Tag Archives: carving tools

Indulgent Shopping

25 Jan

The Lunar New Year is next week, my goodness! There are a lot of last-minute preparations to usher in the Year of the Tiger. Like shopping for new clothes, for instance!

The last two years, with the pandemic and lockdowns, we were homebound and did not venture out to the malls at all. There were grocery runs to our local grocer nearby, and basically, essentials but not indulgent shopping.

During the MCO phases, online shopping was my go-to if I wanted to buy non-essential things. And even then, it was mostly to buy my miniature sets and carving tools. But no clothes.

So over the weekend, we took the opportunity to go on a shopping spree to buy new clothes as it is the last weekend to shop. With no more restrictions on interstate travel, it will be a traffic nightmare next weekend when city-dwellers begin the exodus for Reunion Dinners with the family and loved ones afar.

I, for one, who usually buy golf clothes, suddenly find myself buying Chinese New Year clothes. I bought not one but two Cheong Sam outfits! It must be the festivity in the air or the sudden freedom to be able to go out and try clothes on.

My two lovely and elegant outfits

For someone who does not wear or buy dresses often, the purchases were an incredible feat by my standards. Well, lockdowns change people and their outlook in life, I suppose. I look forward to wearing the outfits to welcome the Year of the Tiger with good vibes and have a roaring celebration, pun intended.

Lion Dance at the mall

Painful Moments

14 Dec

What is worse than stabbing yourself with felting needles or carving tools? It’s slicing your finger with a blade. Shudder, ouch, and cry!

Yesterday I was at the office cutting some paper with a blade, and the accident happened. It was a bloody moment, literally. Stab pains by both my activity tools pale in comparison to this!

Snoopy to my rescue! 🥰

I am much better today, thank goodness. However, I cannot use my thumb to type on my iPhone as I usually use both hands. I hope this temporary disability is short-lived.

But I will stop the paper cutting for the time being and go about with pure design work on the Mac. As for felting, no stab pains will stop me from continuing this newfound enjoyable activity.

The Gnome Trio

21 Jun

Last two weeks, I took a break from building miniatures and carved instead. I must say, it has turned out good this divergence. However, my tools are very trying. They are not as sharp as before, and it has been a challenge to get things right.

From the initial outline of the Gnome Trio, the outcome has evolved as I progress along. Delicate parts broke off when I exerted too much strength. As such, I had to modify the shape along the way.

The Gnome Trio

But I don’t think one can tell, especially if I don’t have the original picture next to the finished piece. It looks good, and I’m pleased with my efforts.

Over the weekend, I completed the tail-end of some more detailing work. Then I did a little more sanding down before applying a coat of gesso. I’m at the tail-end of adding colors before the final touch of a varnish finish.

Gesso for a white base then the signature red cap for all three!

And voila! The Gnome Trio will be at the front of the house proudly.

New Bits

6 Oct

At the beginning of this year, I purchased some mini drill bits from my favorite online shopping site, and they arrived several days later. The last bit to make the whale eyes had broken, and these were the replacement. And I used them a fair bit when I was carving my whales then.

But now that my drill has kaput, it will be some time before the bits see any more action. Sigh. The question to ask should I buy a replacement drill or not?

Seeing that lately, I am more into doing DIY miniature projects and not so much carving and woodworking, a new drill may not be necessary yet. We shall see.

So sadly, the mini bits are just sitting there with the rest of the bits, collecting dust.

Double Accident

5 Oct

It’s been a while since I last used my mini drill. Last week, I decided to use it and inadvertently caused a mini double accident.

The DIY cafe was at the tail-end of completion. I had to drill a little hole for the wire from the table to go underneath to connect to the rest of the wires at the other end. But things did not go as planned.

I switched on the drill and tripped the power in the house. Oops. Initially, I thought it was the adapter plug but on further tests, it’s the drill. Sigh. I’ll deal with this another time.

Immediate attention was on the hole to drill. So I had to poke a hole manually with my carving tools. Luckily, the base wood isn’t that hard. I just had to be patient but persistent.

The hole for the wire that caused the accident

I tilted the cafe at an awkward angle to get a comfortable position. And accidentally tilted a wee bit too much, the whole cafe fell off the table! I was horrified.

Clothes pegs are useful gadgets to use!

Thankfully the damages weren’t too bad. Only the back roof truss broke, the bar stool top came off and a flower fell out of place.

With a little creativity, the roof truss was glued and held back in place, while the other two were glued back without issues. As it was last bit of this project, I finished it without further challenges.

Serious Tools

25 Nov

Two weeks ago, it was the massive Singles’ Day (11/11) online shopping event. And like the rest of the world, I bought stuff on that day too and became part of the stats that made up the USD38.4 billion sales record. What an impressive sales record given the global economic gloom.

But that is not the point here, it’s more of what I bought – specialized whittling knives, a new set of serious tools.

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The set came in a pouch and included a sharpening stone

Totally different (with thicker handles) from what I have currently, these knives are super duper sharp and scary because they are bigger than what I am used to. I foresee from here on, I would be whittling more than carving because these knives have better leverage for precision and better control. And it will be even more rewarding once I can handle them for my future pieces.

For the uninitiated, carving encompasses using chisels, gouges, the mallet and even powered equipment whereas whittling involves only the use of a knife. At times, the terms are interchangeable although both are different arts. But whether whittling or carving which I must say I do both, it has become something I enjoy doing.

More Online Shopping

19 Aug

Lately, I have been doing quite a fair bit of online shopping. Somehow the urge to buy something has gotten to me, so I bought a range of things. It certainly saves time clicking on the mouse to discover what appeals rather than walking–sometimes mindlessly–at the mall.

Purchase #1: insole arch support. I thought this was necessary given the plantar fasciitis problem that I have now. And so far, this purchase has worked out well with the insole stuffed into my Skechers and golf shoes, the only two types of shoes I wear these days. Some may question why couldn’t I just buy this from a physical shop? Well, there were more choices online.

Purchase #2: anti-slip waterproof shoe covers which I thought could be useful. This purchase came about because it was raining a lot at one point and I wanted to be prepared. If we were caught outside in this wet weather, I didn’t want my Skechers to get soaked when I have to get down from the car. Remember the last time I did this and I ended up with cold toes at the bar? Not a nice feeling. But after the packages (there were two types) arrived and whenever it rained, we just don’t go out. Oh well. Nevertheless, the packages are left in the car in case it does rain and we are out.

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Right foot with the waterproof shoe cover, left foot without for comparison

Purchase #3: extra MiBand straps because the last two broke for the MiBand 2 wearable that I am still using. A practical buy I must say.

Purchase #4: a mini bubble spirit level device to aid my carving. Why the need for this suddenly? Well, prior to this mini one that just recently arrived, I had actually bought another one which was too big to use but I had no choice. The recent few whales did not look too level at the top (it’s not very obvious to others, only to me) and I did not feel good about it. The imperfection happened when I joined two pieces of Meranti wood that are of different heights. So a bubble spirit level was necessary after using the flat plane to level the surface. Now with a smaller one, it should work better on the small surface over the bigger level unit.

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Accuracy is compromised with the difference in size so obvious

Purchase #5: some golf accessories which are taking the longest time to arrive. I think this delay, which is unusual, is due to the unrest in Hong Kong recently. Oh well, this purchase falls into the nice-to-have category and not the critical-must-have, so I am not too bothered by the delay. They will be delivered in due course.

So online shopping can be fun with some purchases silly, mundane or practical, it just depends on your needs and wants.

These are not Toys

6 Dec

You’ll be amazed the things one can find from shopping online. Just about every week or every other week, I would buy something from my favorite online site. Initially, it was a lot of purchases pertaining to carving to assist my hobby.

Then when my setup was complete, I was still doing online shopping but the purchases became toys for official pet number one, health related items and useful household appliances among others.

Recently, I bought these colorful rubber devices. Have a guess of what there are. You’d be surprise to learn that these things are not toys but actually umbrella holders!

It’s quite amazing how it works, utilizing the law of Physics. From now on, going out on rainy days and wondering where to put the wet umbrella would no longer be a problem. I love online shopping!

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Ciabatta No More

5 Nov

I managed to rework the second Gnome Home and am pleased to say that it’s a ciabatta no more! I added more Meranti wood pieces to the top and sides to give it more height and volume.

Then I painstakingly carved and filed down the addition to blend with the ‘roof’ so that the overall look is proportionate to the base. Areas where I couldn’t get it to look smooth, the wood putty did the job.

And after adding gesso to the overall shape, you can’t tell that the whole piece is actually made up of big and small pieces. Once the final touch of colors are added, my Gnomes have another home. Yay.

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Addictive Online Shopping, Part 2

5 Oct

There is a reason for doing online shopping on Fridays. It’s so that the parcel arrives the following week before the weekend. Yes, my latest purchase has arrived! You do realise my purchases are always small parcels unlike hubby’s that come in boxes…

It’s a mini drill set that comes with 60 pieces of mini drill bits. With the weekend coming up, I am super excited with this addition to my ever growing carving setup. Let’s see what I can do with it especially on detailing work.

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