Archive for January, 2016

Benjamin’s 16th Birthday!


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Benjamin is a true gentleman. He has a very sweet, caring heart for others and loves to give gifts and make other people feel very special. He is humble, teachable,
and sensitive to the Lord.  He’s is really good with younger boys, whether neighbors, cousins, friends or nephews, they all think he’s the greatest! He loves sports and will take any opportunity he gets to play basketball with someone. He also has a great love for chocolate chip pancakes! With all the work he’s done with Dad on our old house, he’s discovered he doesn’t want to get into the business of buying and flipping houses. He works hard all spring and summer to keep our lawn and our grandparents’ lawns lookin’ good! He currently has a big interest in videography and making LEGO stop motion movies.

Please leave a comment to wish Benjamin a very happy birthday!

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Project #1
A Christmas tradition of ours is to each draw a sibling’s name and give them something at Christmas.
Well, 3 1/2 years ago I started carving a gun rack to give to Caleb.
I didn’t have it done at Christmas, so I just showed him the little progress I had done and told him what I was planning on doing. : )


Let me back up a little…The reason I decided to carve a relief in the first place is… …Granddad designed and made a holder and a mallet for me to use to carve a relief.

(A relief carving is basically carving a picture into a solid panel of wood…if you want a more detailed explanation Wikipedia does a great job)

Here’s the holder without a carving in it…it adjusts for different sizes by moving the brass pin to different holes, then you make the step looking piece of wood as tight as you can, then tighten it up the rest of the way with the shim.
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It works like a dandy! Granddad cleverly came up with the whole design
and surprised me with it when I went up to their house one time.
So of course I had to try carving something with it!
It is essential to have some kind of way to hold your carving still when carving a relief.DSC_0147 -1

Okay, so back to the carving…I had found a picture of a buck I thought would work and traced it onto the wood. Then slowly took away the wood around the deer.
I penciled in some of the shadows/details on the deer off-and-on while carving to help me see where more wood needed removed. 
I really had no idea what I was doing. But slowly it started taking shape…
and I mean slowly. After 2 1/2 years of inconsistently working on it,
I made a goal for 2015 to work on it twice a month…I didn’t always make that goal, and sometimes I exceeded it, but I sure worked on it a whole lot more than before!

I was originally planning on him putting a rifle on it… but the rifle was really
heavy and completely covered the carving, so we scratched that idea
and made it to hold two of his pistols.

I painted the deer with acrylics to enhance it, then carved the mounts for the guns.FullSizeRender

I decided to experiment with a torching technique instead of staining it…it was definitely an experiment! It didn’t turn out quite like I wanted it to, but that’s because I messed up. I used Granddad’s cutting torch to burn the wood… DSC_0166-1

…then I sanded the charred wood off. When the wood burns a certain amount
it ends up being brown instead of gray when sanded.
I wasn’t trying for such a brown look but I burned a spot more than I wanted too
and it didn’t look right, so I had to burn the rest to make it match. : )DSC_0200

I cleaned up the soot off the carving.
Then I finished it all off with a couple coats of Tung oil.

Of course there’s lots of hidden mistakes…but hey, 3 1/2 years later it’s DONE!

Project #2 Is Charity’s project. Charity and Granny started a quilt a couple years ago but with Granny and Granddad moving down here and with Granddad’s health declining, it had to be put on hold for awhile. But last week they got it out again and finished it up! The top is done! All that’s left is to take it to a quilter! :) 

Project #3 was making skull mounts out of Caleb’s bucks he shot this year.
Benjamin wanted to learn how to do it and he sure helped a lot!
They take a little time to do, but I think it is all worth it when they’re on the wall.
If you want a step by step on how to make one, here’s a post Maggie wrote last year.

Project #4 was Maggie’s project. She crocheted a bear for Evan when he was born…
…so for the newest baby Dornink she crocheted a frog!
To give you some perspective it is about 10 inches long. Ain’t he cute!?
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Hopefully, the next post will be the arrival of baby Dornink!
…that is if he’ll hurry up and get here! He was due January 3rd!

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