How to Chain Your Dragon

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I did it…I got the tutorial done for my dragon design.

YEA, ME!!!!

 

It was a monster of a project – almost as monstrous as all the design work that went into the form.  I lost sight of the actual photo count by the time I finished (added a few last minute shots, dropped a few others) but I had 251 pixs edited and lined up by the time I’d finished the photo work phase.

The final page count for the tutorial is 79 – but most of that space is taken up by the pictures.  It ended up a HUGE file in my hard drive.

Now, I’m no stranger to writing (duh!).  I’ve done ‘how to’s’ for employers in the past as they attempted to document JUST how a certain job is performed.  The writing of those little guides were usually dry, cold, impersonal and boring as hell, because there were higher-up’s involved who wouldn’t know a humorous phrase if it came up off the page and bit their noses off.

When I started the dragon tutorial, this was how the writing ‘clicked,’ because that’s my past experience with guides…a very ‘business impersonal’ style.

Took me a moment to realize what I was doing – and scrap the first draft.  I didn’t need to impersonalize this work, because there were no higher-ups between me and the publishing button.  The ONLY thing that would stop me from inserting my personality into this work was ME.

Can you see me cackling madly at my keyboard, yet?

If you want to make a dragon of your very own – here’s the listing:

How to Chain Your Dragon (a tutorial)

And if you want a dragon withOUT all the mucking about with pliers and little metal rings – I’ll make one for you:

My Pet Dragon

Chainmaille Dragon Face close in

 

 

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Murder in the Concrete Jungle

You get a lot of time to think when you’re pounding the pavement.  Sometimes I just mouth the words to whatever song is blasting away on my iPod.  Sometimes I mull over a string of numbers (work numbers, keto numbers, financial numbers, etc…).  And sometimes, I have long, in-depth conversations with the various voices in my head…just to work shit out.

Sometimes, it’s the only intelligent conversation I have all day…

For a while now, I’ve called this little stretch of my walk the Cathedral.

 

It’s nothing that special, really.  The owners of this particular piece of property decided to plant bushes all along the boundary of their lot.  Those plantlings did what greenery does, and grew – eventually getting tall enough to clasp branch-hands with the trees on the median.  For the entire spring & summer, the branches have been trimmed back over the sidewalk so people don’t have to push through the bush to get where they’re going – but they haven’t trimmed more than that.

 

It’s a landmark on my journey where I stop for just a moment, and breathe a huge sigh of relief.  It’s here that I get out of the hot sun and soak in a little shade.  In my head, this little canopy is the ‘official’ boundary between the industrial leg and the park leg, and marks where I’m ‘officially’ on the way home.

But this morning – I walked up to the Cathedral in horror.

 

LOOK AT WHAT THEY DID!

Cathedral 5

 

The Cathedral has fallen!  Those murdering bastards BUTCHERED it!

**SOB**

I got half a mind to march up to the door and give ’em a serious piece of the mind I’ve got left.

…Deep breath…calm and focus…oh yea, that’s right…I don’t do confrontation…

Cathedral 6

Upon closer inspection of the carnage, I can kinda/sorta understand why the bushes had to come down.  Looks like they were tangling up the power or cable lines running to the house.

 

But still….SLAVERING HEADBLIND SOULLESS BASTARDS KILLED MY LANDMARK!

OK…I feel slightly better now…

Couldn’t they have allowed just ONE more Autumn display of color that I could aim my camera at before the wholesale slaughter ensued?

Cathedral 3

 

 

 

Kindred Spirit

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Did you ever embark on a solitary adventure on a sultry summer evening?  A random, spur-of-the-moment event with your only concrete intentions a vague desire to spread your consciousness across the terrain of your choosing?  And whilst upon such an unplanned sojourn, was another unspoken goal to blend into your selected area so expertly that the surrounding mankind were only aware of your presence on the very outside periphery of their understanding?

Have you ever taken such a event in with a companion – your only communication the poetry of expressive body language?

Might you oft believe that such observational activities are an unrecognized and unconsciously highly-sought after art form?

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Did you ever pad the sidewalks or Greenspaces within your targeted territory with all your senses wide and receptive, opening the very core of your being to those communications from anything natural and wild?  Do nightly dreams tickle your sleeping self after this absorption, as your mind tirelessly works to adapt itself to these ruminations?

Have you woken to the sun caressing your face, and felt more alive than the previous years?

Might you celebrate the solidity of the rock, dance with the spirits of the wind, sing the hidden song of the stream, or bask in the wild fire of the setting sun?

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Are you a creature of deep Earth – open to the Natural, yet reside within the heart of a city?  Are contradictions such as these accepted without understanding?

Reading this – do you nod your head in solidarity…and posit questions of equal gravity in return?

Then I’d like to experience you – a kindred spirit well met.

Rocks

 

Dutch Goes the Photo – Dark

Good Old Frank…where would we photographers be without his challenges?  He’s got a challenge this week that REALLY speaks to me – Dark.

 

Dark photography is kinda where I live and breathe in the world of hobby-photography.  First, there was the SQO’s band – working on a darkened stage with bright spots scattered randomly about necessitated my first camera upgrade.

Discovering light painting as an art form pushed me to the current DSLR, and keeps a full-frame sensor on my list of ‘things I need as soon as the money is there…’

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Let’s not forget all the celestial events happening …

Or the artistic displays that show up around here in the fall…

And then there’s the kids hobby of spinning poi – conveniently lit on fire.  Yea…I have no lack of potential dark photography subjects at my easy disposal at any given time.

A Fireball 4

So I’ll offer up some of my favorite dark shots – just for you Frank.

Keep the stellar photo-sharing ideas coming!

 

 

 

 

Winter is Coming

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Yup.  I done it.  I stole the title of this blog post straight out of G.O.T.

But it’s not about the ever popular Game of Thrones, although I did become enough of a fan this summer to put the published books on my Kindle.

Should be a couple months of reading, at least…

I can feel it coming.  Winter, that is…not dragons or the Night King…

Chainmaille Dragon upback side

 

Well…maybe dragons…I’m still writing out a tutorial for my fellow Chainmaille Addicts…

 

I feel it every year, with varying intensity.  As summer slips into Autumn, this seasonal change plays merry havoc with my sensibilities.

Every year.

I feel the shift from growth to winter prep.  The trees, the grass, the bushes … everything shifts its focus.

I feel the heaviness.  I need more sleep.  I get very introspective, and start digging along the dark paths in my head.

It’s going to be a long winter here in Wisconsin based on how early this Autumn shift hit me…and the leaves haven’t started changing yet.  I’ll try not to get too dark and introspective here on the T&T.

Tree old photo

 

Spam…salty breakfast of Champions!

I occasionally browse my spam filter…usually when I’m bored, tired of games and facebook and general web browsing, or I’m frustrated with a chainmaille build.

Or sometimes…just ’cause…

Today – I peeked in the spammage…and came up with this gem for a user name:

 

Donald trump forming Convervative cannabis lobby

Now…I try my damnedest to keep politics off the T&T – there are plenty of other blogs out there who regularly churn out their take on the political landscape.  If that’s your thing, more power to ya.

But this was just too good not to share.  Hope it brings as much giggles to you as it did to me.

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