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Box of Joy

6 Sep

Box two of my online shopping arrived yesterday when I least expected it. Yay! I can almost say my carving setup is truly complete with the addition of this block plane tool. Now all I need is a proper permanent work space.

This new toy, tool I mean would be used solely on Meranti wood to smoothen the surface when I work the shape. The current mini and cute plane that I have just doesn’t cut it because the holder does not push down the blade to sit snugly and keeps misaligning, thus rendering the tool useless.

So with the two long weekends ahead and having to stay put, I will definitely make full use of this new tool.

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Arrival of the new tool, and comparing the cute and the practical

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All Things Small and Cute

24 Aug

I like small things because I find them cute, in fact the smaller the more appealing to me. In my kitchen, I have the smallest grater, a mini chopper and a mini chopping board to match. They may be small but yet are quite practical, you’d be amazed.

My Citizens of Gigglesville are also small and cute. Many times, people are surprised at how small they are when seeing the real deal compared to the pictures I pose. Hahaha…

Two days ago, I bought a small and rather cute toolbox. It may be small but it ain’t no toy and it fits all my carving tools just nicely! Obviously I’m pleased as I find it practical to keep the tools instead of just having the tools laying in the box they came in.

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The Gnome’s Home

21 Aug

Over the weekend, I had a really good opportunity to work on the two-piece Meranti block. After sending M2 to school for her activity early in the morning, I came home and set up the carving station. Initially I thought of warming up by carving a Citizen but changed my mind and dived into the Meranti at 8.00am, early by my standards.

Two hours later, I nicked my finger for the third time but it did not deter me. I had my warm green tea in the Thermos, the weather was lovely and although official pet number one was snoring away by my side, the focus was not disturbed by his loud snore.

Another two hours went by and I nicked my finger again! Dang… either the Meranti is too hard or I am not doing it right. I have not nicked myself so many times in one carving. Then again, it’s been a while since I started on a new shape/character, what more on a Meranti.

Eight hours later, the Gnome’s home was done. I was pleased with my efforts but suffered the consequences soon after, not just with the four cuts on my index finger.

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The third and fourth cut. Ouch

The right tennis elbow flared up and the left hand was sore at the thumb and wrist. The left index finger throbbed from the fourth cut and the strangest thing, the fingers of my right hand tingled at the tips, a sensation I’ve never experienced before. It became more pronounced when I typed on the phone. And this sensation lasted six hours passed the carving.

Have I pushed myself too far this time? Then I looked at my end result, the Gnome’s home, and all that pain was forgotten.

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A Quick Job

9 Aug

Within less than a week, Monument 11 was completed! I ought to give myself a pat on the shoulder as it took less time than I anticipated with the usual steps (after carving) of sanding down to shape, patching any unwanted gaps, painting the base coat and applying the finishing colors.

I am finalising my thoughts to begin the glued two-piece Meranti. However, with several golf games lined up this month, one being a tournament, I will only begin after all the golf in case I aggravate the tennis elbow whilst carving away on the hard Meranti.

As for the idea, I am actually contemplating something new, a Gnome home! I hope I can pull it off.

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Empty Nests

7 Aug

The trays that I use to house all the Citizens of Gigglesville look so empty these days despite a population of 170. Well, when so many of them migrate, 90 to be exact I am bound to have empty nests. I need to step it up to fill the void.

Forget the big Meranti pieces for the time being, just focus on the Citizens and I shouldn’t have any problems to fill up the trays again.

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The Giant Citizens, Superheroes and Baby Whales decided to take one tray to fill the void

The Trophy Owl

6 Aug

A friend recently requested for a white colored Citizen of Gigglesville. Now I have never done a white one as the end result because white is always the base before any colors are added.

But I obliged her for special reasons and voila! I now have what I call the Trophy Owl. This could be the beginning of something new or a whole new category by itself. Hmm…

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Stuck Yet Again

3 Aug

After that creative run to carve up 36 Citizens of Gigglesville, I now find myself suddenly stuck for ideas. I have been staring at this two-piece glued Meranti block for some time already but just cannot figure out what to carve. Another Gandalf-like Gnome? Or perhaps a Gnome abode, something totally different? Hmm…

Actually I am caught in between wanting to start a new piece on a Meranti and wanting to play more golf. Knowing that working on big Meranti pieces will aggravate my tennis elbow will inadvertently affect my golf, the balance is tough.

Then again the itch to carve is strong. That’s why I have continued with more Citizens on soft balsa to preserve the elbow after the 36 Citizens was done.

The block beckoned again. In the end, I opted for a one piece Meranti and started on Monument 11. The block would have to wait.

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All Packed and Ready

31 Jul

This is it! All 36 Citizens of Gigglesville are finally packed and ready for their mass migration tomorrow. I hope the recipients will treasure and love these Citizens as much as I do. It has been very therapeutic and satisfying for me carving and painting each and every one up.

Goodbye my Citizens, be good, behave and be happy in your new homes!

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Change of Colors

27 Jul

Out of the blue, I decided to change the colors of two Monuments. I felt the original colors were not contrasting enough. Also the fluorescent green on the smaller Monument was patchy, I didn’t like it.

The new Martha Stewart Granny Smith green color beckoned and lo and behold, I painted it over the fluorescent green. But I couldn’t do the same for the blue on the bigger Monument because there’s green already. So I used Fire Engine red instead.

I like both the Monuments much better now. All they need is just a final gloss varnish for the finishing touch.

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No Clearance to Migrate

19 Jul

I don’t normally do mass migration for the Citizens of Gigglesville. Every now and then, only one or two would leave with the max being five. The last big migration was back in January when M1 brought nine Citizens and one Friend (Spiny Lumpsucker) of Gigglesville with her back to the US. Thankfully, all passports issued had no problems.

This latest mass migration, a huge one with 36 Citizens, had been very challenging. First, to meet the deadline, all Citizens were carved almost daily. Then they were prepped just about every other night. However, I encountered a major hiccup at the last hurdle.

Sixteen Citizens have no clearance to migrate just yet because the passports issued for them had control issues. The numbers did not tally in other words. The immigration officer must have be sleeping on the job to cause such a boo-boo. The affected Citizens are the orange, red and purple species.

Luckily the next day the problem was resolved and they are ready to join the 20 to migrate. Thank goodness.

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