Tag Archives: balsa wood

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…..


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?


Gigglesville is Booming

14 Jul

It must be a burst of energy or something because suddenly Gigglesville is booming! Or could it be that Citizen #30 migrated just two days ago and I have this need to replace the void. For every one departure, there should be at least two replacements.

Citizen #30 is the second one to leave the sanctuary, the first being Citizen #10 who now resides in Penang.

Gigglesville is shaping up well with a mayor, citizens and superheroes to protect them (especially from Evil Buster). Citizens even have passports issued for them if they are selected to leave to spread their giggles. Citizen #30 had its passport approved hence, its migration. This weekend another will leave… sniffle.

I have grown to be very attached to all my citizens but it is for spreading giggles and love that I am allowing them to migrate.


Citizen #10 (top) and Citizen #30 (bottom)

Citizen #30 with its passport

New Colors

4 Jul

Over the weekend I decided to buy two new colors to add to my acrylic color collection. I made this decision after holding out for so long because I thought I could mix the orange and purple consistently when I needed these colors to paint the citizens of Gigglesville.

But each time I mixed, I failed. The purple has come out in many shades unfortunately but luckily, the orange fared better and not so obvious. There seems to be no consistency in my mixing ability because I forget the ratio every time.

So to avoid this for future citizens, I thought best to get the two colors in tubes like the red, blue and green that I already have.

There’s at least four different shades of purple!

The orange less obvious in shades

The X-acto Knife

29 Jun

One of my favorite design tool is not the Mac computer but the X-acto knife. I could be called old school but tools like the T-square and triangle rulers are still used by me, more so now because of the carving.

Recently I bought a new blade, an X-acto #16 to replace the #11 and to supplement my other carving tools and I must say, I love it!

The angle and its size is just perfect to etch the tight spots of the balsa wood. Carving just got more fun! Whee….


Full House

16 Jun

It’s been a busy and stressful week for me. I have been working late the past few nights on a super duper urgent design project. As the deadline looms without negotiation for an extension, it doesn’t help when the client gives the material to me late. I have a responsibility then to do my part.

Because of this, the carving has stop for the time being but last night, I managed to squeeze one in as a stress reliever. The new balsa wood was extremely soft and it was easy to carve.

Citizen #23 was born and now Gigglesville is just so crowded! Pretty soon, the ‘O’mobile cannot be parked in there anymore. When the house is full (I have space for one more), maybe there will be a migration. Some citizens of Gigglesville will leave for adoption and spread their giggles elsewhere on earth.

As for me, working on this project, I draw the giggles and positiveness from the citizens of Gigglesville to stay sane and cool. I can do it.

Gigglesville Has a Mayor!

2 Jun

I am so in the thick of carving, I bought a new piece of balsa to carve besides some new canvases as I have promised a few pieces for friends. A promise is a promise regardless of the tennis elbow. I just need to find the inspiration to get that going.

In the meantime, I have given much thought to the township of Gigglesville. But before the town blooms, I think it needs a mayor, hence this character.

Now in my world, mayors in general are usually short and stout, so naturally the mayor of Gigglesville is shorter and wider than the usual citizens. But he has to also be different, therefore the cool shades instead of big round eyes.

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!

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.

Feeling Restless

17 Oct

For several weekends I have been feeling very restless. It became more pronounced when I had to sit out from golf. And days that we don’t go out and do something, I become an unhealthy couch potato.

There were times I channeled my energy to art. So I painted and carved. But I don’t enjoy it when I am interrupted (mostly by official pet number one’s insistent barking for attention) or be at it for long periods of time. It’s very hard to find a balance. 

The stain glass activity on the whiskey bottles have stopped because I find it very time consuming and tedious. And it hurts my back if I bend over too long. As for the balsa wood carving, it’s very messy because with the ceiling fan on, the light wood chips fly everywhere!

I am torn on what to do next. Should I carve the remaining balsa wood, paint on canvas instead of whiskey bottles or try my hands at something new?

So much creative energy, so little activities…