Friday, September 21, 2012

Seven!




It's official.  All of my children are into their second seven-year cycle.

Kitty Bill had a wonderful birthday filled with all of his favorite things, like pomp and circumstance and cake.

He had a few other things, too.  Vegetable stuffed crepes and tofu scramble for breakfast.  Phone calls and mail from the other side of the world.  And presents, of course.

He was delighted to see that the girls had made him things for the dollhouse.  Moonshine made him some bedding -- a pillow, woven blanket, and woven rug.  Sunburst made him a doll.







While Kitty Bill was thrilled with these gifts, what he wished for most of all for his birthday were two specific Kinderkram castle pieces.  That was all well and good when we lived in Switzerland and wooden toys seemed to drip from the trees, but now we're in England.  The natural toys that fall from the trees on the continent are then subjected to shipping fees, customs and taxes.  So by the end of it, the purchase price for a lovely piece of shaped wood could feed a family of five for two weeks.  At least.

So Einstein and I decided to do a bit of woodworking.  This was our go-to method in the states for everything from play stands to dollhouses.  And you know what?  It feels so satisfying to be making wooden toys again.

Plus, we still had money left over to buy candles for the cake. ;)

Here's the castle defense wall I built from pine using only hand tools.  I used a standard saw to cut the pieces to size then cut the crenellations with a coping saw.  I sanded, glued, and clamped it together.  Then I took some watercolor to it and finished it off with beeswax.




Einstein built a catapult.  Kitty Bill has been drooling over the Kinderkram catapult for years.  Einstein and I drew out some plans to make a similar one, complete with an attachment for horses.  It's made out of a small block of hardwood, twigs, and dowels.  Einstein used a standard saw to cut the wood to size and a coping saw to cut out the pieces.  He drilled the holes for the dowels, and then he carved out the "spoon" with a chisel.

I watercolored the dowels and pre-made wheels to match before adding a beeswax finish.  Though it doesn't look exactly like the one in the catalog, it turned out beautifully.  And it works... perhaps too well.




So far no one has lost an eye.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way.


Shared on Creative Friday.

17 comments:

  1. Simply beautiful! Happy Birthday!!!

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    1. Thank you, CCETSI. :)

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  2. Happy Birthday Kitty Bill! You are a blessed boy to have sisters and parents who love you so much! Also, hope the fox bite is healing up Sara. I hope it was up-to-date on its shots...

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    1. Rachel, thanks so much for the birthday wishes and the healing wishes. Thankfully the fox has had shots-- that was my first thought, too.

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  3. Happy Birthday, Kitty Bill! What lovely gifts! You are all so talented! Does the catapult shoot table tennis balls or marbles?

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    1. Thanks, Eva. It shoots small wooden balls from the craft store. I wanted to make felt balls of the same size, but Einstein thought that would be too boring. You know, it's not fun until something gets broken, be it an eye or a window. I might just make felt ones anyway.

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    2. That's probably true from the male point of view :).

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  4. they are beautiful, what a lovely idea.

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    1. Thank you, Mummyzilla.

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  5. Seven!!! I love seven. A very happy birth day to both you and Kitty Bill! And those gifts are just beautiful! CHAAAAARGE!

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    1. Thank you, Moxy! I sure miss your sweet face. xo

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  6. Happy 7th birthday, dear Kitty Bill!!! What a fun age, truly.

    I'm curious, do pomp and circumstance taste as good as cake? ;D

    Your (yours and Einstein's) woodworking skills are amazing! Anything I make out of wood would be red colored, stained from the blood of my hands as I hurt myself with the tools I try to work with.

    So tell me, what CAN'T your family do?? ;) xo

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    1. You really are a riot today! Thank you so much for the laughs and the sweet comments. I wish we could do this in person! xo

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  7. you guys are amazing! and happy birthday to our little friend! xo

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    1. Thanks so much, Cari. xo

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  8. A belated Happy Birthday to him!

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Thank you for taking the time to leave a message. I appreciate your sweet words so much!

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