Variety Show Participation Certificate

Here’s the “award” we are giving every student with an act in the Variety Show this year. I tried to make it appealing and sound official without indicating anything other than the fact that they were a part of it. The show went great, by the way.

(Here’s a link to the poster we used, with a blank for public use- Variety Show Poster)

Here’s a blank for your own use, just add the school name, year and show name…

Star Wars Geekery

I am an avid Star Wars fan, always have been. I was thinking about the scene were Han Solo and Luke are dressed up as Stormtroopers and the idea for this Photoshop piece hit me. I took a Stormtrooper shot, Luke’s face from “Jedi”, an AK-47 and added some gear. I’m still tinkering, but this is the first two shots.

Mother’s Day Petal Cards

The very best teachers can recognize the potential for learning, creativity or fun in just about anything, and fortunately I happen to work with more than one of those “very best”. Capitalizing on a stellar close-out deal on decorative petal cards at the local office supply store, my dear friend Barbara bought enough for the entire sixth grade, knowing that something neat could be done with them, she just didn’t know exactly what that was. That’s were I came in.

Being the resident more artsy-fartsy inclined person on the team, Barbara gave me a blank and put me to the task of designing, creating and constructing a manageable project for the kiddos to do in time for Mother’s day. This was a real challenge for me because I typically am inspired by the immediate sight of some material or resource, and I am rarely required to create something from an item that doesn’t immediately inspire me. Additionally, it was made even more difficult because I couldn’t simply make the card, but rather had to create it and then work backwards in my design process in order to create adequate and easy-to-follow instructions for out students.

I tinkered. Tried a few things. Looked for inspiration. I eventually came up with two pretty solid designs. On Monday, the students were eager to assemble the cards and provide their mothers with an extra little bit of “razzle dazzle” this year.

My typical work station- the kitchen table, scissors, computer, beer and a mess…

The slits in the card are perfect for tying a ribbon onto.

“A heart, a hug, a smile”

Directions for printing on 8 1/2″ X 11″

Scooter Flourishes

My very dear friend Ashley just purchased a beautiful addition to the Riviera fleet of scooters, a dragon red Vespa LX 150. As is my style, no two wheeled vehicle within a reasonable proximity of my goes unmolested, so I got to work coming up with some sort of design to increase the looks and the lines of this flashy little number. Since we’ve done stripes on several already, Ash wanted something different, more “girly and delicate”, as she put it. Scrounging through what I already had, I thought a few dainty flourishes done in white, reflective 3M vinyl might look nice. The result was better than anticipated, adding a certain flash to the scoot, while increasing visibility, and therefore safety (always a plus).

The adhesive vinyl was designed with a Sharpie on the opposite side, cut by hand and traced to create a pair.

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Once a preliminary set was complete, application was the simple matter of a steady hand, a keen eye and 73 or 74 %$&#ing adjustments to get it perfect.

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The Helmet

I’ve got a thing for vintage/retro/antique aesthetics and funky details, as you can probably tell. I recently bought a new helmet in preparation for the forthcoming improvement in weather that we typically experience in southern California this time of year. The helmet arrived and was simply too simple for my tastes; my wife gives me a hard time because I simply cannot leave any open surface as intended, preferring to paint or texturize as I see fit.

Inspired by a design on a bobber-style gas tank I had seen, I got to work with a touch-up paint kit I had, applying as smoothly as possible. Being intended for vehicle use, the paint had a clear coat in the mixture, so it went on beautifully (they can be purchased at any auto parts store for about $12). I used the rivets on the side as a gauge to draw my lines from, ensuring the symmetry of my design, and took my time in getting it as exact as possible. A flexible stencil for the lightening bolt made sure the image was even on both sides. Finally I taped off the lining of the helmet and sprayed it lightly with a matte finish clear coat to seal the paint and dull the sparkle effect on the helmet to a more toned-down sheen. The finished product is just as I intended- old-school and funky, just like me.

The blank canvas…

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Inspiration

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Talent Show Poster

I’ve recently been assigned the task, with two other teachers (one of whom is my wife), of putting on the school talent show this year at the elementary school I work at. We call it a “variety” show to emphasize the fact that we don’t want 20 kids lip synching the same song. Here’s part one of the poster, photoshopped from scratch…

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And here’s a blank for public use. The image is huge so it’ll make a suitable poster…

Some photography

I was perusing the folders and folders of photos yesterday in some sort of madness induced desire to make a mental inventory and came upon a few gems from the past year or so. For me, the best photos have always been the most spontaneous or candid or just plain lucky.

 

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Kitchen Menu Board

This wasn’t the most creative thing ever, but it serves a great purpose.

Until recently my wife and I had a fairly large white board mounted in our living room that served as a place to practice lessons, write daily reminders and make lists for shopping and errands. While totally useful, it wasn’t the most attractive thing, so I took it down and made the tree branch triptych for the wall that I’ve previously posted. Still needing the to-do board, mainly as a place to plan the menu for the week and subsequently make grocery shopping a more effective endeavor (which saves a remarkable amount of money), I decided to use what had been taken down to create a knew one.

I eye-balled the entire thing using only a jigsaw and Gorilla Glue, and performed the chop and glue operation in record time. The result works perfect for the space and the purpose.

Birthday Card for Mrs. Barr

One if my very wonderful and esteemed coworkers in 6th grade, Mrs. Barr, just celebrated her birthday this last Friday. Here’s the card I made for her using my medium as of late, a cigar box and construction paper. It depicts Santa Barbara’s “American Riviera” with Roosevelt school and the Santa Barbara Mission on the lower right, the beautiful hills over our scenic town and the palm lined oceanfront. Because this is a shallow box lid, it doesn’t look distinctly layered in the pictures, but it is. Every different change in color within the background is a different layer, separated by about a half centimeter of space for a nice effect. Mrs. Barr was touched, my card was a success!

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The Scooter, cont.

For the next step in the customization of my S 150, I took off the mirrors and plugged the holes with chrome stops that I found in the hardware store plumbing department for a dollar each. They were 7/8″ and I bent out three of the little tabs that hold them in place and essentially screwed them in. Next I cut the grip on the fixed side and had to drill into the handlebar, as its not hollow (meesh!). I tapped the hole and screwed the new mirror right in. It’s super snug and there is ZERO visible vibration in the mirror itself. I love how much it changes the look. Next up is the front suspension…

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