Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle
Nedra's Award Winning Golden Eagle

Monday, November 17, 2014

New Woodburning Project

Due to my accident several years ago which resulted in a fractured wrist, it's been almost 4 years since I have been able to do any serious burning. 
Red-Tailed Hawk

Most of the burning I have done over the last 4 years is working on gourds that did not involve a lot of fine detail work. While my hand is never going to be what it was before the fracture I am able to get back into burning in moderation. No more 8 hr marathons for me anymore but something is better than nothing.

So, when we headed to Texas for the fall/winter I packed the 3 projects I started before the accident. I also took some practice wood so I could practice my technique. Since most of my work over the last few years has been pretty basic I thought I would need some practice but I quickly discovered it was like riding a bicycle. 

Rather than starting with my smaller projects I decided to start with the Red-Tailed Hawk that has been sitting around the longest. While in the past I might have been able to get this done in a few weeks I have no idea how long this will take but I'm determined to get it done....even if it takes months!

The inspiration to work on the hawk came to me last week at a birding festival we went to in Harlingen, TX. Sitting there in front of me was a beautiful red tailed hawk. Also there was an American Bald Eagle & a Kestrel I figure I will be burning some more birds of prey if my hand is up to the task.

The photo on the right is what I have done so far I will post another photo of him once I have finished it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Specials on Pearl Ex in Larger Jars

I made an oops & ordered 4 Pearl Ex colors in the larger size jars by mistake. These are very popular colors but I don't typically stock the big jars.
Pearl Ex Large Jars

Soooo, I am offering them at reduced prices. There are only 3 of each of the colors available in stock so if you like these colors now is your chance to get a large jar for only $1.10 more than the small jars.

You can find them on the regular Pearl Ex Page. I still also have some discontinued large jars left in the Clearance Center.

If you love Pearl Ex here's a chance to get larger sizes in some of the most popular colors.

The regular price for this size is $6.00

The regular colors are being sold for $4.00:
    Sparkle Gold
    Bright Yellow
    Emerald (this is one of the new colors)

The Clearance Center colors are being sold for $2.50:
    #647 Sky Blue - ONLY 1 LEFT
    #691 Solar Gold - ONLY 1 LEFT
    #656 Brilliant Gold - ONLY 4 LEFT
    #657 Sparkle Gold - ONLY 1 LEFT (yes, this is the same as above but has been in the Clearance Center from a previous order that I made an oooboo!
    #692 Duo Green/Purple - ONLY 1 LEFT

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pyrography Magazine Edition 4 (2014) has arrived

The magazine has arrived. I am now shipping all the pre-release orders.

I have plenty of stock so don't worry, you won't miss your copy of it.

Like the previous 3 editions this magazine is jam packed with projects that will appeal to almost everyone. There's lots of wonderful information but you need to be sure that the information is accurate before jumping in & burning on something.

I do urge everyone to be sure to check with "experts in the field" when it comes to what is safe to burn on or through & not rely on what you might read in articles. It's best to contact manufacturers & ask for MSDS sheets. If they don't have them ask them if it is safe to burn on this material or medium.

I have heard too many horror stories of instructors (heard it with my own ears) telling students it's safe to burn on or through things such as plastic, glue, etc. After calling manufacturers I learned that many of these things are not safe when exposed to the heat of a pyrography tool. As they told me, it's safe when used as they were designed to be used.

Click here to order your copy of the new edition of Pyrography Magazine

So, be safe & Happy Burning!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pyrography Magazine Special Edition #4 (2014)

This brand new issue is due out in the next 2 weeks. I have received 1 copy & gone through it.
Pyrography Magazine 2014

This issue contains 19 different projects on gourds, wood, bone, paper, etc. It also contains a very basic project on pyro carving on a gourd & beautiful wearable jewelry.

There are several other articles such as getting ready to burn, safety & keeping your tips clean & top 10 beginners pyrography tools. Much of this information is readily available in the Pyrography 101 tutorials & pyrography tools reviews on my website.

NOTE: This is another good issue but I think some of the information should be confirmed to be on the safe side from the manufacturer of the products being recommended (such as burning through inks). Contacting manufacturers & getting MSDS sheets is always the safe way to ensure what you are doing will not put you or anyone in your home at risk. Do not rely on the recommendations of anyone other than an "expert" in the field such as the manufacturer of the products being recommended. It is always best to err on the side of caution than to put your health at risk.

You will be able to order it from my website. Click on this link to buy a copy of it. It will ship as soon as it arrives.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Comments Moved From The Old Blog

Nedra, Wow this is great! I can’t wait to have the time to go all the way thru it. You are now in my favorites.
Kate Franchimon

Hi Pam, I do suggest you join my PyrographicArt group on Yahoo. There is a link on the right side of the blog’s page. It is a great place to meet other pyrographers, post your art work and get critiques. You will find pyrography mixed in at many woodcarving shows but it’s still growing and not all woodcarving shows have anyone in their groups who do pyrography. It’s grown since I started. Back when I started there were very few teachers or instructional books and those who did teach just taught basic line drawing and some teachers who could teach beginner skills but not much else. Now there are lots of instructors and lots of books. Amazing how much has changed since I started. So, don’t give up. Who knows you might find some local friends on the yahoo group. You might even find a carving group in your area that you didn't know about.
Nedra Denison

Hi Nedra, I am mostly working on general pyrography, but I would love to try gourds too. I just completed a logo and have come up with a name for my shop. I know I’m jumping the gun a bit, but I’m having fun and I have high hopes. I need tips on technique. I’m doing a lot of reading, but it would be nice to have a real person to critique what I’m doing and how I can improve. There are no pyrogrophers in my area that I know of. I’ve seen carvers at art shows, but I have never seen any pyrography, yet.
Pamela Bullock

Congratulations on working through the many obstacles and getting to this point where you can experience the rewards of accomplishment.
I, among others look forward to all that you have worked so hard to share with us.
If your blog is anything like your customer service, it will be a huge success.
Don Sharp

Hi Pam, I’m excited too. I really resisted doing one every time Tina suggested it but I’m glad I finally gave in. I was suffering from information overload learning how to deal with the new website and wasn’t sure my poor old brain could handle much more. I’m sincerely hoping that between my website and this blog I can help.
Are you interested more in gourds or pyrography and what aspect do you need help in?
Nedra Denison

I’m excited about your blog. Being a “newie” at this art form, I need all the help I can get.
Your website, “SawdustConnection” is the best on the Internet. The information you have posted has been so helpful. It’s so nice to have a place where I can find the help I need as well as quality products.
Pamela Bullock

Hi Nedra, congratulations on the first post on your new blog. I know you will do well with it.
Tina Clark

Blog Updates

If you have been following my blog since I started the first one a few years ago you might notice that I've been doing more prolific now that I have moved it.

I have been more active for a variety of reasons & the main one is that once I figured out how to use it (still learning all that it can do) I like it better.

While WordPress is a bit more sophisticated it is also a lot more work with all the plugin's, themes, updates, etc.

So, now since I don't have to worry about all that nonsense I can just have some fun.

In between work, trying to get our house in order to sell & traveling I am actually going to try to do some art. With that being said I will also try to do another tutorial as time seems like there is never enough time but we shall see.

Thanks for sticking with me & I do hope that if you stop in that you will let me know how you like things around here.

Clearance Center News & Other Stuff!

We are back in New Mexico & will be here until the beginning of October. We are hoping to head back to Texas on the 3rd or 4th. 

Our house in New Mexico is on the market & we are hoping one of these days we can find a buyer. Until then we stop back here between trips checking on it & our friends are taking care of it while we are in Texas or on the road.

In the meantime we are cleaning out more stuff from the house & trying to sell some of the furniture.

Since we are no longer doing shows I trying to downsize some of our inventory that we kept on hand for shows. Many of these items I will still carry on the
website but they will drop ship directly from the factory so I don't have to carry it around in our motorhome. Some items, like the paints & glues are being discontinued all together & they are now in the Clearance Center.

Some of the items that are in the Clearance Center have been reduced even further as of today (9/7). There are some items that I have decided to donate to the Craft Room in our community for classes or anyone who wants to work on their own crafts. 

So, any of the following items that I still have in stock as of close of business on 9/20/14 will be removed from the website & donated to the Craft Room.
Perfect Pigment collections

If you are on my mailing list you already got my email message about this but if you aren't on my mailing list then here is the list of what is going:

Lumiere & Neopaque paint in the jars

All the USArtquest glues (Duo & Perfect Paper Adhesive)
Glue Smith CA kit & glue
Perfect Pigment Paint Collections
Micacolor Paint
Ranger Ink Sets
Lumiere Paint

The last 3 items I might hang onto until the end of the year but it will depend on what I have left at the time.

Many of these items are now listed at wholesale price so they will not go any lower. 

If any of these are of interested to you don't wait until they are gone. If you know anyone who might be interested let them know about it. If you teach, this is a great opportunity to get these at these low prices.

These photos are just a sampling of some of the items in the Clearance Center that will be removed from the site either when they are sold out or on 9/21.

You can find them all at the Clearance Center

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Our Travels

As many of you know we have been traveling since the beginning of June. We made our annual trek to the Pacific Northwest BUT this year we decided to leave early & head to parts unknown...places we haven't visited before. Our goal when we retired from doing shows after over 18 years was to do more travel for fun & fun is what we are having.

While in Newport I enjoyed my new recumbent trike & took rides along the jetty road several times a week. The fresh salt air was invigorating & it really gave me more exercise than I have had in years....just what the doctor ordered (literally). I'm sure she will be thrilled when I see her next month.

We are now back in Salem, Oregon doing "touristy" things. We were here for a week in June before heading to Newport on the coast but there was so much to see here & we just didn't have enough time. I'm hoping we get to see everything we want to before we leave but only time will tell!

We leave here on the 11th & will be heading to Glacier National Park. From there we have a few short stops along the way including Great Falls, MT & the Terry Bison Ranch in Cheyenne, WY. This is a working ranch so who knows what kind of mischief we can get into. Then we will get into.

We will be arriving back in New Mexico toward the end of the month & will stay there until about the end of September before heading back to Texas until Spring.

If you want to check out some of our adventures you will find our adventures on My Personal Blog

Despite us having all this fun I am still working. If you've ordered from me in the past when we were traveling or now during this trip you know that I don't miss a beat when it comes to processing your order. I might have a slight delay if we are on the road for a couple of days but your order usually gets to you in a timely manner. Making you happy is just as important as making me happy & having some fun!

Happy Trails & maybe we'll meet up with you down the road!

Friday, July 11, 2014

My Little Gourd Garden

Last season was my last year for growing gourds. With us being gone for six weeks in the summer & the 2014 growing season it will be more like 9 months that we will be traveling there is just no way to grow gourds. Not to mention that we will be selling our home in New Mexico & won't have any place to plant gourds.
Gourd plant in April

My small garden did really well in spite of the small area I use for gourds. My seeds are usually started indoors & by the middle of April I plant them in the ground. It didn't take long for them to start flowering.

My friend was watching the house while we were on the Oregon Coast for the summer & she kept telling me WOW you should see those crazy gourds. Well, I figured she was just amazed at how many gourds there were. When I got home I was shocked to find 30 ft vines crawling all over the yard which is rather small to begin with. 

Gourd plant in August
Since the dogs are constantly running around back there I had to move all the vines before I let them out of the motorhome when we returned from Oregon. I had to admit that considering they were VERY small when I left I was shocked to see how they had grown in the 2 1/2 months we were gone. And my egg gourds look more like grapefruits. I think I should have cut back on the fertilizer ;)

You can't see it but this is actually a raised bed planter that Al built & it is the smaller of the two raised bed planters that I have used for the gourds. The gourd vines are wrapped all around the outside of the planter just to keep them under control so the dogs don't run all over them.

Even though I was gone all summer it was a great year for gourds in spite of us being gone during the prime growing season.

I have been growing gourds & some veggies for the last 5 years mostly for personal use & this had been the best crop ever. It's kind of sad that I can't grow gourds & veggies any more but traveling & having some fun are more important than gardening at this point in my life. Most of my adult life has been going to school & working so now it's time to relax, or at least try!

Semi Retirement and It's Side Effects

It's been a few months since our last show & I am already amazed that my blood pressure has been lower & more stable than it has been in the last 2 years. It hadn't occurred to me that the shows were contributing to my blood pressure being so unstable. 

While contemplating retirement (from shows) I was reminded about a friend of ours many years ago who was also a vendor doing the woodcarving circuit. He unstable blood pressure & I remembered that once he gave up the shows his blood pressure stabilized so that his meds were able to keep it well controlled.

I knew we were both getting too old to deal with all the hard work & heavy lifting involved in doing shows but it is hard letting go of something that you enjoy. We started doing shows in 1995 & after 19 years I knew we needed to think about retiring but it was a tough decision.

What my life has been like the last few months. The beginning of June we left for the Pacific Northwest. We had some work done on our coach, went to an RV rally, spent a week in Portland & a week in Salem then off to Newport (on the coast) for a month (instead of our usual 2 months). When we leave Newport we will head back to Salem for about a week to attend the Elks Lodge annual picnic & see the things we missed & return to the places we loved.

Now we are contemplating where to go for August. One stop we want to make is Glacier National Park. After that we will fill in other stops to new places we haven't visited on the way back to New Mexico.

So, do I miss the shows...yes, because I loved having the opportunity to socialize (face to face) with fellow gourders & pyrographers. But now I am enjoying my life being more relaxed & having more fun.

I am still running the business but now it's at my own pace & it doesn't involve heavy lifting & long hard hours of setting up, working at a show & then breaking down.

One of the best things I've done during this trip was buying a recumbent trike. It is so much fun & I'm getting some exercise.

If you want to check out our escapades on our trips, please check out my personal blog.

8/8/14 update: we are currently in Salem, OR & having fun with friends. Monday we all leave heading in slightly different directions. We have set up our itinerary & will be heading to Glacier National Park....if the Rowena Fire in Oregon is under control & has not impacted on Interstate 84 traffic. We will also be stopping in Cheyenne, WY to stay at a working ranch...this should be interesting!

Friday, June 6, 2014

New products are all now in stock

All the great new products are now in stock. Check out all the new products:

Taklon Detail & Liner Brushes - These fabulous brushes are just what the doctor ordered for very fine detail work - These are are ideal for the finest detail work!

Razertip Gourd & Pyrography Deluxe & Ultimate Starter Sets in HD versions. These are new options with all HD Fixed-Tip Handpieces. These new HD options contain the new HD versions of the Ball Stylus & Spear tip styles.

My exclusive Gourd & Pyrography Tip Sets with my recommended tip styles for general pyrography & gourd art. These are the tips I personally use & recommend because of their versatility - They have barely hit the shelves & I have been getting orders for these.
Memories Metallic Markers

Memories Metallic Markers from the same manufacturer of the Memories Dye Inks. These are the most exciting new metallic markers on the craft market today. They come in dynamic and dazzling colors that sparkle and shine with a satisfying metallic sheen - These are absolutely wonderful!

The Inkssentials Mini Mister spray bottles are a wonderful tool for all kinds of art and craft applications. Fill with water or other craft mediums to create interesting techniques on many types of projects - A favorite for crafters!

New Razertip HD Ball Stylus will be found in the Specialty pen page: HD versions of the 99.008 & 99.015 Ball Stylus - These have proven to be very popular since their arrival.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Semi Retirement - After 19 years...No More Shows!

After more than 19 years of doing shows I have finally decided it's time to take life easy. Al & I are getting too old to do all that work....3 hours setting up, 8-12 hour days, 3 hours breaking down. Then of course there is the heavy lifting.

Now, instead of traveling to shows we will be traveling for the pleasure & filling our bucket.

This semi retirement ONLY means no more shows. The business will continue as it has without any changes.

I am hoping to get back into doing some art now that my hand (after MANY surgeries) is finally healed. I am also finishing a major revision of my Pyrography 101 book. I'm excited about it because it's going to be a nice improvement on an already great book.

I'm hoping that perhaps I can actually attend some shows as a visitor & maybe even find time to take a class instead of working or teaching as I have for over 19 years.

Perhaps I'll meet up with some of you down the road. I hope you will check out my personal blog & see where we are heading. Let me know if you are nearby & we can have a glass of wine!