50 Years of Abbey Road (and Unrelated Matters)

Published September 26, 2019 by Iphis of Scyros

According to (the often unreliable) Wikipedia, today is the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ iconic album Abbey Road.  (Which I, personally, would argue is among their best albums, though I don’t know if everyone else agrees with me on that.)  To honor that anniversary, I am currently listening to my vintage vinyl copy of the album which — according to the seller at the antique mall — is from the first pressing.  (Given that they were charging about $22, I’m not convinced they were telling the truth about its age, but since a brand new copy would cost about that much, I figured there wasn’t any reason to pass it up.)

This is music that has definitely stood the test of time.  (Well, the test of half a century.  I suppose it won’t truly have stood the test of time until it’s judged to play just as well on its 250th anniversary as it did on its release.  Assuming the human race isn’t extinct by then.)

And on that note, on to the unrelated matters that actually take up most of this post.  *cough*

So, last Friday was the first day of the Global Climate Strike.  And I was planning on taking part, even RSVPed for an event at a local high school that was to start at 1:00 in the afternoon, which seemed like a great time for it to me, given my general lack of endurance and heat tolerance.

Only that event got cancelled.

So I ended up not doing anything except skipping work. 😦

There’s another Global Climate Strike tomorrow, but…it’s going to be ten degrees hotter out tomorrow than it is today, and I’m not going to do anyone any good if I get heat stroke and pass out, right?

At least, that’s my rationalization for deciding to go to work tomorrow instead of joining the others in front of City Hall.  I’m going to see if my boss will let me park by the side of the road instead of in the usual employee parking, and tape my Climate Strike posters to the interior windows of my car so the people walking/driving by on the street (a major thoroughfare of downtown) will see them.

In other news, I’ve recently figured out that the only jewelry I ever remember to wear (aside from the barrettes keeping my hair out of my face, obviously) are bracelets, and thus I’ve been amassing a small cache of bracelets of all different colors to match my wardrobe.  With the slight problem that I rather prefer bangles to beaded, and it’s extra hard to find bangle bracelets capable of going on over my big, fat hands.  (Ironically, I’ve learned that my hands are evidently tiny in comparison to men’s hands, since my first thought on seeing the Switch Lite was “omigosh, that might actually be small enough for me to use it comfortably!” while many male reviewers said something akin to “this is so tiny, who’s going to use it, little kids?”)  Because of that, I finally decided it was time to get back into resin casting, making my own bangles, so I could control both size and color.  (I have this light green shirt that’s a pain to try to match.  My one green bracelet clashes with it hideously.)

In the process of trying to figure out my color schemes, and to decide if I needed to buy some resin pigment, I remembered that last time I was playing around with resin casting, my mother gave me a big plastic container filled with all the leftover supplies from her experiments with resin casting.  Sure enough, there were lots and lots of resin pigments in there, most of them entirely unopened….and almost all of them completely hardened.  Only six were still liquid, and three of those couldn’t be opened because they had partially hardened, right at the top where the lid joined to the bottle.  😦  I am still unsure how to go about dealing with that gigantic mess, but I’ve begun to have some ideas, thanks to this other idea I had…

So, I was sitting here earlier this week, trying to come up with something to do to reduce my outgoing plastic refuse, since there are a lot of types of plastic that can’t be recycled, and I kept trying to figure a way to melt them together into a plastic that could then be molded into something fun.  (I have a toy car from 1939 that’s got a mottled color scheme because they were reusing plastic scraps.  And at work there are several toy vehicles in the collection from WWII that are mottled for the same reason.  The visual effect is totally cool.)  Everything I found online agreed that while you could melt plastic bags together into a solid plastic block, you couldn’t then mold it, and could only cut/carve it, which…yeah, not happening, not with me.  (That would be a very good way to maim myself.)

Then I thought “maybe I could get a vintage doll mold from the heyday of composition dolls, and make a variant on composition, substituting shredded or powdered plastic for some of the sawdust.”  And I’m pretty sure that would work.  If I could find a recipe for composition.  Everything I was able to find by looking it up basically just said the same vague thing of being “a mixture of glue and sawdust,” which yeah, I knew that, but what else was in the mix, if anything, and what was the percentage?  I fear it’s becoming a lost art, if it isn’t already lost.  I know doll artists were still working with it as recently as the 1980s, but how old were those artists, are they still around, and did they tell anyone the secret of how to make such nice composition?  (Seriously, I have an artist-made doll from the 1980s that’s a miniature replica of a doll from the 1920s, and it’s absolutely gorgeous, better than the original even.  Unfortunately, I got it second-hand (or third-or-more-hand, more likely) so it’s not like I could ask the artist how they did it.)

Anyway, somehow my mind finally clicked from composition to the only material I can particularly work with:  resin.  And in a fit of excitement, I grabbed several colorful plastic bags that were lying around and cut them into very small shreds, safely stored inside a resealable plastic bottle at present.  Given how well resin works with glitter inside, this should work.  Glitter these days is made of plastic, after all, so I don’t need to worry about any weird chemical reaction.  It’s just a question of “did I cut the plastic small enough” and “how will the mixed colors work” and, of course, “how much do I want to use at a time?”  Do I choke the resin with it like I sometime have with glitter in the past, or do I use it sparingly, so you can really see where the plastic came from?

Obviously, that last one is a question that can only be answered by experimentation.  Fortunately, I used a 50% off coupon from Michaels to get a really big supply of resin (and half off is significant when the item in question started off costing about $64!), so I have plenty to experiment with.  It’s just a question of somehow managing to wait for the rest of my supplies to arrive.  In order to minimize the waste created by my resin work, I ordered some silicone measuring and mixing bowls, so that dried resin will just come right off and the bowls can be reused over and over again, just like the molds.  Only according to Etsy, the seller still hasn’t shipped them, and I ordered them last Friday, which is very frustrating!  But hopefully that just means they’re the type who doesn’t tell Etsy when they ship something, and they’re actually on the way.  (I may lose it if they really haven’t been shipped yet.  I want to get to experimenting so bad it hurts!)

I feel like this is something that could be really cool if I can do it right.  I’m going to 3D-model a teardrop-shaped pendent with the recycling symbol cut out of the center, and have it printed up (I don’t have a 3D printer myself, so I’ll have to use Shapeways) and make a mold from it, which I think would be a really cool way to use the non-recyclable plastic-filled resin, y’know?  (By “non-recyclable plastic” I mean things like chip bags and candy bar wrappers and granola bar wrappers.  Stuff like that.  Also straws.  I always have my reusable straw on me, but I’ve decided that from now on whenever I go someplace to eat out that gives me a straw without asking if I want one, I’m going to take it home, cut it up, and add it to my collection of plastic for resin use.)

My starter mix of plastic shreds is random colors (mostly purple and pink, because I gave in to the temptation to buy one of the Halloween candy bags of Nerds at my grocery store (I know it’s pure sugar, but I just really love Nerds) which means the mix of plastic shreds now smells like grape Nerds) but if that works out, I’m probably going to keep a whole bunch of reused containers of plastic shreds, sorted out by color, so I can decide if I want to make something that’s only one color, or only a few, or whatever.  And my starter mix was cut by hand with a little pair of scissors, so the shreds are of wildly varying sizes and shapes, but mostly sort of <> shaped, only longer, and by the time I was done with it, my hand was actually hurting a bit from all that cutting.  So one of the things I got on my next art supply run (which was mostly molds and some alcohol ink for the resin) was a star-shaped hole punch, so I’ll have uniform size and shape pieces…except for the leftover bits, which will still be random.  😛

One thing I’m curious about is how transparent plastic will work in this setting.  There are a lot of clear plastic bags that one can’t recycle, after all!  Will the shadow of the plastic pieces be visible inside the resin?  (I have a bangle with floating bits inside, and it’s very clear that the bits included clear parts.  It’s really super cool, but I don’t know how well it would photograph to show it to you.)  Will they show up more clearly if the resin’s been dyed with alcohol ink?  Or maybe they need to be used when choking the resin with plastic, to be clear spots?

Again, I need to experiment to find out, and I can’t experiment yet, which is driving me nuts!  I wanna start working on this like yesterday!  Not sometime next week!  AUGH!


Okay, flipping out aside…um…

I wouldn’t want to meet mean Mr. Mustard in a dark alley (or anywhere else), would you?




….yeah, I’ll just be going now.

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