Author Archives: admin

ep5 – Step Laddering

Here is another installment of my series of walk and talks that I do every Friday at noon. I go for a walk to the neighborhood restaurant and get a Fish and Chips. And I talk about an idea, a concept, or things in my life.

Ten years ago I was walking down the street and I found a penny. I took that penny and the thought came to me that in today’s world I could turn it into two pennies. It started me on a chain of how far could I take this penny?

My thought was that I could take it to a million dollars.

I never got it that far but I learned some things in the process.

The important thing to thing here is that you can use this idea of step laddering in your life, in your skills and in what you are as a person.

It doesn’t have to be really big and grandiose things in life. Step laddering can also be effective with something as straight-forward and small as a project.

You have a small kernal of a thought about something you want to make. Write about it, then draw sketches, then start building the major parts of it and then you continue to refine the project and finish with the details.

Every Friday at noon Eastern Standard Time Will posts a new episode of the Friday Fish and Chips Podcast.

This podcast was originally posted as a youtube video.

If you like to make things or you like various subjects you might want to check his website:

http://www.stormthecastle.com

Want to Support Will and his work? Help him create more content and help him build a castle? You can learn more and become a patron here: https://www.patreon.com/epicfantasy

ep4: Renaissance Man

In this installment of my Fish and Chips podcast I talk about the concept of being a Renaissance man.

The opening musical piece to this podcast is called Saltarello. And it was written by Galileo’s father. There is something profound in that and how all these centuries later it still lives on.

In today’s world we praise and honor specialization. We admire people who get really good at something very specific.

I don’t prescribe to this philosophy. I am a believer in that old concept that comes to us from the Renaissance – we should be a well-rounded person that has many pursuits, interests and skills.

It takes a certain amount of courage to delve into a new pursuit or interest because you will be terrible at it. But that’s ok. There are benefits to trying totally new things.

Firstly you get adept at learning new things. Your mind becomes very agile. Secondly your breadth of knowledge in different subjects transfers from one subject to the other. There is a cross-pollination that happens. Learning in one realm brings insights into another realm.

Every Friday at noon Eastern Standard Time Will posts a new episode of the Friday Fish and Chips Podcast.

This podcast was originally posted as a youtube video.

If you like to make things or you like various subjects you might want to check his website:

http://www.stormthecastle.com

Want to Support Will and his work? Help him create more content and help him build a castle? You can learn more and become a patron here: https://www.patreon.com/epicfantasyhttps://www.patreon.com/epicfantasy

ep3: Questing and Games in Your Life

In this podcast episode I talk about questing in your life. And I tell you a story about a quest I took in my life.

In video games questing is a really big deal. And we often get very good at completing these quests. In life things can often be the same – we get quests but we often don’t see it that way.

The glass is both half full and half empty and the way you see it makes a big difference in how you approach things and how you approach quests in your life.

You probably don’t get the quest from a local tavern owner like in the games but you get them just the same.

Sometimes it is ok to look at the problems and challenges in your life as a quest. Not in a way that minimizes or trivializes the task but in a way that can make it fun – and make it easier for you to accept and accomplish

I give you an example of a quest in my life. This quest came to me while on a trip to Japan.

Every Friday at noon Eastern Standard Time Will posts a new episode of the Friday Fish and Chips Podcast.

This podcast was originally posted as a youtube video.

If you like to make things or you like various subjects you might want to check his website:

http://www.stormthecastle.com

Want to Support Will and his work? Help him create more content and help him build a castle? You can learn more and become a patron here: https://www.patreon.com/epicfantasy

ep2: Learning, Creativity, and Failure

Be aware of yourself and the ways in which you learn. Everybody has strong and weak points. It will make a difference in how deeply you learn.

The Ladder of getting better – under stand and be ok with the fact that you will be terrible at any new endeavor or pursuit -at first. It is this fear of being terrible that will often prevent you from progressing, or even prevent you from starting at all.

You can’t be good at anything without first being lousy at it.

Fail a lot. Just be persistent. There are benefits that you don’t realize.

———————————————————————————————————-

Every Friday at noon Eastern Standard Time Will posts a new episode of the Friday Fish and Chips Podcast.

This podcast was originally posted as a youtube video.

If you like to make things or you like various subjects you might want to check his website:

http://www.stormthecastle.com

Want to Support Will and his work? Help him create more content and help him build a castle? You can learn more and become a patron here: http://www.patreon.com/epicfantasy

ep1: Inspiration and Motivation

It all started with a note written on a small piece of paper many years ago.

How a persons life can change on a dime with just a small thought or a small action. I was in a business meeting when an epiphany came to me. I wrote out what I really wanted to do with my life on a small p iece of paper.

That was 15 years ago and I had forgotten all about that little piece of paper. Upon recently discovering it in a file cabinet I realized I had done all these things. I had brought into my life all those changes I wanted to make.

I was no longer just another cog in the wheel.

This podcast will give you inspiration and motivation as I lay out how it happened to me.

Every Friday at noon Eastern Standard Time Will posts a new episode of the Friday Fish and Chips Podcast.

If you like to make things or you like various subjects you might want to check his website:

http://www.stormthecastle.com

Want to Support Will and his work? Help him create more content and help him build a castle? You can learn more and become a patron here: https://www.patreon.com/epicfantasy

Will posts a podcast every Friday at noon eastern standard time. In this episode he talks about movitation and inspiration and tells you a little bit about his life and how he came about to be self-employed and working on the web. It all started with a note written on a small piece of paper many years ago.

Cardboard and Tudor houses

I have been working on a cardboard project. It’s a dollhouse in a tudor style. It’s a nice project and a lot of fun. (That project is on my youtube channel here if you would like to see it)

Anyway, I have a friend over in the UK named Stephen and he went for a walk and took some pictures of Tudor buildings. These are around New street and Friar street in Worcester.

All the lines are crooked and the buildings all lean forward. And don’t get me started on how amazing the glass windows on the upper floors are. The buildings just have a wonderful hand-built feel to them. No mass manufactured cookie cutter stuff here.

Aren’t they amazing?

Just think about the fact that these buildings are probably older than America.

I have been thinking a lot about going over to the UK so I can see castles. But now I am thinking that there are whole lot of other things I will need to see including Tudor buildings and of course. . . I will need to get me some authentic Fish and Chips!

Tudor building in the UK - Worcester

Enjoying Arizona’s Amateur Astronomy

Arizona is one of the best places in America for star-gazing and Astronomy. This is for a few different reasons. First off they have a sparse population with a lot of desert. This means that there are very large areas with very little light pollution. And they have mountains which of course are even better. The higher up you go the less air disturbance you have.

Arizona does have some world class observatories on the tops of it’s mountains.

Arizona also has a very vibrant community of amateur astronomers. These clubs meet all the time and share their time and telescopes with the public. It’s pretty darn great! And I have been enjoying it all. Since arriving here I have been to six different astronomy club events. And there are more coming.

And later this month is the event of events! The grand canyon national park has a week long astronomy and star-gazing event. I am booked and going. And I am so looking forward to it! Hopefully I will get some amazing pictures and share them with you.

If you are interested in Amateur astronomy and telescopes be sure to visit my website: The telescope Nerd

Finding project inspiration in Museums

I have been having a lot of fun traveling all over America. And travel, in itself is rewarding. But I have been taking it to another level by finding inspiration in the travel. Let me give you a couple of examples of what I mean.

My over-arching goal for this trip around America is to see castles; to research them and understand how they were built. That’s one thing. But, as I traveled the thought occurred to me that I could also take this same approach on a smaller scale.

I have been seeing all these wonderful things in museums and thinking “Hey, I could make something like that.”

And that is what I have been doing. I have been finding inspiration in museums and making my own projects based on the inspirations.  Here are a few examples.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET) has this beautiful marble statue of Perseus slaying Medusa. And the focus here is on the sword. I took a whole bunch of pictures of that sword from various angles.

Then I went ahead and made it, with an included tutorial so you can make it.  If you want to make this sword the tutorial is here: Make the Sword of Perseus

Let me give you another example.

At the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore Maryland they have a wonderful exhibition called “A Chamber of Wonders” It was a popular thing during the 17th century Flemish Renaissance.

 

It’s a wonderful thing. I thought that it would be perfect for a diorama project. So, I turned it into a paper diorama (Tatebanko) project.

And it is a full tutorial with everything you need. Download the pdf, print it up and make it.

That project is here:
Chamber of Wonders Tatebanko

Traveling all over America has been a wonderful experience for me. But it has gone beyond just experience. It has also been a journey where I have learned things and improved my skills at making things.

So, in your travels and trips to museums, or even other places give some thought to using what you see as a learning experience and a way to improve your crafting skills. Can you  make it? Is the big question to always ask yourself. And me….. I ask myself that exact question every time I visit a castle.

The Things I am learning from Visiting Castles

You may already know but I have the goal of building my own castle. It is part of the reason why I have been adventuring around America. I am visiting lots of castles and learning a lot about them, why they were built, how they were built, and what makes each of them unique.

It has been a wonderful learning process for me. And I have learned a lot. Let me give you an example.

Here is Grey Towers Castle in Pennsylvania. It’s a wonderful 100 year old castle. Yet pretty standard stuff when it comes to the castles in America.

But, I did discover something about this castle and gained a wonderful insight. You see, this castle is a bit unique, a little bit different than many of the other castles I have visited.

 

 

 

This castle has a wonderful network of narrow paths and secret areas around back. You can go for a walk in a charming wooded area just outside the castle. And in this area is a group of secret and intimate little spots like a covered gazebo a small fish fountain and some little buildings. It is just wonderful!! So, when I build my castle I am going to have an area just outside the castle like this. It is perfect for having intimate little gatherings of friends, maybe have dinner outside or a barbeque and drinks.

Want to learn more about Grey Towers Castle?   

Here are some pictures of intimate little areas around the castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ascending into the Cloisters

There is only one museum in America devoted specifically to the Medieval Period. It is “The Cloisters” in New York City. And it is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  This museum was designed from the ground up with the Medieval period in mind.  And that is a big thing. Even the architecture is medieval inspired.  This was very carefully thought out by the architects. So, not only does it house medieval works of art the building itself is a medieval work of art.

Some of the structure was actually purchased from medieval buildings in Europe, shipped across the ocean and incorporated into the cloisters.

So, to the point of my blogpost. “Ascending into the Cloisters”.

 

 

In the Medieval period the Catholic religion was very strong. It was the basis and inspiration for much of the building and much of the art.  The Church was a powerful and wealthy organization going through strong growth.  This growth and strength manifested itself in various arts including illuminated manuscripts, stained glass windows, enamels and of course architecture.

And in the cloisters I want to discuss one very important piece of it: “The entrance”.  You see that nothing in a building is by happen stance or by chance. Everything is carefully designed and for a reason. And that’s why the entrance is so unique.

To get into the museum proper you  have to go up this long and quiet corridor. You ascend quietly into the museum. And there is a spiritual aspect to this. You are transitioning from the outside world to the quiet, religious and contemplative world of a cloister.

 

It’s really quite a remarkable thing and as you are climbing these stairs you feel different. There is an ambiance and feeling to this length of corridor.

It works and it is a testament to the brilliance of the architects for really getting the feel of the medieval period.

Want to see more of the cloisters? I have pictures on my website right here: The Cloisters