Thursday, May 26, 2011

The “R” and “X” Lovespoon

Here is the latest and greatest, hot off the Letter Lovespoon production line down here at the Carvin’ Tom blogsite: A wedding shower gift for the Son and future Daughter-in-law of some good friends of ours.  Actually, “hot off the production line” is a “bit” of a stretch.  This is one of several pieces that I have been sitting on for weeks waiting for it to be presented…just two more pieces to go, now!

It follows my standard convention: the Lady’s initial on the top and the Gentleman’s initial on the bottom.  There is not really too much else to comment on.  It was carved from basswood, but what did you expect? 

As long time blog readers already know, I always try to come up with some new way to interlock the initials in the handle of the spoon, as a symbol of the, in this case “newly” -- but often “not so newly” -- interlocked lives, but I let the letters themselves that tell me how they want to be "hooked together".

I was surprised and delighted, as I started to draw this one up, how nicely her “R” just flowed right on down into his “X”.  I’ve never had that happen for me before – of course, I’ve never used an “X” before:-)  The existence of this nice smooth transition may, perhaps, indicate that somehow I have managed to impart copious amounts of “Karma” into the spoon, but I’m betting that it was probably just one of those things that drops out of each set of initials.  I didn't notice until just now that "R" really has her arm locked around "X".  That is probably a good sign, too.

Anyway, I like it and I hope you do, too, but most of all, I hope that “R” and “X” like it.  

And “R” and “X”, if  you are reading this, I wish you many years of joyful, wedded bliss.  I happen to know from personal experience that it actually is possible.

One From the Bench:

     Fear less and hope more.
     Eat less but chew more.
     Whine less and breathe more.
     Talk less but say more.
     Hate less and love more.
     Do these things and all good things will be yours.  

                 A Paraphrased Swedish Proverb

'Til next time...Keep makin' chips!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Relax, this is the last "So how did that come to be said" for awhile

With the recent closing of the Roy Rogers Museum, for old times sake I feel that it is only fitting to relate the events following Roy’s 50th birthday.

Dale presented him with a brand new set of fancy cowboy boots to replace the pair that he had worn through most of his movies up to that date.

Roy was very pleased but decided that before he would wear them he would give them a good coating of oil to seal them.  He applied a liberal coat and sat them on the back porch to dry and went to bed.

When he went to put them on the next morning he discovered that they have been badly chewed and basically ruined.  The paw prints in the back yard indicated that the culprit was in all likelihood the mountain lion that had been seen recently in the area.

Furious that his new boots had been destroyed, he got his rifle, saddled up Trigger and rode off in the direction of the tracks. 

By noon he had managed to find and dispatch the lion.  Remembering that there was a bounty on the lion and figuring that the reward would just about pay for a new set of boots, he threw the lion over his saddle and rode back home.

As he approached the ranch house, Dale went out to greet him and spoke the words that people still (occasionally) sing today: 

        “Pardon me, Roy.  Is that the cat the chewed your new shoes?”

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sir Fredrick, the Diminutive

I hope you guys don't mind these deviations from my normal course, but as I have explained, I have 3 pieces in the hopper, but can't post any of them because of an oath of secrecy -- OK, yeah, that's over-stated  -- but they are gifts and I don't want to spoil any surprises.  In fact, one piece (perhaps my best work yet, even if I do say myself) cannot be divulged until late summer.  Ouch!  

So, instead, I've got another "so how did that come to be said:"

Sir Fredrick, the Diminutive, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, experienced a considerable amount of abuse for he stood but 4’8” including helmet plume.  Absolutely nothing about his life was easy for him.

Poor Sir Fredrick could never find armor in his size.  All he could do was purchase the smallest suit available and have it altered to fit.  Even the simple task of mounting his noble steed, Lightning, required a stepladder (that he kept securely strapped to his saddle).  But what Sir Fredrick lacked in height, he more than made up for in gallantry. 

The one thing that drove Sir Fredrick was the undying love that he carried for King Arthur’s ward, the lovely Veronica.  But alas, she towered over him at nearly 5’10”.  Time and again -- much to his dismay -- she would saunter through the court and flirt with all of the other Knights.  But Veronica’s gaze would pass right over the head of poor Sir Fredrick as if he wasn’t there.  

Then one day Sir Fredrick happened to notice a young lass having trouble at the city’s well.  Forever the gallant knight, he dismounted (not before taking careful note that his stepladder was still there, of course) and proceeded to help her haul the heavy bucket from the well.  It wasn’t until he placed the bucket at her feet and straighten up that he realized just how lovely she was.  Her raven hair and beautiful smile were breath taking for Sir Fredrick but perhaps her most appealing feature was that she stood precisely 4’ 2” tall.  After stammering a bit, Sir Fredrick introduced himself. She smiled and said that her name was Ann Louise.

Sir Fredrick was immediately smitten.  Gone were all thoughts of Veronica.  “She was far too tall for me anyway.  We never would have made it work!” thought Sir Fredrick.  Within months Sir Fredrick and Ann Louise were married and lived happily ever after.

The moral to the story:

            “ ‘Tis better to have loved Ann Louise than ever to have loved a tall.”

Thursday, May 12, 2011

How did that come to be said???

The year was 1096.  The city of Jerusalem had been taken by the Turks, thousands of Christian Pilgrims had been massacred, and Pope Urban II and his Council of Clermont called for a crusade against the Infidels.

In England, the tyrannical Lord Acken, Regent of Spiffingham, was gathering his knights prior to leaving for the Middle East.  The peasants were at first delighted with the prospects of a having few years of relief from the abusive rule of Lord Acken.  But then they learned that the most ruthless overlord in all of England, Caruthers Smythe, Earl of Aldershot was to rule the fiefdom in Acken’s absence. 

After Lord Acken’s departure, the peasant’s lot went from bad to worse.  Smythe levied additional taxes, increased their workweek from 6 days to 7 and perhaps cruelest of all, cut their daily ration of Mead.  Now the peasants couldn’t even drink their sorrows away.

But as luck would have it, Smythe was killed in a hunting accident a few months later. The peasants realized that this could be their big chance.  It was decided that they just wouldn’t tell anyone that Smythe was dead.  They quickly buried his body deep in the forest where it could not be found.  Since they did all of the work anyway, the peasants just set about to farm the fields, bring in the harvest, play the taxes as if Smythe was still there.  Best of all they could now make all of the Mead they wanted.

Over the years, things went along very well for the peasants. They worked 5 days a week and partied all weekend.  The seasons came and went, the king’s tax collector was paid on time, so no one was the wiser.

Late one Friday afternoon as Ben, the brewmaster, lugged a heavy keg of the peasant’s favorite beverage along the road to the Great Hall for the weekend’s festivities, he heard blaring trumpets and saw the billowing flags and marching soldiers of a large precession. 

It was at that point that he uttered the famous words that we often hear today:

            “Oh, my! Acken’s back!”

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another Placeholder

One from the Bench:

Mike Finnegan was a strapping lad from the town of Oysterhaven, County Cork, Ireland.  He was tall and dark and fancied himself as quite the ladies man. 

He would spend hours every evening down at the “Ox and Hound” throwing darts and drinking pints set down for him by the lovely, redheaded, Edith.  He lavished her with so much attention that she just knew that any day he would ask for her hand in marriage.

But, unbeknownst to Edith, Mike would also spend time everyday hanging out at the dairy, where he toyed with the affections of Kate, the pretty, dark-haired dairymaid.  She, too, expected that Mike would soon “pop the question”.

While Mike managed to keep each girl mesmerized and unaware of his playful activities with the other, it soon came to the attention of the Parish Priest, Father O’Brien who felt that such behavior should not continue forever.

After a couple of months of watching Mike's antics from the sidelines, the priest finally felt it was time to intervene.  When he encountered Mike on the street he came to utter the famous words that you still often hear today: 

          “Mike, my son, you can’t have your Kate and your Edith, too!”

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sort of a place holder...

Mr. Sun
I have a couple of pieces in the hopper...i.e., completed, but not yet in the hands of their recipients.  So I can't post them yet...shucks!

I hate to go this long not putting something up for people to see, so I'm going to dip back into the files for a couple of "place holders".
Sleeping Man in the Moon
These two pictures are of carvings that I did a couple of years ago for my grandson's room.  I'm pretty sure that Mr. Sun was the first one followed thereafter by the Sleeping Man in the Moon.  

I believe that I can take full credit for the design of the sun (I once had sunglasses that looked just like that.) but, as I recall, the moon is an unabashed copy of something that I found on the net way back when.

Both are done in basswood...what else?

One from the Bench:

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

'Til next time...and hopefully it won't be too long...keep makin' chips!