About a month ago I read this blog post on the By Hand Blog (which is an amazing blog by the by.) http://byhandmagazine.com/2012/11/27/diy-christmas-sheep/
I loved the idea of these little sheep and promptly thought, “Gift Giving!” I ran the idea by Maple and he came up with the great idea of adding beavers and musk-oxen into the menagerie. So we bought a few pieces of birch plywood and were all ready for our crafty-craftering adventure.
Now, give that link the ol’ read-thru and see what phrases jump out at you. Now, after making these sweet, little wooden animals, the two phrases that pop out to me are
“it was a lot more work to get it done than I expected” and “To get the shape I wanted, I traced the edges of a photograph I had taken of one of my sheep onto card stock and used it as a template. Paul cut the wood into equal-sized rectangles, which he stuck together with double-sided carpet tape. I traced the sheep design onto the top piece of wood and we were off to the races.”
The lady who runs By Hand is really smart (and just generally awesome.) She traced and cut out all her sheep simultaneously. Since Maple and I don’t own (yet) the power tool that she used in her blog, Maple and myself traced, cut out and sanded all our sheep, beavers and musk-oxen individually. And this took time.
About halfway through the crafty-craftery project I was in a place of, “#$#@ this home-made #$#@” but I tried to breathe through it. I kept reading By Hand for inspiration and I blew off some steam with other fellow beginner level make-by-hand-ers by whining about how hard it was to actually, you know, make stuff by hand. (We then delved into other First World Problems, such as when your americanos are burned by the baristas or the clothes you order online don’t fit.)
In the end, we gave most of them away as gifts (and we’re still giving them away! Due to my undeniable talent for procrastinating on actually going to the Post Office, we still have many sheep, beavers and musk-oxen that are slated for California, Kentucky, Boston and beyond!)
We’re still going to end up with a few extras, but it’ll be nice to have a few extra handmade gifts on hand for those times when, at the last minute, you need a hand-made musk-oxen to brighten someone’s day.
Cheers and love,
Maple and Me