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Goodbye 2018

31 Dec

What a year it has been! At the beginning 2018, never did it cross my mind that I would be facing many ups and downs, making it a truly eventful year. Top on the up trend has been my musings and followers, and my carvings for Gigglesville and Gnomie-wood. The cumulative number of 273 pieces carved consists of Citizens, Big Citizens, Monuments, Whales, Ocean friends, Apeach, Dinky the dinosaur, Gnomes and their homes. But there were no increase in the Superheroes count.

And worthy to mention also is my chase on Candy Crush Soda to reach 1000 Days on my iPad. To me, the daily launch just to get the Daily Bonus is an up trend to achieve that number. I just hope the device don’t die on me as I inch closer to my target.

On the home front, my two girls are all grown up with M1 in her Senior year at University and M2 ready for the next exciting chapter in her life, college-bound having completed high school. Time goes by so fast. Too fast I feel sometimes.

On the down trend, there were notable events too that could almost rival the good ones. These are mostly health-related issues and I must say are pretty life changing.

I was diagnosed with Infectious Colitis in February after a Colonoscopy and Endometriosis in April after a Laparoscopic surgery. Not good so I had to change my diet and lifestyle to deal with these issues. I gave up coffee, eggs, cheese and avoid certain food groups but alcohol and chocolate are still hard to resist. I lost weight as a result from this change which was good until recently, I added some back. Oh well…

However my physical problems didn’t end there…

My sports injury exacerbated and the diagnosis turned out to be a Wrist Tendonitis problem due to my constant carving besides golf. When you think about it, subjecting the wrist to the constant swinging of the clubs and hitting the ball is actually too much to bear upon impact with a weakened wrist. And golf is a non-stop 4.5 hours or thereabouts, thus aggravating the problem acutely. Whereas for carving, the time spent on it can be controlled. I can carve for less than an hour or sometimes three to six hours at a pace without pain that can aggravate the wrist.

So I stopped playing golf for ten weeks to rest the wrist, and did treatment and therapy which helped. Carving continued though but only as and when I have time.

An even bigger down trend is my iPhone5S. It is dying. I thought it would at least last until my birthday next year but the situation does not look good at all. The battery drain issue is just so bad, I find myself using the phone lesser and lesser. One charge can only last a quarter of a day if I even use it a little bit. Perhaps in retrospect, this is a good thing to be less device-dependent? Then again, I suspect this less device-dependency will change once I get a new phone. We shall see.

But I should not focus on the down trends to say life was not good in 2018. There were many up trends as well which I should be thankful for. And I have my friends to make me laugh and be happy, my carving to keep me occupied and contented, and my health is actually much better after those two main episodes.

So as I bid 2018 goodbye, I brace myself for 2019 to be an even more exciting year as there will be major changes, positive ones to look forward to. Thank you 2018, another year to remember by and to 2019, I welcome you with open arms.

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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 Great Source

17 Aug

I find Pinterest a great source for ideas. The site is very specific in categorizing things and this makes visual research super easy even with cross referencing. It was from here that I diverted to Gnomes from my Citizens of Gigglesville.

And it will be from here again as I find inspiration to fine tune my idea to carve a Gnome home soon. Can’t wait to begin the next carving project!

Farm Heroes No More

23 Jan

I have stopped playing Farm Heroes on my iPad, iPhone and the laptop. After such a long time at it, I find that I cannot go pass Level 1105, so no point in continuing the game. It was fun while it lasted.

As for my other games, I still do Candy Crush Soda (to collect the Daily Bonus) and Candy Crush Saga (on the office computer occasionally as it has been deleted from the iPad and iPhone) besides the two Monster Busters.

There does not seem to be a whole of appealing games offered these days, at least to me. Maybe it’s for the better as I can stay off my devices and go back to reading (which I did) and carving (which I will).

We Love Sandra Boynton!

4 Aug

Sandra Boynton is my all time favorite illustrator and author for children’s book. I discovered her books while working in New York City back in the early 90s, after graduating from college. I am proud to say I have quite a sizeable collection of her titles.

My collection were read by M1 and M2 in their early years, and even me occasionally these days when the mood hits.

When M1 was a toddler, I taught her to read ‘But Not the Hippopotamus’. The child was amazing. She could recite the whole book with full of zest and expression without a glance at the pages. The only thing she struggled with was the long word ‘hippopotamus’ which came out as ‘neh-neh-neh-tamus’.

When M2 was 19 months’ old, she had her exposure to Sandra Boynton too. Multi-tasking at such an early age, she’s engrossed with ‘Barney’ on the TV while attempting to read ‘Doggies’ at the same time. You have to turn up the volume, ignore Barney and listen to her carefully.

Adorable is all I can say. Sigh… why do they grow up so fast?

M2readsSandraBoynton

Nemesis of Gigglesville

29 May

It’s inevitable for every storyline that has happy giggling citizens living harmoniously and superheroes maintaining peace to have a nemesis who does nothing but wreck havoc and create fear. Hence, Gigglesville has EB to content with. EB as in Evil Buster.

So who is EB? He’s obviously an evil one with a name as such and he brings glum to the citizens, taking away their giggles and happiness.

Now all I need is to create the whole township! Carving has never been this fun!

Defenders of Earth

26 May

I got so engrossed in this carving activity, I spawned off another batch of carvings, this time a line of superheroes and call them ‘Defenders of Earth’! These fellas are kinda like Avengers, a group of super beings that protect Earth from evil and what nots.

And unlike the citizens who only has serial numbers, these superheroes have names because they are well, superheroes and for practical reasons. Imagine rattling off a series of number to announce their arrival? Not very hip.

We have SuperOwl and his sidekick, SuperOink and they report to Lord Bubba. Together in their ‘O’Mobile, they traverse Gigglesville, Earth and the universe to maintain laughter and happiness.
Superheroes

Honestly, it’s quite fun to carve and build the story along…

Citizens of Gigglesville

23 May

Lately I resurrected the carving hobby because I ran out of canvases to paint. Although I enjoy painting, in truth, I find the sweeping motion of the palette knife across a two feet canvas to be quite an arduous task. And I paint only once a week. It looks like the tennis elbow right arm is never recovering anytime soon and taking a long time to get well. Sigh…

But carving is okay. The arm doesn’t move that much and the balsa wood is not that hard to tackle.

The last batch of creatures created was back in July last year and recently, I labelled them ‘Citizens of Gigglesville’ and painted them all up. I must say proudly these creations of mine, all about an inch tall or thereabouts are rather cute little critters that bring a smile or giggle to whoever looks at them, hence aptly named citizens of this imaginary township.

Each and every character has a serial number instead of a name. With this, I see an interesting story developing.
Citizens-1

All Things Tiny

11 Apr

I love tiny kitchen gadgets. I think they are so cute. Obviously I am not one who cooks a lot and needs to have the latest or biggest equipment. For me as long as the gadget can be used, it’s good enough.

I have a tiny chopping board. Okay I admit it’s actually a cheese board. My house mate who was also my landlord gave it to me when I lived at her place on Upper East Side during my summer internship with WBMG, Inc. in the Big Apple dinosaur years ago.

I also have two mini cleavers and I use these kitchen tools all the time especially to cut fruits. Sometimes even vegetables…

I also have a tiny skillet that I bought from Las Vegas but this one, I don’t use.

Over the weekend, I was doing my weekly grocery purchases and stumbled upon a cute tiny cheese grater. How miniscule? Smaller than those Ikea cheese grates and looked simply adorable.

Did I buy it? Of course I did! How could I not add another tiny thing to my collection which I am known for?

  

Butterbeer

10 Apr

At the height of the Harry Potter years, M2 like every other fan, was Harry Potter crazed. She would read and re-read the books and knew lines by heart. It was rather heart-warming to see her (and M1 as well) do so much reading.

But thank goodness the craze was limited to just the books and not any collectibles although there were some Lego sets purchased. And both girls have a magic wand each, gifted from a friend who went to the Harry Potter theme park. I remember one day, many years ago, M2 came to me with a butterbeer recipe and asked if we could make it.

The beverage was of course served in the wizarding world of Harry Potter and back then, she thought it would be awesome if she could drink what Harry and friends drank. I still have the recipe, dating back to 2012 in my iPhone. I think we tried making it only once but don’t recall the outcome.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, at our local grocery store, lo and behold we saw a bottle of butterbeer! Of course we had to purchase it to try. And I must say it was quite refreshing but once the coldness ebbed away, the sweet side of the beverage became too much. Well, if we never tried, we would never have known.

I just wonder will this lead to a renewed interest in reading the books all over again? Only time can tell.