All these pretty little curly-twirly things are actually quite useful for something beyond fire tinder. Realizing that it is hardly fun for a 3 year old to stand around while Dad does grown-up things in the shop, last weekend I came up with an idea for Sylvia. It was successful and this weekend she commenced with Phase 3 in the development of her towering sculpture of wood by-products. It started with my buckets full of scrap and a cast-off partial sheet of OSB from a packing crate:
I think they're beautiful, but it turns out to Sylvia the shavings are pretty cool, too. They're not unlike snowflakes -- each one unique -- except they don't melt. This allows her to incorporate their individual shapes into her project. She was giddy sorting through the pile, remarking that certain ones looked like springy-sproings, others like ice cream cones and some like ribbons, bows and flower petals. When we ran out of 2X4 blocks I ripped some more with a handsaw. Sylvia roared with laughter as the chunks exited the bigger hunk, pinging off the garage door behind me.
I was a bit proud of myself since I'd found a creative way to make Mom and daughter happy while simultaneously getting some of my stuff done. Stuff, ya know, like making sure all the clamps are arranged just so. Here's a quick shot Sylvia snapped of me:
Sylvia knows we'll be building her a real bench this spring, so she's started showing more of an interest in acquiring real tools. We got her a small hammer a couple of weeks ago. Since Dad's been toying with planes she wanted to give it a try. I just happened to have a Sylvia-sized hobby plane about 2.5" long that fits her hand quite nicely. She made a few squiggly shavings of her own which promptly stuck to her Hello Kitty gloves.
I was happy to distract her from the sculpture for a bit. Every one of her sessions might be an hour or so of self-contained fun, but it also drains 6-8 ounces of wood glue. That stuff's starting to add up. Good thing I have the gallon jug for refills.