Tag Archives: Citizens of Gigglesville

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!

MCO, Day 3

20 Mar

We have been under Movement Control Order (MCO) as instructed by the government and today is Day 3. I must say it has been good so far. I wake up when I am done sleeping. Then I have my tea at a leisurely pace because I don’t have to get ready for work to face the challenges ahead.

The number one worry-free plus point from this experience: no stress over the car next to our reserved parking lot at the office. The lady driver always, without fail, parks her car very close to our lot (and not in the center of hers) whenever she arrives before us, thus giving me very little room to get out of my car. A two weeks’ break from this daily annoyance is certainly welcomed.

We’ve been enjoying the comforts of home as I spent most of my time carving whilst hubby would be out in the garden tending to his plants. In between, I have been preparing meals and doing some light chores around the house. So domesticated. Hahaha…

My daily routine now: carving Whales

After lunch, I carved. And carved and carved. Then I would get dinner ready. The best part, we have been having pre- and post-dinner drinks more often than before. Whiskey, gin, wine and beer… we’re doing it all.

Then it’s Netflix all the way until bedtime. And this routine will be repeated day in, day out until the end of the month.

The downside from this partial lockdown: no golf until the end of the month as well! We contemplated taking walks in the evenings to address the exercise portion of our lives. Hmm… then again, doing house chores is exercising too.

The upcoming weekend may see a break in pattern or most likely not. Everyday feels like a weekend now. And so far so good, we are still sane.

New Carving Direction

3 Feb

It’s February already but I must say with the new year and new decade, I thought it’d be good if I embarked on new shapes to carve to expand my collection and ability.

Towards the end of last year, I was debating what I should carve next when my margarita partner sort of decided for me. She was in Japan (last year) and stumbled upon some cute figurines during her travel. And after several exchanges with me on WhatsApp, I decided on this cute little Yew wood piece from Takayama. It’s not cheap, let me tell you.

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My carving/whittling skills have improved tremendously from my first piece to what I am able to do now. But I want to push myself further to do more challenging pieces. So cute little bird will be my mould to try. So stay tuned for the progress on this!

Looking Back at 2019

31 Dec

Well well… it looks like another year has gone by again. Time to file the memories away to recall later fondly and another set of annual resolutions to make. Or break. But the end of 2019 is much more than another year gone by, it’s the end of a decade!

Looking back, I’ve had my fair share of good memories and heartaches with many things happening in the year. After all, there’s 365 days. What stood out most for me can be summed up to these.

Both girls are all grown up, with one having graduated and continuing on with grad school in the US and the other just starting college in Ireland. Proud parent moments. Then there’s me reaching the milestone big five birthday. Happy me occasion.

My carving hobby resulted in a mixed growth in Gigglesville’s population this year. There were only 13 new Citizens to reach 194 (I couldn’t push myself to reach 200), the Whales grew to 48, with 30 new ones while the Gnomes had only two new giant ones to make three dozen as of 2019. It could be better.

But with this carving activity, there was a price to pay: my aggravated injuries. My golf game suffered as a consequence and for the first time, I find myself not giving the sport any priority anymore. I lost the will to excel when injuries persisted. Hopefully this mindset can change to a more positive one come 2020.

Besides the sports injury, my endometriosis pain was well, a pain to deal with this year. More acute than ever, I was at the mercy of a monthly recurrence, it was dreadful. So I started the 16/8 intermittent fasting diet to manage the painful backache and cramp attacks. With a controlled diet and a list of food to avoid, losing a fair bit of weight along the way was a booster and motivation too besides minimizing the agony. It helped.

Not everything was rosy and good though. My iPad Mini has been wonky and unreliable with each passing day, my MacBook Air had to be resuscitated but nothing compared to losing our beloved English bulldog, Rooney aka official pet number one to old age and sickness. It was the saddest day of our lives and suddenly, the house was emptier than ever and our lives changed.

Looking back, if I were to put 2019 into perspective of a phrase, ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ aptly summarizes the year for me. Now as I ponder what to expect for the new year and new decade, I hope it will be one that focuses on ‘the good, the better and the best’. No resolutions needed though.

To everyone, here’s wishing you an awesome 2020 ahead, Happy New Year and Goodbye 2019!

A New Direction

8 Nov

After the bout of carving six Citizens not too long ago, I was ready for another big piece. Suddenly carving big pieces is the way to go! This latest attempt at another Ginormous Gnome is again a combination of three Meranti wood, making it the second piece with three glued pieces.

This time there’s no add-ons for depth, learning from the previous piece. Also I am unfazed by the height because I know what to do. And there certainly won’t be any hole in the cap because I sketched the Gnome to be smaller with plenty of room to shape.

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Let the carving begin!

These days I seem to prefer carving big pieces over little Gnomes as it does not aggravate the left wrist because I don’t need to have a dead grip with the left hand. If you must know, carving Citizens is not painful because it’s on soft balsa, not semi-hard Meranti wood.

But I still have to find the right balance with this new direction because at times, the right golf elbow can still be aggravated if I’m at it too long – the repetitive motion on the semi-hard Meranti.

Sometimes if I have a weekend game coming up, I’d carve less to prevent any recurrence of pain. However if the pain persist on game day, I have no choice but to pop painkillers and use Salonpas patches to subdue it.

Perhaps with the new lighter golf set making golf enjoyable again, I can find the middle ground to have satisfaction to enjoy both golf and carving simultaneously without giving up one or the other.

I’ll see how, until then onwards with the new piece!

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Slowly but surely it’s coming along!

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

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.