Monday, December 26, 2011

Week 635 wood working

Year 11, Week 50, Day One (week 624)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-24-11 Saturday

I have no idea what the temperature was this weekend. I am thinking it was in the high 70s. The sky was partly cloudy, about half blue sky, some sun and some shade. There was a light breeze. Quite comfortable over all. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Fort Lauderdale Department of Tourism.


I finished my first batch of nine Christmas Cards. I decided to give them out early. It was good as I had forgotten about one person and had to give his card the next day. I got a lot of compliments from everybody in the office saying it was a professional quality card or that it was the best I had done. I gave my brother one of the cards and he said essentially the same thing.
I started my second batch of 16 cards and ended up working most of the day Christmas Eve trying to get them finished. They were not as good as I had hoped, but came out pretty good. Everybody who got them really liked them. White card stock of the first batch is so much easier to work with than the brown card stock of this second batch. I have a few that have to be finished. They got skipped because I did not put them out to dry in the right place and forgot about them. Just a short bit of time is necessary to finish them. I will end up with four spare cards, actually five because I kept one.

I had to use creative boxing of several of my presents I gave out. With one, I took the box apart and refolded and taped back together for a fairly flat but large package. The wrapping paper I was using did not come in a solid roll like most rolls come in. They had curled cardboard that the paper was wrapped around. I took one of these and folded it in half and was able to use that as hard containment wrapping of that present. the wrapping paper then covered the cardboard.


We have the tradition of opening our presents on Christmas Eve so the kids can play with their toys all Christmas morning rather than having to wait until everybody gets together. That meant I had to rush to wrap packages and finish my cards.
Most of the presents I gave out were thrifted from yard sails over the year, especially the past month or so. A couple things I gave were things I already had, but found lower quality replacements for them that I would keep instead. It seems like everybody really enjoyed what I got them. One of the last presents I packed was for my sister in law who I had almost nothing for. Ages ago, I somehow got hold of a cracker cheese server. I cleaned it up and pack it. She really liked it, commenting that she was thinking about getting one but never got to it. Talk about good gifting.
I also gave members of the family some of my ornaments. With my nephew and his wife and with my brother and his wife. I split the ornaments of the year between them so I did not have to give two sets.
One of my nephews is learning blacksmithing. I had a decrative cookie box I got from work and stuck some old charcoal into it. I then made a card from SANTA that said inside "YOU HAVE BEEN SUCH A BAD BOY, I BURNED ALL YOUR TOYS." giving him the bag of charcoal instead. He really got a kick out of that. He was happy to get the charcoal anyway.

I decided that a knife would work better for cutting wrapping paper than scissors. I had cut a sheet of paper and sort of waved the knife. It nicked my finger on my left hand. It was like I hit my juggler vein. It kept bleeding. I had to change Band-Aids four times before it finally decided to stop bleeding. It was such a small cut too. It barely went below the surface of the skin. It did not even hurt.

I got gift cards, a manicure kit, and a AS SEEN ON TV hamburger maker. They will all get used.


I got a late start. I planned to bring some coffee and forgot that, and I forgot my camera. It ended up that I would not have taken any pictures anyway. I just hate having it just in case.

I arrived early and settled in back and carved while my brother did some sheet metal work. I helped him in several stages. I carved a turkey ornament. I could have carved a couple other ornaments but one was enough. I used a different design plan to make it and it came out all right. Paint will tell people what it really is, just like the other three of them I made.

The project my brother was doing was to make a metal box for his sockets. The body was already done, but I helped him with the top. I helped him bend it with the bender. I watched him while he brazed it sealed. He brazed the hinges in place. after sorting his sockets to figure out what he needed, we tack welded it together. It was quite a project. It will last longer than the plastic box he used before. The technique to build it was actually quite easy.

I spent much of the time playing with my PALM PILOT. Yesterday, I found the battery was dead and lost the data on it, so I put new batteries in and used the sync on my computer to put the data back on. I decided to play with it some.

Christmas dinner was excellent. I over ate and did not care.

I have to wait a week or so before I can post pictures of my second batch of Christmas cards. they are going to get mailed out this week and I want to keep it a surprise.

I have the next two days off. I have a lot of work around the house, re-arranging things and straightening up. I want to be able to find project materials. I have a story I want to send out this week and have to finish editing it, and I have some painting projects to do.
Next week I have loads of projects to work on. I need to make some more ornaments so I am caught up on what should have been made. I have a dragon and a five face vase to make. I have a couple projects I would love to try my hand at, such as a popper fishing lure, a winged bowl, a couple more of the bird ornaments, but bigger, just to name a few.

I will see what I actually do next week.

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