Tag Archives: gnome

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.

An Epic Fail

2 Aug

I have been playing golf for dinosaur years. And somehow there’s always a first for an unthinkable shot. An epic fail that is…

Tuesday was a public holiday and we took the opportunity to go play golf instead of just staying at home doing the usual carving (me) and gardening (hubby).

Our tee-off at 8.11am was later than our usual weekend 7-ish slot but we didn’t mind, it’s a public holiday and everyone’s playing golf. Anyway, the weather was lovely and the pace good without having to wait too long for every shot.

I must say I am playing much better now because there’s no pain in the wrist, carving less Gnomes these days. So the results are encouraging as each game goes by. But there’s always a first for an unthinkable scenario.

As we headed towards Hole 9, the last hole, I was getting a little tired because it was very hot by then. After all, we teed off late.

I had about 60m to the green. And although the coconut tree on the right wasn’t directly in my path, I thought launching my ball slightly left of the tree was the best approach to land nicely on the green center, close to the pin. So I took a full swing.

The ball flew above the tree but it never landed on the green as envisioned. Instead it landed in the tree! Yes, in the tree 15 feet or thereabouts above ground; my pink Nike golf ball never came out, dropped down or go past the tree. I was in disbelief!

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There, right there amidst the coconuts on the tree lies a pink Nike ball.

The approach space was so wide and yet, I managed to land my ball in the tree. That’s a first for me with such an unbelievable approach shot! An epic fail. Hahahaha…

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.

Win-Win-Win-Win Situation

11 Apr

This 16/8 diet seems to be really good for me. So far, coupled with my activities, it’s been effective – I feel good and there’s more to this. That’s why I call it a win-win-win-win situation.

The 16/8 is strictly on weekdays but I have lost weight. Win number one.

On weekends, I play golf. Win number two. And after golf, a nice lunch where I would eat and basically don’t restrict myself. I only avoid food that can cause discomfort due to my Endometriosis. But as I now eat at a 16/8 time frame, my tummy has shrunk and no matter what nice food are on the table, I don’t eat a lot.

The best part, I also drink during lunch. Win number three. A couple of whiskey shots, not necessarily excessive but enough to feel good. Sometimes at home at night, a glass of wine to relax. Alcohol, I must admit is one thing I can’t give up. I should stay away from beer though because unlike, wine and whiskey, I tend to drink more and that’s not good.

And I wouldn’t say I eliminated sugar totally as I do find myself snacking on some candies and cookies occasionally during the window to eat. Win number three and a half?

For the final win number four? Carving of course! I have turned to balsa for now because the existing stock pile of Meranti wood are not the right sizes for carving any Whales or even Gnomes. Basically a lot more work is needed to cut them to size and I avoided this to preserve the wrist prior to the Iron Challenge golf tournament.

But now that the tournament is done and over, I am in a good place to go back to carving, first with balsa to increase the population count of my Citizens of Gigglesville and eventually back on Meranti. What a win-win-win-win situation indeed.

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.

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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