Things are changing here and for the better. The past couple of weeks the weather has been so erratic. One day the temperature is cool and the wind is from the north. The next day it warms up and the wind is from the south but very strong. Then there is rain and thunderstorms moving through. Then back to chilly temperatures with north winds again. The better thing is that I have gained access to the beach and have a place to fly kites. I just have to wait for a day with moderate south winds. You see, our beaches face the south and are lined with houses and condominiums. Winds from the north are blocked and swirly. Not the best for kite flying.
But the day finally came and I did something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Put up a show of White Bird dragon kites. They are some of the most beautiful round-headed dragon kites I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, they have been out of production for many years. But I have made it a calling to find as many of their patterns as I can. I have quite a collection and have always wanted to put them all up. I could have done it this time but I settled for flying six at once. And then just sitting in the sun, enjoying the weather, the sound of the waves and my kites.
These past couple of weeks I’ve also gotten some work done on my Giant Hata kite build. Finished all the pockets and sleeves and got the binding sewn all along the edge of the sail.
After framing and bridling, you truly realize how large this kite is. It practically fills one wall of my living room. Now to decide what kind of tails to make and it will be ready for a test fly. Hopefully this weekend there will be a beautiful day with winds from the south and a chance to try it out. And put another show of color in the sky above the beach.
Special thanks to Don, Jeri and Brett of Kites Unlimited & Bird Stuff, etc.
Fair Winds All
The fact that the beaches were closed and there would be no sunrise Easter service really bothered me. So the Saturday before Easter, we went to a field not too far away and flew our Easter kites. The winds were gusty and the kites were up and down. But they were up long enough to gather a couple of spectators who were driving by and stopped to watch. We had a ghost delta kite, an angel kite and my handmade Easter kite in the air. I was especially pleased to get the Easter kite up.
I finally got back to the sewing machine. The appliqué is now complete on the giant Hata skin. I must be currently obsessed with the sun as it is the motif of my last two kite builds. The rest of the construction will go faster now. Except, maybe, the edge binding and the tail. I have to decide what kind of tail I want to use. The most common tail is the fuzzy tail. But I’ve found the zig-zag tail is faster to make as you don’t have to sew a line or ribbon all the way down the center of the tail and there is only half of the side cuts to make. Decisions. Decisions.
The Easter yard decorations are down and packed away. I felt there still needed to be more color in the front yard. Especially as the dogwood tree was losing its flowers. So I got out some of the ground decorations that I use at kite festivals. I wanted to use my crab ground bouncers but the wind is too low and erratic to keep them inflated. So I set out my shark, fish and octopus mini-windsocks. An aquarium in front of the house. All overseen by our “watch” gator.
So here’s hoping we get to fly again soon.
Fair Winds All
We are complying with the Stay-at-home order and limiting our trips out of the house to the grocery store and the pharmacy. There is still quite a bit of traffic locally and there are still people who are gathering on the beaches. My kite flying has been very limited. I tried to fly in the backyard and had moderate success with the light wind glider kite, the Emong by Flying Wings Kites.
I’m sure the neighbors found it amusing watching me stumble around the backyard with a kite string in one hand and a cell phone in the other. At one point the wind appeared to be picking up and I tried another kite I happened to have handy, the Joel Scholz Parrot by Premier Kites. While it did go up for a while, it was never very high and needed constant supervision.
As for my kite building, I have been suffering from a serious lack of motivation. Part of which was due to the fact I was going to have to crawl on the floor in order to get the whole appliqué piece properly situated on the main sail. One of the drawbacks of not having a large table to work on. I finally convinced myself to just get down and get it done. With absolutely no help from my able assistant.
And so, life goes on. Stay safe everyone.
Fair Winds All
The Stay-At-Home order came down. Except for essential errands, we are to stay home and away from other places and other people to help stop the spread of the virus. While you would think this would give me lots of time to get things done around the house and yard and work on my kite projects. Instead, the lack of any type of deadline only increases my tendency to put things off. And so, this weeks post is late. Sorry.
I have started the Giant Hata kite. The main sail is black and is 60″ by 60″. That was a challenge on my narrow table. It was only made harder because my supposedly 60″ roll of fabric was really 61.5″. So instead of making just one long cut, I had to trim one side as well.
The pattern for this kite is a variation of the sun theme I used on my Maryland Kite Society build. Only this is going to be a sun/moon. The pattern was traced onto the yellow fabric and the white moon fabric laid over it. Then it was sew the outline and cut away the excess.
Add a face and position and sew the sun onto the sail and I’m on to the actual construction.
As for actual kite flying, I have a couple of places in mind to try to put a kite or two up. While the “powers that be” say you should only be out for essential trips, kite flying is essential to my mental health. I find it soothing to watch my creations floating in the sky. So when I give it a try, let’s hope I don’t get arrested for trespassing.
Stay safe, stay healthy.
Fair Winds All