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



Week 568 wood working

year 10, Week 46, Day One (week 568)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-25-10 Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving!

80s, lots of well separated clouds sliding across the sky light breeze, Shade of a spreading oak. Nice, easy comfortable day to do little. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Fort Lauderdale Department Of Tourism.

I thought I had a bunch more ornaments than what I was looking at. I just was not sure where they were. I dug through my stuff and looked with more care, and ran across a whole lot of my ornaments. I laid them out in my display case and they don't all fit. For displaying them, I will have to use a different tactic than normal. I will look for a flat box to show the rest of them in.
My display case is a red velvet lidded case that was for perfume or large ornaments. I had removed the insert when I first got it but it has been nice to show off my stuff and to carry it around.
I did not sell much last year so I have them and then some. My newer and more numerous stuff will be in the display case and the other odds and ends will be in the other box. I have some time before I really have to worry about that.

My host up in Connecticut mailed me some stuff I purchased and a few other things. One is a piece of black walnut that has the bark on it. It is well dried and was given it last year but could not fit it into my luggage I got the package this week so I will be looking at making some items from that this weekend.

Thursday, Thanksgiving day.

I went to my brother's house where we were having our Thanksgiving dinner. After greeting everybody, I got my stuff out back under the oak tree.

My main project was to carve on some ornament blanks I made last week. From about ten when I got there, to about three when we had dinner, I carved four light bulbs, two thread spools, and two Christmas Trees. That is a good start.
They have to have some touch-ups, painting and decorating. The stuff I did last week will need some touch up.

My brother looked at a set of tools we were making. Our next step was mainly drilling a bunch of holes, then threading them. We decided not to do that this time. He did some aluminum welding and then let me try to break the welds. the metal collapsed but the welds held nicely. The only break was of the metal next to the weld, not the weld itself.
Only a few of his welds were pretty, but they were strong and most could have held water.

Tomorrow we will be going to visit Dad's grave. It has been four years since he died. He died Thanksgiving weekend. Anyway, we will go there and I will see how much time I will have afterwards for wood working.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

year 10, Week 46, Day Two (week 568)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-26-10 Friday

84 degrees, high puffy shield clouds with blue breaks in them. Light breeze, a light threatening late but nothing came of it other than a few misty dots. This Weather Report is brought to you by The City Of Lake Worth and the City Of Pompano Beach Departments Of Tourism.

IN MEMORY OF ROY STEGMAN September 16 1917 To November 26 2006.

Me at my dad's grave

After Breakfast and feeding the backyard beast, We went up to the Lake Worth National cemetery to visit Dad's grave. Mom and I took pictures of each other by his grave, and we put yellow roses there, one for mom and one for my sister.
He was a good man. I am almost embarrassed to admit he was my father because people would expect more of me.

When we got back home, I dug out my equipment out of the truck which I had with me when I went to My brother's house yesterday. I "bothered" the back yard beast some more, then sat and carved all day.
I am carving faces on my light bulb and spools. these are bearded men that are supposed to represent Santa Claus. They are consistent on how they look. For me that is good enough this time.

After I carved four light bulbs, two spools and two trees, I got out the paint. I painted dark green in the crevasses of the trees, then a lighter green on top, and finally white for snow. These are ready for decoration which will be colored wooden blocks for presents underneath, beads to represent balls or lights. After that a couple coats of varnish and they will be done.
I painted at the bulbs and spools. I painted the beard white, the white of the eyes, and the fluff of the hat. on the spools it is one of the rims. On the lights, I carved the fluffy edge of the hat. Tomorrow, I will paint the red on them, and use a marker to do the eyes and a few other details to finish them up.

I started making another bamboo crochet needle, but decided the day was about done so I have not added the hook.
Mom use to have an ornament display in her house. It hid a bunch of her paintings. She gave my brother the commercial ornaments she had, and put away the ornaments we gave her. She was going to toss out the rack, and I asked for it. I will have to set it up, but not until after Christmas. I will then hang up my ornaments so I can look at them.

For tomorrow, I will carve some more ornaments, and I have a few light turning projects to work on.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

year 10, Week 46, Day Three (week 568)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-27-10 Saturday

88 degrees, 76 degrees last night, high light puffs with sparing breaks between, got thicker as the day went on. Light breeze, a bit of sun here and there.

Went to several yard sales and picked up a couple wire racks that I can use for drying varnished pieces.

I had brought a piece of Black Walnut I was given by a friend, and played around with it. I made a natural edged bowl where the bark remained on the edge.
I used what is referred to as a worm screw. This is a special screw for holding wood. The sharp threads stick out quite a ways from the shaft. You drill a hole first, about the size of the shaft, and then drive the screw in. the head is designed to be held by your chuck (it came with the chuck) and you can remove the piece quickly from the chuck if needed.
I drilled a hole into the bark side and fitted the screw in the hole, then mounted it in the chuck. I rough rounded the piece and flattened the bottom, adding a tenon for the chuck. I removed the screw, flipped the piece around, fine finished the outside, then hollowed it out.
I turned the piece around after I was done, and worked the bottom, removing the tenon. I had a small post that the tail stock was stuck into to hold the piece in place. It came off so I was finishing the bottom. I wanted to make one little correction and the piece came off the lathe. Luckily, no damage.

I painted the ornaments I did over the past couple days. They require a little touch up and signatures, but otherwise, are done.
I have a representative number of them. I will finish up the rest of the blanks later, but have enough to show off.

I cut a thin slab off the black walnut piece I have (was a piece of fire wood) and then cut them into roughly square sticks. I put each one in the lathe and turned them into dowels. They are not exactly even as there was a lot of bounce in them as I worked.
I eventually took my knife and cut off some corners, then used a rasp to wear down the wood until it was round. I then took 24 grit sanding disk in my drill to grind it even more round, then 50 grit and two more grits, before they were ready to hand sand.
I used a pencil sharpener to point the ends. These will be double ended knitting needles. I have two, possibly three more I can make, and hopefully will have a nice set of two out of all of them.
Someone said she uses a pencil sharpener to make her wood hooks, so I pointed the ends the same way. I have loads of sanding to do.

Black walnut bowl and knitting needles.
I made a second bowl just like this one too.

I heard that Black Walnut is a poisonous wood. One is not to use them for food. After I did my heavy turning, I cleaned up and put the sawdust in an area of mom's garden where she is trying to keep weeds down. The spot I chose had lost most of the mulch.

Tomorrow I have more ornaments to carve, and may turn something else in the black walnut. I will likely try to make another dowel for another knitting needle.

I will see what I do tomorrow.

year 10, Week 46, Day Four (week 568)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-28-10 Sunday

84 degrees, lots of high puffs with very small breaks. After one, some light liquid sunshine came down. I had finished wood turning just before the weather showed up. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

I got less done than I expected. I made another black walnut bowl, and a knitting needle but because of a knot in the wood, ended up shorter than it was supposed to be.

I also carved another bulb ornament and spool ornament, and a tree.
I had started another bulb ornament but chipped a piece out, so I glued it back on and will finish carving it next weekend.

Spool ornaments

Bulb Ornaments

During the week, one of my projects is to finish up these ornaments, I have some touch up painting, painting the last ornaments, and giving them a coat of varnish. The trees have to have some colored wood blocks I have added as presents, and beads added to be decorations on them.

I have more ornaments than I have space for so I dug out an old brief case. I have to empty it and clean it up before it can be used. My best ornaments will be in my normal case, and the lesser ones will be in the brief case.

Friday, I will go down to Dania Beach and get my stuff from the Dania Beach Water gardens, and will take them to the antique shop. I will re-arrange my antique shop display and maybe pick out a few things as presents. I will make my final decisions when I am down there.

Next week, I want to carve more of my ornaments, and I have a bunch of stuff that could use finishing up. I have a number of blanks that need to be used also. I am almost done with Christmas stuff and now need to aim for the art show in March.

I will see what I actually do next week.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Did You Write? Nov. 22, 2010

Did You Write? Nov. 22, 2010

It is that time of the week again. The time to announce whether your accomplishments, cry about your failures, and otherwise tell about what is going on in your life.
The hope is that you see this note coming and can get yourself to open some work in progress and attempt to work on it. We don't care how much you do, or what you work on, as long as you work on it. Instead of writing once every few months, one can get into writing every week, which can possibly become every day.

We all know that new writing is writing. Editing is also writing, even if it is the work of someone else. Critiquing is also writing. Poetry, technical reports, blogging writing assignments, character or world creation are all also writing. E-mails can even be writing if they pertain to story or writing and are wordy. If you have to ask if it is writing, the answer is yes.

Working on removing words from the Waxy dragon story. I am very disappointed. I have worked my way half way through and have only removed a thousand words. I need to remove fifteen thousand words. Mostly what I have done was sentence tightening. I am gong to have to hack up one very long scene and see about removing some others that are choice. I know I can remove scenes later in the story but not enough wordage. This is harder than making a story longer. I put a lot of work on the scenes I created and now I am going to have to kill my pride and joys. As far as I have gone, I now have a better idea of what I have so I now have a good picture of what I can get away with.

On the story idea front, I am doing well so far I am posting idea twenty three tonight and it is the twenty second as I write this. Of course we have the holidays so I could well lose that extra idea by getting home late.

I carve Christmas ornaments each year. I try to do four new designs each year, and carve a dozen of each. This year, I knew one design early on and just had to start making them. I lucked on seeing a second design in a catalogue. I have since fretted as to what to do as the third and fourth designs. this past week, I looked in some magazines for carving and saw a couple ideas that sparked an interest. I also got an idea from someone who was listing possible ideas which I had already done. I got a sixth idea from ornaments I found in a yard sale. The last two might be for next year, but not this one.
It was fun to have the concept pop into my mind as "yes, that will work. I made test pieces which required my wood turning abilities to rough them out. The results are quite acceptable. They are somewhat similar but that is not a problem. I now have to carve the rest of the set of each and I will be ready for the holidays.

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



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week 567 Woodworking

year 10, Week 45, Day One (week 567)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-20-10 Saturday

82 degrees, mostly sunny with patches of clouds everywhere. They thickened as the day went on. Light breeze mixed things up. We are getting evening temps in the mid 60s, makes for nice sleeping. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


We had a wood turning club meeting. The club demonstration was on sharpening tools. I picked up a few tips from it. I had left a shell ornament at My mom's house and picked that up when I went to the club. It ended up looking a lot better than I expected. I showed off my snow people, the plate and cup and the shell ornament.
Since it was in the same plaza as the club meeting, I picked up some cotton yarn to make some wash cloths as Christmas presents. I got more than I should have, but I liked the colors and plan to make many projects after the holidays.
Before the club meeting, I was talking to one of the store people and he was suggesting ideas for ornaments. It turned out that I have done most of his suggestions. The swaddled baby might be a later possibility.
Looking through some carving magazines, I got some other ideas.

Me at the turning club meeting


I have had starting problems with my truck, and had been a while since I had an oil change. I took a new ball of yarn with me. I had to wait for the work to be done with the truck. The starting problem ended up being too expensive. I now know what the problem is. After I got my truck back, I then did laundry. IN both places, I crocheted and I've nearly finishing a wash cloth. I made a mistake and made it smaller than it should be, so I am doing decorative edging to bring it to size.


At a yard sale, I found a present for my grand nephew. I am happy. I also found a pair of ornaments that might be possibly made next year -- cherubs with their legs in conical swaddling or something, not sure what it is. The wings are added later, which I can do easily. I got them to remind me next year as to possible projects.

Ornaments to possibly copy next year

Trike for My grand newphew.

After getting my equipment out and bothering the backyard beast, I got to work. I cut some wood for the lathe to try out a couple of projects I had seen. I knew mine would not be as good as the ones in the magazine as I am using only a knife and they used a chisel. I could be that good but don't take the time.
I turned some light bulbs and some thread spools. I carved faces into the first couple, then realized they should be painted, so I painted them, and carved off most of the paint off the faces. I have to remove a bit more because I have some "feathers" of wood sticking out in a few paces. The rest of my blanks are painted and will carve the faces through the paint. I am doing sort of a Santa figure, at least a mustache on all of them and obvious beards on the light bulbs.
These seem to be quick and easy so I should have them done by the start of the month.

Tomorrow, I need to make a bunch more blanks to carve, I have nearly enough of the new ornaments, but need to make a bunch of Christmas tree blanks. I will gather together my carving kit and get that into the car along with all the blanks I need to carve.
I need to touch up the faces I carved today. They have a few little things that are not quite right. I might carve hair all the way around the bulb. I will discuss that with Mom tomorrow.
My usual practice is to sit outside under the oak tree on Thanksgiving and carve. My brother's house is full of people and it is dark. It is easier to stay out of the way this way. I get some stuff done while I am at it.
During the week, I will finish up the new ornaments I made, adding white for hair.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

year 10, Week 45, Day Two (week 567)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-21-10 Sunday

83 degrees, widely separated clouds closed in as the day wore on, nice breeze, dry, but there was showers to the south of us. Nice day to be outside. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

After bothering the beast of the back yard, not as much as he wanted, I got my stuff out.
I started by making more light bulbs to carve faces on. I now have 13 of them, carved and blanks. I then made some spools to carve, and now have thirteen of them too.
I finally decided to make some Christmas tree blanks. this did not go well. three different times, I was reminded why I wear the face shield when turning wood. the pieces broke and slapped me in the face. Each time, I did get a completed tree but I did not get to make several at a time like I had hoped. I finally gave up, having four blanks that I will hand carve, and one that I just have to paint and decorate.

I touched up the bulb and spool faces I had carved yesterday, and carved a couple more. I started on one bulb and popped off a piece of wood I needed to keep, so I glued it back in place. I never finished that one.
With the ones I fixed, I put a hat on them, running around the bulb. After I made all the carving changes, I painted them all over again. If I do these again, I would not paint them first. I would hand paint them after I was done. I have some touch up to them before I can call them done, and will give them a good varnish coating.

Bulb ornaments

Spool Ornaments.

I added a little filler into the shell ornament to fix a little thing that bothered me. I will sand the filler slightly, clean up some over spread, and then varnish it again. I have another of the shells so I will make another shell ornament next weekend.

I showed my brother my swords. He said they were pretty good. He said that stainless steel is brittle. These are better than practice swords but not as good as real swords.

I gathered together my carving basket and blanks so now when I go to my brother's house for our thanksgiving dinner, I will be able to sit outside and kill time, carving, out of the way of everybody and out of the dark house.

Christmas tree blanks.
One just needs to be decorated,
the others have to be carved and then decorated.

bulb and spool blanks to be carved

I have some more clean up on the trike I picked up yesterday. the previous owners had raised the handle bars and they were not steady. We dropped the handle bars back down and bolted it in place. As soon as I get it really clean, it will be ready to be wrapped for Christmas.

For next week. I will be carving on Thanksgiving. I need to get all these ornaments finished, or at least a good number of them. I do have one more weekend to get everything done, but I have decorating work to do after the carving is done.

I will see what I actually do next week.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010 Did You write?

November 15, 2010 Did You write?

This is a time where family and travel, along with preparations start to get in the way of our writing. This note is still here to assist you on getting SOMETHING written. You know this note is coming so the hope is you take a half hour, hour, or several sessions to open some project so you can report to this note "yes, I did write."
I found with myself, that it was a chore to get something opened most weeks, but seeing I had this note coming up, I worked hard to get something written. Of course it did not always work.
I then got hold of some important projects and, while it took a few weeks into the swing of things, but I finally started writing every day. The hope is that such will happen with you also.

we don't care about how much you write, or what you write. In previous notes I have listed options as to what might be writing. When you get down to it, if you have to ask if it is writing, it is.
How much you write does not matter either. If you are editing, your word count might actually go down.

As for me, I am trying to cut down the size of my work in progress. I have worked fourteen pages and have cut 803 words. I am entering a section where several scenes might be easily cut. I will know when I dig into the work next.
With it, I had a write where I loaded it up with detail. I then rewrote it to make it tighter but only slightly shorter. Now I am to cut it about in half.
Someone asked about my story. Waxy Dragon is a cat sized baby dragon that lives with someone she calls Bubblehead. He has a computer operated portal that allows him to visit worlds and universes, where he then returns and writes unimaginative, uninspired, dry, humorless descriptions of what he saw, and then posts them on line as wild and fantastic fantasy and science fiction story ideas to help other authors.
My first story, WILD WAXY, is about how her egg is found and then she and Bubblehead get separated, going on their own ways. I sent that to a publication and am waiting for a response.
I am working on the second story, tentatively named FINDING WAXY, trying to cut the word count in half. this one is where Bubblehead, who is slightly changed, and Waxy find each other again. She does not recognize him as he does not have a magical glow around him any more (hence Bubblehead). In this one, they get to like each other, and he is trying to figure out how to get her home without the computer blocking this world. They are being chased by pack creatures that likes the magical smell of him.
I figure I will have at least four passes on it before I send it off to my writing partner to have a look at it.

ON the story idea front, I am keeping up. I started to dig into my stack but something new appeared so I did not dig far. I never like to touch any of the old notes if something new is available.

I picked up some swords at a yard sale. One needed repair and I fixed that. I am now trying to figure out how to use them. I tugged at everything and cannot find a trigger for them to shoot bullets. I held it up in the air and shouted all the magic sword commands that would cause energy to come out of them, or to enter it. Searched as hard as I could, I cannot find any evil entities within them. they don't sing or suck souls out. My neighbor said that they are to be used to stab and slash. What an idiot...

As to the question of the week,

I am happy to say



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 566 Wood Working

year 10, Week 44, Day One (week 566) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 11-13-10 Saturday

78 degrees, light breeze, scattered clouds that came together in the afternoon. We drove through some drips but nothing really. This weather report is brought to you by The Cities of Dania Beach Department of Tourism.

I guess I over did it in toughing out the chill temps Saturday and Sunday. I got home Sunday and a cold appeared. I Knocked it down over the week with Cold-Eeze and Aspirin. Today I could go into public with limited signs of the cold.

I finished up the ornaments I had made. I ran across a snow people that had fallen to the floor unnoticed. I finished up all the carved blanks I had of them, my carved blanks of the cats, and my carved blanks of the swans. I have eleven cats, ten snow people and five swans. I have others, but have to look for them.


I planned to work on ornaments. I need a tiny bit of clean up on a couple of the finished ornaments, then sign them. I gathered most of my ornaments from previous years (have to find a few more) and took them with me.
I received a notice from the Dania Beach Water Gardens that said they were selling some of their stuff at 40% off. I had sent that to Mom to look at, hoping she might be willing to go there.

We went yard sailing after breakfast and I ended up with four swords. Nice looking but not sharp. One is a fantasy blade that is obviously not useful as a battle sword. I had wanted to get a sword or sword set and now I have some.

The swords I got, four blades with scabbards

Two broad swords, the upper blade is a fantasy sword and the gold end was what was broke, and what I repaired.

Upper blade is a dragon sword, the lower one is a wolf sword

After I petted and fed the cats, I photographed my ornaments, and my swords, and then put things away.

We went to the DANIA BEACH WATER GARDENS and mom drooled around the place. She loves plants and fountains and they had a lot of each. I drooled through the gift shop. She liked the display of my stuff there.

We then went to the Antique shop and had a look around. She said that years ago, there would have been some stuff she would have gotten.

One thing Mom wanted to do was to get pictures of the largest cruise ship in the world that was at the dock. We got a glimpse of it, but was not able to get close because of security.

We got home and the day was gone. I petted the cat, gave him some food, set my stuff away and left.

I should note that one of the swords is broken. It has a screw cap that holds the hilt together. It is essentially pot metal. Part of the thread broke off inside the end. The hand part of the hilt is some hard wood. I have several ways of fixing the sword, which is within my technology. I will talk to my brother as to which method would be the best.

Tomorrow, I will work on ornaments. I want to make some Christmas trees. I want to clean up and finish up the ornaments I finished this week. I am still trying to come up with a new ornament.
I might also work on the sword, depending on what my brother suggests.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Wolf sword details

Dragon sword Details

year 10, Week 44, Day Two (week 566) (January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.) 11-14-10 Sunday

80 degrees, nice breeze, sunny with some clouds flowing through. I don't remember the sun being blocked at all during the day so the clouds that got in the way may have been too thin. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.

I arrived early. After petting the cat, I dug out all the ornaments I have found and laid them out. Two Angels have broken wings. I have to replace them. It does not look like I have very many ornaments, but I have some 68 of them, including my snow people and cats.
I have five more swan blanks to carve before the end of the month. that will give me ten of them.

I sanded the bottoms of my cats and snow people and then signed them.

finished cats, snow people and swans

I took a sea snail shell and made a finial for it. I then drilled it. for one spot, I was using one of those fine "diamond" tipped grinders you get with rotary tools. The end stuck into the shell and broke. I then drilled with something else and that broke. I then used a little nail and it turned blue, then It slipped and I got a hole for my eye hook
My finial was not planned right and does not look good. It needs to be specially designed where it met the shell. I trimmed it, but went the wrong way. I forgot that at Mom's house and will glob filler into the ugly part to rescue the project. For now, it is drying on a hook.

Last week, I made an ornament with a ball on the bottom and a head on it. It did not work at all. Today, I band sawed the ball off the head, and made that into a pencil head. I then had a pencil head that I started back in march, during my art show and did not have time to finish it. I did a quick carving of it to finish it up. I might make a change on it but no rush on that.

I have a bag that has all examples of every Christmas ornament I have made so far. I picked out snow people I really liked, two cats of different designs, a mouse which I made early in the year, and a lady bug. I put them into the bag so they are now part of my record of ornaments I have made over the years. I always pick the very best of each. I should check to see if I have a swan in there.

I decided to fix the sword. I had hoped to discuss it with my brother but he could not come up. I took the metal end cap and shortened it. I see I need a tiny bit more work as the ring I removed was thinner than the rest of the end cap I have left. The wood handle had a tenon that fit into the end cap so it was flush. Now that sticks up a little. I will likely adjust the tenon, cutting it just a little bit smaller to fit into the space needed. Will decide some other time.

I have a turning club meeting this Thursday. I will have a bowl and my snow peoples to show off. I might bring all my ornaments to show the carving club that meets the same day.
I have some finishing work to do for the club meeting.
I had received a note that this club meeting is about sharpening. That reminds me of a joke where a kid shows a stub of a pencil. He says he had it in the pencil sharpener a very long time to make sure he got it sharp....... With the high speed metal tools we commonly use for wood turning, you really cannot damage the tools. All you can do is make them shorter.

I will see what I actually do next week.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Did you Write? 11-08-10

Did you Write? 11-08-10

Among us are people who write every day no matter what. We like hearing from these people. The hope of this note is to get everybody to that point. This note is really for those who write rarely, maybe several times a year rather than several times a month.
One is supposed to reply to this note, whether you wrote or not. tell about what is going on in your life, especially if it stopped you from writing. You will see this note coming each week. The desire to say "Yes I wrote," might overcome the situations keeping you from writing. do this each week and eventually, a project will crop up that will get you excited, to write regularly and suddenly you go from a writer, to a WRITER.

We don't care what you write or how much. The idea is that you make the effort to at least open some work, in progress or new.
Word counts don't matter. I am editing a piece and have to cut the word count in half. I've been known to write less than a page in a week before I got this exciting project to work on. Word count is unimportant.

What one writes is also unimportant. It can be poetry, blogging, technical writing, articles, character or world development. E-mails can be writing, as long as they pertain to story or writing, and are wordy.
New writing is always writing. Editing is also writing, even if it is the work of someone else. Crits are also writing. As mentioned, when editing, word counts can drop, rather than grow.

the hope is that you write something, anything, during the week. Report your success or failures as a way to push yourself into writing more often.

As for me, I finished FOUND WAXY. the second story in the Waxy Dragon series. Weee! The problem is that it is twice the word count allowed. I have to cut out all the fluff and tighten up the action to the best of my ability. I can tell you that it is not going to be easy. I do know that I can remove four pages from the end, but that is nowhere near enough. Some action might have to be lost in the process. Will have to see.
From the original form of the story to this one, I only removed 4530 words. Yuck. It is a better story but still. Now to cut it in half without losing a good story.

On the story idea front. Including the note I am posting tonight, I have 46 story ideas in my compost pile. I have been lucky the past week in that I have not had to go deeper than great notes I have come up with in the past week or so. the deeper one goes into the pile, the harder it is to write them. There is a reason they sink down.
I am a little ahead for the week because I will be missing a couple days soon. It is better to be ahead than to have to catch up.
there are many reasons I have not given up these story ideas for actual writing, though it would help in adding a half hour a day. One is that it is pure pleasure to get a great concept, write it out complete, at least to tell what the story is about, and then let the concept stew until one needs it.
There is a bit of pride in keeping up the pace of an idea a day. There is the hope that someone might find an idea that is interesting and write it. I would rather all these good ideas not go to waste so I post them in hopes all of them get used in some way. Also, ideas is something that needs exercising and it is good to keep them coming. It is also just fun.
When a thought appears in my mind, I try to write it down as quickly as possible, whether it belongs in the compost pile or is a masterpiece of a concept. I get it noted, then will decide whether there is something better to post when I open up my word processor to write it. there are times where I will write it first, just because I don't want it to sink into oblivion, but usually, I find better pieces and the concept slowly descends into the pile.

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



Week 565 Woodworking

year 10, Week 43, Day One (week 565)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-06-10 Saturday

50 degrees early morning, 58 degrees when I got out to work at nine thirty, and it got up to 68 degrees when I left in the afternoon.
One must remember that here in South Florida, we are in the sub tropics. Water freezes at 56 degrees here, rather than 32 up north. You should have seen the way the area glistened from the frost on everything. My truck slipped on ice several times on the way up to Mom's house. Had I known it was going to get this cold, I would never have moved here......
This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


I went down to Dania to check in on what is going on down there. The antique shop had not sold any of my flowers, or anything else, but that is all right. They are on display and my stuff looks good.
I picked up my face vase there and took it and a few more things to the Dania Beach Water Gardens.

Antique shop display

I left my two latest bowls and the face vase at the Water Gardens. I was told that while they are doing well financially, the family decided to shut down the place at the end of the year. I will go down there next month and see what is going on and likely pick up my stuff. Will know for sure when I talk to them then. My stuff looks good there. I took pictures of several items of interest that I might copy in wood.

Dania Beach Water Gardens Display

We hit half a dozen yard sales. I saw a few things of interest but did not buy anything.

The cat had his moods, but mostly showed up every now and then and get some attention, before walking off into the sun or to sleep somewhere. Scarface made a showing and he got some attention too.

Yesterday I saw something in E-mail that might be a good ornament. I decided to give it a try. I needed to turn a ball first on the bottom of the ornament. I then cut the upper part free of the stick and the rest was hand carved.
I carved a face on the upper part. I quickly realized that this was not going to work as an ornament. I finished it up so others can see what I had in mind. Mom said it was not cute so it would not work. What I had was a carved face, this one a man with a mustache, with a ornament ball for the body. She was right. it did not work. I will have to come up with something else.

face ornament with two snow people

I stopped and got a bunch of Eye hooks for my ornaments. I cannot find what I did with the ones I have had, since I put them in a logical location. These were on as deal. Instead of the seven brass eye hooks, these were fourteen steel eye hooks for the same price.
I then went and got some wipe on varnish for finishing my work.

I took out the Norfolk Island pine piece I have. It has two sets of knots in it. Norfolk Island pine has an unusual growing pattern where the trees grow in a circle around the trunk, then there is a space and then another ring of branches. It is almost like a horsetail plant, for those who know it.
On this piece of wood, One ring has six knots which is good for the faces, and the other had some nine knots. I cut the nine knot piece short so the face vase has the most wood to work with.
I then made a simple vase of what was left, having the shoulder of the vase at the knots so some of the knots streak along it. and then the mouth spread wide out again. All I had to do was to finish the bottom to call this piece finished.
I took two shortcuts. One of them would not have given me any problems. The two of them together caused a not-nice situation.
I had mounted the piece with the mouth in the Cole Chuck and only used half the rubber stoppers to hold it in place (short cut number one). I then did not bring the tail stock up to the bottom of the piece to hold it in place while I cut the wood away (shortcut number two). The rubber stoppers were not strong enough to hold the piece in place. While I was cutting, I got a catch and the bowl went out of center and then flew off, bouncing on everything on the way down to the ground. Two chips came off the lip of the vase.
I now have to decide whether to do some decorative cutting of the edge of the mouth to make it look like I intended to have pieces of wood missing, or I could cut the mouth shorter which might mess up the design. I will have to give it some thought.

Chipped Vase

I also carved two more of my snowmen. Mom said that the arms are not needed so I left them off these two.

I have loads of projects I should be working on. One is to empty the shelves under my lathe, take everything off the bed, clean and protect everything, empty the roller cart of all the wood an tools, then re-stack it all in a logical order, possibly all the tools on the cart and all the wood on the lathe.
I have some work on my truck to do, such as sanding and varnishing the bed rails since the clear coat is pealing away.
I need to go through all the surface areas of the awning area, and clean everything and sort them so it will be easier to find things. I should empty the shed and clean it up. I know that some bugs have enjoyed some of the wood in there and I need to get rid of them or at least mess with their minds.....

I will likely be working on Christmas Ornaments tomorrow. I have swans, snow people, cats to make. and should make some Christmas trees while I am at it.

I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

year 10, Week 43, Day Two (week 565)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
11-07-10 Sunday

It was 50 degrees early this morning, got to a steady 72 degrees, with one point with full sun where it got up to 76 degrees. That was gone quickly, though. We had what is called an Indian cloudy day, "A-patchy...(Apache) There were periods where we had full clouds, but those times passed quickly. A few looked pregnant but they passed without incident. There was a brisk breeze that blew wood chips everywhere. It made the day feel quite cool.
this weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

Today was strictly a carving day. I dug into some ornament blanks I have. I started carving under the awning. The cat would come in, get petted munch a little, then go out to the sun. I then moved out into the sun and the cat did not like being fed away from the awning. I did get some carving done out there, then returned to work under the awning the rest of the day.

I dug out the blanks for ornaments I had. Swans from last year, snow peoples, and cats.

The snow people were easy to do except I kept breaking off the rim of their hats.

One of the cat looks strange, but will leave it like that.

The swans need some work, mostly sanding to get rid of bits caused by the dremmel I worked with. It raises fluff on the surface. I spray painted the swans white, but a lot of that will go as I clean them up. I will then paint them by hand.

Cats, snow people and swans

Basically, I have to paint all of them to finish them up.

I need to explain about my lathe a bit and the accident that happened yesterday. The way my lathe is set up, is where I can have wheels down, to roll the lathe around the work area. It is then designed so I can lower the lathe onto four by four wood blocks so if I am working on something that is really out of center, the lathe won’t be traveling around the countryside. I usually don’t drop it down onto the blocks as most of my work don’t need that steadiness.
The wheels are welded to boxes, and the boxes are welded to a shaft that goes across the bottom shelf behind the blocks. When I raise the wheels to set the lathe down onto the blocks, the box of the wheels get raised up and the wheels stick out sideways.
Now on the opposite side I work, there is welded a lever set so that the wheels are straight down when the levers are level. The levers are held down by blocks that can be twisted over top them. That locks them in place to roll around. When I drop the lathe onto the blocks, the levers point up.
What happened was that the lock block for the wheels on the end where my feet were, slipped and that end of the lathe dropped. The box the wheel is attached to came down on my instep. If you remove unmentionable words, I said ouch...

Last night and this morning, I dipped my cats and snow people ornaments in wipe-on varnish to seal them. They will now get spray varnish to give them a good finish.

I sent a picture of the vase I made to a master wood turner in the club. He said the design was good and shortening the rim to get rid of the chips would ruin it. He said to make a decorative edge instead.
He also said that He needs to work with me on tool control to remove the tear out he sees.

Next week, I will likely make some more ornament blanks. I might decide to start on the face vase.

I will see what I actually do next week.