Tag Archives: art


I was given a book over the course of my summer in Brasil. A very, very important book. A book that if you were to simply read the cover, it could change your entire philosophy about life. It was one of the best birthday presents that I have ever received.

Ostra Feliz não Faz Pérola. Happy Oysters don’t Make Pearls.

To the friend that gave me this book, I sincerely thank you. The title of this book alone changed the way that I look at my daily life, my mission field, my approach to my classes and my work, and the way I view human trial, suffering, and tribulation.

A comfort zone, a routine, a feeling of contentment. None of these things inspire change. None of them long for something more. They are utopian in the since that change is not seen as necessary. They are sickening and broken things in that they make you buy into that philosophy– that everything is as it should be.

Everything is not as it should be. Ever.

Pressure, suffering, trial, tribulation. These are the things that inspire revival, an awakening, a long for change, a need for something different, something better. All of these things are so misunderstood by so many people because they are seen as unnecessary. Why suffer? Why are we put through tests and trials and tribulations?

It’s because you shouldn’t be content with where you are. It’s because you shouldn’t be so set in your routine. It’s because you are trapped in your comfort zone with the idea that change is a bad thing.

The oyster. A simple, underwater, ocean-dweller. An animal that creates one of the most sought after products in the world. One of the most beautiful accessories that anyone can obtain; a pearl. The oyster gets ahold of one grain of sand and begins to crunch, crush, and painfully exercise that grain of sand until it becomes a beautiful, valuable pearl. All the while, the oyster is in pain. That oyster is not happy, is not content, is not free of pain until his work is complete, and what a wonderful, beautiful product results from that struggle.

It is not in times of comfort and ease that we as human beings create our most prized possessions. They are works of labor, tests of strength, endurance, and will. An artist slaves over his paintings for hours, days, weeks, months, sometimes even years, before he is happy with his final work. He becomes a slave to his work because he is pouring everything he has into that work. It is a labor of love. It is in these times, with these attitudes, that masterpieces are created.

It is only by pain and suffering that the oyster is able to create his pearl, his masterpiece. It is only under great pressure and with much time that a diamond can be formed in the earth.

Pressure, pain, and suffering inspire greatness. Comfort, routine, and contentment with one’s current position do not.

How will you react to your next test? Your next tribulation? The next time you are under pressure? The next time you suffer greatly for something you love?

Be the oyster. Go make a pearl. Next time you’re under pressure, be determined to come out on the other side with a diamond that you can be proud of. Be the change, aspire to greatness, and inspire others along the way.

Now go find some sand to crunch on.


Also, if you’re interested in reading the book that I mentioned, Ostra Feliz não Faz Pérola || Happy Oysters don’t Make Pearls, the author is Rubem Alves. He’s a Brasilian author and Presbyterian theologian. A truly brilliant man. To the best of my knowledge, the book is available in English. Go check it out!


Progress on the 240Z Custom Mini-Car

Well, it’s finals week. Sadly, that means I don’t have a lot of time to post on here or work on mini-cars, or really do anything I enjoy extensively. But it only consumes two weeks out of my year, which makes it hard to complain. I did manage to get to work on my Datsun 240Z mini-car and have sanded it down. Once I get done with school and summer kicks in, I’ll be able to prime it and paint it! (Paint suggestions, anyone?) I’ve also got about six other Mini-cars I’ll be working on, including a Toyota 2000GT (One of my favorite cars and castings ever), a Toyota Supra, and even a Toyota AE86 Corolla hatchback (Also one of my favorite cars and castings).

I’ve attached some pictures below, let me know what you guys think of the sanding process! It’s incomplete as I do not take my Hot Wheels apart (yet), but it doesn’t really matter when it comes to priming and painting. I’m thorough in those categories. Needless to say, I’m going to put a lot of time into this 240.

I’ve also scrounged up some old pictures to get my Fly Fishing section of the blog up and running as well, so keep checking back for updates on that as well! Come mid-May I’ll be posting about my trip to Damascus, VA on the front end of Trail Days, which is an awesome event that everyone should check out at least once in their lives.

Stay tuned for more, check out the pictures, and tell everyone you know to start reading my blog. The more readers the better! More to come!

Side shot of the sanded down Z

Side shot of the sanded down Z

Front shot of the Z

Front shot of the Z

Good angle to see the sanding of the Z

Good angle to see the sanding of the Z

Tools of the Trade

Alright guys, so I promised a post detailing my adventures with my first Custom 1:64 Datsun 510. Go check out the article under the Cars//Minicars section!

Here’s the picture I took of (almost) all the tools I used during this project.

Here are the tools I used in the making of my custom Datsun 510. Read the whole post for details on how to use 'em yourself!

Here are the tools I used in the making of my custom Datsun 510. Read the whole post for details on how to use ’em yourself!

Okay so first, lets talk paint. For cars, it’s freakin’ important. I’m currently using Model Master enamel paint, and it goes on smooth. I love it, and it does its job. For the 510 project, I used all Model Master paint.

For the body, I chose Chevy Engine Red

The hood and overfenders on the car are Matte Black

and for the finishing touches, I used Metallic Grey for the exhaust and back bumper dust.

Model Master makes great paint, and if you’re a hobbyist like I am, and haven’t checked them out yet, you need to. Trust me.

Alright so next comes the paint brush. I’m not terribly picky when it comes to which brush I use, I just picked up a generic 4-pack of fine-tip brushes and using just one did more than accomplish the task at hand. What’s more important than a brush while working with 1:64 scale is a steady hand holding the brush.

For blades and nippers, I am using a number one (#1) X-Acto knife, which is perfect for cutting the tape at fine angles, and just a generic pair of nippers to manipulate misplaced paint and tape. Which reminds me, tape is a huge part of any paint job, so grab some Tamiya Yellow Modeling Tape– they even sell refills for extra cheap!

Now for my favorite part (Joking this is the worst part ever, kind of)– the sanding tools. I grabbed a 5-pack of low-grit (High numbered) sandpaper. In the picture, from left to right, the numbers are as follows: 3600-grit, 4000-grit, 6000-grit, 8000-grit, and finally, 12000-grit.

All of these serve their purposes, but I mostly used the 4000 for buffing, smoothing, and shining, and the 6000 and 8000 for the finish touches to remove any swirls. Also worth noting, I just used a regular old shop file to remove the paint, it’s really not that difficult, and I don’t think it’s necessary to leave a diecast model in a bag of brake fluid or something equivalent for 48 hours to remove the paint. I spent 15 minutes filing the paint off of this 510– suck it up and just do it.

Yes, in the picture, you do see nail files. These are obviously rather coarse, and I used these for the final scratches and dings on the paint. They also work great for removing the paint, if you don’t have a shop file handy. The other files, the skinnier ones, are ones you can find at any modeling store– I picked up 5 individuals, from coarse to fine to extra fine. These are great for reaching the tiny cracks and details for taking paint off, shaping, and I even buffed with the extra fine (along with the 6000- and 8000-grit squares) and I love the look my 510 has now– it’s a SuperJalopy.

What is not shown is the can of primer, because it is rather large, but any primer will really work– just make sure you sand it and smooth it before you paint! Any questions, leave them in the comments, hopefully I’ve been thorough enough. Keep checking back for updates and make sure you go check out the pictures of the 510 in the Cars//Minicars section!