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Knife, Wood, Spoon

“To practice any art, no matter how well or how badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” Kurt Vonnegut

spoon

let there be spoons

I’m beginning to see the shining light of these encouraging words as I stumble forward on my new journey. The momentum has taken over and I have no choice but to follow my self like a moth to the light. I might be cut and bleed but I won’t be burnt by that to which I’m drawn.

My past year has been relatively quiet on the blogging front as other interests have successfully lessened my screen time. That is not to say that I didn’t often think about writing about what I was doing. No, it just didn’t feel right, yet. Now is that time.

spoon

handmade woodness

I have always been into wood. Wood feels good. Either I was carving walking sticks or a bit of relief carving and I knew and felt that that was something I should become more serious about, but never did. Other things occupied my life and a long while elapsed without wood. Then a couple of years ago I got into it again with an evening sculpting course. I loved that and recognized a new like, however sculpting didn’t have the hook nor I the talent I wanted to combine and my enthusiasm wore and then waned.

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my first ugly duckling spoon

It was through the various Youtube channels and whatnot that I one day came across a spoon. A simple wooden spoon. Someone had made it and that someone demonstrated how to make one. I can do that I thought to myself and before I knew it I had laboriously and rather in-expertly crafted my first functional wooden. It was Magnolia wood, wasn’t pretty but it was usable.

A few months passed and I began to collect bits of wood, larger pieces, branches and log sections as I read up on and watch this or that youtube clip on how to work green wood into usable things. This new spark of curiosity caught and had begun to glow warm. And it’s heat increased my desire to learn more, try more and do this.

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early efforts and means

As with first steps for any venture I soon learned what would help me along and soon fell head over heals in love with Swedish steel and touted wizards of wickedly sharp blades. MoraGransfors Bruk, Svante Djarv and Hans Karlsson now make up my Swedish heavy metal team. A truly special bit of hardware comes from Wales by the one and only Nic Westermann who forges superbly crafted bowl blades among other edged goodness.

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basic joy & happiness kit

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Nic Westermann TWCA cam and Finishing blade goodness

It took a little while to finetune my desired kit, discover my direction and learn what it meant to feel the passion but I think I’m on the right track. Wood simply makes me feel good.

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warped and twisted lessons

And it is confirmed every time I spend time making chips, making a mistake, creating something beautiful, seeing a form develop, smelling the sweet near almond like smell of fresh cherry wood or the scent of apple when roughing out new spoon blanks. It is an intoxicating endeavour.

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coffee sips get cold when making chips

Seems every waking moment is filled with only thoughts of wood, where to get it, what to do with it and spending time doing just that. It’s a happy thing and I’m thankful for feeling that way. Joy is in the simple things.

spoon

vivid juniper surprise

At this point of the journey I’m not as skilled as I want to be but I’m on my sloyd way. Sundry wood stock is stacked in the shop, metal edges honed to this side of fear, the good wood releases new forms that function and chips are flying.

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pear spirit sipper

Wood is good. May your hands be strong and your blades wicked sharp.

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Outdoor Lore and the Lure of a Good Cup of Coffee

Autumn … let that sink in for brief moment.

Dense fog and moisture in the air, dewy wetness on all things still green and those turning color too.Rusting leafy foliage falling away baring their now stark treed host. Dried corn plants shuffling their crinkly leaves await the harvesters blade and the pale early morning sky fuzzy misted over as the sun begins to burn through with a cool and bright effort. And pumpkins dotting this or that field or ornamenting this or that farmer stand or door steps.

Yup, it’s fallish out there folks.

And I’ve got a hankerin’ to be out there, to spend time in the thinning woods. Where green turns to rust and mushrooms show themselves off against the leaf littered forest floor, some pretty, some ugly and all of them fascinating.

Yesterday I gave in to that hankering and hunkered down the evening before to prepare my daypack for a short day trip into the local deciduous woods. The air felt fresher, the temperatures chillier and my step quicker so as to generate a bit more body temperature even though my wool mix hoodie kept me snug and warm.

It being a Saturday morning, the forest lanes and roadways (this is Germany and the woods are crisscrossed with ‘Waldwege’) were empty. I had the place mostly to myself. And as I often do, I wondered where the wild boars were. But most of all I was anticipating my first cup of outside coffee.

Clear Lake OR Camping 2012 ciaodarlingciao.wordpress.com

goodness (ciaodarlingciao.wordpress.com)

If you’ve ever made a delicious cup of hot coffee outside you may know the pleasure I speak of. No, not a cup of instant crap but the real ma-coy, boiling water poured into a coffee filter over a large cup. The result a brew so good that it nearly blends into the surrounding beauty. Ah ok, so the heady scent of a freshly brewed cup of java out there is kinda out of place as it were but it does the body good. If you prefer a good hot cup of tea would also do the trick I suppose but coffee is my choice for moments like that.

I spent some time looking around and gathering a bit of firewood, smallish bits and processed them into suitable sizes to accommodate my Bush Box multi fuel pocket stoves’ small size and then set to building the fire that would boil the water that would release the intense flavored coffee into my cup and then my mouth. It took a little while but the time spent doing the work was well worth the efforts.

Bush Box

By the time my cup was filled, the sun had begun to shine on the spot I’d selected for the coffee ritual.

I sat back and just liked being there.

iphoneographythis©2013,myronunrau©2013

Apologies and Feline Feelings

I take it all back (previous rant blog about making a bad choice). I do, well I would like to but feelings were felt, things were said, pee was peed and the cat was a jerk.

Luna, we are sorry. Luna you were right. Luna, even though you are a bit the crazy kitty, we love thee and are glad you didn’t throw in the towel and decide to leave our happy home. We are now so very happy because said once upon a time ‘jerk cat’ is a happy kitty; as it is supposed to be and always shall be hence forth in this household.

Now it turns out that we, my kind wife and I were the jerks. We clearly were not in tune with blatant in-your-face cat speak.

Admittedly we supplied all necessities of a happy cat life for both our young catlings. Foods both soft and hard, water and sometimes cat milk, comfortable floor cushions just for them, much new furniture to make their own, a few large beds to cavort upon and multiple litter boxes in which to do their businesses. Alas nothing seemed amiss nor absent from any wish list any cat could imagine … yet something was off. Well, after painful and frustrating soul searching and only one bad-mouth blog about said feline culprit we the humans decided to change the type of litter in all of the litter boxes. Well, my kind wife decided to do that and stumbled upon the solution to our troubled catlings existence; poor thing was haunted by guilt and stress not least the fear of the knowledge that she would  have to pee in unsuitable places which would result in much chiding and some shunning.

I’ve made it up to kitty by treating her with the sweetness of raisins, the tangy flavor of smoked pig and the joys of chasing hazelnuts across smooth wooden floors and her own couch … when I’m not using it.

Quote for This Day

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”
Mark Twain, aka Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 –1910) American author and humorist

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10 Tips

1. Take care of yourself, it is your power

2. Do what makes you happy, you know what that is

3. Be honest

4. Live love if you have it in your life

5. Smile when you’re out and about

6. Pay attention to Karma, she’s everywhere

7. Don’t visit  Vancouver, BC, it ALWAYS rains

8. Change yourself, you can’t change others

9. Look up or around, real life is lived away from your ‘device’

10. Don’t believe everything you think, or everything you read or hear