Wisdom Wednesday – Gold


Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family.

I recently re-read “The Richest Man in Babylon” and these two quotes stood out most of all. They are also the beginning of how to get your financial life in order. The first means that it is your duty to keep one tenth of everything you earn. YOUR’s to keep, not to pay bills, not for spending on frivolous things, money to keep and save, before anything else is spent from your earnings. Dave Ramsey says to pay yourself first, this is what that means.

The second basically says the same thing, but gives the meaning a little more definition. Once you force yourself to do this, and continue for a few months, it becomes habit. The best part is, you won’t miss the money once you start saving it. It feels good to know you have some money put aside.

I highly recommend everyone read this book, it is only 72 pages long and was written in 1926. Every message holds true today. It is set in Babylon and has several stories of men passing on their knowledge and wisdom on how to gain wealth, regardless of your circumstances.

Advice: If you are not willing to take it, it will do you no good.

     Advice is one of those things that is freely given, but not always taken. We cannot force people to take our advice, just as we cannot force them to do anything they do not want to do. Yet we continue to offer it. I remember during a youth exchange week, the younger members of our church took over positions in the church to give them an idea of what our other members did each week. It was a great learning experience. I was tasked to preach on Sunday morning. I sought counsel from the pastor on how to prepare for the sermon. He made some suggestions and showed me how to layout a sermon, but the one thing I remember about that meeting was a statement he made, “I can show you how to do this, and advise you til I am blue in the face, but you have to be willing to receive that advice and act on it. Just as we have to be willing to take Jesus into our hearts. The bible teaches that if you knock, you will be received, but you have to make the decision to knock.” I took that information and delivered a short sermon that Sunday.

     How many of us have been given very good advice, yet failed to accept it? How do you think that affected the outcome of some of your trying times in life? How would it have been different, if you had taken the advice? Some very deep thoughts to ponder in the future. Advice is worth nothing if you are not willing to take it, yet people keep giving it. Maybe there is some value in there, if you are willing to figure out what it is.

“When the spider lilies bloom, there will be frost in 8 weeks.” ~Grandpa

I noticed our spider lilies beginning to bloom yesterday.

Mead Making Process – by Cannon Trawets

A primer from everyday life on the ship.

Mead Making
A gallon test batch of pear mead.

A gentleman by the name of Cannon asked me how I made my muscadine mead and wine. Yes, you read that right, someone else with the same name as me. I will explain how I make my mead. Many say I don’t make it the right way, but my way works for me. I have been making mead and wine for about 5 years now and everyone who tries it wants more of it. I am always trying new flavors, but I have my old faithful, muscadine mead and scuffadine wine are two of those. (muscadines are wild red grapes and scuffadines are wild white grapes). Continue reading “Mead Making Process – by Cannon Trawets”

Designing Models and Props

Many people ask about designing props and models for costume pieces, props and other items we make. While not an artist in the form of drawing and sketching, I do have a background with mechanical drawing. I took a class in the eight grade and was interested in drawing schematics and architectual designs since. One of my first complex drawings was the Viper from Battlestar Galactica in the late 70s. Today I do most of my sketching on the computer with Google Sketchup. I have come a long way from the paper and pencil drawing on the mechanical desk.

Sketchup allows for a full sized drawing of the item I am designing and the ability to scale to the size I want to model. I won’t get into the specifics of the program, as there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube and on the google site as well. Another aspect of drawing in Sketchup is the ability to save files for 3D printers, something I plan to dabble with in the near future.

The first step is to get an idea of what you want to build. I was recently asked about building a model of an airship and what materials to use and how to get started. You need to have a basic visual image of what you want in your mind to put a design on “paper”. I have always wanted to build a model of our airship and started by looking at various images of ship types I might want to convert to the steampunk genre. At first, I was visualizing a tall ship, but soon decided I wanted something simple. I spoke with a friend who builds models professionally. After talking and hashing out details, we came up with a design that I liked. It was not exactly what I had invisioned, but was close enough to what I was after. I had a pencil sketch of the profiles that I could use to transfer to the software.

The next step is to deide on size and materials of the build. I used to build plastic models of planes, cars, ships, really anything I could find a kit for. Later I got interested in remote control aircraft and learned to build using balsa wood, tissue skins, and shrinkable mylar. This was handy as I continued to design the ship in my head. I questioned if I wanted a static model or one that could actually be flown remotely. I looked at both ideas and did some research on envelopes and using actual hot air to make the model lift properly. I am still researching and figuring the math to make this a possibility. It takes a great deal of envelope to lift even a small model with hot air. I watched a lot of videos on model ballooning on YouTube.

I plan you use balsa wood for the majority of the actual ship build when I get started, in order to keep the model light weight. I will also be using rip stop nylon for any envelope system I use. (Current plan in to use an enclose envelope). I also plan to use ducted fans from the model aircraft hobby as my propulsion system, as well as servos to be able to remote control the model. I can’t tell you when I will be done, because this will be a large scale model, and I can only dedicate so much time to it. If I were to change direction and go with a static model, I would still use balsa because it is so easy to use. It cuts easy, you can mold and bend it to a degree, and easy to sand.

When building, you should consider the weight of everything, especially if you are going to transport for display or make the model functional. I plan to use 3D printing for much of the rigging that can’t be done out of balsa, especially the parts that are representative of metal. The filament used in 3D printing is much lighter that actual metal, even if you used aluminum roof flashing.

If you are not sure about how something fits together, use Sketchup to draw it. You would be surprised by how much you learn about connecting different items with this tool. Make clay models to simulate what you want the finished part to look like. You can mold it until it fits just righ and looks pleasing to the eye, then use it for measurements to transfer to the material you will actually use. On that note, use a material that is comfortable for you to work with, or be prepared for a learning curve as you delve into new territory. Most importantly, have fun with it. If something doesn’t work, try something else, never give up. The most fun I have had in steampunk is learning new skills.

Props are very similar in the process of model building. Many times, it is just trial and error on the items you have available to you (test fit parts and see how they look together and keep adding until it is asthetically pleasing to your eye), unless you are going for something very specific. Make sure you use the correct adhesives for the items you are joining together. With balsa, a good wood glue or super glue works well. We have also found that E6000 works very well on a variety of items. Contact cement is also a good adhesive to learn to use properly. And be prepared to do a lot of sanding if you plan to paint your models or props. Especially plastics, they had a mold sizing residue left on them that is oil based, so good sanding and a good cleaning with mineral spirits is required for a good paint job. My recommendations for paint is always automotive paint, it is more durable and adhere much better to metals and plastics.

If you have specific questions, please comment here or send me an email at cannon@airship67.com. Make sure you are specific with the subject line in reference to your question.