rocking sheep.

margot turned one a couple of weeks ago. which is absurd. more on all of that later.

for her birthday, i had grand plans to make her all of these amazing things, but, for the most part, time got away from me. jon and i did, however, accomlish one diy gift: a rocking sheep.

he actually started off as your run of the mill rocking horse. i bought him from a thrift store for a couple of bucks like five years ago, well before we were even contemplating kids. i couldn't pass him up though. i knew one day he would be awesome.

it was so long ago, in fact, that i can't find the pictures of him in his original state. so this photo is the only 'before' that i have. a poorly lit ipad photo of him still as a horse, being auditioned for sheep-hood.

this was when we decided that if we were going to do this rocking sheep thing right, than we were going to have to make him a new head. there was no disguising this horse as a sheep just with a change of clothes. cue the power tools. some jigsawing, sanding and staining later, this guy was starting to look much more sheep-ish.

now, it was just a matter of clothes. the original plan was to add batting to make him a nice fat, round sheep, and then cover that in some fuzzy fabric. however, as birthday day approached and i started to become overwhelmed/increasingly lazy, i shortcut this by just using our handy ikea sheepskin. this only came after much begging of jon and promising that next time we go to ikea i would buy him a new one.

the sheepskin worked perfectly. it's extreme fuzziness made it very forgiving, and it was already roughly sheep-shaped, so it fit nicely around his head, shoulders and middle. i just had to trim a little off the length when i tucked it around his back. i just adhered it with copious amounts of hot glue.

 and there you have it. a super fuzzy rocking sheep. margot loves it. it's like a kitty that doesn't run away. 


vinyl cutting.

jon and i have been taking a class at the fab lab in martinsville. the fab lab is maybe the coolest place ever. it's a room full of 3d printers, vinyl cutters, a cnc router, a laser cutter and a slew of other pieces of  snazzy manufacturing equipment. it also shares a building with the artisan center, which houses wood working equipment, pottery wheels and kilns, culinary arts classes and oh so much more. it's basically a maker's heaven.

the class we've been taking is the introduction to 2d class. for the first couple of classes we got to play with the vinyl cutter, and i made vinyl stickers to put on some margot pictures.

the vinyl cutter works from a vector file, so i did my text design in inkscape. after the cutter did its thing making the cut, i still had to do the 'weeding', which i learned in class the term for removing the unwanted vinyl from the sticker. i assume that the word's relationship to the weeding done in a garden is not coincidental, as the vinyl weeding is also quite tedious.

but i like tedious things, and it gave me an excuse to bust out my sweet box of exacto knives. after weeding, the sticker could then be transferred to the photo.

i just eyeballed the alignment, with varying degrees of success. i quickly learned that the vinyl sticks very readily to the glossy surface of the photo. luckily, i made three of each.

i really love the finished product. even more than i thought i would going into it. the contrast between the super crisp vinyl cut letters and the photo is really nice. now i want to do a whole series of photos with vinyl letters...

for those of you that have one of those magic cutting machines for scrap booking and whatnot, you could probably do this at home. for those of us who don't have one, there's always the martinsville fab lab. sign up for a class or get a community membership!

our next class project used the laser cutter, so stay tuned for that.