Monday

Done

The shoe-polish restoration is done.  What was supposed to take me all winter long and keep me occupied, was finished in about two weekends.  I purchased the bike, took it apart, got it running, put it all back together along with some new parts, and then cleaned and re-painted most of it.  It is about as clean as a dirt bike should ever be now, and it is a blast to ride.  I am now looking for another one, a vintage street bike of some kind...because I need a winter project...

Thursday

Let's go racing!

One of the cool things about living in Eastern Oregon is the access to amazing scenic country.  We are less than an hour away from amazing mountain terrain, rivers, lakes, and the high desert.  One of the best ways to see that country is on a motorcycle.



I love motorcycles, and this year I went to the local AHRMA vintage motorcycle races held in Central Oregon and got to see some great vintage bikes.  I have always admired Steve McQueen for his acting, but also for his auto and motorcycle racing abilities.  After seeing the races in person, I was hooked.  Yesterday I bought this vintage beauty with the intention of having it re-built in time for the races in April.  It's a 1975 Yamaha DT 250.


Tuesday

Our movie

I mentioned in a previous post that my best friend and I have been working on a movie.  We ended up getting the funding that we needed to finish it, and now it is done.  Our goal is to get it into a major film festival, generate some interest, and hopefully use this project as a stepping stone to our next project.

With a tiny budget, it was difficult, stressful, tormenting, and utterly satisfying in the end.  We found out that there are a lot of people in our community that support our crazy ideas and that was amazing.  My role in this film was getting people to give us money, and that is all.  The artistic vision, writing, directing, and execution was all by Brad Elmore. The main character actor Greg Hill has already moved back to Los Angeles and has gotten television roles, and a movie role, and the video crew have started work on a pilot for an internet television project called Littlefish.

Please take a look at our official finished trailer and share it with as many people as you can.  If you want to know more about where to see the film, e-mail me.  This trailer and subsequent movie has strong language NSFW:

Friday

Me and Buddy Lee (Buddy Lee and I*)

 In case you don't who Buddy Lee is... The Buddy Lee Story
 

 This is what the office looks like now.  We got rid of the long dresser (put it in the garage), and put our $10 Knoll chair in the corner with some vintage wool blankets on it.  I didn't get a new camera, but I did buy an iPhone, so I can at least take new pictures for the blog.  More to come...

Thursday

Knock it off

So here it is, my knock off Eames chair. I must say, it turned out nice and this is one of the better reproductions that was made.  
 I got a few quotes to re upholster the chair, but the cost to do it in vinyl hovered around $400, and in vinyl $700+.  Because it's fake, I figured why spend the money so I took a chance and decided to dye it. The chair was already leather, and the light color took the dye quite well.
It took me a couple of hours to take it apart, dye it, and get it back together and the result is a close match, in leather, and a nice vintage "lived in look".

For those that are thinking about doing the same thing to any leather chair, some concerns I had were:

- It would look blotchy.
- The dye will rub off.
- It would cause a huge mess.
- The leather would become hard, and uncomfortable.

In fact:

- If you use a well soaked rag with dye on it, it goes on perfectly even.
- The dye penetrates well, and even without the sealer doesnt appear to come off.
- The mess was well litigated by wearing gloves, and doing it in the garage.  I also had the entire chair apart so as not to get dye on the wood shell.  The small amount that I did get on my skin washed off with soap and water.
- The dye seems to condition the leather so it is now softer.  It also makes the few cracks in the leather look somewhat natural.

Lastly, is cost.  The chair itself was $75.  I spent $6 on these supplies.  I used paper towels to apply the dye and used the dauber to do the edges.  After letting it dry, which takes about an hour, I applied the finish.

Tuesday

I need your help!


This has nothing to do with mid century modern furniture or design, but it is important to me.

My best friend Brad and I met in middle school after being kicked out of a class for mouthing off.  We realized that we had the same sense of humor and we have been great friends ever since.  After high school, we went to Europe together and traveled all over.  Of all of our friends and people we went to school with, Brad was the only one who ended up doing exactly what he always dreamed of doing which was to make movies.  He moved to Los Angeles, started writing, and networking, and now he is making movies.

Anyone who has ever attempted to live out your dream knows how difficult it is, and certainly the movie industry is no exception.  For his first feature film, which is being submitted to Sundance, he moved back home to Bend, Oregon and began filming Wolfman's Hammer.  I cannot explain the overwhelming feeling of excitement that I had when I watched the first edited footage.  I had chills, and I was so happy to see someone actually taking their passion and turning it into art.  So, I called Brad and I said that I would help him finish it, help produce it by getting funding together.  He set up a Kickstarter page for the film and we have $3500 pledged so far by generous people who believe in the project.  And now I want you to check out what we have done so far, because it is exciting.

Kickstarter works like this: A person with a project sets up a profile and explains his/her project to the world.  People who feel strongly about the project pledge money to help fund the film, but the money is only distributed if the project's total goal is met.  In our case, we have a goal of $5000 which will go towards the final scene in the film and some equipment and editing that will be required to make the final scene work.  We are currently at $3500, with 6 days left to get up to $5000.  If on the 6th day we don't have that goal met, we start all over from $0.

Please take a moment to take a look at the trailer and see if it looks like something you would want to see finished.  And remember, this whole thing was done with our own money and money from friends, and family.  It was shot locally using our own equipment, and all of the actors worked for free in the hopes to be seen on the screens at Sundance.  The epitome of Independent.



Watch the Trailer here.

Friday

New Button

Whenever I find a cool blog, I like to start at the VERY first entry, and move forward to get all caught up.  It helps to get the full context of the blog itself.  To make this easier on this blog, I added a big 'START' button.  Just click there, it will take you to the very first entry and you can read on from there.

The Steelers' Hypocycloids

People ask me, who are you rooting for?  I say, "well I am hoping Mubarak steps down".... No, football.
I say,"I don't know who is playing?"
The Steelers, and the Packers.
"Ah, well the Steelers have a bitchin logo"....silence/confusion

I am not a huge football fan, and certainly not of the NFL.  When I do watch, it is college and I really don't pay much attention until the end, especially this year when our own Oregon ducks took it all the way before choking hard.

But yes, the Steelers DO have a totally bitchin logo that you all can appreciate for it's iconic mid century design.  The following is from the Steelers website (here).
The Steelers logo is based on the Steelmark logo belonging to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Created by U.S. Steel Corp. (now known as USX Corp.), the logo contains three hypocycloids (diamond shapes).

In the 1950s, when helmet logos became popular, the Steelers added players' numbers to either side of their gold helmets. Later that decade, the numbers were removed and in 1962, Cleveland's Republic Steel suggested to the Steelers that they use the Steelmark as a helmet logo.

When the Steelmark logo was created, U.S. Steel attached the following meaning to it: Steel lightens your work, brightens your leisure and widens your world. The logo was used as part of a major marketing campaign to educate consumers about how important steel is in our daily lives. The Steelmark logo was used in print, radio and television ads as well as on labels for all steel products, from steel tanks to tricycles to filing cabinets.

In the 1960s, U.S. Steel turned over the Steelmark program to the AISI, where it came to represent the steel industry as a whole. During the 1970s, the logo's meaning was extended to include the three materials used to produce steel: yellow for coal, orange for ore and blue for steel scrap. In the late 1980s, when the AISI founded the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), the logo took on a new life reminiscent of its 1950s meaning.

The Steelers had to petition the AISI in order to change the word "Steel" inside the Steelmark to "Steelers" before the logo was complete.

The Steelers are the only NFL team that sports their logo on only one side of the helmet. At first, this was a temporary measure because the Steelers weren't sure they would like the look of the logo on an all-gold helmet. They wanted to test them before going all-out.

Equipment manager Jack Hart was instructed to put the logo only on one side of the helmet - the right side. The 1962 Steelers finished 9-5 and became the winningest team in franchise history to date. The team finished second in the Eastern Conference and qualified for the Playoff Bowl. They wanted to do something special for their first postseason game, so they changed the color of their helmets from gold to black, which helped to highlight the new logo.

Because of the interest generated by having the logo on only one side of their helmets and because of their team's new success, the Steelers decided to leave it that way permanently.

Today's helmet reflects the way the logo was originally applied and it has never been changed. - (Steelers website
)
 

Tuesday

Processing Pictures

I am NOT a photographer.  I have never taken a class on it, I have never sold an image, and I have never owned multiple lenses for one camera.

That being said, I am tired of people claiming to be photographers.  Have you noticed this phenomenon?  Perhaps you have noticed your out-of-work friends on facebook suddenly posting their overly-processed photos and then getting some positive comments and then deciding to start a photography business.  Well, I am using my blog to complain about it.

With the advent of digital photography, we have all been given the ability to go out and shoot pictures for very little cost.  Like most things, cheaper is not usually better, so we are all bearing witness to this bastardization of a true art.  Recently, the digital photographers have gotten their hands on digital processing software that allows you take your photo and sharpen it, airbrush it, colorize it, and worst of all HDR-it.  The High Dynamic Range software in basic terms allows you take two pictures, one with a long exposure, and one with a short exposure and then lay them over top of each other to get all of the bright spots, and all of the dark spots in one photo.  This is pretty cool, but in fact it is nothing new.  Julius Shulman used the analog version of this technique when he created the famous photo of Case Study house #22 (seen here), by taking a picture of the house in the daytime and then taking a photo at night to get the bright lights of the city.  He then overlayed them to create the amazing photo that made that house a legend.  Shulman had to wait all day to capture that photo, and I am sure it took hours to actually develop and create the final product.  With a digital camera and some software, one can now create that photo in a few minutes.

I am certainly not against using technology, I love digital cameras, I even used software to make pictures look better, but please stop over processing pictures!

For example.  Here I am using an unedited picture of yours truly:
Now see what happens when I process the shit out of it:   
Suddenly I have a black eye, and it looks I am standing on another planet.


I have, and I am not kidding, seen pictures like that in people's wedding albums on facebook.  That means that there are photographers who charge people money to make them look like they are from Mars.  I have been seeing more and more of this use of digital processing though, with pinup pictures, real estate, weddings, print ads.  Maybe I am the only one who thinks this looks terrible...