Please welcome Brad. Let me first just say that Brad is about to tell you that he is not very crafty, pshaw! Yes, he is! Maybe, he doesn't know how to use a sewing machine, but he can make himself a belt, and he can even sew on a new button all by himself! All joking aside, he can hold his own around here. Let me also say, that having someone in your own home working on a guest blog post for your blog is tough! It's tough to not intervene too much, and it's tough because you worry that they might show you up (ha, ha). Well, as you will see, he did show me up, he beat me at my own game, but he also gave the kiddos a fantastic new toy that, I imagine, will be around for quite some time!
It’s great to be making my first appearance here at Buzzmills, having spent the last year and a half peering over Jane’s shoulder. I should start by saying that any expectations about my craftiness based on who I married should be checked at the door. If there’s a talent that's earned me entry here, it's my ability to laze about in a hammock daydreaming and call it parenting. I actually have my suspicions that this entire Make It Up exercise is an elaborate scheme to get me to man up and use the scroll saw that Jane and the kids gave me for Christmas. If that's the case, it worked, but we'll get to that. First, our story... It's one that Violet and I started in the hammock back when she was three and still haven’t finished.
It began like this...
There’s a farm. Up until recently, it was just a small ordinary farm. It didn't even have a name. There was nothing particularly special about it. At least that is what the family that lives on the farm thought. They’re a family of five. There’s the mom (Marigold), the dad (Joseph), the eldest son (Joe Jr. - you can call him Jo Jo), the daughter Juniper, and the youngest son (Moss).
On this farm, there was a tree. It was one of those scenic solitary trees that farms tend to have. It sat on top of a hill, watching over the grazing cows and keeping time for the family. When the sun dropped low enough to peek through the tree's broad branches, you knew it was time to come in, wash up, and sit down for dinner. Juniper, who has quite an imagination, spent hours sitting against the tree dreaming up stories. That is, of course, until the storm.
A lightning bolt struck the tree and brought it crashing to the ground. The family was sad. Juniper was really sad. But Marigold had an idea. She told Juniper they could take a small branch from the fallen tree and make a sapling. When it was big enough, she could plant it near where the old tree had been. She gave Juniper an old pot from the kitchen. She told her to fill it with dirt and stick a branch from the old tree inside. They kept the sapling on the front porch, where Juniper watered it everyday. It grew fast and soon Marigold told Juniper that it was time to plant it.
"Just pick a spot, dig a hole, drop it in, and cover it back up with dirt".
But Marigold had forgotten one thing. She didn’t tell Juniper to take the sapling out of the pot before putting it in the ground. Juniper put the whole thing, pot and all, in the hole and covered it up with dirt. Even still, it grew. And it grew fast. So fast that Joseph just stared at it, scratched his head, and swore he'd never seen anything quite like it.
By spring the new tree was as big as the old tree had ever been. One day the kids were out in the fields doing their chores. Juniper wandered off to have a sit by the tree. When she got there, she realized that something magical had happened. The tree had bloomed, not with fruit or flowers, but with pots... and pans... and plates... And knives... and forks... and spoons... even napkins!
Juniper ran to tell her brothers. Jo Jo assumed she was just making up one of her stories and shirking on her chores, but Juniper insisted that they come look. After staring in amazement at the tree for a long time they ran to tell their father.
"Nonsense,” said Joseph and went back to fixing the tractor.
They ran to their mother. "Oh, is that so?" She said. “Hmm. If that’s the case. Why don’t we eat out by this supper tree of yours. You kids go get things ready and we’ll meet you there at sunset.”
The kids did just that. They hurried back to the tree, bringing a ladder with them. They picked the pots, pans, and utensils they’d need for the dinner. They picked some vegetables from a nearby garden. Jo Jo lit a fire and dinner was nearly finished cooking by time Joseph and Marigold arrived at the tree dumbfounded. Everyday since then the family has met at The Supper Tree at sunset. Now, they also stop to listen whenever Juniper tells them that “something magical happened.”
...And so began the story of The Supper Tree Farm. It turns out the tree was just the beginning of the magic. Since then, Violet, Henry, and I have discovered woodland fairies living on the outskirts of the farm, a tiny dragon that cooks, monsters that hatch from pumpkins, and most recently an underground castle that promises to be full of surprises. The truth is anything can happen at The Supper Tree Farm, as long as there's a bit of magic involved.
Violet and I have talked for a while about actually making a Supper Tree. Make It Up, left me little choice, which brings me to the aforementioned scroll saw. This is a scroll saw (I didn’t know what one was either.) It’s basically a jigsaw, but more intimidating, and you move the wood instead of the saw. I used it to cut the shape of the tree from a 3/4 inch thick board.
After a lot of debate about the best way to make it stand up and with some help, I notched a hole for a three inch board. We sanded. We stained. We painted. Now for the magic part... and what’s more magic than velcro. We took some old-fashioned dollhouse pots, pans, plates, and utensils that we found on Etsy, and stuck them to the tree with velcro dots. Voila... a Supper Tree.
Thank you much for sharing Brad! Thank you for giving us a great story to build and build. Thank you for being an inspiration for Make it up. Thank you for FINALLY using your Christmas gift. Thank you for being so creative. Thank you for showing me up on my own blog. Oh, and thank you for all of your amazing support over this year and a half and thanks for agreeing to be part of it, even if you were wishing you hadn't said yes (Oh, wait, I didn't give you a choice!)