The house where I was born

I often think about the house where I was born. The grey concrete steps and the large brick fireplace. About the dining room so convenient to the kitchen with its bright yellow linoleum floor. Little did I know the path that my life would take?

Hello, my name is Jack and no I don’t have any experience. But if you hire me I am willing to start at the bottom and work my way up, if I am only given a chance. What’s that, well yes I do consider myself ambitious, but I will work hard for what you will be able to pay me…..

I have found out that I can live modestly, not waste my time and the time of the company. I will work hard and try to learn as much as I can in a short time while I am being useful. My friends consider me honest and  conscious……

I’m sure when I have proven myself; you will advance me when you feel the time is right. I understand that some time things must go their own course, but can also be helped along. Oh well thank you Mr. Moneywell, you will see that I am not afraid of hard work…….

You know for some reason I am always here to work on time, so there is no reason you can’t be also. You don’t want me to tell the boss, he may just decided to replace you. Of course I don’t plan for you to stand in my way. I plan to be a success in my life and maybe someday own this company. If you can’t tell I’m a man on the way up……..

I want a better job in this place and the best job here is to become the boss. I get tired of living in a small house where I only rent a small room to save money. My food is a selection of the daily specials at the restaurants that I walk to after work. Yes, of course I am saving for a automobile some day, but I won’t let that alter my plans I have…….

I have had enough of this scrimping and saving to get somewhere, I want to be rich some day and flash my money around like all of the other big spenders. I just want to be happy, but for some reason I am not getting ahead fast enough to suit the likes of me……

Well sir, I do like him. However I also think I can do his work more efficiently than he does. Perhaps I could find a way to make the company more profit. No, we don’t have a personality conflict I like him as a friend. Remember I told you I would work hard and study to be useful, Mr. Moneywell. I’m just saying that John is not doing his work as efficiently as he should.

Well thank you Mr. Moneywell, I want you to know I am only thinking of the business when I bring these small problems to your attention. Remember I have worked very hard in your behalf.

I want to thank the Board of Directors to making me one of the vice presidents. When I came to this great company, I wanted to just be a hard working part of it. I want you all to know this award and position only makes me want to work harder…..

Well yes it does seem like only yesterday I was here before you, the board of directors to accept my position of vice president. Now here I am again very humble to accept the position of president. I want you to know it makes me want to work all of the harder…..

No Sara, there is no way out. I know you gave me the best years of your life, but somehow it was not good enough. After all you must look at my position with the company. I am president and we have locations in every major city. I know from time to time you would go buy a new dress, but that was not enough. What that you say, When did I stop loving you? Well if the truth were to be known, I did have a different definition of the word than you did. Oh you were nice, but rather plain…..

Oh don’t be so dramatic Sara. You will have money, the house and you get the newest car. Honestly I don’t know what more a woman could want in your position……

Oh don’t worry about Sara. She has money every month; she has the 2 story house and that flashy car. All we have to do is worry about us……

I don’t care what you do Ben, I happen to own all of the controlling stock in your company. I suppose I don’t have to call you Mr. Moneywell after all of these years. Yes I know you built this company 45 years ago, I also told you I was a hard worker when I started. You see Mr. Moneywell, or should it be Ben when I was working hard for you, I was also working hard for myself….

So I can tell you this Ben, you will always have a position with us as long as you are alive. Remember when you made me president I made my mind up that by hook or crook I would have controlling interest in the business. I am sure we can find a perfect position where you can still see some of the older clients on a daily basis…..

Well hello Mr. Spendmore. No I am not the president any more, but you can still come in a see me. You will find me on the reception desk. No I am not bitter; we have offices in most of the major cities. Yes that new president Casey is a good man. I look forward to seeing you when you come in……..

You know I am sorry to hear the news. I haven’t seen Sara in a long time, but I am sad to hear the news. We were separated some years ago because of incompatibility.  Oh Mrs. Writeacheck, could you send a dozen flowers to Sara’s address and you won’t have to write any of those monthly check’s again…….

Oh okay if that’s the way you want it. Ben you and your friends have been working behind my back to take this place back over. Well Casey, you have not been taking care of business. It was all of the parties; some of the women were also taking up some of your time. That expensive boat that you would spend time on so you could have cases of your favorite brand delivered so you could un wind. What about all of my loyal co-workers?

Well Casey, it was not long ago that you managed to go behind my back and take over the company that I built. Of course you are going to tell me that was different. So I am sad to tell you that we don’t have a position here for you anymore. Oh I’m sure if you cut back your lifestyle you will do okay. You can stay on as a general manager on a commission only salary. We know what you can achieve. But somehow I don’t think you are smart enough to do that……

Well I am leaving and I don’t want any part of this company. I helped build this company to what it is today. What that you say, you had a part in that also. Well so you did and you can have it back……..

Hey Jackie, it’s Casey. I was just wondering if you would like to have some dinner after a few drinks. Oh I am sorry you need to go sit with your sick Mother. Yes maybe some other time…..

So Casey I did not think that I would see you again. But tell me what you wanted today. Well I’m not too sure we have any openings right now. But do give me some time, maybe a week and I see if we can fit you in somewhere……

Well Casey, I have talked to the board and we know your ability and could use you for an outside sales position. It will be strictly commission only, but we are sure a person with your ability could do well representing the company…….

Well I want to thank you Mr. Greenbucks for this order. I’m sure with a certified check I will personally deliver your order to the company myself. Here I am only staying is the Commodore Hotel while I am on the road, but I will be leaving in the morning to our head office to place your order….

Hello this is Casey and the front desk said for me to call you before I left. What do you mean you want to cancel the order? I thought we had a signed contract and you gave me a check. Yes I know we have a cancellation clause in the contract, but… Okay don’t worry you shall see me in a short time with the check……

Hello Judy, do you know who this is. Yes I know it’s been a long time. Well a lot has changed since we saw each other last. If course I have been thinking of you and the good news is that I am back with my old company. Yes they finally came to me and offered me a job again…….

So tell me do you still care about me after all of these years. You do, well that’s good. So suppose you fly out here and we get married and go to Mexico and spend a good time on our honeymoon. Now don’t say that, I have a certified check in my hand for $10,000 for just a starter…….

So how about you getting on a plane, pack some of you dresses that used to turn heads and we will have a great time…..

So tell me Judy, are you having a good time. That’s good, but don’t you think you should not gamble so much money. Well of course there is more where that came from, but maybe save some for tomorrow. I am going in to the bar, when you get done come and see me…..

Hello Judy, what do you mean you want some more money? Well we have enough for another week than we will have to get a job. Of course I suppose I should have told you about the check before this, but we were having so much fun. We will have to stay here because if I go back it will not be fun…..

It was the knock at the door that surprised me. How could of anyone known where I was. But I suppose it was good to get things over with and pay my dues to society……

I want to thank you for coming here to see me Ben, or should I say Mr. Moneywell. Of course here we don’t have names, just some numbers. Yes I know there was nothing you could have done, but if you could had of what would it have been? Its okay, I did steal the money….

Yes Ben they are treating me well. I am learning to set type in the newspaper, but it’s not likely I will amount to much when I am out of here. My fingers have ink on them and I wish that I could undo what I have done. They say that 5 years will go fast and to keep the faith….

They say I have another visitor, I wonder who it could be. Oh Ben I would like you to meet…I’m his wife and I want to talk to him. Well Casey I need to be going anyway……

I am sorry Judy that you had to get a job. Yes I know while I’m in here you needed to make ends meet. Also sorry our friends have gone away too. Don’t tell me where you are working, but I do want to thank you for the fruit that you occasionally send. When I get it they are all cut in half to make sure they are just fruit.

I want to thank you Warden, I have learned my lesson. Good bye to all of you guards in the grey uniforms that match the grey high wall that keep me here. Just 6 years of my life with time off for good behavior. I am walking out in to the sunshine to pick up where I left…..

Yes Ben it is nice for you to come and pick me up. I looked forward to you visits no matter how infrequent they were. My clothes are plain now, but I want to make up for lost time….

The first thing I want to do is see Judy. I only received some fruit, but I suppose that was all she could manage. What do you mean maybe that might not be a good idea? She is okay, I mean she did not die or anything. Well I am glad she is not dead, so let’s go see where she is living. You are going to have to drive. I can’t believe how wonderful the wind in my face is….

Why are we stopping here? I know it’s a nice place with the green hills beside the stream where I used to fish as a boy. I wonder if my old house where I was born is still there. Ben, you have a grave look on your face…..

Ben, I can’t believe that Judy married you of all people. Day after day I sat in that small cell dreaming of how it was going to be when I was released. Ben, I want you to know I am sorry I put my hands around you throat. You see moving all of the heavy newspapers made them strong over the years and it was  actually Judy on my mind that gave me the strength……



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Small brushes

While I admit that wood carving is my first choice to let my artistic ability (what little there is) run free, I do however like to put down some color from time to time. Of course the weather does have some say in the scheme of things. In the little tin building I do my carving in, does get hot in the 100+ degree days.

So from time to time I find myself putting something on either paper, wood, canvas or maybe glass to fill the need to get the artistic expressions out. So recently I have been experimenting with some small canvas that I found in a box that was almost forgotten.


Paper red splash

I of course first did some sketches on paper. Of which you can see above. From all of the other pencil marks you can tell I am not sure of what I wanted to do. But after having the drawing where I could study it for a while, I then decided to transfer the same images to some canvas.

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Red splash in canvas

So here is the “red splash” on canvas, which will be a bit more permanent. I am using some acrylic paint that comes in those little plastic bottles from the craft store. I am not in love with a specific brand, nor would they ever want to sponsor me. In fact some times I like to be anonymous.

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Stained glass project

So after I got my brain in the “working on canvas mode” I decided that it wasn’t that bad of medium and went to work on another canvas. For my next one, I will make an attempt to make a painting to look like a stained glass picture. While I have done stained glass in the past, I think making a drawing look like one might be easier to do.


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Putting it together

morning workout

Some bamboo flutes in the works

Well hello, glad you came by for a spell. I thought I would do an update as to what has been happening recently. Here in the Temescal Valley we have had some great T-shirt weather so much of the time has been in the workshop knocking some bamboo around to look like a flute. I again need to thank blue bear flutes for the excellent videos to help us.

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Heart shaped bowl

The bowl’s are also moving right along, with some of the early heart bowls ready to be sold. The above one is made from some older avocado wood that I have moved around for too many years. I like the smooth not reflective surface.

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Shop taken of tortoise bowl

Now of course the tortoise shell bowl(s) are also moving right along. They are also made out of avocado wood, which has been cut many years ago. So it is very hard to work with. But I am hoping that the work will be rewarded in the end.

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Pendant with captive bead

Many word workers accumulate little pieces of wood that you just don’t want to throw away. So I have decided to make some wood jewelry with that wood.  In the above picture you see what I think is walnut wood that I rescued from the fireplace.

I hand sanded it so the edges were thinner than the center and then with ink I added the design. Also in the picture is what I call a “captive bead” that is where I put the ends of the wire. I use “space filling glue” that almost guarantees it will not come apart and maybe injure someone. This above piece most likely will end up on some para cord about 30 inches.

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“See through” jewelry

I also have been making what I call “see through” jewelry. The first ones are in a random shape with the center of a cross missing. While these are made with a jig or band saw, you first have to plan ahead to know where you are going to make the cuts. Depending on the type of wood and the grain, you can cut the wood in half and carefully glue the wood back with out much notice. This technique makes it easy to work with the wood, but you have to be alert when you are gluing (not too much, not too little).


Posted in art, fashions, Jewelry, wood carving

Bamboo Whistle

Well good morning to everyone, hope you are having a great day. So I do need to thank Charlie Mato-Toyela over at blue bear flutes for all of his videos.  If you have not seen one of his videos, you are missing some good stuff about flute making.

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Getting things hot

So while I am not really sure exactly what I am doing yet, I decided to make some small whistles out of the left over pieces of bamboo. Not only does it let me have some practice in making the important part of the flute, who knows maybe someone will want to buy a whistle. In the background of the picture is one of the flutes that were made form the left-overs.

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See the smoke, must be some fire

So one of the things I have found in making the whistles, is that a hole drilled first makes the heated piece of metal burn quicker. While I enjoy heating metal up, making a square hole seemed to be the easiest.

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the holes are finished

This whistle happens to be made from a piece of bamboo that does not have a node. So I will make a custom plug to made the air follow its path. The plug is made from some left over wood that came from my scrap bin. It will be cut to round with a slight taper on one end to make sure the air does not slip by.

To make the flat area for now I actually grind the area down with a small rotary sander to start with. Then to make a sharp line on the left, I do use a flat screwdriver which I heat up. That gives me my square edge.

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Back cutting the bamboo

That same screwdriver is what I use to back-cut the square holes with. Yes I would suppose the screwdriver will never be used as a screwdriver again. Don’t worry I have others including a nice Snap-on set.

So when I have the little whistles done, I plan to sand them sort of smooth and then maybe do some wood burning on them for some decoration.

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The New Drill Plastic Box

Well good morning to all, hope you are also having a great day. I decided it was time for some new drills in the workshop, so off to one of the big box stores to get a brand new set. I admit that I had a lot of choices and not being a metal person I did not know which I should choose. I read all of the different packages, asked other customers who looked like a “working class” like me. Where was a salesperson you ask? Well the days of a knowledgeable salesperson are soon going to be the way of a transistor radio.

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So with the choices under this thick tamper proof plastic, you could not touch them. So I chose the one that was in my favorite color plastic (red). I also like the words “Shockwave Impact Duty” but the thing that caught my eye the most was the word “metal” in red letters.

So I paid for my purchases, stuffed them into a California outlawed plastic bag and took them home. Well with one of my sharpest carving knives, I finally got the plastic off. Put the 1/2 drill back to where it was supposed to go in the cute little plastic holder.

While it is nice to read the sizes on the right side of the cute little box, the second row (on the left) is right in line with the front row on the left. I bet the person who thought up this design was really proud of it. Myself I think its a bad design.

Now I admit that I use drills in the shop on wood only, with some bamboo thrown in for good measure. But when I need to purchase another set, it won’t be the ones in a red plastic box. In fact I am so unhappy with the design of the box, I won’t tell the name.

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Tool making

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Carving on a flute

Well hello to all of you who stop by here to see what is happening in my shop. In the morning we were out rounding up some parts from the home improvement stores. So with me having this “flute fever” we have been looking at some of the video’s that are out there for you to see.

One flute maker “blue bear flutes” has some exceptional videos that you really need to go see if you think you might want to make a flute or just buy one of his kits to do it yourself.

One of the interesting things is that the holes near the top of the flute need to be square. Now making a square hold can be done many ways, but the way Blue Bear Flutes does it is to burn the holes. So I need to make me a burning tool also.

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Making a tool work

So I found an old tool that went in what I think they call a “bit and brace.” Its this crank like thing that used to bore a hole in the wood. Well the bit already has a square shank that will a little metal work would do just fine.

So the hole is supposed to be just 1/4 of an inch. So I cut the shank down to that size and next time I’m in the shop we will heat up the tool and take it for a test run. Of course we need to already have some size hole already drilled. So now we get to play with some fire in a round about way.

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river cane or bamboo

As luck would have it I found some river cane at the 99 cent stores of all places. So I grabbed a few pieces to take this flute making for a test ride in a different direction. Now I need to go back and watch some videos and take some notes.

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Eagle Flute Ground-work

So with it being a Monday, I thought it might be time for an up date on how the “eagle flute” is moving along.

As you remember the aromatic ceder wood had a split that occurred when the flute was either transported or as the wood dried it just checked. So it was lucky that the split did not upset the finger holes, as this is a 6 hole flute.


5 hole flute

Yes I know I normally make 5, but why not be a little different?

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Adding wood to the flute

So I now have the extra wood drilled and glued in place. It was time to decided as to what I wanted to carve there. So why not carve an eagle head with its mouth open?

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the pattern

So the pattern could be transferred to both sides of the flute for aligning, we decided to carve a cardboard (matt-board) template first. So once we had the lines drawn, all we had to do was cut out what part we did not want.


drawing the pattern

Then we just transferred the pattern to the end of the flute. So with a well placed drill to start things off we will be carving the eagle head.

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