Monday, September 20, 2010

Did You Write? Sept. 20, 2010

Did You Write? Sept. 20, 2010

Another week, another excuse,, or celebration...

I am going to be visiting my writing partner next week, and won't be able to post next Monday. Hopefully, someone takes over. I am not sure I will be in condition to post the following Monday either. I will have to see. You know how trips take everything out of you. If you want, just post something for next week.

There are those among us who will write, no matter what. This note is for the rest of us. The idea is that we need to announce whether we wrote, or not, and tell why we did not, each and every week.
the intent is to shame ourselves into writing. You see this note approaching and you realize you have not written so far this week. You open some work in process, or something new, and write. It can be one word, it can be a sentence, a paragraph or a whole piece of work. One can edit something, even if it is not yours, critique someone's piece, blog, do writing assignments, technical writing, poetry, world or character creation, even long winded emails about story or writing, just so you can say you wrote.
The hope is that it will become a habit to write every week, and if possible, more often, so you end up with a finished something, eventually, developing the habit of writing. Writing is a good habit.
We don't worry about word counts. It is nice to report them, but if the project requires a loss of words through editing to fit into publication requirements, then word counts will go down. Editing often has word counts that don't change at all.

As for me, I did write. I am writing from scratch, an old work I had blasted out in 2003. This version has some of the best writing I have ever done in my life. I can see the end coming, but it is on the other side of the valley. At least I can see the end.
Finding times to write has been a little challenge but I have done so and it has been satisfying. I am already at page 20 on this with 11533 words. I lost my word count for last week. so I cannot tell you how much I gained.

On the story idea front, I am trying to get ahead for the month. I will be on vacation and won't be posting story ideas. I will note them down, but won't be posting them.
I have to post six ideas in the next three days I will end the month short, but will make up for it next month. I will give my numbers for the month when I get back.

I had visited my writing partner and her family before. This time we are going to concentrate on writing, more than seeing the area and getting to know each other. Waxy birth story is our big project, getting it ready for publication. It is close, but not quite there. There will be three of us writers, who met on line, sitting together to write. this is going to be fun.

As to the question of the week,

I can say that this week,



Week 558 Wood working.

year 10, Week 36, Day One (week 558)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-18-10 Saturday

90 degrees, a breeze good enough to not need the fan, well separated puffs of clouds that never seamed to block the sun. Perfect working conditions. Only one cloud that looked,, like it might contain weather, but it was down wind of us and seamed to just disappear. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


I had sanded and varnished my ducklings. I also painted eyes on them. that made a big difference in how they looked.
The turning club meeting day came up. I grabbed my ducklings from the drying rack and found I made a little mistake. I varnished them all over and set them on the rack. The varnish stuck to the bars of the rack, and left resulting lines. When I went to Mom's house for dinner and to get some stuff, I hit the "feet" with a disk sander, signed the ducklings, and then hit the feet with several coats of varnish. They were presentable now.

The turning club meeting was very good. My stuff was not up to the quality of the worst stuff there. while in the club meeting, I saw that the knot pattern on one of my pencil cups was interesting when viewed upside down. It had either two big eyes and two small nostrils, or two big ears and to small eyes. I decided that cup needed to be turned upside down.
The demonstration was of making spider boxes, where grooves are cut into the lid of a box, off centered on top and centered on the inside, that makes it look like a spider web. it was shown before but there was new techniques and tools involved.

Me holding vases and flowers

Pencil vase showing the face I had seen, shown upside down.


After breakfast and yard sailing, I went out back and dealt with the beast of the back yard. He had reverted a little bit, and actually half heartedly swatted at me when I was doing something he did not like. Nice to see the beast back, and not that dumb cat.....

I did bouts of making shaving flowers, a total of 18, and I made a new pencil cup.
I turned that interesting pencil cup around, and was getting set up to finish off the new bottom. it was not quite centered I adjusted it and kept hearing some creaking. then one more adjustment, turned the lathe on and it came apart in four pieces. Darn.
I will glue it back together. It is too cool looking to not fix it.

I did not get as much done as yard sailing went late and had a number of interruptions.

I hope to get more done tomorrow. I have four sticks for shaving flowers left, so I will finish them up. I can get either four or five flowers from each one, depending on how the process works out.
I want to make at least one more pencil cup tomorrow. One project is to get my things together for my vacation that starts next weekend. I will bring my carving stuff, even though I doubt I will do any carving. I need to pick out what knife, glove, strop and sharpener I want to bring.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

year 10, Week 36, Day two (week 558)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-19-10 Sunday.

90 degrees, little breeze when I arrived, but it picked up a bit later and kept things feeling cool. There were puffs of clouds everywhere, but just a few had the audacity to block the sun.
We have had a rather strange summer. What I remember most about summers here, is that we will get an afternoon rain, and then the humidity would get so thick you could almost touch it. The temperatures would be lower, but the humidity would be oppressive. this is the kind of weather I have been preparing myself for all year.
This year, We have been getting temperatures into the 90s, very little noon time rains to make things really thick. when the rains have come, the winds blew the humidity away. the air has remained comparatively dry all year long.
This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I mis-read the clock this morning, really bad. I ended up leaving a whole hour earlier than I planned. I made up for it by stopping at Walmart, but the pharmacy was closed. I stopped at two permanent yard sales at warehouses. One had completely changed their space around. She apparently opened a store front some place. I did not find anything I wanted at either place and was at each of them for a few minutes.

I feed the beast of the back yard. He started out as the beast I almost remembered, and then became a cat as the day went on, falling asleep at my feet for quite a long time.

I got all my equipment out. My drill set, my dremmel set, my carving set.
I took the cup I broke yesterday and glued it back together. I used tape to clamp it together. It needs clean up but is presentable. That will be my personal pencil cup. One problem with this cup was that it was too thin. When I clamped the jaws of the chuck on it, it was not strong enough to hold under the pressure.

Broken vase

I made another pencil cup today. It is simple and came out of the wood quickly.

Having some extra time, I dug out two pieces I made a while back. Both were supposed to be hats for face vases, but they looked really stupid as hats. I remounted each one, and finished them into bowls, giving them a good finish. One of them has cracks in it, so I worked filler into the cracks and did some light sanding.
My new chuck with my cole jaws on it, really made the project nice. I could hold the bowls nicely in the old tenon with my normal chuck, getting everything I could reach with the work facing that way. I then turned the bowls around, and mounted them in the Cole chuck and held them safely and easy to finish up the bowls.
I showed my bowls to my brother and he said he likes the designs. They are different.

While letting the cat sleep at my feet, I made, in several sessions, 17 shaving flowers. Most were painted, only two remained in wood color. Those two were among the best I have made. Looking at the flowers I made yesterday and last week, together, there needed more color flower in the bouquet.

The day went well and I accomplished a lot.

I have some finishing on some items during the week.
I will not be doing any wood working the next two weekends. I am going on vacation to visit a couple on line friends.

If I post a woodworking diary, I will be very much surprised. I am bringing my carving knife but don't plan to use it. Just bringing it just in case.

I will see what happens over the next weeks.

Monday, September 13, 2010

09-13-10 Did You Write?

09-13-10 Did You Write?
It is that time of the week again. Time to report on whether you wrote at some time this past week. this is the place to brag about accomplishments, cry about failures, and otherwise tell about what is going on in your life.
We don't care what you write, as long as you write. Writing new is writing, editing, even if it is someone else's work is also writing. Word count does not matter as with some editing, reducing the word count is more important.
Blogging, technical writing, writing assignments, world and character creation, poetry, are all writing. So is E-mails if they pertain to story or writing, and are very wordy. If you have to ask if it is writing, Our answer is YES.

As for me, I am working on one of my Waxy dragon stories. I decided to rewrite it from scratch, rather than try to save the old version through edits. I am satisfied with the results I am getting. It has a full feel to it. I am even getting emotions into the work something I had never done before. I have added 4725 words this week, bringing it from four pages to twelve pages. I love what I am doing right now. Yesterday, I had a problem with a scene that did not seam to advance the story, even though it included some of my best writing. My writing partner gave a few suggestions and suddenly I had the handle on the story.
Earlier today, I was doing some inspired writing, then something caused my computer to reboot and I lost my work. I have recreated it but something is missing.

On the story idea front, I will be gone the last week of the month. I am trying to get caught up for all the days I will mess this month. I have 49 story ideas on my compost stack, and have posted my 17th story idea for the 13th day of the month. I should be able to get it done. These are all real short, not as satisfying a presentation I am used to but I am involved in some serious writing projects and length is one thing that went to give me more writing time. most are written in a half hour.
Even these notes are shorter than they used to be to allow more writing time.

As to the question of the week,



Week 557 wood working

year 10, Week 35, Day One (week 557)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-11-10 Saturday

98 degrees, sunny with showers in the area. While in Palm beach county, we drove through some weather that was heading to the botanical gardens when we left there. The weather at Mom's house was sunny, very slight wind, humid. This weather report is brought to you by the Palm Beach County, and the City Of Pompano, Departments of tourism.

This past week was my dad's birthday. We went up to visit his grave at the military cemetery. There are times where I am embarrassed to admit I was his son, as I am afraid that people would expect more of me.

The Palm Wood turning club had a display and demonstration at the MOUNTS BOTANICAL GARDENS Orchids Show and Sale. Since we were near that far north, we went to the botanical gardens and look at the orchids. While there, we had a look at the turning club stuff. I got some fun ideas for projects, not that I need more I did not take many pictures this time. I mainly just looked.

When we got back, we had lunch and then I got my stuff out back to work.

I am angry. someone replaced the beast of the back yard, WITH A CAT!!!.
At least that is how he was acting. He came up to me and laid down at my feet and let me pet him all over. He would lay over on his side to let me rub under his chin and side of his head. He would lay there for a long time. I think he only got up when I ignored him, not giving him enough attention. He came back for more many times. Next month will be the start of my fourth year of taming him in October. I started taming him October 11th, 2007. We have done well.

My main project was making shaving flowers. I have a use for a couple hundred of them. I mainly sat and shaved flowers one after another. I made about thirteen flower and then, added the stems which are bamboo skewers, then painted some of them. I picked out the very best, and gave them a clear varnish coat. I then separated out the rest and painted them either red, blue or yellow. Some of the flowers actually look a little sick for one reason or another. The color makes them look better than they really are.

I had started some duckling bowls a while back. I decided to glue the heads on them, even though the bowls need sanding and other work. I will have to make some more heads a bit later.
I decided I will finish them up tomorrow. It will be easy sitting work using the dremmel.

I also dug out some swan ornament blanks from last year. I glued a broken head back on, and will finish them up soon. It requires some dremmel work to remove waste wood where the knife has problems reaching, before I get to serious carving on them to finish them. I can get them finished on a day or so, once I get to them.

I need pencil cups. I can use three of them at home. I found out my mom can use several. I know I will need some more for a few other people. I have a turning club meeting this next week, so I might as well make them for display for that too (good for displaying the flowers too).

Tomorrow will be busy and if I put my mind to it, I can get a lot done.

Tomorrow, I will see what I actually get done.

year 10, Week 35, Day Two (week 557)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-12-10 Sunday

95 degrees, blue sky, very little breeze until the afternoon, Some distant towers to the east in the afternoon, closer ones to the south, good afternoon breeze. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

The beast of the back yard was pretty good. He was a little more like himself, gnashing at me a couple times because I was not doing what he wanted, or doing something he did not want. Nice that he was back to his old self and not totally like a cat, today.

My main project was to make some pencil cups. I worked with the first one. It had some nice knots on the outside, which, of course, made making the inside difficult. The knots resisted the tools as I hollowed it out.
I made the first one, but did not remove the tenon on the bottom yet. I then made the second one. I finished the second one, and fixed the bottom of the first, and decided I had to go inside. I was standing out in the sun, except for a half hour period where I sat with the cat while making shaving flowers, for about three hours. Dinner was about ready too so it was a good time to cool down and dry off.

A while back, I started making some duckling bowls. this morning, I glued the heads on, and then later I added more glue and I also did some sanding. I have more work to do with them but I want to try to get them ready for the Thursday turning club meeting. I at least hope to get them ready for that.

I sat and made a few flowers. I wanted to mix my turning with my carving and ended up only making four flowers. I ran out of time to do more. I ended up making 28 of them this weekend.

I have a turning club meeting Thursday. I have my flowers, my pencil cups, and my ducklings I would like to display. Whether I can get it done, is something else. I hope to sand and varnish enough to make them presentable.

Next weekend, I have to get some things done for my vacation the following week.

I will see what I actually do next week.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Did You Write? 09-06-10

Did You Write? 09-06-10

For those who are unfamiliar with this note, this is a prompt to assist people to write. The idea is to reply to this note, whether you wrote or not, telling what you did this past week. After a few times, you will get some work in progress opened up and start writing, just so you can say you wrote. Eventually, it will become a habit, and you will write every week whether this note is here or not, and it will have done its job. Writing more than once a week is better, but each week is more than what many of us here actually write.
We don't care about what you write. Any new writing, editing (even if it is someone else’s), critiquing, blogging, article writing, writing assignments, world and character creation, technical writing, poetry, are all writing. Even an E-mail can be writing, if it is wordy, and pertains to story or writing.
How much is written does not matter how much is written. One word, if it is the right word, will count. When editing, it may be the purpose to have the word count go backwards, such as getting a piece down to the word count required for publications.

As for me I added 1420 words to my second Waxy story. The problem is that I need to reduce it. I did check and saw I could remove about ten thousand words just by zapping the back part of the story. but another twelve thousand had to come off. My writing partner suggested I work on another story instead, one she had not worked on. The publisher we are aiming for will want to see my unadulterated style. This was one of my original posts of Waxy stories and the story is there. It needs a lot of work. In just the past few days, I added 1400 words to it. There is a whole lot that has to be removed, and a whole lot that has to be added. will see how it comes out.

I have 52 story ideas in my compost pile. that is not bad. some good ones are on top.
I finished the month of August with the 31 story ideas for the month of 31 days, and they cover 38 pages, at 22217 words. I actually could have added several additional stories to the end of the month, but chose not to, spending the time writing. this month, I will be off for a week at the end of the month, so I will likely apply myself to get as close to the right posted idea number by then.

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



Week 556 Woodworking

year 10, Week 34, Day One (week 556) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 09-04-10 Saturday

90 degrees, blue sky with a changing mixture of clouds, some of which blocked the sun for a while. Nice breeze made it comfortable. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of tourism.


I went to the Antique shop. The people I needed to see was not at the Dania Water gardens. While at the antique shop, he showed me where he got a whole bunch of wooden rose buds. These were professionally made, mass produced wrapped shavings. I was impressed.
He has a guy who designs his shop to look good. That guy was there while I was there and he said he was impressed by my work. He also liked my display. That was nice. I left a set of wood platters there. I have a bunch more in process so I don't need those.
I showed, on my camera, a picture of my shaving flowers. He said he was interested in seeing them. they might also be something that the Water Gardens might like. I am making a bunch of them.


I had a pretty good say today.
First off, the back yard beast attacked me. He pinned me down in my chair and forced me to pet him several times during the day. such horrible torture! He was so mean, he almost fell asleep at my feet while I was carving!!!

After I got all the equipment out, I started on another pencil cup. It started out really good, but I accidentally got so deep while flattening the bottom, that I actually started to cut through the tenon in the middle of the bottom. That is deeper than the bottom.
I decided to fix that. I had cut the piece from a longer block, so I mounted the other piece of block, made a tenon that would fit into the mouth of my pencil cup. It took some work but I got it to fit nicely. I have not been lucky like that too often.
I glued that as square as I could, and let it set on the lathe. After It dried, I cleaned up a little wobble on the outside, then cut away the old bottom and trued up the inside. After I did that, I noticed I made a little mistake. I should have lined up the rings of both pieces of wood. Because it was not lined up, I decided to remove as much of the bottom as I could, to hide my mistake.
I put the piece into he cole jaws and put a center on the end and cut down and cleaned up the bottom so it is a thin ring. It looks pretty good now.

Shaving flowers as they were when I arrived on Saturday
A few were painted pink, but the rest are natural wood

I had picked up some paint and varnish. I painted a bunch of my shaving flowers, red, yellow and blue. I will have some of the flowers in natural wood color as a contrast. I could use white, but chose not to.
Today I took a three quarter inch board of basswood and sliced it down the middle, making two boards, then cut both boards into sticks.
I have enough sticks for about a hundred flowers. How many I get, will depend on how long I make the petals. Shorter they are, the more flowers I can get, but the longer petals look better, usually.
The grain in one of the sticks was going the wrong way and it was splitting, instead of shaving. I ended up with a few sick looking flowers.

Tomorrow, I will make more shaving flowers, do a bunch of sanding, bother the cat, I have a turned figurine in oak that needs to be finished.

I will see what all I actually do tomorrow.

year 10, Week 34, Day Two (week 556)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-05-10 Sunday

94 degrees, blue sky, sunny, a few changing wispy puffs of clouds here and there. Some mountains of clouds over the everglades in the late afternoon, but not coming here. A tiny bit humid in the morning, but a light breeze in the afternoon took that away. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

The backyard beast acted so much like a cat, I was a little worried about him. He did give me "the look" twice, but otherwise, let me do whatever I wanted to him. He even slept at my feet for a long while, until I finally got up to get back to work.
The Curly tail lizards are getting big and fat. They get a few morsels of cat food each day. When we are out there, we will toss them a piece or two.

I got the equipment out, but did not really need to use the lathe. I then decided to take a piece of Florida Mahogany and make a bowl out of it. I left the surface that was under the long gone bark, as it was, and just hollowed it out and made a good base under it.
Because of the size of the piece, I decided to turn it between centers rather than make a tenon to fit the chuck. It needs sanding, but is passable as an ugly bowl. It had been chainsawed and that left a really bad surface, which is my rim. That is really why it is ugly. I could have leveled it, but wanted something different.
Will see how that finishes up.

My ugly bowl and my pencil cups.

My brother came by and repaired a brace of our awning. it had rusted through. He needs to fix all of them. the drain holes had plugged and that was causing the damage. He will do them later. He had a problem with an electrical outlet in the garage or he would have done some scroll sawing.
We went out for dinner to a Chinese buffet. Our normal one appears to be out of business or on vacation. so we went to a different one.

I made a bunch more shaving flowers. I made two out of mahogany. It was not cutting right and I gave up on it. I left the best of the new flowers in wood color, and painted the ones that are not as good. I will be doing that from now on.

Shaving flowers. white ones are natural wood.

I have tomorrow off, so I will be working wood again. I have sanding and varnishing to do, and have a whole lot more of those shaving flowers to make I also need to finish up on the crochet hooks. I had started the process to change their design to something that works a bit better.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

year 10, Week 34, Day Three (week 556)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
09-06-10 Monday

85 degrees, blue sky with high feathers and streaks, filtering the sun. Afternoon puff columns built up over the Everglades, their tops spreading to cover the sun in the afternoon. Light breeze just strong enough to make it comfortable, but not strong enough to really notice it. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

After the beast of the back yard decided he had guarded me enough, I was able to get out of the chair and get to work.

I had started a dress vase in oak, at least a month ago. I mounted it in the lathe and tried to drill it out some more. Oak is a hard wood when it is dried. I think I drilled it, at most, two inches deeper. I still have at least four inches to go.
One thing I have to be careful of, is that when I am changing Forsner bits, They get very hot. I have more work to do before I can really take it off the lathe for good.
My lathe stand is designed that the wheels can be tipped out of the way so the lathe will stand on wood blocks. I did this today because the lathe was rolling when I pushed against the boring bar. When done, I just rotated and locked the wheels back in place and rolled the lathe into the space under the awning. I don't do that too often. I tend to be a bit lazy.

I sanded a little bit on my crochet hooks. They will require a lot more sanding before they will be ready to test.

I made more shaving flowers. A couple looked rather sick, so they got painted, while the really good ones got a coat of varnish and called done. I have a blister on my index finger where the knife rubs on it. It will be gone when I work next week.

final display of shaving flowers
painted and natural wood

I remembered that the antique shop was open today. I cleaned up, packed up everything, and headed down there. I brought the flowers in and he loved them. It was then that I saw how good they really looked. I also gave him my pencil cups that I made. He is starting with five bucks piece for the flowers, and ten bucks piece for the cups. Good prices. He said he can lower the flower prices if they don't sell. I used to sell these shaving flowers for a dollar a piece so anything he sells them for is good.
I showed him that unfinished ugly bowl I made. He said,”What is so ugly about it?” I guess it looks better than I thought.

For next week, I will be making more flowers. I now have a good reason to make more. They are easy to make, look good and might be worth having for a market.
I will likely work more on the dress vase. Holding and pushing the boring bar is hard on the hands. I have no idea how much I will get done on it.
I will likely make some pencil cups as I need a couple and dropped them off at the antique shop.
One thing I planned to do this weekend and never did, was to unload the lathe completely, clean it up and replace the sheet plastic dust skirt I have around it. plastic sheeting degrades outside, even when it is not in direct sunlight. Sawdust is getting onto the shelving and into everything on the shelves.
I have some platters I had started for the turning club demonstration, and should finish them up.
I still have not started my Christmas ornaments and now is getting too late. I at least looked at some swan blanks from last year, but that was all.

I will see what I actually do next week.