Archive for the ‘Scroll Saw’ Category

10
Jan

Holiday Gifts 2012: part 1

Posted under CNC Mill, Holidays and Celebrations, Life, Scroll Saw, Woodworking No Comments

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/swamps42/maplewoolfarm.com/wp-content/themes/brown-stitch/wp-lightboxJS/wp-lightboxJS.php on line 40

Now that the holidays are finally wound down I can share with you the fun things I made for some of my family and friends this year. Since the most recent accident, I’ve not been healthy enough to make all the projects I wanted to make, but I’ve been trying to do what I can and get goodies out to people who will appreciate them at the most socially acceptable month of the year to do so. This post is all about the gift I made for my brother S.

I asked S what he wanted for the holidays, and he made it very easy for me and spelled out exactly what he wanted custom-order style! He asked for a Houston Texan’s wooden plaque with the logo and the phrase, “Bulls on parade,” carved into it with guy pal’s CNC mill and painted up like the Titanic signs from the party last year. Gift requests like that, versus “just something nice” make it so easy, even if it does potentially kill the surprise, but we’ll get to surprise killing later.

I took the request to guy pal who jumped on it. I was doing very poorly at the time, and he handled pretty much everything! I made a mock up in a word document of how the sign should look and a few minor changes to the final program, but he really did it all. He even got a board to use! I did go over to help, really observe, the milling part of the operation. We messed up the text on the first board by not clamping all corners of the board. The natural curve to the wood meant that the letters in one corner went too deep. Frustrated, we loaded up another board, and I took the ‘ruined’ one out to the garage. I cut around the main logo design and figured I could call it a trivet for an extra gift out of the waste! I painted only the interior of the cuts so that the acrylic paint couldn’t melt when a hot pan gets placed on the trivet. It seems just the right size for a bowl of queso dip at a Superbowl party, right?

Texans Trivet

The next cut came out perfectly on the main plaque S wanted, and I took it home to paint up that very night. Unfortunately, so many tiny detailed cuts took forever and a day to paint. I spent over 6 hours watching Scrubs reruns on Netflix and painting like mad all night long. It came out great though. Step-dad even pounded a picture hanger saw tooth piece onto the back so I could get it wrapped up the next morning.

Texans plaque

All in all, I’m very pleased with the set and wrapped them up together with the trivet in a smaller box atop the big box holding the plaque. With a big bow on top, it was a pretty package, not these exact packages mind you, but something similar with a wonderful bow.

bows on packages1

Yes, these ones do have bar codes on them, but that’s a story for another time.

On Christmas morning, the beautiful box was plopped into brother S’s lap and as he was slipping the bow off, I asked that he open the larger one first. Given how specific his request was, seeing the trivet would certainly give away the surprise of the plaque! He set the smaller box to the side and tore into the big box. He was thrilled with the plaque and I was thrilled with his response to it. Mom, who obviously hadn’t been paying attention, asks, “So, did you like the trivet too? Isn’t it cute?” I was horrified. Brother S made the simple dog face.

If you haven’t read Hyperbole and a Half, you NEED to. It’s fantastic.

But there it is, I made a perfect holiday gift to specs and my mom goes and ruins the surprise by assuming he’s open the smaller gift on top first. At least it was a nice little set to give S, even if mom had to go muck it up! See if I show her what I’m working on crafting next holiday!

IMG_3233

24
Jul

El Paso County State Fair

Posted under Crochet, Knitting, Life, Scroll Saw, Toys, Woodworking No Comments

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/swamps42/maplewoolfarm.com/wp-content/themes/brown-stitch/wp-lightboxJS/wp-lightboxJS.php on line 40

At a local friend’s urging, I decided to enter some of my fiber arts work into the county fair. I figured that since I’ve only been knitting since February 2010, surely I would rank mediocre at best. I like to try some unusual and challenging pieces, but I still feel like such a beginner! I figured I didn’t have much to lose since the entry fee is only $5 though, so I got to work on some special projects.

My first project for the fair was a pair of socks I’ve been wanting to knit for myself for quite some time. I’d seen someone else win a second place ribbon in one of my Ravelry groups with some knee-high socks, so I figured that knee-high socks were an impressive enough sort of project to enter into a fair.  I ordered the yarn and made a few modifications to the pattern. The pattern was beautiful as written, but featured many floats over 5 stitches which is not structurally sound or traditional knitting. These socks also had a heel type I’d never tried before that is unique to traditional Norwegian stockings. It was great fun to learn the new heel and to do so much stranded colorwork. That’s my favorite kind of knitting to do. It takes just the right amount of attention to detail and works up into a nice, thick fabric. I like my knits to be cozy.

The hardest part of these socks was actually blocking them. I’d never blocked socks before, but I figured they needed to be done up nicely. I couldn’t find large enough sock blockers anywhere, so I ended up having to make them myself. Unfortunately, I’m not doing well enough physically since the most recent accident to be using my power tools. I broke a half dozen blades and failed at cutting on the lines I’d drawn on the plywood. The sock blockers aren’t great, but they’re enough to get the job done. Any puckering from the stranding blocked right out of the socks.

Then, because I was trying to work on the project anyhow to publish the pattern, I decided the bird I was knitting could be entered in the knit toy category of the fiber arts department. I’m currently working on getting the pattern typed up and materials to a test knitter. The pattern will be available for purchase and download by the end of the year. The entire bird is knit from Knit Picks Palette yarn on size 0 needles. It’s stuffed with wool as well, and has wool wrapped wire for the feet and crown feather. The eyes are 1/4″ rounded-top, shank-style buttons. I made the stand out of craft wood from Michaels Arts and Crafts and painted it out matte black so it wouldn’t fight with the cockatiel for the eye.

Finally, right after the most recent accident, a Ravelry friend of mine gifted me a pattern for a crocheted schnauzer as a feel better and know you’re loved sort of thing. I figured I’d better crochet a little dog and post pictures to show my appreciation. I didn’t really want a great big toy dog cluttering up the place though, so I unraveled some wool yarn and crocheted with only one ply of yarn on a size 7 steel crochet hook. This made an itty bitty toy dog and almost everything is better in miniature! I also rewrote the legs in the pattern, did the face embroidery differently, and needle felted in the beard. I made him a collar out of the finest red ribbon I had and stitched on a sequin to be his dog tag. His eyes are two black beads that were in with the rest of my seed beads but mysteriously a size larger than the rest. Working on such a small scale with such fragile single ply wool was a pain, but the end result was totally worth it. He came out so well I decided I may as well enter him too. After all, you can enter up to 10 items for the $5 entry fee. You only have to pay extra if you enter more than 10 different items in 10 different classes. You also only get $4 back if you win a first place ribbon though, and I wanted to up my chances of making back my $5. When you’re really broke, that $5 matters a lot!

When I finally got to go to the fair after judging on Saturday, I was greeted pretty quickly with my knit socks. They won first place in the knitted accessory category (socks, hats, gloves and such) and won the Adult Fiber Arts Department Reserve Champion ribbon. I had to ask what that meant exactly, and it’s second place out of all adult fiber arts entries: knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, tatting, felting, and rug hooking. How exciting!

Then I found my knit bird and crocheted dog in the glass display case. They each also had a first place ribbon for their category on them, knit toys and crochet toys respectively! I was thrilled!

We looked around at all the other entries for a while, and we couldn’t find the Adult Fiber Arts Department Champion. I really wanted to see what was nicer than my socks. We asked and were told that not all the ribbons were on the items yet. The woman helping us went to check the record book and when she came back, she was carrying the champion ribbon to hang on my crocheted dog! I couldn’t believe it! I won every single award my items were eligible for, three first places, the department champion, and the reserve champion!

I’m so excited. I can’t wait to pick my items up, show off the ribbons and projects at show-and-tell at the Front Range Fiber Artisans annual picnic, and get my winners (the socks and dog only) to the state fair. I’d send the bird too, but the state fair combines knit and crochet toys into one class, so I can only enter one of them. Fingers crossed for more success at the state level. It’s much more competitive and you don’t even get your items displayed unless you win.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
14
Mar

Scroll Saw Dragon Pendant

Posted under Scroll Saw, Woodworking 1 Comment

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/swamps42/maplewoolfarm.com/wp-content/themes/brown-stitch/wp-lightboxJS/wp-lightboxJS.php on line 40

About a month ago I started a project for a friend of mine from my online fiber artists with chronic pain support group, the Chronic Bitches. She loves dragons, and was oogling the many free dragon patterns in Steve Good’s scroll saw pattern catalog. Since I had many pieces of thin board on hand from the dog and cat pendants I’ve made, I figured I’d jump right in with the dragon pendant.

These are the first three dog necklaces I made and won runner up in the Gorilla Glue Contest on Lumber Jocks!

When I first started looking at the pdf for the necklace, I was shocked. This was just WAY too big to have be a necklace in my book. My chest isn’t that big, there’s space taken up with boobs! I pulled the image over to Microsoft Word for easy scaling with rulers. It’s amazing how often I use Word for pattern making actually. My reduced pattern measures 2 inches wide and just a smidge over 3 inches tall. I kept the same proportions as the original so my pendant wouldn’t end up elongated or smooshed looking.

I mounted up my pattern to some 1/8 inch thick walnut, drilled a few holes, and started cutting. It wasn’t long before I realized I had missed some of the entry holes I would need, that I wasn’t good enough to cut such bitty details accurately, and that getting so tense trying to cut something so small was only making my pain worse in my shoulders and upper back. I set the pendant on the back edge of my Excaliber’s table and proceeded to ignore it for a full month while I worked on other projects like my inkle looms, some toy cars for charity, and another Siamese cat necklace.

Tonight I went down to my friend’s garage to visit with my saw. I had to prepare a set of necklace blanks for a small workshop I’m teaching tomorrow night on how I make my inlay dog and cat necklaces. We’ll be making one of my favorite dog breeds tomorrow, the border collie! Once I got all my border collie blanks done, I still had a little time left before it was time to head home. The dragon pendant was glaring at me from the back of the scroll saw table. I fished out a size 60 drill bit, put in the bitty holes, and had a go at it since I already had a 00 reverse tooth blade in the saw.

Surprisingly, my skills have improved enough over the past month or so for me to be able to fly through making the pendant. Sure, I still spent about an hour finishing the cuts and another hour sanding down to a 600 grit paper and gently buffing in a mineral oil and beeswax finish, but still, I was flying compared to a month ago. I’m so excited to have it done! Before long maybe I’ll actually be able to do some of the more advanced ornaments from the book I got last year! I’d really wanted to make the train ornament for my dad and the motorcycle for my brother, but I messed up and broke the spokes in the wheels of both. I hope by next Christmas I can fly through those ornaments and give them out!

I love how it came out!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27
Dec

Toy Society Holiday Drop

Posted under Charity, Models, Scroll Saw, Toys, Woodworking No Comments

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/swamps42/maplewoolfarm.com/wp-content/themes/brown-stitch/wp-lightboxJS/wp-lightboxJS.php on line 40

On Christmas Eve, I dropped a handmade toy for the Toy Society. I made this little tow truck and car set:

I used a free pattern from Steve Good. You can download the pattern here if you want to make your own car and truck set. The only addition I made was to glue a small strip of wood across the back of the truck bed to keep the car from rolling off too easily. I left off the smoke stacks and the little button lights. The smokestacks have not held up well when my friend’s kids play with the truck I keep at my house and I didn’t want to have bitty lights that a small child could chew off.

I cut the body of the two cars from a scrap of 2×4 leftover from another project. The truck bed is cut from a fence picket scrap. I ran it through my planer to clean it up and get it to size. I actually like the look of the redwood fence picket truck bed more than the pine truck bed I’ve done on previous tow trucks. The wheel well strips on either side of the cab are cut from pine as the redwood was a bit too brittle to hold up well to tight curves on an item meant for child’s play. The wheels are all pre-made oak wheels from a local specialty wood shop. I cut the body of the car and truck with a HUGE blade in the scroll saw. It’s a reverse tooth blade from Woodcraft that’s so big it doesn’t even have a number. I used size 7 blades to cut the wheel well covers, the truck bed, and the dowels for the axles.

The drop was made on Christmas Eve around lunchtime in Old Colorado City on a bench in front of an Italian restaurant, some souvenir shops and art galleries. There was a gaggle of kids visiting Santa just a block and a half away, so hopefully a lucky boy or girl found this set just in time for Christmas!

In general, if you’re into scrolling, check out Steve Good’s site. He’s got TONS of free patterns, and several of them toys for doing Toy Society drops! This was my first drop, and it was fun. There will certainly be more! I cut several tow truck and car sets for my Christmas Eve drop, but I ran out of wheels, none of the wood shops were open, AND I couldn’t find my hole cutter set to make my own wheels. Talk about failure!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WordPress database error: [Column 'referer' cannot be null]
INSERT INTO `wp_h8au5a_power_stats_visits` (`date`, `time`, `ip`, `country`, `device`, `referer`, `browser`, `browser_version`, `is_search_engine`, `user_agent`, `is_bot`, `os`) VALUES ('2019-06-24', '2019-06-24 13:23:02', '54.145.38.157', 'US', 'desktop', NULL, NULL, '', '', 'CCBot/2.0 (https://commoncrawl.org/faq/)', '', '')