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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Computers Make Me Stupid!

I hate computers! I really hate computers! And computers hate me too!

I have just spent all day trying to install a router so I can use my new laptop in the wireless mode. When I purchased the router, I asked if there were any tricks to installing it. The computer guy said no, it's simple, any body can do it, just put the disk in and be sure to follow every step. Which I did, but the disk contained the most sorry written instructions that I've ever seen. Now keep in mind, that I spent 20 years developing, documenting, and writing instructions for the set up and operation of technical machinery and equipment systems. The info on the disk assumes that the person installing the router is a whole lot more computer literate than I am. Got the router installed, but lost all ability to connect to the Internet. Reinstalled the router, still no Internet! This is probably good since the new laptop has WINDOWS 7, which is not compatible to the WINDOWS ONE CARE Security that I have installed on the desktop. Uninstalled everything, and now my desktop takes way too long to connect to the Internet.

Tomorrow morning I'll check with the local daycare center, for a four year old to give me a hand.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Present

Under the Christmas tree I found this new laptop. It's a TOSHIBA Satellite L505This was a present from my wife. It's going to be a while for me to learn how to do the same things that I have been doing on my old PC. All new stuff. And of course we all know how old folks like change...Hee Hee! But with my son-in-law and daughter's help I'll "getter done".
But before doing anything, I need a cookie.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays

Before things get even more hectic, and I forget, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. To the Followers of this Blog a special thanks for your continued interest. I also must, at this time, make a pledge for next year. That pledge being to be more responsive to comments left here. In the hub-bub of activity I some times (well lots of times) forget to reply to comments. Not that all comments require another comment as a reply. But, I promise to be more attentive.
And if I am not, I'll continue to "play the old and forgetful card".

Thank you all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's The season - For Sure!

It's dark outside now. It's 7PM. The kids down the street just finished up caroling on our front porch. Two girls and one boy. The girls were about 12 and 14, and the boy is 5. The little boy, Colin carried a lantern, and they sang several Christmas carols. They were great! They sounded great! And we felt great too. And they all three sang to. We asked where the older brother was. Mason is 9, and his little brother said. "he chickened out".

They all stood there on the porch, beside our lighted outside tree holding up sheets of music, just like in the old time pictures on Christmas cards, and sang their hearts out.......even little Colin, and he can't read.

If I hadn't had a lump in my throat. I'd have taken a photo.

Monday, December 21, 2009

And More Santa Ornaments

Here's another ornament carved by Jim O'Harra.
This Santa ornament is carved by, Don Worley.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Even More Santa's!

This is a Santa ornament carved from a basswood egg, by Steve Cotton, in 2008.


Here's another Santa ornament that's been carved by Steve Cotton. This one is from 2007.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gnome Adventure Takes a Twist!

This first note is the note that Gnomey left for the Flower girls (Zinnia and Dahlia), telling them that he was going to Florida, and would be gone for Christmas. Just about when I thought that the Gnome adventure was over, it has taken a twist. Upon reading this note, Dahlia (the younger sister) broke into tears. Actually her mom described it as sobbing. Dahlia did not want Gnomey to leave. Now to be honest, I have felt that the girls had figured things out, and didn't believe anymore. I do think that Zinnia doesn't, but still wants to. Anyway, she spent some time consoling her little sister, and told her that Gnomey would be back.


This is the note that the girls left for Gnomey. Zinnia wrote the note as Dahlia told her what to say.

This is the note that Gnomey wrote and left for the girls.


Looks like the adventure is still on.........in the spring!



Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Different Santa!

Here's a little different Santa I guess you'd say. Maybe a few days before or after Christmas. But still a Santa. Gene Messer, from Texas carved this fellow. This carving is 6 inches tall including the stump Santa is standing on. Gene kinda specializes in Flat Plane carving, and he's one of the best there is now; as you can see.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Santa Carving!

This carved Santa is a pin, and was carved by another excellent wood carver. Jim O'Harra carved this Santa and I acquired it as a study in carving eyes. This pin is 2 1/2 inches high. I think that the eyes on a carving separates the top carvers from the rest of us.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mark Akers - Santa Ornament

As Christmas approaches, and the year is about to end, I'll take this opportunity to share some great wood carvings with you all. This Santa is 5 inch hand carved tree ornament. This super carving is a gift from Mark Akers of South Carolina. Mark is an award winning wood carver, who as you can see carves an absolutely wonderful Santa. Mark also carves Santa in various different poses. As nice as this Santa looks in photo, you cannot believe how nice it is in hand. I had the opportuntiy to meet Mark and his wife at the Dayton wood carving show this year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another Christmas Ark

Another Noah's Ark ready for pick up. The buyer called and said she would be in the area, so she would pick up this Ark that is a Christmas present for her girls. She said I should have the Ark and animals in a box, because she'd have the girls with her. This one is 22 inches long, and unlike the previous one, has painted animals. Two more to go!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Large Noahs Ark


Large Noahs Ark
Originally uploaded by tlewishindes

This is a Noah's Ark that I made a while back. Just had to make another and deliver it. Thought I'd just post this older photo, since it's nearly the same as the one just completed. This Ark is24 inches long. I hope I'll make some little boy happy....

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gnomey's Heading South!


Just too much on all of our plates at this time of year. Gnomey's bailin out to warmer climes. I wish I could too. This is the note that will be left for the Flower girls. Now I gotta find some appropriate Christmas gifts that Gnomey can give to the girls. Some how I don't think gift cards would cut it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Noah's Art - Almost Done!

Here's an update on the Noah's Ark commission. Earlier I posted a rough layout of the Ark, and asked for suggestions as to whether to paint the animals or finish them with stains. I took the advice of those of you who answered my plea. No paint, but some way to show the spots and stripes. This Ark piece is 76 inches wide, and is designed to be placed over a set of double doors in a family room. The Ark itself must be finished, and the animals will receive various shades of stain. And the Giraffes must get their spots. The mountains and hills in the background have been stained, but need their final coat of finish.

It happens every year! Christmas is on the 25th of December. Each year I swear I'll not get bogged down with stuff to finish by Christmas. But each year I do get bogged down. I think it's because of the new math and the way it causes the number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas to be less and less as each year goes by. At least it seems that way.

Monday, November 30, 2009

2009 Christmas Giveaway - Winner!

I called upon the Flower Girls to pick the winner of the 2009 Christmas Giveaway. Since there are two flower girls, I let each one pick a name from my ol' bowler hat. The first name picked is the winner, and the second one is the runner up.

The first place winner is "Soukies", and she wins the framed log cabin square, with the carved Gnome on the frame.

Since I was not planning a second place, I'll post the second place winner later, after I have some time to determine an appropriate prize. Check back for the runner up.

Winner(s) should E Mail me with their addresses.

Thank you to all who left suggestions, and to all for reading the blog.

Singer Featherweight!


This is the Singer Featherweight sewing machine that my flea market friend found. It is a 1960 model, made in Great Britain. It has all the normal attachments, carrying case, and and an operation manual. It would rate the machine as in excellent condition. It sews a perfect straight stitch. My friend wants $250 for the Featherweight, and I just might have someone who wants it.

Stay Tuned For Christmas Giveaway!

Spent some time today writing up some tickets with names on them for the Christmas Giveaway. Will place the tickets into a hat, and let the Flower Girls pick a winner. I'll have to wait until later when the girls are both home. I'll post the winner and the giveaway this evening.

Also I'll be posting a photo of a Singer Featherweight sewing machine. I am about to leave to check the Featherweight out. A friend of mine is a "professional" garage sale/flea market guy, and he came across one. He said it looks perfect. We'll see. I have several members of my quilting class/group that said they want one.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Going In For The Winter!

When I got up this morning I found that some garden Gnomes were up on the porch. I didn't put them there! I thought maybe that the Flower Girls might have done it. Nope not them! We did have our first snow of the season this morning. Maybe they're hinting to come in. At least that's what the girls think. I wonder how the Gnomes got up on the porch beside Penelope?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Flower Girls Cartoon For Me!

When I returned home yesterday the Flower girls had left me a cartoon. I didn't have a chance to see the girls until this morning when I walked up with them to catch the school bus. Needless to say, they were tickled about the cartoon. They said that their grand maw cut it out and gave it to them, to give to me.
And, have you ever had the perfect opportunity for a once in a lifetime photo, and not had your camera? This happened to me this morning with the Flower girls. Dahlia, the 5 year old doesn't go to school yet, but goes up to catch the school bus with her sister. Well, this morning she left the house in her long silky "princess night gown" and a white wedding veil. Of course her mom made her ware a coat. The "bride princess" looked real fetching on her "Razor Scooter". Too be young and care free again. Well shoot, I'm old and care free.....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas Open House At Gift Shop

The past two days I sat and whittled at a gift shop. I also sold some ornaments and of course some Gnomes. I really didn't want to sell the Gnomes so I set the prices a bit steep. But to a Gnome lover (believer) it don't make any difference. Took nine, sold six. But judging from the excitement from the buyers the Gnomes will be happy.

The most fun I had was with the kids, especially one young boy who had just started carving soap in the cub scouts. He and his dad sort of hung around while mother shopped. Dad had recently purchased a Swiss Army knife for the boy, and we had an instant lesson on safe knife handling and carving. Since the only wood I carry with me is small, I just demonstrated some of the basic cuts. And of course I went step-by-step and did a wizard for the young boy.

I had more fun with the kids than with selling. Each kid that stopped had to take a 5 minute owl.
Several "Older" ladies who had dragged their husbands shopping told their husbands that they should start carving, instead of just sitting around the house. I told these fellows that a bunch of us meet every Tuesday morning at the local Senior Center. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gnome Tree Ornaments?

Might have to be saying "Good Bye" to my Gnome friends here. Will be demonstrating carving and selling some ornaments at a local shop this weekend. These little fellas will get a make over into Christmas Tree Ornaments. I hope they don't mind. If I keep them, they'll just continue to be shelf sitters. But if they become Christmas tree ornaments, just think of the joy they'll have this Christmas and every year there after.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some Random Photos From The Dayton Show





I did not have much time to take photos, so I really only took a few that interests me. These are some of them.









Monday, November 16, 2009

Dayton Carving Show - Artistry in Wood

Had a fantastic time at the Dayton woodcarving show. This was the first time I exhibited. Prior to this time I had attended the show a few times. I shared a booth with a carving friend, who talked me into entering the judging. I at first said naw, I'm not ready for this show yet. My friend went through my display and pulled this Hillbilly with a pipe out, and said enter this one in the WHITTLING category, since you carved it all with a knife. So I did. And to my great surprise, it took second place in the category.
The Dayton show was a great success, for me anyway. On Saturday it was shoulder to shoulder. A frenzy of folks, and for those that were selling carvings, a good day. My only sales goals are to meet my expenses. Expenses being gas, meals, two nights lodging, booth fees, and a few supplies purchases. I exceeded my goal.
Perhaps the greatest part of the weekend was the opportunity to meet folks. I was able to meet some carvers that I have only met on the Internet. And of course, there is the opportunity to view some of the greatest carvings ever. This means that I'll be inspired for some time to come.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dayton Wood Carving Show

Well I'm about ready to pack up for the Dayton Wood Carving show (Artistry in Wood) this weekend. This carving show is one of the top in the country. Attendance at this show can inspire one more and varied carving. I'll try to get some photos and post next week.

The Dayton show is Saturday 10AM to 6PM, and Sunday 10AM to 5PM, November 14 and 15. It's held at the Expo Center/ Dayton International Airport, 3900 MeCauley Dr. This is off I75 just north of the I75 - I70 interchange.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Snake-In-The-Box

Maybe I have posted this project before, but here it is again. This is a reproduction of an old Amish Church Toy, the Snake in the box. Mother would carry some of these toys in her purse, when taking the kids to church. When the kids started getting antsy out would come the "church toys".

Pull the slide top open and a snake pops up.
Here's the pieces of the toy. I carve the snake and finish it by wood burning the snake skin patterns. It's lots of fun to make, and big boys as well as little boys like it.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

BUSY! BUSY! BUSY!

Does this look like a mess to you? To me it's just a bit of the pieces that must be finished. Finished painted, eyes carved, and waxed. It seems that every year, Christmas sneaks up on me. Besides getting ready for Christmas and all the carving that it always entails, there's carving shows and carving demonstrations. I love it all, but it leaves little time for anything else.
Here's part of a Christmas Tree Ornament Exchange that I am participating in. 22 participants, means that normally there would be 22 ornaments to carve and send out. But since I carve so small, I feel I have to send multiple ornaments. Each little pile of carvings represents what will be sent to one participant.

This year I'll be at the Carving Show in Dayton, Ohio. That means a display. This is what I have so far, but will need more. At least it's my plan to have some more.
In addition to the Dayton Carving show, the following weekend I carve at a local shop, and sell ornaments....but mostly carve and give little carvings to the kids that are with their moms shopping. Then there are the four Noah's Arks and animals that must be completed by Christmas....That's why I'm a bit behind in blog posting.....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fresh Eggs!

As a part of growing up in what a few years ago was country, the boys down the road are raising chickens. Mason (7) and Colin (5) have converted a garden shed into a chicken coop. At Easter time they got some chickens. Several weeks ago the chickens began laying eggs. The boys brought me the first eggs that their chickens laid. I later found out that they must think we're special, because at the time they gave us the first eggs, their mom was all out. Well yesterday afternoon the boys come back over and gave me 4 more. The eggs as you can see have the tan/brown shells. I asked the boys why the shells weren't white. They didn't really know, so I took it upon myself to tell them. I said, "It's because your chickens drink dirty water." My wife scolded me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rotary carving a Cheetah


I think that just about everybody has a Rotary Tool (Dremel). And if you have a rotary tool you'll also have one of the small (1/2") sanding drums, that go with it.
I will be posting a slide presentation on using the Rotary Tool to carve a CHEETAH. A small Cheetah. I have never timed myself when carving one of these animals, but it's probably around 3 minutes. It's very easy, and anyone can do it.
I started using the Rotary Tool to carve the pairs of animals for some of the Noah's Arks that I make, as the result of accepting a commission. Several years ago at Thanksgiving one of my customers asked if I would make five (5) Noah's Arks and animals for her to have and to give for Christmas. That's one (1) month to carve the 18 pairs of animals per ark, plus make the arks. This put me in a spot, because this was a very good customer, the wife of a very famous music celebrity. As soon as she asked, I think she realized how little time I would have. I must have hesitated, because she offered me a price and then upped it to the point where I could not refuse. That's when I learned how to do these animals in a very fast time. I got the commission done in time and everyone was very happy.
So, in about a week or two, I'll share my techniques for carving an animal in well under 5 minutes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Note from Flower Girls to Gnomey

Gnomey's mailbox finally had a note in it today. You may recall that several weeks ago Gnomey lent the Flower Girls this little book, with instructions for Zinny to read it to her little sister. This is the first note from the girls to Gnomey since then. I got to wondering if the adventure was going to be at an end. But then it finally occurred to me that the girls are very busy. Not just these little girls but all little boys and girls seem to be too busy today. Homework every day, in the second grade! You got to be kidding me! Lessons for this, lessons for that; this group, that group, etc., etc. Seems the kids don't have time to play and make up things for themselves. Is everything too organized now a days? Anyway, you can see that Zinny wrote the note for both of the girls, and I know for a fact that she also read the book to her sister.

Maybe the Gnome adventure continues after all.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Holee's Suggestions!

Holee suggested that I try wood burning the spots and stripes instead of painting. Tisme said just stains, rather then paint. Here's an example that compares the two finishes. The animals on the right have been left natural, with the spots and stripes wood burned, then waxed. Animals on the left painted and waxed. This is a good comparison.

I am leaning (way leaning) towards natural with some wood burning as necessary, for spots, stripes, and fur. With this technique, the animals would be all tans and dark browns.

What do you think?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Noah's Ark Animals - Paint or Stain?

I posted this set up for a Noah's Art to go over a set of doors. Notice that the pairs of animals are unfinished, as well as uncarved. My original intent was to stain the animals different shades of tan and brown.
Here's another set up for the Noah's Art. With this set up, I used painted pairs of animals.
Now I am in a quandary. Should I just stain the animals or paint them. Any ideas/suggestions?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Santa Earrings - Drawing Results

I didn't forget! Yesterday was the day for me to draw the name of the winner of the Santa earrings. But is was real late when I did. And the winner is.......(drum roll please)....."Not Lucy".

If Alicia (Not Lucy) will E Mail me, and tell me her preferences I'll get on it right away. The preferences being: painted, stained, or natural, post or the kind with the "hook".

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Over The Door Ark

A large THANK YOU for all who participated in my cyber Butt Kicking at noon today. I am glad to report that it seems to work. I got moving on a commission that I should have started 2 weeks ago. A fellow wants to surprise his wife with this Noah's Ark, for Christmas. This is just a start of a 74 inch wide scene, that will go over the top of a set of doors in their house. Fellow's wife collects Noah's Arks. The ark will be shaped and the animals will be carved on one side. The ark will have a cabin, Behind the ark will be hills and mountains. The items will be stained different shades instead of painted, with some wood burning of spots, etc.

The only thing remaining to be determined is whether the animals will be going into the ark or coming out. If they are to be coming out, I'll do a painted rainbow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Custom Handle for Exacto Knife

For those of you who carve wood, here's a new idea. At least it's new to me. As more and more carvers, especially cottonwood bark carvers, turn to the old EXACTO knife for fine details, here's a custom handle. Some of the best wood carvers there are, use the Exacto to achieve the fine details, like eyes too. There are several different profiles for the EXACTO blades that fit the handle. A carving friend makes these wood handles. He's making me one that is a bit "Fatter".

For more information on these EXACTO handles E mail me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Request For Follower Participation!

This is an urgent request for the followers of this blog to unite and perform a much needed service. I have come to the conclusion that I desperately need to adjust my attitude. I am spending way too much time sitting around just thinking about quilting and carving, rather than getting down to the actual doing of it! I lack enthusiasm, therefore I lack motivation. Maybe I'm just lazy. But I know one thing for sure! I need a kick in the Butt! I also believe that maybe in this age of cyberspace, there is such a thing as "Collective Telekinetics". This is where you all come in. At noon on Thursday, October 29 EDST; I am requesting a "Collective Kick in the Butt". When I was younger a single kick in the butt worked. Now that I am older it may take a collective kick in the butt to get me motivated. Your participation is appreciated.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Painting Santa Earrings

Well, I am getting busy painting some earrings and staining the others. These smaller Santa's will become earrings, pins, and shelf sitting dust collectors.

I can tell you this much about the difference between staining and painting. To stain you just dip and wipe. To paint, there is a whole bunch of steps, as detailed below:

Step 1: Get a round tooth pick.
Step 2: Get a small tube of Super Glue.
Step 3: Dip the end of the tooth pick into the Super Glue.
Step 4: Catch your cat (or the neighbors cat).
Step 5: Touch the glue end of the tooth pick to the cats tail.
Step 6: Get 4 to 6 cat hairs stuck to the glue.
Step 7: Trim cat hairs even.
Step 8: Scrub carving with wet tooth brush.
Step 9: Paint flesh tone first, and let dry.
Step 10: Paint white, and let dry.
Step 11: Paint red and let dry.
Step 12: Ink the eye in.
Step 13: Scrub carving with dry tooth brush.
Step 14: Wax and buff
Step 15: Add "hardware"

Additional Important TIPS to painting the Santa earrings:

A. No coffee for 4 hours prior to painting.
B. Paint the first thing in the AM.
C. Paint in full light.
D. Use glasses clip-on magnifiers.
E. Turn off all telephones, doorbells, and any device that could startle you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Santa Earrings - Giveaway!

Christmas season is coming, and that means gifts. It also means that I have a way to utilize the small Santa's that I carve. The last time I carved Santa earrings, I painted them. However, between then and now, I must have improperly stored the small paint brushes, because now they have developed a little shake. Don't know about painting them now. Might stain them! The only trouble is, I like the painted Santa's. Maybe I'll just try to cut back on the coffee.

Hey, leave me a comment as to which you like the best, painted or stained.

I'll sweeten the pot. I'll draw a name from all persons leaving a comment, and send them a pair...
Name to be drawn October 30.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Annual Battle Starts!

Trees! Trees! I really love the things. They provide shade in the sun. They keep the house cooler in the sun. The kids love to climb them. And they really are quite pretty, green or in Fall colors.
They were just little sticks when I planed them. That's the problem when one stays in the same house for nearly 40 years. Now they are BIG and have bazzillions of leaves. And now it's Fall, and I hate the trees. The damn things cannot hold onto their leaves (leaf's).
They cannot even get their act together and drop their leaves all at the same time. Noooooooo! I got some that have nearly dropped all their leaves, and some that will be green until Christmas.
This is what I mean! And this is only two (2) days worth!