The Adventures of Crafty Surf

Ok, the past several weeks have majorly sucked in Crafty Surf Land, so I’d thought I’d write about happy things to cheer me up. It’s all good, ya know?

I first started working as a co-op student down here in Florida back in 1999. One Saturday that first semester, I decided to go to a ROXY Girls’ Surf Camp day down in Indialantic Beach. It turned out I was the old lady among the campers at the ripe old age of 23, with the next oldest being 16. Yikes. I felt like Kramer in the Karate Class episode.

Let’s go for ice cream!

It turned out to be a fun day, and it was the first time I ever got to try surfing. Lots of the little girls kept saying I should ask out one of the hot surf instructors there (that was a bonus- they looked like a Baywatch lineup). Since none of kids volunteered to be my Wingman, I let my chance pass by. I did end up smoking all those little girls in the Surfboard Paddling Relays, though. Booyeah, kids.

At the end of the day, they gave us all goodie bags of ROXY stuff in a backpack. I still have the backpack, almost 20 years later. Over the years, if a fun place I visited had a patch, I’d add it to my bag as my little souvenir. The latest patch I’ve added is from a surf shop in Folly Beach, South Carolina. I visited SC a couple of weeks ago on a spur-of-the-moment, much needed road trip. My first patch from outside of Florida.

Felt like a real surfer girl with my bag when I got it

I wish more places still had patches like this for little souvenirs

Remember that movie “Up”, when Ellie had her Adventure Book? Guess this has ended up being mine. It’s totally got another 20 years. Well, I certainly hope….for us both.

What’s next?

Beater Bodyboard Paipo Sock

All week it’s been gnarlicious around here due to some storms out in the Atlantic plus quite a bit of local winds. When the waves begin to get crazy, I’ll bust out my 54″ Twin Fin Beater board, that I can use as a giant bodyboard. Because it’s a soft board, I don’t need my helmet and crayons like I normally would. Bonus.

Nice wax job

Since I wanted to throw it in the car to surf yesterday evening, I wanted to make a sock for it with a quickness. I’ve done this project for my funshape, but this time, the board is small enough to put on my cutting table directly, so I can wing it even faster.

Ugly fabric? Check.

I used some remnant Lycra spandex fabric I got a long time ago that was sitting around. It’s ugly, but Lycra spandex that’s cheap is always useful for something when you’re in the water a lot.

I folded the fabric right sides together, with one side being the fold, so I won’t need to sew/serge this edge.

Putting my board on the fabric for layout

I even used my French curve to trim the nose!

After cutting

I used my rotary cutter to cut this Lycra- much faster. I also used a serger for this project.

Serging the sides

Fit check

Trimming off excess for the casing

I used the extra at the bottom opening, folded it over, and reattached a casing for an old shoelace. Made a perfect closure.

Reinforcing the pull through site

Reattaching the casing to the bag

I used an old shoelace

Cool beans

Done!

It’s great in da surfmobile, and now I can just keep my little 5′ leash on the board without worrying about it dragging everywhere. The sock stretches over the board super easy.

In da car

Pink and paisley

So I got to play around in the gnar for a bit yesterday afternoon, since the surf sock only took an hour. Here’s a pic I took from last night:

Just do it

Once again, my tradition of procrastination lives on….

I would have been too lazy to do this in high school

Chunky Little Manatee

Many people don’t know that manatees are closely related to elephants. In fact, if you look closely at a manatee’s flipper, you’ll see the remnants of nails and toes that resemble an elephant’s foot. Under an x-ray, they even look like human hands. Pretty cool.

myfwc.comManatee flipper under x-ray

Here in Brevard County, we are fortunate enough to see Florida manatees fairly often in the Indian River Lagoon (brackish water), and in nearshore coastal waters by way of going in and out of local man-made ship inlets.

They are also known as “sea cows” because they move slowly, but they are VERY powerful. I’ve gotten knocked off my paddleboard more than a few times by a manatee. Hey, they didn’t want ME on their lawn….I don’t blame ’em.

I still love manatees, and they’re a good indicator of the health of the Lagoon system, which is obviously very sick and toxic currently, heading into a state of eutrophication sadly.

So I wanted to share some of of this fun info with you, plus a pattern I made up to make your own little chunky manatee Amigurumi toy! It helps to know basic single crochet in the round for this pattern. Add a loop of heavy thread on top to turn it into an ornament for the holidays. Manatee Tree. Freakin’ cool.

Chunky Little Manatee Pattern (PDF file)

Stuffing the body of the manatee

Sewing the tail closed

Making the flippers

Fluke view

Front view

Manatees are cute, so they might get people’s attention.

I’d love to see this

Big Blue Button Amigurumi

Jellyfish are often misunderstood creatures in Florida, especially since they often hurt surfers with stings that range from annoying to scream worthy.

I’ve had my fill for a lifetime, believe me.

In actuality, many of these “jellyfish” are groups of polyps clinging together, drifting with the ocean’s currents. These type are known as Chondrophores, which include the Man O’ War, a particularly famous critter that gives humans a painful sting. However, there are other types of unique Chondrophores here in Florida that don’t pack quite the wallop.

Blue Button

Blue Buttons are part of this group, and can be found in Florida quite often. They are small (usually only 1-2 inches in diameter), but they are beautiful to look at. So, I decided to make a jumbo, huggable version out of yarn. Just because, of course.

Below I’ve shown a bit of my process in pictures for those into amigurumi:

I used three basic blues with a 3.5 mm hook

Making a circle for one side, starting to change color to make stripe

Using a half- color change technique

Top half done- I made it a bit taller

Bottom half

Two halves complete

Each tentacle is from 5-8 inches

Lots o’ tentacles

Pulling each tentacle into the half

Knotted inside and ends trimmed

Placing eyes

Stuffing and sewing shut

Top side

Surprise underneath!!

So happy together

At da beach….

With the oxygen levels dropping in the ocean as sea temperatures rise, expect to see more jellyfish (and colonies). They serve as a canary in the coal mine, if you will.

At least the signs of our stupidity will look pretty….

Keep overthinkin’ it

The Justin Quintal Loggerhead Classic

So this past Sunday, I watched the Inaugural Loggerhead Classic hosted by Justin Quintal and Vans in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

The event consisted of invited pro competitors, hand selected by Justin Quintal and his brahs. 32 men and 16 women from up and down the East Coast were notified on rather short notice (~2 weeks?) to participate. Rumor is, the recent Vans Duct Tape Invitational in California went so well, the push to have an East Coast complement was inevitable.

The Sponsors’ Tents

Of course, the selected names (or missing names) could always be argued by astute East Coast surfing enthusiasts. However, the contest was very entertaining with small 1-2 foot semi-glassy conditions in the morning, becoming more wobbly in the afternoon. This allowed for some wild acrobatic moves on longboards, like hang fives, tens, hang heels, switch stance, etc.

First place honors for the Men’s Pro went to Pat Nichols, and Jazmine Dean for the Women’s Pro. They were well deserved wins in my opinion given the conditions, both completing many impressive maneuvers in their heats.

Friends of mine scoping out the action

Impressive

Really good surfers!

This event was promoted as a good natured effort to bring together “loggers” in a fun contest format, especially here on the East Coast. East Coasters, I believe, have the reputation of being less serious, less focused than Cali surfers sometimes. Perhaps this was an impetus to show some focus to the Surfin’ Neighbors. Perhaps it was to establish the Chosen Logger Clique, which creating a pecking order is never above groups of surfers. The $5000 prize purse sure didn’t hurt to lure out the big guns last minute.

But I’m sure they only came just for the East Coast Group Hug.

NO hugs, ONLY Yeets

The New Surfboard Bug

These days, I’m so happy with the boards I have, and I feel good about my collection currently. I could even trim it to this one only:

Starr 7’0” FunJun Quad + Single Fin

It’s my favorite all around board, but a while back, I had put a deep gash in it from ditching it under my friend’s board to avoid a worse collision on a wave. SO freakin glad neither of us were hurt, only the board. Big whoop.

This repair has been awesome

The repair’s been great, and I dig my paint job over the repair, but once I saw my local surf shop post a pic of this longboard with an acid splashed deck, I knew I wanted this look for the funshape I have now- much like a new dress, only slightly more resinous.

I love this acid splashed deck- I’m getting this with blue rails and bottom on my funshape

I will trade in the funshape I use now once my custom order is complete (hopefully soon!), so that will offset some of the cost, especially since this “look” requires extra paint on the rails and bottom (mine will be blue), gloss and polish on the resin. Honestly, this is not a need. However, hurricane season’s coming, and well, sometimes slipping into a new pair of shoes is nice to get you stoked.

Shoes are part of the Whole Game, Player.

Painting on Tagua Nuts

In my last post, I was carving some Tagua palm nuts to make some neato pieces. Like wood, Tagua nuts can be painted to artsy up a piece even more. I had cut a nice thick piece, and drilled a top hole to hang the slice as a pendant.

Sanded and ready to paint

For this project, I used my acrylic paint pens that I’ve used on my surfboards before. Small paintbrushes and toothpicks come in handy for detail painting too.

The brush on varnish I like to use with the acrylic paint pens I like

The important part is the varnish, though. Tagua is cellulose, so if you want your d’art to stay sharp and not bleed into the nut, put on a couple of thin coats on the surface before you start your creation. I sealed the entire slice before painting.

Once it’s completely dry, I can start painting whatever I want, building up color slowly.

Keeping just an accent

Happy little daisies

I made sure the acrylic paint was completely dry before painting two more thin coats of varnish to seal the piece.

I use my disposable contact lens containers for paint and varnish

I used some yellow Linhasita cord and some olivewood beads to finish this piece off into a necklace:

Happy and bright

Super easy, super fun, and if you hate what you painted, get out the sandpaper and start over. Hopefully the Tagua slice was cut thick enough.

I certainly got comfortable with sanding (not REALLY my arm, just a meme, haha!)….

Dude should’ve waxed before sanding