Tag Archives: Citizens of Gigglesville

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.

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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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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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Big Day

7 Dec

Last night it was a significant movement day. Sixteen Gnomes were ready for adoption. Yes, sixteen. I was ready to let them go. Armed with their Certificate of Adoption unlike the Citizens of Gigglesville who have passports for migration, the objective is the same though. To spread love and giggles.

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Ciabatta No More, Part 2

22 Nov

A couple of weeks ago, the effort reworking the second Gnome Home sapped me and I left it unattended for days after the first coat of colors. Eventually, despite a gruelling gym session where—in my trainer’s words “She went mental and gave it to us”— we were depleted of strength, I somehow managed to muster some energy to apply the final coat of acrylic to the roof and chimney.

The Fire Engine Red is obviously darker than the Cadmium Red but I think there’s character as well. I think the Gnomes like it.

Now in between mulling another home but a towering one for variation, I carved four phone holder whales, seven Gnomes and a Monument. So much carving to do, so little time.

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The Gnomes standing proudly in front of the two new Gnome Homes.

Whale of a Time

19 Nov

Sometimes doing the same thing over and over again can be quite mundane. I am not saying Citizens, Monuments and Gnomes are getting boring but once in a while, I’d like to do something different for variety.

That’s why there are Superheroes, Dinky the dinosaur, Halloween Owl, giant Citizens, a couple of Gnome Homes, an Apeach and whales in the collection. My latest challenge was carving another whale but a much larger one than the four that I have carved.

Larger because it will double up as a smart phone holder as well. The idea came about after a dim sum meal with a girlfriend. I totally had a whale of a time (pun intended) carving this new baby on a glued two-piece Meranti. So much so, I started another one in between some other efforts.

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Hubby’s Samsung A6+ sitting on the whale

 

Need to Getaway

6 Nov

Maybe I need to get away from the usual routine and life. Stay away from golf and carving, and take out that bikini to wear to even out all the uneven golf tan lines.

I saw a sports doctor yesterday to evaluate the wrist. Thankfully it’s not what I thought initially – Avulsion Fracture and no necessity for an X-ray or MRI. Rather it’s a case of De Quervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis, inflammation of the tissue on the thumb side of the wrist. Commonly known as Wrist Tendinitis, it is due to overuse.

On top of over usage, it seems that Tendinitis is part and parcel with age, being the dinosaur that I am. Gee, as if I don’t have enough problems already what with the Infectious Collitis and Endometriosis diagnosed earlier in the year. I’m such a problematic dinosaur this year.

But with the weather so wonky these days and M2’s big exam looming closer each day, will we have time for a much needed escapade? Frankly, I don’t think it will be enjoyable with constant wet weather nor will there be ease of mind knowing what’s ahead for her.

It’s a good thing that today’s a public holiday and I am home taking a mini break as recommended by the doctor.