There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want

No big post tonight.  Just gonna have a chill evening here with the kitties.  I've been majorly burning the candle at both ends lately between Toshiba and UCLA (yesterday I worked a full, straight, twelve hour day) but also at the same time have a lot of projects that I'm just getting into the thick of.  Also Halloween is this weekend, and while I adore October and Halloween, can't help but get stressed about the whole going out part.  It's all comes back to the whole being around huge groups of people (we're going to West Hollywood which should be an... adventure).  That being said, I think I have a pretty good costume this year and will absolutely be posting pictures if it comes out OK. Let's just leave it at I spent $40 on blue body paint today.  

I've posted two new sketches into the sketchbook page.  The picture above is the "detail" of one of them.  The picture is loosely based on a fever dream I had when I was in LA for the very first time interviewing for my current grad program.  There was no large religious hand statue but I was stuck in a desert and was quite literally walking in circles for hours.  Not even different circles: the exact same circle.  It was as if someone had tied a gigantic rubber-band around my waist and I would be snapped back to the exact same spot when I tried to get away.  I would wake up and then fall back asleep only to go through the same motions.  It was torturous and wildly restless, but the imagery is still pretty stuck in my head.  I've left out the ascetic-looking man who was there as well (or rather, that's sort of what the hand statue is to represent).  Did I mention that I was *quite* sick when this all happened?

Overall the drawing is fine, but I'm quite happy with how the foreshortening, shading, and posing on the guy (ostensibly me) came out.  That's good enough for me.  This was the first time in a while that I just drew from my imagination.  I do a lot of drawing based on photographs other people take, which is better than not drawing at all, but I like the really imaginative stuff more. I like the practice of posing figures just based off of what you can see in your minds eye.  I'm going to try to do more of it, but it's tough man.  This one took me a while to get right.  That right foot underwent a lot of redoing before it was good enough to leave alone.

I claimed this was going to be a short post and look what I've gone and done.  I was going to talk a bit about my two current woodworking projects, but I think I'm gonna go work on the comic that I've started (just a one-off, not like, a full-on, recurring comic or anything).  Instead, I'll just leave you with some pictures of the desk that I've committed to for that walnut slab I've had sitting around for a while.  

Cut off the other side of the bark with the draw knife and shaped it a little bit to provide a nice smooth side.  I also cut off the rough-cut ends on the table saw (but kept the cut angles, because I'm planning a somewhat asymmetric base.  Those stools were literally one of the best investments I've ever made. 

Mortises cut for the mortise-and-tenon joints that make the back side of the desk base.  These ones leave a lot to be desired.  I didn't lay them out all that great and I'm cutting to the maple apron thickness for which I don't have an appropriate thickness of chisel.  It basically just means I have to clean them up a lot more than I should have to when it comes to test-fitting the tenon.  Also, a little below, you'll see a teeny bit of extra space that shouldn't be there.

Calling it a day.  Woodworking is awesome.  The piece of wood with the sticker on it is koa, which my roommate Liz was kind and thoughtful enough to bring back for Jack and me from Hawaii.  I'm going to use it to make dovetail keys for the splits in the left side of the slab.

Uggghhhh.  It's fiiiiine, I guess.  That little gap on the right and at the corners is driving me crazy.  Also that I over-marked the width with the marking gauge meaning now I have a lot of planing and sanding to get it out.  What's so crazy is that even with all of the sloppiness (ok, it's not so bad, but it could definitely be better), it's an exceedingly solid joint.

No glue, no nothing, just two mortise and tenon joints.  Guess I laid it out alright since the back of the desk will stand on its own on about 8 square inches of wood.

One good-sized dovetail key, and one ADORABLE-sized dovetail key.  They will keep the splits from traveling any further up the wood (although I doubt that they really wood).  These will be koa and probably the very last thing that I do.  

Hope all y'all's evenings are going splendidly.

<3,

John