Friday, February 03, 2017

February Woods for your Touch Wood Ring

We humans have always had strong ties to trees. Native Americans speak of trees as 'The Standing People'; rocks and boulders are "the bones of the earth".

Trees of every description have carved themselves into our mythologies in an enduring way. Many of the couples we work with choose a particular wood mindful of its mythic or spiritual properties. 
Our Qualities of Wood page has been widely used as a reference over the years. It is one of the most visited pages on our website. 

Clients will often ask about trees that have some personal connection to their beloved. They may want to know which trees are native to a particular country, province or state, or what tree is connected with their birth month. Some are looking for a wood that has a particular attribute like 'new beginnings' (that would be Birch) or one that promotes good health (the Ash tree).

From the excellent and informative Druidry website, here are four trees that are connected to the month of February.  They call them 'Tree Signs'.

Cypress (Jan 25-Feb 3 / Jul 26-Aug 4) - Tree of serenity, new life, and adaptation.
Someone with this tree sign prefers to avoid drama, opting for a peaceful, dreamlike state of being as opposed to any form of disagreement or opposition. Life for them is peaceful and magical.
These are four woods sent to us by a couple a few years ago; Juniper, Oak, Walnut and Cypress.

Juniper, Oak, Walnut and Cypress Woods
The crossed spiraled inlays on Candi's ring (on the left) is Cypress ~ the other woods in this set are those above; the Juniper, Oak, Walnut and Cypress.

Walnut, Oak, Cypress and Oak Wood Rings from Touch Wood Rings
Poplar (Feb 4-8 / Aug 5-13) - Tree of growth, strength, and visualization.
When given this tree sign, one starts off blissful and carefree, only to encounter a few difficult challenges that often become hot dilemmas. But with a good outlook, they naturally persevere.
The cross spiraled inlays on Steve's ring were Poplar ~ from his grandmother's tree.

Walnut Wood Ring with Poplar Inlays, Touch Wood Rings

Hackberry (aka Sugarberry) (Feb 9-18 / Aug 14-23) - Tree of nobility, pride, and dedication.
A tree with many practical mundane uses, Hackberry can guide us wisely through times of transition and inspire creativity. Hackberry has been reported to cause skin irritation so it is not a wood we've used for a ring.  Here's a photograph of hackberry wood from the Wood Database.

Pine (Feb 19-29 / Aug 24-Sep 2) - Tree of health, perseverance, and moderation.
Someone with this tree sign is steady and poised, while moving forward towards progress and success. They often develop a good sense of what is needed physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Touch Wood Ring; Shortleaf, Loblolly and Eastern White Pine
This ring was made of three different pines; Shortleaf, Loblolly and Eastern White Pine.

Denim Pine Wood Ring Touch Wood Rings
David created this ring from what's known locally as 'Denim Pine'.  It's our own pine that was killed by the Pine Beetle.   It's also known as Blue Pine because of the bluish stain the beetles cause. 
So, if you are looking for woods that signify a February birthday or anniversary; any of these woods are great choices. Touch Wood Rings ~ visit us on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And drop us a note anytime ~ we look forward to talking with you.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Touch Wood ~ Across the Pond

Every day we receive emails from people all over the world. Old friends and new. Every day I am touched by the loving, caring people who take the time to write to us; to inquire about a Touch Wood Ring and to tell us about themselves, their lives and their loves. 

They share their stories with David and I and they put their trust in us. It is a humbling thing. 
Michelle and Tez live in a village in England. There is so much more to their story of course, but briefly; they met in Chester in 2000, they were engaged in 2002 then finally married in December 2016!   And to that we say Congratulations and Much Love!!

Michelle shared with me that "Tez didn't even want a ring as he can't wear one due to his work, and didn't really like rings ~ but when he saw how special Touch Wood Rings were he agreed!! So this was the perfect solution! I discovered Touch Wood Rings when our beautiful friends got two for their wedding and I have ask them to show me their rings every time we meet as I love them so much!"
Below are Michelle's dear friends' rings.  Commissioned in November 2011, Chris and Angela's Touch Wood Rings are English Oak with spiraled inlays of crushed jade.

Michelle and Tez designed their rings incorporating Juniper heartwood, Birds Eye Maple and a mother of pearl inlay for Michelle's ring.  
As David began work on their rings, Michelle and I got to know each other better.  I sent her a pic of our new pup. I admit I am seriously smitten :) It's been six years since we buried our last old pup and David and I were both ready.  Here's the 6 month old addition to our family.

After introducing Kali to Michelle, she invited me to join a small group of friends and their fur babies on Facebook.  I'm really enjoying the group. 

When David completed work on Tez and Michelle's ring we shipped them off across the pond and waited.  In 15 years we've done this thousands of times and we still hold our breath.  

On a Tuesday morning in early December, David and I were in town having breakfast at our favourite diner.  My Messenger dinged.  It was Michelle announcing the arrival of their rings!  She and Tez were home and Michelle shared the opening of the package with us with pics and commentary.  That was So delightful.  To share those moments from half way across the world... David and I were both really touched.

Michelle and Tez were married on the twenty-second of December. Michelle wrote: "The rings have made the wedding! We are overwhelmed with the attention to detail; love; warmth and encouragement from you and David. The whole process from start to end was a really exciting process and brought something truly unique and special to our wedding."

And so ~ here's to the start of a new year, lots of celebrations of love and the beginning of new friendships. Much love to you and Tez, Michelle ~ and to your four legged friends too.

Friday, December 09, 2016

"The most beautiful proposal ... "

Todd and I started our conversations in August of this year.  He talked about being drawn to our work and wanting to create the perfect ring for the love of his life.  Todd was so warm and an absolute delight to work with! A genuinely good soul and a true romantic. 
While we were in the planning stages for Cori's ring, Todd sent along this photograph of himself and Cori, as he wrote; "sharing love and life'.

Shortly after Todd's (oh-my-goodness, this-is-how-it's-done) proposal, we received this heart warming letter from his beloved Cori.  

Dear David and Nicola. Good evening. My name is Cori. We haven't met previously but the two of you were a part of a moment that changed my life.  I am typing now with a beautiful ring on my finger and my new fiance sitting by my side.  

On Friday, November 11th, Todd came into my classroom.  (I'm a 7th grade teacher).  He delivered a single long-stem rose and chatted with my students for a bit.  They, like anyone who meets him, were enchanted.  He then informed them that he would be taking me away for the day.  I was quite surprised, as I had classes to teach.  That was already taken care of, though.  Todd had arranged for the principal of the school to cover for me for the rest of the day.  

Todd and I climbed into his truck and started head south under the guise of going to visit his mom.  He informed me we had one little stop to make first - a short hike.  

On the way down, we marveled at the beautiful landscape as we always do.  Trees in particular draw both of us.  So much so, that at home is a copy of a breathtaking picture book by an author and photographer by the name of Mark Hirsch.  Mr. Hirsch had found a beautiful burr oak in southern Wisconsin and had spent a year taking a picture of that majestic tree every single day.  Different angles.  Different views.  Different lighting.  But all of them were amazing.  He put all of his photographs in a book and Todd gave it to me as a birthday present some time ago.  It is a treasure.  

After a couple of hours of driving, we pull into a cornfield.  Confused, I scanned the landscape...and saw THAT TREE!!! I was absolutely thrilled!  I grabbed his hand and bounded like a kid to the tree, thrilled that he had found it and taken me there.  I still had no idea what was going on.  I was just basking in his sweetness and the beauty of that tree.  After a few minutes, he motioned to a limb and indicated there was something hanging there.  I came to investigate and found the most beautiful ring I have EVER seen.  When he dropped to his knee and asked me to marry him, my heart nearly exploded.

As I cried tears of joy, wrapped in his arms, I noticed a man with a tripod trudging toward us.  Todd had arranged for Mark Hirsch, the author and photographer of that book to come capture our moments!  Not only that, but Todd had received permission from the landowners for the two of us to camp there underneath the branches of that amazing tree.  

Cori's Red Cedar Ring with Birch interior liner and a braided Birch Bark inlay
It was truly the most beautiful proposal I have ever heard of...and I got to stand in the middle of it.  He put so much time and effort into making it special, meaningful and absolutely perfect.  

The ring is such an important and stunning part of making it perfect.  I love it!  I absolutely love it.  It is truly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and it means more to me than anyone (except maybe Todd) could possibly know.  

Today I went back to work after our wonderful weekend.  Every single person that saw that ring on my finger remarked how beautiful it was, how perfect it was and how it was 'me'.  
The work Todd and the two of you put into making this symbol on my finger is humbling. I can't thank you enough.  The ring you crafted will be on my finger for the rest of my life and I am thrilled, proud and humbled to wear it.  
Filled with love and happiness, Cori 

David and I wish you and Todd a lifetime of Pocket Moment treasures. Thank you both so much for coming into our lives and for sharing with us the immense love you have with each other.  XO  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Kindred Spirits and their Wooden Rings

A couple of notes from new friends and kindred spirits; Danielle and Brandon of Virginia

"Thank you so much for your beautiful craftsmanship and for your friendly spirit. We have really enjoyed receiving your email updates with beautiful landscape photos. Your thoughtful personal touches have made this process even more enjoyable for us."

And then their rings arrived and they wrote:

"Our rings are even more beautiful in person than they are in photos! I am just mesmerized by how lovely and detailed, delicate yet sturdy they are. We tried them on and they fit, as you said, "like old friends". I think we will have no trouble getting used to wearing them. Thank you for making this whole process so warm and enjoyable. I know we will always fondly remember this experience of watching our most meaningful possessions be crafted just for us. 

I hope rings like this will replace diamonds over time and will recommend Touch Wood Rings to anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind ring. Thank you for your beautiful work and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!"

Their rings are Black Walnut with inlays of dark green Jade 
bordered by narrow white birch.

Working with Brandon and Danielle was just a dream.  They were so great to work with and we do feel as though we've made some new friends.  
We send our dearest love to you both and look forward to hearing from you again anytime. We hope that your upcoming wedding celebration and the years that follow are as bright and positive as the two of you are ~ thanks for reaching out to us to help you create these symbols of your love for each other. It has been very much our pleasure.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Mulberry, Serviceberry, Chokecherry and Cherry

Is there a type of wood you really love or a tree that's special to you?
Can you picture wearing a ring made from a branch of that tree?

Here are a few examples of David's 'Branch Wood Rings'.

Bill's Mulberry, Apple and Oak Woods above and
his Mulberry Ring with Apple and Oak inlays 

That's Kathy and Val's Serviceberry Wood above and the
Serviceberry Rings David created with cross spiraled Lapis Lazuli inlays 
bordered by narrow Maple

  It's a little like Christmas morning when a parcel arrives with a branch or a rock or a little envelope of dried flower petals from some other corner of the world.  
Someone has thoughtfully gathered and packaged those things and they've entrusted us to make them something beautiful from their raw materials ~ something worthy of their feelings for their beloved.  It's a humbling thing.

Kristen and Dan sent this Chokecherry wood (from their wedding tree)
and these are their Walnut and chokecherry rings.

Drop us an email if you like. We'll let you know how to choose your branch and how best to send your wood, or stones or shell (or coffee grounds or sage or sweetgrass :) just about anything that you'd like David to use a wee bit of in your ring.  

It's one way to make your ring extra special and have it tell your own unique story.

 Here's the stone and shell Abby sent
and her Cherry Wood

And the ring David created for her beloved. 
Greyed Maple with Abby's Cherry Wood and inlay material.

The possibilities are endless.
We look forward to hearing your ideas.
As always ~ thanks so much for stopping by.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A spur of the moment wedding celebration

Adam commissioned an engagement ring for his beloved Jennifer back in April of this year. When it arrived in the mail Adam wrote to us saying:

I just received Jennifer’s ring. David does amazing work!  Thank you so much.  You guys were so easy to work with and David did a beautiful job.  I can’t wait to give to her!

~ Jen's Touch Wood Engagement ring is Juniper heartwood with Myrtle, Maple and Mother of Pearl ~

On October 5th, Adam wrote:

I meant to contact you months ago but the summer just flew by.  I proposed to Jen and she absolutely loved her ring.  

We were planning on getting married next summer but in a spur of the moment decision we ran off to Banff and got hitched last weekend in a small ceremony with our families.  

We’ve been talking, and were thinking of ordering some wedding rings for next year.  We are not in a rush but were thinking around February-March.

With our spur of the moment wedding we didn’t have any rings so I crafted up some temporary rings the night before – (not quite as nice as David’s work but it did the trick)

We admire Adam's ingenuity and just adore their wedding rings. So sweet ~ and what a great story they have to pass on ...   
Thanks so much to you and Jen, Adam! We loved working with you too and look forward to hearing from you and Jennifer again.  
Much Love and Light to our newlywed friends!  

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

October Tree Lore and Tree Signs

There are so many ways we connect with trees. 
Touch Wood Ring of Walnut and Curly Maple ~ both October Woods ~ bordered by Blackwood 
You likely have a favourite kind of tree, or a particular tree that you really love. It might be a tree planted by a Great Aunt or your Granddad on a property that's still in the family, or a gnarly old tree in a park where you played as a kid. Maybe it's a majestic Cedar on a hillside in some exotic corner of the world? 

We two-leggeds have always had strong ties to trees. 
Native Americans speak of trees as 'The Standing People' or 'The Standing Ones'.

On the 7km road into our place; 'The Twin Souls' who have grown wrapped in each others embrace
Trees of every description have carved themselves into our mythologies in an enduring way. Lots of the couples we work with choose a particular wood mindful of its mythic or spiritual properties. Our Qualities of Wood page has been widely used as a reference over the years. It is one of the most visited pages on our website. 

Clients will often ask about trees that have some personal connection to their beloved. They may want to know which trees are native to a particular country, or what tree is connected with their birth month. Some are looking for a wood that has a particular attribute like 'new beginnings' (that would be Birch) or one that promotes good health (the Ash tree).

From the Druidry website, here are four trees that are connected to the month of October.  They call them 'Tree Signs'.

Hazel (Mar 22-31 / Sep 24-Oct 3) - Tree of originality, intellect, and adaptation.
Someone with this tree sign firmly believes in individual growth, knowledge, and permeation. They strive to develop their own sense of style and wit, making them solid pioneers in their field.

Hazel Wood Ring ~ Touch Wood Rings
Rowan (Apr 1-10 / Oct 4-13) - Tree of ambition, honesty, and communication.
When given this tree sign, one always believes in being true of character and opinion. They never sacrifice their integrity for hidden motives and always obtain goals by way of pure ingenuity.  Rowan is also known as Mountain Ash.

Rowan Wood Rings with center inlays of rainbow moonstone bordered by African Blackwood ~ Touch Wood Rings
Maple (Apr 11-20 / Oct 14-23) - Tree of personality, energy, and imagination.
A tree sign such as this one beholds sheer charisma to go further than most, especially when such journeys encompass creative thought. They never cease to amaze and go beyond. They never stop.

Birds Eye Maple (Sugar Maple) ~ Touch Wood Rings

Walnut (Apr 21-30 / Oct 24-Nov 2) - Tree of fortune, vigor, and determination.
Someone with this tree sign is destined for success and ultimate riches, whether they are in the form of material or supernatural. Their energy is based upon their will and their will is done.

Heritage Black Walnut with Juniper Heartwood inlays ~ Touch Wood Rings

If you want to infuse your ring with more meaning and and little Druid magick'll find in-depth information on tree lore at BARDWOOD.  Alferian is my 'go-to' guy for all things Druid plus, he's just a helluva nice guy.  When I was researching material for our 'Meanings of Wood' page in 2003, it was Alferian I leaned on; he was generous and kind and graciously answered all my email inquires. His website is beautifully crafted, well organized and a pleasure to visit. 

No matter what tree speaks to you ~ David will be happy to incorporate it into your custom made Touch Wood Ring. You are welcome to send us a special piece of wood you have, and we have a storeroom full of branch wood, reclaimed and recycled wood that you are welcome to use as well.  
As Alferian kindly notes on his website; "The touch of wood on the hand conveys the power of that tree to the wearer."  

Happy October!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Danny and Melissa's Mexican Wedding Celebration

Danny is originally from Australia.  He met Melissa who is from Manitoba and he's been in Canada off and on for about 6 years.  Melissa and Danny married in July and will be settling on the west coast of Canada.  Danny and I began our conversations in the spring. He settled on woods that were symbolic of both their homes as Melissa pointed out. :)  Australian Blackwood with two offset inlays of Canadian Maple.

Earlier this month Melissa and Danny wrote and shared some beautiful pics with us of their celebration.  "Everything went really well with the wedding and the ring was a big hit! Everyone was pretty amazed by it so again thank you to both yourself and David for all the effort you have put in. It was a very small but very special wedding for us. (Danny's) family traveled all the way from Australia to Canada then to Mexico to be with us on our special day. Again just wanted to say a big thank you for your contribution to our wedding day! "

It was a great pleasure working with Danny and Melissa.  David and I wish you both tremendous happiness in the days and years ahead.  And welcome to Canada Danny. We're so glad you and Melissa chose Canada's beautiful west coast as your home. 

Their lovely wedding photos are by Viktor of Adventure Photos at Iberostar Paraiso Lindo, Riviera Maya, Mexico.