Friday, August 23, 2013

Project revisited: Mechanical Bird

A week ago I posted a picture of supplies for a project I was just starting and I have the little guy ready to show now!

Hi there!

This is Tak, my singing mechanical bird.  He is for SteamCon but he will probably sit on my mantle until then.  Anyways,  I have some in process pictures and a few more finished product shots.

I sculpted flattened clay pieces around a foil egg shape.

Had to make sure that the pieces fit together but could be separated after baking.

I changed the turning handle on my music box mechanism to one from an old clock.

After baking the clay, I used small screws to make the holes for the legs a little larger. 
Starting to glue the pieces together and attaching the legs. 

Putting in the music box.

Mechanical bird guts.

Some beauty shots.

I added a piece of gold painted buckram to look like metallic mesh at his throat to allow for some extra room for the music box as well as giving his head a curious tilt, like birds do.

So there he is! He plays a little song that I haven't quite been able to place.  It is familiar but not instantly recognizable (for me at least, which is why I picked that particular snow globe at the thrift store to tear apart).

Big shout out to these awesome artists whose work inspired little Tak here.
C.O.G. Chronicles
Mullanium by Jim & Tori

Sweet 16th: Lemon Lavender Granola

Alright!  I finally did it and got around to making something to share with you guys! 

As I mentioned the other day, I was having a little trouble locating an ingredient for this: the lavender.  I was looking for dried lavender flowers.  Coming from a small (hippie) town I expect to be able to walk into a grocery and find this kind of thing.  Apparently that is not the case everywhere, so I had to make a special trip to a co-op grocery while visiting a friend, where (as expected) they had lavender flowers in bulk. 

Anyways, if you have easy access to dried lavender, the rest of this recipe is really quite simple.  Here's what you need:

4 cups thick cut or rolled oats
1 cup thin sliced almonds
1/2 cup flaked coconut
pinch of salt

1/2 cup honey
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons ground dried lavender
1 tsp lemon juice

In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.

Next, get your lavender flowers and lemon zest and juice ready.

In a small sauce pan, heat the honey, butter and oil until just bubbling.  Stir in the lavender, zest and lemon juice.   Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for about 10 minutes.

Work the honey mixture into the dry ingredients with a spatula.  Spread the mixture out in a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 320 degrees for 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  It should turn golden and dry.


It is delicious plain, but I like mine with a little milk, and maybe a handful of fresh berries if I'm feeling fancy. 

The flavors are fairly mild in this blend.  The lemony taste shows up first with the lavender coming in as a soft aftertaste.  It is definitely not too flowery.  Also, it will make your house smell awesome while you're baking it!

Happy baking!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Upcoming project :D

Hello!  I have some exciting projects lined up in preparation for SteamCon which is fast approaching.  Here are the components of my next one:

and some brief working sketches:

Also, this is what concentration looks like :)

Anyways, that's what is happening around here.  I do have a plan for sweet 16th this month but am having a little trouble locating an ingredient, so it might (will) be late.