Saturday, January 30, 2010

Penquin Pillow and Carving!

In last weeks Quilting class that I help teach we learned how to make "Rag Edge" pillows. One of the patterns was this little penguin. I thought he looked kinda like one of my carved little penguin's, so I made a pillow too. As soon as I wash the pillow all the edges that have been cut will fray. I may have to add a little red bow tie. It will hold a 15 inch pillow form.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Momma and Papa Gnome - Done

Done! All that remains is to have a cookie. My next effort is banjo lessons for Papa Gnome, cause I am about to try to carve him pickin one.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mom and Dad Gnome - progress report!

Since I have been in kind of a carving slump, I decided to whittle some Gnomes to try to get out of the slump. I think it's working. This little pair seems to be doing the trick. Papa Gnome looks just as pleased to be getting some cookies, as Momma Gnome is to have baked them for him. These little Gnomes take so little time to whittle, that I've got several of them going at the same time. I'll finish painting them tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One Photo = 1000 Words

Look what I found while "cleaning up" camera memory sticks. The "Flower Girls" in disguise.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gnome Carving Time Again!

It's time to carve some Gnomes again. This always gets me fired up. I am trying something different this time. I am trying to do a Mrs. Gnome, as you can see. The trick, for me at least, is to keep Mrs. Gnome from looking like a "biker babe". I think this Mrs. Gnome will be carrying a tray of cookies. The larger Gnome has been cut out with a band saw, and the knife carving has started. The two other Gnomes (Mr and Mrs) are just being whittled with my pocket knife out of a 1"x1"x 4" piece of Basswood.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Santa Pins

These stained Santa's will get pin backs on them. These, plus some others that have been painted are to be part of a carving exchange. In this exchange the participants were to carve what they like to carve the most. I carve these little Santa's while having my breakfast coffee. They are carved from Basswood, and I mainly use my pocket knife. The beard texture is done with a V tool and/or a small gouge.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hangin With Your Friends!

Every day, I am reminded of how fragile we all are. Every day, I am reminded how lucky I am.
There are disasters all around the world, some man made, some natures way. We all have friends who are sick and ailing. We all have friends who have passed on. Right now I have a woodcarving friend that I have never met out side the computer and the Internet, plus telephone calls. He's sick, very sick. The kind of sick that you don't recover from. I still talk to him a few minutes each day. We talk until the cell phone gets too heavy to hold. I try to lift his spirits. I talk to his wife too. She's overwhelmed. I try to lift her spirits too. But I don't know how much good I can do. I get off the telephone and all I can think is how grateful I am.

I have friends at the Senior Center who sometimes aren't there, and I wonder if they're traveling, sick, or may have passed on. Some have passed on, and some are now in Florida, some are sick, and some are in the hospital recovering. I guess this kinda goes with the territory, when you're old and hang with those of your own age.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fabric Cutting Templates

Some of you all remember that I help teach a quilting class at the local Senior Center. We have 10 ladies who meet regularly once a week, to learn and to make quilts. The ladies are at all different levels, and abilities. I have learned more from them than they have from me. One problem that many seem to have is the cutting of fabric. When I say cutting fabric, I mean using a cutting mat, a rotary cutter, and a straight edge. I have determined that the problem for some is the combination of a sharp blade in the rotary cutter and a lack of arm strength.

To help to overcome the problem I cut templates out of 1/8 th inch thick plexiglas. I have found that it is somewhat easier for the ladies (and myself) to cut around the template, and achieve the proper squared up fabric size.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Tea & Honey Sick Snuggley

Just what is a "Tea & Honey Sick Snuggley"? It's a little lap guilt that should make a sick little girl feel a bit better.

I recently acquired a small stash of frog fabric, from the Senior Center, where I help teach a quilting class. The stash was donated for the class, but no one wanted it so I decided I could put it to good use. Yesterday one of the Flower girls got sick, and her mom said that the only thing that would satisfy, was some warm tea laced with honey, but she'd run out of honey. Well, the next time one of the girls gets sick I'll be ready with more than some honey.

I started making a lap quilt with some of the frog fabric. I happen to know, both girls are partial to frogs and any other creepy crawly creatures. I decided on a Square-in-a-Square pattern. A very simple pattern to make, and to assemble.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Raffle Winner

Several years ago I was the lucky winner of a raffle that the Columbus Chippers held. The raffle was for a Noah's Ark and pairs of animals that were carved by members of the Chippers carving club, of which I am a member. This past Christmas I decided to see what the animals would look like when "married" up to one of the large Arks that I make. You can get a good size reference by noting the window in the background. I am quite pleased......

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Quigley - Protoype or Done?

Will try to do another one, that I like better. If I do that, this one's just the prototype. But, on the other hand, if I don't have time to do another; I'll have to be satisified with this one. There are just so many little things that can be improved upon, even with my my limited abilities.....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quigley - Progress???

I guess when you find yourself in the carving doldrums, anything carved counts as progress. This my current Matt Quigley, of "Quigley Down Under" head. Since the finished carving will be a bust, I still have to rough out the chest, and carve the chest; as well as a base. And of course add the detail to the head and hat. I was planning on doing Quigley a wee bit smaller, but my eyes aren't as good any more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mounting Evidence - Gnomes!

As a part of trying to rediscover the spark to getting back at carving and/or quilting I "cleaned" my carving area. The glimmer of interest was peeking through. Until, that is I discovered that two of my most unique tools went missing. These tools being special hand made eye punches. Special because they are so small (1/16" and 3/32"). Or for "diy", (.06 and .09). I use these on my very small carvings.The tools were not in their place. Nor were they anywhere on the bench.

I never take these tools away from the bench. They never have gone with me to carving group or anywhere.

There are only two possible answers. First, I just put them somewhere else and then have forgotten. Or, Gnomes are seeking some sort or revenge. Revenge for what? Oh, gnomes don't need a reason to play tricks.

Lets see, could it be my memory or could it be gnomes?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Doldrums!

The doldrums; "a state of inactivity, stagnation, or slump".......

How many of us find ourselves in or near this state, especially this time of year?
I have several carving projects that have a deadline, but I can't seem to get started. If I do get started, I can't sustain the start into anything really productive. Some times I can't make up my mind what to do. Even when presented with multiple possibilities, I won't pick one. If I do manage to get something started, I set it aside as I'm not satisfied with it.

So, I thought, lets do some quilt making. Same thing there!

I just cannot get motivated.

Anyone else find themselves in this situation?

If you do, fear not! There's an accepted name for it; even with a pill that will help; or so says the literature. We may have SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD).

Here's what some of the literature says about SAD: It is described as "feelings of sadness and depression often associated with excessive eating, sleeping, and weight gain. OH oh! trouble, I think I've got it. Three for three!

It's called SEASONAL because seasons can be defined as follows:

SUMMER = A period of fruition, fulfillment, happiness, and beauty.
WINTER - A period of time characterized by coldness, misery, barrenness, or death.

The literature states that many folks during the winter feel depressed, irritable, and tired. Again, that's me. My activity decreases, and I find myself going to bed earlier and earlier.

Do I have SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER and should I sit under a light; or do I just need a KICK in the BUTT?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Computer Problems Solved - Hopefully!

For the past week my computer has been up and down, on and off, and fast and slow. For Christmas I got a Lap Top, and purchased a router for wireless; which I installed. That's when the problems started. I tried to find out what was going on, but was soon overwhelmed. During this process I made quite a few new friends in call centers in Bombay. Nothing we did worked. Everything was intermittent. Finally bit the bullet and called a pro. He came out and reinstalled the router and checked everything out. Gosh, everything checked out. Lots of $$$$ later the same problems. I called the pro back and he logged into my system and ran all sorts of stuff and told me that everything we had done checks out. The problem is somewhere between the system and the pole outside. He told me to called Time Warner and tell them that my modem was bad. This I did, and while talking to Time Warner, they kept saying, "you still there"! Next they said "you got a problem, we'll send a technician".

Cable company technician just left! This is what he did, in the order that he did it:

1. Run a upload and down load speed check. Result: Good, Good, Good, Bad!
2. Replaced modem.
3. Run speed check....same results!
4. Replace inside cables.
5. Run speed test.....same results!
6. Replace cable splitter
7. Run speed test......same results!
8. Replace all out side at the house connectors.
9. Run speed test......same results!
10. Climb pole in 16 degree weather and snow storm. To check connections up there.
11. Called down to me, "damn squirrels been chewin on the cable"
12. Replace all out side cable with no splices.
13. Stated to me that he didn't need to run a speed test, it's fixed.
14. Told me to shoot the damn squirrel.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Carving Quigley!

I have one month to finish a mini carving of Tom Selleck as Roy Quigley in the movie "QuigleyDown Under". The mini carving will be a bust, that is supposed to look somewhat like the character.

Carving like everything else is governed by a set of rules. A rule near the top of the list reads:
"Don't start something until you're ready". I guess I am not ready yet. I am not in the mood. I am not satisfied with the sketches. They all look like a skinny Shakespeare. I nicked my finger. The stars aren't in proper alignment. My attitude stinks.

Maybe tomorrow! Maybe next week!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Quigley Carving Progress!

The first step after determining what to carve is to make some sketches. This especially true if you have never carved the subject before. I usually try to make several sketches. I try to make the sketches as near to the finished carving size as I can. I am not really satisfied with the sketches yet so I'll try a few more. I do this, even knowing that no matter how many sketches I do, the first one is usually the one I pick.

This carving will be a bust. I'll try to limit the carving to the head and the chest area.

First New Years Resolution!

My first New Years resolution is to start and complete a wood carving depicting "Quigley" as played by Tom Selleck in the movie "Quigley Down Under". The carving will be a bust, and the photo will be a guide. This "challenge" is being "sponsored" by Lynn Doughty, a carver from Oklahoma.
I post this, my first new years resolution, as a way to help ensure that I actually do it , and do it to the best of my current ability. In other words, it's dang hard to "weasel out", when lots know what you said you will do. Well, if I could quit smoking in 1981, by telling all my friends that "I quit", and anyone who could not "just quit" was a weak person.

I'll post my progress!