(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
92 degrees, heavy clouds, quite questionable weather, which held off until around eleven. Then light, off an on until about four. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
Last Monday, I had the day off so I took advantage of it. I made a batch of bread from scratch, which makes two loaves. I also used a bread mix that makes one loaf. The bread came out good, but it dawned on me after tasting the bread, that I am not kneading my bread enough. I am not developing the gluten in the dough so the yeast can really lift it up. I must remember that for the next time I make bread.
On the bread I made from scratch, I have some starter dough in the freezer. It was getting old as it had been several months since I used it. I had alternated between starter balls and decided to use both of them this time. I broke them up into little pieces into the liquid and used the blending wand I got last week to mix them into the liquid.
My starter dough had become a sour dough and I did not want to use a sour dough this time, so I used sweetened condensed milk as part of the liquid and to replace the sugar. The results were pretty good, if only I had worked the dough enough to allow it to rise properly. Instead, all the loaves I made are kind of squat.
When I got to Mom’s house, Mom had a big bag of yarn waiting for me. A church had a yard sale Friday and Saturday and she got the yarn Friday.
There was a tangle of yarn in the pile. Later in the day, Mom untangled all the yarn for me. There were lots of bits and pieces of yarn in the tangle. I balled up what could be balled and we bagged the bits and pieces that was not worth balling
After breakfast we went yard sailing. I got a clothes hamper and that SHOULD be for yarn. The only problem is that I have to pull out my entire yarn stash and rearrange it to make room for the hamper.
I also got a wedge pillow to sit on. One of mine is getting tired.
A friend pointed out some Christmas ornament designs that I could try out. I looked at them for several days. I decided to give one design of a mouse a try.
My intention for this design is to rough out the blanks on the lathe, but I needed make sure the design would work first, so I decided to use the knife to make these first ones.
The mice I saw in the pictures were nicely sanded and polished. My style is to leave the knife marks in it so there is no question it is carved.
I would have pulled some equipment out in to the wetness to get to the bandsaw to cut more wood. Since I did have one twelve inch stick of wood already cut, I chose to use that.
I chose one end and started shaving wood off. I was designing as I was cutting. I did not draw or measure, but just cut letting the wood show me what it wanted to be.
I got one carved out, and the hardest part was cutting the mouse from the stick. I then carved a second one using the same methods. It went pretty fast as I already knew what I needed to have. On this, I marked where the ears were with two lines, in front and behind the ear, and then started shaving. The head and nose require the most wood to be removed.
I had a piece of wood for the third mouse, but decided my hands had done enough of the work.
I was quite satisfied with the results.
It has been a while since I did some serious carving like this. I had lost my callouses on my hands. I have some blisters on my carving hand where the knife rubbed and pressed into the fingers.
I am quite satisfied with the results of these mice. I will have to add a tail to it. I have to figure out what material I want to use. I looked at some turned mice I made many years ago. I had attached a rubberized cloth for the tail and ears on the turned mice. On these carved mice, the ears are carved in. I will explore some ideas for the tail.
The weather looks Iffy tomorrow. What I do will depend on the weather.
Year 15, Week 33, Day One (week 730)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
92 degrees, high feathers and plates to the east, low heavy puffs to the west. Light breeze good humidity, some sun. Other that what was on radar real early in the morning, the weather remained good except over the Everglades all day. This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
I got to Mom’s house, set up the table, then moved equipment out of the way so I could get to the bandsaw.
I took a short piece of wood and made a number of blanks for the stockings. I about eight stockings from the blank.
I then cut two more twelve inch sticks of two-by-two wood. The eight foot board is getting short. I used the bandsaw to cut three mice blanks. I cut for the ears, cut angles for the nose and parts of the back and tail. That amounts to a lot of slices of wood that I don’t have to make with the knife. A couple of the straight-in cuts are a bit deeper than they should be, but I can correct for that no problem.
I had another idea for an ornament. It is mittens. The suggestion was to also have presents inside, just like I am doing with the socks. I carved two of them into shape to see how they will look. These will be painted much like the socks, red with a white fur at the opening. I still have to touch up the paint on the socks to make them look better.
I am not really satisfied with the socks or mittens, but they are something. I can always come up with several more designs later. I will do a bunch of these. They are fairly easy to do so they won’t really be wasted time.
I will keep my eye open for other designs I can explore. It is nice that it is still the beginning of September and I am this far on coming up with useable designs. Usually, I haven’t even thought of a design until after the end of October, and then have to try to get everything done before the start of December when I display my work at work and other places. I have no problems having more than four designs.
When Mom had her sewer put in, they mis-estimated how much sand was necessary. Mom quickly assembled a bin and kept a bunch of the sand. Well the bin quickly started breaking down. We put on some straps on the bin to hold it together and the straps rotted several times now.
Mom got some nylon cord and we decided to pull the bin back together to keep the sand under control. A cheep strap I had gotten rotted into pieces. One strap we got from my brother is still pretty good. We tied the cloth straps together to grab the ends of the bin and ratcheted it tight. We then used another ratchet and ran the cords through that and pulled the front tight so it would close it well.
Before we could do the straps, we had to move sand, piling it out of the way in the pile. We were lucky that the sand was really wet so it did not cascade down on top the holes we were digging.
Because I had to do some shoveling, and some bending and twisting to get the ratchets working, my whole body said that was enough. I sat to work a little bit on one of the carvings I already had started, and decided that was not a good idea. Of course I had to put everything away.
I plan to be working on Christmas ornaments next weekend. I have some good designs, and some blanks to work with. The socks and mittens should be really quick to make. The mice is much more work. I intend to keep my eye open for more designs. Several years ago, a friend had sent me some pictures of ornaments as ideas. I need to take the time to find them and see if something is of use.
I will see what I actually do next weekend.
part of the yarn stash Mom got for me.
The laundry bin I got.
The mice and one stick of blank. I have more carving on these before they are done, but iti is a great start. I will give them a varnish finish and leave them wood colored for the white mice.
all the blanks I have now, along with a few of the carved pieces
The bin pf sand as it is now strapped up.