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.