Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mail For Gnomey!

This AM as soon as the flower girls went up the road to catch the school bus. I dashed over to check for some mail from the girls for Gnomey. This is the largest package that the girls have sent.

One of two notes in the package was from Zinnia, who is in the first grade. This note says, "DEAR GNOMEY HERE IS ONE MY PENCIL. I KNOW THAT YOUR HANDS LITTLE COMPARED TO MY HANDS. LOVE ZINNIA AN DAHLIA.

This is the second note. It is worthy to note that Dahlia, who is a strong four years old, wants in on the fun too. She cannot write yet, but can dictate to her mom what she wants to say. This is also the first time I have seen Dahlias name written by her.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flower Girls Notes to Gnomey

I asked the flower girls mom about whether I should some how get the notes that Zinnia has written to Gnomey, returned to Zinnia; so she could include them, in her "book". She didn't know, so she asked Zinnia the question, "Why don't you ask Gnomey if you could have your notes back, so you could put them in your book"? Well, no one was ready for Zinnia's reply. Zinnia replied, "noooooo! Gnomey might need them for his scrap book, and besides they're the only things of mine that Gnomey has".

But mom did tell me to be sure to save them for her.

Gnomey's Pencil!

Zinnia, in a message to Gnomey, asked for a Gnome pencil. She told me that she asked for the pencil. I asked her what she wanted a Gnome pencil for. She answered: "Well, I asked for a Gnome tooth, and he gave me one, so maybe he'll give me a Gnome pencil". "I want to see how small it is".
This is what I made for her, and included in the message.
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Yesterday morning I noticed Zinny at the Gnome house. I suspected that she had left a message to Gnomey. But because of the nice sunny and warm day I could not sneak over to retrieve the message without being seen. This AM while the girls were up on the main road waiting for the school bus I retrieved these notes, to Gnomey from Zinnia. The first note needs some translation. "DEAR GNOMEY DO YOU LIK FLOWERS? WHY DID ( I want a) GNOME TOOTH BECAUSE I WAS WONDERING WHAT THEY LOOKED LIKE". Looks like Gnomey might be getting some "flowers", if he plays his cards right. The second note concerns me a bit. She's asking Gnomey for a Gnome pencil. This could be a trap, you know. I've already been backed into a corner by a six year old, with the Gnomes replying via a computer generated messages. I'll have to think about this one for a while.

Thanks for the advice on the messages from Zinnia to Gnomey. I'll work up something and return these messages to her....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Alter Ego gets An Idea!

I wonder what would happen if Gnomey puts all of the Flower girls notes into a bag and leaves it for the girls to find. He could add a message that he had heard Zinnia talking about her Gnomey book that she made. That would be no stretch. That's all shes been talking about yesterday and today. Gnomey could say that he thought Zinnia would like to have her notes back to put into her book, to make it complete.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Show & Tell At School

No pictures, but I have seen Zinnia's Gnome "book" that she put together for "show and tell" at school. She will take the book and share her Gnome story with her class. She has a photo of the Gnome door with her and her sister, and every note that Gnomey left for her. She also has Gnomey's family photo, and the Gnome tooth, in the book. Unfortunately Zinnia cannot get the notes that she left for Gnomey. Gnomey still has those.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Small Carvings

I am in the process of carving and finishing several smaller carvings. These smaller pieces are drilled to be threaded on a 1/8 th inch dowel rod. The photo shows the basic three steps that I go through. The first is a rough shaped carving. The second or middle piece has the carving finished, the line burned in that will separate the colors, and the vest painted with watered down acrylic paint. The Gnome on the right has the painting completed. The final step of the finish is yet to be determined. Some folks just spray a matte finish on. Others concoct a mix of boiled linseed oil and burnt sienna and dip/wipe.

Anyone want to suggest some way to finish, antique or otherwise??

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gnomes Tooth!

The flower girls and their mother were gone this morning, so I had an opportunity to check the Gnome mailbox. Yep! there was some mail. A message to Gnomey from Zinnia. The message was sealed in a green balloon. Within 30 minutes of me retrieving the message, the girls mother called. The call was made when both of the girls were at pre school and school. Mom said that she tried everything to talk Zinnia out of asking for a Gnomes tooth. She was probably worried about where in the devil I would find a Gnomes tooth. But Zinnia is very strong willed and refused to budge on her request. You see Zinnia collects animal bones and teeth. One day last year, she had her dad boil a roadkill down so she could have the bones....
Gnomey will put this "Gnome tooth" in a small envelope, along with the note and place them in the Gnomes mailbox. The tooth is about the size of a barley corn, and is made from a piece of Corian counter top.

And so, the adventure continues.

Small Swap Quilt

Here's a work in progress. A small swap quilt that is about 18" x 18". It started out to be a half log cabin, but because I am a male (an older male at that) I don't read directions. What should have been a half log cabin ended up being a "chevron" block. But I failed to alternate the "logs" using different fabric. But I think it still works.
Rather than quilt in the ditch or outline, I decided to hand quilt a meander pattern. In this manner I could stay away from the multiple layers of fabric at the seams. There are a few places on the little quilt that are not real good, but I chalk that up to my own limitations of patience, accuracy, eyesight, age, etc., etc., etc. But I heard a little voice in my head that seemed to say, "getter done". And besides, I do kinda like it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Passing Time At The Carving Show

There are lots of reasons to participate/exhibit at a wood carving show and sale. Some do it so that they can enter their wood carvings into a judged competition. Others just to let other folks see what they are carving. Some even so they can sell their wood carvings. But I suspect that by far most do it just to see and talk to others who share their hobby. The last reason would be me. Just think of it; 40 to 50 wood carvers, each with a table of their carvings, together for 2 days. You may only see and talk to these carvers once a year. Or if you're lucky you'll see them at other shows. But one thing is for sure we don't forget one another. We're always friends. I like to stay busy, so the photo shows the results of my being "busy" while talking to others, at the Johnny Appleseed Wood Carving Show.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Johnny Appleseed Carving Show - 2009

Participated in the Johnny Appleseed carving show this past weekend. There were probably around 50 woodcarvers participating. The toucan was awarded the best of show ribbon. It was the size of a toucan, and very well done.
This little owl was carved by the same carver as the toucan. I liked this little owl the best.

This is a photo of my table. Sorry for all the background. I had several Noah's Arks and animals to show, along with some hand made knives, and various small tree ornaments and pins. I did not enter anything to be judged.
But I did enter the whittling contest. Was lucky to get first place. Didn't get a photo of what I whittled, but it was an old world Santa tree ornament. The theme of the contest was just any Christmas Tree Ornament, from a piece of wood that was supplied. Remember, I like to whittle and carve very small things. My piece of wood was not that small. The ornament ended up being about 8 inches long, and was to be donated to a worthy cause.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gnomes Built A Swing!

Lots is finally happening as far as the Gnomes are concerned. Been kinda slow, because the flower girls have been home, and the weather is getting nice. It's been difficult to get some Gnomey things done. But I was able to hang a little Gnome swing in the girls backyard. I did not tell anyone about it. Just let them find it themselves. While I was out of town today, they found it. The flower girls were playing out in the yard with my visiting granddaughter. So, it's my granddaughters words and explanation of events. "We were running through the yard, and all of a sudden, Zinnia let out a scream." My granddaughter said that she thought Zinnia had got stung by a bee. But Zinnia said, " NO! LOOK, a Gnome swing". Next they all ran around screaming, "A Gnome swing, a Gnome swing". You will have to click on the photo to see the swing.

Also, on Friday I went to a garage sale and bought the 13th Anniversary Edition of Rien Poortvliet and Wil Huygen's book GNOMES, for 25 cents. Since I already have one at full price ($24.95), I gave the "new" one to my granddaughter; who in fascinated by Gnomes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hazard At The Senior Center

I feel it is my civic duty to alert all woodcarvers to a very hazardous condition that may exist if you carve at a senior center, as I do. If you click on the photo you will easily see that my lap has wood chips stuck to it. This happens whenever I sit and carve. The presence of the wood chips is usually not hazardous, but what happened next at the senior center was. When I stand up the chips usually fall off or I brush them off. This time neither occurred. I walked out of the area to get a cup of coffee. Now at this point you must understand that the ratio of women to men at a senior center must be about 150 women to one man. And I'll bet that all of the women still have the "mother" instinct. Or whatever it is that would cause them to brush the wood chips off someone.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Important Clarification!

Last evening I received a message from my daughter. She said I was in trouble, or at least there was great potential for a misunderstanding, leading to trouble. She was referring to the blog entry of yesterday. The coffee break entry to be exact. She stated that my quilting is OK. In fact she was the one who got me into quilting in the first place. But a fancy tea/coffee break that I portrayed in the blog was over the top. She said I either had to explain things or follow that blog entry with an extremely macho entry to regain my masculinity.

OK I "fess up". The photos that I posted in the coffee break entry were ones of my daughters tea party at her house the other day in California. The photo that is posted today is my usual coffee break.

The Santa/Wizard carvings in the photo are going to be Popsicle stick "switchblade knives". I'll be giving these away to kids at a carving show/sale this weekend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Coffee Break!

Some days after a few hours in the shop I like to take a little break.

This little break might be called by some a coffee break. Well that's what it started out being, but after a while I got tired of the same ol' donuts. I sought something, well a little different. When my daughter visits she is in charge of the "coffee break".

Monday, April 13, 2009

All In A Days Work

Getting ready for a carving show and sale this weekend, in Mansfield, Ohio. I've got several Noah's Arks and animals ready, some snake in the boxes, and a bunch of small tree ornaments. This year I'll be taking two Noah's Arks kits, that will be for sale. These kits will include a completed Ark, with 16 pairs of animals that are cut out and ready to be carved.
I'll also be taking some hand crafted knives, made by Thomas Perrin and myself. These hand made knives will be of several different kinds. Some have been made from old German straight razors, some from locksmith files, and pocket knife blades.

I also learned a lesson today, about quilting. Read the instructions along with looking at the pictures. I determined that I wanted to make half log cabin squares. I saw a really neat quilt made from them. But instead of reading about them I just looked at the pictures; and not too good either. For the half log cabin squares you must alternate the fabric in the logs. Instead of using three fabrics plus the center I should have used six plus the center. What I did was make chevron squares. It doesn't look bad, but its not what I intended.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter, Gnomes!

Lots of activity around the place this morning. While fixin my breakfast at the crack of dawn, I heard much squealing, laughter, and other fun sounds from the neighbors back yard. Seems the flower girls could not wait any longer to look for Easter eggs. Lots of sneakin had gone on, and was still goin on to pull things off. Seems the girls mom got up early (4 AM) to hid the eggs in the back yard. She also placed two chocolate bunnies buy the Gnomes door, for the girls. When the girls got up and went out to look for the eggs the first thing they did was place this Easter egg at the Gnomes door.
I'll sneak over and place this note in the mailbox this afternoon.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Guns For Sewing Machines!

What an interesting concept. I wonder if it would ever catch on?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Old Wheeler-Wilson Sewing Machine Update

I might have made a big mistake. I talked to "Flea-Market" Kenny about the old machine he picked up. He said I could have it for $125. I have no idea what it's worth. I think it's complete, but I don't know for certain. I don't even know if I can get it running. Well, knowing he traded a pistol for it. And that he had the cast iron base sand blasted, he probably has about $125 in it. I told him I did not want to buy it, but would trade for it. I offered a WWII British Enfield .303 Jungle carbine in trade. I bought this gun before I got married, back in 1958. I had no idea what it was worth. Kenny said no, not interested. As soon as I got home Kenny was on the telephone asking for more detailed information on the gun. I could hear him typing. He was checking the value on the Internet. Why the crap didn't I do that before I offered it in trade. The asking price for the old gun is anywhere from $295 to $495. Ol' Flea Market Kenny has telephoned me twice this evening, wanting to see the gun.

I don't know what I'm going to do. I have no idea what the old machine is worth. But I might own it by this time tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Near Disaster For The Big Gray Cat!

Several day ago the flower girls dad was making some repairs to their deck. Remember, the Gnomes live under the deck, (at least that's where their door is). The girls dad was installing some wire caging materials around the base of the deck to keep skunks from getting access and taking up housekeeping. He also took the opportunity to replace a deck board. Some time during the process the big gray cat must have crawled under the opened deck unnoticed. Dad kept on working and sealed up the deck. Soon there after he heard the cat and determined what had happened. Now dad don't really like the cat, and the cat don't really like dad. I suppose a comment might had been made by dad, that the cat would just have to stay there because dad was not going to tear up the deck to get him out. And I suppose that's what might have started the girls crying.

The photo is of the note that Gnomey wrote. The note will be in the mailbox as soon as it can be slipped in unnoticed.

All In A Days Work!

This is a shot of my workbench. My very messy and full workbench. I have five Noah's Arks that need 18 to 24 pairs of animals carved and painted.
These photos are of some of the Arks and animals that are nearly done. I must have two Arks and the accompanying pairs of animals ready for a show and sale on April 18/19. I'll be trying something different this year. I have several more Arks that are done, and ready to play with or display. Plus I have 18 pairs of animals cut out and ready to carve. I'll be trying to peddle these as kits. Just have to determine what to charge now.

This last photo is an oddity. As I opened the front door to get the mail out at the mailbox, these two wild turkeys were walking across the front yard. Thirty seven years ago, when we moved here it was out in the country. But not any more. We have tons of deer, birds, coyotes, hawks, skunks, raccoons, Canada geese, ducks, snakes, but these are the first wild turkeys that I have seen near our house.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Psychic Daughter Strikes Again!

My daughter strikes again! Tracy is psychic. Notice that on the sewing machine posting; Monday, April 6 at 9:01 AM Tracy commented that I should buy the ol' sewing machine because, "what if the electricity went out". Our electricity had not gone out at that time. Then look at Tracy's 8:18 PM comment.

This kind of stuff goes on all the time with that girl; some times this can get scary.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday - Excitment at the House Today

We have lived in our house for nearly 37 years. In all those years the electricity hasn't been off, except maybe 6 times. We have a great power company. But today just as I was rebooting the computer I heard a very loud explosion and the power went off. Sounded like a transformer blew. I walked up the road and saw the problem. The pole that carries power down our road was burning, and the 7000 volt line was just hanging there. The flower girls mom called the power company, they said they'd get right on it. We don't have cell phones. For me, no power means no telephone , and everything out. That means no computer, no heat, no coffee. WHAT! NO COFFEE. No way. Back yard grill to the rescue. Had coffee, but it tasted like outdoor grill. Egads, that meant out to eat too. Power came back on just a few minutes ago. Other than that a decent day. What am I saying, it was a crappy day. Snow, sleet, 33 degrees windy. And I got absolutely nothing done. Unless you want to count 3/4 of a James Patterson book read.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Old Sewing Machine...Really Old

Got a telephone call today from "Flea-market Kenny". Said he had recently acquired an ol' sewing machine. Wanted to know if I was interested. "Flea-market Kenny" is the one who I dickered with for two years before he met my price on a perfect condition Singer Featherweight. Kenny's recent acquisition is a WHEELER -WILSON treadle machine, vintage about 1860-70 (I think).
I think it's complete, with the exception of the flat drive belt. Now I know Kenny traded a pistol for the machine. When I returned home from checking this out, the first thing my wife said was, "you don't covet it do you"? I said, "Lord no"? You see, we already have five sewing machine in the house. But on a one to ten scale, with 10 being really don't covet it; I am really at about 8.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"Gotta Go Make The Donuts"

Anyone remember this commercial. Donut maker (DUNKIN DONUTS?) always makin the donuts. He mumbles to himself "gotta go make the donuts" as he goes to work every day. The idea was that donuts are always fresh baked. Then one morning as the donut maker is leaving home to go make the donuts, he runs into himself coming home from making the donuts.

This is exactly how I feel right now. Got way too much goin on. Just keeping up with the great Gnome adventure is getting more and more involved. I already missed a posting opportunity this afternoon. I had another message done and delivered, before I remembered to photograph it.

The "jist" of the message from Gnomey was for the flower girls to plant some seeds in some small flower pots that Gnomey provided.

In addition to the Great Gnome adventure, I am trying to prepare for two carving shows that are rapidly approaching, start and finish some doll quilts for some swaps, teach the beginner quilting class at the senior center, and finish carving 14 friendship cane segments. Yesh! is that all? I need to stop whining.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Zinnia Gives Gnomey Her Family Photo

Yesterday afternoon, the flower girls dad rang our door bell. He had a little plastic bag with this note and some photos in it, from the girls. He said that Zinnia had written the note after she went to bed the night before, when she was supposed to be asleep. And, she had him make copies of two photos, yesterday morning. One photo was of the girls together, and the other photo was of the girls and their mom and dad. Zinnia put the note and the photos in the Gnomes mailbox, before they all left for the day. The dad had sneaked out and retrieved the stuff so that the girls would think that the Gnomes had taken it in. Now I don't know if dad is getting swept up in all the excitement or if he just wants to make sure I am not "sleeping at the switch". I asked him if the girls really do believe. His answer, "Oh yeah, that's all they're talking about and they check the Gnomes mailbox all the time". "The ball is in my, err the Gnomes court now".

The Fun Continues - Maybe Expands!

While I was teaching a beginner quilt class, Zinnia and a friend from school came home to find the Gnome mailbox, the note and the family photo package. The little sister was at a friends house. Now the flower girls have some rules that were set down by their mom. These rules state that if one sister finds something from the Gnomes she has to wait until the other sister is there to open it. Since some time had passed between Zinnia's request for a Gnome family photo and actually getting a response from Gnomey, their mom had prepared the girls for the great possibility that no photo was coming. The girls were told that probably Gnomes could not be photographed (somewhat like vampires). My wife reported that Zinnia and her friend from school came running over, screaming and all "a-twitter" at finding the response from the Gnomes. Of course Zinnia wanted to open the package and read the note. My wife and the girls mom reminded Zinnia of the rule. And Zinnia agreed that she would not want Dahlia to open something from the Gnomes without her being present. It was the longest 15 minutes waiting to go get Dahlia, and bring her home. When Dahlia did get home they opened the package, read the note, and saw the photo. I was not home when this happened, but my wife said all three girls came running and screaming over to our house to show the photo. But the real kicker was, Zinnia's friend from school was heard to say, "I want to write a letter to Gnomey too! I hope he'll answer it".

Later, when I did return from the quilt class, nearly the whole scene was repeated.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Finally! Photo & Note for the Girls

Dang! I just now have been able to actually have Gnomey respond to the flower girls request, by putting up the mailbox and leaving the photo and note. The girls were playing in the yard all yesterday and up until late this morning. You might ask, "what about last night"! Big problem here is that I think I go to bed earlier then the flower girls do. You'd be amazed at the stealthy, sneaky, and otherwise subterfuge involved in trying to keep this thing alive and somewhat believable. But the "stuff" is out for the girls to find, when they come home.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Message From Gnomey

The flower girls might be wondering what's happened to Gnomey; so I better respond to their request. It's going to be a bit more difficult this time. The girls are on spring break. That means they're home (well most of the time). But I can be pretty sneaky and get a little package delivered. This is the note that will be delivered in the new bigger mailbox, and the family photo that will have to be wrapped, and hung on the mailbox.