This has been a frustrating week. Pictures have disappeared from my hard drive. MS Word has chosen to save parts of documents and not others. I spent time circling the gas pumps trying to figure out how to get the fuel tank on the rental car to the correct side to pump gas. And what do you call it when you’re about to finish sewing something, prick your finger with the needle, and bleed on the fabric? (It’s a good thing I know the cold water dab don’t rub trick.) At this point, I could write a book entitled Tips and Tricks for Idiots. And to top it off, I have to start brushing Boris’s teeth. Oh, the humanity.
Which brings me to the matter of the vent. My studio is in my basement and I would like to be able to solder and make glass beads in the winter time. But the ventilation is not so good with all the windows shut. So I decided to get me some ventilation. I first asked my plumber who was doing some work on my house and he proposed something that was expensive and more like the kind of ventilation you would need in a dairy barn with 500 lactating cows. Except that I love my plumber (how many of you can say that?) And maybe it was my fault. Maybe I asked for too much. I have a habit of doing that to men. Just ask my husband. Or my plumber.
Plan B-YouTube. Mymy there are a lot of YouTubers out there growing vegetables. And flowers. In tents, There is a lot of information on how to ventilate your <cough, cough> crops. If you don’t like gardening, jeweler Nancy Hamilton has a good tute on how to set up a fume extractor system for jewelry soldering here. There are also a lot of instructive images on that famous time sucker, Pinterest. Very few how-tos, though. I didn’t know how to connect duct work or how to install an in-line fan. But when has a lack of knowledge ever stopped me? I got married, didn’t I?
Here’s what I did. But first, allow me to vent. Will you look at this window? It’s 14 X 6. Whoever heard of a window like that except in South Philly? It’s probably the only one in the world. I needed to cut something to fit said window, and then cut a 4 inch circle out of that to put the dryer hose through. I grabbed an old plastic storage container, cut it to size, made the hole, got a vent collar at Home Depot and I had my hole to the outside.
I needed an inline fan with a speed controller that was not too noisy. I ordered this from Amazon waited two weeks for it and then they cancelled my order and gave the option to reorder. Wha? I asked them, how about you give me free overnight delivery and I order it again. They said yes and it came the next day.
Now, I don’t know the numbskull who designs these things, but there was no room for a drill or screwdriver to allow me to attach it to the wall. So I had to brace a couple of stud scraps, run the screws through backwards, fasten the stud to the wall and fasten the fan to the stud with nuts. Nuts I to that say.
While I am venting, I learned that the adjustable clamps are next to useless for attaching duct reducers to the fan or ducks to ducts. Or ducts to ducks or ducts to ducts. But I learned (through thorough research those indoor gardeners know everything!) about self tapping machine screws. Except mine would not self tap. They were probably worried about going blind. Do you even get that joke? I ended up making the holes for them and all was well.
The speed controller which is also the on-off switch is off to the side.
Here is the completed venting system. I put a blast gate on the other side of the T duct because I might want to extend the system. I then have to put another blast gate on the bottom of the T duct to close it off. That project comes under the heading of maybe later or maybe never. My favorite part of the system is the hood with is a trash-picked wok cover that I cut a hole in. I got the rest of the stuff from Amazon and Home Depot.
How does it work? Look at the picture. I’m happy. All the parts even with my mistakes cost about $100.00.
I did not take kindly to Origami at first. My brother (the same brother who mastered the paint by numbers set while I was busy flinging the paint on the canvas) got an Origami set one Christmas. It had lovely paper squares and a little book with picture after picture of the glorious things you could make with the paper: tiny trees, little boxes and hats, miniature animals. The book had directions for making each and every one of them and all you had to do was fold the paper until the tiny creation manifested itself. Like magic.
We sat down at the kitchen table and got to work studying the instructions and folding. And turning. And folding. And creasing. And folding some more. At the end of the studying and creasing and folding, my brother showed me the perfect crane he’d made. I looked down at my creases and folds and scowled. I had made a perfect likeness of a kleenex that someone had used to blow his nose. My brother tried to make me feel better by showing me how his crane flapped its wings when he pulled its tail, but I only felt worse. I vowed never to try Origami again.
I have broken many promises that I made to myself when I was younger and life seemed simpler. I will not go into all of them now, except to tell you that a few months ago, I went through a spell of Origami mania, watching YouTube videos round the clock, trolling used bookstores for Origami books and starting to collect exotic paper. I even pulled out the paper I bought years ago in Japan, only because it was pretty mind you and never intending to defile it with a wayward crease.
For the next few months I folded and folded and folded and filled the living room with little boxes, ornaments, a folded pig for Beading Yoda who collects pigs, geometric shapes, graduating to Origami dodecahedrons and pyramids. And then I started making Origami earrings that I sold for awhile. And then I folded, never once having even tried to make a crane.
So when my friend Jeanne, who is the managing librarian at the Santore Library asked me to help her teach a summertime craft class in Origami, I gulped, said yes and brushed up on my mountain and valley folds.
Here are some pictures from the class.
This has been a good week for spinning my wheels, losing things and taking forever to get things done. I will not bore you with the sordid details.
I had the good fortune to visit Edinburgh, Scotland recently and took hundreds and hundreds of pictures. I decided to skip the scenic travel pictures and share the more unconventional ones ones with you.
My husband, apparently encountering a clown on his way to a circus dress rehearsal.
It’s no stranger than an English sign in China, but the juxtaposition of “Tartan Weaving Mill” caught my eye.
What us this world welcoming us into?
A new world disorder?
We can meet at the pub at The World’s End
And if the Zombies find us.
We can escape to Edinburgh Castle
Some women like a man in a uniform. I have a thing for Le Mutts. I like to travel with a Le Mutt. Le Mutt is the best stuffed animal ever made bar none. Our older Le Mutts (Père and Fils) were getting a little ratty from world travel and from sleeping with my husband when Plumpton was under the weather, so I arranged for them to have a day at the spa conveniently located in the basement of our home.
First, the Le Mutts went for a long soak in the
washing machine hot tub.
Mugging for the camera in the rinse cycle.
The Le Mutts emerged rather tired but a brisk drying with a towel and a massage perked them right up
The Le Mutts relaxing after a vigorous workout. The old gent on the left is Le Mutt Père .
Thoroughly dried and ready for grooming which in this case means restuffing, sewing and fluffing.
Le Mutt as good as new in Copenhagen
I took this picture with the assistance of my equally zany husband. We had wait for some other tourists to snap their pictures in front of the statue of Hans Christian Anderson. When out turn came, a dour looking man loaded down with camera equipment huffed impatiently while I posed and reposed Le Mutt . My husband apologized explaining that the dog was a difficult model to work with. The man failed to see the humor in the situation. He’s lucky Le Mutt didn’t bite him.