Sunday, July 22, 2018

Year 18, Week 28 , Day One (week 965)

Year 18, Week 28  , Day One (week 965)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-15-18 Sunday

91 degrees as the high, 79 as the low, blue skies with feather platter above, and puffs building over the Everglades. I am about ready to take my jacket off as it finally got warm... Very light breeze that does not really help unless you are under a very large tree. Some possible showers late in the evening. Much the same the rest of the week. The past weeks we went from regular rain to very little, in the right places.
Mom’s house is in the driest location in the county. All her plants are in pots and they are now struggling. I keep teasing her that it will rain hard right after she waters everything.
This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Department of Tourism.

Still no wood working. We had a BBQ on the Fourth. Mom’s neighbor let us use his house for our gathering. He has a yard and the little ones in our family live in a Condo. They were running and running for a good portion of the day. We used my grill, which meant I got a chance to wash it a couple days later... 
I agreed to mow his yard with the electric lawn mower I got him. It reduces the chances of him getting bothered by still storing my wood working machinery that has been in his garage since the storm last year. The front yard has about a two foot drop in 25 feet. Not a problem for me to mow. I learned to start at the house and work my way to the street so the extension cord does not get in the way. I had to lay down for an hour or two to cool down and rest after mowing one yard. The back yard is a bit more work as there are patios and a tree to go around which means twisting and turning to reach certain areas. I have to do that in two sessions, even though it is flat. I can only do one yard in a day. I need the rest of the week to recover. 
One nice thing about the electric mower, I am not spending an hour pulling a cord over and over again to get it to start. Plug it in, move a lever and pull a handle and one has a running lawn mower. It is also not as heavy as a gas mower either. 
Something I heard on a radio back in the 80s describes Florida so wonderfully.  “We are entertained by a lightning show on the way home from work. The high nitrogen in rain then fertilizes the lawns to cause them to grow vigorously. You almost need a safari to get from the street to the front door from the growth that happens. If you mow the back yard first, by the time you finish mowing the front yard, the back yard needs mowing again.  I found a great way to keep the grass under control. It is a flame thrower. It is not good at edging but it really knocks back the grass for a while......”

The week before the Forth, a friend at work gave me a skein of yarn. She said she wanted to do a project for her sister and realized she did not have the time or patience to do the project. She left the yarn on my desk. You know you have an addiction when you see something you like and you get a special warm feeling at the sight of it. 
During this time, someone spent time in the hospital and I stayed there for an hour or two on most days. During this, I took the yarn and started a scarf. I used to start my scarves at one end and go back and forth. I had a lot of trouble keeping the rows even. I started end to end and with only six to eight ends, rather than 2 or 3 hundred ends, it is easy to keep them even. 
I decided on a skip stitch scarf where you do like two stitches, then skip two with a chain, and then add two again. When you go back the other way, you put your stitches into the spaces of the row below. I had to pull the stitches out three times, once to the beginning due to mistakes. For example, one time I accidentally used 3 chains instead of two and got to the end and started the next row and saw it was not going to work. The next time I did it, I found a mistake after about 8 stitches into the second row, but adjusted for it, then about half way down, I found another mistake so I ripped it out to that second mistake. 
Once I got the pattern working, I was able to whip it out quickly. Other than a few yarn tails, I had it done by end of the weekend before the Forth. She sort of gasped when I gave it to her Tuesday. She was shocked and delighted to get it. It sounded like she was going to keep it for herself. 
I then started another scarf. This time, I did a row of the purple yarn she gave me, then a row of white, and alternated until I had three rows of white with purple on the outsides. I finished that the following weekend. I gave that to her that Monday and she was happy.
I have been working on teddy bear clothing which takes some concentration. These scarves were “mindless” and that made them fun to finish quickly. I thanked her several times for giving me the chance to do something that was pure fun. 

Having to mow the lawn eliminates most of the yard sailing. If I yard sale, It is too late and hot to do the work. It is best to get on it early morning after breakfast. We have stopped at a few yard sales that were available. There is not much that I really need.

It is interesting about technology. When a technology is superceded by something else, it is usually near perfection. With the Steam locomotives, they were already testing the adding of diesel fuel into the steam chambers after the engine was up to speed. The fuel gave a jarring push rather than an expansion that steam gave so was harder on the linkages but was still being looked at as the next step in steam locomotives. Soon after that the diesel internal combustion engine with locomotives designed around them and electric generators running the motors came into being. The diesels proved to be easier to operate, maintain and their design solved a lot of problems that steam had. 
With photography, film was nearing the maximum resolution they could get when digital cameras came into being. I have no proof but I have a feeling that modern digital cameras are near what film cold achieve. What makes digital great is you can take ten times the number of pictures, see the results instantly and not have the added expense of processing if you have a camera. 
The propeller powered plane was at the maximum speed it could go when the jet became into use. 
Battery technology is replacing corded motors. For contractors, getting an extension cord to where you needed is a real hassle. It is easier to plug in a fresh battery and get to work. The battery powered motors are getting to be as strong as the corded motors were. I know a couple contractors that only use battery powered machinery now. 
Cell phones are as powerful as desk top computer and can do so much more. Many homes no longer have a house phone at all. Everything is cell phones. 

Another thing I have seen is that as a profession gets replaced, it becomes a hobby and sometimes a small profession again. Manufacturing processes have eliminated the use of a blacksmith. Now black smithing is a hobby and a custom making business. Weaving was once done by individuals, then became a factory business, and now it is a great hobby by individuals again. The same with yarn and thread making. 
Absolutely anything that was once done as a business has now become a hobby. Some people can turn their hobby back into a business, but more for more custom items rather than for production. There is always a panache to getting something hand made. One sometimes hears where they don’t want something that is perfect, that looks like it was made by a factory, but instead something that looks hand made (has mistakes).
Early in the year, I picked up a Garman Nuvi Tracker at a yard sale. It worked nicely. A few months ago, I came across a pair of them with some accessories. These were newer models. The people I bought them from said that they were getting rid of them because their phones do the same thing. One of the units cannot seem to find the satellites. The other one works nicely. I put my old one and the new one in my truck to compare them. Much the same but there are slight differences. I would have to pay to update the maps. There are differences between the maps on what they show. For me, these are wonderful. Just seeing what is ahead of me is fantastic. There was a time recently, I went to a part of the county I am not totally familiar with. I used the address location to one place I was going, but I did not know the address of the second place I was going. I did not want to take the freeway which is a real pain at that time of the day, so I went the back way. Being able to see about half a mile to a mile ahead helped me spot the roads I needed to take and get to my destination the back way.
I don’t have an advanced cell phone so I don’t have access to mapping. These are great. Older technology that has been replaced, but still works great. 

There are no wood turning club meetings in June, July, and August. The school we meet at is closed for the summer. Two years ago, I was preparing to do a demonstration on how to make platters for the club. We had taken down the awning because of a storm that summer, and took several months before we put everything back up. By then, life got in the way. Last year, we had the storms again and have not put the awning back up because the frame needs repairs.  When ever I get to do some wood turning again, I am going to have to start all over in my learning to do the platters and figuring out how to explain what I am doing and why. 

I really need to get serious about carving. I can do that without the awning, and do it just about anywhere.  Christmas is coming and I usually do several ornaments, but several of my planned projects either failed or I am not ready to start on them yet. Most require some machine that is  packed at the back of the garage and covered in stuff. 
One idea I had recently was to turn Christmas balls and carve designed into them. I sort of avoided that idea, intending to work on more complex kind of figures. It is hard to come up with something you have not done, especially since you have done something like 50 different designs already. 

I guess I will have to see what happens next week. 

the two colored scarf I made.

The scarf I am working on now, demonstrating the skip stitch. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Year 18, Week 23 , Day One (week 960)

Year 18, Week 23  , Day One (week 960)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-19-18 Saturday

76 low 85 medium high, good humidity, carefully timed showers to prevent yard sales.  There was a few periods of sun. This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I went on line to get my week count right. When you skip a few weeks of posts, it is easy to get messed up.

Mom needed some wire shelving racks to be cut to size. These are basically flat with a rod backbone on one side. I said, “I will use my dremmel.”  First I had to remember where I hid it so I could use it. I have two dremmel boxes, one with the dremmel I use all the time, then another with all my extra bits and stuff, (along with bamboo rods for making crochet hooks) Then I had to remember where my cutting disks were. They were not in the little cup that holds most of my bits. I realized I had one of those cute little boxes in there with the cutting bits of all kinds. I then had to get the cutting bit on.  Ok, it was time to get work.
I wanted the ends to be snug with the wires going across. The first wire wore the cutting disk down in half. The second wire broke the disk. I struggled to get the screw loose, so I could replace it. I then broke a second cutting disk on that wire. I finally cut through it. I then had two thick wires to cut as part of the backbone. I got through them. I then had to cut to length and I went through two more disks. I figured out that I had a wire cutter and I could “scrunch” the remains of the disk between the holder and the screw, freeing the screw. It worked. I did not have a screw driver fine enough and I was not confident with the knife blade. It was not catching the slot right and I was concerned of a slip and cut. The nipper worked nicely.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing since not too much could be done anyway.

Year 18, Week 23  , Day two (week 960)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-20-18 Sunday

76 low 85 high, higher humidity than yesterday, mostly cloudy with clouds moving due North with pop-ups building and disappearing as they move.  This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I mentioned in my last post about a teddy bear dress I was working on in crochet. I had started the top, and was not happy with it, so I ripped it out and did the top over.  I decided this top was good enough. the total dress came out cute. Nearly all my crochet is done away from home, many times while sitting and waiting in the truck for something to open, or at the place waiting for someone to show up. It is not much time each time, but I am getting some results over time. 
Wood working is not doing well this year. My schedule, the weather, and not having the awning to work under, has killed much of what wood working I could accomplish. Considering that we are entering hurricane season, we might not set up the awning even if the frame was repaired. Most of my equipment is still at the neighbor’s house. His place is still being remodeled and my equipment is not in his way at this moment. We will see what happens when he finishes his work. 

I do hope to do a little carving next week. For right now, the air conditioner feels good. 


This teddy is more a sitting bear. She is wearing the new dress I made.

This shows t he dress a little better, with the straps running over the shoulders.

This is the back of the dress with the single back strap. 
you can see by the size of my hand that this is a TY BEANIE BABY.; 
this one is a model, the dress will likely be on a different bear. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Year 18, Week 20, Day One (week 960)

Year 18, Week 20, Day One (week 960)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
06-02-18 Saturday

Sunny some clouds 74 degrees early morning 81 mid day 81 late day. Light breeze low humidity. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism. 

Sorry I have not posted for a while. things have not been going on that I can report on. 
There were a series of wood working tool yard sales. I still don’t understand how it happened. I went to each one and somehow walked out without buying anything. I mean, the stuff they had was exactly what I would usually scarf up as fast as I could empty my wallet and I left without even a purchase. It helps that the awning in back of my mom’s house is not set up yet, it looks like it will be at least a year before it is setup. Because of that, I have no place to put anything. 
I accidentally missed the wood turning club meeting. They did film the demo by Lee Sky 
that you can view on line. It was educational even for me....

We had torrential downpours last month, before and after Albert passed by. I refuse to exaggerate how deep the water was. It was just that one night when I got home, I had to wait for a massive yacht to sail past my driveway on its way back to the ocean before I could pull into my driveway 
My mom’s neighbor’s lawn really loved the rain. We had to run an expedition using porters and guides to cross his jungle-thick lawn. Today, I stopped at a yard sale and found an electric 
(Power cord) lawnmower really cheap. The owner who was selling it had replaced his “lawn” out by the street with shells. I gave the lawn mower to my mom’s neighbor. He used it on the front lawn. The monkeys and tigers moved to the back yard. Environmentalists are fighting to prevent his mowing the back yard because of jungle habitat destruction. He is letting the homeowner’s association fight the environmentalists. The home owner’s association was angry that his yard was “a cut above the rest.”......

There are deals to be had at yard sales if you take your time (sometimes lots of time) to look. There are things I am looking for and have not seen for one or maybe two years. They are usually things that I wish I had gotten when they were available. I learned that if you are after general items, say cook books, or wrenches, or cookware, you will see them fairly quickly and just have to decide if it is exactly what you want. For specific things, you might not see them at all. Or once in a great while. An example, one family had a giant roll of leather they had taken from a couch. I wanted to buy it, but had no place to store it. That was the one and only time I have ever seen that. There is a certain type of insulated pitcher I like. I had found several in quick succession several year ago, and have not seen one available since. I think this is the third electric lawn mower I have seen in the past year or so. 
At times, when yard sailing, it comes down to “kick myself” decisions. You will kick yourself if you buy it, as you have to store it and it might not be useable for a while,  but you will kick yourself if you don’t buy it as you might not see it again. I think some products go through trends, people buy something that is popular and later unload it because it is either not what they want or they don’t need it any more. I see that often in products I have no interest in. 

Most of last month was not good for yard sales. Rain messes things up and we went weeks without a dry period.
[edit, the Fort Lauderdale Department of Tourism forbids the use of the word “Rain” in any description in this area. The official term is “Liquid Sunshine.”.]
The last few days is the first dry days we have had in a long time. People were panicking when the sun came out. They did not know what it was.
(There was an actual billboard along the highway in the Seattle area back in the 1980s that said “DON’T PANIC. IT IS ONLY THE SUN”.) If the early week weather report says that the weekend is good weather, a lot of people have yard sales. When you do not know if there will be good weather until the night before or the morning of, not many people will plan to take the chance.

A couple months back, trenching work done in the neighbor’s yard allowed me to get my hands on a couple pieces of Mango root. I carved three pixies from the really green wood. Sap was coming from the ends. A couple weeks ago, I grabbed a piece of now dried Mango root and carved another pixy from it. It is not a wood that holds detail as it will split easily. I lost a nose and had to go deeper. It is better carving than Balsa wood but is not a strong wood. The dried piece I carved came out slightly darker than the first ones I carved. I really need to touch up all of these the best I can and then use paint to add details. 

The way I usually color my carvings, is that I let the wood be the skin tone and just paint everything else. I feel that if you are going to do something in wood, you might as well show some of it. I remember my dad buying flesh colored paint. No wood showed from his work. Of course, a number of things I do is a reaction to what my dad did. My dad did a series of cowboys and their arms were straight down their sides and their legs were straight. I tend to bend knees and have the arms in front of them or something else as long as it is not straight. Yes, he was copying a popular style, but from the very beginning, I veered away from straight figurines. My forth carving was of a person kneeling. All of the fairies I have carved, which would be about six inches tall if standing, are never standing, but crouching, lounging or otherwise “folded up”. With these figurines, I am leaving a block of the raw wood they are standing on. 

I have done minor crochet. I finished a dress for a teddy bear and have a good start on another. The one I finished, I started with ten single crochet, then increased the size of the stitch as I went to the hem, then reversed it. The other one, I created a skirt going around, each with a wider stitch and many “increases” as I went around. The problem is that the skirt came out fairly flat. I am trying to figure out how to fix that. I did start the top witch is straps, but I am not happy with that. Projects like these dresses are quick, easy, and people I show them to, like them. 

I will have to see what I do next weekend. I do hope to carve on something.


back side of dress on teddy bear

front side of dress son teddy bear

my mango root men the three on the left were carved while the wood was wet. the one on the right was carved after the stick had completely dried.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Year 18, Week 13, Day One (week 953)

Year 18, Week 13, Day One (week 953)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
04-14-18 Saturday

Front was supposed to come through. It held back. Cloudy warm, windy.  75 early morning 82 high. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

Easter, I decided I wanted to relocate my computer from the “office” to the bedroom. I first had to move a whole bunch of stuff in the bedroom, finding some place for that stuff to go, then I brought my computer, tracing wires, plugs, and such. It took most of the day and the much of the next day to get it right. I accomplished little the rest of the weekend. The problem is getting the stuff where it needs to be is the easy part. The hard part is getting things where it is comfortable. I unplugged everything four times to change how things were set up. 

During the week, I moved something improperly that was on the shelf of the laptop and watched my laptop (I also have a desk top) land on the floor, right on the corner of the open screen. The screen was toast. I did remember I had a spare monitor, keyboard and mouse so I was able to make it into a desk top. A week later I got a good used monitor installed. IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE DUMB, YOU HAVE TO BE TOUGH....

The next week, I spent the weekend digging through papers, sorting them. I have an idiot in charge of where papers go. He never puts them where one would expect to find them..... It is always the most important ones that are hidden away.

This weekend, I had to do my Texas. I would have rather done Arizona, but the government requires Texas be done before April 15th. I hate tax. I prefer safety pins..... 
I used to think that tape could fix anything. I have found a few things tape won’t fix, but I will stick to my story.... I would rather use tape than tax or safety pins.

I have a stuffed animal addiction. Luckily, I have kept it well under control. If I had followed the addiction, my house would be wall to wall, floor to ceiling with stuffed animals, all of them cute and cuddly. I estimate I have about 12 standard sized stuffies, some given to me, and about 20 beany babies sized stuffies. With these, I plan on making clothing for them and giving them as gifts. That does not count the little stuffed cat that is on the dashboard of the truck, forlornly looking at me with worry as I drive. 
I had gotten a bunch of bunnies for Easter to pass out to the girls at work and at a gathering I go to. I had three I really liked that I kept out of the ones passed out, but I broke down and sent two out to a friend for her grandchildren. I did gain one. It is cute This weekend, I ended up with four TY Beany Babies. A dragon a lizard, a skunk and a lobster. I saw the dragon and had to have it and at the price, I ended up with the others. 

In crochet, I started a dress for a teddy bear. It quickly became too long for the bear I was using as a pattern, but mom suggested that I fold the top over and make it a collar. I am now making the back of the dress. I am running it straight ten stitches, then increasing the size of the stitch as it goes on down. That is causing a flair in the skirt. It is in lime green and that is eye catching.  I am considering, but have not decided on, doing another color for the front to make it more interesting. It is kind of hard to find time to crochet when a tablet with games is the competition. I even have several books on the tablet and don’t have time to read them. 

I thought about wood working, but never got near it. 

I’ve been cutting the tops of large pill bottles, such as for multi vitamins and trying to use them for pencil holders. Mom and I was talking about how they fall over so easily and a friend suggested putting some coins in the bottom. I tried it. Five to ten cents in pennies is all that is needed to keep them upright with pencils and such in them. I had never thought of it. At work I had jammed them into a corner held by things so they would not fall over. What a difference a few coins make. Since they are pennies, their loss is not great if ever stolen. One always ends up with more pennies than you need. 
I’ve been using my carving knife to slice the tops off. It is not absolutely straight and I sometimes have to do some shaving because the plastic buckled or bent while cutting, taking the knife off course. But even somewhat straight is good enough. One does not notice the tops all that much. I was doing it quick, but if you take your time and work carefully, you can get it nice and straight. I cut just below where the top curves in for the cap. I am thinking, when I get back to full time wood working, I can use these for holding tools and supplies as I work. 

This Thursday, is the wood turning club meeting. I understand they are having a tool auction there. I don’t NEED more tools. I do like to look, though.  It is good to meet up with friends, even it if is later than my normal bed time. 

I will see if I can get some wood working done now that some of the rush stuff is done. 

Will see what happens next weekend. 


Easter bunnies sent out. the blue, yellow and green in front were the ones I hung on to. I ended up keeping only the green bunny. 

The start of a dress I am working on. this will now be the back, with the top bent down for a collar. About three more rows will be when I  make the arm holes. 

these creatures attacked me and threatened great harm to me if I did not bring them home. With a deal like that, I had to accept it....

pencil cups

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Year 18, Week 10, Day One (week 950)

Year 18, Week 10, Day One (week 950)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-24-18 Saturday

61 degrees early morning, 78 late after noon. Sunny, nice breeze. Some clouds early morning which were gone before noon. Over the past few weeks, we have gotten some chilly weather. A few down below our 56 degree frost temperature we have here. It is always fun to see frosty palm trees.  We got the cold weather each time the northeast got their snow. A thin wave of a front would pass over us, about a county wide, and be gone before half the day was gone. This Weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

After Breakfast, I went out on my own. At one yard sale, I picked up two granite cutting boards. I had wanted something like them for years. Now that I have them, I am now having after thoughts about using them. I like wood as they are easy on the knife edge. I picked up a couple tools at another. 
During the first yard sale run, (I stopped back at home half way through for a pit stop since I was just a few blocks away)  I noticed I could tell the northerners from the southerners. the southerners had coats or at least sleeves. Once the sun was up, it warmed up quickly. While it was still cool, I drove most of the way with the window open. My truck has electric windows. I do see I have one little problem. I am so used to leaving the truck and simply hitting the button to lock it, I don't remember to wind up the windows, which must be done with the power on. Something to keep in mind.

There was a "community" yard sale, at a condo that had about ten people out. I picked up a pair of hot pads that a woman's friend had made. She said she did not want to ruin them by using them. They are boys clothes and girls clothes in crochet. I thought that my teddy bears would fit in them. When I got them home, I tried a bear in the dress and found that there is no hole in the body where the arms attach.. They are really cute and are giving me ideas.
I also got one of those rolling walkers where it has a seat. I had a friend who had mentioned they were interested in it. It was a really low price.
At some of the yard sales, I parked quite a distance away as there were so many cars. I ran into the situation where it was a nothing walk to the yard sale, but when I headed back, I was shocked how far I was parked away. I almost thought someone moved my truck. I made no attempt to park close at the yard sales to take advantage of easy parking.. 
The local library had a book sale this weekend. I picked up a few books. There was half the books they had last time. I told them the joke, "An author knows his book is bad when he donates his book to the library and he finds them in the next book sale." One of the woman said “that sometimes that happens.”
Before I got home, I was feeling the workout I did. I skipped a couple yard sales at the last leg of the trip. 
I mentioned the community yard sale to mom. She decided she wanted to see it. When we got there,  some people had already packed up. 

We then went to a Japanese buffet that recently opened. It was more expensive than we are used to. The food was good, but we really wanted a different set of flavors. I have said many times that “Sushi is a way to get the elite to eat rice.” Of course, we had to park a distance away since a popular grocery store was nearby. That meant I had to walk a good distance on my already tired legs. Then at the buffet, you have to walk to get your food. 
I don’t plan to do much more walking tonight.

I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 18, Week 10, Day One (week 950)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-25-18 Sunday

I went back to that moving sale I visited yesterday and last week. I could have gotten a whole bunch of tools and get them cheap, but held off. I had seen a sawsall and had talked myself out of it since I already have three. I decided If it was there, I would get it anyway. It was gone. I had some money in my pocket and should have helped him by cleaning out a lot of the hand tools. I gave most of the ones I got last week to my brother. I did get a couple items. He was happy to be rid of them. 

I am not moving well after yesterday’s exertions. From the time of the hurricane to Christmas, I was not walking hardly at all because of the foot infections I had. I ended up, after being healed,  not being able to walk any distance without discomfort. The infections are gone, but I have not done enough to get back into shape. Yesterday I was reminded about how bad a shape I still am at. I am working on it, but not enough.

I took the rest of the day off, accomplishing nothing important.  One thing I did was I had some accumulated batches of yarn I picked up over the past few months that were not put away. I also have some project yarn in the truck. I gathered all that yarn, some in bags, some loose and poured them all out. The project bag that was in the truck was showing the effects of sun and heat so I chose another bag. I did not want a bigger bag but I am not sure where smaller bags might be located. Just as I suspected, the amount of yarn and stuff the project bag ended up with was more than before. “Oh, that is a good color, I also need cotton, but if I don’t have that color, I might wish I had it.” on and on. Now I can work on new projects. 
One thing I did do is stick a set of knitting needles in there. There is a project partially done by a beginner with the needles still in place. My intention when I bought it a couple years ago was to use it to learn how to knit. Get the act of knitting down first, then work at other things such as starting and finishing.  I hope that sometime I will find the time to try it out. Looking at the way things have been going with my schedule, It will likely sitting at the hospital, keeping someone company or when we have a power out. Or possibly waiting for some work to be done on the truck.
The scarf I’ve been working on is just about finished. I just have to weave in the tails where I swapped colors. Previously, I left the yarns attached. I decided that when I finished a row, I would clip it and then start the next color. Now I have to weave in the ends. 
I am planning on making some teddy bear clothing. I will do a design I have in mind already planned, then I might try to copy those hot pads next. The rest of the yarn is sort-of put away. 
I have learned with any craft or hobby. If you choose your project, then look at the stock you have, you don’t have anything to work with. On the other hand, if you look at the stock you have, and pick a project that will use it, you will have a lifetime’s worth of stock. What I really need to do is retire and spend all my time wood working and crochet. 

I will see what I will do next week.

Year 18, Week 09, Day One (week 949)

Year 18, Week 09, Day One (week 949)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-17-18 Saturday

I forgot to note down the weather. 


I went to the turning club meeting.  It was great to reconnect to some friends. It had been since, I think, October since I was able to go. You don’t realize how much you missed them until you see them again. 
The demonstration was on the making of pens. Usually, you need a mandrel for the brand pen you are making, and the pen kit, which comes with the metal work the pen will need. What you are making in wood is the body of the pen. The mandrel will have bushings and screw knob to hold things in place. You work the ends of your wood down to match the bushings, which are the same size as the middle ring and the end parts of the pen. Usually, you turn both parts of the body the same time. 
There are preparatory work you have to do before you do the actual turning. You start with square stock. Pen blanks are available at most woodworking supply stores in exotic woods. One drills the blank first, then drive a brass tube through the hole. There are cutters one can use to true up the ends, making them square with the tube. 
After that is done, one can then do the turning. The square stock has to become round. By doing everything from the original hole, it will be balanced as you turn.
Generally, the body will be thicker in the center than on the ends for a nicer grip. With this demonstration, he had glued some veneer into the stock wood on an angle before he cut the pen blanks. It added another nice feature to the pen. 
He explained about attaching the hardware to the pen. The back has to be pressed in just the right amount so that when you push the button, the pen will extend past the end of the tip, and retract fully. He said there are “pen presses” out there, but he used a clamp that you tighten by a grip on the handle. He said he knows about how much it has to be pressed in, but he stops the first time shy of what is needed so he can sneak up on the final setting. 
He usually sands to 8000 grit, going 350, 400, 600, 1000, 2000, 6000, 8000. These are almost always hard woods that can take a polish just by sanding. He finishes it with a wax coating to bring out the gloss and he will usually buff it.
I took pictures of the stuff on display for the club. The most interesting thing on display was a light house. It was made in parts. The base was interesting. He said that he did not like the original base he had, so he took out a piece of wood with bark and turned the surfaces. His wife did not like that, so He added sand to part of the base. That was better but not good enough. He then added some shells and that really topped it off. 


Right after breakfast, we went out to find a yard sale that was for the cub scouts. We learned it was actually in April.  We did find a yard sale with several people participating. I bought a few things that can fit in a pocket. They had a couple of nice computer desks and I had to remind myself I have no place to put them if I got them.

Earlier in the week I turned my back wrong. My back was doing good today, but I was not taking any chances. I decided to go home early and stay. At home I took the time to clean up my computer desk some. I found a few things I thought I lost or forgot I had. I have come to the conclusion that the best way to save something is to hide it. It will be there years or decades later....

I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 18, Week 09, Day two (week 949)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-18-18 Sunday

Again I forgot to note what the temps were.. 

I found a moving sale. Those are usually nice. They are usually trying to unload stuff so the prices are good. Sometimes, though, they are trying to get money to make the moving easier. The guy was selling hand tools dirt cheap. The box I ended up with on the tools was heavy. The one big thing I ended up with, was a hand plane. It looks like it is in good condition. I have not checked the blade.

Mom has a golden Shower tree (yellow Tabebuia) that was tipping. It is one of the few plants in her yard that is in the ground. It was in a wooden barrel planter that rotted away. She decided she wanted to stand straight up.  She had me push on the small tree to take a bad lean out of it. It was not hard, but getting between the branches was a pain. She put a steak under the branch to hold it up. She will work on making the support better later. After a period of time, it will correct the growth to the new position. 

Someone had a washing machine that they forgot what some features were for. I went on line and located a copy of the basic instructions. We now know where to put the fabric softener and the chlorine are to be added.. It took a bit to figure out where I could find the right model number in order to find the right instructions. Then to find a site that actually had the instructions for that machine.  Even then, the instructions are for machines that don't have these features. 

I will see what I do next week.
the light house

a pen being turned on the mandrel 

Year 18, Week 08, Day One (week 948)

Year 18, Week 08, Day One (week 948)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-10-18 Saturday

67 degrees. Was predicted to be in the 50s but things changed.  The showers after one never showed up. 83 afternoon.  Light breeze. Some showers in the late afternoon from a front passing through. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

After breakfast, we went to "granny's attic" which is sort of a collector's rummage sale. there was a lot of jewelry, quite a few cook books, some dolls. there was a meat grinder but while I eyed it, I walked away without even getting a price. I told them about how I already have two, and I used to get a Boston Butt Roast, slice off steaks and then use the meat around the bone to make ground meat. The lady got a kick out of that. The second time around the place, it was gone. 
My friend of mine I got to know through yard sales was there. she had mostly jewelry but a few other things. At a different table, I glanced through THE CHILDREN’S COOK BOOK. I was disappointed that there wasn't any children used in any of the recipes......
I walked the place three times before we left. My legs knew we did a lot of walking. it is so much easier to walk with a shopping cart.
We stopped at a multi family yard sale. It was at the house of an old man who has done many yard sales over the years. I think he is in his 90s. It was good to see him. I got a folding cloth covered box. I have several of these, but have no idea where they are right now. 

After we got back, I headed out on my own. I stopped at one yard sale, then took my truck to be serviced.
I played a few games on my tablet, then started on the scarf  I have had in process for a while. I finished the last row of red&black, then saw that the black&white needed to be balled. I balled up both of them using my method to allow them to pull out the center, then got half way through the B&W before I ran out of time. This is the last row, then I need to clean up the ends. They worked faster on the truck than I expected, and also I beat two levels in candy crush so that took me longer.  My truck is good for another 5 k before service again.

The neighbor’s remodeling is picking up steam. Contractors were digging a trench in the back yard for the electrical plumbing. It is sand so it is easy to dig. The problem is both him and his partner are in bad shape due to heavy schedules they have had to work during the week... 
I love hard work. Bone bending, muscle pulling hard work. I can sit and watch it all day. 
I sat and watched them and sometimes talked to them while I was carving. The first rocking horse/laying dog might not be recoverable. I had popped a leg off and it is not gluing right. I should take the time and dig out a couple clamps. 
I started another one and it is coming along nicely. At this point, this one almost looks more like a Saint Bernard than the hound I had planned. That is not too bad for a rough carving.
The guy had to cut a few roots from the Mango tree. I need to go out and grab them and hang onto them. At the moment, they are very easy to carve. A couple slices goes right through the wood. Unlike branches and stems, roots don’t require strength. They are just to draw nutrients from one place to another. 
I have no idea what they will be like when they dry. The last root I had was soft and mainly fibers when it had dried. 
I intend to carve some elves in the wood. 

I will see what I will do tomorrow

Year 18, Week 08, Day Two (week 948)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-11-18 Sunday

66 morning, 79 in the afternoon. Cloudy with some expected showers coming tomorrow. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

The contractor was here again and because it is supposed to rain really hard tomorrow, he needed to get the pipe in and covered or it would float up, messing things up.
His partner was not able to come because he was hurting too much. I had little important to do so I  helped him with some things. Holding the pipe on the end to keep it moving as he pushed a fitting on, handing him stuff while he was in the trench, and just talking to him. He was sore and wore out when he started burying the pipe. He said he will likely come and fill in the trench some more in a day or so.. 
I am not in great shape either. I can walk all the isles of large grocery stores if walking behind a cart, but it is hard work walking around the house to get to the back. The thing I do best at this moment, is to sit. I am an expert at that. 

While watching him, I grabbed the mango roots and decided to carve on them. Green as they are, these are too soft to get details in. I roughed out three figures and will let them dry before I work on them more. 
I love how I have not forgotten anything about carving. I still see the figures inside the wood and can release the excess wood to show what was hiding in there. 
There are two things that one has to have to carve. One is a mind’s eye picture of what the figure is supposed to be with an idea of what wood has to be removed to get to it, and then the skill of placing and moving the knife to make the cuts that have to be done. I have not lost either of those. 
I have done light carving so far so I have not developed blisters or sore spots on my hands. I don't have the callouses I once had. There have been many times where I did a lot of carving, then stopped for one reason or another, then when I pick up the knives again, I have to develop the callouses again. The mango roots were like carving on a very hard vegetable. The knife went through the root nicely. I once had some strangler fig root and it was light fibrous when it was dry. Will be interesting to see how these dry. They are on the window sill in my bedroom. 

I will see what I do next week.
pieces of mango root. It had some white sap came from portions of the bark while it was really fresh. .