Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Week 6: Bamboo... Oh the Possibilities

 What do you get when beach clean up meets craft-of-the-week meets a girl-who-is-trying-to-not-spend-money-on-ANYTHING?  

I know. I know.  Trick question.  There could be millions of possible answers.  But go ahead and guess. 

We must have a bamboo farm up stream from our beach, because every time we have a big storm our beach is covered in it. 

On Sunday I started excitedly collecting bamboo on our beach trip.  

Alan: "What are you going to do with all that?"
Me: "Bamboo? The possibilities are ENDLESS!"
Alan:  "No really.  Because these are covered in sand and spiders' nests.  Do you really have a plan?"
Me: "I'm not sure why you aren't as excited about this as I am.  We could learn woodworking. And knot tying."
Alan: "What does knot tying have to do with this?"
Me:  "How else do you expect me to connect the bamboo.  I need to learn some fancy sailor knots."
Alan: "Do you know how hard it is to cut bamboo?"
Me: (all sassy like) "Yea." But in my head I'm thinking "I'll just snap them over my knee.  Isn't that what bamboo is famous for?  Or is it the growing really fast thing?  Or the thing about being panda food?  Is bamboo famous? Either way.  Can't be that hard."
Alan: Sigh

So we made a deal.  I have to complete, or make significant progress on my craft by the end of the week, or I will throw out all this bamboo.  And until it's finished it will live on the deck.  'Cus of spiders' nests.    

I have a confession.  Actually a few, but let's focus.  I'm not what one might call "tooly." I own a few tools, (I think) but I definitely don't have a spinny saw thing, or even a not-spinny-saw.  And I improvised a saw-horse by laying a towel over our dinner table.  Good enough.  So I set to work with the "tools" I thought would help me score the bamboo before snapping it over my knee. 
My tools- Round 1: hammer, kitchen sheers, butter knife, and knee

Well... I'm not ALWAYS right. As it turns out, butter knives are not great at cutting bamboo, neither are kitchen sheers, and I had no real plan for the hammer.  It made it into the photo shoot to make me look a tad more credible.

Also, snapping bamboo over my knee made a really jagged and splintered end, that usually broke no where near where I wanted it to.  And it hurt.

So back to the drawing board.  I went to find all of Alan's tools.  He's only slightly more "tooly."

What's in this fancy little tool pouch?

Sharp pincher-y things.  Not great...

And tweezers, and nose hair clippers?! Sigh.

The rest of the tools in here were... I have no idea.  Maybe drill bits for our non-existent drill? Maybe they're just small screw drivers.  I couldn't tell.  I but I could see that nothing in here would be helpful.

At this point I started furiously sawing with the butter knife.  Maybe I didn't give it a serious try.  Maybe speed of motion will do something magical.  Mostly, I just didn't want to admit how hard cutting bamboo is.  Stupid Alan.  Always right.

"Cutting bamboo is hard." I whimper almost inaudibly.
He's so lovely.  He didn't even say "Nanner-nanner."  This time.  "Go find my Leatherman, it might have something better in it."

And this time, I was so happy about it.

Doesn't look that cool, huh?
Just wait...

BAM!  Check out those razor sharp, Great White Shark like teeth!
Or should we say "Panda like"?  You know? 'Cus pandas can rip right through bamboo! 

Here I am in action.
And here I am sawing so fast that my hand looks blurry.

Confession number 2: Sometimes, or maybe always, I tend to underestimate the difficulty of any given project.  Usually I imagine flying through the steps in the span of an episode of my favorite show.  Usually it takes 10 times that long.  At least. I like to think I'm optimistic. Alan calls it unrealistic. 
Here I am thinking "Even with a saw, cutting bamboo is HARD!"

I had to stop for the night.  My arm was sore.  My wrist was getting tendonitis. My fingers were developing blisters.  But I'll finish.  I'm sure of it.  It can't be that hard right?
PS:  The last picture is Day 6 in a month long photo-a-day project Alan is doing on his blog: Sharpening a Fuzzy Concept.

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