Monday, October 16, 2006

Pumpkin Carving with POWER (tools, chainsaw, you know)

This post has two purposes ~ 1st ~ YEAH!!! ~ it's been one year!! I can't believe I hit my one-year mark already! oh, I'm a happy bloggerrrr, oh II'MMM a happy BLOGGERRR~ hei-ho- the DAIRY-o, Oh I'm a happy bloggerrrrr!!!

Ok, that all done with, 2nd ~ I thought I might show off the pumpkins Tony carved at this year's Harvest Fest. Well, the pumpkins he carved that I got pictures of before they got carted off by happy pumpkin purchasers. (Yes, people really DO pay other people to carve them a funky, off-beat original pumpkin which I think they sometimes enter into contests as their own, but hey, I guess they DID pay for them :-D)

All right, first off, I have to say, Tony is a great fan of ExtremePumpkins.com
& regularly checks out the site for new & fascinatingly disgusting pumpkins to carve. ( He swears he's gonna enter one of his contests some time...) Since this Fest was a family affair, he stuck to the least offensive examples & still maintained high shock value. (It's amazing how routinely people are disgusted by even the remote SUGGESTION of pukery & cannibalism.)
I would like to make this suggestion; Do the Puker Pumpkin, put him on a tray, then put the candy for the kids INSIDE the pumpkin, and don't forget to mix some of it up in the *puke* as well. Shock value-added ~ :-D.


These two pumpkins were all-time favorites, it's a good thing he was using a router, jigsaw, & a drywall knife, or he would have been at it forever.



We teased him about not using a chainsaw to carve, and he was actually bummed he couldn't; apparently it would have been too loud for the crowd. But it is interesting, every single time he turned on a tool to carve with, he immediately got 50 - 60 onlookers, literally within just minutes. (So guess how he started every carving :-D)

Funny thing about that Brother Bear one, little kids kept coming up all day long to stick their hands in it.



This one was my favorite use of melons.... I mean uhh.. you know, those itty bitty pumpkin/gourd/miniature-what-the-heck-am-I-gonna-do-with-THIS thingy's. He was supposed to look like he was getting his eyes squeeged out.


I think it would have been more effective to have flayed him as well, but you know, when carving a bazillion pumpkins in a day, time is of the essence ~

Tony's biggest piece of advice? Draw it on with a dry-erase marker, then cut OUTSIDE the lines. Far less clean-up afterward. Also, that jigsaw ( or a sawz-all would be equally effective) is ESSENTIAL! Use it to make all of your major design element cuts. Taking off the skin to add depth can really liven up a carving as well, and either the router or a chisel can be used ( with stop gaps) to acheive the effect well. And finally, no matter how good or bad, easy or difficult the final carving is, it's really the IDEA that counts. As long as you get your IDEA across ( and its an idea worth GETTING across) you have acheived pumpkin carving SUCCESS!
Happy Harvest!!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Marching Forces of Wooden Animals


SafeTinspector said...
The massed forces of the wooden bears made terrifying progress as they cut through the hapless civilian population of Boulder on their way to Mile High Stadium. It was only then that they realized the weakness of their race when the butane lighter struck....

Mr T, I want you to know that this is my husband's favorite line, every time we get a load of those bears going! In fact, he quotes this "It was only then that they realized the weakness of their race when the butane lighter struck.... " on a regular basis, especially when we are torching the bears.

I have been a litte bit busy of late ( ok, so when am I NOT busy? It seems to be a recurring theme on my lack of posting issues, eh?) but I DO have progress to share!
check it out, this is the new website I put up.
http://www.carvingman.com

Yes, I know it's only a piddly little microsoft publisher affair, but that is the most this 106 IQ-er can do. :-D

If any of you have higher webdesign skills or know how to make listings come up on google, etc (SEO stuff) we would trade a bear for it. Or two. :-D
Even suggestions would be nice.
I've noticed that html code strings don't work well with microsoft publisher, on the other hand, I can see what I am creating with it, instead of a string of code. (This is what happens when you have limited brain capacities, it tends to make your mind want to EXPLODE with frustration and annoyance!)

Ode to the Bears

O wooden bears
of wooden hairs
& torched black little buns

Your website's bad
it makes me mad
& I haven't had much fun.

I must admit
I've cussed at it
& screamed "What have I done?"

Adding meta tags
& site feed lags
are among the things I shun.

I see now
EXACTLY how
those SEO's make funds.

Who wants to sit
and work at it
When they could be having fun?

Did you see
how BADLY
my last rhyme was just done?

My brain is scrambled
I'm afraid I gambled,
And lost out on the pun.

ughh ~ time to stop odeing ~
I'm done.

For anyone that made it this far on the ode, I am truly impressed, you must be one TIRED BORED person, and I thank you for your rapt attention, it's harder and harder to come by of late. :-D

Just for that exercise in patience, I will post a pic or two of the rapidly increasing bear populace gaining momentum in our garage, eh?

Or maybe not ~ dang thing won't load up ~ oh well, click the link, and be AMAZED at my website building PROWESS! ;-D

Marching forces of wooden animals






Thursday, September 14, 2006

Where AM I?

Good question, posted by Mr SafeT himself! I have been a verrrryyy buuusssssyyyy woman ~ ( how busy can a mom with 5 kids, a cat, one nympho-matic husband, 2 church callings, and 3 side-businesses, plus a NEW WRITING JOB!!!! BE?, you may ask yourselves ~ weeelllllll... pretty sorta busy, anyways...)


Well, to make a lengthy, fun blog short, boring and to the point, I have decided to quickly insert THIS bit of dribble. (yah, yah, yah, I knooowww, more TESTS ~ but hey, take the little IQ test, and see how brainy YOU are! )

Know what the sad thing is ~ I only scored a 106 ~ I think that makes me like a total numbskull ~BUT, here I am bravely publishing my IQ test results for all to mock and point at.
(Oh the lengths one will go to in order to avoid a meaningful, well thought-out blog entry ~ pity, isn't it? )

Ok, here goes, this is what Tickle has to say about me and my lousy IQ ( see how they have tried to make me feel better about being a numbskull? only 6 in 1,000 are as brain-dead as I am..... take the test, I'll bet they can make you all feel right chipper too! )
:-D


The Super IQ Test
How Smart Are You Really?

Red, your IQ score is 106

Your overall intelligence quotient is the result of a scientifically-tested formula based on how many questions you answered correctly. But it's only part of what we learned about you from your answers on the test. We also determined the way you process information.The way you think about things makes you a Linguistic Architect. This means you are brilliant when it comes to language and words. You are also very good at understanding things on an abstract level. You are at your best when you put those two skills together to communicate new ideas and see how they fit into different contexts. You understand math and science on a gut level, even if the equations and science don't come as easily. You can use these skills to be a great communicator or to create a masterpiece.
How did we determine that your thinking style is that of a Linguistic Architect? When we examined your test results further, we analyzed how you scored on 8 dimensions of intelligence: spatial, organizational, abstract reasoning, logical, mechanical, verbal, visual and numerical. The 3 dimensions you scored highest on combine to make you a Linguistic Architect. Only 6 out of 1,000 people have this rare combination of abilities.


Hey, this didn't come out looking right, maybe the web address will do better:
http://web.tickle.com/tests/superiq/result.jsp

Friday, July 28, 2006

How to Chainsaw carve a bear ~Part I~

Ok, ok, so this has to be the worst/longest sabatical I have ever taken from blogging, and the worst part of it is ~ I have had material all along, I simply have not had the time ~
Ok, woe is me :-P
Now, on to the better, more interesting stuff. Today you all get a look into the new and thrilling job of my husband, ~ that of chainsaw carving bears (among other things, he carves all sorts of stuff, both relief, in the round, chainsaw, etc). Remember when I said he had gotten sick to the gills of HR, and decided the income simply wasn't worth the anguish, and therefore switched over to bear carving?
Well, if you ever wondered how they do it, now yah get to see ~
Chainsaw maintainance is key to good carvings ~ if the blades are dull, they cut hot, and therefore slow down the carving, as well as cut ragged, and that heats up the engine, all bad joojoo, best to keep the saws in good working order.

Measuring the log, ( this bear is gonna be a biggy, it will stand taller than me, that's over 5 ft tall!)
Checking the log for cracks, positioning, and viability.
VROOM ~ hehehe, always wanted to make that noise!
This part would suck for me, but he likes it, cuz it's like lifting weights with a purpose, keeps him in shape for hockey season, he says. :-D
Checking out the best placement for the face, as cracks, boles, and knots make it more difficult, and can ruin the face.
Notice that he has to stand up on other logs to reach the top. That looks insane to me, but he insisted it was safe. Like OSHA knows ~ :-P
Some of the cuts are just plain physically demanding, let alone lifting the saw all day long.

You can start to see the face taking shape.
All right, blogger isn't letting me upload any more pics to this entry, so I am going to do a part II.

How to make a chainsaw bear carving Part II

All righty now, You get to see the cool finished product in this section ~ You can see how huge this bear is in relation to normal humans, hubby is 6ft tall, & I took this pic from clear across the field.
This is a bare nekkid bear, planter style, waiting to get some color, eyes, hair, etc.

Dead bear lying in the field. (Cracked and sheared, oughta be firewood, but how do you bring yourself to chucking a bear into the fireplace? So here he lies, dead in the field. :-D)

Here's the biggest bear Hubby has done thus far (He's doing a five foot sun now, I will provide pics of that eventually, too.) This bear has been torched, but has not gotten sealed or finished yet.
Diggin' for gold ~ ;-D

Welcome /go-away bear, already for sale.
A cute moose.

A whole herd of little bitty bears ( about 2 ft tall), just waiting to get loaded onto the truck.

I love the bikini bears ~ aren't they cute in their itty-bitty yellow polka-dot bikini's?

And that's the rest of the story ~
Coming Up Next :
The 4th of July in My Town, USA. (They said we got over 98,000 people to this show, some speculations were over 120,000(hotel stats)!!! That's pretty darn good for a little town of 55,000!)

Friday, June 16, 2006

How the Computer *REALLY* works

Ever wonder how the computer ~really~ actually works? Well, here it is, explained in full. (click on the picture to see it in action, full size.)




ok, Kim, thank you for pointing out that the gif didn't work ~ hope the above does, and perhaps the below will show it in action. (crossing fingers)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Handmade antique Kittinger baby cradle ~ Part 2

YEAH! The cradle is done! Folks, we have lift-off! To everyone who commented and gave their 2 cents worth, Thank You ~ and now, enough talk, here it is ~



This is the snasty joint issue that gave us so many headaches; turns out, he ended up using a dovetail after-all, just one that is 3 times larger in every way.

This is the set-up for the bearings, you can see he even made two wooden jackets, so that a bare minimum of metal was visible. These rocker bearings, along with the screws and giant washers on the base of the uprights (helps to stabalize the uprights) are the only metal used in the entire piece.



Here you can see ( sorta ) the dovetail work on the ribs.



Here you can see the spreader bar, finials, and upright.


And here is a dinky shot of the unfinished finished cradle!



TaDahhhhh!!! Now, notice the legs off to the left, how they dangle from the workbench, almost as if ~ yes ~



as if somebody just couldn't stay up any longer!

Well, afterall, 200+ hours IS a long time to be working away on something, he earned it! ( check out how even in the absolute deepest throes of sleep, he manages to maintain a death-like state, so very still, that his glasses are still perched atop his non-moving chest ~ and he wonders why I tried to rescusitate him ever so forcefully once, early on in the marriage, ~ actually ~ I really thought he was dead, so I balled my two fists together and slammed them down on his chest to re-start that unmoving heart ~ actually scared the livin' daylights out of him, woke him up with a start, he said "What, what'd I do to you?" ~ We can laugh about it now :-D )



Sorta looks like he's on a coroner's table to me ~



Hubby and I worked for hours, rubbing this hard paste wax in, buffing, rebuffing, another coat, another coat, another coat ~ argh~



Here's that joint again, looks better, eh? can you see where he actually *grew* another dovetail?

Here you can see how nicely many many coats of paste wax shine up, looks almost high-gloss, only without the ugliness of highgloss. Well, to me high gloss usually looks a little gauche. There are situations where it's the right application, but not many.



Check out those dovetailed ribs, spoke-shaved rim, and hand-rubbed finish!

And finally ~ VOILA ~
here it is ~







Still debating whether to hang the curtains from little loops, with the fabric hanging beneath the spreader bar ( thus the spreader bar is visible, for the most part) or somewhat like it's pinned, with the fabric hanging over the top of the spreader bar ( hangs better, but can't see the bar, and the bar IS gorgeous.)




~ UPDATE ~


Well, the loopy's won out, and I think it turned out all right ~ what do you think?









Monday, May 15, 2006

Handmade Antique Kittinger baby cradle repro = arrgghhhhh

For the past 3 weeks, we have endured the singular joys of a man with a MISSION! Of course, this is far better than zombie-man, so we all bite our lips and feed him well.

Have you ever met a man on a MISSION? He has a particularly Tim Allen-esque approach to ~the project~. Well, to be fair, Hubby's better looking, and not near so disastrous, although I DO feel a little Al-ish from time to time, minus the flannel button down. ~ :-D.

First, lets detail the project in question ~


This is a Kittinger antique. It is a baby cradle that I suspect was more along the size of a bassinette than a true cradle. Either that or babies were a heck of a lot smaller back in the day. And of course, that is a very real possibility. Unfortunately, this is the only existing picture that we could find of said cradle, making it extremely difficult to take proportion off of it. So naturally, Hubby has a tremendous desire to make it. Something about the challenge, the hunt, the fact that the kid is now 5 weeks old and is still sleeping in a portable playpen, because (and I quote) "it took a little longer than I thought it might." ( All I can say is, my sister had better appreciate this thing, it has taken him almost 200 hours, and it isn't even stained or finished yet, that's my job, along with the custom-made cushion, waterproof cover, custom-made sheets, and hanging drapery off of the spreader bar.)

All said, the handcut dovetailed ribs, the spokeshaved basket rim, even the custom-designed bearings have not been the hold up on this piece. Believe it or not, it has been, and still is,( will post finished pics when it's done) the joinery on the legs that has been an absolute nightmare to construct with the proper amount of strength.


This design broke slightly out from the dovetailed joint FOUR times! ( hehe, WHAT"S the definition of insanity?? ;-P ).

The only thing that we can think of is that the width and depth of the dovetail is not deep enough.

These are the roughed-out finials that will hold the piece together up through the spreader bar on top.



This is the basket, spreader bar and both of the uprights.
Notice how thick the basket rim is, and how heavy the ribs look.

Now check that out! A little edging on the ribs and some well-done spoke-shaving, and of course, the endless SANDDDDDIIIIINNGGGG. Notice the lightened appearance, and the gorgeous dovetailed detailing on the ribs to rim joinery.

This is a rough version of how it will look upon completion. (obviously taken before any edging or spokshaving took place, makes a big difference, eh?)


This has been one of those staying up till 5 am for 3 weeks straight projects.
If anyone out there knows of any better joinery for the legs in this application, please DO be forthcoming ~ oh how we'll ALL grin in relief!

And now for the little ditty ~
(sing it to Mellencamp's "Little ditty 'bout Jack & Diane")

Hubby & Red

Little ditty, about Hubby & Red
2 American kids hangin out, makin a bed.
Hubby gonna be a woodworkin' star,
Red's big ideas--in Hubby's garage, right on par ~

Suckin' up paint fumes outside the garage door.
Drawing up antiques, doin' repro's, custom, and more.
Hubby say, "Hey Red, let's do a Kittinger one - off,
So what if there's only one view, hey baby, don't scoff "~

Hubby says, oh yeah life goes on
This'll be an heirloom piece,Long after you & I's gone
Say uh, oh yeah , one of a kind, Long after you & I's gone.
They work on.

Hubby sits back, collects his thoughts for the moment
Scratches his head and remakes the leg joint
"Well then there Red, why the heck ain't this workin? "
Red, she says "Baby, you been missin the point"

Hubby says oh yeah, Life goes on
This'll be an heirloom piece, Long after I'm gone
Say uh, oh yeah, Long after I'm gone.
He works on.

Gonna let it rock, let it roll
Let the bearings run true, without any pull.
Clamp down the joints, as long as you can,
Spokeshave and sanding, and carving by hand.

Oh yeah, life goes on,
this'll be an heirloom piece long after we're gone
Oh yeah, this'll be an heirloom piece long after we're gone.

Little ditty, about Hubby and Red
2 American kids just makin' a bed.

:-D