Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Cosmosphere, part 11

In case you missed any of the previous posts, feel free to follow the links to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9 and part 10.  Please remember, all links open in a new window.

This is where the photos get a bit convoluted.  The Mercury, Gemini programs  influenced Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek.

The Gemini space suits were developed and manufactured by the David Clark Company in Worcester, Massachusetts.  They weighed up to 35 lbs each and were designed for such activities as space walks.  They included both parachute and flotation devices. 

The suits worn by Astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee (see the beginning of part 3) when they were caught in the fire and died on board the pre-launch flight in 1967 caused the suit to be modified to include fire proof materials.  The suit in the display was worn in space by Michael Collins for his space walk in Gemini 10.  If his name sounds familiar, he was the command module pilot of Gemini 11, the flight that put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.  Gemini 10, which was flown in space, is shown in the photo, too.

But now we must go back in time, because, as I mentioned, these photos are a bit convoluted, partly due to the way the museum room was laid out and partly because I may have been moving in the wrong direction.

This is the genuine flight-ready back-up of Freedom 7, the Mercury-Redstone capsule that launched the first American, Alan Shepard, into space.  Besides being the first American in space, he also was part of the Apollo 14 crew.

I realize this is a horrible photo, but

it is the genuine Liberty Bell 7.  This is the genuine Mercury spacecraft, recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in 1999. It is the only flown spacecraft owned by a museum outside the National Air and Space Museum. It was restored and is owned by the Cosmosphere.

This incredibly sad tale is one that Gus Grissom never quite lived down.

This shows Grissom being helped into the space capsule by John Glenn.  You can see part of the hatch in which the glass was created by The Corning Glass Company in Corning, NY.  This is a NASA photo of the pre-flight.

The problem was, the flight was perfect, the 15 minute trip was perfect, the return was perfect, but the splash down was a disaster.  The hatch blew and Grissom was accused of blowing it himself, although he swore to his dying day it was not his fault the hatch blew.  Unfortunately, the hatch has never been recovered from the ocean floor, so it can't be proved he didn't blow it.

The sad part is, the helicopter sent to recover the space craft and Grissom was more concerned about saving the space craft than Grissom.  Once the helicopter pilot saw Grissom was out of the space craft, he tried to save the craft, which had taken on too much water too quickly.  A second chopper also tried to help, but by this time, Grissom discovered his suit was taking on water, and he was sinking, too.  He was finally saved by the same chopper pilot who rescued the monkey Ham and later Alan Shepard.

A space suit like the one Grissom wore is shown here.

This is a good time stop as I see my friend Scott is looking at either the Liberty Bell 7 or the Gemini 10.  The Voskhod is in the background to the left in the photo.
Thanks for joining me today at the Cosmosphere.  I am actually headed to a museum in Wichita today, because it is Smithsonian's Museum Day, where Smithsonian Museum affiliates open their doors free of charge.  And I'm not called the Queen of Free for nothing!  Again, I appreciate your visit.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Autumnal Equinox

Depending on where you live in the world (based on those pesky time zones), today is the day we in the northern hemisphere celebrate the Autumnal Equinox.  It is the day when night and day are virtually equal in length.

I had Yvonne of Meggy's Way who is hosting Art Journal Journey this month with her theme Colo(u)r in my World in mind when I created this piece I call Autumnal Equinox.

Because the lighting is so bad in my dining room where I normally photograph my pieces, I decided to scan this entry.  Materials include a used file folder, several of my handmade shimmering mists, colored pencils, and a real leaf.

This is actually a prototype of a piece I want to make for a Christmas gift.  Instead of a used file folder, I'll use an old book cover.  Do you think it could be gift worthy?

It's been so hot and dry here (in the mid 90s F/30+ C yesterday), it 's hard to believe autumn has truly arrived.

Thank you for joining me today as I observe the Autumnal Equinox.  You will also find me hanging out at Art Journal Journey where my colors today are those inspired by autumn.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

It's a Red Letter Day

As  much as I love sewing, I also love color.  I've often said I have poor composition skills, poor design skills, and even poorer perspective.  However, I have always felt like color is my one salvation.

So once again I'm joining Yvonne of Meggy's Way who is hosting Art Journal Journey this month with her theme Colo(u)r in my World.

Yes, it's definitely a red letter day.

There are so many reds in this piece, some warm reds, some cool reds (warm reds lean to the orange spectrum, while cool lean toward the blue).  Some even look pink.

Speaking of pink, this is actually a red glitter crayon (Crayola brand), but it certainly looks pink in my spread.

It also left a great deal of flaked off crayon, which detracts from the other letters and numbers.

A mix of warm and cool reds were used on this originally white tag, including the string, which I also dyed.

I tried to show the glitter, 

but you might be able to see the last of my Micron pens that bit the dust when I subjected it to the crayon.

At least I finally got a decent shot of the glitter in the crayon and the final remains of my Micron pen.

For "Red Letter Day" I began with a used file folder I sprayed with shimmering mists.  When they didn't cover as well as I'd hoped, I used some fluid acrylics in different shades of red.  I also painted a piece of vintage sheet music with red acrylic craft paint.  After painting the tag and the punched circle, I began the assembly.  Once the assembly was in place, I used my large R stencil (from the office supply store) to create the others using a Sharpie.  And I can't forget my poor black Micron pen.  Rest in peace.  You will be missed, especially when I work in my calendar.

Thanks for joining me today at Art Journal Journey.  Thanks, too for visiting my blog.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday wonders: Castles

I was so impressed by the sandcastle photos my friend Valerie has been showing on her blog, I thought I might find a few to share this Wednesday.  However, doing a search on Pexels, there were no free photos of sandcastles to be found.  So I thought I would show a few of the real things, castles from around the world.

Whether built of stone, wood, or brick, whether surrounded by water, perched high in mountains, or protected by walls, these castles were meant to survive.  Most of them are from Europe, because it seems that is where most castles were built.  I hope you have enjoyed this look at castles from far and wide.

Thanks again for joining me this Wednesday.  I'm simply thrilled to read your kind comments about these photos I share based on themes (and ideas) you, my friends, readers, and followers provide me when I read your blog posts.