Monday, December 8, 2014

Year 15, Week 44, Day One (week 741)

Year 15, Week 44, Day One (week 741)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-06-14 Saturday
    68 degrees early morning, 78 degrees late afternoon. Mostly blue sky, slightly hazy with thin plates of clouds around the horizon. A brisk breeze took away any extra heat the sun shown down onto us. This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I took my ornaments to work. I sold a couple of my chimney ornaments, a couple of my socks/mittens, and have all my mice. I sold some of my older ornaments. The very first year I made ornaments, I had made some bells, trees, snowmen and sleighs. I still have a few bells and a sleigh left from that year. One of the bells finally sold. I also sold a few other older ornaments made over the years.  It was a real surprise to get any sales, let alone the ones I got.
    Even with the sales, the brief case I keep the ornaments is really full. I have had to keep the mice in a separate bag to make room.
    While preparing the work surfaces for painting my Christmas cards, I ran across an ornament I made last year,. I only made five of them. It was a leaping fish. It looks more like a woodpecker than a leaping fish. I had stopped making them as they were more effort than they were worth. I am now thinking that the wood the two by twos were made of makes a different. The whitewood I am using now, except for the knots, are nice and soft and love the knife. The wood I had last year was harder than normal.
    Because it was a beautiful day, we were doing another yard sale. I wanted some plywood to span between the bins so I could show things a bit better and off the ground. Since the bugs have been having fun with the plywood in the shed, I took down all the plywood from the roof of the shed first thing. I figured something out. The bugs don’t like plywood glue. All the feeding lines and areas are in the top surface of the plywood. Did not take note of whether the bugs were on the top or the bottom of the plywood. I think they were working on the top layer. I did see a couple places where they would transfer to the layer above for a snack. Some of the plywood was damaged as a clean and finished surface, but are all right for structural projects that the looks don’t matter.
    I set up my stuff for the yard sale. I, myself, had enough stuff out for a respectable yard sale on my own. The big problem is that my stuff is junk, to say the least.
    I had a battery powered dremmel that died on me while I was using it. I know the batteries were good at that time. I even swapped batteries to see if that was the problem. I sold it for a dollar. The dremmel chuck I forgot to take off of it was worth more than that. I can say, though, that it is gone. I also had a disk sander/buffer where the bearings were going bad. I sold it for half what it should have gone for. It was still useable so It went way too cheap.
    The main thing I sold were some buildings for a model railroad and a few of the commercially made leafy trees. The trees were well below what I really should have sold them for, but the price blurted out and I stayed with it.
    I also had a catering food warmer, used by catering services to keep food hot while serving large groups. I purchased it at a yard sale years ago, thinking it was a brilliant thing for our family. It quickly dawned on me that we don’t serve our food in any way where it would be of use. It was a big space taker in one of my closets. A year or two ago, I visited a yard sale where someone had all sorts of pans for this unit, but I was short on money to get them. The unit is now gone.
    Just about every time I went to take a break and rest, someone would show up wanting to know about something I had on display. That made it a very hard day.
    I finished the rough-carving of one of my chimney carvings, rough carved, except a few cuts a second one. That is not bad. I have more blanks to work on.
    I started packing up well before Mom intended to stop. It took me quite a while as I was packing things up carefully, consolidating contents of bins. When I was done, I had emptied two milk crates of stuff. That is doing well. It was not that I sold all that much, it was that everything was better packed.
    I understand that next weekend will be the last yard sale. I spotted some things among Mom’s stuff that I will want to get. One is a partial bin of stuffed animals. Since I am doing crochet and plan to eventually make stuffed animals, I decided I can use them to make clothing for and then gift them.
    I had put out the signs for the yard sale, got lunch, and picked up the signs at the end of the day. Otherwise, I stayed with the yard sale. When I picked up the signs, my body did not want to get going each time I got out of the truck in order to walk the short distance to the sign.  Mom did five times as much work as I did in order to be in the same physical shape I was in. We were both wore out.
    My ornaments were on two folding TV tables with a board between them. I was leaning to point one ornament out to someone. My foot caught on something and I started falling forward. I grabbed a number of things to try to stop myself and everything was moving. Somehow, I stopped my fall and remained on my feet.. Some of the ornaments went tumbling off the tables. My back did not like it and neither did I. I picked up what I thought was all the ornaments, but later after cleaning up, I found one on the ground. Nothing was damaged in the process.
    Mom mentioned that we might get some mulch tomorrow. No lifting for either of us. The people at the hardware store would load the truck, and I would just pull them off the truck onto the wagon to pull them to the back yard and dump them near where mom wants them.
    I will see what actually happens tomorrow.

Year 15, Week 44, Day One (week 741)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
12-07-14 Sunday
    78 degrees as a high, brisk breeze, strong enough to blow sawdust around, but not blow wood chips around. Fast moving puffs of clouds rocketed across the sky, sometimes darkening the sun for a few moments.  We saw a full moon rising last night and it looked monestrous when it was just above the trees. This weather report is brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
    I set up the work table in the back yard. One thing I did was to sort some craft supplies I had dug up. Some interesting stuff in there. Glitter, plastic glue-on snowflakes, thin pieces of fabric, ribbon, beads, just to name a little of what was in the baggies.
    It had had some bows of different kinds. A plastic fabric held in place with a gold pipe cleaner, and a gold and red plastic bows. The mice I made just did not look interesting so I decided to add the bows to the mice. I broke the hanging eye of two plastic bows. I did two mice with the red plastic bows. I used a brad to drill a hole behind the ears, and then cut a brad in half and then stick the bow in place. I was not satisfied with the results, so I trued the fabric bow. I made the holes larger and then glued the pipe cleaners into the holes. These bows look better.
    On the way home, I dumped the bag of mice out and one of the plastic bows broke. I replaced it once I got home with a fabric bow.
    I carved on the last chimney carving I did yesterday, finishing the rough carving of it. I started on another one and have it to where I can add the rough details on it. I have a few more blanks for the chimney carvings and will be doing more of them, though they won’t be ready for this year. I have several mice blanks but won’t work on them until I actually sell a couple mice.
    My brother came by early and mom fixed dinner. We did not go to get mulch. My body liked the idea of taking the day off.
    I needed to stop at the craft store to get some supplies. My favorite store is Jo Ann’s Cloth World not far from Mom’s house. After I left Mom’s house, I went there. That is always dangerous as I am always fighting off supplies that are demanding I take them home. They are aggressive. Today, I knew what I needed and fully intended to leave only with them.
    First I went into the yarn section. I had to search the yarn section three times to find what I was looking for. It did not help that I enjoyed looking. Wonderful colors and textures. The yarn was the lowest priority thing I needed but wanted to do it first. My plan for this next year is to start making stuffies – stuffed animals. I started it back in January but found it was not quite as easy and fast as I thought. This time I am going to make little Christmas ornaments. I decided I would work in wool, and once I have them made and stuffed, I would “felt” them. Wool, when agitated in hot water, will compress and the fibers will interlock, creating felt. This is why wool sweaters shrink so bad. The spaces between the stitches disappear. My idea is to make ornaments felt/shrink them so they will be tight and solid.
    I saw a lot of wool blend yarns but finding the pure wool was kind of tough. I ended up with five balls of wool. Only a couple were really in the colors I was looking for. I do have a few balls of wool in my stock. I have to dig to find them, though.
    My next stop was to get some paint. Most colors I have will do for this year, but white and black were colors I needed more of. I also got baby blue as it is needed for the winter scenes I am planning on doing for my Christmas cards.
    My final stop within the store was for blank card stock. I have some already, and mom gave me some but I figured I would get some fresh to make sure I had what I needed. I made sure to get the card stock and envelopes, rather than the envelopes only that they also had. I got envelopes only one year and it messed me up.
    On the Christmas cards, I have two possible designs in mind. I am not totally satisfied with either one and would like to see if I can come up with something better. It has to be a balance between interesting and easy to do. I am doing some 40 cards and cannot deal with something highly detailed.
    My method of painting the Christmas cards is to work in groups of twenty, which is the maximum space I have to work and I usually have to rest after that anyway. I apply the same color in the same shape on all cards. I let that dry a little, then do the next color and shapes. I keep building up the image until something finally appears as a nice picture.
    The very first time I painted cards, I was doing teddy bears. The cards looked like it was done by an elementary school student until I nearly finished the card. It was not great, but it actually looked like something.
    I used to just get a box of cards, fill them out and add them to the presents. They were mainly saying who the present was for and who it was from. There was nothing of me in the selection of the cards. I know people who will search the card isles for just the right card for each person. When you do the cards like that, there is a lot of the giver in the cards.  There are those who design their cards on the computer and then print them. That is special and original and a lot of the person in the design, but one can then print hundreds of cards if needed.  My painting the cards, even if they are “production” painted as I described above, there is a lot of me in the cards. The only way you can get them is when they are originally from me. While the cards are quite similar, there are subtle differences between them because they are hand painted and stroke mistakes happen. Some designs of cards are better than others. Some are easier to paint than others. They are, though, originals.
    Next weekend is already looking pretty good by the reports. That will be the second to the last weekend of yard sales for the year, I think, unless Mom has one the Saturday after Christmas, which I doubt. There are a bunch of things planned for me during this next weekend. I am leaving my plans open. I hope to work on some more ornaments but have no idea what I will be doing.
    I will see what happens next weekend.

All my ornaments during the yard sale.

Some of my work, some unfinished, at the sale.

The mittens

The socks

the chimney carvings

Scarface. He was in another fight and also has a cold.

The mice with their bows added

Some scroll saw work by my brother a few years ago. We ran across them and decided to add them to my stuff.

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