Friday, January 30, 2015

Hand Planes in Watercolor

After my daughter went to bed last night, I managed to sketch a bit before calling it a night. These are a couple of wooden hand planes that a friend of mine gave me last year. They are works of art by themselves.

Watercolor hand planes

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Quick Sketch 2.0

Untitled

Yesterday, I posted a time lapse video of a 10 minute quick sketch I did over my lunch hour (image above, see yesterday for video). Last night I decided to repeat the process with watercolors. So, I took the same printout of a lug-rigged sailboat and refined it a bit. I probably should have waited longer in between color layers for things to dry before adding more color, but for the sake of the experiment, I ignored what I would normally do.

Untitled

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club - Brick & Mortar Coffee

This morning we hit up Brick & Mortar Coffee. We had a good turnout. It was the first time I'd been there and the cappuccino I had was good. I'm sure I'll be back.

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club ride to Brick & Mortar Coffee

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club ride to Brick & Mortar Coffee

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club ride to Brick & Mortar Coffee

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club ride to Brick & Mortar Coffee

A Quick Sketch

With 10-15 minutes to kill on my lunch hour today, I decided to drag out a pen and paper. It's been some time since I've bothered to draw anything, my artistic endeavors have been more practical of late - tool restoration, boat building, fixing stuff around the house, etc.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Skin-on-frame Peapod Model Update

Skin-on-frame peapod model

Lashing 11 points per rib is a little tedious. I may beef up the stringers and pull one from the full-size version. My first observations from building the model.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Another Food Weekend

As a family, we shut ourselves in for most of the weekend, having been quite tired of engaging the public over the past few weeks. Our lives after work have been busy with kid engagements, charity functions and meetings, helping friends out, extended family stuff, etc., so we dug into the house like a tick and refused to come out much for a couple of days.

I started out the weekend with a trip to the grocery store and made a big batch of homemade mac and cheese from a recipe my mom gave me a few years ago. It's the one she always used when I was a kid. I have been making a big push to not use mixes anymore. Boxed mac and cheese is absolutely disgusting and likely has more in common with motor oil than cheese. When I make things from scratch, I can cut out a lot of the crap I can't pronounce from the outside of the box along with the salt content.

Saturday morning, I knocked out a batch of scratch-made drop biscuits and gravy. I received a Lodge cast iron drop biscuit pan from my in-laws for Christmas and I'd been itching to try it out. The biscuits came out great and we ate the extras throughout the weekend.

Drop biscuits!

Saturday afternoon I made a batch of chili. The same recipe I won an office chili contest with a couple months ago, only I toned down the heat considerably. I also made a key lime pie for dessert. My first attempt at pie, making one or even eating one. I'm notoriously weird about food, so this was a big deal. We ate it and drank Moscow Mules out by the backyard fire pit that evening with our neighbor Bob.

Key lime pie

Key lime pie

Key lime pie

Sunday, up bright an early. watched some cartoons with the kiddo for a bit, drank some pour-over coffee from the Hario V60 coffee maker and waited for the Mrs. to rise and shine. When she got up, I pawned the kid off on her and made some scratch Belgian waffles. My first time not using Bisquick to make them. I cut the box out of my pancakes a few months ago, but hadn't had the chance to on waffles just yet. They were considerably better than the off-the-shelf variety.

Untitled

Untitled

I also got a little done on the rowing peapod model. I'm about three ribs deep on lashing it up. With eleven lashings per rib, it's going a little slow.

It's weird how similar cooking is to boat building in my mind. If you can follow a simple recipe, you can build a boat. Like making food, a boat is just a series of smaller tasks that eventually add up to something greater.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Meramec State Park Weekend

This is going to be a fairly photo intensive post. I'm still a little too tired to put much to words, but I'll say it was a very fun weekend in the woods and a relatively easy hike compared to some we've done in the past. Meramec State Park is about 2.5 hours northeast of Springfield. I imagine it's a sea of people in the summer months, but when you camp with nights down in the 20s, you only see a handful of other campers. Winter makes for a great trail filter.

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

We started off the trip by hitting up the Swiss Inn in Lebanon, Missouri. After stuffing our faces, we headed to our weekend's destination and set up camp. Brian often makes soups for out camp dinners well ahead of time and freezes them. He then plops them down in a Dutch oven over the fire or on a camp stove and we end up eating really well. I made cornbread and biscuits ahead of time, as well.

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Up Saturday morning to a breakfast of potatoes, eggs, bacon and biscuits. Then we hit the 8.5 mile Wilderness Loop Trail for the day. The Wilderness Trail is a nice meandering walk in the woods. It has a little elevation change, but nothing like what we are used to doing in northern Arkansas. There were springs, caves and creeks aplenty, as well a couple nice glades and pine stands.

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

The ice on the creeks was so thick in places, it begged testing out how thick.

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Sunday morning, breakfast followed by more hiking on the shorter trails around the campground. Darren had gotten up earlier than the rest of us and discovered a snake back in a cave. It must have become active during the warm day on Saturday only to have to seek shelter when night fell and the air got well below freezing again.

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

The Meramec River (See October 2011 post for fishing and kayaking pics).

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Sycamore trees along the river.

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

300+ year old burr oak.

Meramec State Park Weekend

Thanks to Brian D. and Darren G. for another great trip and especially to Darren for the heart felt embarrassment (you arsehole). It was a good trip. Lots of walking, scenery, a couple mom'n'pop restaurants hit and fun BS-ing around the campfire.

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

Meramec State Park Weekend

For more info on Meramec State Park, copy this link into your web browser: http://mostateparks.com/park/meramec-state-park