan. One of the items in particular is something I've held onto for a while but never wanted to use: a journal given to me by mother (probably years ago by now) because she thought I would like it, which I do.

I was always hesitant to use it... until now

It seems as though we treasure "nice" things so much to the point that we negate the functionality out of fear that we'll destroy its form. I relate to this much in the way that some people are able to crack the spine of a book, whereas I to this day cannot perform such a feat, even if the book is not especially meaningful to me. In any case, it seems that this journal will serve as the official record of my travels in Japan beginning at the end of this month.

It'll be nice to be writing thoughts as they come to me again. I loved writing as early as elementary school, but abandoned it until much later over issues dealing with a teacher who made me feel quite stupid while indelicately pointing out a grammatical error. What made that worse in the following years however, was when I realized said teacher was completely wrong and possibly dumb. I still remember it to this day. The mistake in question was when I had written -as part of a story- the following line:

"There was a big old sign that read..."

She stopped reading it right there and told me quite simply, "signs don't read".

That was about 3rd grade if memory serves correctly. Evidently she was not familiar with the intransitive nature of the verb "to read".

Well anyway, I enjoy writing and all thoughts for better or worse will be forever immortalized under the cover of Charlie Brown's vague expression and penchant for semi-depressing/semi-reflective thought.

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