Tag Archives: Meranti

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.

The Year That Wasn’t

1 Jan

Goodbye Year 2020! What a year it turned out to be. I felt that it was a year that wasn’t – in other words, we were, firstly, short-changed for nine months in our lives and secondly, didn’t turn out so great as many envisioned it would be.

Before reaching this nice number, people, myself included, thought it would be a spectacular year. But alas, how wrong we all were. The Covid-19 pandemic created so much havoc in the world. And everything is never the same again.

Gone are the closeness and freedom that we took for granted with our movement with friends, society in general, and places we visit; in place, it is now constant caution, fear to a certain degree, and restriction.

For me, I felt my 2020 was just three months only, the first quarter of the year. After we went into lockdown in March, the next nine months, day-in, day-out felt like deja-vu. A new routine was born, and old habits had to give way because we had to learn to adjust to the new normal. Thank goodness we didn’t go crazy with cabin fever, and instead, discovered ourselves in many other aspects.

I learned to appreciate my friends, the home, and family more. Although work at the office took a beating to practically zero design work in March and April, it did not dampen our spirits. M2 came back from Ireland and had an extended six-month summer break. M1 stayed put, and we talked every morning to keep her company.

The new normal made both of us manage our time better to be more productive in other things. Hubby learned to bake, an unthinkable endeavor in all the years that I have known him, and I brushed up my cooking skills to widen the variety in our meals because eating out was not an option.

I also picked up a new hobby to keep myself busy after my Meranti wood supply for carving depleted by May. From June onwards, I started working on DIY miniature sets, and have completed nine DIY sets thus far in a spate of six months.

Another good thing that came out of this situation was my golf game, which improved tremendously. With downtime in the office, I was playing more golf than ever. After the lockdown eased, and golf was allowed because it is an outdoor activity, I was golfing up to four times a week! So maybe the year wasn’t that bad after all on the personal front despite being in deja-vu mode.

As 2020 is behind us now, it does not mean the pandemic is over. Far from it, in fact. We should remain vigilant, put on our masks whenever we are in public areas, and keep a one-meter distance apart to be safe.

A toast to a better year ahead – may 2021 bring better fortune and goodness for everyone. Happy New Year, and stay safe wherever you are!

More Wood

4 May

Aunty Dearest has given me another five boxes of wood last weekend. So much wood, so little time. And I had to sieve through the supply to ensure the pieces are actually good to be carved. I say this because recently I carved a Big Citizen on a block that has a knot within the wood grains. I didn’t think it would pose a tough challenge but it did.

I should have been more careful in the first place when selecting and glueing the pieces together to make the big block. The imperfection was super hard and came out in a chunk, leaving a big gap in my poor Citizen’s shape. I think it will take me awhile to get this piece done up properly.

Meanwhile the five boxes were vetted as pieces that were uneven, cracked and have knots had to be thrown away. In a way it was painful to throw away all the wood but it had to be done for the good of the Citizens of Gigglesville.