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

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Carving Old Wood Spools

After listening to a beautiful version of "What Child is This?", I was inspired to carve a Nativity scene into an old wood spool. Joseph holds a staff in one hand, while leading Mary on a donkey.

They follow the Star of Bethlehem over the hilly desert.

You can see the silhouette of Bethlehem in the far off distance.

This entire spool is done in "Relief", which is a form of carving pictures in wood. It wasn't easy and I swore I'd never do it again. But now, looking at the finished piece, I may give it another go! (Sold)

Working in mixed media has definitely opened up a whole new world of creative possibilities. After carving and painting Santa's face into an old spool, I added a bottle brush tree that I hand-dyed pink. Then I got to decorate the tree with pretty little beads, Diamond Dust and glitter, and a vintage earring for the tree topper.

Deciding which color to paint the Santas is usually easy. It's like I let the piece tell me what it wants. When I looked at this Santa, it just screamed Burgundy and rust to me. An old button is set on top of the spool and is encircled with a piece of vintage chenille stem. (Sold)

This piece was created for all the "Pinks" out there! (Sold)

This Santa ornament cried out, "Country!"; hence, the Prairie Green paints and gingham tie. He comes complete with beads and a rusty bell. (Sold)

I don't think I've bought a Christmas ornament in years. It's too fun making them!


  1. Now, those are something really special!!! It is so fun to make them!!

  2. I am so impressed with the nativity you carved. It is very special indeed. Your Santa's are great, too. You do have a gift for this!
    I also really enjoy your blog.
    Mary B.

  3. You did an excellent job-these are so detailed and fun to look at.

  4. Jill these are SO awesome! I bow down to your supreme carving abilities!

  5. Hey Jill those are so awesome! I love them all! and it looks like you sold out right away! Yay! Did you get my second email I sent that wasn't empty? I will try again! I seem to have problems with this computer thing!! Glad to see your keeping busy! Love, Fran. XO

  6. Oh Jill these are amazing! :)

  7. What, what what???? I say what in the world have you created? Oh Jill...I love them! Now what do I have to do to buy one? I know they must hurt to carve them and the last thing you need is 100 orders...

    I miss you! I've read every one of your comments and I will be emailing you soon. I sent you a little something fun to keep you smiling from Goodies Paper Parade.

    Your talent is beautiful. Do you want me to save wooden spools for you?

  8. Jill, it amazes me to see all the different skills you use to create your beautiful pieces. Carving! Not that's a talent! I hope you have a lovely fall weekend! Elizabeth

  9. Oh stop! You're all just saying this 'cuz it's true!


  10. I got the email Jill. Will respond on Monday most likely. Up at work at 6am and off to Seattle for the day to fill up my booth for the holiday season. I get to have lunch with my oldest son.

    Spent my two days off at home cleaning my happy room and going to a couple of craft fairs. Came home with a beautiful homemade apple pie. The house is warm and cozy and rain is pouring down but my heart is happy...because I know you. Sleep tight...blessings to the kids and hubby too.

  11. Oh.My.Gosh. These are wonderful!!!! You are sooo talented! I love,love the Santa! I ((thought))) I was doing something when I put a bottle brush tree on top of a spool...lol You are wonderfully talented!

  12. Hi Jill, thanks for visiting my blog and stopping to say hi. Your carved ornaments are beautiful. I look forward to visiting again and seeing your tree filled with your wonderful creations!

  13. WOW! Amazing! Your spools are beautiful. You are so creative!



  14. Hey! You tried the spools again!
    You made me smile big time.
    Love the Mary and Joesph.
    Be careful though, I've done 16 Nativity spools and I have at least 6 more to go.