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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wow It is Hot in Italy...

Well... the weather channel says it is 98, but in my garage... it is much much hotter. I don't feel like I've accomplished much today. Zero and I have been working on the design of his guitar. He has decided it will feature Dead Pool... Dead Pool? Well ok... Dead Pool... Actually, I'm really happy for the design for the back piece and he seems to be thrilled with the design for the face... Almost finished with the sanding. I plan on starting the carving process tomorrow... Hopefully it will be cooler..

I did knock out a couple of mugs while waiting for Zero to send me a graphic that he has cooking in Photo Shop.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

File Info for Sharron

Ok Puddin... here is a photo of my files... this is 3 different sets of files. Some sets come with more files and different options. It is economical to purchase a set of files. Files can be used for small sanding jobs too. I will often use a file to smooth out the different levels of carving to create a transition between a ditch or trench and the higher parts of the carving. The brush in the photo was purchased at the General Dollar Store in a pack of 3... there is a nylon brush, a brass brush and this steel brush. You want to use the brushes to clean out burrs from the carving and to clean the files too. Particles of wood will get stuck in the surface of the files and has to be brushed out. Otherwise, your cuts will not be consistent. I prefer a file set that has a removable handle. The handle is great to use, but there are times when a handle will get in the way of the angle I am filing.

Some of the files pictured are:

Husky Flat/Curve Assortment File Set (10-Piece)

Model # 22105HD

Internet # 100091245

Store SKU # 163893

The file below is a “Half-round”... ummm because it is half round.. well not really it is more half oval. If you get only one file... get the half-round because it is the most versatile file and the file you will use more than any other in your set. I have 3 sizes of half-rounds and I use them LOTS!

The photo below shows just a few moments of using the half-round on the edge of a 2X4. I used this technique to make the petals on the edge of SugaSuga. You can make the cuts deeper by angling the files. It is best to “push” the file away from you. You will have better control and don’t go nuts and strong arm the file. The file will work for you if you let it. I was a bit squeamish at first using files, but then I remembered to treat it as I would my fingernails... file only one way so you don’t splinter or splay the wood fibers... that is unless you want to.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Buttercup and Marvin

If you are easily offended, please don't look at the last photo. I finished a couple of cartoon mugs for a customer.

Stainless Steel Flask Upcycle

This flask was bound for the trash bin when I rescued it. At one time the flask wore a covering that had been glued to it and the owner no longer cared for the design that was on the cover and ripped it off. Once he saw the shape of the flask’s drawers, he tossed it... which is where I come in... NO! NO! NO! We don’t throw away perfectly good and usable items... I snatched it up to practice on.

Admittedly, the flask looks nasty with all the dried up old adhesive on the surface. So, I spent a couple of hours sanding the glue off and started looking for a design to etch.

Not too shabby huh?

Stainless Steel Flask


Thursday, July 18, 2013

FlyCatcher Has Flown...

Flycatcher is finished and we have parted ways... Since it has been raining sporadically for the past few days, I had to wait to apply a couple of very thin coats of finish over the carving. Zero came over and restrung her and played her a bit. He said that she didn’t sound any different than before and he believed that the carving had no ill effects on her tune. I wouldn’t know, because anything he plays sounds like heaven to me. Yes, I am his mom, but... the truth is simply that... the truth.

Working on FlyCatcher brought back many memories for me. I think a great deal... as my Billy usta say to me, “You think too much!” Memories of Oklahoma and happier days were very present during this carving. Being a Texas girl... I started to put mockingbirds on it and while contemplating which images would be appropriate, I did what I always do... I asked what would Billy say about this?

We had many discussions on the reason that I never saw a mockingbird in Enid. He said that the Scissortails would not allow them... I said that no self-respecting Texas mockingbird would fly up that far from the Republic. I had no choice but to choose the Oklahoma state bird. As hard as I tried not to, I loved Enid, Oklahoma... I love the people there.

FlyCatcher also made me think of my dad... There is something about the sound of an acoustic that takes me back to the days of sitting on the porch and listening to him play. There were not a lot of good times, but... Of course, Zero broke out in a bit of “I Walk the Line” and a portion of “Under the Double Eagle” (Daddy’s signature tune) just to make me laugh.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fender Acoustic Progress Part 4 - Named & Numbered

When I first met FlyCatcher, she was dirty, rusty and unloved. She didn’t sound very pretty either. I spoke with Zero and CoCo about what they saw or felt when they held her. I got, “flowers”, and “hanging on a wall.” The overall assessment is that FlyCatcher is a female. She is not flashy... she is earthy and wholesome.

There are certain characteristics that should not be changed or altered in her appearance. Much like scars and wrinkles add definition and character to those of us blessed enough to have some age in the bank. However, even if she doesn’t sing as well as others doesn’t mean she cannot be pretty.

Had FlyCatcher been a singer, there are things I would have never attempted. For instance, I carved beneath the floating bridge, and I carved deeper into her than I would have a working acoustic. On a working acoustic, I would basically scratch or etch a design.  

Ahhh... the Zen of sanding... sometimes I sand just for the sake of sanding... Imma Dork!

Done... ish... 

One application of stain... I don’t think I want to add anymore... It has been raining off and on, so I think it is time to hang it up for the day... Tomorrow I may add a light coating of lacquer... “may”... sign and number her... and have Zero put her back together.

Numbered & Named:


Monday, July 15, 2013

Fender Acoustic Process Part 3

I worked steady today on individual flowers, leaves, and branches. I decided to put a couple of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers in honor of Oklahoma. Oklahoma holds precious memories for me and is home to some of the very best people in the world. Yep, I'm talk'n bout you Viv, Leya, Blondie (Cheryl), and Betty (aka Debbie)! I miss ya'll so much and think of you often... especially when I afear'd that tornados are gonna toss some of that red dirt over the border...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fender Acoustic Process Part 2

Carving the individual elements and still trying to decide what to place in the blank spots of the carving. I'm playing around with the idea of some type of bird... perhaps sparrows... perhaps doves... hummm...

Leaving just enough of the old stain to reflect through when I stain the finished piece...  

While there is a balance from left to right, I am not carving the flowers exactly the same. Just as in a bouquet, the flowers are similar... but not identical. I want each one to have a character of their own.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fender Acoustic Process Part 1

April (Admin of The Crafty Lads and Lassies Facebook group) asked me to post the process of creating a carving. I am posting my progress on the Fender acoustic that I purchased for $50 to practice on.
Fender acoustic: all dinged up.
I tape a piece of brown mailing paper to the desk and trace the guitar. Making sure to add elements like the sound hole, pick guard, bridge and saddle.
Tracing of Fender acoustic. 
I can use the tracing to place pattern pieces on, rearrange them, or even draw on it.

I then trace the outline of the face of the guitar on a clear vinyl document holder and use it to slide over the pattern to determine the best placement of my chosen repeating pattern.

I printed out 1 copy of my pattern and then a mirror image copy of the pattern, taped them together and with the clear template I can see where to cut the pattern for the carving. I will not be using the pattern verbatim, but specific elements of the pattern.
For this project, my main tool is the SCM 400xs engraver.
 I lightly "scratch" or score the pattern through the finish on the guitar face (body) and begin carefully removing the background off. I'm not really carving yet, just taking off the finish.

SCM 400xs

I will use the Dremel and various files on a solid body guitar and various other carving projects, but I would not touch an acoustic with the Dremel. I have neck and shoulder problems and the Dremel likes to jump around at times.

 When working on a repeating pattern, (I'm right-handed) I will work the element on the left side first and then using it as a guide-- work the one on the right side of the project. In that way, I am more likely to match them up better than working several elements at once or finishing a section. This helps me not to forget which bit I am using or what stroke or technique I used. This helps keep the work consistent. Many things can influence how consistent the carving is... like energy level, stoping and starting, position one is sitting, etc.
Connecting the elements using the background

Now the carving begins...
Close-up of a carved flower.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Suga Suga Sounds Sweet!!

Zero is finished with his part of the Suga Suga project and she sounds so sweet.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Vase for Daisy

I've been good... but I had to make a vase to match some of Daisy's bedding and new toys for the nursery... Sorry Zero... it has owls on it...


Kitty Kat Candle Holder

Kat loves the lil French cats... and candles. Glass is so hard to photograph... GRRRRRRR!!!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Lord of the Harvest Moon

Justin was so gracious to let me practice on his beloved guitar. I was so excited to get started on it that I really flub'd up and forgot he was left-handed... and the guitar is a lefty... UGG!! Thank goodness this was just a practice piece and hopefully Justin will forgive me...


July 4, 2013
Justin’s accoustic was sat upon by a friend and broken. The guitar is already trash and so he lent it to me to practice with.

This is what I found online about the guitar

The Martin LXM "Little Martin" Acoustic Guitar is a perfect choice for travel, practice, and beginning students. Small, modified 0-14 Martin body features a wood-pattern HPL top with "1-style" Sitka spruce bracing, Micarta fretboard and bridge, 23" scale, Stratabond modified low-oval neck, and Martin's patented neck mortise. Gotoh nickel-plated tuners and C.F. Martin script logo adorn the headstock. The LXM includes Martin heavily padded gig bag.

I already dislike this guitar... ok... not totally... this guitar has produced some great tunes and has a wonderful history.

It has been through a lot of tough times and even though it has been glued together multiple times and is no longer playable, Justin still has a strong connection to this guitar. He has trusted me with it and I will try to give him something back.

After talking with Justin and Meagan this afternoon about their likes, I chose a falcon to put on the front of the guitar.

I transferred the pattern to the guitar body and began working my way through the laminate. The face of the guitar is sooooo thin. I know now that I will not be carving any more of this type of guitar. I will simply score the laminate... that is if I ever do another.

LOL Zero told it it is called “composite”

Named and Numbered:

Lord of the Harvest Moon

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tattoo Etching for Justin

Justin is a dear friend that always brings a hug and a smile to me. He is funny even when I don't think he is trying to be. I remember the last Thanksgiving with Billy at Zero and CoCo's home. Justin and his dear wife Meagan sat across from us during the meal. Billy and I talked of that visit often and how special it was to have shared it with such good friends and sweet family.
When I was trying to decide what my first glass etching would be... I thought of Justin. I had visions of this sweet young man running down the street in cowboy boots with a drink in his hand chasing after Meka after she escaped... his long hair streaming in the wind... and never spilling a drop!


July 2, 2013
Received tat jpeg from Zero via email.
Etched and filled with Rub and Buff Goldleaf
July 3, 2013
Turned right-side down and taped to keep paint from seeping onto front surface.
Sprayed 2 coats of black paint
July 4, 2013
Cleaned and placed under a pane of glass and framed. Ready for pickup.
The photo is terrible. I tried various rooms and lighting. There was too much reflection in most of the photos. I must research how to photograph picture frames.