Sunday, August 26, 2012


I have been on a tear on making cotton dish cloths.

 Tunisian Crochet with two bands of a second yarn, the remains of both yarns made up the edging and the loop with no yarn to spare.

I combined Tunisian crochet with single crochet, causing strips of Tunisian crochet to face the opposite sides. The edging is stepped length stitch, half, single, half double, double, half triple and triple, and back down again. 
Using single crochet, I fed in a second yarn in strips
Since I had more of the yarn left, I made a second mate to the first. 
Another view of an earlier wash cloth where I created the wave stitch by using half single, single, half double, double, half triple, triple and back down stitches, then reversing it on the next pass.
 Tunisian crochet with a larger hook. Note I used the leftover yarn to make the bands in the cloth on the right.

Week 632 Wood Working

Year 12, Week 6, Day One (week 632)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
08-26-12 Sunday
windy, wet with squall lines passing through, all to the thanks of Tropical Storm Isaac. The ground in the area I work is wet, and spray is pushed quite high. Not weather for working outside. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism and the National Hurricane council.

The past two weeks, I made a pair of drum sticks for a drummer who gave me some wood. I gave him the sticks last night. He said they were a bit thicker than normal, and they could have been longer. Otherwise he liked them. I checked them after he was done with the session and there were dents in the wood but no chips like the ones left by the Sunday service drummer who hits harder. I kept one broken drum stick to use as a guide for when I make more.

Today, I could have sat out under the awning and carved, but the strong winds and heavy rains would have made it a little miserable. In the heavy downpours, water backs up beneath the awning for a while before it drains off.

The crosses I made a few weeks ago, are now up on the walls of the church. From the normal viewing distance, they look commercial. Only when you get up close that you see the flaws in them.

I had picked up some cotton last weekend and I've made two Dish cloths. One I made yesterday start to finish. They look good. I had fabric left over from a third dishcloth I made so I fed that into the pair as stripes. It came out pretty good. I wanted to do that with a fourth one but the yarn I am working with is too close in color for the effect I am after.

I took a load of stuff home this week in preparation to moving back into my own place. I have several more loads to do before I am ready. There are things I need at home when I go there, and things I can move out now, so that is the process. I am also sorting my piles of stuff between WOODWORKING, HOME, and stay in the TRUCK stuff.

Next weekend should be a whole lot better weather. I hope to get some work done.

finished drum sticks
 cross on the front of the church
cross on the side wall of the church  

Week 630 Woodworking

Year 12, Week 4, Day One (week 630)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
08-12-12 Sunday
88 degrees at ten, 94 at noon, 96 at three. A good breeze moved sawdust around a little made the temps quite tolerable. Smears of clouds on the blue sky in the morning, spreading into a thicker shield. A few puffs in the morning but they went away, only to return in the afternoon. I was well inside for the day when weather actually arrived. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.


For the past several weeks, my company was bringing me back and forth to work. Thursday afternoon, I got word that they were having problems and would not be able to get me to work on Friday. Once I got home, Mom and I went to check on a truck I looked at previously. We ended up getting it.
The truck is a black Ford Ranger with a six cylinder engine, overload springs and lifters in back, extra large tires. It runs so I hope it will keep me going for a month before I need to do repairs.  I now have a ride.
Mom had me get 30 bags of mulch (she was planning on having me get them the day of the accident so it is four months late). With the load on it, the truck "smiled" and was fun to drive.
I took Friday off to get tags and insurance. I went to the wrong place for the tag and walked farther than I had to day in one stretch, both ways. I did fairly well, though I was not happy about it. Few of my other stops  for the day were of consequence. 


I was talking to a drummer. He  gave me oak and Cherry boards. I decided to try to make a pair of drum sticks. I had made magic wands and people wondered if they were drumsticks. I made some hand measurements, placing it against my arm and hand and seeing the scale they would have to be.

I took the oak board since it was thicker, and cut it into square sticks longer than a drumstick was. I came up with three of them the right size and one a bit too narrow when I ripped the board pieces to width. That one will have to become involved in crochet.

I first rounded them, setting each to the side. When I was working the third one, it came loose from the tail stock and I stopped the lathe. The wood cracked on the end, so my first two were going to be my first drumsticks.

I then re-mounted them and got the basic drumstick shape. I need to do that a third time to fine-tune the shape and get it well sanded.

I did these in steps because I was not sure how long I could last on my feet. I did fairly well, sitting in front of a fan while preparing the next piece.
This was the first time I used the big lathe since the accident since it required standing, so I held off, avoiding it until I had a project that would not require long standing. I am not quite ready for really serious working, but can do light work like these drum sticks.

I hope to have half a dozen sets of sticks by the end of the year.

Since I am going with what feels right, I cannot plan ahead.
I will see what I do next week
 A picture of me with my hat and cane after losing 30 pounds
 A picture of me without the hat
 A picture of the truck I got

Friday, August 10, 2012


This is a "finished" piece I got in a yarn stash I picked up at a yard sale. I started edging it and got the spacing wrong, causing wrinkles.  

During my recovery, I filled some of my time with crochet. I had some hooks and a little yarn at work and started working yarn to help occupy my time and have something to show for it. I don't have the pictures available of all I worked while rehabilitating. I do have some pieces.

 This is one of my pieces where I kept running out of yarn as I worked. I was not sure of the colors, but others liked them. I intended to make it bigger but left therapy before I could do more.

 This is a  wash cloth in cotton using front post stitch. the back side looks the same.  I went 40 stitches across and I ran out of yarn on that ball.

 This is a granny square I made in therapy. It went fast. In the lower right hand corner, you will see a short bit of blue., I ran out of yarn and used the blue to finish it up. I never decided whether to continue it or not in that color. It was big enough at the time.

 This is a cotton washcloth. I worked forty stitches across and ran out of yarn, calling it done.

 This is a granny square. I was experimenting with two stitches in each hole and one chain between holes. It came out pretty good, though because I was working tight, I got wrinkles in it.

At a yard sale, I picked up this batch of knitting needles. A few are broken which will make for good crochet hooks. I guess I should start learning knitting.....

Week 629 woodworking

Year 12, Week 2, Day One (week 629)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-28-12 Sunday
92 Degrees at ten, 95 degrees at noon. High platelets, smears and streaks, with some puffs all around, especially over the Everglades. The storm that was supposed to hit, stayed South of us, down in the Miami-Dade County. They get really soaked. There was a good breeze that kept things nice and comfortable. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
One of the feet of my four legged cane wore through so the metal was rubbing on the floor. That is not good. I had a clue for a few days before because the cane was acting like one leg had bent up.
We went to Ace Hardware and got a new set of rubber caps. I teased people, holdingit up, saying "I got new tires for my truck."
Saturday was not a working day. Mom and I did a lot of running around. At one yard sale, I picked up what may be thirty knitting needles and a pair of hammer handles. I paid more than I should have for the needles, but had to have them.They came in a backgammon case.
        I decided to work on the wood mock-up of the tool holder for my mini lathe. My first project was t draw on the pieces I had cut length ways from the wood block to see if that design could be used. After measuring everything out, I saw there was no room for fittings or screws. Cutting my aluminum blank across the middle is the way to go.
        I then decided to machine my wood blank that I cut across. My first project was to cut the slot that the tools would be held. My clamps were not tall enough to hold it. I solved that by cutting slots on the top of the piece where I knew waste wood would be located. I then set it up on end and machined the tool slot. I then machined some of the waste wood where I had cut a slot, and then remembered that the are would be cut off, rather than machined low.
        My results of this machining is quite satisfactory and the process will work nicely. I have some more work on this piece, and then have to do the other half of the tool rest. Because I am working in  wood, I am taking deeper cuts than I would in metal, but the concepts are the same.
I expect to work more on this tooling next week, but other projects could come into play between now and then.
I will see what I actually do next week.

Machining wood blank
Showing the clamps in slots cut into side of wood

 Showing machined wood with slots, and real tool holder.

This is the top of my cane with my hat on it.
This has to be what a snake has to look like when wearing a cowboy hat.

 The base of my cane showing new "tires" as I jokingly called them

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Latest Anthology Collection Is Now Available!

And just look at this gorgeous cover by the very talented David Russell with new streamlined logo and layout by Pro Se's setup guru, Sean Ali!

If you love action adventure tales with a strong female lead in a fantasy world backdrop filled with magic, mythical beings, danger, intrigue, and monsters, this is your book. There are five short stories in this book set in the same world as my previous releases, FORTUNE'S PAWN and TALES OF THE VAGABOND BARDS. I guarantee these stories will keep you turning pages wondering what's going to happen next. Just read the press release from Pro Se and you'll know how excited they were about this one: 

Right now, Pro Se Press is offering a FREE BOOK PROMOTION! If you order a copy of THE HUNTRESS OF GREENWOOD from Amazon at between now and 12:01 AM Monday, and send your receipt to, you will receive the digital ebook of my last collection, TALES OF THE VAGABOND BARDS, and a digital copy of every issue of PRO SE PRESENTS I have had a story in! That's right, a bunch of free digital reading for your purchase of my latest work, THE HUNTRESS OF GREENWOOD! It's a fantastic offer, but limited, so take advantage of that now folks! 

Put some New Pulp action back into your day. You won't be disappointed!