a very hard assignment

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Project by learnin2do posted 06-17-2011 05:03 PM 2314 views 3 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

wow, this was really hard.
I received a request to make this marker the day before my son’s 14th birthday (the 15th). This required me to work on it for the entire day of my son’s birthday…as i expected, he was humbled by by the nature of the task and accepted my distraction.
A friend/co-worker of my Treeman (and one of the crew who helped to deliver all of the 2+ diameter walnut trunk sections and main branches to my house) called to ask if i could do this for a couple who could not reasonably afford one of the commercial markers they had found available.
I don’t really even have the tools or experience (never done lettering 7 relying on an early 90s craftsman router & what bits i have in my collection)...but how can i say no, when i know they cannot commission another entity to finish this in a day.

The lettering took from 7:30am – 2:30 am – minus a couple of hours to go purchase a cake and sodas for my son and his company and a couple of breaks to eat. I did the carving in the morning. (i had to be very careful; i have never done lettering & i really wanted to accomplish this) -special thanks to my sons (26 & 14!) for all of their input and support through the day! I agreed to do it if i could carve on it as well, so as to distract from the cruddy job i knew i would do on the lettering. At the top (i know it is hard to recognize) is a morning glory, severed from a vine, with roots at the bottom.

All i could think, while the ache in my surgery-needing arm grew by the minute, was that it may hurt, but could not come close to comparing to the pain this couple felt.
The father came last night to get the marker with with the friend who commissioned it. I am truly flattered to be entrusted with such an assignment. I can only hope that the mother is happy with it as well, and that it affords her some solace to finally have a marker for her infant son’s grave. He only lived seven hours or so. Previous c-section scarring caused bleeding in the uterus that interfered with oxygen transference …& what not.

I used some of the walnut trunk brought by the mutual friend. They want to set it in concrete at the site.

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

20 comments so far

View Moose82's profile


91 posts in 2671 days

#1 posted 06-17-2011 05:12 PM

that is amazing work!!! LOVE IT

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2693 days

#2 posted 06-17-2011 05:14 PM

What a day’s work! It’s spectacular.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Don's profile


551 posts in 3242 days

#3 posted 06-17-2011 05:23 PM

Awesome job, give yourself a huge hug for doing this….

-- -- Don in Ottawa,

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2836 days

#4 posted 06-17-2011 05:25 PM

WOW! That is amazing and the lettering is really professional. We’re are both making grave markers right now.

I am a bit confused about how you did it.

Pic 1: The final piece (spectacular, just as Bertha said.)

Pic 2-4: The wood you cut the letters from?

Pic 5: You cut the letters out and glue them onto a slab? This is where I get confused (if I haven’t already). Is the slab raised on one end?

Pic 6: The whole shebang again, but what happened to those funny raised edges?


-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2836 days

#5 posted 06-17-2011 05:26 PM

And what did you use to ease the transitions between the layers?

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View WhiskeyWaters's profile


213 posts in 3805 days

#6 posted 06-17-2011 05:30 PM

These are the projects which remind us why we work the wood – not always to please ourselves, but to bring comfort to others. Thanks for reminding me!


-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 2681 days

#7 posted 06-17-2011 06:02 PM

The right man for the care that was given and received .

Blood , Sweat , and Tears . Hope and compassion .

View Woodwrecker's profile


4149 posts in 3575 days

#8 posted 06-17-2011 08:30 PM

I have to say Christine, that this is one of the most amazing projects I’ve seen on this site.
You did an awesome job, and I know you won’t think of it this way, but you can be mighty proud of the fine work & finer tribute you paid to these people.
I’m going to favorite this one just so I can come back to it from time to time & remember what our work for others really means.
Thanks & great work.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View sarahss's profile


258 posts in 2649 days

#9 posted 06-17-2011 08:37 PM

what a beautiful tribute to a life that was much too short

View mpounders's profile


875 posts in 2895 days

#10 posted 06-17-2011 08:49 PM

You did good, in more ways than just making a marker. Your thoughts while carving this are reflected in the beauty that you have helped reveal.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View HerbC's profile


1756 posts in 2859 days

#11 posted 06-17-2011 10:10 PM


You never cease to amaze me with your wonderful talent.

This was a loving and compassionate task you accepted and may you be blessed in more ways than you can imagine for doing this for that family.

I hope your arm improves soon.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Richard's profile


297 posts in 2537 days

#12 posted 06-17-2011 10:56 PM

Beauty is found in many forms…
But… none liked unto
the frame and flow of a wood’s grain
as it circles, coils…
entwining a man’s soul…
forcing from his core strength…
emotions that glisten as they
frame and flow
across his face.

You have done a very dear thing…
How could anyone behold this and find fault…
How dare they…?

Peace and blessed be.

-- 'I sand, therefore, I am'. Richard. PNW.

View steviep's profile


233 posts in 2647 days

#13 posted 06-18-2011 04:43 AM

Faith hope and love are the things God gave us. You seem to have given back all three. Great job.

-- StevieP ~ Micheal Tompkins - you were not here on earth long but left a giant mark on us. RIP Brother

View rdlaurance's profile


367 posts in 3347 days

#14 posted 06-18-2011 07:55 AM

Absolutely awesome job, Christine! As others have stated, I too am constantly amazed at your versatility and gung-ho attitude to attempt so many projects without prior experience, ending in great results, with a good sense of design.

Perchance… you might consider changing your moniker from ‘learnin2do’ to ‘willin2do’.... LOL

-- Rick, south Sweden

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2856 days

#15 posted 06-18-2011 06:39 PM

Nice Work

Nice Thought



-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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