Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Handmade Birthday

Keenan's 4th birthday is almost here, and besides practicing form drawing with Kaleena, and teaching her to knit, I have been busy getting Keenan's presents ready.
I made a big basket full of blocks for him. Blocks are of his favorite indoor toys, and I have long been wanting to make some more home made ones.
I found some Black Locust logs as well as some Wild Cherry branches and cut them into different sizes and shapes. Then I sanded them all. This was a big job, loud and dusty. Last time we made blocks I sanded them by hand, but this time I had too may to do it like  this and used a hand held power sander
I added a coat of all natural Linseed oil to help protect the wood, I love how the Locust comes alive with the oil, the locust is really my favorite and they will last forever, the wood is so extremely dense.
I also really love all the odd pieces, I know these will be some of the favorites
and here is the basket full of blocks, for his birthday I will drape a silk over it.
I think he will love them!
I am also making him a Birthday Banner, it is not quite finished yet, I still need to sew it together and add beads, perhaps tonight:)
Keenan was very fascinated with the pencil holder I made for Kaleena, so I thought I would make him one and put some new crayons in it
and of course the Birthday Book, here are just a few pages of the one I made for Keenan.

So now with both birthdays taken care of, I can get started with the christmas presents:)

~a lovely evening to you!~


  1. Those blocks are gorgeous! And I love your sweet birthday books, something I hope to copy one day if I can get motivated. Thank you for sharing and have a happy birthday coming up for your sweet boy.

  2. i was inspired by your birthday banner for kaleena and am in the process of making one for my son who will be 4 this december. i chose blue for him too (big surprise)... he loves blue and since we live in the caribbean, i chose caribbean blue. i like the roving you used. still haven't ordered that part. anyways, just thought i'd drop a line and thank you for the birthday inspiration. i'm also planning to make some kind of birthday book for him as well. : ) thank you for sharing these wonderful ideas... i love your blog.

  3. what a talented mama you are. that locust wood is stunning! wherever did you find such branches?

  4. It all looks great! I love the colours of his birthday banner. The pic of children covered in mud is adorable, what fun!

  5. You are such a talented person- it is so inspiring to see how you bless your children with such a surrounding of beauty!! WOW. The world you have created makes me want to be a kid again (in your house)!!!! Very lovely. Your tree blocks are amazing- do you think you'll ever create and sell more on your Etsy shop?

  6. Goodness! Those blocks are absolutely gorgeous! I'd like to relive my childhood at your house. (:

  7. How lovely. What a lucky boy.

  8. Oh wow, the blocks look amazing. I bet he will love creating and imagining and building with them.

  9. Thank you ladies for all the wonderful comments!

    Rae, I found the Locust up by our old house, there is so much locust up there:)

    Natasha, yes I do plan to be a bit more active on the Etsy shop I just haven't found the time, and I am still wondering what might be good to but one there.


  10. I have one more question about the branch blocks b/c it's a project I have wanted to try for a while now. How do you collect the branches? Do you saw them off a tree? Are they already on the ground? Is the wood "green" or mature or...? I am never sure how to choose the raw material... any tips are appreciated. Thank you!!

  11. What I find to be important is that the wood is not rotten in any way. I have used green wood before, and this time the wood I found was slightly seasoned. I have never cut down a branch to make blocks as there is so many fallen branches laying around for the taking around these parts.
    And as for the type, the denser the better, certainly no soft woods such a pine.
    Hope that helps:)

  12. Beautiful!! Love the way the linseed oil brings the wood to life. : )

  13. OH how inspiring!

    I need to head back into my woods for some cherry that's down. I love that you kept the natural shape of the blocks. I'm always making everything square, rectangular or triangular.

    Maybe for Christmas . . .

  14. We made some birthday blocks for my 2 year old's birthday. The branches I got from freecycle though weren't have as cool as yours. I absolutely LOVE your birthday books. I think they are just so sweet!

  15. Seriously, you could put simple Black Locust branches on Etsy and I'd buy them- SO gorgeous!

  16. What wonderful gifts. I especially love the blocks.

  17. Wow, you have a lovely blog. I am sure I will be visiting often! :)

  18. I really love the birthday book idea! What a wonderful keepsake for your kids as they grow!

  19. Hurray for linseed oil. Hurray for wood grain. And for mothers who labor over sanders of ANY kind to give their children food for thought. Nice to have a drop in with you, me dearie - always a treat.


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