Cigar Box Ukulele Build - Neck

I got the fretboard glued to the neck. It was a precarious operation and I wasn't prepared for it. There was no real way for me to clamp the pieces together so I ended up holding them while dinner burned on the stove. Ooops! This morning I stained the assembly with Varathane golden mahogany wood stain. One thing I always screw up on when gluing wood is being too messy. Wherever you get glue on your project it won't take stain so be more careful than I am!


Cigar Box Ukulele Build

I started a new cigar box build over the weekend. This time I'm working on a ukulele. I got the neck, tuners, strings, bridge and nut from a kit I bought on Grizzly.com. The fretboard is going to be cut from a piece of basswood and I bought fret wire from StewMac. I was originally going to use an Arturo Fuente cigar box, but I've changed my mind and am using an old Royalists one instead.

First I drew a template for the fretboard. I then traced the image onto my basswood and cut it out with a coping saw.

I laid out the frets by tracing the spacing from another ukulele I have. Then I used my coping saw to cut the slots into the fretboard. More to come this week!


How to Make a Sock Monkey Tutorial

Making a sock monkey is pretty easy! All you need are a pair of Rockford Red Heel socks, needle & thread, and some stuffing. Some people embroider on the eyes and add eyelashes, but I decided to go with button eyes since it's easier.

The first step is to turn one sock inside out. Next sew a seam on both sides of the center of the sock starting a few inches from the white heel and across the end of the sock, rounding out the feet. Cut in between the seams and turn the sock right side out. Use the opening left in the crotch to stuff the legs, body and head. I had trouble getting the stuffing into the legs so I used a chop stick. Finish up by sewing the crotch opening closed.

The second sock is used to create the ears, mouth, tail and arms. For the arms cut the upper part of the sock into two pieces lengthwise. Seam, rounding the ends and stuff. For the mouth cut the heel from the sock leaving a brown edge around the white. Fasten on the lower part of the face, stuff and finish sewing around the top. You can sew a stitch of either black or white across the lips, but I left mine plain.

Next, sew on the ears and add the eyes. I thought the button eyes looked really cute, but embroidering them on with black thread works too. If this monkey is being created for a toddler or baby it's probably best to embroider them so there won't be a choking hazard. After completing the face sew on the arms.

The very last step is the tail. Using the one inch strip cut from the second sock, taper to end of cuff, seam and stuff. Then you just need to sew it on his butt! The cap is optional and some people use the toe of an additional sock leaving 1/2 inch of brown to roll for a brim. I was lucky enough to get a cool red knitted cap. You can also add a jacket, vest, skirt or anything else you think would look good on your monkey. That's it!


Ralph Bakshi: Surviving in Tough Times

This talk by Ralph Bakshi is why I decided to work on my own stop motion piece. I always wanted to make my own film but thought I could never pull it off. After watching this video I thought, why not?


Building Props for Stop Motion Animation

The first scene in my short film takes place in a bedroom so I am building the props I will need. Today I made a bed! I used 3/4" and 1/4" square dowels and some thin scrap wood I had. The mattress is 4 layers of corrugated cardboard topped with quilt batting and white fabric. Now I am going to sew a mini quilt for it!


More Stop Motion Puppet Work

My stop motion puppet is moving beyond being a skeleton and now has skin! I used acrylic felt, embroidery floss and fiber fill to flesh it out. It's not done yet, but getting there.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

I've painted 62 art cards and all I have to show for it is carpal tunnel syndrome. Ouch. I'm still going to paint art cards, just not everyday.