Tag Archives: carving

It’s So Tedious, Part 2

3 Jul

The DIY house project has been such a challenge. While it’s a nice change from carving, it’s truly a test of patience and skills. Putting little pieces of furniture and accessories together is not the easiest hobby on earth, especially when it comes to gluing fabric. It’s so darn hard!

My two kitchen chairs took several days to complete because the fabric, upon gluing, wasn’t bonding with the wood well. I had to use clothes pegs to hold them down so that they can set properly to dry. And it took several attempts as I ended up having more glue on my fingers than the pieces!

Once the kitchen chairs were finally completed, I worked on another equally aggravating set of chairs for the bedroom. And if I thought this was the ultimate test of patience and skills, making tiny pillows take the cake! I’ve managed only three pillows so far and have procrastinated on the last two.

Tiny chairs and tinier pillows to aggravate you!

On a brighter note, the ground floor has been completed and it looks impressive despite an initial misalignment of the chandelier. The chandelier had to be moved so that it’s directly over the coffee table when the sofas were put in place. All’s good now. Phew.

Top: Chandelier was off; bottom: my pretty ground floor

A few days later, the first floor was also completed as I got those darn chairs glued properly. It’s only a matter of time now to shift my energy and focus on the open-top floor with the swimming pool.

Fancy staying in this place? Hehehe

It’s Rather Monumental, Part 2

19 Jun

In between working on the DIY homes, I decided to complete the Monument piece. I knew what I had to do if it was to be converted to become a door stopper. I couldn’t just glue the carving to the wedge as is because it won’t be strong enough to hold together.

So I carved an interlocking section in the joining area of both pieces for better support. The snug fit then had Elmer’s glue added for additional strength.

Thankfully, the whole process didn’t take long and all it needed after that was time for the glue to dry and a coat of varnish. A pat on the shoulder for me for the well-done effort!

 

It’s Rather Monumental

8 Jun
My eight inch Monument of Gigglesville

As expected, I didn’t take long to complete carving my latest Monument. I am proud to say it’s rather monumental. At a towering height of eight inches, this piece is by far my biggest monument.

I’ve also decided to put it to good use rather than displaying it on the shelf like the rest of the other Monuments.

The wedge

Supporting it will be a wedge that I had painstakingly used the wood planer to shave off to get the correct angle as a door stopper! Clever, ain’t I? It should look good and certainly very practical.

Stay tuned for the final piece!

The Next Piece

1 Jun

Soon after the ginormous Gnome was completed, a change on subject matter to carve would be good. After all, I ran out of wood for Whales. However I do have an abundant supply of long Meranti wood pieces, why not carve a Monument?

Honestly, it’s been a while since I last carved a Monument. A quick check on the carving log and my… my… the last one I carved was 2 June 2019, a year ago! So carving another Monument now is apt.

It should be good fun and not too difficult, this piece should not take too long to complete.

Odd One Out

26 May

I took quite sometime to finish the latest Gnome because cooking and cleaning comes first over carving. And when I finally painted it up, it is an odd one.

Same same but different

Certainly a breakaway from the troop, it does not have the blue top or white shoes although it has the red cap like the rest. Well, it’s okay. Sometimes variation is good to make things interesting and also helps to improvise for the better.

However, when a piece in hand is not following a systematic way to carve, like carving the Whale pieces for example, the task in hand becomes challenging. And ginormous Gnome, at the height of 17.5cm was certainly a tough challenge.

One tough cookie… err, Gnome to carve

Well it’s almost completed (the varnishing being the final process), I am now contemplating what my next piece should be. Hmm…

A Totally New Gnome, Part 2

19 May

The latest ginormous Gnome is a ginormous challenge. The balance was off and so much effort has gone into it already. Obviously I did not want to waste the piece and decided to reshape things to save it.

It’s coming along

Days when I have the chance to carve, I’d be focused instead of planning on what to cook for hubby and M2. And this worked out.

Originally, I shaved off too much of the shoes and it wasn’t stable on its feet literally. Hence some patch work was needed to increase the footprint and this decision turned out well.

The cap was problematic from the beginning and I stressed over this. So I filed it, vigorously if I may add to shape the overall to look like what it is now. As best as I tried, it is still lop-sided. This fella certainly wears his cap differently from the rest.

I’m at the tail-end working on ginormous Gnome. Despite all the imperfections, I’m rather pleased with the result. The homestretch to complete now is just sanding to fine tune the lines and putty work on the holes before the gesso and paint process.

A Totally New Gnome

8 May

I have stopped carving Whales for almost a month already for a couple of reasons. Number one reason being no more correct sized Meranti wood. However it’s not that I have zero wood supply anymore, it’s just that there’s a lot of odd-sized pieces. And it would be too tedious to trim to the size required.

Second reason being I wanted a change. With the 60th Whale (in total since the beginning) completed on 12 April, I felt like a factory, having carved a dozen of the same thing during the MCO (Movement Control Order) period.

So a week after Whale #60, I started on a new ginormous Gnome. But this totally new Gnome had a lot of ups and downs.

Plans to carve daily did not work out well as I had to juggle between cooking and design work. Throw in meal times and playing Homescapes, I simply did not have the luxury to sit down for a few uninterrupted hours to carve. And as work picked up too, this was far more important than all other activities. Hence progress on the piece was slow.

By the time I had the chance to sit and carve–and this would be by nightfall–I would be so tired mentally and physically, there’s no more energy left to even lift the carving knife.

Then there were errors and hiccups working on the piece. The initial outline on the big two-piece Meranti block looked okay with a slight tilt of the cap but when I got down to it, not only was I off, I managed to nick my finger without realizing. The Gnome ended up with a very obvious lop-sided cap and a slightly bloodied nose. Oops…

The cap turned out too lop-sided!
Sweat and blood stains

It’s not only a totally new Gnome but a totally new challenge as well. I thought the Little Birdy was tough, this one was equally if not more. But I ploughed on because I don’t have the correct sized wood for Whales.

Days of My MCO Life, Part 2

13 Apr

The bread that I baked last week was an out-of-the-blue decision. I called it the accidental bread. I was set to bake a cake in the beginning, the instant cake-from-the-box easy peasy one of course. Then I decided why not bake bread too? Since we have all the time in the world.

Also I wanted to give the Kenwood Rapid Bake bread maker another chance but the bread maker tripped the electricity in the house again. This reaffirmed that it’s a machine problem and wasn’t a user problem the last time when I used the machine.

So Plan B had to be kicked in because we had an unbaked bread in hand.

Rather than wasting the dough because the trip occurred when the bread maker went into the baking mode, we managed to salvage it. With some modification – adding more flour to the unusual watery mixture (don’t ask me how it became like that), we let the dough sit for a bit.

Then into the conventional oven it went. The final outcome turned out pretty good despite its appearance! A pat on the shoulder for the both of us.

Tastes better than it looks

Do I look forward to baking my next loaf of bread in the oven? I’m not too sure, we shall see.

Besides these self-discoveries and time-consuming activities, I caught up with my reading, finishing several titles and I started watching a Netflix series, something I never did previously. It’s certainly interesting times with the days of my MCO life.

Days of My MCO Life

7 Apr

We are now a week into Phase Two of the MCO. What this means is that the rules are stricter and anyone caught going beyond 10km from their home will be arrested if they don’t have a valid reason. Well, I don’t have to worry as I have not ventured out even to the front lawn of the house.

Being confined to the house for so long during this MCO, I found myself doing things that I’ve never done so much before within a certain time frame.

Like cooking. And constantly at it, twice each day, trying out all sorts of recipes sourced from the internet. It’s the most logical thing to do and besides, I have all the time in the world for the preparations.

Then there’s the carving. I’ve carved so many Whales in March and these would all make lovely gifts for my friends when I see them.

All these carved during the MCO

There’s also another homely thing that I found myself doing every now and then. Baking! Although it’s the instant out-of-the-box, it’s a good variation from the cooking routine. Twice I baked and once I even baked a loaf of bread! Surprise… surprise…

The second cake – Lemon Cake with poppyseeds of course!

New Carving Direction, Part 2

3 Apr

Carving a new shape is not easy! Three months ago, I used the little birdie that my friend bought for me from Japan as my sample for a new shape to try. It was a real challenge in every aspect – the 3D visualisation and proportion before I even began carving and shaping the block of wood.img_7730

Even though I had all the measurements of the angles and sides, I was still off! Eeeks. Little birdie was without a beak because I miscalculated the allowance that would be shaped into its beak! At that point, little birdie looked nothing like a little bird at all. Hahahaha….

img_7724

So a little surgery to add on and some putty magic to fix the problem, otherwise the whole effort would have been wasted! But the effort resulted in little birdie looking like a little duckie! Horrors… challenges after challenges.

Fast forward to the finished piece, little birdie looking like what it should be with a further reduction on the size of the beak. But now, after two months I am still stuck on how it should be finished, as in what color to paint instead of just leaving it in its gessoed state. Sigh… this new carving direction has not been easy.