Tag Archives: Gigglesville

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.

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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.

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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A Sudden Spurt

2 Oct

Within a few days, I carved up several Gnomes at the pace of one a day. It’s a pleasant change from doing the easy peasy Citizens on balsa wood. The best part is the supply of the Meranti blocks are all about the same height, so these newbies are consistent in height.

Also I have gotten the process down to a routine and this helps in getting the carving done up fast. I just hope I can keep the momentum going. With Gigglesville’s population at 180, it’s Gnomie-wood turn to have a growth in its population. However, it’s a long long way to go as the Gnome count is a mere 21 only as of today.

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Painted but not varnished, gessoed and, carved & patched with wood putty

The Gnome’s Home

21 Aug

Over the weekend, I had a really good opportunity to work on the two-piece Meranti block. After sending M2 to school for her activity early in the morning, I came home and set up the carving station. Initially I thought of warming up by carving a Citizen but changed my mind and dived into the Meranti at 8.00am, early by my standards.

Two hours later, I nicked my finger for the third time but it did not deter me. I had my warm green tea in the Thermos, the weather was lovely and although official pet number one was snoring away by my side, the focus was not disturbed by his loud snore.

Another two hours went by and I nicked my finger again! Dang… either the Meranti is too hard or I am not doing it right. I have not nicked myself so many times in one carving. Then again, it’s been a while since I started on a new shape/character, what more on a Meranti.

Eight hours later, the Gnome’s home was done. I was pleased with my efforts but suffered the consequences soon after, not just with the four cuts on my index finger.

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The third and fourth cut. Ouch

The right tennis elbow flared up and the left hand was sore at the thumb and wrist. The left index finger throbbed from the fourth cut and the strangest thing, the fingers of my right hand tingled at the tips, a sensation I’ve never experienced before. It became more pronounced when I typed on the phone. And this sensation lasted six hours passed the carving.

Have I pushed myself too far this time? Then I looked at my end result, the Gnome’s home, and all that pain was forgotten.

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A Great Source

17 Aug

I find Pinterest a great source for ideas. The site is very specific in categorizing things and this makes visual research super easy even with cross referencing. It was from here that I diverted to Gnomes from my Citizens of Gigglesville.

And it will be from here again as I find inspiration to fine tune my idea to carve a Gnome home soon. Can’t wait to begin the next carving project!

A Quick Job

9 Aug

Within less than a week, Monument 11 was completed! I ought to give myself a pat on the shoulder as it took less time than I anticipated with the usual steps (after carving) of sanding down to shape, patching any unwanted gaps, painting the base coat and applying the finishing colors.

I am finalising my thoughts to begin the glued two-piece Meranti. However, with several golf games lined up this month, one being a tournament, I will only begin after all the golf in case I aggravate the tennis elbow whilst carving away on the hard Meranti.

As for the idea, I am actually contemplating something new, a Gnome home! I hope I can pull it off.

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Empty Nests

7 Aug

The trays that I use to house all the Citizens of Gigglesville look so empty these days despite a population of 170. Well, when so many of them migrate, 90 to be exact I am bound to have empty nests. I need to step it up to fill the void.

Forget the big Meranti pieces for the time being, just focus on the Citizens and I shouldn’t have any problems to fill up the trays again.

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The Giant Citizens, Superheroes and Baby Whales decided to take one tray to fill the void

The Trophy Owl

6 Aug

A friend recently requested for a white colored Citizen of Gigglesville. Now I have never done a white one as the end result because white is always the base before any colors are added.

But I obliged her for special reasons and voila! I now have what I call the Trophy Owl. This could be the beginning of something new or a whole new category by itself. Hmm…

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Stuck Yet Again

3 Aug

After that creative run to carve up 36 Citizens of Gigglesville, I now find myself suddenly stuck for ideas. I have been staring at this two-piece glued Meranti block for some time already but just cannot figure out what to carve. Another Gandalf-like Gnome? Or perhaps a Gnome abode, something totally different? Hmm…

Actually I am caught in between wanting to start a new piece on a Meranti and wanting to play more golf. Knowing that working on big Meranti pieces will aggravate my tennis elbow will inadvertently affect my golf, the balance is tough.

Then again the itch to carve is strong. That’s why I have continued with more Citizens on soft balsa to preserve the elbow after the 36 Citizens was done.

The block beckoned again. In the end, I opted for a one piece Meranti and started on Monument 11. The block would have to wait.

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