Flying Machine Model

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor my Daughter’s school assignment on Monday we assembled a da Vinci Flying Machine replica model. This device is based on original Leonardo da Vinci drawings (with a few modifications added). We picked this up at the Hobby Lobby on clearance. It was the perfect project for school because it took about 4 hours to complete.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAccording to the manufacture, Leonardo had many good ideas and was close to designing a craft that would have flow, but he did not understand many of the important flight dynamics, such as lift, thrust, and drag. So, his designs were doomed to fail.

Complete, the device works almost perfect with the turning of the crank resulting in movement of the wings and the person flying the device. Fun!

Retrofit Power Wheels

We bought a Barbie Power Wheels Jeep for our oldest daughter many years ago. And since the battery died it has basically been pushed around, moved around, and left out in the weather. Fast forward a decade from when be bought it, I decided to see if the thing still functions. I hooked a battery charger up to it and found that both wheel motors still function perfectly. I was going to buy a new battery for it because my youngest wants to drive it, but found they cost $70. Instead I decided to retrofit the vehicle with an old car battery. I discovered that the battery I hadĀ fit perfectly under the seat between the two rear motors. The side-post battery worked perfect, and only some very small modifications where necessary.

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To get the power to the vehicle I could not bypass the old plug in the front of the unit so I used some electrical wiring and put a wire through the underside of the vehicle and into the front.

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On only a slight charge she was able to drive up and down the driveway for about 15 minutes. I figure on a full charge she might be able to drive this for about an hour, possibly longer; which is 2-3 times longer than with the regular Power Wheels battery.

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Acrylic Painting – 9/20/14

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I finally created my first acrylic on canvasĀ painting. I tried to use the Bob Ross method, but he works in oils, and because Acrylic paint dries faster some of the effects were not the same.

It was exciting and challenging and I plan to do things a bit differently the next time.

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Charcoal Roses – 9/19/14

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust some quick charcoal studies of roses I did the other night.

This was done with my homemade charcoal sticks on 11×17 charcoal paper. These were copied from an oil painting book I picked up at a thrift store. It’s difficult to capture the color variations and shadows using this medium, but I like a challenge.

Charcoal Bear – 9/18/14

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI watched some guy drawing a bear on YouTube and thought this looked like fun. So, I took the challenge and created my own bear using my homemade charcoal sticks and the large newspaper pad. I think it turned out okay…

Fun with the Kids – 9/17/14

My two youngest daughters enjoy painting, but they want me to paint with them. I know that kids enjoy doing things with their parents, but I wonder if all art should be a group activity. Is art more fun with multiple people, rather than a lonely artist slaving away in his/her gallery?

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I actually enjoy this type of activity, because I get to play around with paint (in this case tempera), and since its just me and the kids I can play around and use their imagination to create a world. For example, trees in reality do not have that variation of color, but to my children it looks like candy trees. However, they were very critical of my rocks, hmmm.

The Dinner Diner – 9/16/14

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I knowĀ haven’t been posting regularly, but this is a normal challenge for the summer. I typically only have a few good months to try and get things done outdoors because in Minnesota it’s either too cold (winter), or too hot and humid (summer). The spring and fall, which can pass very quickly, have milder weather, but it also tends to rain more during those periods as well. One thing for sure can be said about Minnesota, we have a lot of weather. Or, as my favorite saying about Minnesota weather goes, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait.” The most entertaining of days are the ones where you turn the furnace on in the morning and the air conditioning in the afternoon, I’ve see those days with 60 degree temperature variations (near freezing in the morning and mid-nineties by the evening).

Until it either becomes too cold to work outside, or the snow starts flying. My ability to work on fun projects and post them will be diminished. The good news is, winter is near, which means lots of time to paint, draw, and create.