Valentine Heart

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Project by rdlaurance posted 02-17-2011 04:24 PM 2449 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally was able to borrow my partner’s camera, mine being kaput, to snap a couple of pics of a ‘quickie’ or rather a fast project with the axe, hatchet, carving knife, riffler file, and sandpaper…. out in the barn in sub-zero (Celsius) temperatures. This Valentine project besides maintaining brownie points with Christel was largely for me to break my boredom of this last two month period of convalescence with broken ribs and messed up shoulder. Going STARK RAVING MAD, in actuality, as there remains so many things yet to do in finishing the house and my studio by summer. Maybe by next winter now!

This heart is carved from a block of slightly spalted, birch firewood, from the largest tree on the property that was too near the house. The farmer that sold us this house/property four years back told us the story of a young man that planted the tree. He was the youngest son of the property owners that he purchased the house from back in 1946.

Anyway, story goes that the young man planted the birch just weeks prior to him moving from here (south Sweden) to the U.S.A. for a new life.

When we bought the place, this birch had a major limb (1/3 of the tree) that was overhanging part of an attached storage building. After cutting the tree down and blocking it up, I noticed that the menacing branch was actually cracked and beginning to rot, no doubt from the horrendous storm (Gudrun /Erwin) that blew through these parts back in January 2005.

I laughed later… as now retelling the story of the young Swedish man planting the tree before moving to America, I can now add that it took an ‘old’ man moving from America to cut it down.

-- Rick, south Sweden

8 comments so far

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 3767 days

#1 posted 02-17-2011 05:42 PM

Beautiful hand work!! -how nice! i’ve actually exhumed some hand tools myself this winter so that i could sit by the fire with the family and not be too offensive. -what happened to you!? How do you wield an ax and a hatchet with broken ribs?

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View SgtSnafu's profile


960 posts in 4187 days

#2 posted 02-17-2011 05:44 PM

Very nice carved heart, and even better story.

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View mafe's profile


12650 posts in 4005 days

#3 posted 02-17-2011 08:00 PM

Beautiful heart.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View rdlaurance's profile


380 posts in 4262 days

#4 posted 02-17-2011 09:08 PM

Thanks All for the nice comments!

Christine…. One, with broken ribs, wields an ax and hatchet very slowly….lol…. actually I’m on the late side of my convalescence in healing, so it doesn’t bother me much. Just still a little tender. My accident this winter involved a struggle with gravity from the roof of the house. As Newton would have probably suggested, Gravity won! LEsson learned! I don’t push myself against certain known laws of physics.

-- Rick, south Sweden

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3850 days

#5 posted 02-18-2011 07:53 AM

Very nicely done.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 3767 days

#6 posted 02-20-2011 05:20 AM

oh, my…
that sounds like one of those events when you have to just lie there for a while until you wrap your brain around the reality of it.

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View rdlaurance's profile


380 posts in 4262 days

#7 posted 02-20-2011 11:03 AM

LOL——yeah——I’ve pondered on the event numerous times since it happened! And it really seems to have set me back for a good loop. Having always been busy (all the time) it has been extremely hard to just go days upon day, week after week of doing basically nothing.

One day I finally decided that I could at least bake a fresh loaf of bread, while in the house. Ha! After mixing, kneading and baking…. I was so sore and exhausted I decided maybe it be best that I do the real convalescence gig. Now that it is about up, I’ve been able to slowly get back to activity again. Only now it seems so cold out in the barn (15°F.- 30°F) my motivation is a bit hampered…. At least it has been clear and sunny lately so it is nice to feel that on my face and sense the approaching Spring.

-- Rick, south Sweden

View JimArnoldChess's profile


210 posts in 3910 days

#8 posted 06-13-2011 01:42 AM

Sorry to hear about your injuries Rick. The heart looks great! You must be on the mend to able to do this kind of work. Hope it warms up soon for you!



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