Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Year 15, Week 02, Day One (week 699)

Year 15, Week 02, Day One (week 699)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-25-14 Saturday
    I forgot to check the temperature. I figure it was in the high 70s. high feathers and ripples early morning, low heavy clouds passed after noon, leaving high feathers and ripples in the evening. Light breeze, lots of sun made the day nice. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

    We hit several yard sales in the morning. At one, I got some wire strippers dirt cheep. Mom held a bag up. It was yarn. The colors were bright and pretty, and I could see pretty scarves made from those colors. I decided I had to take them home. I now keep that batch in the truck in case I need yarn or a project when I am not home.
    At another yard sale, I picked up a wooden cane for a quarter. I would not depend on it to hold my weight, and it is shorter than I like, also it needs a rubber foot as it is noisy. I ended up having that as a spare cane in the truck.
    One big sale was at the local Catholic Church. They have it a couple times a year and it is called AUNTIE'S ATTIC. I walked around the thing a half dozen times. I am still running into the problem where there are things I have more than enough of, and things I know I will now never use. It is frustrating as I see all sorts of really good stuff that won't be coming home.
    I saw a crank pasta machine sitting there. It was only five bucks. I walked away from it twice. I stopped to look at it again, and a woman was looking at it. I guess I gave her a sales pitch on it, telling how it is used, what one can do with it, how I make use of mine. The box said for Polymer clay. We found in the instructions that one should not use it for food after it is used for the clay. She saw some mess on the underside of one of the housings and decided not to get it. I walked around one more time and then picked it up.
    A bit later, I found a rattle for music and a child's tambourine and picked them up. They were later donated to a church. We were there for about an hour.
    At another yard sale, I picked up a couple books. THE MAD BATHROOM COMPANION Turd In The Series. It is a compilation of bits from their magazine. A couple I recognized. The other book was NEW YOUR TIMES NATURAL FOODS COOKBOOK. I picked it up because when I cracked it open, I saw Dandelion salad. I have flipped through it in more detail and it is mainly cooking from scratch -- Cooking without additives. It is pretty good. It has some interesting ideas.

new addition to the yarn stash

wire strippers and pen

rattle and tambourine 

cook book and joke book

crank pasta machine

detail of inlay on wooden cane

whole wooden cane

    One little project I did was on the shed. We have a hard wood pin to help hold the door closed. It is attached with an eye hook to a string. The piece of wood came off the hook. I tried to reattach it but the wood was splintering, well weathered. I cut a piece of oak from one of the slats from an old barrel. I shaped it with a knife to fit the hole nicely. I figure it will last a while.
    We went out for lunch at THE CRACKER BARREL. This is a chain where they offer old Southern cooking. They have a store attached to the Restaurant. The store has interesting things that change by the season. They have antique items hanging from the ceiling in the store, and attached to the walls in the restaurant. It is a fun place as we try to figure out what the things are, and how they were used. We sat in a section of the restaurant we don't normally get and it was fun to see new things. There was a foot wide mandolin slicer. Mom said it was for slicing cabbage for sauerkraut. She said that Dad had one.

With a short nap, that took up my whole day. No wood working other than making that peg.

I have no idea what I will work on, but I do hope to accomplish something tomorrow.
Year 15, Week 02, Day Two (week 699)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-26-14 Sunday
    57 degrees early morning, 78 degrees in the afternoon, high feathers and ripples all day long with sunshine. A light breeze was almost ignoreble. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I found last night, I left my normal cane at the gas station. I am using my clunky spare cane. The wood cane I got yesterday is now in my truck as an emergency spare. That is the second four footed (quad) cane I have lost in three weeks.
    There was something rattling in the pasta maker I purchased. I found out that a screw was missing and a nut was rattling round inside. I also checked the one I had and found that this new one is almost exactly the same as my old machine. The only difference between the two, besides the new roller having going to a thinness of nine rather than seven, is that the old machine used sheet metal screws to hold the base on and the new one used a screw and a nut to hold the base on. They are different brand names but the same machine. I really need to completely dismantle my old machine and clean it properly. there appears to be some corrosion on the housing so I need to clean that up. That is a project for some other time.
    Not wanting to do too much serious wood working, I dug out the metal lathe and decided to round some Bamboo chop sticks. I miss-remembered how much of the chop sticks are square. That made for more rounding than I thought was necessary. I machined one from beginning to end. I then took a couple more and used the knife to remove the corners before placing them on the lathe. Finally, I got an idea based on what I saw on TV a couple times. I saw where they made pegs by driving them through a hole. The wood out of the round was simply forcibly scraped off.
    My brother periodically sharpens his drill bits when he is up here. He has a heavy piece of angle iron that he drills into to test to see if he has the bit sharpened properly.
    I dug out that angle iron, found a hole about the right size and drove the chop stick through it. Usually, when I got near the end, I would start spreading the bamboo. They were round-ish, but not nicely round. The roughly rounded chopsticks are something to work with.
    I located the last for disks I had made for my little three legged stools and added legs. I then sanded the top on the disk sander and leveled the legs to finish them up.
    This week, I went to one of my doctors and showed him my three legged stools and told him they were my stool samples. He laughed really hard. That was nice. I had "signed" them and added eye hooks to the side of the seat so they could be hung. This doctor was not the one I made these for.
    I accomplished a tiny bit this week, but nothing like what I really needed to do. I hope next week I actually accomplish something.
    I will see what I do next week.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Little Bit of This and That...

Hey it's winter here, cold and snowy. The storms have been inconsistent, but I'm not complaining. We've had some snow, with thaws in between, and some very arctic cold snaps! It's brutal here today, after our latest storm, with tonight going to be down in the low singles to negative numbers. Can you say BRRRRRR?

 Not much going on house-wise, but the writing is back in full swing, now that the holidays are over. I should have another anthology coming out soon. I have novel in editing, and another novel in the second pass mode. I just finished a rewrite of a children's story, bringing it up to full length novella size. I'm also collaborating on a short story with Lee. So I hit the ground running for 2014.

Best part has been, so far this winter, my health has been far better than last year. The eyesight is the big issue right now, but we're working on getting that under control. The grandbaby is growing like a zucchini. He sits up, rolls over, and has learned that a piercing shriek will make the big big people stop doing things he doesn't like. 

Yep, my life is blessed with many good things!

So here are some pictures to let you know how things have been.

 Early December, and we got a dusting of snow. It did not last, but sure looked pretty.

 I love the way it sticks to the brush. You can see some of the trees still had leaves clinging to them. We had not had a lot of cold at that point. That changed!

 The layered clouds in the sky and the angle make this an interesting shot. I keep thinking a frost dragon is going fly in, or a group of long haired, eight foot Yetis will tromp down the hill. But then, I am a writer...

***I got to go thrifting!***

 Could not resist that plaque—how true it is! I stopped telling people, "I don't work," long before the writing bug bit. Being a full time homemaker is a lot of work, because the family depends on you so much. I never really minded, but then I'd had a lot of crappy day jobs previously.

Always love jingle bells for crafts.

 I did not get a good clear side view of this little basket, but it is a nice one. I like this size for holding things like coasters and the note pads on which I write shopping lists.
 The interior really looked good. Baskets are my latest crave in the thrift shops, but I am very picky now. It has to appeal to me on either a decorative or functional level. I pass up 19 out of 20 for that reason.

This was not very profitable day on their account, I think I spent just over $4.

 The ground cleared and then it snowed again. This is how the winter has been shaping up. 

 This was supposed to be a much heavier snow. I am not complaining, although #1 son did. He wanted snow that lasted through his birthday and the holidays. This didn't.

 We moved the small birdfeeders up by the house. I've had these planter poles for many years, and we moved them here last summer. They were too tall for my mother to reach, but by the sidewalk here they are perfect. The birds adjusted quickly. I bought a second set of those mesh balls this year; for me they work out well.

 This is the feeding station up by the house, under the overhang. We have sunflowers on the left, suet in the middle, and thistle and mixed seed on the right. Lots of birds hit these. Below it is a makeshift cart where we fill the feeders and put out a tray of things like wet seed, stale bread, and peanuts for the blue jays.

Yeah, those things in the buckets got put away in the barn.

 A chickadee on one of the ball feeders. I used picture wire to keep the cap handy, in case a wily squirrel knocks it off. We would lose the little tops in the grass. The squirrels have not been too bad here, we don't have a lot of trees right around the house.

 A spectacular winter sunset. This is about mid-December. One nice thing about this open field lot is you can actually see a lot of the sky. So different from my last home at the edge of the state forest.

 Glass worker James Meuginot made these gorgeous holiday ornaments. I was giddy as a kid when I opened that box! I have yet to put them away. I might just hang them in a window for the rest of the year.

Click HERE for Jim's Facebook page.

 A separate look at the peace dove...

and the panda...

Check out Jim's WEBSITE too.

And the stocking. 

He has jewelry, dishes, and all sorts of amazing things. I drool when it comes across my news wall! 

I'm not old enough to have a 30 year old son, am I? Well, #1 somehow turned 30 on December 23. He asked for a toll house pie for his birthday, in lieu of a cake.

 Toll house pie has nuts, and some family members don't like that. So for them, I made old fashioned gingerbread. I did ice it later, but regretted that, because the royal icing was too thick and hard.

And for those of us who need to avoid a lot of sugar, there was an almost sugar free chocolate silk pie. Splenda is the sweetener in this one.

 What would the big holiday be without gingerbread cookies? Yep, made them again this year. The only cookie I've ever been begged to make.
 It took one day to make all the dough; one day to roll, cut, and bake them, and one day to frost them. The frosting day was very long. Worth it though. That time of year, I have a lot of fans! 

 I sent a pan home with my family, a pan over to #2 son's in-laws, and care package to dear Roger in Florida. Yes, we kept a few here too.

After the holidays, I went ***thrifting*** again. My first thrift shop trip of 2014.

 First thing I grabbed. It spoke to me on so many levels... as a writer, a mom, a crafter, and the person at whose house the family loves to gather.

Yeah, it all starts here. Finally, this place feels like home.

 A little more beat up than I normally consider, but not chipped, and it belongs to a set I'd previously found. I love old Pyrex, it reminds me of growing up, and my first apartment. I also love that Woodland Brown pattern.

Someone special gave me a whole box of thrifted rug yarn this year. People know me... I scored this one myself, in a lovely peach/flesh color. You don't see that shade often in rug yarn.

Like I said, I am a sucker for baskets. Wall baskets get some use here, I have one near my desk with handy items I like to keep close by. The bigger one needs a tiny repair, but it was cheap.

This one got put out after I grabbed the others and moseyed off. Good thing I came back! I love those handles.

Wow, we're finally caught up! These next pictures were taken today.

It snowed yesterday afternoon, and into the night. The ground had been bare. Now we have about 5 inches, and it's bitterly cold again.

 The pond is barely in view between the cowbarn roof and the milkroom roof. The milkroom is where I keep my gardening stuff. I got no closer because I was not dressed to venture off the porch.

Yeah, we got our share of icicles. Even though it was a cold day, the lot is open and it was sunny, so there was melting and dripping. My house is so old, it grew a long beard, LOL!

Proof that even when it's cold and dreary, life goes on. This year's potted rosemary is still with us, joined by a half price holiday amaryllis from a kit. This one is supposed to be the pink. Can't wait to see those blossoms!

So here we are at last, all caught up. With three blogs to maintain, pages on Facebook and G+, as well as my family and my writing, it's tough sometimes to get out here and post. I often wonder who, if anyone, reads this blog, because I do see a spike in hits whenever I post something. I am grateful I have Roger here to keep it open, and for the times Lee jumps in with something of his own.

These mature years are supposed to be more restful, and in spite of all the projects I get myself involved in, they are. The difference is, I have far more control over how I decide to spend my time. Now I'm doing many things I love and want to do. These days I can sit back more often to watch the seasons come and go, and the family grow and evolve. I look at my half torn apart house with less anxiousness than confidence. It will get done, eventually. No need to throw away the joys of today, fretting over what should be.

Same way with this blog. Eventually I always find the incentive and time to gather pictures and post about what I've been up to. And please do check out my sister blogs, COMPANION DRAGONS TALES and WRITING FROM HOME to see what I'm doing 'at work'. Oh believe me, writing is work, but it's work that I love. Hopefully, some of you will love what I've done whenever I've had any 'spare time' too.

Be well,

Monday, January 20, 2014

Year 15, Week 01, Day One (week 698)

Year 15, Week 01, Day One (week 698)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-18-14 Saturday
    49 degrees early morning, 69 degrees late afternoon, high fine feather clouds early morning, blue sky later in the morning and all day. Brisk breeze took away any heat you developed and gusts caused sawdust to dance around. Because it was below the 56 degree frost temperature here in South Florida, which is part of the subtropics, I drove on the ice covered canals as short cuts to Mom's house. I am lucky my truck has heat. I did not run the heat in my house and it was 66 degrees inside. An electric blanket made sleeping nice. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
    in Celebration
    Before the year 2000, I would go to my mom's house and read, write on a lap top, build tiny wooden structures for my model railroad. We would also eat dinner together.
    January 17th 2000, It dawned on me that my dad was in his 80s, I decided I did not want that "I wish I had said, I wish I had done, kind of situation when his time came, so I decided to take up his hobby.
    My dad was challenged by an art teacher neighbor to try carving and he did well. He later traveled the country each summer, going to carving conventions and learning from the masters. Until this day, My dad and brother would work on projects outside, and I would sit inside all day long. One day, I borrowed one of his knives, and a stick of wood and started carving.
    I remembered that when  my dad started carving, he had a difficulty in getting "out of the square" of the wood. He would essentially relief carve the surfaces but not get deep.
    I chose to dig deep into the wood. I had drawing and sketching lessons. I had painting lessons. But I had no carving lessons. I simply dug into the wood. My carving was supposed to have a brim all the way around the head, but it kept breaking off. I finally got it stable and shaped like a bill cap. I had made the nose stick out far and I stopped at about the waist. It had a resemblance of Charles DeGaul.
    My second and third carvings were from some boards I found, a sailor in cedar, and a man walking. My fourth carving was based on my kneeling with my hands across my knee. I sanded this carving and learned I did not like sanding. It was well done except for the arms. My fifth carving was based on a painting I saw, an angel sitting on a rock.
    I kid that the way my dad taught me how to carve was to pat my on the head and say "Do another one."
    We had a lot of good time together, I learned a lot from him, especially making my own knives, along with wood turning, scroll saw, power carving, to name just a tiny bit of what I learned though his help and on my own.
    Before I tried carving, my dad would show up for a short time, mainly to cool down and rest a little, sitting to be with me a sort while, and then head back out to work. In his last years, (I realized later) I would come in to cool off, and rest a little, be with him a little, and then go back out to work.
    Dad got me into a wonderful hobby and I am thankful for it. Since the 17th was Friday, This weekend is the official start of my carving year (I messed up on the weeks sometime last year)

    I went to the GOLD COAST WOOD TURNING CLUB meeting on Thursday. Other than locking myself out of my truck on the way there, and losing a cane, It was an excellent evening.
    The demonstration was on wood turning jewelry. He took walnuts, cashews, and sliced them, and also used palm nuts. He made a shallow cup from waste wood he had left from making bracelets, and tacked the sliced shells inside. He then used an enlace -- epoxy filled with turquoise - and filled the voids. the demonstration batch he did had to sit to harden so he took something he did earlier and mounted it into the lathe. He shaped and finished the exposed surface, causing a light dome. He then sliced it off the waste wood. He had a Jam chuck and had adjusted the piece to fit it.
    The cut off piece was fit into the jam chuck and he finished the back side, doming it slightly. He explained how he would finish it. He also explained that on the back side, one might have to touch up small pin holes and such.
    If he sliced it thin, he could get several nearly matching disks from one piece, and those would be ear rings. The thick one he made would be a necklace.
    It had been many months since I had been able to make it to a club meeting. It was well worth going extra early Friday to make up for some lost sleep.

    We hit a few yard sales right after lunch and I did not see anything I had to come home with. Later, I had to go to several stores and decided to check for yard sales. I found one yard sale with a mixer that had dough hooks and glass bowls. Since I started making bread, I wanted dough hooks for my mixer. This is the same brand I as already had, but a lighter model. The bowls fit both mixers, but the beaters are of a different design. This also does not have a power take-off for accessories.  The dough hooks alone, or the glass bowls alone, are well worth the price I paid to get the machine too. I am happy.
mixer in up postion

Mixer in down position. 

I got out back and decided to play around with a cute idea. I have a doctor that has a great sense of humor. He has joke books all over the place in his office. I decided to make little three legged stools. I will give him a few and tell him those are my STOOL SAMPLES. Everybody I told that to laughed.
    I started with a twelve inch length of two by two. I mounted  it in the lathe and rounded it over the entire length, and then sanded it. Then I took my thinnest parting tool and cut in to create a whole bunch of disks. WHITE WOOD, the wood of this two by two, is brittle. It chips out easily. I had a few disks that had chips along the edge missing, deep enough to not sand out. I sanded them the best I could.

partially parted disks on rod.

    I then took the rod and sliced the disks off, then went to the disk sander to remove finger prints == I mean sand the disks flat on both sides. With a fast spinning disk of sand paper within half an inch of one's fingers, a tiny bit of tear out from the parting tool was to removed from some of the disks.

sliced off disks after sanding

    I cut a wedge from the end of another two by two and sat down with a portable drill press. With the disks on an angle, I drilled three holes in each disk a size that will take some thick skewers I had. I had to ream out each hole a little to make sure the skewers would fit.
    I cut the first skewer in thirds, about 4 mm long. I was lazy so I marked my length, and set my carving knife on the mark, and rolled the skewer beneath the edge of the blade. When I cut through deep enough, I simply broke it the rest of the way.
    I then inserted them into one of the disks. As I was adding the last leg of the stool, part of the disk broke off. I removed the skewers and tried again. After they were glued in, I saw that the legs needed to be longer. I cut the rest of them at five MM and liked the result much better. I really should have been cutting them at six MM as that would give me two legs with little waste.
    I drilled all the disks then. I did not measure, just eyeballing the placement. The wedge gave the legs the splayed angle out.
    I started adding the legs to the disks I ended up stopping at making five st stools. Once the glue dried, I sanded the seats of the stools so the skewers, which I allowed to just stick out a little from the surface, was sanded down to the surface. I also corrected a few seats that needed extra sanding. I then touched the legs to the sanding disk to put the right angle on them and clean up the bottom surface since I broke them rather than cut all the way through and left fibers sticking out.
    I touched them with some hand sanding along the edges and then gave them a couple coats of varnish, calling them done.
finished stools

    I have a lot of projects to work on, but will see what catches my interest tomorrow.
Year 15, Week 01, Day Two (week 698)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-19-14 Saturday
    43 degrees early morning, 68 degrees late afternoon, blue sky all day long, almost no wind in the morning, getting stronger as the day wore on. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I got up at about four, which I normally do for work. I played on the computer till five, and then went back to sleep with the radio on. I woke at seven and the place was silent. I then noticed an emergency light on in the bathroom. We had a power out. The Power crews were working just south of me with a few of their trucks parked within view when I glanced out the door. We got power back on at about 9:30.
    Someone said it was a transformer that went out. Since it was 43 degrees out this morning, well below the 56 degree frost temperature here in South Florida, I have decided that the thick ice brought a power line down. That is my story and I will stick to it...
    I made some multi grain bread dough. I used my new mixer with the bread hooks and while the machine bounced badly, it did a wonderful job.     I have found one little problem. It is 64 degrees in here and that is not warm enough for bread dough to rise properly. A common tactic for raising bread in cold climates is to set the oven to 200 degrees, shut it off and then put the bread dough in there so it can rise in the remaining warmth. Since I am using a toaster oven for my baking, I don't have room to put the bowl in to raise the dough. I just thought of something to try. I won't know if it will work until tomorrow.
    I got to Mom's house and had to take care of some things on my truck. I had to pump up one tire, and don't trust gas station gauges. I have a little air pump that plugs into the power outlet of the truck. To get it, I decided to empty out the cab completely, and clean up a little bit. This allowed me to re-pack the truck and make a little more room. I found some stuff I lost and cleaned up some messes.
    After lunch, I sat out in the sun and worked on the handle of the ladle. The grain of the wood in the handle is on a slight angle. side to side. It makes for fun carving away the wood as one way it splits, and the other way is hard to carve. I got the handle near where it needs to be but it needs to be flattened a bit more and cleaned up.
    I knocked a chip out of the bowl and figured I would never find it. I searched the area I was carving and could not see anything that had any resemblance to the chip. Because I was in an area with wood mulch on both sides of me. I figured there was no way to find the chip. I had put the carving stuff away and walked out to get the chair and decided to look one more time at the shavings laying around. Instead of in front of where I was working, right there on the side of the chair was the chip!!!
    I don't have the right glue. I drilled two holes in the chip on angles opposite each other. I then set the chip exactly in place and drilled through them into the body the chip came off of. I drove some dowels (thin skewers) into the holes to hold the chip in place for now. I don't want to lose it. I have to get the right kind of "cement" to glue it in place. It has to be oil and water proof and food safe. I will remove the dowels, glue the chip in place, glue the dowels in and then clean it up.
    I have no idea what I will be doing next week. I have loads of projects to work on. I have more of those disks prepared for stools and they would not be hard to finish up. I have several carvings in process that really needs to be worked on.
    I will see what I actually do next week.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Year 14, Week 51, Day One (week 697)

Year 14, Week 51, Day One (week 697)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-11-14 Saturday
    84 degrees, strong puffs that thinned out as the day went on. Good breeze to blow fine sawdust around, and gusts to blow loose hats off. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

    I had one last gifting to do mid week. It is a group of good friends that meets on Wednesdays at a chain restaurant. When we last met, I had my first batch of Christmas Cards only started. We have not met for several weeks because of the holidays. Since then, I made a batch of 20 cards that went to some friends and to work, I modified the remains of that batch to help the design a little bit. I then did another batch of 28 which went to family. Finally, I made a batch of 10 for this group of friends. Out of the batches, I think I have five or six cards left.
    I also finished a scarf I started just before Christmas, and then found another scarf and improved on it. They went to two special people, our waitress who remembers what everybody is having (except me who never gets the same thing twice) and to the one who started this group. Both loved the scarves.
    We hit a few yard sales. I picked up a pair of battery powered fans. We do get power outages here in Florida so having a way to move air can be nice. They take eight D cells. I have no idea how long they last on fresh batteries.
    I also got a wide set of beaters for a blender. There were dough hooks, which caught my eye. I found out later that they are too small for my stand mixer, and too big for my hand held mixer. I have ideas of how to solve that.
    At another yard sale, I got a set of stainless steel measuring cups. These are the expensive style with a U shaped rod as the handle.
    I stopped at a thrift store and got some burner elements for my electric stove. I got all three for three dollars. In the store, one element starts at ten bucks. Over the years, I have had to replace a couple so this is a good buy.
    I wanted something quick and easy to work on so I made another pair of drum sticks. I am getting a handle on how to make them right. I worked out one trick that helps a lot. the ends are tough to do. I slipped it inside the jaws of the chuck, where it goes partially into the head of the lathe (which is a hollow pipe) and clamped down the jaws so the base of the jaws did the holding. While there was a wobble, I was able to clean the ends up and shape them, mostly with really heavy sand paper. The narrow end goes in deep, while the but end only goes in a short distance.
    With one drum stick I was working on, the end the tail stock was holding, was starting to split. That is usually the end that I would make the tip of the drum stick. It is not good for that to be breaking. To solve the problem, I swapped ends. The but end with a crack is not going to be a problem as it is simply being held.
    I made a run to the antique shop that has some of my work on display down in Dania Florida. The Candlelight Antiques, on US-1 at Dania Beach Boulevard, has my work on display for many years. I went down there to touch base, which I had not done in several months, and to let him know that I will be picking up my work next month.
    I got notice that the art show I do in Light House Point Will be March 9th. I gave the owner of the antique shop warning I would be picking up my stuff for the show.
    After I got back from the antique shop and had lunch, I went out back and sanded and varnished the drum sticks. I also had a drum stick given to me that was a bit chewed up, a natural effect of hitting the edge of the Cymbals. I mounted that in the lathe and sanded it until all but some dents remained and varnished that.
    I put Momma Kitty on my lap. I found what she really wanted and she melted. I was sitting there with a furry puddle of cat on my lap! I had my laptop next to me and started working with that. As my left hand let  her to touch the keyboard, her paw would rise up to intercept it. I finally concentrated on the keyboard for a minute and the furry puddle came back together into a cat and she hopped down. Her expression was that of disappointment.
    That pretty much ended my day. I should sand and varnish the drum sticks again, and I might try some other simple turning project.
    I will see what I actually do tomorrow.

Year 14, Week 51, Day Two (week 697)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-12-14 Sunday
    78 degrees, Sunny, nice breeze with hat blowing gusts, blue sky with feathers and mist really high, mostly to the south. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    What was supposed to be an early start turned out to be a late start after I laid down for "a few moments" and went out like a light.
    I stopped at a yard sale that we had visited yesterday. The precedes were going to a charity. I saw some stainless steel bowls and matching sieves and after I left, I figured out that I could make use of it. I saw that they were still having a sale so I stopped by. The bowls ere gone. Darn. They mentioned about tools in back, so I went and had a look. I ended up getting a pair of very large hammers. One is sledge on one end and a wedge on the other, likely for working with stone. I then found a very large ball pene hammer. These will end up with my brother.
    As soon as I got home, we went out to lunch at THE CRACKER BARREL RESTAURANT. There is one three miles from my mom's house.  Again, we were looking at items hanging from the ceiling within the store, figuring out what they were, and how they were used. I figured out the basics of a couple things I did not notice the previous time. While I did not know what it was actually used for (logs, hay bails, etc), I could figure out the mechanics of the equipment.
    I finally got outside and after dragging the lathe out at least part way so I could use it. I sanded and touched up the drum sticks I had made. I think I put in more scratches than I took out. I did fix the end of an older pair I had made.
    This week, is The turning club meeting. I am going to go to it. I have no idea how badly I will suffer the next day as it has been nearly a year since I showed up. I have very little to show off.
    I will see what I actually do next week.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Year 14, Week 50, Day One (week 696)

Year 14, Week 50, Day One (week 696)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-04-14 Saturday
    68 degrees early morning 84 degrees in the afternoon, threatening in the morning with some wetness in the afternoon. Brisk winds moved sawdust around. The storms heard they could make things more miserable up north so the clouds were racing past us at full speed heading North. The heaviest clouds were over the Everglades, as usual. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    It dawned on me that I promised some people some cards and items at our Wednesday dinner meetings. I only have two cards to give out from what I made (out of a total of 48 I made). I decided I had better get to work. I am in the process of making ten cards. I am taking my time on the artwork to make them a little better than the previous batches.
    I had started on a scarf and decided I would rush to get it made. It came out pretty good.
    I then ran across a scarf I had made earlier in the year and lost, so I decided to widen it. As I started to work on it, I saw that I made a little mistake. What I was doing was I would work on each side of a center colored yarn to make them even. In this case, I accidentally worked one side, then instead of flipping the piece, I worked again on that side. I was out of that yarn, but did find a yarn that was in the Ombre pattern and did two rows on the short side with that color. I then edged the whole thing with a dark blue that was in the center strip. I like the effect.
    I found that many skeins of yarn are only long enough to do one or two rows on a scarf. I found I love the look of striping, a different color down the center than next to it or on the outside edge. It makes is a bit more interesting and uses up yarn that might never get used.
    We hit two yard sales, one of them we returned to as Mom saw something she wanted to get but missed the first time. I saw one thing that was of interest but at half again the price I cared to pay.
    AS the weather was not looking great, I decided not to take out the lathe like I was planning. After petting and feeding the cat a couple times, and searching for my scorp kit which I still have not found, I took on the ladle I am making. I worked on making the shape at the edge look symmetrical with even curves. I then cleaned up the inside a bit more, using the chisel very lightly to remove ridges and tear out, and then using it "wrong" scraping backwards with the edge to smooth things out. It is better.
Because of the speed of the clouds, the weather changed rapidly and back again. I stayed inside rather than go out to work again.
    Tomorrow, I hope to get some work done. it will still depend on the weather.
    I will see what I actually do tomorrow.
Year 14, Week 50, Day Two (week 696)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
01-05-14 Sunday
    76 degrees early morning. 84 degrees in the afternoon. Clouds still racing north to make things miserable for those in the colder climates. Being fast movers, the weather could be sunny one minute, then wet the next, and back to sunny again. Of course, the heaviest clouds are over the Everglades and bled over into us. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
    I started the morning by making fresh pasta. While I have mixed grain flour I made last week, I chose to use Semolina flour for these noodles.
    During the week, I finished up some frozen Lasagna and it tasted so good that I picked up the makings of more Lasagna. I did not get noodles, figuring that if I did not make my own noodles, I would cook up some standard flat soup noodles and layer them. I then found out that I did not have enough usable noodles.
    This morning, I made a double batch, figuring that I will refrigerate or freeze the rest for other uses.
    Now making noodles is a whole lot harder than making bread. With Bread, you mix it, kneed it and then let it set for a couple hours or more. No work at all. With noodles, you mix the batter, then you have to do something with it quickly == roll it out, cut it etc.
    I have a crank pasta roller. It has thickness settings from one, the largest, to seven, the thinnest. I will work the dough in one until it stays together smoothly, then step to three, five and finally seven. There, I decide whether I keep the sheets whole for Lasagna, or put it through one of the two sizes of slicers that came with the pasta roller.
    I decided my first sheets would remain whole for Lasagna. I hung the sheets on the drying racks I had made last year to dry.
    The rest of the dough I made into the finest noodles. I learned long ago that if I ran too thick dough through the cutter, it would end up being Spaghetti. That tells you how wide the smallest size is.
    It is a lot of hard work to make the noodles. Standing, cranking, swapping hands to hold the sheets going in, then holding them to going out. With long sheets, one almost needs another hand to hold both ends so it does not crumple coming out or stretch while going in.
    I do like the results of making fresh pasta, though. It is not very expensive for something of good quality, since you know what is in it.
    Last week, I had dropped off my old cook book that I got my Past and bread recipes from. Today, we found out that other than the cover design, the cook book my dad had, that my mom learned to cook from when they got married, and my book are the exact same book, published 1940, 1942. That is a wow moment. I have several dozen cook books but this is the only one I look at. One thing I love is that absolutely everything is from scratch. There is no "Open this package and."
    I dug out my drill and stuck a rotary rasp on it and worked the inside of the ladle to get rid of the tear out and rough spots. It also allowed me to clean up the shape of the top edge a bit more. I had hoped to do this ladle all by hand but my lack of experience forced me to "cheat." I have sanding to do on the inside but it looks better.
    Satisfied with the inside shape, I decided to start shaping the outside of the ladle.  I used the bandsaw to remove the corners of the square block I started with. I had kept it square so I could put it into the vice to work. Now that the inside was close to being right, it was time to remove the excess wood, especially on the corners.
    I took my carving knife and sat out in the sun where I could also watch the clouds coming in, and shaped the outside. Since I had a long handle to hang onto, my left wrist did not have to work hard. My carving hand had to work as I was dealing with a lot of end grain.
    I kept feeling the thickness of the wood between my fingers to tell me where I was too thick and where I am just right. Of course, the end of the bowl, which is all end grain, resisted the knife with all its might.
    I am close to having the bowl the right thickness and shape all around. I then have to work on the handle. I decided it was a good time to stop for the day.
    Someone gave me a drum stick that was a little bit chewed up. I slipped the handle inside the jaws of the lathe, all the way in and then closed the jaws on it. It was actually the base of the jaws holding it, not the jaws themselves.
    I used a coarse sand paper and while it was spinning in the lathe, I removed the broken fibers, giving it a rough smooth finish. I then shifted to a finer sand paper and cleaned up the marks added by the heavy sand paper. I did a third sand paper and decided to call it smooth enough. I gave it a shot of spray varnish. There are dents still in the surface, noticeable as they are darker than the surrounding wood. I chose to leave them for now. I can decide to sand it more next weekend, but will see how things work then.
    I cleaned up when I saw dark clouds to the south. When I left Mom's there were a few drips but they were gone quickly. I later drove through some more on the way home but it lasted about two minutes as I was going the opposite direct ion.
    I hoped to get more woodworking done, but his front made it tough. I was not about to bring a bunch of electrical equipment out into the open just to have it rained on. I have a number of projects to work on but will have to see what comes up next week.
    I did get an invitation to do the LIGHT HOUSE POINT YACHT CLUB ART SHOW on March 9th. A whole number of things are going on between now and then and I have to figure out this week whether I will have the chance to do the show.  I likely will but want to check to make sure.
    I will see what I actually do next week.