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The Trajic Love Life of Wally the Walnut Gnome....or Wally really needs a girlfriend.


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This is Wally.

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Wally has been with me for over 15 years....and if you count his original form, a lovely black walnut tree in the yard of my boyhood home, he's probably over a hundred years old.

Back in 2012 Wally indicated he was a bit sick of the bachelor life. A century of celibacy was apparently enough. I endeavored to accommodate him .....twice actually, and cheerfully chronicled it right here in our very forum. As it happens, I broke two of my own rules and Wally's love story ended in tragedy.

SR

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I know right? It's my own damn fault. I gave her a mouth and left her eyes for last. What a weapon I armed her with. I should have given her eyes and left her mouth for last. I was afraid of the

It has been sounding like Annie is getting nothing but Jason Isbell. Not so. Mostly it is blues in my garage. And this guy is featured. This is a video from my favorite local venue...an

Well it gives the sprites somewhere to shelter from the rain

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I was going to post up a few shots from the old thread, but I see photobucket has released it's hostages, albeit marked for life.

It was good to look back and see comments from members that have not been around for a while. There are a few still here that may remember that story,

Wally's two lost loves were Peaches, a nice looking piece of peach tree and Molly, a lovely limb of mulberry,

Not too long ago I moved into a nice new office at work. Wally said he was tired of guarding our den and asked to go along to the digs. He said I needed a guard to keep all rogue gnomes from infiltrating my office. He hasn't done a damn thing about keep people with unreasonable requests out, but he did keep his promise: there has been nary a one gnome infestation of my office.

But he stares at me all day, and I've been feeling guilty about killing off two potential girlfriends....even if they didn't exist before I brought them to life.

So, meet Annie.

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Annie is a solid chunk of live oak. Wally better watch his step. Live oak is tough stuff.

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Wally took notice at this stage. He said the first thing I did was strip her bare ass naked,.....starkers on the other side of the pond....and pants around the ankles for our deep urban dwellers.

Time to get to work.

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SR

 

 

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7 hours ago, ScottR said:

photobucket has released it's hostages, albeit marked for life.

"For life", but whose life do they mean? Has an image lost its life if it has been unwatched for a period of time, similarly to some e-mail services who dump you after three months of inactivity? Or like Microsoft who added OneDrive/SkyDrive/whatever to all existing free Hotmail accounts, later reducing their size and finally telling that the free service no longer will be available. All this from an established company within a decade. I have a lot of images saved on this forum only but they're not that valuable.

Waiting to see Annie break out from that block with her rifle blazing!

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9 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

"For life", but whose life do they mean?

Well, that was my phrase. The last time I looked at that thread, there were no images, instead a message that photobucket wanted me to subscribe to get what I've been getting free for years. This time the images are present, but they have a watermark plastered across them, thus "scarring them for life".

9 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Waiting to see Annie break out from that block with her rifle blazing!

Clever fellow!

SR

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Is it gnomes that have a face like mush?

No I think that is trolls.

It looks soft as mush, but it is as hard as........well, oak.

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Trying to rescue her from the ugly stick she got beat with.

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SR

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She went through a cro-magnon phase before the oak trying to get her back. I think we are past that now.

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She needs to get more symmetry in her life ....and a bit of head shrinking too.

SR

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Man, I feel you on that Oak. The difference in working with versus against the grain is phenomenal. Every chip must have its own decision-making process behind it to avoid losing any one of the four cheeks. Is the Oak completely dry through the log yet? There seems to be very little cracking other than the small collapsed inclusions through the face. This seems to be another protracted excuse for IPAs out in the sun!

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You described the cutting properties of oak accurately. The log is actually fairly green. There are cracks in the end grain. It will crack as I carve. I will fill them during the finishing and they will be symbols of gnome character building. 10 year old logs crack when carved, Nothing I do, including painting the ends seems to help. But green oak, tough as it is, is still much easier to carve than fully dried oak. There's a ton of moisture in the air in my part of the planet these days, so there's not a lot of drying or cracking going on just now.

IPAs in the sun, mmmmmm.

SR

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Can't avoid tangential shrinkage. The distance of shrink in larger diameter rings as a percentage is huge, and Oak....? Yep. Worse. Have you have cracks release and open whilst working the wood? I find it a simultaneously pant-filling and fascinating experience because of the quality of sound....I had a bunch of Sapele with internal stresses do this on the table saw, and it's like a deep distant sounding crack within the wood....like the rumble of sea ice cracking....a distant sound within a few feet. Weirdly attractive, given we're musicians with a tendency to work with wood.

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I can't say I've had that experience yet. My son did though. He has a gnome I carved from Osage Orange that opened one evening whilst he was in bed and the gnome was on guard 5 or 6 feet away. He said it gave him quite the start and sure enough the next morning he found a big crack down the back of his head. That particular log had been in my garage 4 years plus how ever long since it had been cut when it was given to me.

SR

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I had to pull her hair back so I could get to her face.

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Now to work on symmetry and head shrinking. You've kind of got to nudge it along. No whacking out great chunks of wood anymore. Now depth control becomes important. So I carve a bit and sand a bit to see where I'm at.

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Oddly enough, I'm creating bone structure out of oak.

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And the cracks are coming along as well. At one point I had her up close to my ear and actually did hear one open up. It was just a little crack, so it only made a little crack. but definitely loud enough to hear.

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I'm telling her that I'm not shrinking her head, I'm making her hair bigger!

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SR

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1 hour ago, ScottR said:

Still some evolutionary steps to make, but I'm starting to see Annie.

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SR

looks a little bit like feona from ... um... that one... SHREK!  man you are one talented sob.

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14 hours ago, mistermikev said:

looks a little bit like feona from ... um... that one... SHREK!  man you are one talented sob.

Considering that this is a make up carve for an epic fail 8 years ago (sorry Wally), I'll hold off on feeling talented until I get past the point of demise for Molly.

I must admit Feona's face was in my head when I was drawing this girl up. Surely ogres and gnomes share at least a little DNA.

A couple of other faces came and went during the evolutionary process....Grace Jones was here for a while and Whoopie Goldberg in her Sister Act garb has been in the wood  lately. I'm just now starting to chase her out.:D

SR

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This has been a fascinating weekend of work on a project so reliant on visual acuity.

My eyesight has been going downhill for a couple of years now I've had issues like retinal detachment in one eye to a macular hole in the other. One eye settled down a bit...meaning I deal with it and the other got surgery, which entails a bizarre recovery period. That was last year. This year I have cataracts that are going bad quickly....one accelerated by the macular surgery. Last week I had that cataract removed and the lense  replaced with a corrective implant that eliminates the need for glasses or contacts.  Abnd with a contact in my other eye my vision has bee the best I've had in years,

 Good carving day Saturday. Today I had to take that contact out so my other eye would be ready for surgery Tuesday....and the carving was a bit more theoretical today. Next weekend I'll get a good look at it and see what needs to be fixed.

In the meantime the changes are both profound and subtle....DSC03193.JPGDSC03194.JPGDSC03196.JPGDSC03198.JPGDSC03199.JPGDSC03200.JPG

SR

 

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Anyone that looked at the old thread noticed it was full of music. Anyone familiar with my old threads knows I fill them with music, because my builds and projects need to be infused with the stuff to survive.

I've been listening to this song/cd pretty steadily since it came out in May. This particular lead guitar line and solo have become current favorite, eclipsing stuff from decades ago. The list may have started with Stairway to Heaven and passed through galaxies of solos including Gary Moore's Out in the Fields.

 

I'd love to here some of my guitarist friends do their version of that.

I know folks in Arizona, Blighty, and deep south of Australia that are capable of doing that justice.

My Arizona friend may be familiar with this, seeing as this guy's writing is compared with John Hyatt's...and John Prine's and Dylan and Joanie Mitchell,...and so on.

SR

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7 hours ago, Prostheta said:

I'd add a bit of Knopfler there as well. Very cool. I've a friend who would love that. He's big on Dylan, and an eternally hippy soul.

Yes, I can hear that.

Your friend sounds cool. I do hope you share that with him.

SR

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Love to see how you whisper this stuff out of the wood. Sorry to hear of all the physical BS, hope it goes OK.

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