Little Lady's Christmas Gifts

I have been busy finishing up Christmas gifts for the wee ones. I thought I might spend some time this week sharing their gifts, plus a tutorial on the drawstring bags I made for the Little Lady and Pixie.

First off... every year I buy the grandbabies a piece to their 5" Fontanini Nativity Scene. For their first Christmas I get them the holy family. For their 10th Christmas (not there yet), I will get them the 3 Wisemen. In between, they get angels, barnyard animals, and various villagers. By the time they are 18, they will have beautiful Nativities to share with their own children some day. This year I bought Lady the Little Drummer Boy. It was her daddy's favorite piece in our set. Thought Drew would enjoy it :)

In the top photo is the rest of the Little Lady's gift. I started by making her a colorful drawstring bag. (I'll include the tutorial later this week.) I bought unfinished wooden eggs and cups. I watered down some soy paint, because I wanted a translucent...Read more

Old World Wooden Gnomes Tutorial

The other day I shared our latest gnomes... the Old World Wooden Gnomes. In the past we've made Peg Gnomes, Knit Gnomes, Sewn Baby Gnome Dolls, and Michelle even designed Gnome Pillow Panels that you can buy from Spoonflower to sew and stuff. So, it only seems natural that we would eventually have gotten around to making wooden gnomes :)

NOTE: For general instructions on how to cut out wood, prepare it for finishing, then painting, and finishing, including the beeswax and olive oil finish recipe, check out the post HERE.

I made these from 1" ash, but you can use any medium or hardwood. Click here to download the Old World Wooden Gnome pattern. Begin by cutting the gnomes out of wood. As you will notice, they aren't perfect. The saw blade had a mind of its own, but that's okay. Even the wonky ones turned out cute :)

Although I've been working with wood for the past couple of years, and not nearly as often as I should to advance my skills significantly, I tried something new this project. I finally...Read more

Old World Wooden Gnomes

There are two things I came to realize today. First, I'm not nearly as good as Tim at woodworking (okay, so I've known that all along!), and second, it really doesn't matter! I pulled out the jigsaw for the first time this season. I only woodwork when I can work outside. As I started cutting my first piece, I realized I was certainly NOT the master of my saw blade. It had a mind of its own, and only momentarily did it pay any mind to the neat lines I had sketched on the wood. Yikes!

As I continued, I got better, and came up with a few tricks that helped... tips that I'm sure any woodworker worth their grain of wood utilizes all the time. But, in the end, I like the messed up first one every bit as much as I do the others. Character:) Anyway, not only did I get to use my jigsaw again, but I finally opened my Christmas gift from Michelle... a wood burner. So, THAT was a humbling experience BUT I am so pleased with the overall results, that I'm willing...Read more

Star Advent Wreath and Candleholders Directions

Note: Although I plan to use these candle holders as our Advent Wreath, using 3 purple candles and 1 pink candle, it can be simply used as candle holders, as pictured here.

Many years ago... probably 25... we had made an Advent Wreath. I wanted something that could be used throughout the coming years and add beauty to our Christmas celebration. In one of my many Christmas books and or magazines, I found a wooden star centerpiece... I don't think it was even featured as and advent wreath, but with 4 candle holders, it worked well. Although it was beautiful, over the years it began to loosen up, and eventually it became unusable, but not before seeing my children grow up.

I decided to remake the wreath this year, excited to share it with the grandbabies. I thought I remembered which book the pattern was in, but I was unable to find it! (Trust me, an evening with a mug of hot cider, curled up on the couch in front of the fireplace with...Read more

How to Cut Out Wood

Below are the general directions on how to cut out wood and prepare it for finishing. You will need to use a scroll saw, a dremel, and sandpaper. I consider myself to be a novice woodworker, and do not offer advice on how to actually use the equipment necessary to complete these projects. I highly recommend you read the machines' owner manuals to familiarize yourself with the equipment and safety. I'm learning as I go, trying to be as careful as possible, but would not even begin to try to teach someone how to do this stuff. I'm having this total tension issue with the saw blades on my jigsaw and keep breaking them. But I will get the hang of it, and I will get better :) 

So, here's the deal on the instructions. (Hmmm... think I'm giving a disclaimer!!!) Basically, I'm giving you the patterns that I have designed. I'll tell you what I did, even share some lovely photos, BUT, this is not instructions on how to use the tools. I'm thoroughly enjoying woodworking, and finding it much easier than I thought it would be, and have been quite delightful results. But I am NOT an expert. You are working with power tools...Read more