Tuesday, March 17, 2015

We're STICK-ing Together! Anniversary Gift for My Hubby

So mine and Hubby's 9 Year wedding anniversary is on March 18th. We are also coming up on 19 years together! Time really flies and sometimes faster than we realize.

So this year I'm working on 2 gifts for him; however, after finishing the gift I am posting here now, I had an accident and ended up fracturing 2 of my fingers and a knuckle. In total I have a fractured knuckle and 3 fractures on 2 fingers (index and middle) so I won't be able to finish the sewing project for a little while. I have to not use my most hurt finger (left Index finger) as much as possible to let it heal. It's very swollen still, and it's driving me crazy!!!

Anyhow, here is the only gift I've finished for him (I've not even made him a card yet! Usually, I have it done at least a week early. :-/ but not this time!) I hope you enjoy this cute gift. I saw something a little bit similar (but a bit different) on Pinterest, and I drew my own inspiration for a bigger project from that.

Here's a preview... Click below to see the rest...

**NOTE: This is a VERY image heavy post, so if you don't have high speed internet, or you're viewing from a cell phone or tablet, pics may take a few moments to load, so please be patient!

So, I had a TON of fun using our new Creative Versa wood burning (pyrography) tool. We had one of these (but less fancy) a few years ago, and now, we have one again. I got this for hubby (and myself) for our Valentine's day gift last month.

Anyhow, here is the original idea that I saw on Pinterest...
Megan has some REALLY awesome stuff going on over at her website, Radmegan. You should check her out! I am addicted to some of her amazing ideas.

And below is what I came up after coming up with a more detailed (and larger scale) design.

So, below are the tools I used The Walnut Hollow Creative Versa Toolkit Wood Burning Tool, A Ryobi belt sander, Firefly Lockback folding pocket knife (freshly sharpened by my Daddy), a Forever Sharp-Surgical Stainless Steel Pairing Knife, Bic "Matic Strong" mechanical pencil (these are my FAVORITE mechanical pencils!! Over the years I've tried MANY pencils (I write a lot...short stories, poetry, and letters) over the years and these are the winners in my book! Strongest led of any mechanical pencil and they have the longest led that last the longest time), and last but not least, to make hubby's gift, I used a gift from Mother Earth; a stick!

I got this stick in Utah, at the Duck Creek campground. I LOVE collecting sticks, and I knew I'd get to do something really cool with this one some day. I actually had a plan to use this one to make a miniature bow for a bow and arrow set, a replica for hubby from The Legend of Zelda games, but I thought this stick would look really cool shaved down and woodburned on once I got our tool.

 To start I shaved some of the extra bark off the end of the right side of the stick with my pairing knife. Then, I used the belt sander on the left side of the stick to sand down the surface to make a semi-flat area to write (and burn) on. After using the belt sander, I used my firefly pocket knife and stroked it back and forth over the stick to make it very smooth (the belt sander left it really rough, I even got a few tiny splinters). Think of the motion that a barber uses when running a straight razor over his leather strap before doing a shave...that's the motion I used. It worked SO good. The stick came out as smooth as silk (literally).
I then used the belt sander on the 2 ends on the left and right to sand them down and get all the little cracks and broken pieces off (they would have caused some really big and painful splinters if I would have left it natural), and I also sanded down the little 'stump' on the back side of the stick (you'll be able to see those pics down below). After sanding each end and the stump on the back, I used my knife again to "cut" off a very wafer thin sliver to get rid of the roughness that the belt sander left. (Think of cutting thin slivers of carrot or radishes, thinner than a potato chip cut though).

After smoothing out the stick on the left I wrote the phrase "Let's STICK Together". I must have wrote and erased and re-wrote that phrase at least 20 times before I was happy with how it looked. I knew it wasn't going to look "exactly" like this once I wood burned it. I wouldn't be able to trace it 'exact', but I would try my best.

On the right side, I did the same thing as left with the belt sander and my knife.

I wrote out our names, and a loopy plus sign.

This is what the stick looks like all sanded and shaved down (with my knives) and with the writing.

A closer look....

So, here is the first wood burning I did on the left and right sides.

The left. I think it came out so cute! I added an exclamation point to the end.

 I wish I could have gotten the "g" in 'together' a little less cramped. and yes, I realize that I forgot to cross the second "t" in 'together', I later crossed it when realized it.

So, as you can see, I ended up replacing the loopy plus sign with a heart and arrow between our names... looking at the finished product now, I should have burned the heart first, and then better spaced our names so it wasn't all crammed together. but, I still think it looks nice!
Also, on the spare piece of wood under my project I practiced my heart  (there are a few more hearts drawn over on the side that aren't in picture view).

I think this right side came out SO cute! SO glad that I decided to replace the loopy plus sign with the heart and arrow. I burned the whole inside of the heart as well. I originally just did the 'outline' of the heart and was going to leave it, but after burning hearts on the left side (pics below), I thought that at least one heart needed to really stand out. Since this heart was biggest out of all of them, I decided to burn the inside of this one.

 Here's another look at the left side...You can see the pencil lines and about how well I was able to trace over my original writing. I did pretty good for having to hold that large tool to burn with. It's kinda awkward. I can say that I wish the pen was cordless. You know, like plug it in just to charge it and then unplug it to use it. The cord is clunky because of the large piece for the heat dial, and that piece is pretty close (about 5-6 inches) from the end of the tool, so it gets in the way a lot.

Ok, so I wanted to be able to sign my name on the stick with the wood burning tool. So I used the belt sander on the back of the stick to sand down a flat spot. then I used my knife again to swipe back and forth to smooth it out. It's so smooth and silky!
Here you can also see that stump on that back--I ground that down and cut it some, as you'll see below.

A bit more carving with my knife to get enough to room to sign my name...

Here you can see some of the smaller wood shavings, and the burning I did. It was fairly easy, but I just went slow and I did have to go over some of the letters and spots again because I didn't press hard enough the first time.

for our 9 year wedding anniversary! 

Here's a few more pics of the front, where I added the double hearts on the left side to each of the "Let's STICK together" sentiment.

And yep, I realized the 't' in "together" wasn't crossed and crossed it. ;)
I think these double hearts came out cute. not perfect, but that's OK!!

I was thinking the right side looks a little plain?!?!

yes, no? I wasn't sure!

But after stepping back and looking at it a few times, yep, it was plain! So I just added some scrolls. Looking at it now, I wish I would have added the infinity sign instead. But, this looks OK, too.

 Everyone that knows me knows that I LOVE to have campfires. We have a firepit in our backyard and I have a few fires a month. Last time the tree people came and cut our tree in backyard, they stacked up the wood for us along our fence. Some of the logs are wayyyyy too large and we have to use a saw or ax to cut them down to fit in the firepit, but that's OK.

Here's some pics of the stick on my wood pile.
It looks SO cool! :)

Here you can see where I ground that stump down on the back of the stick. When sitting on a flat surface (such as a table), the stump helps support it and give the proper lean back so that the stick sits right and can be seen level.

 You can also see how I ground the ends of the stick down and then cut the chip off to make it smooth.

I left ALL of the bark on the back of the stick (on the back of the right side). I didn't want to remove anymore bark, so this is all the bark that was originally on there. It's stuck on there pretty good, too! It won't come off at all!

Well, that's my gift project for Hubby. I'm so stoked to give it to him. He's gonna love it!

**One thing I should mention about this stick....you would think that with it being "burned" that it would have the smell of something "burnt". But oddly, it does NOT. Instead, it literally smells like POPCORN!!!! It's SO weird! But, kinda cool. haha.

Now that I have [one of] hubby's gift finished, I have to figure out what I'm going to do for his card!

My next project is going to be carving and burning a mini totem pole! I've already started to draw out the design. :)

So, thanks for stopping by to check out my project! Check back soon, I did another wood burning project on our back stairs that I have to finish burning this week, and then snap some pics. :)
See you soon!

Keep on Craftin'
~Melisa Marie

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