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Willow Wand.

Willow Cherlindra's wand

I absolutely love the film 'Willow' (1988 Directed by Ron Howard) As soon as I clapped my eyes on Cherlindrea's wand I wanted one! When I was sculpting at university I based my final exhibition on fairies and I made all manner of wands, staffs and fairy houses. This is when my love of working with wood and trees really started. I didn't have a willow tree to prune back then, I made my wands with resin, faking the shape and beauty of real willow, they were beautiful and made with a lot of love but not as tactile as the real thing! It was at Uni that my best sculpture buddy gave me my first pyrograph <3

At the end of the summer just before a new moon I harvested some willow from my beautiful twisted willow tree. I need to prune it once a year as I planted it a little too close to my house! My daughter and I spent a lovely afternoon selecting branches to strip for making wands, we found out that she is a dab hand at stripping willow. I dried out the wands for two months indoors and sanded and smoothed them, they looked beautiful, one was definitely MINE, and one of the others I selected for a special birthday surprise for a lovely friend of mine.

I know that each wand is going to be very different, as individual as the person that they are each made for. My friend's special wand was intended to be given as a wish, so I had to compose one to be inscribed upon it, I particularly enjoyed coming up with ideas for this. I decided to pyrograph the wish and decorate the handle area with vines and flowers. The willow burns more readily than pine, so lower heat settings were needed, also I had to get used to burning onto a curved surface. This is how it turned out, I am so pleased, it's the first wand I've made in about twelve years. I still have a few nice pieces of stripped willow left, if you or anyone you know needs a bespoke wishing wand.

Love the smell of burning wood.

After a lovely holiday in Cornwall with my family and summer in my garden, I really felt the need to get back to my fairy roots, and my love of wood and trees. I decided to get out my pyrograph, it had been a long time so I felt like I was learning again, I started with a few small pictures including a cute fairy toadstool house.

A friend of mine saw what I was upto and told me of Havens Children's Hospice who were attempting a Guinness world record yarn bomb themed on The Magic Faraway Tree, she suggested I sent them a picture and so started the idea to pyrograph a fairy tree.

From the idea of the fairy tree soon camea request for apyrographed family tree, this one with an oak tree theme, I so pleased with how it turned out, the family request for a couple of 'love' blue birds was a lovely addition. This addtion of colour has given me ideas for mixing decoupage with pyrography in future projects.

ottoman upcycle

Last week Ethne and I went for a mooch in the local second hand furniture shop and found a rather un loved ottoman, it looked like it had already had had at least one make over already as it had some rather vile orange faded upholstery that was either 1960's or 80's doing a 60's style...who knows, but I wished that I had at least have waited for a 'before' photo before I ripped it off! I was too excited, we went to Scissor Stitch to find some fabric to recover it but I couldn't settle on any patterns. After looking at it draped in various fabrics for a few days I decided that it would be actually better to have a new wooden seat as it was going to be living in the hallway and needed to be durable. I gave the white and gold wicker work and frame a new lick of white paint.

Next I made a design, with hearts of course, bought a lovely piece of pine 22mm thick pine furniture board and asked my lovely daddy if he could use his router on it. The router worked well for the border, but using the router free hand on the hearts was a bit dicey so we decided to carve them out by hand and shape them with my hand multi-tool, this worked but it was tricky, there were a fair few extra marks that needed sanding away afterwards!

After staining and varnishing I very happy with my new hall storage seat, super for hiding shoes and school bags! I am now looking for the next piece of furniture to up-do!

Button Love Tree

I have my tea, my Sandy, buttons and a tree, it's a morning set for me.