Monday, February 20, 2017

Walking Stick Hoarding

The weather has been crazy here in Northern Virginia.  It went into the mid 60's here today. We should be in the middle of snow storms this time of year.

I have been craving to get out my new woodburning tools and work on some walking sticks.  Though it has been requested of me to not hoard so many sticks and branches in the house... (I did get rid of the drawer full in the freezer!)...   I was hoping that some the length of walking sticks survived somewhere. And here they were! These should give me a week's worth of work, at least.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Scherenschnitte Valentines and Doctors Without Borders

Lately, I have wanted to contribute to many organizations who need help.  If I contributed to every one I wanted to, I would deplete my bank account pretty quickly.  So, I am going to try and contribute in a different way.

I am starting to put up some items in my long neglected Etsy shop.  Any proceeds (above shipping) from those sales will go to Doctors Without Borders.  As soon as I see the notice that an item has been sold, I will send the donation.  They will send you a notice that a donation has been made in your honor.

Here's my Etsy shop address: Snippety Gibbet.

Here are some valentines that are in there at the moment.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Silhouette Logos

Over on TeachersPayTeachers, I grew tired of my shop logo. I also read that shops with the image of the teacher/proprietor on their logo, tended to do slightly better than those with other images. Now, if I were freshly out of college on a cheerleading scholarship, I probably would have been thrilled to put up a photo of myself. However, I am not that.

What I am is a retired art teacher who works often with silhouettes. Doesn't it make sense that I would make one for my logo? (Think instant face lift and no double chins with this route!) I contemplated The Fat Fairy.  She is reaaaaaally me, but not a great shop symbol, I think.

So here are some iimages that I came up with.

I'm not sure which image I will go with yet.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Scherenschnitte Christmas Card for 2016

The month of November was filled with much papercutting.  I snip my own Christmas cards each year and it is no quick task.  I do love doing it though.  If I wake at 4 in the morning, I get excited because that means I can go down into my studio and snip in the relative dark and quiet for a few hours.  It feels like Santa's workshop.

Anyway, this was the design for my 2016 cards. The cards are 3D.  The four sides each have a different scene.

Though I get a lot of positive feedback from the folks to whom I send cards, I do not get many cards in return anymore.  I guess the tradition is going out of fashion. Makes me sad.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Carving is Addictive

Oh my goodness.  Carving spoons and kitchen utensils is addictive.  I should have called last month "Spoon-tober," I carved so much.  Probably 23 - 26 wooden utensils were carved; a special order for a friend.

Fortunately for me, Mark told me where a tulip poplar tree had fallen in the woods and was still green.  It was wonderfully carvable wood and I wanted to work with it nonstop.  My self imposed deadline for the project was Oct. 31 and I am pretty accountable to myself for such things.

I worked hard and finished on time. The goodies got put in the mail yesterday and so today has been spent vacuuming all the sawdust and wood bits from all over the house.  (How it gets to some of the places it does, I have no idea.)  I cleaned off my desk to make room for scherenschnitte time.  November will be a time for cutting my Christmas cards.  I'm sure that as soon as I get into it, I will feel as addicted to it as I do to the carving right now.

I carved fives set of these.  They varied wildly in how they turned out.  (It depends on the shape and size of the branches and the usable space between knots.

I mostly carved out on my screened in porch, but  my studio room, aka Snippyville, also  doubled as a wood shop.

Here's a spurtle in the rough stages. Every one of the spurtles turned out wildly different looking.

My beloved ax.  I mostly treat this tool like a baby. It is a good one.

My babies were almost done at this point.  They had all been sanded smooth.  Then, I soaked  the in water to allow the grain to rise again and then to get sanded once more.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Busy Days

Oooooh, today feels like Fall.  It is dreary and gray out. I'm at home alone, so it is a great time to try and catch up here.

We were away from home a lot this summer.  West Virginia was home for a month.  I spent all of August at my favorite place on earth; a farmhouse on the top of Allegheny Mountain. Friends came to visit.  Family came to visit.  We crafted.  We spent nights outside watching major meteor showers.  I saw the Northern Lights!!! I sang to cows.  I missed friends while I was there, but never missed a day of living in the suburbs.

The week after we came home, we hosted family as my uncle was to be buried at Arlington Cemetery. As always, it was a sad day but visiting with family felt warm and fuzzy and comfy.

Days later, Mark and I headed down to Florida.  Friends rented a house on the water for a month and invited us to spend a week.  We did a bit of paddling, including sharing a paddle with an alligator.  Trying to maneuver myself onto a sit-on-top kayak from a dock, as a gator was watching nearby, really freaked me out.  It turned out to be a four foot gator who could not have cared less about us, but it was very exciting.

From Florida, I drove to Charlotte, NC to spend a week with my daughter.  She flew east from L.A. for training related to her job.  As she did work things, I spent my days in the pool, thrift shopping, and working on my TeachersPayTeachers shop.  Few people can make me giggle as much as my daughter does.  We slept a lot and giggled a lot. Luckily, we left town a day or two before the riots started.

Now that I am home, I am carving like a mad woman; as non-stop as possible.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Carving Time While on Vacation

This summer I spent a month at my favorite spot on the planet. I go to this farmhouse in West Virginia every summer but have never spent this long here before.

One of the things I do is to focus on whatever art I'm interested in at the moment.  Carving was a part of that.  This is a little spoon I carved for the lady who owns this farm.

A nice drink of Peppermint tea a
nd a cool mountain breeze make carving here so pleasant.

A little further along.
Little spoon.  For some reason,
when I offer up a choice of spoons,
people always choose the little ones. 

Here's what I started with.  Sycamore from home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


I have started carving wands. Someone on Facebook asked me what kinds of wands they are. My thinking is that the wand's purpose will reveal itself to its owner. Several teacher friends have asked for one. I would love to know what magic they have in mind.  At this point I am just playing around and practicing carving.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Walking Sticks

I love summer.  I spend my days out on my screened porch carving.  Actually, I am just getting back into the carving.  But here are the things I've been working on.  Spoon carving again.  Simple spoon carving but it is very satisfying to work on.  And walking sticks.

This walking stick needs a little work before it is done, but I'll get that done today.  The wood burned design took many hours.  They have fancy, schmancy pyrography (woodturning) tools now, but I am using a beginner's tool from the craft store. Oh how that expensive tool calls my name.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Fat Fairy Meets Birdy

There was a dove sitting in a nest by our garage.  At eye level! I watched her until she left the nest and I peeked in .  An egg!  Then another trip out of the nest.  A second egg!  Yippee!!!

I watched her for what seemed like weeks and eventually saw baby birds. She saw us peek in so much she didn't seem to get flustered.  Every time I peeked in I would coo, "Hi, Birdy." I guess she figured out after a while that we were not a threat.

The birds grew and grew and I was getting hopeful that we would get to watch them fledge. I kept an ear out for dove cooing and peeked out frequently to see how the family was doing.

One afternoon I heard some odd sounds outside so I went to peek out.  There was fluttering and shrieking.  A blue jay was picking up and dropping the carcas of a baby dove on the driveway.  One of the parent doves was attacking the blue jay until the blue jay left.

Obviously the one bird was just.....desicated. I couldn't go out and deal with it, so Mark did.  We never saw the second baby dove out there so we assumed it had gotten carted away by the jay.

It was rainy out and the doves just kept hanging out on our steps in front of the next.  So much cooing and pittiful pacing. I left them some seeds and they seemed appreciative.

This went on for a couple of days.  We left out seeds.  The dove couple kept pacing around on our steps.

At some point Mark went out and picked up the lid of the yard waste can which was propped up on a cinder block.  Out ran a baby dove! It ran under our hosta plants and hung out there for a couple of days.  The parents looked after it and eventually they all left.  I am thinking it is a good thing.