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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?