Thursday, January 17, 2008

don't strum so hard

Well it's been two months now, and my playing is really getting much better. But here are trials of playing guitar -- oh my, I broke a nail!

Monday, May 07, 2007

the trials of not using photo-emulsion

Here we have the real pain of my choice not to use photo-emulsion. These are test prints of the screens I am planning to use for shirt printing.

All the noise in the print is a consequence of the screen not being properly sealed after my first application. I would need to do two (or probably more like three) applications (including all the arduous cutting in). This really cramps my style man!

I originally chose not to use photo-emulsion because the miracle that is photo-sensitive medium relies on Potassium Dichromate which is rated as extremely hazardous and cancer causing. Lovely.

... anyhow, I'm screwed. I need a simpler way to produce these screens. It does help to be able to print on the silkscreen with the laser printer. But this issue of bad sealing is making me crazy.

Friday, May 04, 2007

they eat, and eat, and eat

The worm composter is running well. The worms are eating their meals. I'm blending up their food for now to help get the process going more quickly. I put food scraps like broccoli stalks, collard green stems, and carrot tops in a jar. Then when I have enough, I dump all the scraps in a blender, add a bunch of water, and ta-da! -- instant worm food.

Here is the slop poured into the first empty tray (about 3:00pm).

I then cover it with a sheet of wet newspaper.
Here is the slop the next morning (about 7:00 am).

Here it is about 24 hours later (3:00 pm).

And finally about 48 hours later (3:00 pm).

As you can see, they've sucked it all down leaving only the fibrous material.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Worms are go!

I just checked on them this morning, and the worms are doing just fine. They have eaten all the starter food that I gave them (about a cup of blended up broccoli stalks and water). I can't even find the food I gave them, it's gone completely. I can finally begin to feed the worms for real now. It's been one day less than a week (six days).

Saturday, April 28, 2007

worms take two

Okay, so here's the new worm bin. I purchased the bin and two pounds of redworms from Happy D Ranch. I like Happy D because they include extensive instructions with the shipment. I am (well Sqrl is the "regulator") following the directions carefully this time (no more worm apocalypse). You can see a few on top of the newspaper.

And here they are en masse. I have to admit that even though I handle them and everything, looking at this picture now makes me a little idgy. There's something about worms that is just plain visceral.
A lone worm on the prowl.

first "take one" holder is down

The Pedestrian Propaganda "take one" holder didn't fair so well through the two days of rain. It was under an awning (overhang) at the train station so it didn't receive direct rain. But the general wetness (maybe wind-blown water?) made the stamp in the back stick to the holder. Most of the stamps themselves were just fine (a little curly, but not stuck together). However, the holder itself more or less fell apart -- it ripped along the folded edge that makes the box which makes sense since I score that line with a stylus to get a clean fold).

The upside is that nine were missing! That means that in just four days nine were taken (and therefore distributed). I'd say that's a pretty good rate for a fairly small train station (Lansdale station) in a relatively low traffic area (the holder was mounted on a pay phone around the back of the station -- though maybe the pay phone mounting had something to do with the success).

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

First "take one" holder is up

I mounted my first Pedestrian Propaganda distribution holder the other day. I loaded it up with 15 Big Stamps (which are pieces pre-coated with paste so all you have to do is wet them to stick them up). Today, I went back to check on it and two were missing. I'll do another check in a few more days.

And on another exciting note... Look what you can do with a laser printer! I used my HP LaserJet to print directly on silkscreen mesh (I used synthetic mono-filament). The advantage of this is that I can transfer designs to the mesh with great accuracy. Typically, silkscreen printers just use photo-emulsion (such as Diazo by Speedball) to set the design in the screen. Though there are several different formulas for photo-emulsion, the problem with all of them is that they are fairly toxic (contianing either Diphenylamine, or a Dichromate), and often carcinogenic. So, I am hand-painting the resist until I can find (or someone invents) a non-toxic photo emulsion. In the meantime, this being able to print on mesh with a laser printer is kinda cool and may prove useful beyond this application anyway.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

First PPP test shirt done

Alright! The first Pedestrian Propaganda test shirt is done. Black on dark blue wouldn't be my choice for contrast, but it's an old shirt so it was good for testing. Also, I think I finally found a source for the blank shirts that makes me really happy. It's called Nueva Vida -- a women's sewing cooperative in Nicaragua. I can buy the shirts from World Centric (at a premium since I'm not buying wholesale). All very exciting. Not just organic cotton, but truly fair trade.