Oh my!  This is Abby’s new toy – a scroll saw.  She saved her pocket money for weeks and weeks, and on Saturday morning headed off to Hare and Forbes Machinery with Julian to make the grand purchase.  Even Fu was enamoured with this marvellous toy!  And the best way to spend my birthday Sunday – why it was watching, helping, encouraging and celebrating Abby’s amazing persistence and skill as she set about carving her own wooden toys.

There I sat, in the shade, her Owl sweater on my needles, watching with sheer delight as she and Julian worked it out.  First they drew straight lines … then curved lines … then angles … Abby doggedly cut and adjusted and improved her technique for over three hours.  Yes, my wee perfectionist was determined to get it right, but also, there was a lovely and gracious acceptance – possibly for the first time in her life! – that when we try new things, skills will come slowly and only after much practice and patience.  It was the perfect birthday present for this mama.

Eventually she felt confident enough to explore the possibilities of the cookie cutter collection (see Jules!  I told you that collecting in excess of 100 cookie cutters was not a waste! ).  First a simple duck, then a pig, then a rabbit …

By mid afternoon, she was ready to try her own designs … along with much thicker wood and different styles of blades!  She wants to make characters that emulate the design of Ostheimer – profile shapes with bevelled edges (my use of the word bevelled is completely amateur so just insert the right one should you know what I mean ;-) – so Julian also showed her how to use the Dremel for adding extra dimension.

She drew her doll, traced it onto the wood, and slowly, slowly cut – Julian by her side, offering encouragement.  It was AMAZING!  Look at the detail of the hair!  In and out, in and out she went.

There was only a brief halt to activities for dinner, and then it was back to the painting. Unlike me, who whacked the paint on my simplistic little farm girl as quickly as I could – making a few messes along the way – Abby waited patiently for each coat to dry before adding the next colour or detail.

And now she has this gorgeous doll!  As well as a long list of other characters, animals, objects and dreams she would like to draw out of wood.  I’m in awe of my fifteen year old girlchild-woodworker.  Awe!  Who knows where this new skill and passion will take her!? It will be such a delight to see.

As I said, best birthday present ever.

amazing abby and her new toy

10 thoughts on “amazing abby and her new toy

  • March 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Abby you’re brilliant. Oh the possibilities. Yes I definitely want a scroll saw. So many wonderful ways to use this tool. Can’t wait to see what you make over the next few weeks. What fun you could have with painted Christmas decorations. What about adding a few little treasures to Lily’s online shop?
    Blessings Gail

    • March 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      Isn’t she just! You would love a scroll saw :-) I too have thought of Christmas decorations – eeeee! And Easter! And little pretty things just because we could :-) As for treasures for my shop – now that would be lovely wouldn’t it – and something I would really love to do. I just need to ditch my role as Queen of Procrastination!

  • March 5, 2013 at 1:01 am

    First of all, happy belated birthday!
    Second of all: OMG! I have about as many cookie cutters. I thought I was the only one with that particular obsession. I can absolutely not pass them by. I use them for felting though. Sometimes. I’ve also used them to make potato stamps (half a potato, stick cutter into it as far as you can, cut around it with a knife, remove cutter carefully) I hardly ever use them to make cookies ;-)

    Your dolls are beautiful! Maybe you can replace the missing nativity pieces?

    • March 5, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Replace the missing nativity pieces?!?! I think she should make a whole NEW nativity set :-) And I’m so pleased to hear that someone else has a thing for cookie cutters! What a marvellous idea for the potatoes – never thought of it – but have been thinking about making some stamped cloth – curtains? tablecloth? skirt? Now that would be fun. I don’t use them much for cookies either – except birthday parties – then they come into their own.

  • March 5, 2013 at 1:50 am

    I love your blog. Have been reading for a while now and never commented before. The way you are raising your daughter is so inspiring to me. I have two children, boy 3.5 and girl 1.5 and more than anything I want them to be able to be confident in themselves. This is what I see in your daughter through your blog! So thanks for sharing and I only hope that my children will keep their confidence in who they are as the age!:)

    • March 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment :-) I’m glad you love visiting block-a-day – I so enjoy writing it. Oh I do think growing confident children is one of the hardest things we do as parents! There have been plenty of times when Abby has struggled a little socially – she’s never been one who wants to fit in just for the sake of fitting in.

      But at the same time, she has always been marvellously brave and confident about who she is and what she loves. This just blows me away – I so admire her for this and hope that it continues through to her adulthood. And I must add that when she makes friends, they become the dearest friends and she’s kept every friend she’s made since kinder, despite moving states. I think that’s part of her – she’s intense and passionate and cheerful about being different – and that attracts other strong children.

      Wishing you a lovely day with your little ones – such a lovely, lovely time in life isn’t it.

  • March 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Ok..I think Abby needs to create a chess set using her dolls! If anyone could do it, she would be the one. happy belated birthday! This is my favorite stop, you know. Marsha

    • March 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you Marsha, for your birthday wishes – it was a lovely day :-) I agree about the chess set! That would be so much fun – and I could make a patchwork/quilted chess board!
      And I’m glad you like visiting block-a-day – it means a lot to me.

  • March 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Or a new nativity SET *lol* She definitely has the talent for it!

    The cookie cutter potato stamp curtains or skirt idea is fabulous! I have a denim skirt that I’m embellishing, sort of. Maybe potato stamps would be another idea! I’ve been trying to work out how to embroider without having to transfer the pattern by hand because I’m hopeless at it. I have a cookie cutter Train “set” (actually, I have two, a big one and a small one, but it’s just two pieces each size, of course, you can make as many carriages as you want with just one cutter) maybe I can have a train going all over it and embroider little people into it.. Hmmmmmmmm…
    You can also use them for cutting felt shapes, place on felt, draw around them, or just press them into the felt really really hard so they leave a bit of a mark. I <3 cookie cutters!

  • March 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    My mother (Marsha, in one of the above comments), pointed me to your blog, telling me how she would love to read your posts in a book. I can certainly see what she means, as I’m quite addicted, and all I need now is a cup of hot coffee and a quilt to curl under, along with your blog on my iPad. Your writing about your family is wonderful! Thank you for sharing!


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