Tag Archives: gnome

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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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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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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A Glowing Gnome

4 Jan

Sometimes it’s fun to experiment with materials. I have a bottle of glow varnish purchased in the middle of last year and yet to be used on any of my carvings. One evening many moons ago, I couldn’t decide to start a new piece or simply just put the finishing touches on some existing ones. Then I remembered the Gandalf-like purple Gnome has yet to be varnished.

So I decided to give it the glow varnish to have it glow in the dark like some mystical character. But it’s hard to capture the image on my iPhone5S and I left it as is without further experimenting the effects.

Then not too long after that, I purchased a bottle of glitter gloss and I thought this might work better especially during the day. Forget the glow effect at night that might scare the bejesus out of myself.

My giant Gandalf-like purple gnome now sports a glittering beard but subtle.

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Before the add on…

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Glitter on just the beard

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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Nothing Goes to Waste, Part 2

26 Nov

When I carve my pieces using Meranti wood, the wood blocks are all at different sizes. As such, I have to cut them to the proportions I want and there’ll be wastage. Hubby felt that it’s such a waste to throw away all those excess odd pieces.

So he experimented with the leftovers, using them as a prop or base for his air plants. And with just coat of acrylic paint, no gesso, they became simple and eye-catching tabletop pieces.

I wonder if the next piece should be a bit more elaborate. Hmm? Well, there’s plenty of wood to fine tune the overall look. From balsa where the odd ends become little Gnomes, and now Meranti as props for air plants certainly nothing goes to waste.

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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