Here we are getting ready to wind up the first whirlwind week of our Scottsdale adventure. It’s beginning to feel like home rather than an apartment/condo for an extended vacation. Well, I suppose it really is an extended one — 6 months is a pretty good extension! The grounds and facilities here at the San Tropez are really nice and well kept. Any dealings we’ve had with the management has been good and the work-out facility is first rate as well. Trying to get Brandy used to “doing her business” at the end of a leash rather than in the privacy of her own backyard is an ongoing process but luckily; no accidents. Ali and her litter box are much easier: one point for the cats! Diane needed to sew up an additional barrier for the room divider since Brandy was able to get under it.
Not sure if it’s the close proximity they now have or maybe the atmosphere in Scottsdale is calming but the two of them can be in the same room, watching TV with us at night without too much hassle — nice! We’ve also found a church that is less than 5 minutes away, walking distance actually. It’s called Scottsdale Christian Church. What’s really nice is that they use the same type of contemporary music Diane and I both like and it’s much smaller then our home church, The Crossing in Las Vegas. The smallness and intimacy of it is a nice change from The Crossing where we’ve been going for almost 20 years. Our adventure is all about change and experiencing different things so that’s a good thing.
Speaking of change, let’s talk about my shop area. I’ve gone from half of a 3 car garage to my personal little corner of the master bedroom. One of my Christmas presents is the bow saw purchased from CME Handworks from Ebay. It’s a beauty and I’ve always wanted one of these. Perfect opportunity to get one as my only saw for ripping and cutting things to size. Although I’ll mostly be concentrating on carving and gilding this will come in handy. Made my first cut with it last night, square to the face but not the edge but very smooth cutting action and a beautifully made saw. All of my carving chisels, planes, and mallets are in the chest on the bottom shelf. There’s some space for reference material, and; of course a vacuum to clean all of the chips and shavings from the carper — now that’s a new experience for sure!
There is a covered balcony to the right of the bench with access through a large sliding glass door. When I work I’ll open the blinds on the window behind the bench plus the ones on the slider for light. I also have an LED light to focus on what I’m doing. The portable carving bench fits nicely on one side and brings the work up to the level I like. There is an additional storage area off the balcony and I was able to get some space in Diane’s large closet that’s in the front bedroom aka her studio space. Not sure how the management will go for it but my intention is to spray shellac on the balcony; nothing like the smell of shellac in the morning!
So, we are definitely settling into our new space. For sure there will be challenges along the way as we transition from our house in Las Vegas with its large work areas, outdoor spaces, tools, etc. but this is a chance of our lifetime. My challenge will be to complete carving projects from the video workshops I’ve enrolled in from both Chris Pye and Mary May with the ultimate goal of taking what I learn to complete the dozen frames or so that I brought with.
Hope you enjoy the ride as I blog about this adventure — the good, the bad, but hopefully none of the ugly!
That’s actually quite a nice little shop setup you have there. Especially for woodcarving. Nicely done! Enjoy.
Best wishes to you and your wife for 2016.
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