In the meantime however, I have spent some time after school tramping around the woods. On one of those tramps I found a gem, hidden amongst the wet and soggy leaves. I wish I had photographed it "before," but I didn't - so you'll just have to accept my written description. It was a piece of an old tree that was hollow in the middle. I was particularly intrigued by the holes in the sides. They seemed to me to be perfect "windows." So I picked up the piece of wood, and brought it home.
|Inside the reclaimed wood piece|
I washed it out thoroughly in the bathtub, removing lots of dead leaves, dirt, rotted wood bits, and ants - oh so many ants! Then I dried it out in a low temperature oven (with the oven door slightly open so I could check on it often) for about thirty minutes. Later on in the day, I began working on the wood with my dremel tool. I sanded and sanded and sanded . . . and sanded. Then I sanded more the next day, removing loose bark, bits of left over rotted wood, and bits of embedded dirt. I then sanded it by hand for a long time! It was hard work, but it was so rewarding so see such a gorgeous piece of wood emerge from that work! I polished the wood with my handmade wood polish, added a moss colored needle felted roof, and voila!
Don't you just love the windows?
I'm writing a story about a little tree sprite who lives in the hollow of an old oak tree, and this seemed to be just the home for her. What do you think?
I wonder what other treasures are hiding in the woods behind our school?