Sunday, December 23, 2007

Project Crèche Complete!

I did it. Finally.

A bit more than a year ago I promised Michelle I would use my budding skills as a woodsmith (is that a word? Woodworker sounds wrong) to make a Crèche for her Willow Tree nativity set. She had seen the official version in catalogs and stores for $60-70 and it just seemed to much to her to pay that for about $3 worth of wood and paint.

I said I would, and so a week ago I started on the project. I had found some great planks of wood at the dump a couple months ago and threw them into my truck thinking I could probably make something out of them for my garage/work area. Perhaps a new work bench or some extra scrap wood for something or other I might someday build (or then again, might never).

I had set a reminder in my Outlook last December and sure enough it popped up and reminded me of this commitment. I headed to my work area and found the old picture of the Willow Tree Crèche from a catalog and eye-balled it for a few minutes. I found the measurements from a listing online and started cutting and sanding away. I only used the rough dimensions (length and width of the base), and did the rest purely by eye. It turned out just a bit better than planned.

I designed it differently than the retail version- the back of the Crèche is connected with two dowel rods that allow the back to pull off the base and lie flat for easy packing when we store all our Christmas decorations.

I used a butternut yellow milk-based paint for all the surfaces, and then hand-rubbed black glossy effects paint over the yellow to create a wonderful old barn wood grey color (thanks to the helpful people at the local WoodCraft store for the paint tip!).

Michelle is pleased. And so am I for remembering to follow through on my promise.


Liza on Maui said...

Oh I love this Nativity Scene - I am hoping to get this Willow set next Christmas.