I'm moving the blog to Patreon! I'm hoping to do easier/better archiving there and hopefully have some conversations with other creative folk... Come visit please!
Because the Star House is apparently not enough (seriously, what is wrong with me?) I got it into my head that I needed to get back to using Ziggy Starbus for things. Granted, it's status as Glorified Metal Tent is not always conducive to spending a lot of time in there... makes me kind of regret not tearing off the walls and insulating it when I first got it. But, I remind myself, my graduate school degree was contingent on Ziggy's "completeness"... so yeah... I like being graduated and if I'd taken on insulation I might still be there.
Ziggy was set up as a retail-ready space for grad school reasons, but that layout has never really quite worked for me. All the shelving I had in there would be great if Ziggy ever lives in a cart pod and doesn't move much, but to be actually mobile that shelving is pretty useless. Also, with teaching and all, the idea of pursuing retail seems fairly insurmountable... I mean, I'd have to TALK to people. So... I don't really know what Ziggy is for yet. I still get nervous driving it (must get over that), but during the nicer months it will be a nice dreaming studio. I'm also wanting to use it for camping-- it will need to go to What the Festival this summer to transport the Star House, and then we could just stay in it... if it had a bed...
This was what I decided needed to be remedied post haste.
I did a lot of searching on Skoolie.net for ideas of how people had created sleeping space that could be converted-- Ziggy is not big enough or laid out in such a way that a permanent bed makes sense. I got the idea to try to create a couch/bench that converted to a bed. I found some great plans that used basically 2 interlocking slat frames that slid out to make a wide platform and thought I'd try that.
Here's my Saab convertible carrying 15 1x4's... the Home Depot parking lot men gave me odd looks...
Here's my "wood shop." DAMN I miss having our sweet sweet shop at the Bison studio. Now I'm like... I have a saw...
Here's the beginnings. I'm using the pre-existing drawers to form two side supports and am hack-rigging that middle shelf in to create support for the middle. That's a thing Andreas made for Ziggy last year that has been just kicking around, and those fat boards were things we'd used to level the bus for the final show. How lucky that they happened to be the right length! Also, let's hope I'm cool with the bus being not-level....
I should have taken more in-progress shots, but I got wrapped up in the whirlwind of "shit now what?"
I quickly realized the sliding frame method wouldn't work-- between the width of the original bench and the fact that I had all 1x4's, the slide-out width difference was miniscule. So I improvised some madness. Now it hinges open. So here it is mid-work. The front edge is hinged and every other slat is attached to that back rail. Since this picture, I attached 2 legs on each end that stick up (I pretend they're decorative) and 2 more on that back rail that hinge. This does, of course, create an uneven surface for sitting, but it's going under thick foam so I think I can get away with it.
Here it is folded out. I realized after the fact (oops) that of course now one set of slats is lower than the other. I was going to sand down the sharp edges of the slats the middle, but my foam is so dense I think I can skip it.
Progress of the past... 3 days? The house walls dried sufficiently and I primed the inside sides... that took a good 2 days. The house is so small to sit in and yet seems to possess INFINITE surface area. I have definitely hit that "oh god what have I done" point.
I also built shutters for the bay windows and a panel to fit in the large arched window to block it out. It's removable, as I don't want to lose air possibilities from that window entirely, but there needs to be ONE wall without any funny business. Or less, anyway. Built a hinged panel for the front window too. Admittedly not the most elegant solution, but adds to the "fort" aesthetic. I'm realizing how much lighting this is going to need during the day now that I've closed all the windows, but as soon as they are open it kind of breaks the spell of the inside paint concept...
Put the house marginally back together, which is going to make painting the inside much less comfortable, but I don't think I can do it holistically without all the edges together. Now there's a tiny house in my basement. It looks rather fantastic.
Spackled a few of the more obnoxious screw and nail holes... now it's a big white expanse of scary... taking a moment to appreciate the work done before panicking about how much is left and going back to the "WHYYYYYY" mindset :P
Today's progress: Frustrating. Discovered I had bought the WRONG sort of sander at Home Despot and had to go back, which is sort of like having to go back to Mount Doom. Started sanding some of the walls to prep for primer and paint, which mostly made me realize that this wood is not going to dry for a while... DAMN this 100% humidity! Also some of it is a little rotten or mildew-y and currently smells kind of like a fish tank. Grosssssssss. So... Sprayed a few bits with bleach water and left it to stew in its own evil. I'm annoyed and impatient, as I am feeling antsy to get this project going. There's so much to do and so many problems that I won't know are there until I step in them, so I'm eager to get this show on the road. And I don't like waiting for things to dry. No sir.
On another note, I've decided that the words "obsessed" and "hack" need to be removed from the general lexicon. You are not "hacking" your living room when you put teal blue chalk paint on a credenza. You are not "obsessed" with nail art, ombre hair, vegan doughnuts and vaporwave. Just... stop it.
Now I'm going to sit on my porch and yell at young folks for a while.
Today's progress: A few weeks ago Sam and I managed to get the house that will be the STAR HOUSE taken apart. Happily, it comes apart relatively easily. I took a few pictures of the inside to try to remind myself what it feel like to be inside when it's all together.
Today I worked on getting it cleaned up... the inside looks pretty nice here, but the whole things covered in filth/mildew/moss, not to mention the MANY spider eggsacs in the eaves (ew.)
Post-wash they are looking much nicer. The paint started flaking off, which I expected, but the red color also started coming off, which I didn't. I guess it's a stain? I guess that can scrub off? I have no idea, but hopefully a little sanding and priming will make these into useable surfaces.
Some after pictures.
My basement looks even more insane than usual. It refuses to stop raining so I stacked all the pieces inside to dry. Despite being much cleaner, it still kind of smells like a swamp in here right now.
The internet age is so strange...fascinating and insidious all at once. It IS the world for me in so many ways now. I take it for granted-- online is just part of the day. Thinking back to high school, back when I was abstractly planning plotting and dreaming my epic and creative future... I didn't have this thing... I had a phone that plugged in to the wall and had a long curly cord. It lit up with blue fluorescent lights when it rang. Oh the internet EXISTED, but it didn't touch me. It seemed like alien and foreign nonsense. I refused to have an email address--it offended me. I was also sure my future contained artistic glory of some sort... I was sure that all i had to do was get better... be talented, make meaningful work and that the rest would just make sense... I'd be in Vanity Fair in some bit piece about the young and scrappy artists of New York today, wearing beat up engineer boots and faded, black, paint-covered jeans...magically I would have become some waifish Patti Smith lookalike, of course.
...not that I can blame the internet for things being as they are or are not... and i wonder how we would have had to "sell and market" ourselves if the internet had never happened? I simply find it so strange and sometimes off-putting to feel the need to create "content," to cultivate a "persona" and to put it out there as some necessary aspect of being an independent artist type... isn't it a little strange?
Well, I'be never been very good at it. I am flakey with all those disciplinary things... regular exercise, yoga, bookkeeping, blogging... all the healthy habits that I feel like I am supposed to have mastered and hold in perfect balance like some tattooed Shiva... yeah I'm not so good at that.
What I AM good at is making stuff... like a lot of stuff... usually with lots of colors in it. And honestly, I like that. I like all these weird, mismatched creations. I Like being surrounded by colors. I have no desire to create a pert little lifestyle blog full of perfect sunny days and well-behaved, charming children... but I do want to celebrate the small things that make me stupid happy. Like this rainbow cake I made. I don't really have the chops or patience to take lots of lovely pictures and make a charming tutorial-- I'm fucking lazy on that front, okay?-- but I do feel like i've done something MAGICAL just to look at the thing. So here's to magic...
Dan's hybrid unileopargoat is done... Less than a week until the show at the @appliedcraftanddesign studios!
These guys will all be in a pop up show next month at the Bison Building... You should all come and get silly with me.