Catherine’s Wheel, Second Attempt

Well. . .it’s been too long since I’ve updated this blog. I’ve had a rather difficult (to say the least) summer and really haven’t had much of a chance to do anything. I finished my second Catherine’s Wheel a few weeks ago but there simply hasn’t been much wind. I finally got a chance last week (Sunday, July 29th) to try it out. The breeze just happened to come up and I had it in my car so I gave it a shot. As is evident from the video below, it works!

The problem with the first one is that I hadn’t sewn it together properly (the instructions were about a clear as mud) but I realized what needed to be done and my second one works! Too cool! While the video isn’t the greatest (it was taken with my cell phone) it still shows that I was successful! I want to make some larger ones in the future – I’m especially interested in attaching three or more together with each one spinning in a different direction.

As I mentioned above, this has been an extremely stressful summer – I’m very glad I had my boy with me. Unfortunately, we just haven’t had much of a chance to fly. I’m hoping that things will calm down a bit (I already know they won’t) but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I really do need to make more kites and assorted goodies. My plan has been to make some fighters but even that hasn’t been possible.

Catherine’s Wheel

Catherine's Wheel Being Pulled Well, I finished my first attempt at a “Catherine’s Wheel” last night – a piece of line laundry that is supposed to spin in the wind. It was rather easy to make except that the instructions were about as clear as mud. As a result, I don’t know if it’s going to spin or not – if it’s not constructed properly, it will inflate but not spin. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any wind either last night or today so I ended up taking my boy down to the ocean where, of course, there also wasn’t any wind (not even the slightest breeze). So. . .what does one do? Have your boy run with it, of course! The picture at the left shows just that. 

As is evident, my Catherine’s Wheel did inflate but I still haven’t been able to tell if it will spin. My boy’sCatherine's Wheel Flashing By test run did prove that it will at least appear as a circle. Sadly a couple of the bridles came loose during it’s maiden voyage. I used Dacron line and tied it to the wheel using sheet bends (as the instructions directed). Unfortunately, the Dacron is too slippery and a couple of the knots came undone. I’m going to super-glue each knot tonight as tying them on was a bit of a pain.

Catherine's Wheel at the Finish Line Even with the lack of wind and the problems with the bridles, I think that the Catherine’s Wheel turned okay. I’m just hoping that it will spin. Only time will tell that – I’m going to try again tomorrow. Keeping my fingers crossed!

The Kite Regalia

Kite RegaliaGosh, flying kites is FUN! Yesterday was very hot (I just hope it doesn’t get humid like last year) and decided to take my boy to the beach. Of course, I brought far too many kites but happened to have all but one of my own creations; the only one missing was my first kite, the square flake. As it turned out, the beach was packed (but, because I paid for an annual pass to go to State Beaches as it is much more cost effective) but, because the beach are is so wide (we went to Huntington Beach), there was still a lot of real estate to set up shop. 

So. . . guess what I did (just one guess now)?! I set up my full regalia of kite creations! I’ve got to admit, it’s quite a thrill to see everything up in the air. I had my new kite arch, my banners, my carp windsock, my bol, as well as my entire flock of duck windsocks. Just as exciting was the fact that there was a good, strong steady breeze. The only bad thing is that I forgot my KAP rig (darn!) – both the weather and my kite display would have been perfect for KAPing. Oh well . . . maybe next time! 

Fortunately, I did have my cameraMother, Child, and Kite Arch and managed to get quite a few ground-based photos. Digital cameras are absolutely wonderful in that you can take as many photos as the memory card will hold and, of course, there is no need to develop anything. As a result, I know take a lot of pictures and shift through them to find the ones I like. Yesterday’s photos were not exception – I managed to get quite a few that I liked (more than I normally would). In addition to numerous views of my compete set of flying things, I had several favorites; including a photo of a mother with her child who decided to park themselves on their backs directly under my kite arch. Double clicking on the picture will open up a larger version on Flickr. Once there, look at the larger photo sizes in order to view the mom with her kid. I can’t think of anything more flattering than to have something like this occur! 

Pelicans and the ArchIn addition to the wonders of enjoying the beach on a warm summer afternoon and flying kites, I’m always thrilled when any wildlife show up – in this case, a flock of pelicans flew by and, as luck would have it, I had my camera too! While I only got a couple of photos and didn’t really have time to set up my camera, I did get a couple of shots. My favorite is the view of the pelicans flying past my arch. 

While the pelicans were only around for a few moments (long enough to fly by), my own flock of Line of Ducksducks managed to stay pinned to the sky. I’ve been amazed at how stable the ducks are – they actually stay right-side-up while they’re flying. There must be something inherent in their design that allow them to remain that way. Bol

Another one of my favorite photos happens to be one I took of my bol. I didn’t realize it until I arrived Through the Eye of the Bolhome, but the hole in the bol (no, I’m not attempting to be a poet), was centered over a life guard tower. I didn’t catch this until I was editing my pictures to post on Flickr. I cropped it in order to highlight the neat view! 

Finally, I was thrilled with the picture of the “duck tails” – a composite of my duck windsocks Duck Tailsbehind a partial view of my arch. In addition to the pun (which is intended), I thought it made for a rather interesting shot.

Another maiden voyage

Kites and you-know-whoIt’s been a busy week since I last posted – I’ve been preparing materials in order to sue the Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department for their theft, fraud, and other vile actions. I did; however, get down to Doheny State Beach where I sat on the grass for a couple of hours in order to add the tails to my arch kite.

To say that I was pleased with the results is an understatement – I was absolutely thrilled with the results! I still can’t believe that I’m actually making so many cool kite things – sewing has turned out to be a bit easier than I imagined and I’m having a ball with it. If nothing else, it’s great Kite Arch Maiden Voyage“therapy” and is quite inexpensive (far, far cheaper than buying kites).  It only took a few moments after I launched the arch (I was a bit worried as I had read that arches can turn into a tangled mess if they’re not launched properly) before others started coming over to comment. One guy offered to take my picture, using my cell phone, while holding on to the end of the arch – granted, the clown in the photo kind of spoils the picture (grin) but the kites sure look great! 

As I alluded above, I had no problem launching my kite arch – the picture shows the arch in its full glory. It also shows how they were constructed – each kite has one spar (the vertical one), and the horizontal “spar” consists of Dacron line that is sewn across the back. I used Dacron tape to make the spar pockets (note the kite near the bottom left) and surveyors’ tape is attached to the bottom of each kite, using Velcro, to serve as a tail. Kite Arch The breeze was somewhat irregular; however, and the arch would go up – and come down. One of the interesting things is that the arch would self-launch when the breeze would pick up again. As a result, there where times when only a part of the arch would be aloft while, at other times, all of them would reach towards the sky and pull the line taut. As always, I had the most fun watching others enjoying the kites – seeing their reactions is almost as fun as flying.

90 Feet of Kites!

Another sleepless night 🙁 but I put it to good use – I’ve just finished my first kite arch! All in all, I’ve got thirty Eddy (diamond) kites spread out over approximately 90 feet of line! It took me most of the last week (maybe more) of sleepless nights to complete it and I just finished adding the vertical spars to them (there are no horizontal spars as the line that is sewn onto each kite serves that purpose). All that needs to be done now is to add a small tail to each one before it’s maiden launch. I may take the arch with me to the beach tomorrow (I’ve got an appointment near there that I need to attend first) and may attach the tails down there. Anyway, I just wanted to announce that the arch is essentially done! Hopefully, it won’t take too long to attach the tails – I’m going to use florescent surveyors’ tape for them – and if I’m succeed, I’ll try to post a picture of the maiden launch (assuming the it’s successful). Anyway, I’m excited about my latest creation and can’t wait to see it in the air. Too fun! Now, if I could just get some sleep. . .