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!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Birthday Party & Gnomey Mail

Here's a nice photo of the birthday girl. Dahlia is now really 5 years old. And as you can tell the event was formal. Good times were had by all. It was an especially good time since I did not "catch" any "cold cooties" from any of the kids that were there. Normally, within 24 hours of being in the same room with 10 little kids I manage to come down with a "cold".
Here's a copy of the mail that Gnomey has sent the Flower girls. I think I'll take some of the suggestions and decorate the gnome door for Halloween. I'll carve a little pumpkin and put some little ghosts out in front of the door.

Monday, October 19, 2009

BUSY Carving Gnomes!

I find myself dividing my time between carving Santa's and Gnomes this time of year. Also have a 74 inch wide relief carving of Noah's Ark and animals to do by Christmas. The little Gnome in the photo is about 3 inches tall, and will find its way onto the frame if an orphaned quilt square. Some will remember that I have a Christmas Giveaway. And that the Giveaway was determined to be a framed quilt square, with carved Gnome(s) on the frame. Here's some samples:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hiking Staff For Dahlia

The Flower girls and their parents regularly go camping and hiking. They'll even trek into places that are accessible only by foot, and camp out. Two years ago I made a hiking staff for Zennia. Now it's Dahlia's turn. Zinnia's staff included lady bugs. Dahlia's, hiking staff has Strawberries as it's ornamentation. Needless to say, Dahlia likes everything strawberry. Birthday party this afternoon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Local Gnomey Report!

Looks like we may have some fallout over the Gnomes that are living under the Flower girls deck. I think that due to a lack of attention they might be getting ready to move back to my shop. But before they do, I have one more thing to spring on the Flower girls. On Sunday I'll be at Dahlia's 5th birthday party. I will tell the girls a story that I learned when I was at the last woodcarving event. One of the carvers said his wife was raised in Scandinavia and is a real collector of all things Gnome. And after talking to her, I am not entirely sure that she doesn't still believe in them. I asked her for some ideas that I could use with the Flower girls, that would, among other things ensure their continued belief in the Gnomes. She went through whole list of things that Gnomes have been known to do when they feel neglected; most of which would surely scare the bejebbers out of the girls. But some of the tricks the Gnomes will pull I might just spring on the girls. It goes like this; when a Gnome feels neglected (when their humans don't remember to occasionally leave little treats for them) they may hide one of the humans toys. Now that it's colder at night, I'll ask the girls if they ever wake up at night and their covers are off. Neglected Gnomes have been known to pull the covers off kids that don't leave them treats. We'll have to see what happens. If all else fails the Gnomes will move back to my shop. Then I'll have to remember to leave them treats and not neglect them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Morning In The Grass!

It's amazing what one might find early in the morning, on a crisp fall day, in the grass.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Carving Small Stuff!

One of the first things folks ask, when they see one of my small carvings is: "how do you keep from cutting yourself, when you carve that small"? Well, here's one of the answers. I always leave a "Handle" on the piece of wood. This, at least. keeps the knife blade farther away from my fingers.
There is also something else that I do when I leave a "Handle" on the wood. After whittlin/carving on one end, I flip the piece of wood and carve/whittle on the other end.
Rather than "waste" wood, I'll even carve/whittle somethin in the middle of both ends. This is how I usually have a small basket full of things to give to the kids.
Another tip along these lines is that I always carry a very small dovetail/backsaw in my kit. I'll use this to cut the carvings off the stick.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pioneer Days in the Park

This Sunday, some of our Senior Center carving group participated in Pioneer Days at our county park. This is a family event, where pioneer life is depicted and pioneer skills are demonstrated. This first photo (the one with no one in the photo) is my table. I demonstrated how to carve the 5 minute owl and wizard. Each kid got an owl or a wizard. I displayed a Noah's Ark with the hand carved animals, carved Gnomes, and some small carved Civil War Soldiers. And since it was a family event I had numerous old time wood toys for the kids to play with. You can click on the photos to see a larger photo. I had several "fliptoys", snake in the box, whammy diddles, spool tractors, and "snap" toys/puzzles. The kids really like the old time toys. I even tricked some into looking for the on-off switch.
Jean is a gifted doll carver and maker. She has a basket full of the popular Hitty Dolls that she carved. Little and adult girls found her work delightful.
Carl and his wife were demonstrating carving. Carl, as you can see, is an excellent carver of realistic animals. His wife is learning to carve wood, to keep up with the rest of the family.
Brian is part part of the rest of the family, and is an accomplished carver of Cottonwood bark. He even carves rocks, nuts, and just about anything else he can get his hands on. Brian is young, way to young to participate in our carving group at the Senior Center. The minimum age for the senior center is 55. So we made Brian our "instructor". Now he can participate in the Senior Center wood carving. I'll bet that's the only thing he's at the Senior Center for.
John, used to be our leader, but stepped aside so that Brian could participate. John is an excellent relief carver, as well as a carver of Cottonwood bark. I had to leave it up to John to demonstrate the whammy diddle. John fascinated the kids by making the propeller go one way then the other, on his command.
This years Pioneer Days was the forth and is continuing to grew each year. It's a great way to expose kids of all ages to some of the life and activities of yesteryear. Hopefully we planted the seeds of wood carving in some.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Health Alert!

Thought I'd share a bit of health concern with you all. For the past several months, it seems that way to many of my friends have been diagnosed with, and treated for some sort of cancers. With this praying on my mind, I began to notice a spot on the tip of my nose that did not go away. It was a little sore that would begin to heal up then come back again. Of course I began to notice it every time I walked by a mirror. I began to see that it had an irregular shape, and was at times slightly different in color and shape. Now, I have seldom had any pimples or other skin problems, so I began to worry. Lots of folks at the Senior Center had band aids somewhere on their faces, that covered recent skin cancer surgery. Was this what I'm starting into? My age, over exposure to sun, etc, etc, etc.

However, after some investigation and some rather brilliant observations and experimentation I have determined that my nose, and its sore is not do to cancer. I am about to share my conclusions because I'm sure that there are others who may face the same problem.

I drink lots of coffee each day. I drink out of one of those travel mugs with a snap on plastic top and a sip hole. The use of this mug keeps the coffee hot. Upon inspection of the plastic top, I noticed that in the dead center of the top there is a small pointed nib. Every time I take a drink this little pointed nib pokes my nose. I merely sanded the pointed nib off and my nose is healing very well. So beware of the plastic snap on tops on your coffee mugs.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Registry Of Responsible Swappers

Maybe I have approached this from the wrong direction! Instead of a list of "Flakes" we need a list of responsible folks for the Exchanges and Swaps. Kinda like the ANGIE'S LIST.

Any interest out there??????

Thursday, October 8, 2009

International Flake Registery

I've about half a notion to start an International Swap & Exchange Flake Registry. The registry would accept the names of people who have have left a swap partner holding the bag, the empty bag. The names of the Flakes would probably only be their Internet or Flickr names, but that in itself might prevent someone from including them in their swap or exchange.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


This morning I packaged up and mailed a Doll Quilt to a swap participant who did not receive one from her swap partner. These replacement quilts are called "angel quilts".
People who sign up to participate in a doll quilt swap, or a carving exchange have to know that they are obligating themselves to actually complete a doll quilt or a carving and mail it to their "swap partner". When people do not follow through and send a doll quilt or a carving there is even a name for them. They are called "FLAKES". As in 'FLAKED OUT, I suppose. It seems that there are more and more of these "FLAKES" in the swaps and exchanges. Some swaps and exchanges even have special language that is supposed to accommodate these "FLAKES". The swap/exchange instructions actually state that "IF LIFE GETS IN THE WAY, AND YOU CANNOT COMPLETE THE QUILT OR CARVING PLEASE LET US KNOW". In the doll quilt swaps there are even folks (like myself) who make up "Angel Quilts" and send these to fill in for the "FLAKES". This is a wonderful idea, these "angel quilts", but where is the outrage at these "FLAKES"? Life gets in the way, indeed! What an excuse! The only real excuse is "WHEN DEATH GETS IN THE WAY", Quilters and carvers are wonderful, friendly and sharing folks. But I personally think that our circle has been invaded by those who are praying on our talents, our sharing, and our ________________(fill in your own word, I ran out of nice ones). I think these "FLAKES" are merely adding to their collections.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Playing Catch Up Is Hard To Do!

Gone for just one week, and all sorts of things happen, or don't happen. The Flower Girls have school, and all the activities that go with it, as well as all the remodeling of their house. The up shot seems to be no Gnomey messages. But I have to admit, that I have forgotten whose "court the message ball is in". Memory sometimes just isn't what it used to be. I think, if I want this Gnome adventure to raise above all the competing activities and continue, I'll have to "jump start it". As my grand daughter used to say when she was thinking, " I'm stinkin, I'm stinkin"!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Back Home!

I have been at a wood carving event in Sandwich Ill for the past week. Lots of old friends, and lots of new techniques. All in all a very good week. I did about freeze, but when I got home was told it had dipped below freezing two nights.

Have yet to check in with the neighbor Flower girls, nor check with the Gnomes mailbox for a message. I don't expect one, because since I was gone the girls moms would have taken the message (if any), to keep any suspicion off me. I'll have to check with her. But right now there's just too much work to do, after being gone for a week. Hey! it's work to get back into a routine.

I have decided to carve a bunch of little dogs, before the big push for Santa tree ornaments. These little puppies are about one inch long, and lots of fun.