Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Homemade Solar Oven

I am working my way through my bucket list and one of the things I have always wanted to try was solar cooking. It moved up on my bucket list after Hurricane Ike left us with no power for 17 days but since I started a job after that that had me supervising 28 workers and no free time I had to wait until now to try it.
I did some research on the internet and found a quick and easy way to make one with only using items that I have in my garage and art studio. it is amazing how you save things and have no idea why at the time but they come in handy later,
Basically the oven is a cardboard box lined with Styrofoam panels that I saved from packing boxes.
I used a 12 by 12 box and cut the Styrofoam to fit snugly inside like a box in a box. I then wrapped them in tinfoil and slid them into place.  If you don't have Styrofoam you can put a box inside one the next size bigger and stuff the walls between the two with crumbled paper to insulate it. On the bottom I placed a black piece of paper to absorb the heat better.
Online I have found sites where the entire inner box is lined in black and some just the tin foiled Styrofoam so I tested it first with just the tinfoil and my second larger oven will be lined in black cardboard.

The reflectors are made with cardboard panels positioned around the main box to reflect the sunlight into the oven. I am still learning the ins and outs of positioning the panels correctly but I have managed to bake Irish soda bread in my first oven as well as chicken and rice.

The second photo is my second attempt at a solar oven. As you can see this one is a little larger (13 by 13 inner box) but except for the front wall being slanted down and the inner walls lined with black cardboard it is the same design. I have not yet made the reflector panels for it so I am using the ones off the first oven,
The first oven reached 225 maximum temp but it took a few hours this new one reached 200 in less than half an hour and today is much cloudier then when I tested the other one.
. I started out testing blueberry muffins in it like  I did the last cooker. I think that is a safe thing to cook and since it was the 89 cent package kind I am not risking much. They cooked much faster with the new design.

The soar panels are not adjusted for cooking yet in either of the photos. It is easier to photograph them that way. That is the last step. Both ovens have Plexiglas covers to retain in the heat. I check and re position the ovens every 20 to 30 minutes When I am baking bread I uncover the pan for the last 1/2 of the cooking time.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Paper flowers, Collage and Time to Reflect....I'm Back..

I have missed blogging in the last few years.
The job I had was so stressful at times that it sucked all the creativity and fun out of my life. I dealt with so many people on a daily basis and yet I have never felt more alone in my life.

I have retired now and I plan on making up for that time.First thing I did was write out an actual bucket list of all the art and craft projects and techniques I want to explore.
I will post that on a later blog entry.

I had a real struggle doing a flower themed art piece for the Splendora Gardens show.
 I just don't do flowers ...but forcing myself to come up with a simple collage piece that fit the theme got me to thinking about years and years ago (the ice age) when I used to make tissue and crepe paper flowers to decorate my apartment because I could not afford the real thing.
I remembered today the last times I made them. A co worker had asked me to be her witness at the courthouse for her marriage, since she was pregnant her family would not attend ( that was how it was back then).
I surprised her with a bridal bouquet and when I handed it to her she broke down in tears....
She said she loved it but I never made anymore after seemed sadder than fake flowers could handle.

So once I had finished the collage for the show I decided to make some paper flowers.

I found the video that Jennibellie did for these on YouTube here:

Jennibellie Funky Paper Flower Tutorial

She did a clear step by step video and it is super simple to follow. I used some odd buttons I had for the center of the flowers. The paper is a mix of printed and painted card stock and paper.

As for the show, that turned out to be great and I am glad I went. It was interesting to see all the directions that were explored from the theme.

The top picture in the black frame was my entry in the show. It is a collage over a mono print on watercolor paper.

Friday, November 27, 2015

New Contest Enter Here

I am starting a new contest to find out what inspires other people.
The prize will be a 25$ gift card to Michaels
You must be 18 or older to enter and each comment gets one entry. For this contest I will be asking that only US entries only.The odds of winning depend on the number of people entering.

All you need to do to enter is answer the question in a comment below:
What inspires you to create arts or crafts?

The winner will be randomly picked from those who post comments on this page.

The contest starts at 12AM 11/28/2015 and ends at 12AM 12/18/15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I seem to be in a cheerful mood. Everything I have made this week is bright and colorful.
Very unusual for me. There must be some way to get out of this and slide back toward the dark and brooding side of my personality.
Check these out they are enough to make you run for insulin.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I have been playing around with using inspiration photos to design jewelry pieces around. I knew if I did this I would be making things that probably would not appeal to a large audience but it would be more me.
So this is one of the photos I took in New Orleans and I fell in love with the color and texture of it. The first design is a simple pair of earrings that I torch fired the beads in a mottled teal/green.
I hung them from chain kind of the same way the plants are dangling off the balcony.
I am working on a few more designs using that photo to bounce off of but they are more complicated.

I have also been using my enamels in a more painterly fashion even when using it in powered form.
this next photo is of a necklace I put together with an enameled focal that was meant to look like an abstract painting.

I can see a lot of promise in both the abstract and the New Orleans themes.

Monday, November 16, 2015

I have started enameling jewelry items again. I love enameling but I do prefer the torch firing to kiln firing. I am hoping to get used to it because the results are more consistent with the kiln.
I did the two below and I just love the horse.
The second one is a necklace focal. I love that it looks like and abstract painting

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Christmas Coupon Codes

Use coupon code CHRISTMAS2015 to get 15% of any item in my ETSY shop.
Use the link to the left or find my shop by name on ETSY.
Look for silververtexdesign on Etsy.
Get 20% off your second purchase the code will appear when you pay for the first item.
It is a wonderful life........