Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Getting ready for Christmas

Monday was my usual 4:am onigiri delivery ... going out to the parking lot in some light rain.

By the time I returned to the parking lot after the delivery, rain was falling heavily and I returned home with one very wet dog.

With a bit of time to mop up and change clothing, I was off to school.

It was nice to be back after a long break...  My boss having taken time off after having her baby.

The rain stopped during the afternoon but by the time I got home it was dark and I was tired. It was all I could do to take care of the dog and heat up a bit of dinner before hitting the sack.

Tuesday I finished assembling the 4th border for the feedsack quilt and hand stitched it in place. I am quite happy with the results so far. It is sitting on the sofa while I consider the next step and get to work on something more urgent.

My #1 daughter had the original Advent calendar, made when my kids were small. A year or two earlier, I made a new hanging to replace the old one that had been made of felt and not outlived the moths. Then, the hanging items that had been made of home-made clay succumbed to the test of time  ... so this year I had decided to carve wooden ornaments like I had made for the other kids.

I cut the pieces from wood during the summer while I had my electric saw out at summer camp and began roughing out the figures. Half were stashed in a baggy ready to be fine tuned and half in another baggy waiting to be roughed out. Well, My daughter lives in Oregon and an Advent calendar needs to begin on December first ... so ... this is going to have to make it into the mail soon. The time for dithering is over!

Today I finished roughing out the second half and then worked on sanding and putting in the detail. Tomorrow I will begin the painting. It will take several coats of paint because it soaks into the wood. Then I will have to put in the hanging loops and coat them with about five coats of varnish. Hopefully I can have them all boxed up and ready to fly by the end of the week.

When I laid them on the tray for a picture, I noticed one was missing. Where could it have gone? Maybe it fell off the table into the wastebasket with the wood chips. I had dumped that basket into the waste bin with the garbage ... so, first thing to do was go through all that stuff and check. Yuck! Well, I didn't find it there, so I began to look under furniture and other stuff where I was working. Finally I did find it down in the sofa ... just as I was wondering if it would take less time to cut a second one.

Now all are ready to begin the painting. My fingers have a few nicks. When I teach the scouts woodcarving, I tell them what they will probably be doing if they get a cut. cutting toward themselves, being distracted, trying to cut off too much at once, working when tired, and rushing to finish. Yep. Rushing when tired is dangerous. I have made bench hooks for the scouts to use to hold their work so they don't need to cut toward themselves but I didn't bother to go and get one for myself. One bandaid later ....

If the sun comes out tomorrow, I hope to get a picture of the quilt so far,   Hopefully I can get the painting done before I have to run off to choir practice, and I am really happy to get this far with the end in sight.


  1. Those little pieces, no wonder your fingers wear the scars of delicate work.This will be a real delight to have hanging over there, and a treasure for many years, made to last, and made with love. A cool wind here this morning, how do you manage to be out the door so early? Once, many years ago, that would have been OK for me, now I gradually ease into the day. XXXX

  2. your figures look brilliant, I wonder what sort of wood are you working with

  3. You are a woman of many talents Julie! Your Advent figures are going to be a treasure! No more cuts though! You have to protect your hands for all that hand piecing you love to do!

  4. I'm sure your daughter #1 will treasure the wooden figures, for years to come! You do more in a day than I do in a week Julie!

  5. I thought your wood figures were cookies! Don’t do your fingers any further damage!

    I’m glad to hear that Nikko is still healthy enough to go with you on your rounds. Don’t either one of you catch a cold being out in the rain on cold mornings!

  6. I hope you take some close up photos of the finished pieces. What a treasure for your daughter.