Monday, December 27, 2010

12-27-10 Did You Write?

12-27-10 Did You Write?

It is that time of the week again, the time to report how you did this week. Many among us struggle to write three times a year, let alone once a week or every day. Life loves to get into the way of writing. There are times when life cannot be held off long enough to open a project.
This note is to allow you to brag about your accomplishments, cry about your failures, and otherwise tell about what is going on in your life.
By reporting what happened, even if you failed to write, this note provides a prompt, an incentive to open something up even if there is to write a couple words or change a sentence. The idea is to try to develop a habit to write regularly, which could eventually result in writing "The End" on a project. The writing each week might bring forth a project that you will want to work every day on. At least that is the hope. The main thing is to get people to write, and posting on this note, whether you write or not, is my method of getting that to happen.



I did write, I was reducing the size of my story in progress. I did not work as much as I hoped to because much of the past week was getting ready for the Christmas Holidays. If I had worked my normal time on the story, I doubt I would have reduced it by too much. This is hard work as every sentence feels like it is needed. removing them takes a number of passes over a passage.
This week, I removed only 204 words. for this whole editing pass, I have only removed 2000 words and still have over ten thousand words to remove. I will eventually have to remove some major scenes.

I am keeping up on the story idea front. I have 53 story ideas in my compost pile. all the ideas I posted this week came out of my head the past two weeks. The top ten are interesting. I am not sure about anything below that. I have had a good couple weeks of ideas appearing. Makes up for weeks where nothing comes, though I would rather not have nothing weeks...

This year, the Christmas presents were either purchased from yard sales over the past several months or they were items I made by my own craftiness. Everybody seemed quite satisfied with the results.
I painted two sets of Christmas cards and they were well appreciated. It was some hard work but I liked the results better than any purchased cards. For one thing, there is a limited number of them that cannot be picked up anywhere else. Also, picking something off the shelf has a different dynamics than taking the time to actually make them.
The same went for presents I made out of wood or yarn. Rather than grabbing something off a shelf, I spent a lot of time thinking about it long before it was given.
Because of this effort, I had more fun giving than in any year I ever had. I did not even care if I got anything. That was a wonderful feeling. I did get some gift cards, though.

For a story idea. one might have a society where one just pushes a button to give someone a gift. One can give to one person or thousands, and one can give the same thing or a thousand different things with no more effort.
One person chooses to do something different this time. she actually goes to the supply houses, searches for and picks up the items she wants to gift, and delivers them personally to the people who are getting them. By doing it personally, there is conversation, eye contact, and sometimes physical contact, which people normally do not experience on a normal basis. She also gets to meet all those different people which is a joy since everybody spends most of their lives in cubicals or rooms.
Because she is gone all the time, she does not get many of the things sent to her cubical. She is satisfied that she actually meets people personally, which is a better present than anything they could hit a button and give her.

As to the question of the day, I can honestly say

YES I WROTE!!!
Though not as much as I wanted to.

DID YOU WRITE?

Week 572 Wood Working

year 10, Week 50, Day One (week 572) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 12-26-10 Sunday

56 degrees early morning, and a front passed with a thin line of weather. 64 when I arrived, 62 when I left in the afternoon. a cold front passed and it will be in the 30s tonight. Brooding clouds early morning, becoming widely spaced puffs with sunshine. Strong winds sapped any heat one developed as it was too warm for a coat and too cold to be without one. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of tourism.

During the week,

I finished my first batch of cards and gave them out. I then painted a second batch of the same design, but done differently, for a much better effect. I got a lot of comments from the first batch of cards. the family got the second batch and loved it.
I ended up with three spare cards, and will be giving a friend one of them. One I was keeping for my own collection of painted cards.

I gave the bosses some of my woodworking. My supervisor had given me some wood several months ago. I made a coin cup, a platter, and the bowls for two goblets from the wood. I finished the goblets using different woods, and gave my supervisor the two goblets. One of the other bosses had given me a piece of wood and I turned it into a saucer and gave him that. I gave another boss the Sea grape pencil cup I made last week, and another boss who has been my benefactor by buying a lot of my woodworking, got a set of mahogany saucers. some of what he got from me is played with by the children. this boss, and many of the other people in the office got my cards. One of the people there had commented when I showed a plate I made, that I should make a bunch of them, they should sell. I gave him a set of four plates out of yellow pine. His Wife E-mailed me, thanking me for them and saying I had a lot of talent.

Christmas Eve, Friday

when we open our presents, I gave my brother some machine stuff another friend gave me, a caldron for melting metal, and a trim router. I gave my mom three pencil cups, and two wash cloths I made. My sister in law got a wash cloth and some kitchen utensils. My niece in law got pans. My nephew and nieces got money and some cheap stuff.
Everybody appeared to appreciate what they got. I got some gift cards and will use them.
I saw it last year, but truly understand it this year. We are always told that it is better to give than receive. I spent a lot of time making or finding things to gift and found that a real joy. By the time Christmas came around I did not care if I got anything. I was happy with the effort I gave and watching their faces as they opened their presents.
We had a wonderful Christmas and I well over ate as we had snacks and munchies to have as things became available.


Christmas Day. Saturday

I had forgotten to load up my carving kit last week so I had to work on something else. My brother and I decided to finish up some tools we were making. He had already cut the bar in half as it was in his way and he needed a piece of it anyway.
In our previous session, which may well have been last Christmas, we had turned some narrow sections on the shaft, and then machined the top flat.
today, we drilled and tapped the holes for screws, and then cut the pieces in half. The narrow shafts were cut in half, and then the wide areas were also cut in half so I ended up with five pieces, which came apart "face to face, shaft to shaft."
We putzed around on other things but that was really all the work we did. Of course we over ate again, but this time was a Thanks Giving style meal.

Boring bar, bit holders and one bit.

Sunday

I got to Mom's house early. I went out side, fed and petted the cats. I got my equipment out and had ideas for some projects. I had a little problem. the stuff I needed was buried deep in the shed.
One of the plastic shelving was buckling. I decided I needed to fix it. That meant emptying half the shed.
I first had to clear out most of the floor. there was a lot of junk in there. I then started emptying the shelves, and realized that the sheet stock spanning between the two side shelves needed to be emptied out. There were loads of bug droppings on the floor. When I put the sheet stock back, I looked carefully at each sheet to make sure no bug eaten wood went back up. I really found only one sheet, though there was another where the bugs would "come up for air" and then dive back down, leaving a very shallow trace. The sheet with the most damage got tossed.
I then finished emptying the shelves than must be emptied.
I ran across a lot of stuff I forgot about, or did not know we had. I had not realized how deep one of my projects was buried.
I dismantled the damaged shelving, and then swept the floor. I reassembled the shelving with the buckled part on top, and the best shelves on the bottom. We should get a few more years of use out of these shelves before we have to do this again.
I started placing stuff back in place, changing the layout as I went. A lot of my stuff is still hidden, but I have a good idea where they are, for now.
It is mainly the sheet stock spanning the two shelves that caused the problem. that is a heavy load and while it is supported in two other places, most of the weight is there as we want access to the small sheet stock.

I picked up some screws to fit the pieces I helped my brother make. When I was about to work on them, my brother showed up. I out the screws into place into the pieces, a few had to be forced in to work in the threads.
I then mounted one of the pieces in my boring bar and turned on the grinder. I moved side to side, turning the piece, getting rid of the sharp shaped edges everywhere except for the top where we machined it flat. This was so it would not catch on the wood. I ended up shaping two of these, which does not take long.
I then cut a piece off a planer blade. It had a whole at the right spot and I mounted that onto the fitting. I have not had a chance to try it yet. I left the end square and this is going to be for cutting straight into the wood from the end for things such as pencil cups.
Tomorrow I will cut off a couple more and shape them so they will be for scraping inside or out in other shapes. I have five of these fittings so I can have five different bits to swap between. Of course, I can change the bits themselves.
By making my own bits, I can make exactly what I need for the project I am doing.

I was searching for two fairies I had in process. One was made years ago. My dad was making two of everything, and keeping the best while trying to sell the other. I decided I would make two of everything too, then realized I was only working like eight hours a weekend, while my dad was working ten hours a day. I finished one and let the other one go into my incompleted junk pile. I got an idea for finishing this one. It is the same shape as the completed one, but I can do a different setting.
the other project was a fairy I was carving where I ended up with the wrong wood. It was not as strong as the Basswood I thought it was. I decided I would try to finish it. I found that one arm broke off so I glued that back on. I can see where I need to work, and I can see I need to do modifications in a few places. I happen to have another block of that wood so I can cut pieces for what I need. I stopped this one as the wood was wrong, but I think I can fix the problems. It will be good with the scene I was planning for it.

Checking the rain and sitting pretty
blanks for fairies


The strap on the dress vase I made last week broke. I cut a piece of wood from the same branch that came from and glued it on the space after I ground back the break area a bit more to give me more surface to glue to. Tomorrow I will grind the repair until it matches the existing, then finish shaping the piece.
In my digging, I think I found two more pieces that might make good dress vases. I will have to see when I examine them more.

I am off tomorrow, so I will be gong to do woodworking again. I will finish the dress vase, finish the pieces and cut more scraping bits for the lathe, and then choose a project to give them a good try.
it will be cold but like I need to work when it is hot, I will work when it is cold.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.



year 10, Week 50, Day One (week 572) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 12-26-10 Sunday

45 degrees early morning, a lot warmer than predicted, 55 degrees as the day high while I was working. Blue sky, deliciously warm sun, brisk wind that sapped some heat from you. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I started the morning by feeding the backyard beast and Scarface. They were hungry this morning. The backyard beast has a really thick coat. Of course, it is cold and it is winter.

I took out the remains of the planer blade I am making bits out of and made several two more bits. One comes to a point, and the other is rounded, sort of D shaped. I gave them a test by taking a four by four yellow pine and starting on another pencil cup.
One bit is pointed like and arrow. That would be for boring or for scraping with one edge.
Another bit is D shaped and that is for shaping rounded forms like the inside of a rounded vase.
The third piece is square and I made that for cutting straight in with a clean straight side.
These bits are not the best shaped bits, but work for the most part. The pointed one is a bit long and a good catch could snap it off.


boring bar bits

Yesterday, I cut a piece of oak and glued it onto the dress vase to be a strap. Today, I dragged the extension cord out to where I could sit in the sun and plugged in the dremmel. I shaped the strap, thinning it, creating the right curves, and blending it. It came out pretty good. there is a slight color difference, but I think that if I soak it in wipe-on varnish as I had done with the rest of the dress vase, it might blend even better. Even so, one has to look to see it.
I used the wrong colored filler for some worm holes and will hide it with paint to blend them in. I have done that before quite successfully.

I had found two wooden flowers that I had started a long time ago and never did anything with. yesterday, I added skewers to be the stem. Today, I took the Dremmel and modified them so they look a bit more like they have petals. Not spectacular, but it is a few more flowers in my collection.



Miniature daffodil


Conical flower


I left kind of early. I stopped at Home Depot to get a sanding disk for my disk sander. I never saw any. I will go to sears at the next opportunity. I then stopped at a friend's shop and forgot that it was Monday, not Sunday when he is usually there. Oh well.

Now I will work on the dress vase during the week and see if I can finish it up. I have some carvings I want to dig into and finish up. I have ornaments to finish up for next year and to get rid of some blanks that are accumulating.
I would like to get with a friend next Monday, which I have off, and see if I can teach him to carve. I need to make up some blanks for the demonstration.
I want to make more turning bits for my boring bar and give them a real test to see if they work as well as I think.

I will see what I actually do next week.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gift bag and after the event.


Black and orange gift bags with presents painted on them.


I picked up some Halloween gift bags at a yard sale last month. I decided to make use of them this year for Christmas. I figured at the time that black and orange was not in the holiday spirit, so I rough painted presents on them. I made use of the "dry wash" of the brush, showing the direction of the stroke, to show the different sides of the presents.
After the fact, I don't think anybody would have complained about not having any decorations, but I did notice that at the end of the day, people's unwrapped goodies filled the bags.

The cards went over well. People enjoyed them. I likely gave less in money than anybody else, but I did not see anybody who was disappointed with what I gave out. They seemed to be the right thing. I did get one comment on liking bags.
I heard several comments on loving the ornaments, and I got a card from someone who got my ornaments last year, who still cherish them.
My making things to give, went well with other gifting.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Painting own cards

Years ago, I painted some Christmas cards and everybody liked the effect. I skipped a couple years, and then started painting them again. I have found that the hand painted cards are thought of as a gift in and of themselves.

I find I have to paint two, sometimes three batches, depending on how many people I am giving cards to. My first batch is usually mailed out and given to friends. My second batch is usually for family.

The way I paint these cards is to apply one color, doing one thing, at a time on the whole set. Then do the second color and one thing. I keep doing this, building up colors and design until the card is finished. It can take several days to do cards this way, though, with a simple design, I have done them in one day. The drying of the paint is the slowest part of it.

I am using bottles of craft paint such as JO ANN ESSENTIALS, FOLK ART, CRAFTER’S EDITION, CERAMICOAT to name a few of the brands I have in my paint box. The brand never matters to me.

The hardest part is coming up with a design. It cannot be complex as I don’t have too much time and a dozen cards is a lot of work. My skills and my tools are not up to the level of master artist either.

Presents are generally easy to paint as they are basically squares with Xs on them. Trees are very easy to paint also. This year, though, I decided to go with something a little different. I decided on a cornucopia. I did not want to paint fruit as that would take a bit more skill than I have, and getting the right blend was going to also be a bit tough, so what I did was to use presents instead.

My first batch of nine cards were spray painted to hide a charity design on them. I then started my painting and quickly realized I had forgotten a bunch of steps as I worked. I worked through them, not satisfied with the results but was getting results. They did not live up to my desires when they were done. It was when I was handing them out, that I learned how good they were. I then started seeing the quality in them. Still not up to my intention, but they were not bad.

My first batch of cards this year

I just finished my second batch of cards. I planned a bit farther ahead. These were on some card stock I purchased at the store. I painted the decorative edge first, then the background. When I started on the cornucopia, I thought I messed up horribly. I corrected it somewhat, and decided I did not have time to do it right, but quickly saw that I did not have to worry. The results were acceptable.

I planned farther ahead on this batch. I made design changes too. I recently did a three dimensional drawing at work and did not like the two dimensional presents I did in the first batch of cards. I used brush strokes to make the sides and top of the first presents in the right relationship, then it dawned on me I could emulate the same thing in what amounted to one brush stroke, though it required more than just one. After the paint dried, I would use a pen to define the edges of the packages. That hid or reduced several minor errors in the process.


I still did not do the painting properly, but given the time I had to work, what I did was pretty good. I would have had to layer the colors a lot more and it would take weeks rather than a couple days to paint these.

The message inside the card says “MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!” and then “May your blessing from last year be fruitful and multiply.” I did misspell fruitful but was able to put in the I on them, some look right too.


My second batch of cards

I will say that making my own cards is far more satisfying than picking one out on the store rack. They are limited edition and all mine.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Did You Write? 12-20-10

Did You Write? 12-20-10

This is the place to brag about your accomplishments, cry about your failures, and otherwise tell about what is going on in your life.

For those of us who don't write often, this note is to entice everybody to write, at least some time during the week. We know the note is coming up and one wants to report what has happened in the week, so one opens some work in progress.
Even if that is all that actually happens, is not bad, but if one works on it, that much is better. A little writing each week amount to a lot of writing by the end of the year. This is especially important to those of us who writes once every couple months.

I list what writing is in most of these notes, but am short on time. Just check the earlier notes to see a suggested, but possibly incomplete list of what can be writing. If you have to ask, the answer is yes it is writing.

I have had a very busy and late days the past few days and had not been able to work on my work in progress. I am trying to cut down the word count to fit into a publication. I stopped with a rather jumbled scene as I was swapping action around. It bugs me but I have not had a chance to get to it. As I was, I only removed 1519 words. Another twelve thousand to go.

On the story idea front, Ideas suddenly flowed in this week. I don't have time to do a full count, but not counting the ones I posed, I have 13 brand new story ideas on my compost pile. they are too fresh to sink yet, and feel like all might be post-able right now. I love weeks like this.

I somehow got my first batch of Christmas cards done, and more than enough new ornaments completed. Tomorrow I will ship out the last of my stuff to be mailed. I now have to make a new batch of Christmas cards and wrap a bunch of things. Considering I did not start wrapping until Christmas Eve last year, I am doing well. I also painted my second batch of cards on Christmas eve. For once, I planned ahead.

As to the Question of the week,

YES I DID WRITE

DID YOU WRITE?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Week 571 Woodworking

year 10, Week 49, Day One (week 571)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-18-10 Saturday

75 degrees, a few passing drips in the morning, then rapidly moving clouds. After noon, the drips started ganging up until we were getting really good showers of Liquid Sunshine. The front almost passed after I got home. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

The battery of Mom's van died last night and she got a jump to get home, but it did not start this morning. We went and got a new one. The hardest part was to find a wrench or socket of the right size. I had stuck the wrench where I would easily find it, and never looked there till a bit later. I dropped two wrenches down the front of her engine and only one came out the bottom. Never did find the second one.

My first woodworking project was to do one final act on the dress vase I've been making. Last week I got a bunch of beads at a yard sale. I found one that was sort of like a flower and glued that in front of the blemish of the wood so it looked like a buckle. I got some straight pins and drilled through the hole of the bead, I cut the pin short, and after adding a little glue, I put the pin into the hole to make sure the bead did not come out. Looks good.
I showed it to a friend and he said not to let it go for less than a couple hundred bucks!!!

finished dress vase


I took a fork of a sea grape branch and mounted it on the lathe. At first I thought I could make it into another dress vase but it was too short. I turned the inside first, leaving the bark on.
I was given a replacement chuck for a drill and had previously fitted into the chuck as a test. Well, I tried it again and the chucks would not close down enough. I removed the Cole Jaws off my newest chuck and used that to hold the drill chuck.
I fitted a Forsner bit into it and figured out that I needed to hand hold the piece in my hand and guide the bit through the wood. I got a good start, then decided that this was not the easiest way to work. Instead, I sat down with an aggressive bit in my dremmel and ground away the wood.
I had to clean the bit twice while removing wood as the still green wood clogged up the bit. this bit is like a wheel and has hundreds of spikes, burrs, sticking out. this bit has long burs, but still it clogged up.
I used some acetone to try to soften the gunk. I tried a brush, a knife point, and ended up sticking a brass wire brush on the dremmel and used that to clean the burs.
What I ended up with was a creamer with bark on the outside. It looks interesting.


Creamer server in Sea Grape


One of the bosses at work was working with a pine board. I commented that I make plates out of that wood. He left a small piece in my office. I mounted it on the lathe with one of my wood face plates, and made a little platter out of it. I made the bottom first, with the center up against it as I do not trust double sided tape. I had a post where the tail stock fit to the piece.
I then turned it around, removing the face plate and using a drive spur. It had a slight wobble, but I continued anyway. I was keeping a knot in the rim and the grain of the wood gave me a few minor catches. Because white pine is soft, the spur ate up the post on the bottom as the spur spun in place. Each time it did that, it changed the wobble slightly.
I used the dremmel to remove the remains of the posts and the dig of the spur. It came out pretty good for a quick project. Needs some sanding but whether it actually gets it is something else.


white wood platter

I finished up a couple Tunisian Crochet hooks I made last week. I will be testing one of them this week to see how well it works. they all need to be tested just a little.
I sanded on the two natural edged Walnut bowls I made, I had not used care when sanding and did not put a lot of sanding time into them as I should. When I added some varnish, all sorts of blemishes and scratches showed up. I sanded at some of the messes to clean them up. I will see how they look tomorrow.

I stopped at a friend's shop and showed him my work. He said I was improving. He gave me a whole bunch of stuff in the process as he is trying to make room in his shop. I also got a piece of wood where the heart wood bleeds red when it gets wet. Part of it has the right shape for a dress vase so I will give it a try.

I was basically finishing up when the weather started sneaking in. I got a whole lot done which was a surprise. I picked up a few tricks in the process.

I will try that new wood tomorrow, starting by drilling the hole for the vase first thing, then worrying about shaping it. I have some projects to finish up also. The weather should be good so that won't limit the work I do.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.


year 10, Week 49, Day two (week 571)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-19-10 Sunday

64 degrees when I arrived, 66 as a high, then dropped down to 63. It was a high solid shield of cloud cover all day long, only to break up and the sun came out as I was packing up. A brisk breeze took some of the heat out of you. It was cool enough to wear a light coat, but not cool enough to make it worth wearing a coat. The ground was wet when I got to Mom's house but dried out as the day went on. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of pompano Beach department of Tourism.

I spent my morning sorting stuff that will be gifted. I have a long ways to go, but made great headway. The worst part was I was thinking I had one more weekend to get things done. Nope....

I got to Mom's house and after feeding the backyard beast and Scarface, I considered my next project.

I picked up the piece of oak I first considered for a dress vase, and saw that it really could become a dress vase. My first project was to make tenons on it so I can hold it in the chuck. I mounted the wood so the flair was by the head stock and I made a tenon for the chuck to hold the opposite end. I then flipped it around and made a tenon on the base. Flipping it around again, I readied to drill the vase hole in it.
Yesterday, I was given what is called a Jacobs Chuck. this is a drill chuck that is fitted onto a taper. Drills, lathes, and many other machines use a taper that simply wedges into the shaft. It seldom turns due to the friction, but a rap will knock it out.
I removed my tail stock point, which is a taper, and then put the Jacobs chuck in place. I put a fornser bit in and slowly drilled into the end of the turning wood, cranking the drill in and out with the tail stock. I had to move the tail stock in a couple times.
I used a smaller bore because I had to carve the outside of the wood, but used a larger bit so I could get the end of the chuck into the wood a bit deeper. Even so, the hole is not deep enough. I need to look into getting an extension for these forsner bits.
I then took a hand drill and drilled holes into the side for the arm holes.
Finally, I started shaping the piece, a ring bulged out for the breasts, a square bulge where the belt goes. Once I had it the way I wanted, I turned it back around and removed the tenon on the bottom and put a ridge to lift it slightly off the shelf. Because of the shape of the base, which is narrow and long, the ridge appears only at two spots.

The rest was carving it with the dremmel. I intended to have it as a Marilyn Monro type dress where it goes around the neck so the back is open, and the straps are only in front, but getting too thin next to the arm hole forced me to change to the two strap design. the straps was too thin to support the design I intended. I got thin because I had the grinding bit that I cut away the excess wood at the wrong angle.

There were some worm holes in it, and I found some live worms in a couple of them. I filled the holes with the wrong colored filler. I will hide them with some creative painting.
I got it home and did find where I broke through on one strap. I will splice a piece of wood on that part of the strap to make it stronger.


Front and back of the dancing dress vase


I will see about finishing it up next week since I will have some days to play.

When I visited the club member's shop yesterday, he gave me a piece of LOG WOOD. It is rare down here. It is a wood where the sap wood is white, and the heart wood is red. The heart wood will bleed a red stain if it gets wet, which can be removed with lemon juice or possibly vinegar.
He gave me a piece that has a nice flair that will make another good dress vase. I chose not to use it because the ground was wet. I will use it on a dry day so I don't make a big mess.


I finished this two color Tunisian Crochet this morning. I show the front and the back (the striped side). It really shows how the stitch works.


I am nearly finished with my first batch of nine painted Christmas cards. I then have to do another, possibly bigger batch, ten, possibly more. Will see.

Next weekend is Christmas. I have Monday off. I have to get all my work done on things to be gifted by Friday. We open our presents The night before, so the children can have all Christmas day to play with their toys. We get together Christmas day for a big family dinner. I will have Sunday and Monday to do woodworking.
I usually arrive early Christmas Day and carve, but since I totally forgot about bringing my carving kit, I will either work metal, read, or crochet. I do have carving stuff I can gather from here, but won't bother.

I will see what I actually do next weekend.

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010 DID YOU WRITE?

December 13, 2010 DID YOU WRITE?

Another week has arrived. Is this note helping you write, or do you ignore it? Are you using it just as a diary to report your writing?
For me the answer is Yes.....
The idea is to prompt the SOMETIMES writers to write regularly, hopefully becoming a habit. Writing something within a week is reachable. We are not asking for writing a novel or even a complete story within a week. Just asking to write ANYTHING within the period of time.
What you write is up in the air too. It can be new writing, editing even if it is someone else's, critiquing, writing assignments, technical writing, poetry, character or world creation, blogging, articles, and even E-mails can be writing if they are wordy and pertain to story or writing. IF YOU HAVE TO ASK, THE ANSWER IS YES, IT IS WRITING.
Also tell about what is going on in your life. It is fun to go, "They do all of that and still write that much?? Wow, I am going to have to get off my duff." It is also good to know if someone is having problems so we will know if they do not show up for a while, we have some idea why.

As for me, I got to the end of my work in progress. Seeing THE END was nice. The word count was not. I still have to cut the story in half to fit into the publication it is aimed for. In snipping sentences and removing paragraphs, I cut out 4567 words. that helped, but not enough. Now I have to actually remove scenes. That is going to hurt. When I started over again, I found I had already removed some scenes I expected to be there. One scene is very big and it is going to get cut badly. It will be more an impression of the scene, showing just the action, rather than the whole scene. I have to do that to other key scenes. this is going to hurt bad... I love all those scenes and feel every one is needed.


It is early in the month so story idea counts are not a problem. I am keeping up.
I have dug into my compost pile and only have 43 ideas in the stack including what I am posting tonight. I have lost half a dozen story ideas this past week because I could not/did not write them down in time. I hate that. It happens though. One I got at night, rolled over and went back to sleep and lost it.

I am displaying my Christmas ornaments, but have not sold anything. I will be shocked if I do. I also have nearly all the presents I am making, made. I need to lay out all my stuff and figure out who is getting what. It has changed over time and I want to get it right, and early. I just have to finish a couple little items.
I am about ready to start painting my Christmas cards. I hope two dozen will be enough. I will likely do each dozen with slightly different graphics. I am also early on this so unless I find I have to make another batch Christmas Eve, I should be ready well in time.

As to the question of the week, I can honestly say,

YES, I DID WRITE

DID YOU WRITE?

Week 570 Woodworking

year 10, Week 48, Day One (week 570)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-11-10 Saturday

54 degrees early morning, 75 degrees in the afternoon, light breeze, lots of sun but lots of high plate clouds which got heavier to the west as the day went on. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach department of Tourism.

The starter we replaced last week is working nicely. There is a few times where it does not start, but we think it is a module on the steering wheel. That is fifty bucks. It is starting nicely right now so that is not something that must be dealt with right now.

During the week, I had my ornaments on display at work. No one was showed interest in buying anything. That is expected. I am about to pick some items out for gifting.

My ornaments all on display


Someone was throwing out a brief case. I took it and found that it was locked. I figured out that they had no idea what the combination was. I sat down and systematically tried the numbers on the three dials. Because of the number combo they used, I picked it in fifteen minutes. A different combination would have taken a couple hours.
The red velvet box I have used for my ornaments over the years have taken a beating. To help the display of my ornaments, I had used an old brief case I used for Drafting tools ages ago. This morning I was going to replace the brief case as the imitation leather trim was pealing off. I opened both brief cases and as I was telling mom what I was about to do, the loop that locks the velvet case came loose. In that instant, Instead of saying I was replacing the brief case, I said I was replacing the velvet box.
that velvet box was a display case for perfume, I think. It had a cardboard insert with form fitting holes and a velvet cloth that went over the cardboard. I seem to think I got it in the second or third year of displaying my ornaments. I do remember I had more ornaments than easily fit in the box with the cloth separating layers.
For something that was designed to be used just a few times, I got a lot of years out of it. It can be repaired, but I have to decide whether it is worth my efforts. Not this Christmas, anyway.
I laid out all my ornaments and photographed them, then re-stacked them in the two brief cases.

We Yard sailed after breakfast. I picked up a whole bunch of beads at a good price. I was after some stone beads to make inlays, but the rest of them are quite useable in some ways for decorating something. I had considered several times in some stores to pick up some beads, but always held off. This saves me there.
I got a few other items, but that was my big haul.

Beads I got.


The beast of the back yard and Scarface was in back early morning. In the afternoon, The beast came to me several times for attention. I have a feeling that I was not doing it right, because he seemed to be disappointed when he left me. He did lay in the warm sun for long periods during the day.

One project was to work with some knitting needles and crochet hooks I am making. I had a piece of cut-off wood still in the chuck of the lathe. I put a small hole in it and used that to drive the hooks and needles while I sanded them more. I have more work to do but that was a good start on them. I need to go to finer and finer sandpaper, but that will be done by hand.

I had started a dress vase a couple months ago. I made the mistake of making it out of oak. I found that drilling it out was harder than I ever expected. I never got deep enough when I finally gave up. Last week, I remove the tenons to hold it on the lathe and decided to finish it up.
Today, I shaped the top where I had drilled the arm holes a while ago, and then ground away most of the ring that ended up being the breasts. I originally made ti with the bark still on the lower dress but the bark took a beating. I removed the last vestiges of the bark today. I have more sanding on it to polish it up but it looks pretty good. I will try to make another one, but with a different wood. The porcelain dress vases I am basing this on, had several strap styles and I might copy them in the next designs.

Dress vase. Notice belly button.


I repaired several Sea urchin ornaments I have. One was missing the piece that had the eye hook, another the dangling final was on a bad angle and another had a piece missing that needed fixing. they all look better now. One still needs work, though.

I worked on two goblets I made last week. They were both slightly tipped because of the way I made them parts. I sanded the bases on a slight angle and that straightened them out. I also sanded them some. They need more sanding and varnishing to complete them.

I emptied out my drill kit box and res-tacked it. I have more room in there. I found a fabric strap which I used in a later project. I condensed a number of things so they MIGHT be easier to find when I need them.

I took Mom's old water heater to my brother's house. He might make it into a forge, which would be easy to do. It could also end up in the garbage too. We will see. I keep forgetting that tall stuff must go on the driver's side so they don't interfere with viewing on the passenger side. This was, though, one of the reasons I got the truck.

At my brother's house, he put me to work. He had pulled a muscle in his back and I helped him with several projects. He pulled the engine from a muscle car my nephew crashed. I helped him get it off the lift and out of the way. I also helped him move some stuff around.
That strap I found in my drill box had a ding in it so the clamp did not close properly. I took a file and got the distorted metal out of the way of the grip on the clamp. I had tried a punch but could not get things in the right position to work. It is soft metal, likely aluminum so it took little effort. I had used that strap to hold the water heater in place.

Today was more about piddling around with small projects. I haven't a clue what will happen tomorrow. I have a number of projects to work on, many need to be finished, some ideas on new projects.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.



year 10, Week 48, Day Two (week 570)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-12-10 Sunday

76 degrees, strong blue sky, light breeze in the morning that got strong as the day wore on. It is supposed to get down into the 30s, either tonight or tomorrow night. I will have to drive out onto the ice shelf (The frost temperature here in South Florida is 56 degrees) to get around the glacier (coming off the highest natural point in the county of 29 feet above sea level) as it tries to the sea.
This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

Both cats were out to be fed. I did not give them enough attention while they ate as I was taking care of some stuff, going in and out of the house and front. The beast of the back yard got shorted during the day on attention as I was busy and he also spent a lot of time sleeping.

I went out to put something in the garbage can. It was empty except for something furry. I wondered why mom was throwing that out and wondered if it was something I should rescue for my use. I kicked the garbage can and the furry thing moved. It was a Opossum.
I told Mom about it who suggested I let it go. I was not going to let it go around the cats. Opossums have been known to kill cats. I took it out to the street and laid the garbage can down, took some more pictures, then kicked the bottom of the garbage can from behind, driving it out. It moved with good speed across the street and into a neighbor's yard.


The possum in the trash can

I decided I would start with something new. I cut a piece of Sea Grape that had a fork on the end, with the intention of making a natural edged vase. Measuring it and examining the slight bend of the wood, I cut it short. I then decided to do something with the cutoff first.
I made a pencil cup where part of the natural wood, with the bark removed, is still visible. Being green wood, it cut nicely. Everything went well with it, where the lathe did not fight me.

I was sanding the dress vase and realized there is the remains of a knot right in front that looks like a belly button. I checked with Mom and she agreed that making a belt around the waste and sticking a jewel or something right over the blemish would be a good idea.
I mounted the vase on the lathe using a stick, stuck in the chuck, to turn the piece. I did this because the straps are delicate. I broke one when carving it and glued it. The stick fit inside the space.
I quickly found that the arrangement was not going to work as even the slightest wobble, which I had, threw it off balance badly. I then turned the lathe off.
I planned to turn the belt but since nothing was working in that way, I dug out my dremmel. I first drew lines of where the belt would be, then mounted a grinding wheel on the dremmel. I turned the piece while grinding the wood down on each side of the belt. I was not as careful as I should have been, and the belt ended up a lot smaller than I wanted it by the time I evened things out.
I then spent a lot of time sanding and grinding away my mistakes, hiding the work I did so the areas above and below the belt looked like the rest of the wood.
I decided this one is done, at least for now. I picked up some beads and stuff yesterday and will add something as decoration for a buckle.

Dress vase with belt


I did little else during the day, My brother and I sat and talked, he glanced through my turning magazines. We have a lot of projects we would love to build. We discussed making a bowl or plate with lettering scroll sawed into it. We discussed how to go about it and figured we would have to experiment. While scroll sawing is a good way to do it, we likely would use a dremmel instead.

I dug out some of the cards I painted this weekend. A few stuck and ended up being totally destroyed. I guess they were not quite dried enough. I will paint the survivors starting this week. I will do a few colors on a bunch of cards, and then let that dry, then do a few more and continue until I complete the cards. this method can be done in quick moments between stuff. Doing one thing on all the cards at the same time will make them quite similar.
I have to dig out all the stuff I might be gifting and decide who gets what. some things changed as to who gets what and I have to make sure no body is left out.

I am about to turn my attention to the art show in March. I have several projects that I want to do. Another face vase, a fairy (may have to glue up wood), several more dress vases, just to name a few big projects I might do.

I will see what I actually do next weekend.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Did You Write? 12-06-10

Did You Write? 12-06-10

One a week I ask if you wrote something this past week. I also ask you to reply even if you did not write. The hope is that if you are posting every week, you will use this not to push yourself to open some work in progress just so you can say yes. Attempting to write every week is much better than going months without writing, even if you don't accomplish anything. How much is done is unimportant as long as there is an attempt. The attempts do add up after a while.
This note comes up every week. You know you need to post on the note what you did, or did not do. You rush something open and do something each week, eventually developing a habit of writing every week, and possibly every day.
As to what is writing, we all accept that new writing is writing. Editing is also writing, even if it is someone else's work or critiquing. Poetry, blogging, writing assignments, technical writing, world or character creation are also writing. Even E-mails can be writing if they are wordy and pertain to writing and story. If you have to ask if it is writing, the answer is yes.


On the writing front, I kept going over stuff I already had cut back the word count. I am reducing my word count to fit within the format of a magazine.
I am looking at zapping a number of scenes which I feel are important to the story. Some effect other scenes, which means rewrite. Basically what I am doing right now, I am tightening up what I have as much as possible so I have a core value of how much is going to have to be removed. Because I am "piddling" with editing, I am not getting serious word count. With all the work I did this week, I only removed 860 words from my piece.
I am not at the end of the story yet as I keep backing up and going over what I have. I know I am not going to cut down too man words to the end as I am at the final battle. When I get to the end, then I will hack scenes out... They are my babies.

On the story idea front. December was not too bad. I ended up with 30 story ideas, on page 37, 21962 words. I miss the high word and page counts but to write my stories, something had to go. I am back to telling what the stories are about rather than actually doing the stories like what I used to try to do. At least I am still posting them.

I just replaced the starter on my truck. I had to take money from a bill to pay for it. I can imagine the decisions and feelings a space ship owner has to go through to get back into space when a key part is causing problems. The idea of having something working sporadically, seriously needing replacement, and not having the money. One has to choose to be a bit later on a bill, or fight the problem for a while longer.
Now consider that the creditor is the mob, or the IRS, and they do not appreciate late payments. One is out of business if the ship is not making trips.
One gets the repair and gets back to business. Now what could possibility go wrong on getting the rest of the payments in within some semblance of on time?

I have already given out some of my ornaments as Christmas presents to people who I might not see until next year. It is surprising as to what people like. The ones I love, are not what they chose. Some of the ones I was not impressed with have been popular.
Some of my older offerings (I have some from most of the years I have been doing this) could be replicated to increase their numbers. My problem is that I don't have that kind of time, and generally would rather be working on other projects instead.
I have a bit more Christmas projects to work on. Soon I will apply myself to working towards the Art show I do in March.

As to the question of the week,

I can say YES, I DID WRITE!

DID YOU WRITE?

Week 569 Wood working

year 10, Week 47, Day One (week 569) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 12-04-10 Saturday

55 degrees at nine, 75 mid day. clear blue sky with a very light haze (not a deep blue sky), light breeze. After the sun was out for a while, it was a very nice day to be out and about. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourist.

During the week, I finished up my ornaments. I added paint, I decorated them, such as adding presents and bead ornaments on my little Christmas trees. They look really good. The only thing I did not do was add eye hooks, which I still have not found. I had purchased a bunch of them last week and just cannot figure out what I did with them. Two places I did not look today was in my dremmel box and my drill box.

FRIDAY:

I went down to Dania Beach as I usually do each month. The Dania Beach Water Gardens is closing at the end of December. I went down there to gather the stuff I had on display. Donna did not really want to say goodbye. I gave her two ornaments. I gave Tom an ornament, and gave one of the helpers an ornament.

I took my stuff over to the Antique shop I have my stuff on display and swapped out pieces. I rearranged the display so it looked good and showed everything off better, including his stuff. Some pieces I brought back could well be used as gifts or simply held till later.

this is my display at the antique shop after I re-arranged it.



SATURDAY:

After yard sailing, I got to work out back. The backyard beast did not get as much attention as he is used to. He did get some though.

I had gone and gotten some more eye hooks at an ACE HARDWARE, which is just two blocks away.
I finished up a bunch of ornaments with hooks, then fixed up two shell ornaments, one that lost the piece I had stuck the hook in, and another I made all new finials for. That one has a missing piece which I have to figure out how to replace. Should not be hard.
One thing was I was able to use cut-offs from other works to make some of the pieces I needed for these ornaments. It saved me from messing with large pieces of wood. The real problem is that there is a limit as to how much of these cut-offs you want to have around. They end up not being used very much.

I went to a yard sale by several members of the turning club. They had wonderful tools available, at prices I drooled over. My problem was I was completely tapped out. I walked away empty handed. Not really, there was some stuff to be tossed out and I got my hands on them.

I started carving on a piece of wood cut from one of Mom's plants and decided to get going as I had a stop to do.

Last week I had picked up some Sea grape. Tomorrow I want to make something with it. I want to make something from a piece. I also need to carve on some remaining ornaments. I see that the spool ornaments are popular so I may make more of them.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.




year 10, Week 47, Day Two (week 569) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 12-05-10 Sunday

52 degrees early morning. 75 in the afternoon. Stronger breeze than I like as it blows sawdust around. High "platelet" clouds with blue cracks. They darkened in the afternoon over the west and blocked out any sun that we were getting. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I started the morning by painting a bunch of cards. these cards are pre-printed for some charity. I got them at a yard sale. I decided to paint them with spray paint them so the printing does not show.
The wind made this a miserable process as the cards kept flipping, landing on the ground or on top each other which was worse. A calm hot day would have been better for this. I can use them all.
I ran out of white paint which almost needed three coats, so decided to use blue paint (the fullest can) which covered in one coat. I then got the idea to hit the edges with red, sort of a cloud effect. I planned on clouding the center of the inside with yellow so the lettering could be easily seen.
The process got stopped because of other projects so I have more to do next week. Once the cards are all painted with the background color, I will then paint images and letter them for my Christmas cards. I have no idea what images I will paint this year, but at least I am making the first steps on it. I do have blank, white card stock too.

While the paint was drying, I dug out some goblet bowls I had made from some wood I was given. The wood mainly became a platter, but I had room enough to make some goblet bowls.
I took some wood I had and made some long stems to fit the bottom of the bowl, and then another kind of wood for the bases. I have not taken the time to examine them carefully, but I think one is very slightly tipped. I can fix that no problem. I use white glue to attach them. When varnished, they will stay together. I have loads of sanding to do before I can call them done.

Each time I started to carve on my ornaments, I would remember something else that needed to be done. I got almost nothing done on the carving front. Oh well.

This weekend, I have given quite a few ornaments away. they got all messed up, in wrong boxes and separated out. I dumped them all out and sorted them, counting them. I have not gotten a total count, but do know that I have a lot of pieces to display. some could use more pieces made, but some likely will never be repeated.

My brother, with my help, replaced the starter on my truck. It took far longer than I ever expected. It was not even on the side of the truck I thought it came off when we replaced the transmission.
One wire gave us fits. It would not give us the room to maneuver it. It was only after we traced the wire that we found there was a clamp we could remove and that allowed the wire to move enough to work.

Mom's water heater is starting to leak. She and I went and picked up a new one. This was right after we got the truck all buttoned up and everything put away. This was our test of the starter. It works. I will watch it for a while. There is always doubt there, like there might be something else going on.
I do love having a pickup. I slipped the heater into my bed and got it home with no problems. Mom thanked me for helping her. This was why I got a pickup in the first place. I don't have to schedule with someone else and I can help others. I am always at Mom's house on weekends, so we use my truck to get her stuff when needed.

This week, I will have my ornaments on display at work. I strongly doubt I will sell anything, but will have them on display. I figure next week I will pick out pieces to gift, but at least this week, I will display them.
I am trying to be ahead this year rather than doing things the day of Christmas in hopes of getting done before having to go to meet the family.

Next week, I will finish painting the cards so I can do the artwork. I will try to finish up some more ornaments I have blanks for. I have some good wood to play with and should get onto them. I have some projects that need finishing up, some just sanding and some requires more work.

I will see what I actually do next week.

Week 569 Wood working

year 10, Week 47, Day One (week 569)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-04-10 Saturday

55 degrees at nine, 75 mid day. clear blue sky with a very light haze (not a deep blue sky), light breeze. After the sun was out for a while, it was a very nice day to be out and about. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourist.

During the week, I finished up my ornaments. I added paint, I decorated them, such as adding presents and bead ornaments on my little Christmas trees. They look really good. The only thing I did not do was add eye hooks, which I still have not found. I had purchased a bunch of them last week and just cannot figure out what I did with them. Two places I did not look today was in my dremmel box and my drill box.

FRIDAY:

I went down to Dania Beach as I usually do each month. The Dania Beach Water Gardens is closing at the end of December. I went down there to gather the stuff I had on display. Donna did not really want to say goodbye. I gave her two ornaments. I gave Tom an ornament, and gave one of the helpers an ornament.

I took my stuff over to the Antique shop I have my stuff on display and swapped out pieces. I rearranged the display so it looked good and showed everything off better, including his stuff. Some pieces I brought back could well be used as gifts or simply held till later.

SATURDAY:

After yard sailing, I got to work out back. The backyard beast did not get as much attention as he is used to. He did get some though.

I had gone and gotten some more eye hooks at an ACE HARDWARE, which is just two blocks away.
I finished up a bunch of ornaments with hooks, then fixed up two shell ornaments, one that lost the piece I had stuck the hook in, and another I made all new finials for. That one has a missing piece which I have to figure out how to replace. Should not be hard.
One thing was I was able to use cut-offs from other works to make some of the pieces I needed for these ornaments. It saved me from messing with large pieces of wood. The real problem is that there is a limit as to how much of these cut-offs you want to have around. They end up not being used very much.

I went to a yard sale by several members of the turning club. They had wonderful tools available, at prices I drooled over. My problem was I was completely tapped out. I walked away empty handed. Not really, there was some stuff to be tossed out and I got my hands on them.

I started carving on a piece of wood cut from one of Mom's plants and decided to get going as I had a stop to do.

Last week I had picked up some Sea grape. Tomorrow I want to make something with it. I want to make something from a piece. I also need to carve on some remaining ornaments. I see that the spool ornaments are popular so I may make more of them.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.




year 10, Week 47, Day Two (week 569)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-05-10 Sunday

52 degrees early morning. 75 in the afternoon. Stronger breeze than I like as it blows sawdust around. High "platelet" clouds with blue cracks. They darkened in the afternoon over the west and blocked out any sun that we were getting. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I started the morning by painting a bunch of cards. these cards are pre-printed for some charity. I got them at a yard sale. I decided to paint them with spray paint them so the printing does not show.
The wind made this a miserable process as the cards kept flipping, landing on the ground or on top each other which was worse. A calm hot day would have been better for this. I can use them all.
I ran out of white paint which almost needed three coats, so decided to use blue paint (the fullest can) which covered in one coat. I then got the idea to hit the edges with red, sort of a cloud effect. I planned on clouding the center of the inside with yellow so the lettering could be easily seen.
The process got stopped because of other projects so I have more to do next week. Once the cards are all painted with the background color, I will then paint images and letter them for my Christmas cards. I have no idea what images I will paint this year, but at least I am making the first steps on it. I do have blank, white card stock too.

While the paint was drying, I dug out some goblet bowls I had made from some wood I was given. The wood mainly became a platter, but I had room enough to make some goblet bowls.
I took some wood I had and made some long stems to fit the bottom of the bowl, and then another kind of wood for the bases. I have not taken the time to examine them carefully, but I think one is very slightly tipped. I can fix that no problem. I use white glue to attach them. When varnished, they will stay together. I have loads of sanding to do before I can call them done.

Each time I started to carve on my ornaments, I would remember something else that needed to be done. I got almost nothing done on the carving front. Oh well.

This weekend, I have given quite a few ornaments away. they got all messed up, in wrong boxes and separated out. I dumped them all out and sorted them, counting them. I have not gotten a total count, but do know that I have a lot of pieces to display. some could use more pieces made, but some likely will never be repeated.

My brother, with my help, replaced the starter on my truck. It took far longer than I ever expected. It was not even on the side of the truck I thought it came off when we replaced the transmission.
One wire gave us fits. It would not give us the room to maneuver it. It was only after we traced the wire that we found there was a clamp we could remove and that allowed the wire to move enough to work.

Mom's water heater is starting to leak. She and I went and picked up a new one. This was right after we got the truck all buttoned up and everything put away. This was our test of the starter. It works. I will watch it for a while. There is always doubt there, like there might be something else going on.
I do love having a pickup. I slipped the heater into my bed and got it home with no problems. Mom thanked me for helping her. This was why I got a pickup in the first place. I don't have to schedule with someone else and I can help others. I am always at Mom's house on weekends, so we use my truck to get her stuff when needed.

This week, I will have my ornaments on display at work. I strongly doubt I will sell anything, but will have them on display. I figure next week I will pick out pieces to gift, but at least this week, I will display them.
I am trying to be ahead this year rather than doing things the day of Christmas in hopes of getting done before having to go to meet the family.

Next week, I will finish painting the cards so I can do the artwork. I will try to finish up some more ornaments I have blanks for. I have some good wood to play with and should get onto them. I have some projects that need finishing up, some just sanding and some requires more work.

I will see what I actually do next week.
year 10, Week 47, Day One (week 569)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-04-10 Saturday

55 degrees at nine, 75 mid day. clear blue sky with a very light haze (not a deep blue sky), light breeze. After the sun was out for a while, it was a very nice day to be out and about. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourist.

During the week, I finished up my ornaments. I added paint, I decorated them, such as adding presents and bead ornaments on my little Christmas trees. They look really good. The only thing I did not do was add eye hooks, which I still have not found. I had purchased a bunch of them last week and just cannot figure out what I did with them. Two places I did not look today was in my dremmel box and my drill box.

FRIDAY:

I went down to Dania Beach as I usually do each month. The Dania Beach Water Gardens is closing at the end of December. I went down there to gather the stuff I had on display. Donna did not really want to say goodbye. I gave her two ornaments. I gave Tom an ornament, and gave one of the helpers an ornament.

I took my stuff over to the Antique shop I have my stuff on display and swapped out pieces. I rearranged the display so it looked good and showed everything off better, including his stuff. Some pieces I brought back could well be used as gifts or simply held till later.

SATURDAY:

After yard sailing, I got to work out back. The backyard beast did not get as much attention as he is used to. He did get some though.

I had gone and gotten some more eye hooks at an ACE HARDWARE, which is just two blocks away.
I finished up a bunch of ornaments with hooks, then fixed up two shell ornaments, one that lost the piece I had stuck the hook in, and another I made all new finials for. That one has a missing piece which I have to figure out how to replace. Should not be hard.
One thing was I was able to use cut-offs from other works to make some of the pieces I needed for these ornaments. It saved me from messing with large pieces of wood. The real problem is that there is a limit as to how much of these cut-offs you want to have around. They end up not being used very much.

I went to a yard sale by several members of the turning club. They had wonderful tools available, at prices I drooled over. My problem was I was completely tapped out. I walked away empty handed. Not really, there was some stuff to be tossed out and I got my hands on them.

I started carving on a piece of wood cut from one of Mom's plants and decided to get going as I had a stop to do.

Last week I had picked up some Sea grape. Tomorrow I want to make something with it. I want to make something from a piece. I also need to carve on some remaining ornaments. I see that the spool ornaments are popular so I may make more of them.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.




year 10, Week 47, Day Two (week 569)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-05-10 Sunday

52 degrees early morning. 75 in the afternoon. Stronger breeze than I like as it blows sawdust around. High "platelet" clouds with blue cracks. They darkened in the afternoon over the west and blocked out any sun that we were getting. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I started the morning by painting a bunch of cards. these cards are pre-printed for some charity. I got them at a yard sale. I decided to paint them with spray paint them so the printing does not show.
The wind made this a miserable process as the cards kept flipping, landing on the ground or on top each other which was worse. A calm hot day would have been better for this. I can use them all.
I ran out of white paint which almost needed three coats, so decided to use blue paint (the fullest can) which covered in one coat. I then got the idea to hit the edges with red, sort of a cloud effect. I planned on clouding the center of the inside with yellow so the lettering could be easily seen.
The process got stopped because of other projects so I have more to do next week. Once the cards are all painted with the background color, I will then paint images and letter them for my Christmas cards. I have no idea what images I will paint this year, but at least I am making the first steps on it. I do have blank, white card stock too.

While the paint was drying, I dug out some goblet bowls I had made from some wood I was given. The wood mainly became a platter, but I had room enough to make some goblet bowls.
I took some wood I had and made some long stems to fit the bottom of the bowl, and then another kind of wood for the bases. I have not taken the time to examine them carefully, but I think one is very slightly tipped. I can fix that no problem. I use white glue to attach them. When varnished, they will stay together. I have loads of sanding to do before I can call them done.

Each time I started to carve on my ornaments, I would remember something else that needed to be done. I got almost nothing done on the carving front. Oh well.

This weekend, I have given quite a few ornaments away. they got all messed up, in wrong boxes and separated out. I dumped them all out and sorted them, counting them. I have not gotten a total count, but do know that I have a lot of pieces to display. some could use more pieces made, but some likely will never be repeated.

My brother, with my help, replaced the starter on my truck. It took far longer than I ever expected. It was not even on the side of the truck I thought it came off when we replaced the transmission.
One wire gave us fits. It would not give us the room to maneuver it. It was only after we traced the wire that we found there was a clamp we could remove and that allowed the wire to move enough to work.

Mom's water heater is starting to leak. She and I went and picked up a new one. This was right after we got the truck all buttoned up and everything put away. This was our test of the starter. It works. I will watch it for a while. There is always doubt there, like there might be something else going on.
I do love having a pickup. I slipped the heater into my bed and got it home with no problems. Mom thanked me for helping her. This was why I got a pickup in the first place. I don't have to schedule with someone else and I can help others. I am always at Mom's house on weekends, so we use my truck to get her stuff when needed.

This week, I will have my ornaments on display at work. I strongly doubt I will sell anything, but will have them on display. I figure next week I will pick out pieces to gift, but at least this week, I will display them.
I am trying to be ahead this year rather than doing things the day of Christmas in hopes of getting done before having to go to meet the family.

Next week, I will finish painting the cards so I can do the artwork. I will try to finish up some more ornaments I have blanks for. I have some good wood to play with and should get onto them. I have some projects that need finishing up, some just sanding and some requires more work.

I will see what I actually do next week.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Been a while...


Yeah, it's me, I'm back again. I've been very busy writing and editing for Pro Se Productions. Besides my regular commitment of 5 or 6 series stories that I rotate (with the occasional standalone piece) I've been working up a new story series that I want to get into a second Pro Se magazine and that has kept me up very late at night. I also occasionally edit other author's work too. I'm currently finishing up a story for a fundraising anthology to help get pulp books into libraries around the country. I do a LOT of research for my writing, so that also keeps me busy. Any internet time I have left after that is divided between email and Facebook—where I mostly blink in and out to harass other people and then disappear into the ether...

Even with being so busy, I have still been doing plenty of thrifting this year, and this fall I've begun crocheting again. The hat in the above picture is just one completed project, pretty simple really. Other than that it is a race to get a little housework done and spend time with the family, maybe catching some evening TV. I am doing a little reading whenever I can find the time. Now and then I even grab a few winks of sleep.

I'll get some pics of my thrifting finds and crochet stuff up here, along with some pet and nature shots taken throughout the year. Just rest assured, I'm still out here watching the property. You've been warned. LOL

yarn projects -December 03-10

I am making headway on my crochet. I have finished four wash cloths in cotton. I am quite impressed with the results, even though I recognize that the results are not up to a quality level yet.
Three of my wash cloths are using the Tunisian crochet method, where the loops are linked on the hook to the end, then the loops are completed as the hook is drawn back out.
The hook either has a stop on the end so the loops of yarn does not fall off the end, or there is a cord on the end so the fabric can be wider than the length of the hook, the stop on the cord can catch the end loops.
I made my own hook for this and while it might not be perfect, It works quite well. At 9 inches long, it just happens to be about the right length to hold all the loops when doing a 12" wide wash cloth. The loops bunch up which is why the hook length does not have to be the same length as the cloth.
I have found this a very easy method of creating good looking work, which is why I have taken to this method.




I always have a project in the truck for when I am at a long light, at a doctor's office, at the laundry. I finished the yellow wash cloth project there, bringing it home to do the final work on it. It was simple single crochet. It was going to be a hot pad but I decided a wash cloth would be more useful. I did shells around the edges and left it at that as I had failed on doing reverse shells around the purple wash cloth.

On the purple wash cloth, I had made the mistake on that one of mis-remembering how many stitches I needed. I did 35 instead of 50. I did decorative shells around the edge to make it bigger. I found I could not figure out how to do reverse shells at the moment, (just remembered) so I left it as ending in shells.

Now that I just remembered how to do reverse shells, I might add them to the two wash cloths with shells around the edges. they are both a little smaller and I feel they will be much better if they were bigger. Also shells make for a lousy edging.

I have just started a wash cloth where I am using remnants of two balls of yarn, yellow and lime green. I am thinking to rip that out and use the lime on the yellow wash cloth when I do the reverse edging and a few other stitches around outside that.
On this two tone wash cloth, I am doing Tunisian crochet three rows of yellow to two rows of green, since that is approximately the same proportion of both balls of yarn. I now see how this is done, I won't have any problems ripping it out and using the yarn elsewhere.
I will use a deep red for the edging of the purple wash cloth.







The camouflage looking wash cloth was from yarn I ripped out of a double crochet double post wash cloth I did early on. I ran out of yarn before I finished and I did not like anything about it. It bothered me. I gave it a try as a bath cloth and it was all wrong. I laundered it, then found the end and ripped it out completely. It is now something that is quite usable, quite acceptable.

In my last visit to the yarn shop, I picked up. a bunch of ball of cotton yarn in worsted weight in different colors. I tend to prefer the bright colors to work with. I have a bunch of projects in mind but right now, wash cloths are priority. Some are going to be gifted this year.


Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010, Did You Write?

November 29, 2010, Did You Write?

Many are busy during the holiday weekends, others are able to use the time to do extra writing. For the rest of the us, our writing time did not change.

this is a note where you can brag about your accomplishments, cry about your failures, and otherwise tell about what is going on in your lives.

Many among us write every day or every week without prompting. There are many among us who will write a few times a year with some push.
The plan is for you to write about your writing in this note, whether you write or not. The idea is that you will see this note coming and will get into some project just so we can say yes, I did write.
The hope is that you will start to write each week, and develop it into a habit, and hopefully, more importantly, actually finish some projects.

As to what is writing, we all agree that new writing is writing. We pretty much agree that editing is also writing. Editing of someone else's work is also writing, along with critiquing work, which is a form of editing, is also writing.
Also as writing is poetry, blogging, technical writing, creative writing, writing assignments, world and character development. Even E-mail can be writing as long as it is wordy and pertains to story or writing. If you have to ask if it is writing, it is.

How much writing is unimportant. A famous author was asked how much he wrote yesterday. He said he wrote one word. He said it was the Right word.
I am editing right now and my goal is to reduce the word count. If I am doing my work right, I should be working backwards. I have gone over some key, big scenes several times ane each time, I have found something to cut out to reduce the word count.
I started this edit at 53 pages and 33442 words. I am now down to page 47 at 30090 words I had removed 1430 words this week. I need to get within reach of 15000 words for it to be the right length.
I know I am going to have to remove some scenes to get there, but want to tighten up everything and remove as much fluff as I can before I bolt on my courage and really cut. I am not sure exactly what scenes I will cut, as all seem to be needed for the story.

ON the story idea front, I have 43 story ideas in my compost pile. It tends to balance out over time, where I will get some ideas, use them up and dig into the pile, then get new ones. I still prefer to work with new story ideas. They are always more fun. It is really the top ten story ideas that I am excited to write. anything below has a reason for not writing it, including being a bit more complex or too good to write in a fast blurb I am writing these ideas as.
I am on schedule for the month on my posts. A good day or so could give me an extra story idea for the year. Things will be going on in the past few days so I don't know what my actual schedule will be. I will have the requisite 30 story ideas for the month.

For those who need to prepare for the holidays coming up, most won't be even starting yet. I am happy to say that I just about have all my presents together. With a little touch up, I will have more than enough ornaments to show off. Most will end up being presents, though there is the hope to sell a couple.
I have made most of my presents and have a couple in the last stages of preparation. I am proud of these. Last year, I would never have considered some of these possible.
I have purchased some presents, but did so over the past year. I really only have a couple people to buy for, and they will get money.
I still have to paint my cards, which will not take too much time, depending on how many I make.
One thing about making presents is that there is the pleasure of creating them, and a pleasure of giving them. In some ways, I feel like the little old toy maker.

One could do a story about some wealthy person who runs into trouble, possibly having physical problems, losing the wealth. the person has to do therapy, which involves making things. The person gets pretty good at it. Either a holiday, or birthdays come up and the person gives away the crafts made as present. At first, the people are almost insulted with what they get. After a while, the person starts making a name in the crafts and people start bringing out the early work to show what the person did during therapy.
If this story has magic involved, or super technology, the items might have something special made into them, clothing to stay warm/cool, toys that record what is going on, good luck charms.
If I was carving magical items, because of the sloppiness of my carvings, One could expect that they would turn out to be evil, creating problems for people eventually, such as figurines that come alive and do mischief.

As to the question of the day

I can proudly say

YES, I WROTE

DID YOU WRITE?