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Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 - 12:28 AM

"Beveled Cross Design Realized"

I came up with a simple cross design for the upcoming Stations of the Cross event, presented by Ethnos Church (my community, my people, my family). Our Thursday night community group is putting together a few stations, and for one of them we needed a cross.

I could have waited to build it with someone from church, but wasn't sure how the logistics would work out since I don't have a car. Plus, I was a little antsy. I figured it would be a good chance to spend some time with my dad anyway and asked him if he had the tools I might need.

My dad didn't have a key ingredient, the table saw. I was talking to my best friend Dave about it, and he remembered his dad has a table saw. Well, his dad wasn't around but suggested Dave's uncle. So off to Dave's uncle's house we ended up going this evening (after stopping by my parents' for dinner and such). Dave's uncle was very nice and stopped in his tracks to help us rip some boards on his table saw.

For some reason every saw that I used in the whole construction of this cross had much trouble cutting these boards. Must be because I choose the "kiln dried" variety of 2x4s from Home Depot. Oh well, my bad.

Dad and I set to work trying various things to get my design to work. We made a few mistakes, trying to construct this really strong, proper way of securing the cross bar thing. Well, after realizing we'd have to cut at some REALLY weird angles to make our idea work, we ditched that plan. Normally I'd love the challenge of figuring angles because I used to love math... but it was getting late.

We made due with an original plan I had that ... and a yadda yadda yadda, no one cares about the details. So my dad and I finished the cross. It was fun working together. We probably poisoned ourselves with severe smoke inhalation on some of those cuts. It was amazing. The entire shop was incredibly hazy, as if the boards were actually on fire (or somehow worse?). So if I'm hacking and wheezing (or dead) when you see me next, that might be why.

Here's our finished product. I just have to paint it... probably white.

By the way, neither my dad nor I are experienced with carpentry, so don't make fun. We did the best we could as a couple rookies. I think it turned out pretty good!

Dad's and my cross

Dad's and my cross

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Monday, March 23rd, 2009 - 2:31 AM

"Stations of the Cross Construction"

Another of the stations our SW Hills Community Group took on to design for the Stations of the Cross event involves building a cross. I came up with this simple beveled cross design that I'm hoping to construct soon with the help of a craftsman in our church.

I decided to illustrate the design by modeling it in Ray Dream Studio and rendering it in Bryce. Of course I added some scene elements to make it interesting (and make it take WAY longer to render).

3D Cross Design

3D Cross Design

3D Cross Design

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Thursday, March 12th, 2009 - 12:26 PM

"Ethnos Web Site and Stations of the Cross"

OK, I'm seriously behind on writing in my blog. I've been feeling fairly busy lately - which for me is generally OK nowadays. I'd rather be doing something than nothing, though nothing every once in a while is good too.

Last week the core Ethnos web team - currently Matt, Wes and I - transferred the Ethnos Church web site to a new host (namely mine, to save money). Since it's on my host, I'm kind of the technical contact, though historically Wes serves more in that capacity. Wes worked to transfer the forum and some domain level stuff. Matt went all out and redesigned the entire web site from scratch, updating all the pages and adding new ones where applicable. He contacted all the necessary heads of ministry and feverishly produced content at an insanely rapid pace. Hats off to his efforts, the site looks great à mon avis.

Ethnos Church puts on a pretty cool Good Friday program, and we are attempting to improve and expand it this year. It's called "Stations of the Cross". It involves walking through a course, encountering 14 artistic and tactile stations designed to allow the participant to be contemplative about the various final acts of Jesus' earthly life. I haven't myself attended or helped with this event before because I wasn't really around or involved at the right times in the past. This year I'm trying to be helpful and get somehow artistically inspired. Our Thursday night community group is going to take on a couple of the stations (speaking of SW Hills, you are welcome to join us on Thursdays for a casual dinner and hang out time... though for the next few weeks we'll be busy working on Stations stuff).

Speaking of that: Everyone's invited to come to Stations of the Cross! It's on Good Friday, April 10th at Beaverton Christian Church. Please RSVP if possible. Earlier times during the day are likely less "busy". See the microsite for more information: http://stations.ethnoschurch.org

I designed a little microsite for the event two nights ago. Just last night I came up with a simple graphic to spruce up the appearance a bit. I wasn't sure exactly what to make, so I just started scribbling in Inkscape, one of my favorite graphics programs. I discovered a pretty cool set of secret actions that transformed my random scribbles into a pretty interesting ornate set of shapes. I started out with a single vector shape that had something like 20,000 nodes on it. Phew, talk about tasking my computer! Almost like the "good ole days" of doing one simple graphical task and waiting 10 minutes for it to apply or refresh.

Stations of the Cross Design

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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 - 3:56 PM

"Warner's Warp, Caiaphas"

This little ditty was created using a bunch of conical gradients, a mild twirl, and a couple radial gradients. Simple as pie. I added my most recent favorite filter - the GIMP's "Line Nova" - to give the image some pop along the edges. I guess the design is called Warner's Warp, Caiaphas because that's the first thing that came to mind.

Warner's Warp, Caiaphas

Then as usual, I cover up the best part of the design with a product photo and some words...

Warner's Warp, Caiaphas

Prices and featured items totally void. Ad graphic shown for fair use illustrative purposes only.

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