Funny Christmassy Feeling – Like Am I Behind?

DSC_0192 Christmas means gift giving and struggling to find that different gift, yet find something meaningful at the same time can sometimes thwart us. There is always time at Christmas for joy, and preparations are key to a restful holiday. Today I worked to perfect some things that will be gifts and also to complete all of my orders for Christmas. The stars I made will make Christmas cards and gift tags for friends and family. I also hung one on the Christmas tree at Penrhyn Castle as the Castle comes into the Christmas season and all of the things the staff here do to enrich the lives of visitors old and young and all in between.

DSC_0161 Phil has been making a street sign for the pedestrian walkway on High Street in Bangor and finished off the sign this afternoon. Our cafe of course is our favourite cafe;  Bluesky Cafe. Delivery tomorrow hopefully and we plan on delivering firewood scraps for their wood burning stove. Bluesky is all go at this time of year but those of you who are in or near Bangor over the next month should stop in for  breakfast or lunch. DSC_0189 Chrissy and the staff are wonderful and helpful. We will be holding our Christmas party there this year.

I became rather involved, no, engrossed, in finishing off the 35-spoon order that needs to be in the US next week. At 6pm I realised that I had forgotten to eat all day.  DSC_0199

I have so enjoyed this commission because I’m using wood that might otherwise be burned or chucked. On the other hand I get to think about each recipient as I make them. These spoons will be tagged with details of the where, why and how’s that they came from. Life is about texture and I want to add texture to the lives of others as I make the spoons. Some I shaped as a dipper and others shallow. Everyone must be different in some large or small way so that there is variety and arguments over who got what kind of spoon. I couldn’t help but notice that this piece of a Giant Redwood I retrieved from the firewood lot by the castle looks like a topo’ map in full 3D.   DSC_0170 It sparkles in the hard aspect of the growth rings and because generally the wood is very soft, I have keep my gouge in top-notch condition and even then I have some rotating to do to get the cut straight from the edge without sanding.

Yes my benchtop is questionable for order but it’s how I work in phases. I need all of the tools where they are to hand, so every so often I pick up and put up and get going again on the next one. Anyway, I am having fun as I go.


  1. Paul- the spoons look fantastic! I will be hard pressed to part with them! Thank you so much for all the effort you are putting into this gift for my staff! I can’t wait to admire and appreciate each and every one.

  2. Spoons looking nice.

    The sign looks great, Phil. Looks classy and sturdy with the through tenons.


    1. Thanks Carlos, i’m hoping it will last a good few years. I’ve guaranteed it for at least 5!

  3. Thank you so so much for introducing me to the pleasures of making nice wooden spoons! It was actually your video that I found first, but I read your blog second. I began woodworking about 6-7 months ago, and it has helped me tremendously in my recovery from drug abuse. I’m over one year clean now and I can honestly say your work has helped make that happen. Thank you.

    1. Thanks Chris. Here is a story. I asked a group of 50 school kids aged 7 what they enjoyed most on a trip to where I was working. Some said the chickens, some said the woodworking and so it went around the group. Then one kid said, “I loved the horses.” Everyone seemed shocked when he’d spoken. I mean dumfounded. His teacher leaned over to me and said, “That’s the first time we’ve ever heard him speak.”
      Suddenly, in my view, his senses were touched by something he could make sense of and thereby formulate a sentence because it touched his senses as in it gave meaning to him. This just has meaning for you. Often these are things left out in educating young people because teachers are now challenged by targets outside their remits as teachers. So, go for it. Don’t stop at spoons. Now it makes sense.

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