Monday, November 30, 2009

Stockings and origami.

Cheryl has been so busy lately that I have been pressed into service to help her out on a few things. namely, Small odd jobs that take up her time, Like button sorting, stocking ironing, and origami thank you gifts. I didn't get a chance to carve tonight, but Cheryl needs to get caught up a bit on her stockings. The weather outside has gotten quite cold, so I'm thankful that I got the carving inside. A great time for Hot Chocolate! And since I'm off topic on carving today, Why not throw in an Anime to let folks know what we have been watching lately. Bamboo Blade! It's quite the little anime, although we have only been able to watch only the first 4 episodes on Funimation. Check it out!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tree Carving Day 9, Things are looking pretty good!

Lots of pics tonight! It has been raining pretty steady lately, so I decided I would try to get her inside tonight. But before I did, I tried to take off as much waste timber as possible. In addition, I decided that I would actually make her a 360 degree carving. Something I have not yet attempted on a scale this large. She just doesn't look right if I leave all that wood and bark on her back. I may regret this later, but for now, I think it might be the right decision. Anyway. With the chainsaw in hand I hashed out a few more shallow cuts to chip out with the straight chisel. Oh! By the way! The Swiss chisel I bought from woodcraft is AWESOME! It plows through the toughest areas and has not chipped yet. The metal it is made of must be on par with the two construction chisels that I use. I don't want to talk bad about Grandpa's chisels, but I think they are some type of cast iron. They "chip" instead of dull as I use them. I'll keep them around for light duty, but for now, I think I'm going to start slowly replacing them with the Swiss ones ( as the money allows, of coarse) Oh! Quick note, even thought they brag that they are factory sharpened, It's a good idea to sharpen them when you get them home. It makes a BIG difference! Getting back, She is now inside where it is warm and dry. I didn't really want to be out side when the snow started to fly. ( it already snowed here yesterday, but it didn't last long. I'm hoping at this point that I won't need the chainsaw anymore and can just work on cleaning her up a bit. her hair needs some work and so does her backside. Perhaps I'll enter her in the Woodcraft carving contest after all!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Frustration of carving green timber

Well, Along with the joy has to come some sorrow right? I'd love to tell everyone that this is a joyous event spending countless hours chipping away at a large project. However, There are a few small frustrating parts that are just a bear to work with. Namely knots and dense layers of wood around any crotch. I have a couple of small examples here, but mostly the entire area around the cat is REALLY hard! Now you might say,"So what? It is wood after all, And Oak to boot!" Well, here is where the sorrow comes in. This is what it does to my ancient chisels, I go in shallow, I go in without the mallet, is doesn't seem to matter. This is really a job of power tools, but even they get clogged up or blunted. It was getting pretty bad because I would constantly have to file/grind down Grandpa's chisels and I'm afraid that I might just grind them down to nothing! Well, the good news is that today we went to woodcraft and I got a new #9 gouge that is hopefully strong enough to take those knots a little better. I'm still not going to whack away at them with reckless abandon, but at least there is lots of metal to resharpen if anything goes wrong. Plus a new chisel will take a little pressure off the other three I have!

Tree carving, Day 8.

So After 8 days of carving the dress is finally taking shape. I have to still plan out where the wrinkles are going to go, but for the most part, I think she is taking shape. One little redo was at the top of her neckline. I had to bring the shape down a bit, but no worries, there is still plenty of wood to take off and still have it look good. Well, It's late, so I'll have to post more later. Tomorrow I'm going back to Woodcraft and hopefully land myself a deal on some chisels. And I'll see if I can take more pictures next time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Preparing for Thanksgiving!

It has been raining most of the day today, so I didn't get into carving, but I really didn't have much time for that anyway. Tonight is getting ready for Thanksgiving with the In laws. So I was put in charge of cookies, dishes, and free origami for Cheryl's Stockings/wristlet orders. While I was working at the table, folding and stamping, the opossum came to visit us outside the glass door. This one was pretty small and cute. We gave him some chicken bones to nibble on. So cute! Well, Tomorrow will most likely be lost in the carving department. But visiting family is not all that bad. Usually....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tree Carving day 7

OK really it has been more than 7 days, but some of that time was lost because of weather or daylight. But tonight I used my chainsaw to help out with the roughing of the body. I should have waited for the chainsaw before I dove into it before. But I was eager to get started. Anyway, I started by cutting slices into the wood about 2-3 inches deep. Then I chipped out the chunks with on of the roughing chisels. Then I repeat the process until it is about the shape I need it to be to start smoothing it out. The cat was nice enough to help out...again. I spent the rest of the night just trying to smooth it out and get the chainsaw marks off of it.My arm is KILLING ME! Nothing quite like tennis elbow from swinging a mallet all day. I was thankful when I finally got to the part where I could just push the chisel instead of swinging the mallet all the time. It started raining so I decided that that was a good time to call it for the night. It's predicted to rain again tomorrow, but Cheryl and I have to get ready for the family meeting on thanksgiving. Oh! Woodcraft has sent me a $10 coupon good until Christmas! They are also having a carving competition where the winner gets to go to Switzerland! Who knows, I may just enter!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chainsaw FIXED! and tree tippin'

Didn't accomplish much tonight in the way of carving, but I DID fix the chainsaw! YEAH! The sprocket was $10 cheaper than I had originally thought as well. I love saving money! So it took only about 10 minutes to clean everything and put it back together. It works like a charm! Then, with daylight fading fast, I worked on putting the log on it side up on the saw horses. It was not as easy as it might look. I had to put bricks under it to raise the center of gravity until we could tip it over onto the sawhorses. So I'm all set for tomorrow! Hopefully I will get up a little earlier and have more daylight to work with. Oh! And since I have not posted anything about anime or manga lately, I found this awesome site with the next manga of Claymore! Remember Claymore? It totally needs a second season to follow this manga. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tree catrving day 6 Oh! the Details!

Sometimes I hate wasting time on details. If you are not an "attention to detail fanatic" then you may know what I mean. That is: when your carving looks "ok" but not quite "right!" So you was more time trying to get it that way than it took to carve it out to that point. Anyway, Daylight has not been my friend lately, so I have to carve as quickly as possible and hate obsessing over one small feature. Today I worked on the hair, other ear and some of the cat and shoulder. It probably doesn't look like I did much. but I probably wasted a couple of hours just on the hair. Ah well, that's what makes it all fun in the end right? I tried to define her chin a bit more as well. With a little luck, I'll get my chainsaw fixed and be able to tip her over on her back so I can work on her dress and arms. I can't see myself crouched down trying to do that while she is standing up. Besides, I want to put her on the two sawhorses and she still is pretty heavy. We'll see how it goes.


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