December 2002

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year

I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. We are coming up on the final meeting of the year, December 4th, which will be our Christmas Party and Banquet. All the old timers know, but for the new members, it will be an official function of the "Meet 'N Eat Group. Festivities officially begin at 7:00 PM, but come early to get a good seat and talk. Meat, cheese, bread, utensils, and drinks will be provided by the club. Bring your favorite dish to share. Spouses and/or significant others are welcome. If you wish to participate in the ornament exchange, bring one of your handcrafted ornaments gift wrapped with your name inside. 

New slate of officers for 2003:

President: Charles Mitchell
1st VP: Charles Sapp
2nd VP: Ward Garrison
Treasurer: Bob Craven
Secretary: Martha Byron

Board of Directors: 
Jim Leifeld
Wilbert Brewton
Charlene McMenamy
Bill Maguire

Meeting Program Chairman: Arnold Fritz
Seminar Chairman: Charlie Adams
Membership Chairman: Charles Sapp.

From the Editor

I have enjoyed being your Newsletter Editor for the past four years. It has been a very rewarding and interesting time for me and I hope for you. I have learned a lot. Some by trial. Most by error. But, as your Newsletter Editor, I ventured into areas that I would never have gone without the challenge. I also want to thank every one for all the kind words and encouragement. I'm not sure what I will do with my web site. I plan to leave it up for some time and if I can come up with something that I feel will be interesting and worthwhile to everyone, I'll continue. Without the monthly newsletters, there won't be the amount of traffic it has seen over the past four years. When a new newsletter Editor steps forward, the newsletters will continue to be carried on the club's site, 


Show and Tell

Bob Craven carved this hard working beaver. It is basswood and finished in acrylics.

Dee Kley has been burning the candle at both ends. Check out this latest Indian.


Dee calls this wolf a doodle. I'd like to doodle like that. Take a look at that Santa. The swirls go all the way through. She confessed that she used a little power to get inside. Nice job.

Finally, she completed a cane with the Masonic symbols on it for a friend. Then, she made a companion piece for the cane, a pen with a grape vine motif in red cedar.


Dudley Jackson has been busy making seasonal pins. He completed the turkey pin a little ahead and was already looking forward to Christmas stuff. Some people are so efficient it makes me sick. 

Russ Sears made a beautiful chess board with drawers for the pieces as well as legs and carved lion heads. It is maple and walnut and professional as always. 

You had to see it to fully appreciate the work Russ put into this piece. Beautiful job.


George Schuey finished a carving of Jiggs. The old comic strip character of Maggy and Jiggs. 

(Right) Ward Garrison completed his carving of Santa from the Gerald Sears seminar this year. Wish I could say the same. Good job Ward.


December Display Case - Jim Leifeld

Affiliations: St Charles Area Woodcarvers and the Duck Club.

Interests: Birds and Fish

Training: Self taught with the help of many club members.

Awards: Wonders of Wood - Best of Show in 2001 and Advanced Peoples Choice in 2002. Two blue ribbons and Second Best of Show at Belleville 2002.

Background: Retired from construction work with McDonnell. Also woodworking as a hobby.

Thoughts: Club members are always willing to pitch in to help new members and share "tricks of the trade" to get them started in the hobby. That's how I got started. 


New Member Spotlight - Mike Simpson

Mike Simpson joined our group last month. I think Mike has something to share.  Take a look.

If you can imagine a little bar of soap like we used at the Wonders of Wood Show to teach the kids about carving. 

If you can imagine using our little wooden knives to carve a "Go-By" for the kids to use while they were "learning" to carve soap. 

If you can imagine a marble statue carved by one of the masters from a time long ago. 

If you can imagine all of this.............. then , you may be able to imagine our surprise last month when Mike opened up his little box of tricks and asked for help with woodcarving.

You really had to see these pieces to fully appreciate them. They are roughly 2" x 4" by less then one inch thick. Mike carved them with a "staple" glued to a stick or some such thing. When we asked if the soap crumbled, he said no.  He thought it might be the Cocoa Butter that prevented it. I don't know if there is anything we can teach him about carving.  But, I do know, when he gets his talent targeted toward wood, you better jump back. 

He bought a carving knife at the meeting. I was wondering if maybe he would trade me his stick with the staple in it for one of my knives. 

I included a photograph of Mike here so when you see him, ask for his autograph. Better get it quick, because he will be charging for them next year.


Duck Demonstration

Jim Leifeld is our featured carver in the showcase this month and last account I had, he is also on display in the St. Peters City Hall display case. 

Jim has Best of Show's, Peoples Choices, and blue ribbons coming out his ears. He has graciously consented to demonstrate for the club the work that has to be done to get to the level of excellence that it takes to receive those kinds of awards. 

Jim will bring in his work in progress for those that want to see the process. Here, he is showing his latest duck to members 

The Rest of the News

Arnold Fritz, the new Meeting Project Chairman will start the new year off right by leading a carving session on wood chains at the January 15th meeting. Arnold has lead sessions in the past and never fails to provide an interesting project. Due to the first Wednesday falling on New Years Day, there will only be one January meeting. Be prepared to carve balls and chains. Also, come with your thinking cap on and help Arnold by volunteering to lead a carving session on your favorite project. We still have several months open. I bet soap carving would be of interest.

New Club Office: Some of you may have noticed that we now have a 1st and 2nd Vice President. Although the 2nd VP isn't covered in the By-Laws, the Board of Directors added it to provide back-up for existing officers as well as to provide training for future officers. Sometimes, it takes a village to have a meeting.

The Club Storage locker is paid up through November, 2003. If you have any property that belongs to the club and would like to get rid of it, get in touch with Charles Mitchell, our 2003 President Elect, and make arrangements to transfer the items.

Dues are due: Our 2003 club dues are due. Give Charles Sapp your $10 as soon as possible so he can close out the books. You know how much he likes to take in the money. The Club voted to keep our dues at the $10 level again this year. It's a bargain for what you get. 

Wonders of Wood - 2003 has been booked at the St. Peters Art Center again. The dates are September 20-21. The only change will be that we will charge a $1 entrance fee. It will be classified as a donation to the Art Center, and will be used as payment of the rent they charge us. Everybody wins. They get the money and we shouldn't go in the hole on the show. Other alternatives would be to sell advertisement in our program. Bring your thoughts to the next business meeting, February 5th. The first Wednesday in January is New Years Day, so the first meeting of 2003 will be January 15.

Thanks for the Ornaments!! Thanks to everyone who carved one of the flag ornaments to be sold at the Belleville show. We more than covered our table fee and came out a little ahead. Also, thanks to Bill Kuhn who lead the charge at selling them. I understand that there wasn't anyone that made it past our table that didn't get a sales pitch to buy one. Good job everyone.

Festival of the Little Hills: There has been a lot of discussion on the Festival and our continued participation. Since we lost our prime location on Main Street, members haven't been very satisfied with the results. There are several alternatives. One of the more optimistic I have heard is that we have a Spring show in O'Fallon instead of going to the Festival. O'Fallon has a very nice facility in Civic Park that we could use for a Show. They have expressed interest in having us out for something like that. Think about what you would like to do as a club and let your new officers know what you think.

New Tapes in the Library: The Board of Directors has authorized the purchase of four new VCR tapes. They are: 
- Stu Martin - "Carving the Cigar Store Indian"
- Stu Martin - "Carving Father Christmas"
- Rex Branson - "Full-Head Dressed Indian on Cotton Wood Bark"
- Rex Branson - "Mountain Man with Coon Skin Cap on Cottonwood Bark"

Rex Branson Seminar: Charles Sapp thinks that Rex would be available for a seminar in March, 2003. It can be a 2 day class with a small blank for $125 including blank. Or, it can be a 3 day class (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) with a larger blank for $200. Check your schedule and pocket book and let Charles Sapp know at the Christmas party or no later than the January 15th meeting. We need to get busy on this or it won't happen. Rex is a great carver and teacher.

Merry Christmas


Happy New Year

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