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Ciabatta No More

5 Nov

I managed to rework the second Gnome Home and am pleased to say that it’s a ciabatta no more! I added more Meranti wood pieces to the top and sides to give it more height and volume.

Then I painstakingly carved and filed down the addition to blend with the ‘roof’ so that the overall look is proportionate to the base. Areas where I couldn’t get it to look smooth, the wood putty did the job.

And after adding gesso to the overall shape, you can’t tell that the whole piece is actually made up of big and small pieces. Once the final touch of colors are added, my Gnomes have another home. Yay.

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It’s Not a Gnome Home

15 Oct

The second Gnome home has hit a snag, in fact a big snag for it does not look like a Gnome home at all. Instead it’s looking like one big ciabatta with a stump. I’m not sure whether to cry or laugh…

I need to go back to the drawing board and salvage this to become a proper home for my Gnomes. With their population count now at 25, they need homes!

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From a two-piece block to a ciabatta!

Addictive Online Shopping, Part 2

5 Oct

There is a reason for doing online shopping on Fridays. It’s so that the parcel arrives the following week before the weekend. Yes, my latest purchase has arrived! You do realise my purchases are always small parcels unlike hubby’s that come in boxes…

It’s a mini drill set that comes with 60 pieces of mini drill bits. With the weekend coming up, I am super excited with this addition to my ever growing carving setup. Let’s see what I can do with it especially on detailing work.

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A Sudden Spurt

2 Oct

Within a few days, I carved up several Gnomes at the pace of one a day. It’s a pleasant change from doing the easy peasy Citizens on balsa wood. The best part is the supply of the Meranti blocks are all about the same height, so these newbies are consistent in height.

Also I have gotten the process down to a routine and this helps in getting the carving done up fast. I just hope I can keep the momentum going. With Gigglesville’s population at 180, it’s Gnomie-wood turn to have a growth in its population. However, it’s a long long way to go as the Gnome count is a mere 21 only as of today.

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Painted but not varnished, gessoed and, carved & patched with wood putty

I’m Loving It

27 Sep

My latest tool, the wood plane is one awesome tool. I’m loving it! It worked beautifully to smoothen the surface of the latest piece that I am working on – a second home for the Gnomes.

I even used it on Gnome16 to smooth out the surface of its tall cap and I am very pleased with the end results.

The usage is only possible if the pieces are the Meranti wood and big in size, and certainly not practical on the soft balsa pieces of the Citizens (of Giggglesville) that are usually 26mm in height. It’s the beginning of new frontiers as far as carving and shaping is concerned.

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The making of a Gnome home

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Gnome16’s cap was planed beautifully

My Silly Dog

25 Sep

Official pet number one, Rooney, is one silly dog. Every time when I am set up at the garden terrace to do my carving, he would be my little vacuum cleaner. I know it’s bad for him but sometimes he gets to the wood shavings much faster than me!

Two weeks ago, over the three-day weekend when I was working on two pieces of Meranti simultaneously, the mess was everywhere on the floor and he just took the liberty to crawl under my workbench and helped himself. One silly dog indeed.

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Hmm…. tit bits! I like….

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Gosh… they taste soooooo good! Ohm nom nom…

 

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

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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