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.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Summer winds down on the meadow.

These are busy and beautiful days ~ I'm still behind with my emails but working hard to catch up with folks while David builds rings for our oh so awesome touch wood friends!

We are in the midst of haying our fields and the rain hasn't let up since it was cut. That's not the greatest situation but it happens. Hoping for some warm dry days to get that job finished up.

When we first moved here, we supplied hay to our neighbour for his small herd of cows. He lived fifteen miles to the north east and was a fountain of local knowledge having lived here all his life. He cut our twenty five acres of hay with his workhorses and a ground driven mower. It was an amazing experience to take part in the daily harnessing and care of the team and get to understand some of what goes into their training. We took lots of pictures and videos of something we won't ever see done again.

With the highly efficient haying machines our neighbouring ranchers use these days; the meadow is cut in one day, raked in one day and baled in one day making the whole process five or six days counting some drying time and moving the huge bales to the feed area. That's if the rain doesn't slow it all down.

The method has changed but the result is the same ... the meadow hay will be fed to brood cows' that will grow new calves over the winter to be born in the spring... the hay from this meadow has been used for this purpose since at least 1890, so we are just the latest participants...

Here are a few pics from around the homestead on these late August days.


And some of the commissioned rings David made this summer :) 

Jack's Hawaiian Koa Wood Ring with Maple interior

Greyed Maple with Magnolia interior for Alex

Ally and Gordon's Choke Cherry, Madrone, and Burr Oak rings

Kenneth's Black Walnut wood ring with a featured knot and Cherry interior liner

Ian's Black Walnut, Willow with a center inlay of Amethyst mixed with Kara's stone

Laurent's Hawaiian Koa, Walnut, Birds eye Maple and a braided inlay of Yucca

Mary and Kevin's designs incorporate Juniper Heartwood, Walnut and Bamboo
We've also been building a stone circle. Taking a hour some evenings just before or after dinner to move the next boulder down to the clearing we choose for stones.  It's something I've always wanted to do and we have the property and the big stones so it was just a matter of choosing the spot and making the time.  Well, and enlisting my honey's help with his trusty skid steer and his smarts. It's coming along.  Going to be beautiful!!  A sacred space built with stone that should outlast us by many hundreds of years.

Talk to you again soon and thanks, as always for dropping by.  If you haven't already, please visit our Facebook page and follow along.  My updates there are much more frequent :) 

Saturday, July 02, 2016

A Welsh Love Spoon and their wooden rings

We first connected with Eric and Sarah back in November of 2015 and decided that February would be the perfect time for David to make their rings. 

They chose walnut as their primary wood (more on that in a moment) with inlays of dark figured Bethlehem Olive wood and a full moon inlay of Aspen for Sarah`s ring. 

Eric and Sarah were engaged in Cornwall in the traditional Welsh fashion, where a carved wooden spoon is presented rather than a ring. Their spoon was made of walnut, which is why they wanted walnut rings. They shared a picture of their spoon and were hoping the rings might be somewhat similar in terms of color and grain.

For the uninitiated; the custom of giving a Love Spoon is unique to Wales and originated in the 15th Century, when lovers would offer intricately carved spoons, bearing symbols of their feelings and hopes, to their partners. Love Spoons today are given as gestures of friendship, engagement, wedding and anniversary gifts.

David used our Heritage Black Walnut to mirror the figure in their beautiful spoon.  

They were kind enough to let us share a few pictures from their wedding, and they wrote:

We had our shindig in the Catskills and took some time out while we were still in the mountains to do a little photo shoot.  The rings are on the chicken foot ring holder that I made for them -- don't worry, just a plaster cast, not a real foot :)  

We fashioned the broom out of an aspen walking stick that Eric had made when we lived in Colorado... partly why I wanted aspen wood in my ring :)  Thank you both again, we love the rings and have received so many compliments on how lovely they are. We'll cherish them forever!  Best wishes,  Sarah and Eric.

Now happily married, Sarah and Eric are moving back to Colorado and excited about the next chapter in their lives.  

It has been wonderful to meet you both (hopefully we`ll meet in person one day too) and we had so much fun working with you on your rings. Thanks so much Eric and Sarah!

We`ll sign off with this old Welsh Blessing. 
Wishing you a house full of sunshine, hearts full of cheer, love that grows deeper each day of the year.