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Why Not an Owl?

15 Aug

I have been asked why a dinosaur and not an owl for my second tattoo as I am so into owls, with all that carving that I do?

Well, it’s because I have been going on and on about the dinosaur era when I reminisce about life in my musings, it made sense to assert my dinosaur-ness with a permanent one. But a dinky one to salute life with a good chuckle.

The owls? They are different and seriously, too many to decide which one I like because I love all my Citizens of Gigglesville. And as I see and create them in 3D, somehow I cannot picture them in 2D.

I have yet to carve a dinosaur and my dinky dinosaur looks good as is, on paper in 2D, it’s apt and a good decision.

Would I consider a third tattoo? Hmm… will give it some serious thought when I get to that crossroad in future.

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My Dinky Dinosaur

14 Aug

Meet my dinky dinosaur!

On Saturday I went to Borneo Ink to get my dinosaur tattoo. The tattooist, Vadim, was a visiting artist from Russian and he used a different technique. He said it was a prison-style tattooing method, using just the needle and not a tattoo machine.

And all it took was a mere ten minutes. The setting up took longer – sterilising, wiping down and ensuring the space was clean.

When the pokes kicked in, it felt like ant bites and occasionally it felt more than a bite but bearable. I must admit I did break out in a cold sweat for a bit but the session was over quickly.

M2, who was with me, said she could hear the poking on the skin and it sounded painful. Well… part and parcel to bear if one wants a tattoo.

I am happy with the end result.

The end result!

The comparison

The original pencil doodle

A Bargain, Part Two

10 Aug

The square blocks from Daiso are not as easy to carve compared to my usual balsa wood. They are not soft, being harder and more dense therefore, harder to carve. 

I started to carve Citizen #64 of Gigglesville but the progress is very slow. Even with sharpened tools, it’s slow. In the midst of it, I diverted to the new balsa wood for a couple of quick ones and Citizens #65 and #66 came about at a much faster pace.

Sometimes there are no shortcuts even at a bargain. I should stay focused. 
It took me several hours each time over a stretch of several days to complete Citizen #64. That’s too long compared to the balsa wood which I take only 40 minutes to an hour to carve a citizen up.

Maybe if the blocks are not suitable to carve citizens of Gigglesville, I should consider using them to create other elements to support the township. Something to think about.

Citizen #64, the giant

Citizens #65 & #66

A Bargain

7 Aug

Thrift stores are the best. At a fixed flat price, you can find just about anything from these places. We have Daiso, the Japanese brand here and I must say, it’s one of our favorite haunts.

Every now and then whenever we go to the mall, we must visit a Daiso store. And surely, we will find something useful and at a bargain. Last week, I found some ready-cut wood blocks (8 pieces in a bag) on the shelves and thought the size was perfect for carving. At half the price of my usual balsa wood but three pieces less than what a foot of balsa would yield, it’s a bargain.

Slightly bigger at 1.2 inch by 1.2 inch compared to my usual one inch by one inch balsa, I think I can manage although the label did not mention what type of wood these blocks were. I even discovered a set of diamond files, perfect for filing those crevices!

With the new materials (incidentally, I bought two more pieces of balsa from the art store) and new tools, Gigglesville is set for another boom in the coming days! Whee…..

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International Owl Awareness Day

1 Aug

As I indulge in my free time by carving up a whole township of owls and creating their characters, I am also slowly discovering a lot of information about this creature.

While they may be carnivorous, mysterious and nocturnal in nature, mine are a little bit more fun – cute, giggly-looking and certainly not carnivorous. And I’d like to think my Citizens of Gigglesville do also hold a special place in the hearts of all who appreciates my efforts.

Owls are enigmatic birds and can be lovable or spooky depending on how one looks at it. As 4th of August is International Owl Awareness Day, here’s a good site: http://www.owlworlds.com (there are plenty more) to learn about this fascinating creature.

The Making of Wanderlust Owl

28 Jul

It wasn’t easy to carve Wanderlust Owl. The sketch was ugly and amateurish but I could visualize how the character would look. And with patience and determination, it started to take shape.

At 31mm only in height, I had to include a cap, a back pack and a hiking pole, new elements that doesn’t appear on normal citizens of Gigglesville. As for the hiking pole, I actually used a toothpick because I didn’t think I could shape a hiking pole that easily without breaking.

This is the process and the end result; and to cut the nitty gritty of it, I am pretty proud of my handiwork. Wanderlust Owl is the start of a new series, the Adventurers of Gigglesville, besides the normal citizens and Superheroes. Let’s hope that there will be more under this new series!

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The Pet of Gigglesville

24 Jul

In the thick of carving, I suggested to hubby that he should try his hands at this too instead of just fiddling with his air plants. So I gave him a tiny leftover piece of balsa to try.

He was keen but wasn’t sure he could do the owls, so he opted for something else and we ended up having a baby elephant!

Tiny little fella is now deemed the official pet of Gigglesville. Ain’t he cute?

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Dang! She’s Good

21 Jul

I can’t help but gush about my M2’s artistic ability. Recently, I officially engaged her for one of my client’s project. The style: doodles, something she was very capable of.

The project: a doodle to depict a community of health. I paid her for the job and I think she did an excellent job. The end result speaks for itself. Dang! She’s good.

M2's art

A Good Mess

20 Jul

Everyday I would sit at the living room and carve if time permits. Gone are the days where I would be on the iPad, being device-reliant all the time which is bad. So this is a good thing.

I wouldn’t say the place is messy because I am stationary in the middle of the spacious comfortable zone. And with everything I need within reach in an IKEA RÅSKOG trolley (which M2 helped to put together), it’s a good spot. A good mess I’d say.

Days when I don’t have time to carve, I would take out the Citizens of Gigglesville and just look at them. Simple silly act but full of satisfaction. Delight would envelop my heart whenever a citizen is completed. It’s funny how I discovered this engrossing activity, thanks (sort of) to the tennis elbow.

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My Poor Canvases

18 Jul

I have been so engaged with carving lately that my poor canvases are just sitting in the corner collecting dust. Even the tubes of oil paints are neglected because I use acrylic instead.

Everyday I would carve a piece, two if the mood hits and definitely more on weekends. The citizen count of Gigglesville now stands at 48, minus the superheroes series.

Sigh… I hope to go back to painting. Eventually.
Canvas