Friday, September 30, 2011

My hummingbirds...

Today, amidst cold, windy, rainy weather, I brought my hummingbird feeder inside for the season. Those south of Ohio, look after my flock!  They're down by you now. They all know me, and eat out of the feeder before I even have a chance to hang it. It is wonderful to get to know the babies each year, small and scruffy, checking me out, flying up and down within a couple inches of me, looking me straight in the eye. Until next year little ones....
I had a friend/client who wanted me to draw what I see when I look out at my feeder (circa 2005) and this is what I came up with:
Pencil drawing, made with 13 different pencils, from the very soft black to very hard almost imperceptible.
I have a much nicer feeder nowadays, but this one served it's purpose as my first attempt at getting to know these wonderful incredible birds.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Great Lakes Woodcarving Exhibit

This past weekend I was in Cleveland for the Great Lakes Woodcarving exhibit. My 1:144 scale tiger won a blue ribbon! In the miniatures category of course. Here is my table.
The magazines on my table are the ones that my toothpick and matchstick carvings have been featured in. These include Carving Magazine, Chip-Chats, American Miniaturist. 
The tiger is dwarfed by the ribbon!
Hand carved hand painted wood. Shown with an ordinary pencil.
This last picture is of the table and fantastic carvings of a dear friend of mine from the days of The Parma Woodcarvers Guild, I joined in 1978.

What a fantastic fun time I had. I was carving at my table. I carved a toothpick- a flower in a pot on a table. Of course there is 4 legs on the table with equal space in between the legs. After seeing all the wonderful  full size carvings in the hall, when the people got to my table they couldn't believe it. One person thought I was cleaning my fingernails!!!  Nobody could believe I wasn't wearing glasses or magnification of any kind. My secret? During the summer months, I don't wear a contact lens in my right eye because of an allergy in the eye. I am so myopic that without a lens the eye sees very magnified, in focus just one inch in front of it. The other eye, with a +8.00 lens sees perfect distance. My eyes effortlessly toggle back and forth with the task at hand. Sweet!

By the was the tiger is for sale.

Monday, September 19, 2011

1:12 scale Boxer

This was my neighbor's dog, Chief. I loved him. He disappeared one day. I had gone over there with my camera and had a photo shoot with him. He sat beautifully. I also measured him. This is my hand carved hand painted wood, anatomically correct tribute to him. 
This 1:12 scale carving stands 2 inches (5cm) tall.
shown with ordinary ball point pen

Saturday, September 17, 2011

1:12 scale stork family

I made this family of 1:12 scale storks for my friend, Karin Corbin. They are hand carved hand painted wood. The nest is made from roots. (Again, the roots the pigs at the farm had rutted up.) That boxful I brought home is sure coming in handy! I knew it would. Wish I'd gotten more that day, but it was SO hard to rip out, knee deep in mud dodging mean pigs!
 This little guy was hard to part with! I named him 
The Li'l Peeplet.
Here's a close up of the carved feathering.
And before I painted them.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

1:144 scale Noah's Ark

      I had been working with a client on various scale miniature projects, all wonderful challenging ideas, so when she suggested Noah's Ark in 1:144 scale I was intrigued. After much research, I arbitrarily decided on 4" for the ark. All the animals are 1:144 scale.
Using a scale rule, I first designed my pattern on paper. 
Then I transfer my pattern to a small block of wood (Jelutong) with the grain running vertical.
 The next step is to rough it out by cutting around the side view. I use an x-acto knife with disposable #11 blade. If the animal is large enough, 1/2" or larger, it can be roughed out on the scroll saw.  Then the fun begins!
With my x-acto knife, I carve and detail the animal. This includes carved eyes,  paws, inside ears etc. 
Next comes the sanding. I have to be very careful not to sand off the detail. I like to use approximately 220 grit sandpaper, but instead of progressing to finer grits for details,  I like to use pieces of the same sandpaper that are more and more worn out. Not  only does the grit become finer, but the backing paper is very soft and well broken in. It is essential for such tiny work. I am constantly aware of where I am putting pressure when carving or sanding. Sometimes I am so immersed in the carving or sanding and not aware of how I am grasping the piece and it breaks, and I have to start over. The last step is painting the animal. I use a good artist- grade acrylic paint.
 When all the animals were finished, I needed to construct the diorama. I started with a base of boxes glued together. I used some actual rocks from my road, then cut some foam wall insulation to create tiers. Then I spackled the gaps, painted everything green, and covered with scale model landscaping, building up layers to look realistic. I made the tiny trees from bits of root that the pigs on the farm where I worked were rutting up. My miniature eye saw thousands of tiny trees, and I brought home a box full! I could not use a real photo of Mount Arrarat for the background as no doubt it would be copyrighted, so I went through my neighbor's vacation pictures and found a nice shot of The Badlands. Finally the moment came where everything was done and I got to set it all up. What fun!
Following are some close-ups:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More dumpster photos

Here is the dumpster from the parking lot, with some hand carved hand painted wood pigeons of course!

 And here is the back alley:
And some close-ups:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

1:12 scale dumpster

I made this dumpster for the back alley of my flower shop. I modeled it after the one outside the bar where I worked.  Except for the name/phone number it looks exactly like it, rusty, sloppy welds, same color.  I made it from metal. The lid opens/closes and the wheels, made from polymer clay, turn and swivel. It was so fun to make, and then I had to fill it with trash! Don't know which was more fun, making it or filling it. I also made the folding step ladder. It is functional, made from wood, modeled after the one in my basement.

Monday, September 12, 2011

About this blog

I am planning to show how to carve wood animals and make dollhouse miniatures on this blog. Stay tuned! And of course lots of other stuff too :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My new blog

What better way to start a new blog than with a double rainbow! (just to the left is the second one, look close) It occurred this afternoon.