Friday, July 31, 2009

Doll Quilt Completed

In an earlier post I said this little doll quilt would be 16 x 20 inches. By the time I put the border and the binding on, it is 20 x 26 inches. I tried an experiment with the quilting. I machine quilted it with a 1938 Singer machine. All I did was loosen up the presser foot knob, so the the quilt would just nearly be pulled along by the feed dogs. You cannot lower the dogs on this one. Then I just quilted. I put one echo outline around each "rose", and then experimented with a tight meander. The tight meander doesn't work to well. The rounded loops are difficult or impossible to do, but points instead of the rounded loops are easy. I still must sew pastel buttons in the centers of the top rose petals. This is a very easy quilt to do.

Gnomey & The Flower Girls - Update!

When last visited, the Flower girls got a message from Gnomey saying that he was going to "stow away" in their camper when they went on their vacation. In Gnomey's message he stated that they must keep it a secret, and not to tell anyone. Well the message was gone from Gnomey's mailbox, so the girls got it. Normally they come running over to show me any messages. This time, all quiet! As a matter of fact, an hour before they pulled out of the driveway, I was at their house. The girls were about to bust! You know what I mean. I know they wanted to tell me, but they didn't. Now there mom was in on this from the beginning, so I asked her if they had said anything to her about Gnomey stowing away. She laughed and said, "not a word". You don't suppose they still believe.

I think they want to. The adventure continues.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Christmas Giveaway Suggestions - So Far!

For my Christmas giveaway, the following ideas and suggestions have been posted in comments, so far. I will select the project to complete and draw a name of the winner. There is still plenty of time to comment and leave your suggestions/idea.

Clothes line with small quilt, and Santa and Gnome standing by it.

Feather tree with mini carved Santa's on it and a quilted tree skirt.

Carved Santa with a quilted toy bag.

Mini quilt framed with Gnomes carved into the frame.

Mini quilt (tree) wall hanging with carved Santa's on it.

Quilted Advent calendar, with carved items in the pockets.

Carved wood quilt, framed.

Little bed with mini quilt on it.

Santa with a quilted coat carved, surrounded by carved Gnome children.

Carved wizard with quilted robe.

A carved Gnome bust with a quilted Gnome hat.

Shadow box, with quilt back.

Gnomey sitting on mushroom with a quilted top, maybe painting the quilt.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Possible 5 Minute Penguin!

Marcia asked if I could come up with a 5 minute Penguin. She should know that I like nothing more than a challenge. These are two views of the same little fellow. Sorry about the bow tie. I couldn't help myself.
This little Penguin is carved from a 3/4 x 3/4 inch x 2 inch piece of basswood. It's carved on the corner. I titled this post "Possible 5 Minute Penguin" because it might take less time for some, or more, for others.
Any and all suggestions for improvements are welcomed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gnomey Stows Away!

The flower girls are about to embark on their summer vacation to Michigan. The girls along with mom and dad travel in a nice pickup and slide in camper. Gnomey has already told them that he is from Michigan, and has family there. And being a crafty ol' Gnome, and maybe homesick, he would naturally want to travel with the girls to Michigan. But as you can see, he'll have to stow away.

For his trip, Gnomey has also made himself a leather knapsack. The note will be placed in Gnomey's message/mail box, and the knapsack will be placed outside his door. I suppose I'd better check with mom and dad first, or the girls might tear up the camper trying to find Gnomey.

Have you left a comment and a suggestion to register for the Christmas Giveaway? Check several posts back!

Small Cabinet Runnth Over!

My small cabinet runnth over. I guess I've been spending too much time over coffee, and whittlin. Just sent off a box of over 30 of these little folk for painting, and distribution via charity. Looks like I had better slow down. Or maybe drink less coffee.
Egads, I just looked, this is my 301 posting....
Christmas Giveaway! Don't forget, check out the posting.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Winnings From Holee (Bea's Hive)

It was Christmas at my place today! Well, as far as the mail went. A week or so ago I was notified that I had won a Giveaway that was featured on a friends blog. My number was 13, so I was amazed that it was the number drawn by the random number drawing gizmo. The first photo is of a super modern tape dispenser, from "ALL MODERN". This is a heavy stainless steel beauty, that won't move all over the desk when you are trying to get a piece of tape with one hand. This is great!

The rest of the giveaway is quilting and gift giving related. The fabric is all wool. Three bundles of squares, and a large piece or dark blue wool. There's gift bags, cards, and ribbons too. Check out Holees blog,
for a better description of these wonderful gifts. Check out the rest of Holee's blog too. I know you'll be impressed with this lady. Not only is she an extremely talented quilter, but a wonderful giving person, who shares her talents in so many ways. Thank you Holee.

Don't forget to go back a few postings and sign up for this blogs Christmas Giveaway.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sundays Fun!

Neighboring town had a street antique, craft, and collectibles "flea market" today. It's always a fun place to look, and sometimes buy. But today it was just me, a bench, cup of coffee, my pocket knife, and a piece of 1/4x1/4 inch length of basswood.
Earlier, at sun rise found me at another close by town. This occasion was the weekly flea market at the fair grounds. Was able to "snag" these fat quarter bundles for $2.00 each bundle. The top bundle is all hunting and fishing fabric (8 FQ). The middle is all Mickey Mouse fabric (4 FQ). The bottom bundle is just pretty fabric (4 FQ). All of this for $6.00.
Don't forget to sign up for the Christmas Giveaway.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Carving the 3 or 5 Minute Owl!

A traditional first carving to teach is the 3 or 5 minute owl. To complete this little owl, you must use your knife to make stop cuts, thumb push cuts., and stab cuts; at the very least. It's fast, easy, and teaches knife use.

Don't forget to "sign up" for the Christmas giveaway.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Flower Girls got Gnomey's Picture

I guess I better bring you all up to date about the Flower girls and Gnomey's picture and frame that he painted. The other evening as I was doing some writing I could hear some commotion from next door. Soon the front door bell rang. The flower girls were on the porch with Gnomey's picture that he made for them. They were pushing and shoving each other and yelling "Let me tell Tom, NO let ME tell him". I calmed them down, and asked what in the world they were yelling about. Dahlia grabbed the picture from Zinnia and said "OK you tell Tom, but I am holding the picture".

And the adventure continues......

Doll Quilt - Progress

When this little doll quilt is finished it'll be 16 inches x 22 inches. There will be little buttons sewn in to center of each flower. At this time I plan on hand quilting it, but I may switch to machine since, there are parts of each square that has several layers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Small Cabinet & Small Stuff

This little 7 1/2 inch blue cabinet is a recent flea market find. Paid all of 25 cents for it. It's a perfect way to display some of my mini wood carvings.

Don't forget to leave a comment on the Christmas giveaway posting, to be eligible for the drawing.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gnomey's Return

The flower girls have been hangin close to home. So it limits the chances for me to keep the communications between Gnomey and them going. Plus, I think Gnomey is in competition with television shows, DVDs, etc. But this morning both flower girls are at "Farm Camp". I asked them last night what was farm camp. Their answers were amazing. One said, "We get to pretend we are living and working on a farm". That was Zinnia, the older one. Dahlia responded, "it's not pretend"! To that I asked them if they had to clean stalls. They said, "What's that"? I said, "Maybe you'll find out today"......

Don't forget the Christmas Giveaway! Leave a comment, leave a suggestion. They'll be a complete write up later this week.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Christmas Giveaway 2009

By now, even the first time blog visitor, knows that I carve and quilt. In anticipation of this years Christmas season, I am contemplating a give away. What I have in mind is combining carving and quilting. I'd like to combine the two into one piece. The finished piece will be given away in time for Christmas. I am intentionally being rather vague, because I want suggestions for such a piece.

There will be more about this later, but one thing is for sure! Each person who leaves a comment with a description of an item that combines both carving and quilting will get one chance at the drawing. Those that are followers of my blog will naturally get additional chances. And multiple submissions are extra fine.

So, start thinking!!! And start commenting!

Mini French Roses Quilt

Made a big mistake today. Stopped by one of my favorite quilt - fabric shops. Bought a charm pack (or 2) of pretty flower fabric. Decided I had better make another FRENCH ROSES mini quilt. Pulled out my mini templates and started tracing and cutting out the pieces for the "stacked" Roses. They are really kinda flower roses.

This the last mini FRENCH ROSES that I made, before it was washed and frayed. My new one will be larger. The new one will be about 20" x 28" and have 20 blocks.

This is the first FRENCH ROSES that I made. Its queen size, and was for my wife.
You know, A guy can't just sit and carve wood all the time....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mini Santa Ornaments ready for Paint

I got about 30 more small Santa tree ornaments ready to send up to Kaaren at for painting and charity sales. I sure hope Kaaren doesn't get tired of painting these. I personally think they are much more fun to whittle than to paint.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Backyard Visitor

I think I've mentioned before that I like to sit on the swing by my shop/on the patio and carve. I currently have chipmunks, birds, squirrels, and more recently a baby raccoon visit while I'm a whittlin away. This afternoon I looked up and this is what came a visitin.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Carved Cupcakes

Finally decided to try to carve some little cupcakes. These are about 5/8 inch wide. And the best thing about them is that they are sugar free.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Beginning To Sew or Carve!

It's occurred to me that we can borrow some ideas from those who sew. Very beginners in sewing, are not expected to sew up a piece of clothing as their first attempts. The traditional manner in which people learning to sew were "samplers". Before using a sewing machine the learner would practice the hand sewing stitches on a piece of fabric. They would start with the most basic stitch and practice it one after the other, until it became consistent and perfect; then move on to other stitches. In this manner, they learn to manipulate the needle and the fabric to achieve the desired results. They learn the required hand-eye coordination. The piece of fabric that they practiced on became a "sampler".hat they practiced on became a "sampler".

We in the wood carving area can do like wise. We shouldn't expect a beginner to pick up a knife and carve a figure of Christ or even Santa. What we may want to do is provide exercises that enable the learner to practice the basic knife cuts. Let the learner start with and practice manipulations of the knife and wood. Much can be learned by sitting a spell with a piece of wood and your knife. You will learn the limits of the wood and how the knife best cuts. You learn where the knife tip is at all times. By just sittin and relaxin with a piece of wood and your knife, makin various cuts you can try to and improve each of the basic knife cuts. You will be able to see the difference between clean knife cuts and fuzzy cuts. Learn your knife before trying to carve a figure.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gnome Activity!

No messages from Gnomey, nor from the flower girls to Gnomey. But the girls are thinking. Several recent changes to the Gnomes front yard. Rearrangement of the patio stones (real marble), deck foundation painted, and the stains on the top of the table.

Patio stones: Girls just said it looked better this way!
Deck foundation painted: Actually the whole house was painted. And mainly spray painted. I am told the girls actually told the painters not to get any paint on "their" Gnomes house.
Stains on the table: I asked the girls if they did this. They said "NO! not us". "Gnomey must have done it". I said, "What do you suppose Gnomey did to cause the stains"? This is where it gets fun! Zinnia said, "Gnomey's eating berries on the table", Dahlia says, "he's painting". Zinnia said, "If he's painting, maybe he's painting me a picture".

Looks like the adventure may continue, even up against summer vacations, day camp, other activities of 4 and 7 year olds.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Girls Response to Gnomey!

Sorry no photo in this post. The flower girls went to day camp today, so I had a chance to talk to their mom. The girls got the message about a play date. But Zinnia, the older sister, being clever that she is, asked her mom, "what about a play date at night if Gnomey sleeps all day". Well mom is clever too! She responded with, "when you're going to bed is when Gnomey probably gets up, and you know how GRUMPY your sister is when she gets up in the morning". Zinnia next stated, "oh, that'd be bad".

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Recycling, Cheap, Or Something Else?

Several months ago, I posted that our ol' shed/girls playhouse had fallen down. The girls I am referring to are my daughters, who are no longer "girls". Well, they're still female, just all growed up. You know what I mean. Thought that in this day and age I had better clear that up right away. Any way, we are remodeling our kitchen, and the first thing was replacing the sliding patio door. We went with a three pane assembly that has the tiltable blinds in between two of the the glass panes. All this plus a screen door too. Terribly expensive, and even more difficult to follow the poorly written instructions. You would think that with such an expensive door, the instructions would be better done. Maybe the instructions that were written in Spanish contained materials that was more clearly written.
After tearing out the old door, I needed to fill in some space, and decided to put back into service some of the old wood from the ol' shed/playhouse. It's the reddish boards under the door. These boards will not show, they were next covered with trim board. Some will say I'm cheap, but I thought it was good idea not to waste, and besides; my daughters will get a kick out it...

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Message For Flower Girls

Finally Gnomey has responded to the Flower Girls request for a play date. (Click on image) Last evening, as I sat and carved outside, I heard the Flower Girls singing. Dahlia sings all the time. Last night they were both singing the National Anthem while they were swinging. When's the last time you've heard a seven and four year old sing the National anthem - on their own, by themselves. And sing it well too. The Independence Day parade and the fireworks must have made an impression.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Peace & Quiet Interrupted!

There is absolutely nothing greater than sitting on your porch in the evening and carving. It's even greater when the temperature is mild, and sun is on its way to setting. The birds are chirping, no lawn mowers running, no motor cycles, no jake brakes in the distance, and no human sounds at all. Perfect! Until the peace and quiet is broken by a flying chain saw. You'll have to click on the photo.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th Of July!

Just returned from Chesterland, Ohio where I watched the local Independence Day parade. Unfortunately did not take my camera. More than once a tear came to my eye. The parade was BIG and LONG, and had a bit of everything, including a fly over by a WWII P51 Mustang. Did I say fly over? I should have said "buzzed". The fighter flew over the parade at just a bit over tree top levels. High school band, Senior Citizen band (not marching, but sitting on flat bed trailer), cow bell band, and various smaller bands on flat bed trucks. Flags, flags, and more flags. There was a large contingent of horse folks all all ages, followed by the official "pooper scoopers". The only mess up that I could see, involved all the politicians with their floats. There should have been "pooper scoopers" following them - lots of "pooper scoopers".

Friday, July 3, 2009

Swaps & Exchanges - On My Soapbox!

I participate in some swaps and exchanges with wood carvers and mini quilters. I have even hosted several of these swaps & exchanges. Have you ever wondered what would happen to these swaps & exchanges if no one hosted them? If no one organized them, policed them, followed up on them, and then had to make "angel quilts"or extra carvings to send to participants whose swap partners dropped off the planet, without sending a carving or a quilt!

Well I can see the answer right around the corner. There seems to be more and more of these folks in each new swap. I am referring to those folks who sign up then don't even communicate with their swap partners, nor the host, and then never send a mini quilt or a carving. Do these folks just get over whelmed with life, and cannot fulfill their obligations? Or do they intentionally sign up as a way to get something?

Would this make them a thief? There I said it! THIEF! If they are thieves, what are they really stealing? It just starts out with the mini quilt or carving, that they steal. The mini quilt or carving is the lesser of things that are in fact stolen.

By not fulfilling their obligation they steal everyones trust, especially their swap partners.
The steal the though that quilters and carvers are special people.
They cause swap participants to stop participating.
They cause swap hosts to rethink ever again hosting another swap.
And when this happens, they steal the possibility of meeting some truly wonderful folks, through the swap projects.
They steal the fun of a swap.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

More Santa's to Send North!

Since I am a person who must be doing somethin or makin somethin all the time, I whittle. I usually end up with a box of these little whittlins in no time flat. Most of these Santa;s are about 2 inches high. As soon as I get 40 to 50 of them I send them off to Ontario. In Ontario is a wonderful quilter who happens to be a retired decorative artist. You should visit her Blog

Kaaren, paints these whittlins and peddles them, with the revenue generated going to a very worthwhile project of her guild. In this manner, my time is rewarded by knowing the whittlins are going for a good cause.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

3 or 5 Minute Owl???

One of the simplest and fastest wood carvings to do is the three or five minute Owl. This little owl is made up of a series of stop cuts and slicing cuts. These are very popular "give-aways". While waiting around in the various waiting rooms, I'll carve some of these and give them away to any kids that want them.