Thursday, June 30, 2011

RV shopping - Time table

Thank you for all the great comments on my post yesterday.

Although shopping for an RV is fun, it is also quite scary.

EEK, what if I actually find the right one?

I really want to hear any and all of your thoughts, either thru comments or emails.  Your experiences and insights will be very helpful.

I have been looking at the forums too.

I also am thinking about a towed.  I really want to choose the least expensive option there! We had talked about using a tow dolly with the Prius, but that probably wouldn't be a good option for a smaller gas class A.

A correction for yesterday's post.  For those of you that know this area, the Winnebago dealer I went to is Pan Pacific in Morgan Hill.

Now some thoughts about my time table:

When I started this blog, I hoped to have the house on the market this fall and be able to go full time in Spring, or whenever the house sold.

Because Craig is still working, and all of our weekend time is taken up by the house, I still don't see any trip time until after he retires at the end of the year.

One of the things I was thinking is that there are more big dealers in Southern California than up here.  Since we will be going down to San Diego for a week before the Rose Parade we would have several days to look at dealers there.  Also we wouldn't have any pressure to hurry home after the parade and could spend a couple of days in the LA area.  Possibilities!

I'm thinking that if the right rig comes up before then we should go ahead a buy it, but if not, that's OK too.  But since I think the best way to pay for it is to finance it instead of pulling the money out of our retirement account and pay income tax, it might be easier to do the financing before he retires.

Hmmm ... I hate paying interest, but I hate paying taxes even more!

If we don't find the right rig by November, I might just pull a second on the house.  We have plenty of equity, and they don't need to know he plans to retire.

Any advice is welcome.  We may ignore it, but it is welcome.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Window Shopping

I had second thoughts about publishing this post because I know everyone has their own preferences and feelings about their own rigs.  Every brand has pluses and minuses.  These are just my feelings about what I have looked at.

When my thoughts turned from dreaming about "Full time RV living," to  "Any time once he retires, " my ideas about what kind of RV we should be looking for has changed.
Full Time = diesel
Full Time= Class A, minimum 35' but could go longer
Full Time = 3 years or newer
Full Time = Warranties!
Full Time = Tiffin or Winnebago
Full Time = $10K repair/tire fund

Any Time = ???

I don't think we need to get a huge class A for shorter trips.  And we don't need to have as much cargo space.  I think it would be sensible to buy something smaller, easier to maneuver, and less expensive.  Something we could park on the upper drive.

There are two things I know I must have:
A walk around queen bed, and a reasonable cooking area.

Everything else is up in the air.

Any Time = Class C, or Class A
Any Time = Gas
Any Time = 29'-32'
Any Time = 3 + years (or maybe newer)
Any Time = Probably buy extended Warranty
Any Time = Open to other brands
Any Time = Good price + $10K repair fund

I've been doing a lot of browsing on the internet and making a spread sheet of what I find interesting.  I bounce back and forth between class A's and class C's.    I've been pretty busy during the day working on the six animal order, but on Wednesday I took a day off and went shopping.  The nearest RV dealers are about 25 - 35 miles from here.  There are four dealers within a few mile of each other.

My day did not start very well.  I went to the Camping World because they had an Add that said if you took some kind of survey and listened to their product presentation you would get a $25 coupon on anything in the store.  Well, since that location did not have any RV's I couldn't get the coupon!

I did see a nice outdoor rocking chair that I might want someday. In fact it was what I was going to buy if I had been able to get the coupon.

Next door to Camping World is a Used RV dealer. " See Grins."  I looked at several 29' - 31' class C's and a couple of 32' class A's but they were all pretty old and depressing.   I did like one Minnie Winnie, and one Tioga that had an entertainment system up and over instead of the bed.  I gave the sales man my name and told him to call me if a Minnie Winnie with a similiar entertainment system, or better yet just storage cabenitry came in.

They are moving to a new location next week, where they will have a larger lot.  It would have been impossible to take a test drive today the way the inventory was jammed onto the lot.  I'm not writing them off, but was totally unimpressed with the place today.

My next stop was to a dealer that had a new 2012 Georgetown 28'.  I had seen it on the internet and thought it might be interesting.  Not.  Even though it was brand new it didn't appeal to me.  Pieces of paneling were already peeling up.  I also did not like the fact that there was a raised section next to what would be my side of the bed. I need to get up several times a night and I don't want to have to crawl off the end.

There was nothing else on his lot of interet.

The third place was all light trailers so I didn't stop.

The fourth place was on my list as having a new 30W  Winnebago Vista.    It turns out this is the Winnebago Dealer for our area, and everything they had in my size range was new.  I also looked at a 32' Sightseer and at a couple of Access (What they are calling Minnie Winnies these days.)

I really like the Winnebago product line.  Everything just felt so much nicer tome than some of the other brands.  Of course except for the Georgetown, the others were used and not really clean.

I brought home some brochures for Craig to look at.  He of course was drawn to the 37' floor plan.

Sometime in the next few weeks I will be driving up to Livermore, about 40 miles from here.  There are several dealers up in that direction and a couple of brands I want to see.

Eventually Craig will go with me for some test drives.

I hope to finish the last of the animal heads by Friday, and will post another work in process then.

Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Super 8

Went to see Super 8 tonight.

Good, fun, movie.

Speilberg has done it again.

Friday, June 24, 2011


As I worked on my "art work in process" blogs, there hasn't been time to weave in the other exciting plan that has been developing around here.  

I just can't keep it to myself any longer.

For years I have wanted to go to the Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Years day.  But, for one good reason or another, we did not do it.  

When I was "dreaming" of going full time, it was one of the things I was determined to do.  

About two weeks ago I said to Craig, "I want to go to the Rose parade this year." 

And Craig said, "Sounds good to me..."  

So I began doing a bit of research on tickets etc.

My daughter and her husband live in San Diego and we will be going there for Christmas. It is really hard to think of  Christmas gifts for them.  I absolutely hate to buy gifts that are not really wanted or needed.

So the next night, I said to Craig, "I think we should ask Deidre and Andrew if they want to come, we could buy  tickets for them and for our two grandsons as part of their Christmas gifts."

And Craig said, "Sounds good to me ..."

Oh, and Andrew's parents are coming from New Zealand for Christmas too.  We could give them  tickets as a gift too.

And Craig said, "Sounds good to me..."

Our grandsons are at  great ages.  They will be eight and eleven  this fall.  So I suggested we take them to LA for a few days before the parade to see the float building and the band practice program.

And Craig said, "Sounds good to me..."

To do all of this from their home in San Diego would be very hard. Driving back and forth several hours each day would be impractical.  In particular, getting to Pasadena to the reserved parking lot by 6:00 AM on the morning of the parade would be unbelievably painful.

So wouldn't it be nice to rent an RV and park it there the night before?   (It's expensive, but possible.) 

And Craig said, "Sounds good to me..."

  • I  bought 8 grandstand tickets, 
  • reserved RV night before parking 
  •  reserved a Cruise America RV
  • and reserved parking for my daughter.
My daughter and her in-laws will be staying at a hotel in LA Sunday night and meeting us for the parade. 

I also made reservations at a KOA for Friday thru Tuesday.  The parade is on Monday but we can't return the RV until Tuesday. 

 Although we will park the RV at the parade on Sunday night, the cost of an over night parking space for our car is more than the KOA fee, so we will just leave our car in our space at the KOA and go back for Monday night. 

Finally when I told Craig about all of this, I added the words, "Maybe we should just buy an RV!"

And Craig said, "Sounds good to me..."

We shall see. 

 Meanwhile the Cruise America reservation can be canceled with no penalty thru November.

And I do have a list of RV trips I want to take after he retires...

I wonder what Craig will say?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Horatio's Drive

Just a quick note:   We just watched a delightful documentary recommended by Kim called 
Horatio's Drive.   

It was delightful and is available thru Netflix DVD or Instantly.

Puts every road trip we have ever made in perspective!

Art Work In Process Post 8

I'm trying to limit the things I picture in each of these posts to what is new or different for each of the animal sculptures I am doing.

In the last two days I finished the moose horns with a wash of paint and sealer, and he is ready for his fur coat.

I wrapped the deer antlers with another layer of plaster cloth yesterday, and today I did  a wrap of fiberglass tape and a coat of resin.

I did the same for the Impala, but his horns also got a wrap of wash-line rope to give his horns a ridged surface.

I put some extra resin over the rope, and will be doing a layer of plaster cloth over that tomorrow.

Most of today was spent working on the warthog.

I think of the warthog as having a squishy piggy nose, so I start it with a cut out piece of foam rubber.

I wrap this in a piece of thinner cloth, make the whole thing wet, and stain it with black India ink.

Making the fabric wet causes the ink to feather out and not be as black.

Once it dries I glue it onto the sculpture.

A warthog is not "furry" so instead of using fake fur for his skin I use a coarse wool.  When he is finished I will spend al least an hour brushing him with a hard bristle brush to bring up the little "hairs" from the wool.

I did not buy the fabric in a "fabric store."  It is in fact a woolen  blanket I bought at the local Army Surplus store.  I sure would hate to sleep under one, they are terribly scratchy.

This is the finished warthog, before brushing.

Three down, and three to go!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rescued by the "Freeway Service Patrol."

My vehicle is a 1995 Safari Van.  We bought it new.  I used it for doing art shows, and it has served me well for 16 years.  It has about 140K miles on it and we have done the repairs as needed over the years.  It has been a very reliable ride.

It was very hot today.  Has been for several days. But I did have a few errands to run down in town. In general, as a mater of habit, I turn off the air conditioner when coming up the grade on the freeway that gets me home.  Today I didn't.

Today, for the first time in my life, I was one of those drivers who had to pull over with a steaming vehicle!  My van overheated!

I do not have breakdowns!

I do not have AAA road service.  I have never needed it!

I do not have a cell phone.

But today I was half way up the mountain when the "Service Engine Soon" light came on.  I looked at the gages and saw the temperature gage was pegged at the top.

I pulled over at the first safe place and great clouds of steam came billowing out from under the hood.

Now what?  I got out, walked to where I could safely stand and waited.  I figured eventually the Highway patrol would come by, or if I waited for two hours, Craig would drive by on his way home from work.

It was very hot, but I knew one of the things I had just bought at the store was bottled water, so at least I could get a drink if I needed it.

I had been standing in the sun for less than 15 minutes when a beautiful white tow truck pulled in behind my van.

The very wonderful driver got out, asked if I was OK and gave me a pamphlet that identified him as the "Bay Area Freeway Service Patrol."

 It is a joint project from several government agencies that provided FREE service to disabled vehicles on our Freeways and Expressways.  The objective being to keep traffic moving!

He checked my oil, the hoses, and the cooling system.  It was almost dry.

 He filled the cooling system and made sure the air was out of it.  He ran the heater for awhile to get the water circulating and advised me to take it in and have it flushed and checked over.

 All of this for no charge. (Except of course what I pay in taxes)  He was very nice and said he would follow me and make sure I didn't have any more problems and was able to get off the freeway at my exit (which was the next exit.)

I offered him a tip, but he refused it telling me they were not allowed to accept tips.

I didn't know this service existed until today.  But I was very glad it did.

I got home safely and will be making an appointment to have the cooling system flushed and checked over before I drive again.

A good day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Art Work In Process Post 7

Another day ... another step.

The good thing is it is very hot here and my studio room, being downstairs is very cool!

Over the years I have tried a number of different ways of surfacing the horns and antlers.  I want them to look  boney like real horns or antlers.  Plaster of Paris is not good because it shrinks as it dries and this cracks.  Plastic wood is very hard to work with, but Durham's water putty works pretty well, but it to will crack if the underlying structure is not perfectly rigid.  Some years back I learned about a product called Hydrocal that ceramic artists use to make molds.  It is very strong and does not shrink very much.

I use two coats of Hydrocal to finish the surface of the horns or antlers.

The first coat fills in the smallest texture of the plaster cloth.  The second will cover the larger wrinkles.

After the second coat on the moose antlers I set them aside for a day or more of drying time.  The warthog was put out in the heat of the day and his tusks dried nicely by late afternoon.  I then painted them with a white primer, let it dry, gave them a golden brown wash, let it dry and sealed them with a water base sealer.  He will be ready for his skin tomorrow.

This picture show you the things I assemble to create deer antlers.

I have a deer skull with the antlers attached.  There's a story as to where it came from, but I won't go into to that now.

I also have a very good set of pictures of antlers that I look at.

I start with a PVC assembly that goes into the head.  I cut pieces of plastic that separate the head from the antlers so they do not get fused in the creation process.

I use 12 and 14 gage wires and masking tape for the first part of the structure.

Each wire loop is anchored in the PC and taped together.

Then I bend them into shape.  They don't have to be perfect.

I work a layer of plaster cloth over the wires.   Tomorrow I will work on the shape a bit more and add another layer of plaster cloth.

I did the same for the impala.

Even though the studio was relatively cool, I'm reading a very good book right now and decided to call it a day at about 3:00.

More tomorrow.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Art Work In Process Post 6


Sunday and Monday were rather busy days for me, doing things other than art work, but I did manage to get in about six hours and got the fur done on the cheetah.

For the zebra, the key stripe on his face was the white under each of the eyes.  For the cheetah it is the black "tear line" from the eye to the muzzle.

I make a new pattern piece with waxed paper for the nose and forehead.

Every section gets a new pattern to fit this sculpture.

It took more than an hour to get the chin and cheeks the right size and shape.

I will be going back and trimming the white fur overlapping the black tear line.

After getting the ears in place, there was only one more piece on each side to do!

The cheetah is missing something, and he doesn't look to happy about it.

His Spots!

I draw his spots on with a black Sharpie pen.  I will be doing a few more here and there over the next few days.  I will also be brushing out the spots with a toothbrush and making them a little bit darker so they look more like part of his fur.

He will also get whiskers made out of fishing line and glued into place with super glue.

His ears are adjustable, and I will play with them a bit to make him look somewhat happier.

Post 7 will include more about antlers, horns, and tusks.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Art Work In Process Post 5

Is anyone still with me?

 I may save these blogs and put them on a CDR for my youngest grandson who aspires to be an artist, or a chef, or a baseball player.  He might enjoy looking at it someday and see how his Grandma Merikay made things.

But for now, I write for you.

Today I did a few "odds and ends."   Steps that only take a short time each, but must be done.

I use PVC pipe couplings to make the horns and antlers removable.

  I make them removable so they can be packed along  side the heads for shipping.  This makes it possible to use a  smaller box size and thus save on shipping costs.  Economical International shipping is  restricted by box size. 

I marked where I wanted the PVC couplings to be, cut thru the paper mache shell with a knife, and used a large drill to bore holes in the foam. I used glue and paper mache to set the couplings in place.

Yesterday I applied a layer of plaster cloth to the moose antlers.  The next material coating is a layer of Hydrocal, a white gypsum cement.

But because it is the same white as the plaster cloth it is difficult to see what I am doing.  To solve this, I paint the plaster cloth layer.  That way I will know that when I can no longer see any paint I have put on a thick enough layer of Hydrocal and have not missed any little places.

Everybody got some attention today! I started building the warthogs tusks.

I inserted a piece of 16 gage wire into the sides of his muzzle.  The "stick" in the center is a bamboo BBQ skewer, and it is keeping the wire in place.

Then I shaped the tusk with aluminum foil and masking tape.

I added a few layers of plaster cloth.

I also made the cheetah's nose today.

I use Sculpty III Clay for his nose.  It was shaped and then baked in a 265* oven to harden.
 I wrapped foil around the muzzle before adding the clay so the nose would be easy to remove after shaping.

I just lift the foil and transfer the nose to a baking sheet.

Later in the day I painted the black clay nose with black paint black.  I also painted the deer's nose which I had made on Tuesday.

I didn't help Craig today, maybe tomorrow.

I think Post 6 will cover furring the cheetah.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Art Work In Process Post 4

I finished the Zebra by early afternoon. Doing the mouth and nose is always a struggle, but  is impossible to illustrate with  pictures.  I just make it work.

This is a terrible picture of him.  Craig will take a better one for the web!

The next task I undertook was to prepare some of the "Plaster Cloth" for the moose antlers.

I buy it in twenty pound boxes from an art supply house in Wisconsin.  It is the same material that used to be used for casts for broken arms and such.
The boxes I buy now are neatly wrapped rolls.  When I started using it I was able to get the "waste ends" and it was much less expensive.

  I used a single edge razor blade to cut it into manageable size pieces.

I worked a layer of the Plaster Cloth over the resin coated moose antlers.

Each piece was dipped into water first, and then smoothed into place. This took less than an hour.

The final project for the day was to install eyes in the other sculptures.

I drew around a paper template to  mark where to put them. This is the deer. I did the same for the other three.

Next I cut thru the paper mache shell to expose the foam underneath.

This is another step I can't really illustrate!  But by cutting, propping with bit of used foam, and crafty hot gluing I get the eyes in place and then paper mache around them.

Sometimes after the paper mache dries, I cut them out again and reposition them as I did with the zebra.

This is as far as I got today.

I'm not sure how much I will get done over the weekend.  I expect to be helping Craig with some drywall work.

Come on back for Post 5 and see whats next!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Art Work In Process Post 3

I feel like I'm going into too much detail, but I don't know what to leave out.

My work day started at about 9:30 AM.  The first project was to do what I call the eye-liner on the zebra.  I do this same treatment for all of the animals.

I have several large steel washers that I use as patterns to cut these shapes out of black felt.  I buy the eyelashes a gross at a time and cut them to length.

 The zebra, deer,moose and impala have eyelashes, the cheetah and the wart hog do not.

I glued the larger circles around the under eye first. The  eyelashes were glued to the inside of the top felt, and then it was glued over the eye.

When I cut out the stripes for the neck, I also cut out the pieces of white fur that go around the bottom of the eyes. This is the last "pre set" pattern piece I  used.  From here on, each stripe was figured out and cut in pairs, making tiny adjustments from one side to the other.

I continued to use waxed paper to make the pattern for each stripe, but since it was not  kept for future use, I traced the shapes onto the furs without making poster board cut outs.

By 2:00 o'clock I had gotten this far, and was tired of working on the zebra.

So, I switched over to my other work bench and trimmed the extra foam from the other head base sculptures.

I had cut out the hardboard backs for them on Monday.

I cut the foam even with the edge of the shell, and cut the removed piece into chunks that will be saved for the next pour.

I then attached to backs to each sculpture with masking tape and made any adjustments to them so that they would agree in shape.

I then applied several layers of paper mache over the back and edges and put them out to dry.

I finished that by 3:30 PM, so I did a little bit more on the zebra before calling it a day.

Come back tomorrow and see what's next.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Art Work In Process Post 2

I love hot dry weather when there is paper mache to dry!  The heads I did yesterday were hard and dry and ready for the next step, removing the shells from the master sculptures.

I ran an oyster knife around the edges and along the split lines.  Most of the time that's all it takes to get the shells to pop off.

I then taped up all the joints with masking tape, and did a couple of layers of paper mache over the tape.  They were then ready to sit out in the sun for a few hours to dry.

I go started on the zebra on my other workbench.

Starting from the bottom I carefully glued each stripe into place with hot glue.  I work hard at getting the edges to abut but not overlap.

Before finishing the last of the white stripes on this part of the zebra, it was necessary to make and install his mane.

I know, it looks violent, but when I am both crafts person and camera person it is a challenge to take the shots I want.  Just imagine my hand holding the knife!

I made the mane using black and white strips of "fun fur" which has a very long pile, doubled over so that the wrong sides are glued together.

I cut a slit down the back of the zebra, and using hot glue and my oyster knife I pressed sections of the mane into place.

I  also cut each section of mane at one inch intervals for a Mohawk effect.

After finishing the mane I turned my attention to making his ears.

I cut the ear pieces yesterday when I was cutting the stripes for the body. Each ear consists of a white back piece, a white front edge, and a black inside.

I carefully glued the white front edge to the white backs being careful to do only the edge.  Next I cut a piece of 16 gage steel wire and folded it to fit inside the pocket created by the white edge.  Once in place, I ran a generous bead of glue along the wire and pressed the white edge piece over it.  Finally I glued the black inside ear in place. I did the same for the second ear  and then folded them.

I used a carpenters awl to poke holes into the side of the zebras head.  The ear wires go into these holes and later the ears will be glued into place.  I didn't glue them in place today, because they get in the way when I'm working on the rest of his stripes.  But making them is one more step finished.

By now the paper mache on the shells had dried and I set up to fill them.  Each of the four shells was turned upside down and set securely into a holding box, or wastebasket.

On the workbench I have latex gloves, measuring cups, mixing cups, plastic spoons, the two cans of X-30 foam and bags of cut up foam scraps from previous pours.  The X-30 is a bit pricy at $130 per gallon, so I save the scraps and add them in as I go.

 Tomorrow I will create a few new bags of scraps when I trim these.

I did the pour in four steps.  It went so fast, and I didn't want to get any foam on my camera so i didn't take any intermediate pictures.

But I did get this one.  This is the last pour on the impala.  A second later I picked it up, held it over the deer shell and scraped the excess foam into the deer.

To finish out the day I cut out the hardwood backs and installed the picture wire hangers, but that doesn't merit a picture!

Come back tomorrow and see whats next!

When I get thru with the six, I will write one more post answering the questions you have asked in the comments, like just how and why I started doing this!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Art Work In Process Post 1

For the next few weeks I will be documenting how I am building the six animal sculptures that were ordered on Sunday.  The teacher in me wants to show you every little step, so if it gets boring, come back in July.

I have decided to show you how I jump back and forth between six sculptures, doing various steps on each.  This may be confusing, but the only way I could show you one animal from start to finish is to wait a few weeks as I took pictures of it's progress and then put it all together in one place.

Monday was day one.
I didn't take any pictures.

 The first thing I did was to check my materials, making sure I had what I need for each.  I will have to go for more glue sticks tomorrow.

 I also printed pictures of each animal and put them up on my studio wall.  I like to remind myself of what the customer saw on my web site.

Next I collected the master base sculptures from the garage.  For each animal I do I have a master sculpture that I made sometime in the past.  It is covered with water resistant packing tape and I create a paper mache shell over it.

 I  had an unfinished moose and large zebra, so I don't have to do them.

The red one in the front of this picture is not part of this collection, but I put it into the picture so you could see what the master looks like.  The different colors are places where I re-taped after many uses.

I use both newspaper and the white wrapping paper that movers use to wrap things in.  I do three or four double layers of paper mache, leaving split lines to make removal easier.  For these I did the newspaper layers and the first wrapping paper layer yesterday, and the third layer today.

Here they are drying out in the sunshine.
It was 80* today, great for drying.  In winter I have to get creative with building drying tents using a space heater and a silver survival blanket, or put them next to the wood stove for a couple of days.

The large zebra already had his eyes installed, but I was not happy with the placement.  I thought they were too  low.  I went back and looked at some zebra pictures and verified my feeling.

So I cut them out and re-did them.

I will go thru the process of installing the eyes when I do the eyes on the other animals.

 I have so much to show you today and the pictures I took of putting in the eyes were too badly focused.

After I fixed his eyes he went out to dry with the others.

Next I started working on the moose antlers.  I did the first few steps on Monday.
 I started with two pieces of poster board which I  cut to shape.
 Next I tape six pieces of 12 gage wire to the poster board.
The ends of the wires are  put that into a PVC pipe base construction. (Since this was  done Monday, I can't show you how I did it, but I will when I'm making the deer antlers.)

I have also built PVC joints into the top of his head so the antlers are removable.

I will show you this with the deer also.

The hard part here is to shape them from a flat pieces of poster board to a pair of somewhat balanced antlers.

 I comfort myself by knowing antlers in nature are never exactly symmetrical, but I don't want them too  lop sided either.

Once I got them as good as I could, I removed them and painted the back sides with epoxy resin.

The resin takes a couple of hours to set up, so I went on to giving the moose his eyes and then put him out to dry. (Moose has eyes in the second picture!)

After a short lunch break, I brought the zebra back in.  The master base for the zebra has been changed several times and the pattern pieces I have just don't work well anymore, so I decided it was time to develop a new zebra pattern.

To do this I started by drawing a line down the center of the front of the sculpture.
I wrapped the neck part of the zebra sculpture with waxed paper, pinning it in place and taping extra length where a single sheet would not cover.

Working from the center line I drew stripes on one half.

I taped two pieces of poster board together and taped the waxed paper pattern to them with the center line on the joint.

Then using an exacto knife I cut thru both layers of poster board on the lines.

When opened, I marked them with black or white, numbered them and drew an arrow to indicate the direction of the fur nap.

I use a black sharpie on the back side of the white fur, and a silver sharpie on black fur.

All fur I use is man made and is actually fabric.

I cut out the stripes with an exacto knife.
I buy blades in packages of 100, and change them often.
Finally I arranged the stripes in order, ready to glue onto the zebra tomorrow!

It was a busy but very productive day.

The evening commute was terrible.  All the way up a flight of stairs!

Check back tomorrow and see what comes next.