No Kite Flying For A While

Well, the virus has caught up with us.  The beaches have been shut down.  The State Park is closed.  There isn’t another good place to fly here.  All of the school play fields and the soccer fields are surrounded by buildings and trees.  Until I can find another suitable place, I must find an alternative.  And that alternative is kite building.

So I have two projects on the table.  Although I really don’t need more projects as there are a couple of unfinished projects and about half a dozen repairs already on the table.    I guess I just enjoy appliqué over repair and frame construction.

So I’ve got to get the new patterns on paper in the actual size I need.  That, in itself, was a project.  First I had to get the designs off my computer and onto an SD card.  That was easy.  Next I had to get them traced onto large sheets of paper.  Well, I don’t have paper large enough so I had to piece segments of paper together.  After taking a picture down, I taped the paper to the now blank wall.

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Then I set up my LED projector, plug in the data card containing the image files, and display them onto the paper.  This takes up some time as I’m moving the projector back and forth until the image is displayed the required size.  It was quite the balancing act.

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Finally I could trace the designs onto the paper.  Now I’m ready to cut fabric and plan out the appliqué sequences.  Looks like I’ll be on my knees as the plans are bigger than my table.  Thank goodness the living room has carpeting and I have a couple large cutting mats.

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One of the two projects is an online workshop at the Kitebuilders Forum, http://www.kitebuilder.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=42.  It is Project 10.0 – Jumbo Hata.

The other is a older kite style that I found in an old kite book, Kite Flight by Jack Botermans and Alice Weve.  It’s called the Russian Giant.  This book was published in 1986 and the framing instructions call for dowels.  I’m going to try and adapt it to either carbon or fiberglass rods.  We’ll see how that goes.

Wish me luck.

Fair Winds All

 

Last Day For Driving

March 15 was the last day that we could drive on the beach.  So we made a point of going and flying a kite or two a couple of times during the before the end.  The winds had changed and come from the north.  Which meant they passed over and between the houses before getting to the beach.  Not the best wind for kite flying.  There was a weather front moving through too so it was partly cloudy to cloudy.  Not very pretty but still beach days.

Only flew a couple of kites, the Illustion Delta by Skydog and the Prism Flip kite.

Also flew a small, very old rokkaku that I received as a bag raffle item.  I was really surprised it flew at all.  The sail is printed on heavy ripstop-like material.  After flying it that one afternoon, I see some modifications that can be made so it will fly better and more stable.  I am adding it to my “to do” list.  Though at a low priority.

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Hate to admit but I forgot to put my camera in the truck and had to take photos with my phone.  I really dislike using my phone for photos and, as you can see, if the kite is moving around high in the sky the quality goes down.  Sorry.

The following day was sunny though the winds were no better.  I did get the Illustion delta kite up for a while.  And got a better photo of it.

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Because driving on the beach is no longer permitted, our flying location for the community kite fly will change next week.  It’s back to carrying our kite bags from the parking lot to the point at Fort Macon State Park.  Believe me, the number of kites I take along will be reduced and more selective.

Fair Winds All

 

 

A Time Of Quiet Desperation

The weather has truly been against us as far as the community kite fly.  And this day was no exception.  Early morning rain, cloudy skies and high winds made it dark and gloomy and questionable for flying.  However, there were a couple of desperate people who were willing to take a chance and put a kite in the air.  I got some heavier line and flew my Illusion delta with its tube tails.  It handled the winds very well.  My flying buddy put up the little Spinner kite.  It just hung in the gusty winds and spun itself into a blur.  The line vibrated in a shallow repeating shallow sine curve.  It really is a fun little kite.  Because the temperature was mild, people were out walking the park.  And that little kite drew a lot of attention.

The kite build I began in the last post has been put on hold.  Instead, I am going to the Maryland Kite Society’s Kitemakers Retreat in Ellicott City, MD next month.  I’ve never been to this four-day kite building marathon and am nervously looking forward to it.  Several of my kite builder friends have been encouraging me to go, so this year instead of going to Kitemania in Florida, we’re going north.  The featured presenter is Ron Gibian and I will be making a kite of his design.  This is the 40th retreat so there are going to be some special activities.  The gem for a 40th anniversary is the ruby.  So one of the events is to build something with the anniversary/ruby theme.  So I am starting a banner with ruby gems on it.

This banner was meant to be, as a friend of mine was clearing out her stash of fabric and gave me some large pieces of nylon banner material.  And, by coincidence, they were red and black.  I’m hoping this turns out well as I’ve never made a banner before.  So I’ve checked out some banner patterns and instructions and examined some commercial banners to see how they’re made.  I think my idea will work.  Keep your fingers crossed.

The Beanie Babies as weights idea was stolen from another kite builder friend.  My bean bag weights were packed away and I have two drawers full of these little creatures courtesy of my grown daughter.  Like most children, they leave half of their “stuff” behind when they move out to live their own lives.  I hung on to these and will have them for the grandchildren when they come to visit.  Maybe I can send them home a couple at a time until the drawers are empty.  Or at least reduced down to only the ones I’m using as weights.  What do you think?

Fair Winds All

 

 

 

 

 

Our First Fly of 2019

After missing the New Year’s Day kite fly on the beach, we made it out this past weekend for our first kite fly of 2019.  The day was sunny, relatively warm with light to moderate winds.  The regular kite flyers were there and a couple of our out-of-town flyers had come down for an extended holiday.  There were so many kites in the air you would have thought it was a festival.

I spent most of the time photographing the kites and catching up on what flying I had missed over the New Year’s holiday.  They all told me it was the best fly ever.  I hated to miss it but I must admit grandchildren rate higher than kite flying.  And we had a great visit (and second Christmas) with ours.

The highlight of the fly was a group flight of the Randy Tom warrior princesses.  Several of us have purchased Randy’s kites over the years and we just happened to have them in our kite bags.  I am happy to say I have two of the warrior princess kites and both of them were in the air on this day.

Before leaving I brought out my Rainbow Revolution quad line kite.  It’s a special kite I got from a friend and don’t fly it very often.  Because I was flying it, there was no one to get a photo.  I guess I’ll just have to work out a remote camera arrangement.  Though I’d rather carry extra kites than extra camera equipment.

It was a grand day and we stayed longer than usual, enjoying the sunshine.  Here’s to hoping that it is a sign of more grand days to come.

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Fair Winds All