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Friday, December 31, 2010

Simple Whittling Exercise

I am always looking for easy projects that will help a newer whittler/carver practice, learn, and improve. This little "twistee-pointer stick" or Christmas tree ornament will do that.

This project is designed to provide repetitive knife cuts that will help one get familiar with their pocket or carving knife.
Start with a 1/2" X 1/2" X 6" piece of Basswood, and a sharp knife. The first thing to do is to carve a 5-minute owl at one end of the stick.
This 5-minute owl makes use of stop cuts, slice cuts, and plunge cuts.
After the owl is completed, taper the bottom of the piece to its end. At this point, you are ready to make a tapered-twisting-spiral stop cut from the bottom of the owl to the bottom tip of the piece .
Next, use the knife to make small cuts to the spiraled stop cut .

Do a bunch of these and you'll be amazed at how much more knife control you develop.
Do some with a Santa head instead of the 5-minute owl, for a Christmas tree ornament.






Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

It's Christmas eve! I would imagine that most who, from time to time, check this blog out either have grand children, great grand children, children of their own, or relatives with children. So hopefully it's a happy season.


I want to thank all who check out this blog and wish them a Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, and Seasons Greetings.



I am going to be one of the first who state and share a new years resolution. Last fall my daughter sent me a bunch of quilt tops that she has assembled. They are now machine quilted and are awaiting binding. One of my main new years resolutions is to complete the binding on these quilts.


Check out my new Blog http://tomsarks.blogspot.com/ This new blog is about making toy Noah's Arks.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My New Ark Blog

This is an invite to check out a new blog that I am in the process of creating. The blog will chronicle the design and construction/carving of toy Noah's Arks, and the animals that go with them. I generally make 12 to 15 Noah's Arks each year for displays and shows, and as commissions. Here's the link!

http://tomsarks.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Noah's Arks

This blog is titled and generally devoted to quilting and woodcarving, both of which I do. I do these as a hobby, not a business. Since my hobby does result in items that others may wish to acquire, I offer some for sale. I have been making Noah's Arks with carved animals for a number of years. I participate in several art festivals, wood carving shows, and Christmas shows/sales each year. Through the years my Noah's Arks have been placed in several gift shops and offered. These efforts in total have generally resulted in the sale of 10 to 15 Arks per year. Four days ago the Columbus Dispatch newspaper ran an article that featured me and my Noah's Arks. I did not anticipate what would happen when this article was published. In four days I have sold the remaining two Arks from this years efforts, and received fifteen commissions for Noah's Arks for 2011. The power of the pen is at play.

Here's a link to the article:

Crafting toy arks floats retiree's boat

Friday, December 3, 2010

Latest Gnome


My niece wanted me to try to do a Gnome playing a tuba. I tried to carve the tuba out of Basswood too but no go. Too small and to many changes in the grain direction. So I ordered a Christmas tree ornament and carved the Gnome to match the ornament. This little fellow is 3 1/2 inches tall.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

IT'S BEEN OVER A MONTH!

I can't believe it's been over one month since my last post. I am beginning to see why some folk dislike this time of year. Not me, I love it! It's just that everything seems to conspire to require ones attention at this time of year. Wood carving shows, craft sales, Christmas demonstrations, etc., etc.; all during the months of November and December. The following is a list from memory (a very suspect memory) of some of what I am talking about.

Carving demonstrations at quilt and gift shops
Dayton wood carving show and sale
Columbus Christmas Fair (Craft sale)
Article published in Woodcarving Illustrated
14 Noah's Arks and animals to finish (18 pairs of animals each)
80 carved Santa tree ornaments and pins
3 newly commissioned Noah's Arks (18 pairs of animals each)
24 sets of Santa earrings to carve
Quilting classes to co-teach
Quilting class Christmas part to carve ornaments for each class member
Christmas tree ornament exchange where 18 ornaments are carved and exchanged
Lots of small little whittlings done to give away.
Honey do list to keep up with...........

But, you know what? I love it. It's just that some things must be put on the back burner for a while.

The shows and sales are over. The commissions are completed. I'm just about caught up.
Oh, all most forgot, the shows and sales when well. I'm not rich in a lot of new money, but I did cover expenses and have some cash to spend for Christmas presents. And most of all I hope I made some folks happy with what I could offer them.