14 September, 2009

Arts and Cats III

A lot's happened on the Arts & Cats front since our last installment. Lessee. We had the obligatory napping upon the item Mommy wants to work on:

And the mandatory inspection of the newly-painted shelves:

I'm just lucky she didn't get Ideas about the sand...

Here's the completed case, just waiting for the rocks to go in:

For those who might be curious about materials used, etc., the shelves are made of plain ol' poplar wood, resting on square-cut wooden dowels glued to the sides (do NOT talk to me about what a pain in the arse that was). It's important to get the base in before you start gluing the shelf supports, by the way. The base is surrounded by run o' the mill sand in the front, and coarse craft sand along the back and sides. Don't ask me how many times I had to use a long-handled paint brush to sweep sand off of various-and-sundry parts of the base. Color was easily provided by perfectly ordinary acrylic craft paints. And check this out:

One coat o' craft paint (Red Iron Oxide, if you're curious) and the shelves look like they've been stained. Gorgeous. The base took one coat of Sandstone and a coat of Burnt Sienna to get that mottled stone effect. There's a tiny touch of black worked in along the "cliff" edge to give the impression of strata. It ended up almost exactly the color of the Moenkopi formation, and I'm well pleased.

Anyway, back to cats. Before the rocks could be placed in their happy home, they had to be cataloged. Misha, o' course, decided she could be a gigantic help in this regard:

She's "assisting" me in photographing the most delicate fossil in the collection. Do try to contain your surprise.

And here she is helping Mommy sort rocks into groups before moving them to their display case:

I don't have a picture of her trying to eat all the little information slips later, or me getting my hand ripped off when I tried to rescue them. Use your imaginations.

Once the bleeding stopped, I was able to get everyone happily arranged. And here is the final result:

And a top view for good measure:

I can't begin to tell you how happy I am with the result, especially the Meteor Crater stuff in the red dish there. Had a very nervous moment getting the pulverized Coconino Sandstone and meteorite fragments settled there. It's one of those sneeze-and-you're-fucked things.

Of course, now that it's done, the cat's completely lost interest. Which is probably for the best.

Well, my darlings, that's it until next I have enough rocks to justify spending a week building another happy home for them. At the rate I'm going, that shouldn't be long...

(Those who want to know more about the actual rocks are advised to wait until next Sunday, when I shall be doing a Sunday Sensational Science on them. No, really, it'll be interesting!)

1 comment:

Atheist Chaplain said...

Very crafty :-)
I have a house that needs painting, want free room and board in Australia for a week or two so you can lend a hand :-)