Tag Archives: Citizens of Gigglesville

Fresh Supply

21 May

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I am in wood heaven! Two weeks ago, I received two boxes of freshly cut Meranti wood to continue with my carving. And carving I have been doing.

I realize now that carving Whales do not hurt my left wrist compared to Gnomes. It is the size – Gnomes are smaller than Whales, and how I grip the wood tightly (when carving a Gnome) causing a strain to the wrist. Add in the many angles of a Gnome, that’s why the tender area of the wrist would flare up if pressure and the repetitive action is applied constantly.

I have stopped carving Gnomes and Citizens of Gigglesville for the time being and just focusing on Whales which are much easier to handle. Anyway, the Gnomes and Citizens are decorative, cute and fun but the Whales are more than that, they are useful – being a smart phone holder.

The best part, I can still play golf without pain and the Whale population has been growing steadily. Yay.

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More New Colors, Part 2

26 Apr

It’s hard to stay away from carving Whales. After the balsa bout, I itched to get back to Meranti, so here’s Whale 28. This fella’s a bit odd in size because the wood block that’s available is wider than most of the other pieces that I have done. Oh well.

It is kinda cute in its own way and once I paint it with the new pearl Pink Taffeta color, it will just be so gorgeous!

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More New Colors

25 Apr

I thought carving up Citizen #182 was significant so I bought new colors to commemorate it. This time, I decided to introduce shiny colors for variety.

So besides painting up Citizen #182 in pearl Taffeta Pink, #183 was also given the new color, the glitter blue. Not content with this, I then refreshed a few earlier Citizens, adding clear glitter on top of their existing colors.

Maybe this year, glitter is the way to go as this latest batch look very pretty and shiny. I like ‘em.

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Picture not giving the gloss and glitter enough prominence

Citizen #182

9 Apr
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Citizen #182 from all angles

After a four and a half months break, 26 Whales, two Monuments and nine Gnomes later, I finally carved a Citizen of Gigglesville. What a long break. I had almost forgotten how to carve a Citizen on balsa, taking a longer time than I normally would with #182, the first one for 2019.

But it looks good, I must say. It was awkward to hold, being so small and the balsa being so soft; I have forgotten what it’s like to control my strength. Despite all these shortcomings, I am pleased because there’s no strain at all on the left gripping hand and I can play golf without any nagging pain.

Maybe I should continue with more Citizens on balsa instead of the others on Meranti to preserve the hand. Reaching 200 population count is not impossible if I keep at this.

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.

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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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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A Pod of Whales

13 Dec

The whale carving deviation has taken off really well. So much so, Citizens, Gnomes, Gnome Homes, Monuments and Superheroes of Gigglesville have taken a back seat. On top of the big whales that double up as smart phone holders, I have also carved up baby whales to add to the pod.

Now these babies don’t just exist for the sake of existing. They double up as name card holders, making themselves just as useful as their mummy whales. Clever, isn’t it? I feel so proud of this latest direction.

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