Farm stables
Walls and stables for the farm animals

Maddie's stables

25 December 2012

A diversion from woodturning with a little stable block for my 4-year old great niece. Simply plywood and timber wrapped in wall paper - actually paper printed from a photo of Lochranza castle stone walls. Schliech animals appear to have driven the native Britains away.

20 snowmen in yew and laburnum, with walnut hats

More Snowmen

17 December 2012

The batch below sold in 10 minutes, so a second gathering appeared a few days later, including a snow family of 5 (on the left). These also disappeared off to new homes for Christmas fairly quickly. I will have to start stocking up for next year!

Getting the right diameter yew branches is the key to a good shape.

Snowmen in yew, with walnut hats


6 December 2012

Snowmen gathering for Christmas. These little snowmen are turned from branches of yew or laburnum, the white sapwood providing them with their white coats.

Their hats are turned from walnut. Each one is different, with their size and shape dependent on the branch from which they came. More about snowmen.

Malton School trophies
Trophies for a talent show

Talent Show Winner

21 November 2012

The trophies are all finished. This one is the new trophy for the annual talent show. Turned in laburnum and sycamore, and pyrographed with winners' names and dedication. The small trophy in front is a magician's hat and wand, to be awarded to the individual winner this year (a magician).

More about this talent show trophy

Malton School trophies
Trophies waiting for delivery to Malton School

Malton School trophies

16 November 2012

The annual Malton School celebration evening approaches (22 November) and I am preparing 31 trophies for presentation on the night.

This box holds some of the order, mainly circular discs (see below) but also a globe (geography, a cup (house cup) and the base for a cricket trophy.

Malton School trophies
5 individual oak trophies

Individual trophies

15 November 2012

Individual trophies take the form of circular oak discs, which have a small ledge sanded off their base to allow them to stand without the need for any other form of support. (I used to make narrower discs, which stood on wire stands, but realised that by making the trophies a little larger and wider, I did not need the extra stand.)


Holly Wreath
Holly wreath in place on the front door

Christmas Holly Wreath

16 December 2012

We are not ones for early Christmas decorations, so the weekend before Christmas seemed soon enough to cut some holly and decorate the mantelpiece, drive up to Cropton for a Christmas tree, and make the annual Christmas holly wreath for the front door. Made from hollies in the garden, a mix of native holly and variegated forms, plus garryra and teasel. No berries this year - the birds have been hungry.

Gathering winter fuel - log splitting on a cold day

Gathering winter fuel

2 December 2012

Not strictly gardening, but a job in the garden. With the ground frozen solid but the sun shining, splitting logs is a good pastime. They do say that logs warm you up twice - once in the splitting and stacking, then again in the burning.

Autumn leaves
Autumn leaves in need of collection for composting

Autumn leaves

18 November 2012

All the fallen leaves are very pretty in their autumn colours, but I must tackle gathering them up. I have raked some up with a spring tine rake, but really need to get out the garden vac. This prunus cerasifera nigra has just shed its leaves this weekend. .

Scarifying a lawn as a test area, following lawn sand

Autumn scarifying

13 October 2012

Dug out the old electric scarifier after having sprinkled lawn sand on a particularly mossy patch, and watch the ground go black. Very agressive stuff this, but worth trying on this one area, to be monitored over coming weeks to see what kind of recovery can be made.

Hollow tine fork
Hollow tine fork and sand to aerate the heavily compacted lawn

Hollow tine aerating

Once scarified, I started using a hollow tine fork to aerate, filling the plug holes with coarse sand to try and improve the drainage. A slow job trying to get all the sand in the holes. My target is to get this circular, shady patch of lawn sorted and see what kind of improvement, if any, is made.