Friday, March 7, 2014

work struggles and a selfie

the finished stencil, marked up, and ready to blast

The last two weeks of February, everything in the shop was a struggle. It was cold and I had a large complex stencil to cut and the stencil material that we switched to about a year and a half ago is stiff and hard to cut. My cuts were not smooth and I had to use an unbelievable amount of pressure and even then, sometimes it still wouldn't cut. On top of that, the paper pattern that my daughter printed for me at her work wouldn't cut with the tip of the knife blade but was tearing and clumping up, making it even harder.

Last week after I finished the stencil, I was so frustrated that I sent Marc out to buy a new roll of the previous stuff we had been using which was more expensive but easier to cut (cost wasn't the only reason we switched as it also had a tendency to stretch and then shrink after the stencil was cut leaving too wide gaps between the pieces) for the next panel.

Now easier to cut but still the knife blades would not cut the paper unless I held the knife at an angle instead of straight up and down. Holding it at an angle makes it harder to cut smooth curves. So I went out and got a copy of the drawing at my usual place and patched it in where I hadn't cut yet. No dice. Still the paper tore and bunched. Finally, I had one last variable and that was the knife blades I was using, the less expensive brand, which we had been using for 20+ years with no problems.

So, new box of blades and problem solved. It was the stupid knife blades all along. Must have got a bad batch. I managed to get the rest of my work done for that week and this with no further problems.

This week we didn't go in til Tuesday afternoon since with the hard freeze and then the ice storm, it was too cold to work in the shop. We scooted home early today.

My old camera battery died after my first attempts at a selfie so I didn't get any photos of our progress this week.  These are from last week.

Marc on the job

almost done

Not a great selfie today. I only had four to choose from before the camera battery died and it usually takes me more than that just to choose the setting and get the composition, you know, at what angle and how high to hold the camera. Plus it was in the morning and my eyes were all puffy and I need to wash my hair and nobody needs to see that.

me, working on another stencil


  1. knife blades! glad you figured out what was the problem! :)

  2. You're so patient! Determined.

    My art has to do with pushing a button. You have to do a LOT of work. I salute you.

  3. Knife blades, bla! I once traced it down to bad sewing machine needles.
    You are surely the queen of selfies.

  4. This is a cute selfie!
    The stenciling looks like it takes way more patience than I have. :)

  5. You look very intense. Sorry, I'm always drawn to the selfies on selfie day.

  6. All that and...the blades.
    Well, at least you figured it out. And your art just absolutely amazes me.

  7. I bet you were pissed about those blades! Well, at least now you know.

    I began wondering about what your husband is listening to while he works. Weird the things we pay attention to, huh?

    I like your selfie--so much concentration in your eyes, the position of your glasses, the background... I like it.

  8. That would be so frustrating but I'm glad you got it figured out. It's interesting to see parts of the process.

    And stop making excuses for your selfies! They're you.. and lovely.. and great to see. :)

  9. But where is a picture of you? I would like one very much.


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