Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's in the mail!

OK, Jon, you can peek now. I hope it will reach you in time to enjoy it.

Finally, the little calendar decorations are packed up and headed to the post office. It usually takes me a week to get them all carved and painted and varnished, so this was speed under pressure.

The quilted hanging is 20" x 36". The pockets are about 2.5" x 2" deep. The wooden hangings are cut from Japanese Broad-leaved Magnolia. It is one of the best woods for carving and often used to make wood-block prints so can be purchased cheaply and in a variety of thicknesses and sizes. It isn't the prettiest but since I was going to paint it anyway, that didn't matter.

The hanging loops are paperclips cut in half. I drilled little holes and glued them in place.

The paint is acrylic and takes a number of coats because the first few soak into the wood. I somehow mis-placed my box of paint tubes, and after spending half a day hunting to no avail, ended up going into town and buying the colors I needed in addition to the basic ones I had in my work box. The box may show up among the camp supplies next summer. I have no idea what happened to it after camp.

The varnish is also acrylic (I like being able to wash brushes with soap and water). Each piece took maybe six or so coats. And, when you drop one of those sticky pieces on the floor,... DOG HAIR!
Then you need to wash off the piece and start all over.

It is really fun to make a gift for anyone, but especially my kids, because I know they will use it and enjoy it's uniqueness. I put lots of thought and love into what I make so they are really getting a piece of me that will probably last longer than I will.

Next year I shall remember NOT to wait until the last minute to begin my Christmas gift making.
I have seen a bit of gift-making going on on other blogs too. I wonder how many others out there are rushing to get done. Good luck! 


  1. Julie I do so love this - all those hand carved pieces are just a joy to look at. I know that your kids must treasure everything you make...so much love wrapped up in each one. blessings, marlene

  2. Julie - what a treasure! It is so personal and beautiful and will become a true heirloom!

  3. I love it and you did such a beautiful job on the ornaments.
    They are going to love it.


  4. Julie, that will indeed be a treasure, and I'm sure, kept for the next generation. Lots of handwork, and each little carving so special. Cheers, Jean.

  5. I just love this! How wonderful for your son and grandchildren to have this treasure hand made by you.

  6. Julie - those calendar decorations are AMAZING!! And paperclips for hangers - genius!!

    As for waiting until the last minute to begin your Christmas gift making - you could join Linda L and me in our " Leisurely Turtle Race To Christmas With Squirrels Allowed". We start the day after Christmas - work on Christmas stuff all year long - at a L-E-I-S-U-R-E-L-Y pace - and then declare the Race a "tie" on November 30. Whatever gets done by then - gets done by then. No pressure and we get to enjoy Christmas all year long - ;))

  7. Oh those are wonderful - I'd love to be able to carve like that. What a fabulous gift.

  8. Oh my goodness!! Look at all the work you have done on each of those little carved pieces.
    They look wonderful!! This will surely become a family treasure.

  9. What a fantastic collection of carved ornaments! You are a true artist! I am not surprised that you nicked your fingers with all the details. Then you must have spent forever on painting, waiting for the paint to dry and then varnishing and waiting for that to dry, too, before you could wrap it up and ship it to the States.
    Wonderful Christmases will be had for many years!

  10. You have made an heirloom!!! How this will be treasured by your family for generations!

  11. Julie, that Advent calendar is just absolutely darling -- and so professionally done ! We love the bright colors and the high quality of your work ! Congratulations on this wonderful accomplishment.

    Warm wishes from Marina and Daryl

  12. My , my , you do the most beautiful and priceless creations!!! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas . Your children are most lucky to have you as mom.

  13. That is so cool!! I love it!! You did a fantastic job. I am always impressed by your creativity. :D

  14. Mom, I've been so busy that I haven't been reading you blog for a while... I'm so sorry I missed this when you posted. Then we had the whole USPS debacle... Well, it's so proudly and prominently placed in our living room and the kids have been eagerly taking turns to hang each ornament every morning. It's the kind of thing that connects me so deeply to my childhood memories like nothing else I've had in my life recently... And for that, you've given me the greatest gift I could have ever asked for. Not to mention the care and love that went into the detail. I'm not sure how you did it, but each piece is a near exact replica of the ornament collection I remember from the version we all used as kids... Though those were made from baked salted dough that you painted and varnished... Just Awesome! Thank you from the whole family for a treasure of a gift. Much love, Jon