Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WIP Wednesday : The Carpenter's Hammer Goes Tap,Tap,Tap

...Tapping the wood with a tap, tap, tap
A nail goes here with a tap, tap ,tap,
A nail goes there with a rap, rap, rap
And the saw goes see saw see
And the saw goes see saw see
As we saw the wood from a big oak tree
We saw and measure and hammer and sand
While we build a chair for me.

The girls and I have been singing this song the past few days while doing a little bit of woodworking. The weather has been beautiful and we couldn't stand being indoors.


Willow tree stump table in progress - This stump will be a table to go next to K's rocking chair in her room.

I have always admired tree stumps as tables and other furniture in Waldorf kindergarten classrooms. So simple and beautiful, really bringing the beauty of nature indoors, not to mention that you are recycling something tossed aside.
I never realized just how easy it is to A) Find stumps and B) Make them into tables. Rather silly to think about now, actually! My fabulous friend Marina posted a tutorial a while back and that was the final push I needed to do it myself. (Thank you, Marina!)

The girls and I peeled the bark off of the stump pictured above and I sawed off a couple of small random branches sticking out. Now we are waiting for my husband to saw the top to make it even. Then we just need to sand it and layer on the beeswax. I have seen websites showing the stumps painted afterwards but really, why would you want to cover the beauty of the wood's natural finish?



After starting that first stump I became a tad bit um, addicted. We took our little red wagon on a nature walk yesterday and I picked up a few more stumps.



I started to work on one right away but quickly learned you can't really pull the bark off of wet wood, so for now they are in the garage drying out. I am going through a bit of withdrawal waiting for them to dry. I have grand visions of a line of stump tables in various sizes under K's bedroom window, some in our living room and even some outside to create a sandbox for the girls and our husky (who loves to dig).


Large pieces of peeled off bark like the one above make great caves and tunnels for play

While I wait, I have been sawing our Christmas tree (yes, we still have it because I didn't want to just throw it away) into blocks for the girls. Seeing how we only have a hand saw, and I have no muscles - it's a slow process.



Also to keep my idle hands busy I picked up another knitting project for C's birthday. Did you see this in the spring edition of Petite Purls?! It is as if they were reading my mind! I wanted a doll sweater to match C's February baby sweater for her birthday but didn't want to deal with the math so I gave up on the idea. Then voila it appears! How could I not add this to my never ending birthday list?! I think (hope, pray!) that I have just enough yarn leftover from C's sweater to finish this up. I am on the last sleeve (modified the pattern and knitted in the round - notes on my ravelry page) but that ball of yarn is getting mighty small...


I hope this new season is inspiring you as much as it is me!
Happy creating!!

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22 comments:

boatbaby said...

I am right there with you on the stump love. If I didn't live on a boat, I'd be doing the same thing. And I picked out some beautiful branches in Hawaii with the intention of making blocks as well... but my dad's dog got to them first. I can't wait to see all your finished, gorgeous wood!

Kelly and Kelly said...

that yarn is so pretty! loving the stumps too, that's something we want to do but haven't gotten around to yet.

Gremlina said...

what a great idea! We have some stumps i've been wondering how to make use of...

Jennifer said...

Those tables are fantastic, what a great way to use old tree stumps, now just to find some.....
I hope you have enough yarn, perhaps they can be 3/4 length sleeves.

gardenmama said...

I love seeing your inspiration and creativity Nicole! We have a wood stump stool in our house and I love the way it looks and that my kids are using it. I hope to set some outside for them too. Happy Spring : )

healing hillary said...

love the tunnel and the wood work!

aagh the little sweater pattern...darling! I wonder if I have time to knit these up!?! Might have to just make the time!

Jamie Carin and Claudio Romano said...

Nicole,
Are you sawing these stumps out of the ground?? Or are they just chunks of wood left around?? WE have a lovely stump in our yard from a tree that was cut down before we lived here. We keep a garden frog on it :)
Take Care
Jamie

Marina said...

What a sweet rhyme!

Aww, I am so glad you found that post helpful! I think it's so sweet that you and your adorable girls are finding the stumps and working on them yourselves! It is addicting isn't it? I can't wait to see K's finished room with all the love and creativity you put into it!

Less than 3 gazillion +1
M

waldorfmama said...

oh, that tree stump table is going to be beautiful! i made some tree branch blocks years ago that turned out lovely - i'll have to do a blog post about that sometime, too. :) and yes, i've been dreaming about a little zimmerman doll sweater myself and saw the same petite purls post - eek! you know i'll be joining you, my cyber twin, in making my own little peachy pink doll sweater. ;) big hugs!

Julia said...

oh WOW. So cool. I love what you are doing. And the sweater. Sigh.

For a moment, you made me wish I had a little girl.

momma rae said...

loving these wips! we use stumps and logs and branches in so many ways in our home and our classroom. so fun!

Noelle Boosinger said...

Stump tables in children's rooms are so darn cute and magical, and they satisfy my love/need for earthy/organic nature-things! Great project! I wish I had a saw.

Rose said...

Love the stump tables. We have a bunch of those in our backyard and my kids use them for all sorts of games.

Just wanted to let you know I posted about the yellow quilt today, if you want to see what I'm doing!

http://www.thelaughingmonkey.com/blog/2010/03/24/wip-wednesday-yellow-quilt/

Joy said...

What beautiful stumps! I can't wait to see them as tables. I can't wait to see the doll sweater. The photo with the pattern is so beautiful and you always pick out the best colors. :)

Emily Weaver Brown said...

oh thanks for posting this! I have been looking for a stump for a long time to make into a sort of table to photograph babies on. I keep looking for drift wood as it has that sort of finished look to it. I don't know why but it never occurred to me that I could just pull the bark off a stump and sand and finish it myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

CHILDHOOD MAGIC said...

Can't wait to see the finished stump furniture! We found an old stump a couple of months ago and brought it home, sanded and sealed it. My kids were giddy with excitement about it! I do love the look and feel of it---something about it just makes me happy!

Hip Mountain Mama said...

I love the woodworking! My kids have been enjoying working with wood with their dad lately!

So fun!!
Suzy

Pixiepurls said...

Oh how fun to see UFO pics! I can't wait to see how it looks on her doll!

Angela Mobley said...

Wow, you are seriously inspired! I love woodworking and I hope to get a woodworking area set up outside for summer. It'd be nice to be able to saw and nail and hammer and sand.
Beautiful as always :)

kendra said...

must forage stumps. of course! then everything will have a place! i am totally knitting with that same color right now!

Nicole Spring (Frontier Dreams) said...

Thank you everyone. I had JUST ENOUGH of that yarn left to finish the doll sweater. PHEW!

I am excited to say my husband found a spot (where he and our german shephard go for their search and rescue training) that is supossed to have lots of stumps free for the taking. We might be going there this weekend. I better control myself, though, or we will end up with a house full of stump furniture!

Jamie - No we are not getting them out of the ground. I am pretty much doing this all by myself so I am just using stumps that others have already cut up. If you can't find any, freecycle is a good place to check. That's how we got our first stump. HTH!

Thank you, again. everyone. Your words mean so much!
XO

softearthart said...

Just delightful Easter wishes to you and yours, cheers Marie

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