Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dad, My Doll Needs A Spaceship.

My daughter did very well at our garage sale last weekend.  She picked a number of her toys to sell and made a nice little profit.  She reduced the number of stuffed animals in her collection by about roughly a 3% reduction.  She also let go of a large box of old toys.  We decided that anything that didn't sell would go to Good Will. She was thrilled to make some money and wanted to go to the store right away! She'd had her eye on a new doll.  This wasn't your average doll!  A new line of dolls called Novi Stars has come's a bit like Barbie as an alien with an alien pet.
She willingly and excitedly payed her money for Una Verse and her pet Molecule. Here's a quick video from the manufacturer...

As she showed me her new doll, she asked a question that would bring joy to any geek dad. "Dad, could we make a spaceship for my new doll?  I kind of thought I could help you build something I can put her in."

Over the last few days, we took some time after homework was finished and we scrounged around the house looking for some parts.  I told her about how I used to make toys when I was her age because we didn't have much money.  How, sometimes, those toys were more fun than the ones we could buy.  We put all the pieces in the shop and then we started building.  She had a good idea of what she wanted.  She guided me as I connected, fabricated and assembled the pieces.  We talked about school, how excited she is to start Band, and why alien dolls make so much sense.

I helped her paint the ship, and then it was time to bedazzle it.  You see, if 9 year old girls were engineers, spaceships would have bling.  I taught her how to use the glue gun, and broke out the jewels...

In a short couple of days we had the ship finished. I offered to add some stripes and other detail, but she said "No,'s perfect just like it is".  As soon as the paint and jewels were dry, she was ready to take it out for a landing with her new doll.

There are days ahead as she grows into a teenager and eventually an adult that I know we won't agree. That's part of life.  For now, though, she thinks I'm pretty cool...I can build spaceships, make the best cheese popcorn, help with math, snuggle when a thunderstorm hits in the middle of the night and tell silly jokes.  I'm fine with that...just fine.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A cherry on top

Today started out well. I am working on some marketing, and I asked my CIO (Winchester) to do some thinking outside the box. He was quick to comply. He promptly destroyed the box then layed down to think.

While he was thinking (it looks suspiciously like a nap) I decided to wrap up the sign for Suzy's Place.  I put some glaze on the banner and discovered that Suzy has a tag-line "Hometown Diner" which I added to the banner.  Then I added a stroke around the inner border and used epoxy to attach the banner and pie.  The last bit of business was to take a bit of clear epoxy and coat the cherry on the top of the pie, just to give it a nice glossy finish.  In a bit, I'll deliver it and see about some lunch.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Food For Thought

Last year I painted a mural in Wyoming, Illinois.  I told the city that if they would cover the paint, I'd be happy to design and paint the mural. I wanted to do something for the community that we've been fortunate enough to call home for the last 4 years.  They signed off on the design and the mural went up during our 175th anniversary.  It was a great time.  I got to paint with friends and even got to watch the celebration parade from high up on the scaffolding.
I was very much touched and surprised that the city council eventually decided to give me something for the work.  I was happy to do it for the community and saw it as an investment.
During the time I was painting, I went into a new restaurant in town for lunch several times. Suzy's Place has great food and it was nice to sit across the street from the mural work and watch people stop by to check in on what I was doing.
When I completed the mural, Suzy came up to me during a lunch visit and handed me an envelope. She had taken up a collection with her customers when she heard I wasn't being paid and gave me what she'd collected. I tried to explain my intentions, but she was insistent that I should get some compensation. There was no way I could refuse such a kind gesture.  I accepted it with heartfelt thanks and decided that I'd find a way to return the favor.
This summer, I noticed that the only signage for Suzy's was some vinyl in her windows.  I decided that I would set aside a little time between some web site work I've been doing and make something for her.
I have a feeling that if I tried to meet with her to work out a design and colors, she'd be caught up in how much I was going to charge.  I decided that I'll go ahead and make it. If she doesn't like the colors I can always repaint. If she doesn't like the sign...well, that's ok too.  I know she'll appreciate the thought.  If she tries to pay me, I'll say the only thing I could possibly accept is lunch.

I'm about 2/3 of the way done...A border stroke needs to be added, and the "banner" on bottom needs to be painted and lettered. The pie and the lettering also needs paint.  It's coming along, though.  It'll be fun to get it completed and take it to her. While I'm there, I might even have a piece of pie...