Friday, July 29, 2011

It all started when....

How many times do we look back on our lives and think "It all started when..."? Well, I can already see that comment coming true in our lives and I'm excited at the possibilities...

It all started when....

My first interested came when my Grandpa passed away. I know that sounds sort of odd but I can remember all of my Uncles standing in the garage deciding who wanted what of his tools. A few of them took a tool that they remembered him using or something like that but then there was a lot that they all decided could just be gotten rid of. Even at seventeen, I remember feeling this urge to hold on to it, to try and carry on a tradition I had otherwise never had any interest in. I remember seeing his work bench with wood parts already cut out and in progress for some bird feeders... it still makes me sad at the thought that he left something unfinished...I've often thought about those bird feeders and how I should make one like it just for some more closure.... maybe to prove to myself that I did it...

I'm so glad that I spoke up that day, and asked to have his scroll saw. I still to this day don't know why I did and then went on to feel bad for years because it sat in a box being unused. It would sit for about 6 years until I met my husband. Now I think it's pretty cool to think that a grandpa I wish I could have known more and my husband that I adore, would come together to teach me how to do wood working. We both come from a long line of "makers" and now we are both learning more and more so that this work of art isn't lost on our generation and so that it gets passed on to another one.

Well, if you've been following me for very long at all, you know that I am big into making childrens' toys... puppets, play food, and in the recent years... wooden. I've dabbled with the scroll saw, somewhat enjoyed the band saw and now fallen in love with wood burning!! I've had one of those junky ones for a few years, and it has served it's purpose well however I've been feeling lately like I needed to step it up a bit.... enter THE ad in the paper... THE ad that would change my toy making forever! :)

I was actually going to this sale in hopes of finding some woodcarving tools for my husband . The ad said that they had wood working tools but I figured it was a long shot at best. DH is always teasing me about why can't I find him good deals at yard sales! The tools I tend to find at yard sales are usually either way over priced or completely worn out and not worth the money... But still, I keep trying... and boy am I glad I did!!!


The girls and I went to the sale and showed up to a carport and cover porch FULL of old men going thru table after table of misc tools... now I'm not completely helpless when it comes to tools, but this was so overwhelming and packed that I decided just to ask. And wouldn't you know, they had just sold their nice wood carving set complete in a nice carry box?! I could have just cried.... until they directed me to the corner of the porch and said they thought there was some more up there... so there I am, in a skirt with two little girls in tow weaving in and out of old farmers etc (we were getting some pretty funny looks) to go find these other tools... not only did I find a set of carving tools for my hubby but I also opened an old plastic case to find what I was pretty sure was a more professional wood burning tool!!!! I asked one of the other guys shopping there just to be sure and it was!!!!!!  I went up to the guys selling it to ask him a question and he was a bit hard of hearing... instead he answered back... I'll take $20 for it! I thought I was going to fall over as I gripped it a bit tighter! lol


And so my newest obsession, uh I mean adventure, in wood burning began!



These were my first attempt at making peg dolls... I made one for each of my girls and they love them!! Now I am hooked and have been crafting up a storm!

We are big fans of Anne of Green Gables so I had to make Anne and Gilbert! :)


My friends saw my postings on FB and have been making requests for custom orders too! What fun!!

I'm having fun with the new challenges and my list to make keeps growing and growing...

I later found out that the wood burner and other wood working tools that I bought, had been used by an old lady that passed away. I had the chance to go in her wood shop and see some of the projects she had made... they were amazing in details, the kind that take your breath away. She too left a few projects unfinished... but I have a sense of awe... at the idea that these tools went from one crafts woman to another... and I'm proud to keep these traditions going... both for a lady I never met and for a grandpa I dearly loved...

Traditions are priceless...

Another moment in the recent past that has left a last impression on me and gave me the courage to try my hand at wood burning came from one of my VERY favorite fellow bloggers, MamaRoots! It was her article in Rhythm of the Home that first game me the confidence to try... just try to create something as beautiful as hers... not that I will ever be that good... but I tried and I loved it!!!


And bit by bit I am learning and getting better!! :)





I am just loving the learning process involved in working on wooden toys. I came across this post and thought it was really great! So if you're interested in making wooden toys... let me be the first to say... JUST DO IT!! Take the leap... cast your fears of messing up away... and see where the adventure takes you!!!

Someday you'll be able to look back and say "It all started when..."

16 comments:

Mandie said...

hallie - totally tearing up over your story today! lovely! glad you found some somekin' deals! :)

Robin said...

Ummm yeh, what Mandie said. lol. GREAT story! Can't wait to see what other designs you come up with. I need some fairy ;)

Gramerly said...

What a precious tribute to your grandfather. The peg dolls are adorable

Fiona said...

What a beautiful story and quite frankly your wood burning is AWESOME.
You should feel so very proud, becasue I bet your Grandad is grinning all over his face right about now.

Woodspritemama said...

beautifully told and your work is incredible!

the hermits on the hill said...

Grandpa would be very very proud! Would love to have your dad read this but you mentioned getting him a carving kit. :) And I don't want to ruin the surprise for him.
love, Mom

http://einsiedlerhof.blogspot.com/

April's Homemaking said...

What a wonderful story, and your creations are beautiful!!

K said...

I have had your post up on my desktop since Saturday morning, when I finally had a chance to look over Linda's Creative Friday offering. It really struck me in so many ways. When my grandmother died, my father took all his father's old, polished-by-use tools - and then gave them to my brother-in-law, much to the consternation of both my brother and myself. My dad wasn't interested in tools as a young man, but as he became married, found himself doing as his father had done - fixing things, changing them, making them.

Soon, he'll be dumping his own tools, and I will have to be bright over the water to get them.

Mostly because of the hand to hand tradition they represent, and the smell of wood shavings. All home to me.

I bought a tiny Jet lathe years ago and made tons of tiny spindles for no good reason except that ideas kept popping into my head. I even did fairly credible captive rings on that thing.

Here's the funny thing - it all started when my friend, Rachel, and I went to a gallery up north and discovered Sticks furniture. A great gaping desire opened in my heart and i NEEDED to learn to wood burn. So I did tons of research and bought myself a professional set - at about eight times or more what you paid (sob) - got it just before Christmas - and then - life hit. I haven't even plugged it in yet. I keep waiting for an opening. Just a little opening.

So this meant a lot to me, both in terms of the family content, the love and the admonishment. I'm glad you sat down to write it. And that you've done it. And that now I have more courage -

Rachel~ At the Butterfly Ball said...

Found you through Creative Fridays on Natural Suburbia. I really enjoyed your post. I too come from a long line of "makers", but it wasn't until I had children of my own that I really discovered my love of creating toys for them through woodworking and sewing dolls etc! Your woodburning is beautiful! Can't wait to see what else you come up with. :)

lauryn said...

i am so in love with peg people. these are ADORABLE!!!
thanks for sharing. i am a new follower. :)
{love} lauryn @ lovenotesbylauryn.blogspot.com

Karima said...

Love your work, you are really talented! Saw you on link party, now google friend following you. Would love it if you could pop by and would love it if you followed me too, Karima x www.karimascrafts.com

Carolyn said...

Wonderful post. Ilove the peg dolls - true craftsmanship! If you have a moment, I would be thrilled if you shared this project on my Inspiration Board {link party}.
http://carolynshomework.blogspot.com/2011/08/inspiration-board-link-party-10.html
Hope to see you there.
carolyn | homework

mamaroots said...

oh Hallie- you are too kind and I am so touched to hear your story. Your work is just wonderful! Big giant woodburnt thumbs up! Aloe is your new BF and $20 for the burner, that is a score- awesome!

Karen @ Goodbyecityhellosuburb said...

I thought these were cool when I saw them but I chuckled once I read your post and sa the super heros, awesome! Do you have an etsy shop? I would love to features these. Come and link them to my party WorkShop Wednesday!

sugarswings said...

omygosh, so cute --do star wars characters and I bet you have people asking to buy them :) great job!

Karen @ Goodbyecityhellosuburb said...

Let me know when you have these on your esty shop- I would like to feature them and have you guest post!Thanks for linking to WorkShop Wednesday!