Little by little, I’ve been painstakingly working on my very first wood burning project: an old wooden box that I’m making into a pirate treasure chest for my son. As usual, I had no clue what I was getting myself into, so I vastly underestimated the time and patience that would be necessary to finish such a “simple” new project. I finally just finished the centerpiece on the front of the box. While it took a lot longer than I anticipated, the results have been well worth the time, and the smell of lightly burning wood has been an added bonus that perfectly compliments autumn weather.
The ship is a design from Etsy shop Eleitheliel, which I’ve used with permission. Thank you Emily and Hannah! Please be sure to check out all of their awesome, original ink drawings and other wares at their Etsy page!
Once all of the wood burning is complete, I plan to adorn the box with some gritty parts, like this iron lock that I purchased on eBay. I may even modify the box so that it glows when opened. Aye mateys–stay tuned for more project updates, though I reckon it may take me until next ‘international talk-like-a-pirate day’ to finish it!
Lying Cat is a character from the comic book Saga, published by Image Comics. It’s a great ongoing book written by Brian K. Vaughan, with art by Fiona Staples. Definitely worthy of checking out – and I’m not lying! The “R” rating means it’s off limits for my kids, though they sure do love both cats AND pancakes! I submitted a photo of this pancake to the monthly fan art section of the Saga (unofficial) Facebook fan site.
To make the pancake, I whipped up some batter, added some blue dye, and filled up my wife’s cake decorating squeeze bottle. Start with the areas you would like to turn out the darkest, then just fill the rest in. If you think that’s cool, check out Jim’s Pancakes for some SERIOUSLY over-the-top pancakes. I need to take some pancake making lessons from this super cool dad!
I finally tackled an easy project that I’ve long wanted to do: soap carving. I figured that Halloween would be a perfect time, with ghosts, skulls, and skeletons providing the perfect inspiration for my white slab of Dove soap.
You really don’t need much at all to get started with your own soap creations, just grab a bar of soap and some clay sculpting tools (orangewood sticks used for manicures are said to work well, but I didn’t have any on hand).
I learned that it is extremely important to go slow, removing just a little bit of soap at a time, in order to prevent breaking. Some people sketch out their ideas on paper and then use the template to score the designs directly onto the soap. You can also use a vice to hold the soap and a coping saw to cut out the basic shape. I didn’t try either technique, choosing instead to forego proper planning and simply jump right in.
It didn’t turn out so bad considering I was making it up as I went along. If you keep the original soap box and repackage the finished project, perhaps adding some wrapping paper and a bow, your handmade piece of art could make a great gift for that special someone. If you make your own soap carvings, send me a picture of your finished products and I’ll post them!
I love to play with my food, which is why the CHEETOS MIX-UPS and Life of Dad Show art contest was right up my alley. The grand prize is a trip to the 2014 Dad 2.0 summit in Houston!
Since I already have a history with food art, I wanted to make sure to up the ante by putting more time and effort into this project than I did for my Sweet Tooth candy art from last year. After all was said and done, I think it turned out pretty well.
Here is the official contest page on Life of Dad, where you can see all of the entries. There really are a ton of awesome submissions. A winner should be announced in approximately one week. In the meantime, go ahead check out the other nifty entries, and please feel free to comment on my Cheesy Chester Cheetah. Don’t forget keep your cheesy fingers crossed – I’d love to win a trip to hang out with other cool dads at the 2014 Dad 2.0 summit!
I found this Tattoo a Banana video by multimedia artist Phil Hansen, and I couldn’t wait to try it out. All you really need to do this is a banana, a thumb tack, and some imagination. My daughter did some ABC’s and stars on a large banana and also chose to tattoo a butterfly on a cute little baby banana.
I waited until the kids were in bed to start on my C3PO banana tattoo. That way I could work uninterrupted. I made the mistake of trying to work on the backside of the banana, which meant I had to constantly turn it and also hold it steady for an eternity with my left hand. As I should have guessed, my hand started cramping up after a short while. Then my phone (which I was using as my time-lapse camera) began ringing, so I conveniently took this as I sign to bail on C3PO and start fresh.
For my second attempt, I made sure to lay the banana down flat on its side and I picked something less complicated: Curious George peeling a banana with a tattoo of himself holding a banana, and on that banana….uh, you get the idea.
Here’s the time-lapse video:
This is the first of many projects in Phil Hansen’s book, Tattoo a Banana: And Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything Into Art. It sounds awesome and you can bet that I’ll be picking up a copy!
I always thought it would be really neat to commission a piece of art, and while I strolled through Artist Alley at the New York Comic Con, I realized that an incredible opportunity to do just that was literally right in front of me.
The only problem was that I hadn’t given any thought to what I wanted to have done. Nonetheless, I made sure to scope out some different artists and grab their business cards as we made our way through the HUGE and very crowded exhibit hall.
One artist that stood out in particular was Mike Dolce, creator of The Sire comic book. When I approached his booth, he greeted me warmly even though he was in the middle of a very detailed and great looking sketch.
Mike was very friendly and approachable, and his comic book looked awesome! After speaking with him for a few minutes, I decided to ask him about whether he took on commissioned projects. It turns out that he did accept commissions, and he sounded very accommodating and excited about working with me.
A few weeks later I was sitting at my desk, looking at my dull-looking blog, pondering potential logo ideas, when I recalled my meeting with Mike Dolce. A few emails and a phone call later, it was a done deal!
I’m thrilled with the result and would like to thank Mike for doing such a great job and for being so awesome to work with! Don’t forget to check out his comic, The Sire, at his website www.mikedolce.com
The final issue of Sweet Tooth, by Jeff Lemire, hits the store shelves today. Sweet Tooth became my favorite monthly comic since I started getting back into them again as an adult over the last year or so. Last October I attended my very first convention, the New York Comic Con (NYCC), and there I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Lemire and get his autograph on my mighty wallet! I had previously promised to post a picture, so here it is. Isn’t he cute?
Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, when I had heard that the Sweet Tooth adventure would be wrapping up, I fashioned some fan art from leftover Halloween candy as a small tribute. The kids loved it, of course, because they got to eat him. Here it is again.
Click here to read more on my Sweet Tooth candy art. The next project on the horizon for Lemire is a sci-fi love story called Trillium, which looks and sounds awesome. I’m excited to be on board from issue number one for a change, since I’ve been late to the game for a bunch of other great comics. In the meantime, I plan to catch up on Lemire’s collected Essex County comics, which I received as a Christmas present this year.
Farewell, Sweet Tooth! It’s been a great ride!
The Twinkie Trilogy paintings have been sold to…..(drum roll, please) my mother-in-law, who will be hanging them in her home! Honest. I made her promise to send a picture for proof. I woke up the morning after posting it to find the confirmation of sale in my inbox. She claims to love them and did not buy them just to support me, and I’m choosing to believe her (love you, and Happy Birthday!). How cool is that?
I’m still sort of interested to see, however, if there are any Twinkie fans out in the general public other than my loving, supportive, and quirky family, who would actually purchase and hang Twinkie paintings in their home. Therefore, I am relisting them on Etsy as made-to-order items. The cool thing about listing it this way is that I can customize the work for the customer.
I’m glad that the Twinkie Trilogy has a home and that this project is one that actually achieves closure. Otherwise, who knows how long they would sit on the shelves at Etsy. Now it’s time to focus on my knitting project again.
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