Posts Tagged ‘blog: stuff I made’.

Announcing the monthly Cast Card Subscription!

what a card !!!

I’ve made some new Wondermark Cast Cards!

These little commemorative plaques are neat mementos of events or moments in Wondermark history.

Folks who’ve gotten the 2016 Wondermark Calendar, or were a part of the Multi-Purpose Cards Kickstarter, have already begun seeding their collection of Wondermark Cast Cards.

And..so have a handful of my top Patreon supporters! I decided I would make a brand new one, and send it to my top supporters for the month of January. A little surprise thank-you, for the folks who’ve contributed over $20 so far.

(They’re all getting the lady in the green dress, at right in the photo above. She’s Mirabelle O’Denneghy, from Wondermark #1056. It looks like her organs haven’t exploded quite yet — bully for her!)

Today, I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be making the Cast Card rewards a monthly tradition — a new way to reward folks who want to support Wondermark and the other things I do.

I’ve added a new tier on Patreon that is the monthly Cast Card subscription.

If you’re not familiar with Patreon, it’s like tossing some change in the tip jar when you get a coffee. Lots of people giving 25¢ or $1 or $2 each month can add up to make a real difference in the life of an artist. It’ll allow me to make more fun stuff, like these cards for instance! Which I think are pretty fun.

So, if you’d like to toss in a few cents or a buck, by all means, please do! I’m grateful beyond words.

BUT, if you would like to go PREMIUM LEVEL, and receive a beautiful handmade item in your hands every single month, now there is this:

it's a fun thing for nice people

Every single month, I will send my patreonauts at this tier level a brand new monthly Cast Card, which will be exclusive to Patreon.

It’s like the world’s smallest LootCrate! (The shipping cost is included; there’s no extra charge to have one sent to you anywhere in the world.)

To make it fair, I’ll make the official count at the end of each month (when the pledges for that month are processed). So, the time is NOW to jump on board for the inaugural February offering!

Here’s this February’s card — good ol’ Bean MacBean, from Wondermark episode #1125, the “bean juice” comic! All his vital stats are on the back, of course.

Moving forward, there will be other ways to get other Cast Cards, too.

Most will be included free with various projects, or awarded for various things…In fact, soon I’ll talk about how you may already be a Library Ace. I’ll say only this for now: get your Wondermark books off the shelf, and make sure there’s film in your camera or whatever!

Until then, thanks a million for your support on Patreon, and please don’t delay if you want to claim a copy of the February card!

Wondermark Monthly Cast Card Subscription : Sign up now to get February’s card!

Home-Printable Multi-Purpose Cards!

the trombone always gets the ladies

 

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day, and pretty soon it’ll be a bunch of other holidays too!

What if you need a card for one or none of these occasions…but don’t have one? I, my friend, am here to help.

Surely by now you know all about my Multi-Purpose Greeting Cards. But now you can download and print out your own, right from the comfort of wherever your printer is! Both US letter paper and A4 sized print files are available.

The downloadable set contains eight cards (including two new ones that have never been offered in paper form).

There’s a thank-you card; a Valentine; a congratulations card; one that works for a bunch of different holidays; one for other occasions such as birthdays; a “save the date”; an invitation; and even one just to say “thinking [weird thoughts] of you.”

Since you can print out as many cards as you want from the PDF, really any price a person can set would be too low. For what is the world’s GDP, when compared to an infinite amount of product?? 

So I’ve arbitrarily chosen a finite dollar amount, lower than the GDP of any nation on Earth and about what you’d pay for two or three cards in a stationery store. You can also set a higher price, if you think I am undercharging for such great value! But that is just because the software allows for it, rather than because I think you should. I leave the choice in your capable hands.

Download the Multi-Purpose Greeting Cards set at Gumroad! 

(Confidential to everyone: Patreon backers, check your timeline today for a special post as well!)

A Free, Printable Progressive Calendar for 2016

Like I did last year, I made a simple progressive calendar for myself to use in my studio — and if you want to use it too, you can download it for free! Here’s the 6-page PDF.

line em up, knock em down

Longtime readers know about my fondness for the “progressive” style of calendar (a term I think I made up), which leaves no unnecessary gaps between months and thus more accurately mimics how human beings experience the phenomenon of time.

I made this calendar super big and clear, so it can be read at a glance from across the room. Since most of the events I attend (conventions and so on) occur on weekends, I prefer to group the weekend days together on the right side.

One change I made from last year is that I didn’t indicate any holidays! I figure anyone who’s willing to print out and hang a calendar like this can also figure out how to mark off whatever holidays are relevant to their country, province, subculture, etc. — and also might appreciate not being bothered by possibly irrelevant information. In other words, by not marking holidays, this single 33-kilobyte PDF file becomes universally usable worldwide.

The PDF is six pages long and, just because of how many dates fit onto a full page, runs all the way through mid-February 2017. In the picture above, I’ve trimmed the tops off pages 2, 3, 5, and 6, so as to present the entire year as two impassive columns.

OR, GO SMALL: I’m also a big fan of David Seah’s Compact Calendar, which applies the progressive concept to a single sheet of paper. This one’s super handy for planning out a whole year’s events in broad strokes. Check out and download his version here!

David’s got a ton of other cool printable productivity tools on his site, too — I’ve played around with quite a few of them in the past, instead of doing actual work. Enjoy!

DIY Weekend: Kitchen spoon hooks

Last weekend, I made some spoon hangers for my kitchen!

spoon you will know how it was done

Here is how I did this seemingly impossible task.

In our kitchen, we had a large ceramic crock to hold cooking spoons, tongs, and other large utensils. It was a mess!

Stuff was always spilling out, and whenever we’d get a new spatula or something, we’d have to shove it in there with everything else, and the stuff at the bottom would get all gross. OSHA even cited us for it, once.

When I noticed that every utensil (of course) has a hole in the handle, I decided to figure out how to hang the most commonly used pieces in a more accessible place, such as the side of a cabinet, which otherwise is just wasted space which is unacceptable.

We already do something similar with pots — we have a length of chain screwed along the wall, and we hang pots and pans from the links, using metal S-hooks. (The chain also comes in handy if our kitchen ever gets too icy to drive in safely.) So I figured there was probably a way to do something similar with utensils.

I Googled around to see how other people had solved this problem. The best tutorial I found recommended mounting bath towel bars, and hanging S-hooks from them. But the links in that article (to specific products at Ikea) were all expired, and those products weren’t offered anymore.

No matter. I don’t need to buy anything to make this happen!! We’ve fabricated all kinds of weird things at our new studio — it’s the type of place where, rather than buy a four-dollar toilet paper holder, I designed a version for my office roommate Jason to cut out of wood with his laser.

It took ten times the amount of work as screwing in a store-bought piece of plastic, but we made it, doggone it, and I point it out proudly to all our visitors.

As I was looking through some old scrap material, I realized I already had something that would work perfectly well for the kitchen: strips of wooden corner moulding.

it's hip to be square

I forgot to take a picture before I started, so this is a GENERIC IMAGE. This stuff is super cheap, though — a buck and a half per foot at Home Depot. Or, free, if someone leaves some behind after finishing some other job! As I think happened here!

I found a few scraps about a foot long each. I trimmed them to the size that would fit our cabinets, then measured out and drilled holes about an inch and a half apart.

tell me the HOLE truth

The idea is that one side will be screwed into the cabinets, and the other will have a bunch of hooks dangling from it. The picture above shows them post-drilling, drying from a coat of stain. (Please don’t tell USPS I’m using a Priority Mail™ mailer for something other than mailing a Priority Mail™ shipment! The moisture-resistant Tyvek ensures any spilled stain doesn’t soak through to the tabletop.)

As I was drilling some of the holes, one piece of the wood threatened to split along its length. That wouldn’t do, so I cut some 1″ × 1.25″ pieces of 1/4″ MDF scrap and painted them brown.

what can brown do for you

Once the stain was dry, I glued the MDF pieces to the underside of each rail, flush with the side that would be mounted to the cabinet.

Since MDF is a composite material with no grain, and it’s really dense, this bracing should keep the wood from splitting, and also transfer into the wall any weight or downward pressure felt by the outer edges of the rail.

I mean, sure, these things are designed to hold incredibly lightweight items, but better safe than sorry — or as I like to say, better complicated than simple.

This is not always a good philosophy but it ends up kinda...happening a lot.

very pinteresting

Jason’s work involves gluing stuff together all day every day, so in his bag of tricks I found these: backwards clothespins. They’re just regular clothespins in which the wooden pieces have been flipped upside down, and because this arrangement puts more tension on the spring, they hold super tightly. INCREDIBLE.

the world's smallest park benches

After drying the glue, a second coat of stain, and a coat of lacquer, they’re ready to hang! Luckily, our cabinet sides are solid plywood, so it was easy to screw directly into them.

you'll hang for this

The S-hooks came in a pack of 20 from Amazon. (OK, so I did have to buy something…but those convention-standard pipe-and-drape hooks would work just as well. So, start pocketing them next time you’re at Comic-Con.)

My search terms on Amazon were “the cheapest price for the largest package of entirely passable hooks which will be required to do very little work, and, if possible, can the item title be 37 words long?” Here is the result. They’re totally fine.

We mounted four of these rails on two different cabinet sides, and they work great! The bar for their performance was very low and they cleared it easily!!

is this article over so spoon?

Since the S-hooks are kind of wide, the spoons hang out from the wall a couple inches, in open air. This meant we could actually overlap things — as you can see in the above picture, the lower rail is actually mounted on the wall behind the longest spoons. So it’s possible to save some vertical space!

I dub this a SIMPLE PROJECT that is PRETTY HANDY. I get immense satisfaction from creating simple solutions to small problems! If you do it yourself, I hope it works as well for you, and makes you feel this alive.

Friends, I’ve come to the end of this post, and I just now realized I forgot to follow DIY Article Best Practices, and make it a 20-page slideshow in order to optimize ad views. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.

The Force Awakens – Early leaked soundtrack??

I found this imported Force Awakens soundtrack CD at the Virgin Megastore and dude, I… I just don’t know if this movie will be any good

(Click the image for a closer look)

is...is this real??

Notes: Over the weekend, this image became my most popular post ever on Tumblr. And, to answer a few common questions:

Yes, I made it. Thanks to Nerdist for giving me proper credit!

Yes, it is fake, so it’s not a spoiler (at least not on purpose). I, uh, thought that would be obvious when I made it a CD.