April 11, 2011

A Beagle with Personality

Growing up, I was surrounded by talented people.  It was normal to wear clothing that my mom sewed especially for me, or to wrap up in a hand-crocheted afghan while watching television.  If something in our house needed repair, my dad took care of it :: he even built a two-story addition and an exterior garage.  Car trouble?  No problem, he took care of that as well.

I was fortunate to know both sets of grandparents.  Grandma Doris and Pop Pop were talented too.  There was always something creative happening at their house :: sewing and cooking, crochet, needlepoint, knitting, and model-building.  And I'll always remember the beautiful gardens that Mumom tended and the wonderful meals she prepared.

But Uncle Paul?  I had no idea he was super-talented.  Aunt Janie and Uncle Paul didn't live nearby.  They always stayed in contact and visited whenever possible but I wasn't exposed to their daily life and talents.  Turns out, Uncle Paul is a whittler.

Not long ago I received a photo of some work he's been doing.  It's so special I just knew you'd like to see it too.

Phase 1 - Pattern Cutout

In the late 1940's, Uncle Paul was a Boy Scout.  He purchased this book, published by the Boy Scouts of America in 1945, and so began his interest in carving.  Recently, he acquired an old copy of the publication and he's been chipping away in his spare time.

Phase 2 - Rough Cuts

In Uncle Paul's words, "the wood of choice for this type of hobby is Basswood which is softer than pine and easy to work with.  Basswood is light in color and can be found at your local lumber yard".  He uses an extremely sharp X-acto blade for cutting the wood and mentioned that occasionally a few fingers get cut as well.  

Phase 3 - Finished Beagle

It's pretty remarkable that this little Beagle, who's overflowing with personality, was created using a simple piece of wood and a carving knife.  I'd say Uncle Paul is a very talented whittler, wouldn't you?

Another View of Finished Beagle 

Today I'm Smiling....
because our Star Magnolia's in full bloom.