Tag Archives: carving

A Good Push

8 Oct

Pumped by the satisfaction of Ginormous Gnome being completed, it was odd I couldn’t push myself to start on the next Whale despite plans to do so and having all that energy to carve. Plus I had just given away yet another Whale, two pieces within a week, it’s reason enough to get back to producing Whales.

Citizens #188 right through to #193!

Instead there was a sudden burst for the Citizens of Gigglesville. Within a few days, six new Citizens came about! Which was kind of nice because this means I should be able to reach 200 in its population count sooner that I thought I would.

However, in the midst of this, I found myself planning yet another Ginormous Gnome as I have started the process for it. Should be interesting how this one will turn out after the trials and error from the last one.

Glued and clamped to have a big block

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The Ambitious Piece Completed

7 Oct
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He’s one good-looking gnome I must say!

I am so very pleased with my latest piece of carving. My best effort yet. This was an ambitious piece because of its height at almost 20cm to begin with and the unevenness of the glued pieces to tackle. The protruding excess was, well… excess.

But once it started taking shape, the height wasn’t the issue and eventually it got shorter. The completed Gnome now stands at 16cm (about 6.5 inches).

Soon after I painted it up, I would just sit at my little work station to admire it from all angles at every opportunity possible. I didn’t even bother to start on the next intended piece. No hurry as I bask in the satisfaction on a job well done for the time being.

Yes, I love my new Gnome!

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An Ambitious Piece, Part 3

4 Oct

I am at the tail-end to complete Ginormous Gnome. I’m satisfied with how the shape of the cap bob at the back turned out. I think it’s not necessary for it to be even more prominent because then I’d have to glue an add-on piece to it, like what I did for the nose and then tediously carve it down.

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Nose checked, gap in beard checked!

The nose which posed some challenges initially was resolved. Once I got over these issues, the rest was not that difficult – the body was effortless but the beard was time consuming to shape. However after shaping the beard, I was faced with a new predicament!

 

The front of the beard was looking so flat! Haish…

After all that effort to give the nose some prominence, the flat beard made all that hard work look wasted. So I decided to glue a piece and several add-ons to the beard part so that it does not appear so flat and square. Quite challenging to carve, shape and puff up that part but it was fun.

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The extra piece to puff up the beard

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The beard part resolved and putty all over to smoothen the surface

It’s good I am keeping track of what I am doing now because if I ever wanted to carve another Ginormous Gnome, I have this to refer to and would be better prepared. Sometimes what I envision in my mind does not quite come out right, so along the way, I have to adjust.

That being said, Ginormous is progressing at a good pace as I’m at it diligently almost every night. Soon I will be starting a new piece and it will most likely be another whale because recently, I gave one away.

At this point, I’m considering to paint Ginormous in the red and blue uniform like my other Gnomes rather than the Lavender of Gandalf. It should look good.

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Last step of putting gesso completed before the final paint job!

An Ambitious Piece, Part 2

30 Sep

Ginormous Gnome is coming along fine. The cap was challenging because I had to file it down in order to make the hole disappear; then I had to shape it – at the back especially, so that the little bob (at the back) looks natural. I think it’s coming along.

 

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Notice the gap on the beard? Needs to be patched up too

The next challenge was the nose as it’s rather flat. After much thought, I decided to glue a piece to give it a more prominent bulge. But the add-on that I split did not split well and I ended up with such an uneven piece, it made Ginormous looked like it had a pig nose. Ugh.

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Ginormous looking piggylicious with an oink of a nose!

So more effort was needed to shape the nose to make sure the add-on doesn’t look like an add-on. Glad to say, it worked out well and with some putty to smoothen out the surface, you can’t really tell that Ginormous had a nose job. I’m confident by the time paint is applied, all evidence of an add-on will not be visible.

Stay tuned, I’m almost done with this fella!

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An Ambitious Piece

23 Sep

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Two weeks ago, I started on a very ambitious and challenging piece of carving. Ambitious because of its size, measuring at almost 20cm tall before I even started. And challenging because the chunky piece is a combination of three Meranti pieces glued together and uneven in height at the top.

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I wanted to do another Gandalf-like Gnome because it’s been awhile since I last did a giant piece. I have been too focused on the Whales lately so much so, the Gnomes and Citizens of Gigglesville have been neglected. But I am unperturbed by the stalled population growth because I am sure when the mood hits, I can whip up some Citizens or Gnomes effortlessly.

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The biggest challenge now is to shape the cap of Ginormous Gnome and ensure that the gaping hole does not become a permanent feature on it. We’ll see how it will be as I progress.

I Bought Plants!

20 Sep

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It is a big deal when I buy plants because it is a known fact that hubby is the one with the green fingers, not me. Why… I don’t even venture into our garden to enjoy the greens and all, only he does that. I stay indoors to do my carvings. At most, I would venture out to the garden terrace and not beyond when I need to do some drilling or serious filing because I certainly can’t do this dusty and messy job inside.

Sometimes when hubby excitedly brings a potted plant to me, I become flabbergasted because I don’t know what I am supposed to look at or even compliment about. I don’t see anything special—at least to me—and as always, he has to point out specifically to me; that’s how useless I am when it comes to plants.

So it’s a big deal when I decided to pick up four little pots of greens when we were up North recently. I thought the petite leaves and succulents were oh-so-very cute and obviously appealed to me. But of course, the one taking care of them will be hubby and I know he will do a good job.

Constant Holidays

16 Sep

This month of September is just full of public holidays that happen to fall on every Monday. As such, we have had three consecutive weeks of three-day weekends which was kind of nice because work at the office of late has been very frustrating.

The first long weekend, we took advantage of it and went to Club Med, taking Friday off as well to make it a four-day escapade. The second long weekend, we stayed put to do our usual weekend activities but added a movie date on Monday night.

It was hazy leaving Ipoh

Now this third long weekend that is just ending, we visited hubby’s folks up North and will say goodbye to them after lunch. The folks are fine.

Pretty sunset colors approaching Alor Star

We are taking the approach to enjoy the breaks when they occur and not worry about deadlines that keep extending. Work can wait.

More Online Shopping

19 Aug

Lately, I have been doing quite a fair bit of online shopping. Somehow the urge to buy something has gotten to me, so I bought a range of things. It certainly saves time clicking on the mouse to discover what appeals rather than walking–sometimes mindlessly–at the mall.

Purchase #1: insole arch support. I thought this was necessary given the plantar fasciitis problem that I have now. And so far, this purchase has worked out well with the insole stuffed into my Skechers and golf shoes, the only two types of shoes I wear these days. Some may question why couldn’t I just buy this from a physical shop? Well, there were more choices online.

Purchase #2: anti-slip waterproof shoe covers which I thought could be useful. This purchase came about because it was raining a lot at one point and I wanted to be prepared. If we were caught outside in this wet weather, I didn’t want my Skechers to get soaked when I have to get down from the car. Remember the last time I did this and I ended up with cold toes at the bar? Not a nice feeling. But after the packages (there were two types) arrived and whenever it rained, we just don’t go out. Oh well. Nevertheless, the packages are left in the car in case it does rain and we are out.

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Right foot with the waterproof shoe cover, left foot without for comparison

Purchase #3: extra MiBand straps because the last two broke for the MiBand 2 wearable that I am still using. A practical buy I must say.

Purchase #4: a mini bubble spirit level device to aid my carving. Why the need for this suddenly? Well, prior to this mini one that just recently arrived, I had actually bought another one which was too big to use but I had no choice. The recent few whales did not look too level at the top (it’s not very obvious to others, only to me) and I did not feel good about it. The imperfection happened when I joined two pieces of Meranti wood that are of different heights. So a bubble spirit level was necessary after using the flat plane to level the surface. Now with a smaller one, it should work better on the small surface over the bigger level unit.

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Accuracy is compromised with the difference in size so obvious

Purchase #5: some golf accessories which are taking the longest time to arrive. I think this delay, which is unusual, is due to the unrest in Hong Kong recently. Oh well, this purchase falls into the nice-to-have category and not the critical-must-have, so I am not too bothered by the delay. They will be delivered in due course.

So online shopping can be fun with some purchases silly, mundane or practical, it just depends on your needs and wants.

Have Putty Will Do

13 Aug

This latest piece that I carved had some challenges. The sides were not even and riddled with holes and ‘craters’ because when I split the wood into two, I didn’t do a good job.

After carving out the whale shape, minimizing the craters, the holes were still there but there’s nothing that putty can’t fix. Having putty is essential to fix what carving can’t do smoothly.

img_4312You can’t even tell that prior to it looking like this, once upon a time there were holes. Whale #37 is looking mighty fine I might say and was okay once varnish was applied to coat the paint.

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An Epic Fail

2 Aug

I have been playing golf for dinosaur years. And somehow there’s always a first for an unthinkable shot. An epic fail that is…

Tuesday was a public holiday and we took the opportunity to go play golf instead of just staying at home doing the usual carving (me) and gardening (hubby).

Our tee-off at 8.11am was later than our usual weekend 7-ish slot but we didn’t mind, it’s a public holiday and everyone’s playing golf. Anyway, the weather was lovely and the pace good without having to wait too long for every shot.

I must say I am playing much better now because there’s no pain in the wrist, carving less Gnomes these days. So the results are encouraging as each game goes by. But there’s always a first for an unthinkable scenario.

As we headed towards Hole 9, the last hole, I was getting a little tired because it was very hot by then. After all, we teed off late.

I had about 60m to the green. And although the coconut tree on the right wasn’t directly in my path, I thought launching my ball slightly left of the tree was the best approach to land nicely on the green center, close to the pin. So I took a full swing.

The ball flew above the tree but it never landed on the green as envisioned. Instead it landed in the tree! Yes, in the tree 15 feet or thereabouts above ground; my pink Nike golf ball never came out, dropped down or go past the tree. I was in disbelief!

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There, right there amidst the coconuts on the tree lies a pink Nike ball.

The approach space was so wide and yet, I managed to land my ball in the tree. That’s a first for me with such an unbelievable approach shot! An epic fail. Hahahaha…