Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction

In a previous posting I mentioned the Arts Festival, and the Popsicle stick switchblades that were a big success with the kids, and some dads. One of the neat things that happen at these events is the comments from the kids.
Upon seeing the Popsicle stick switchblade, a little girl asked if I had seen the book MINI WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. I said no! She said that I should get it, because it's really good. Well my carving buddy ordered a copy and it'll arrive this week. I googled it up and on the cover it has an illustration of a mini catapult made from clothes pins. Cannot hardly wait for the fun I'll have with this book.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"How About Some Quilting"

I woke up this morning with the memory of a little voice that had whispered into my ear, "the name of your blog is QUILTING and CARVING, how bout some quilting". The little voice just had to be this Gnome. He is correct. I need a quilt project to begin.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Arts Festival - #1

The Arts Festival was a good one. The weather cooperated. finally. Large crowds. Lots of family's and lots of kids. I made expenses in the first morning, and from then on it was just fun, fun, fun. I did sell one Noah's Ark, got one commission, and and an inquiry about photos for a magazine. When I say I had fun, it's because all I need to do is make expenses. The top seller was to kids. The "Popsicle stick switchblade". These were a surprise seller. Of course the price of $3.00 was a major factor. I took a bucket full of them. The kids liked them, and one older fellow bought five to take to the office. Some ones going to be in trouble. I spent a lot of time sitting and whittling, the little 1/4 inch wizards and small totum poles to give out to interested kids.

Art Festival Report #2

No photos! My booth looks the same as what I posted from last year. The weather cooperated and it was nice for a change. Crowds were good. But the folks seems more intent on spending their money on fatty food, than "art". Although, I did fine. At least on the inexpensive and fun carvings for the kids. I'll post some photos of these later. But now it's time for the "soapbox". Sorry but I cannot help myself.

What is happening to us, as a nation? I'm talking fat. Not merely heavy as one ages, but fat. And fat from the "get-go". Way, way, way too many FAT young parents pushing strollers with fat babies. Way too many fat young teenage girls parading around with their fat bellies hanging (and I mean hanging) out. More like waddling. I couldn't help but feel sorry for them. Destined to be that way forever. Never being able to look into a mirror and seeing themselves as a healthy, sexy woman. I don't mean just a few. I am sure there were just as many (maybe more) obese teenagers as thinner ones. And not just the girls, the boys are getting huge too. Also saw many obese middle aged folks on scooters (mobility devices), because they were either too heavy to walk around or the health affects from fat had immobilized them.

As with any outdoor festival, the food vendors were plentiful. But unlike the art vendors, many of the food vendors ran out of deep fried food, and had to replenish several times during the weekend.

We discussed this with a doctor that stopped to chat. He shed some more light on the subject. He said if you're poor(er), you can hardly afford to eat healthy. Full fat hot dogs under $1.00 a package, compared to fat free at over $4.00. Healthy whole grain bread at over $2.00 a loaf compared to to more unhealthy bread at under $1.00. And on, and on, and on.

I'm off my soapbox now. In to the kitchen for a donut.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gutter Fringe!

Sorry, forgot to get a photo. You'll just have to use your imagination!

We have several large mature maple trees, that were loaded with seeds - you know, the twirlers/helicopters. In the winds of this past weekend they all blew off the trees. And every damn one of them landed in our gutters. Our gutters are covered with a perforated top, designed to keep leafs out. Every little hole, and there are millions of them had a maple twirler stickin out of it. When the wind blew, they waved like wheat in the field. The gutters on both first and second floor were loaded.

This morning Flower Girl Dahlia noticed them and started laughing. She asked me what they were. I responded, "why it's gutter fringe". The look on her face was indescribable. She ran up for a closer look, and her laughter was even louder. What she said next reveals how smart she is. She said, "those are tree seeds and you better get them out of the gutter or they'll grow into trees". I took her advice, and hired a younger, unemployed friend to clean the gutters.

Moms Day Aftermath!

I probably never will really comprehend the awesome responsibility that a mother has. But what really is the ultimate mystery to me is how so many mothers manage to be so involved in so many things, and do them all so well. I some times whine (well more than sometimes) about how I can't seem to get everything done. And each mothers day I think back on all the things that mothers always get done. So, there is just really no excuse for me not to have made a quilt lately.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Show Time"

Those wood carvers who enjoy participating in the carving shows, arts festivals and exhibits know that the season has started. I've already participated in one wood carving show, this season. The Johnny Appleseed Show in Mansfield Ohio. This was a good show, in all; and for me too. I have three more major shows, Delaware Arts Festival, Dayton wood carving Show, and Christmas Fair, Columbus Ohio. These are all fun shows, but require lots of prep. By prep, I mean carving and whittling. I need to have at least three Noah's Arks complete with carved pairs of animals for each show. And the idea is to sell them, which then may mean making additional arks. I guess what I'm saying is that it's kinda like fishing. You enjoy the whole experience, whether you catch any fish or not. And sometimes catchin fish is to much of a bother. I also must have a complement of carvings and whittlins for each show. This means that sooner or later I have to set prices. My goal is to just cover expenses. This usually happens. But not because my items are pricey, but just the opposite.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


It's been a bad year so far, for the local morel mushrooms hunters. One of the fellows at the diner this AM said it's been so long since he's seen a morel, that hes forgot what they look like. I got to thinkin, that I should carve him the perfect morel, and mount it on a cane for him. This way he'd have a reminder of not only what a morel looks like, but what a perfect morel looks like. He'd have the benefit of a cane, and a stick to keep from having to lean over all the time and move debris out of the way.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Redefining "Work"

The word "work" has many meanings. Before I retired, it meant only one thing. After I retired it came to mean another thing. I "worked" very had to have this new meaning accepted. I started out with the premise that carving and quilting was what I wished to spend most of my time doing. My first obstacle was to stop thinking that I was just "playing" around when carving and/or quilting. Next I had to cause my wife and others to stop thinking I was just playing around. I had to do something that caused others to have the same ideas about quilting/carving as they do about mowing, painting, and cleaning. What I hit upon was a series of actions that I had to take. First I had to make an investment in tools and equipment, for carving and quilting. After all we did this for mowing and cleaning. Next I had to carefully consider what I said about carving and quilting. No more out bursts of, " boy this is fun", "wow - cool", or "yesh! this isn't hard". No, I had to use phrases like, "crap, I'll never get this", "boy, I sure screwed this up", and "this is harder than it looks". The capper was when I paid money for a table at a carving show. Now this means that I must have carvings to display; and to possibly sell. It wasn't long before I heard my wife say, "hey! you had better get to work carving for that show". Now she just says, "he's out in the shop working". Or am I out in the shop "playing"? Don't care, there's a smile on my face.