Tag Archives: carving

Killer Whales, Part 2

18 Feb
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The big and the mini vise clamps

A week before Chinese New Year, I bought a bigger vise clamp and put it to good use immediately over the weekend purchase. And in the midst of working on two whales back-to-back, I injured myself. But on the left foot! Huh? Where’s the connection here?

Let me explain…

The vise clamp worked beautifully and held the block well; I was able to shape the block without exerting any strength on the left hand which was good. But in the midst of the carving action, I got up too fast and caught the edge of the table so hard with my left foot. Ouch hardly describes the excruciating agony.

The shooting pain was right on the Lateral Malleolus, the bone bump and it bruised beautifully. What a sight to behold…

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Top (L): the day after, Top(R): after golf, a week later and Bottom: four days after the knock

 

 

 

Those cute whales are such killer whales I tell you. It was a good two and a half weeks before the bruise subsided. As for the pain, it is still there.

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Killer Whales

12 Feb

Actually, carving on Meranti wood is not good for me. While it may be satisfying to channel my energy into it and then feel the joy whenever a lovely piece is completed, the choice of the wood is the culprit that adds to my Wrist Tendonitis woes.

I was carving a lot of Meranti whales in December and they are much bigger pieces than the Gnomes and Citizens, which unfortunately have not increase in their population count. And being bigger pieces, it magnified the Wrist Tendonitis on the left hand because I have been gripping the wood block too tightly, looking back at the situation now. Sigh.

Although I have a vise clamp albeit a mini one, it cannot clamp the block for me to work on. And I have not been using my workbench enough to ease the situation. It is not the repetitive motion that’s causing the flare up because the repetition is on the right hand, the carving hand, and not the left hand – the non-working but gripping hand.

If I am not carving daily, the situation can be contained because with ample rest, nothing gets aggravated and it’s fine. The therapy sessions, which concluded, helped but I must not overdo things that can cause a recurrence. That something obviously being carving, of course. And I guess I overdid it in December. Oops.

Then in January as we were busy preparing for M2 to leave, carving took a backseat. But after M2 left, I was back to carving whales full swing AND playing golf before Chinese New Year, double whammy you could say. I felt a teeny weeny set back. Uh oh.

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The whales, cute as they may be, are really killer whales. And I’d better take care especially if I want to play more golf this year. Perhaps I should go back to balsa instead of Meranti or get a bigger vise clamp if setting up the workbench is too much? Something to seriously consider.

Leader of the Pack

10 Jan

Besides buying hubby a gift for his birthday last month, I also asked him if he would like his own personal Gnome, carved on the same date as his birthday. Of course, being my biggest fan and supporter, he said yes.

But he wanted his Gnome to be different from the rest and this complicated matters. Haish… Why put me in a spot? If it were to be different he would have to wait until his next birthday because I need to develop my characters and this takes time. Can’t just happen overnight, what more on the day itself and not earlier considering it should be a birthday Gnome. Hmm…

So we compromised. Carved on Meranti and not balsa, it dons a golden yellow cap instead of the usual red. And although it’s shorter than the other Meranti Gnomes, it is taller than the balsa Gnomes. Sounds complicated. Nonetheless, he loved it and decided that his Gnome will be the designated leader of the pack. Cute little fella I must say.

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Whale of a Time, Part 2

8 Jan

Carving whales to be smart phone holders are suddenly so passé. It is 2019 now and new characters have taken flight! The latest pod of whales are smaller, rounder and super cute. I find this direction very refreshing but puts the thought process into overdrive and can be very draining at times. My dinosaur brain can’t process that fast, I guess.

With this new direction, the Citizens of Gigglesville have not grown, neither have the Gnomes of Gnomie-wood. It’s okay, I am sure I will get around to the others in due course.

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A Glowing Gnome

4 Jan

Sometimes it’s fun to experiment with materials. I have a bottle of glow varnish purchased in the middle of last year and yet to be used on any of my carvings. One evening many moons ago, I couldn’t decide to start a new piece or simply just put the finishing touches on some existing ones. Then I remembered the Gandalf-like purple Gnome has yet to be varnished.

So I decided to give it the glow varnish to have it glow in the dark like some mystical character. But it’s hard to capture the image on my iPhone5S and I left it as is without further experimenting the effects.

Then not too long after that, I purchased a bottle of glitter gloss and I thought this might work better especially during the day. Forget the glow effect at night that might scare the bejesus out of myself.

My giant Gandalf-like purple gnome now sports a glittering beard but subtle.

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Before the add on…

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Glitter on just the beard

A Quiet Beginning

1 Jan

Unlike the nation and the world who ushered in 2019 with revelry, we welcomed the new year without much fanfare. In fact, no fanfare at all. It rained in the evening and spoiled the mood to go out. So we stayed home.

I decided to carved a Whale to usher in the year. Hubby has been down with a cough for several days, hence no alcohol for him, I didn’t feel like drinking or celebrating alone.

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Whale 14 in the making

Sure there were fireworks last night when the clock struck midnight which we could hear and see in the distance but I tuned them all out with my headphones and listened to Beyonce’s Listen, my favorite song.

The night before New Year felt like any other night in the week prior to midnight. And the first day of the new year is no different, a public holiday in the midst of a work week but kinda like a Sunday nothing-doing feeling. A quiet beginning is what it is for us.

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.

Like a Celebrity

27 Dec

Recently I carved Monument #11 from a block of Meranti wood, a four-tier piece meaning there’s four Citizens stacked on top of one another. And I shared the finished piece in a public owl community group in Facebook.

I was amazed and very flattered at the responses and numbers it garnered within 24 hours. There were so many likes, positive comments and shares, and it made me feel like a celebrity, totally great and very motivational.

But now I wonder if the stats increased after that moment of stardom died down. I should revisit to check… Hmm.

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In Full Swing

24 Dec

As work in the office is slowing down for the year-end holidays with clients being on leave, the carving at home is in full swing because I now have more time, coming home earlier than normal. With so many pieces to do all at once, the table is a mess.

There’s Gnomes and Whales to carve, Citizens and Monuments to varnish and new pieces to think about, it’s a never ending process but fun.

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The Last Session

18 Dec

Last week, I had my last therapy session for the Wrist Tendonitis and there’s good news and bad news. The good news is the tendon area has recovered well. I just need to continue with the strengthening exercises to ensure it’s strong enough for me to go back to playing golf next year.

Now the bad news. There was some tightness on the joint of the thumb! A new and unsuspecting development, stemmed from carving which I was doing extensively prior to going off to Penang. Sigh… I have to figure out the best balance and solution to this. Otherwise, horrors of all horrors, the carving has to stopped.

With Christmas around the corner, perhaps the carving can slow down or cease until the end of the year. We’ll see how it goes.