Family traditions abound this time of year. Winter solstice, Christmas ham, New Year fireworks, and so many more. Celebrating, remembering, and gazing into the future are all part of the festivities.
Sometimes new traditions start. Of course, they're not a tradition yet. They are just the essence of a tradition; something memorable that one might want to try next year.
Enter the holiday hippo. This past year, Ricardo made a wooden animal that very much resembles a hippo [at least the face!]. It stood by the fireplace for much of the year. We thought it deserved a showcase for the holidays so we added some butterflies to its teeth, placed holly on its head, made a necklace of amulets, and lit some candles. Voila!
Wildwood's December woodworking project is beginning to take shape. What started as a slab of redwood is now a recognizable lantern.
The hood, or top of the lantern, required the most work, by far. We used a skill saw to make the initial cuts on the larger section of the hood. Then, we chiseled away pieces of the wood before finishing the cuts with a handsaw. The chiseled away sections allowed us to push against the block and maintain the angle of the cut all the way to the bottom.
Of course, there's still quite a bit of sanding to do! Then, treating the wood with a protective coating of tongue oil. Then, assembling the lantern...
Wildwood's winter hobby is woodworking. This December, we're tackling a lantern project.
The starting point is a forty eight inch wide by thirty inch redwood slab. This piece of redwood is a 'scrap' piece from a large milling operation on Lawndale Road in Kenwood, CA. Scrap is in quotes because while it is too small to use for conventional lumber it is really a beautiful piece of wood. The grain is very narrow and the tones throughout the wood are luminescent.
We used a chainsaw to cut the slab into manageable pieces. The top 'hood', side slats, and base will slowly take shape using a combination of power tools and hand saws.
We stepped off the beaten path during the Thanksgiving break. Most of the time, the Northern Bay Area is our home. A trip down to the Half Moon Bay Watershed was a welcome change of scenery.
The Tunitas Creek Trailhead is a short drive from the Skyline Ridge Drive that separates Portola Valley from the Pacific Ocean. Upon entering the forest, one is immersed in a vast silent chamber of trees and ferns. Redwood needles carpet the forest floor. The effect is a deep rich almost glowing expanse of brown.
An up and down five mile loop on the Grabtown Gulch Trail, Purisima Creek Trail, and Borden Hatch Mill Trail provides a complete getaway. Fern dells, meadows, waterfalls, creeks, and Redwoods are all included free of charge. They're a great antidote for the hectic holidays!