"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."













Friday, July 25, 2014

My first hand-carved walking stick

After two years of being too afraid to start, I
finally grabbed this walking stick and started
carving.  It's almost 5 foot tall and I carved
most of it using just one knife.
 The top is an eagle's head.  It was carved
separately from the walking stick and
mounted on last.  Love his attitude!  I got
him from a pattern by Shawn Cipa.
For Ted's stick, I wanted to add symbols
that mean something to him.  I knew he'd like
a cross and chose this Celtic one.  

Going downward, I carved out
American stars and stripes.
Next, I thought Ted would like something
to show his Ukrainian heritage.  After seeing
their flag, I knew it was something I
could carve.
 Ted's also part Irish, and I'm about
3/4's so the celtic knot was appropriate.
Below that, I gave a nod to Star Trek.
Love me some old Star Trek!!
 Ted asked me if I could carve or paint
the Phish logo (his favorite band).  Based on
the logo, I knew it wasn't something I could
carve, but painting didn't feel right.  So I
compromised and burned the logo into the wood.
This is the other side of the logo. 
It was harder trying to get pictures
than it was carving it! 
 Ted's a big fan of the classics so I wanted
to pick something to symbolize his love of
reading.  I chose Poe's "The Raven".
The words above read, "Poe" and "Raven" burned
into the wood.  Below the carved Raven
is his incessant, "Nevermore".
 Most of these carvings go completely
around the stick.  The raven sits
on a branch.
 Just for fun and more interest, I
carved a twist nearing the bottom.
 At the bottom, the stick got very thin.
I was concerned with carving out
too much of the wood for fear it would
cause it to become weak.  So I chose
a design on one side.  I went with
another Celtic knot.
 Ted's very happy!

 For me, it was one more project finally done.
 It also proved to me once again
that I should stop worrying so much
about the finished result, because all it
does is stop me from trying.  Instead,
I should just enjoy the process.  Because
you know what?  It was fun!
A new experience for me!
I think I'll try another - maybe
with a Halloween theme....or
maybe Christmas?!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Visiting Byers Choice Christmas Museum

Let's celebrate Christmas in July by taking a
trip to the Byers Choice Christmas Museum
in Chalfont, PA.
When you go in, you're greeted with
an old town of England scene.
In this theatre, you can sit and watch
how Byers Choice figurines started.
 It's a great place for photo-ops and
it's NEVER crowded.
 You can look inside the windows
to gorgeous Christmas scenes.
 And, of course, you'll see tons
and tons of the figurines captured in
different miniatures villages.


 One room even had some Halloween!


 This is the Observation Deck where you can
look down and see the artists creating
the figurines.  Looks like we caught them
on a lunch break!
 In some areas, there are scenes behind glass.
This one represents Russia.
 Scandinavian Christmas.
 Ireland
 Holland
 Mexico
 Merry old England
 Sweden
 Germany - my favorite!
Another rooms houses huge scenes of
smaller figurines - I think they're elves.
 The room with all the little elves helping
Mrs. Claus bake was my favorite.

 Another room houses walls of
Nativities from around the world on
both sides. 

 Little guys were popping out everywhere!
This fella was on a pole.



What's inside? 
 You also have professional portraits
taken here.  They have early century
costumes to dress in and you pose
on the main avenue.
 And it ends with the gift store.
They're open most days and it's a free day
trip.  My kids are feeling a little old for it now,
but it still made a hot July day feel cooooool!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Found these behind the kitchen counters

After 13 years we're finally hoping to install
a dish washer.  I know, we're just crazy modern
aren't we?  Anyway, to do that Ted had to see
the condition of the floor and walls behind the
1939 METAL cabinets.  We feared the worst. 
Turns out not only were they in excellent shape, but
 Ted also found some old ephemera that has been sitting
back there the last 60+ years.
 
A metal Oscar's Frozen Food Service calendar
holder dated 1950.  It's also a magnet so now
decorates our refrigerator.
 Children's Fun Book for traveling.
 And now, boy's and girl's, we're going to learn
all about the importance of oil and how
60 years from now, your parents will barely
be able to afford it.  The End.
 I Spy game
 Drawing by Number. 

 How many pictures start with the
letter H?
 Try and remember all the objects
in the picture.  Look at the way the
toy cars were drawn.  Sign of the times!
 Maze to Happy Motoring station.
Showing where all the Happy Motoring
stations are.  They were popular.  Wonder
whatever happened to them?
 True or False section all about oil.
How stimulating!
A car travel tip guide.

 This is what the booklets
were stored in.
It's also used as a trash bag to
try to stop people from littering.
Ted also found a coupon booklet.  
 No dates but judging from the graphics,
looks like still in the 50's or 60's era.
 And a very crispy $5.00 bill marked 1934!
Now I'm trying to talk Ted into
removing the cabinets on the other side!