Welcome to my blog about my wood burning creations! I'm so glad you're here!
You can also visit my Etsy site here, to see what items are available to purchase, and visit me on Facebook here!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Peacock Experiment

I thought I'd share this project with you.  It's not finished yet and was meant as an experiment.  I wanted to see how the image would burn and look on this bamboo placemat.  Overall it's working really well and I like the result.  I just have to be careful when my tip is near the string that holds the bamboo pieces together.  I've melted a few.

I like how it's turning out but I think it would look much better if I'd made the peacock image larger.  I find I tend to lean towards smaller images a lot and then realize that larger is better.  This will be something I'll have to learn as I do more projects.

This is an Art Nouveau image of a peacock on a bamboo placemat.  I think I'll add some sort of embellishment around the edges just to finish it off.

I start with the image and trace it on to the wood. K just had to have his arm in the picture.

The bamboo plaques are hard to draw on but this one took the image really well.

Here's a close up of the tracing.  It can be a bit confusing when I burn so I keep the picture handy for reference.
This is with a partial burn.  It took me a couple of hours to do this but it was fairly easy going.

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Item!

Yay, I've got another new item in the shop!

This one is really fun.  I found a simple wooden serving tray and burned a vintage fruit crate label into it.  I love the look of old fruit labels and seed packets.  It amazes me how much care and artwork went into them.

It took me a few days to complete this project.  To burn the background smoothly I got to use a new tip.  I think it looks really good and makes the colours look a lot bolder.

The tray is delicate so I thought it would make a better, and more interesting, wall decoration than a serving tray. 

To learn more about it and my other creations available for purchase click here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I need to learn to juggle

I've tried to learn to juggle balls a few times in my life but never worked hard enough at it to become any good.  But now I really need to learn how to juggle my time.

Fortunately I am not working right now so I have the opportunity to work at it.  I don't expect it to ever be a perfect science but some sort of routine would be nice.

My problem is prioritizing my responsibilities.  I have two young boys.  B is 5 1/2 and K is 4.  B goes to kindergarten and I have K with me almost all the time.  They play well together, sometimes, but I feel most of the time I'm playing referee with them over a toy or game or just a look one gave to the other.  (Even as I've been writing this I've had to break up about five fights and disagreements.)

Then there's the house.  It gets neglected a lot.  I hate to admit it but cleaning the house is not one of my priorities.  Someone once told me that an untidy house means well cared for children.  That's comforting but it doesn't mean that I can get away with never doing housework.  I wish!

Then there's the yard.  We moved into this house a year ago.  The property is about an acre which is sooo much more than we are used to.  Our last house was a townhome and we had a two foot by 12 foot yard (no exaggeration) that was tended to by a landscaper.  Now we need to cut grass, weed dandylions, shovel snow off our insanely big driveway and tend to all the other outside house needs.  It's sometimes a little overwhelming, but the enjoying the space is worth it.

Then there's my pyrography projects.  I am constantly thinking about new projects and looking for that next inspiration.  The trouble is: when do I give my self time to work on them?  I have a book that I try to write down any ideas but that's only so good if the projects get made.

Then there's my husband.  My poor husband.  Sometimes I'm amazed that we even know what each other look like.  I'm not all to blame for his neglect, though.  He works crazy hours at his job and sometimes we won't see him for a few days.

Then there's time for me.  After all that is said and done how do I fit in time for exercise, reading a book or enjoying a relaxing bath?  Most of the time I'm just ready to snuggle into bed or put up my feet and let the tv do the thinking for me.

This week the weather was so nice that we spent a lot of time on the yard.  I put in our very first vegetable garden!   And of course the rest of my responsibilities were put aside.  I haven't had much time to do pyrography this week.  I was able to finish a custom order but wasn't able to work on anything new. 

Hopefully, I'll figure out how to juggle all this crazy stuff and manage to take my ideas off the page and burn them into some wood.  Then I'll be able to post more here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A little glue and burnt wood go a long way

I made this frame for some other good friends of mine many years ago.  I often lived vicariously through them because at the time they were really into seeing the world and experiencing different cultures.  Every year they'd travel to another amazing Country and come back with the most wonderful stories and pictures.  I decided that a frame for some of those pictures was the prefect gift for them.

I burned their names, and two little images, at the top, and "World Travellers", with two little images, at the bottom of the frame.  And on the sides I decoupaged some really cool paper that had antique looking maps on it.  The result was better than I imagined and is one of my favourite gifted presents so far.

Here's a picture, a little off centre because it was taken with that terrible camera.

Do you have someone in your life who loves one-of-a-kind presents?  Send me an email at bki@hotmail.ca and we can brainstorm the perfect wood burned gift for them.  Or take a look at my shop to see what is available for purchase right now... www.bkinspired.etsy.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I decided to try something different and burn an image into a small paper mache box.  It worked really well.  Much better than I expected.  I thought that since it was paper it would not give me crisp lines and would possibly just turn black.  Instead it resisted being burned which gave me the nice clear lines.

The sunflower pattern is from a rubber stamp I've had for years.  It turned out really well.  When I was done burning I sealed it with a clear gloss finish which makes it look really good.

Now that I know I can burn the paper mache I will try other objects.  I saw a couple of note books that I could have a lot of fun with.  That will have to wait a little though.  I've got a lot of other projects I want to work on first.  I'd like to make some Christmas ornaments and other Christmas items before fall and the Christmas season is upon us.

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Item!

There's a new item in the shop!

C is really into martial arts.  He is very interested in the samurai and they way they lived their lives.  A great movie to watch to learn a little about the samurai is "The Last Samurai".  It stars Tom Cruise (not one of my favourite actors but he did ok) and is very well done.  It really gives you a lot of respect for the samurai and what they were all about.

So, with C's influence I burned the Japanese character Bushido into a bamboo plaque. 

Bushido, meaning "Way of the Warrior", is a Japanese code of conduct and a way of the samurai life. It originates from the samurai moral code and stresses frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and honor unto death.  One of the amazing things about Bushido is that it was never written down during the time of the samurai.

To learn more about the wall hanging click here to go to my Etsy shop.

I finished it with a clear gloss wood finish to sort of give it a laquer kind of look.  It turned out really well so I think I may do more Japanese characters on bamboo.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Item!

Look at this beautiful creature!  The patterns are amazing! 

Red cracker butterfly
This is a red cracker butterfly.  I learned that they live in South America up to Arizona and that the males make a "cracking" sound with their wings.  They do this to either attract a mate or scare off rival males.  I think that's pretty cool!  Nature never ceases to amaze me.

 Here is the wall hanging I just finished of the red cracker.  I kept putting it off because there are so many lines but it went pretty smoothly once I started.  It took a few nights of work though.  I am pleased with the result. 

The wall hanging is now available for purchase on my Etsy site.  You can learn more about it here.

I've found a good picture of a monarch butterfly so I think I might take a stab at that next.  Maybe create a butterfly series of wall hangings.

I learned something interesting about them too: the butterfly that arrives in Canada after a northern migration is the 3rd or 4th generation of a butterfly that left Canada months before!  Isn't that amazing?!  That is why the monarch is so fascinating to scientists.  They always migrate to the same place but how do these 4th generation butterflies know where they're going? 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New item!

We are having another great weekend!  The weather has been nice and we've mostly been focussing on celebrating birthdays and Mother's day with family.  How can you beat that?

We took a trip to see my parents and brother's family on Friday.  While we were there I received a couple more custom orders!  I'm very excited about these ones.  I get to work with the wood a little more, rather than just burning and colouring.  The orders are gifts so I don't want to say to much more just yet.

I also had a couple of brainstorming ideas on our drive.  I think I've missed the window this year but I was thinking I could make a bunch of pieces for teacher gifts next year!  And while we were visiting, my Mom showed me a wooden wine box.  I have so many ideas for the box that I'm thinking the hardest part is going to be deciding just what to burn onto it.  My biggest problem is having/finding the time to work on these ideas!  I could be really productive if I didn't have to be a parent some days.  ; )

I've posted another item for purchase on my Etsy site.  Yay!  It's the image of a dragon and pheonix burned onto an oak plaque.  I am so happy with how it turned out!  For more details click here.

Six years ago I did the same image for a good friend of mine who was getting married.  I burnt the image onto a wooden album for her wedding pictures.  It was the first time I'd done something so big and detailed and when it was finished I was very proud to give her and her husband the album.
Please remember I had a horrible camera 6 years ago so the quality of the picture really isn't that good  ; )
Now I've had a chance to do the image again and I'm just as pleased with the result as I was six years ago.  Please take a look at my new item and my other pieces at my Etsy shop, you just might see something you like.

Trying new things

Last week I picked up a little paper mache box to experiment with.  Since it's made of paper I wasn't sure how it would take to being burned.  It did really well and I am happy with the result.  It was actually a little resistant which surprised me.  I wasn't expecting it to burst in to flames but I didn't think I'd be able to get any detail.  It's still a work in progress so I don't have a picture yet.

I also worked on a Japanese symbol for Bushido this week. That was an influence from C.  He's very into martial arts. 

I put it on a bamboo plaque and I am really pleased with the result.  I need to put a wood finish on it and then I'll get that posted on here too.

If there's anything you'd like to see send me an email  bki@hotmail.ca, I'd love to hear any suggestions.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Item!

This Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly wall hanging is now available for purchase. 

This was originally from a pattern for stained glass but I liked the look of it and thought it would go well on this oval plaque. I like that the chain gives a little something more to the overall feel of the wall hanging.

Keep checking back, there are more items coming soon!  One item I know my good friend JL will recognize.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Projects from the past

Pyrography is something I've been playing around with for a few years.  I've mostly done gifts for friends and family, experimenting and trying new techniques as I go.  I try to remember to take pictures but that doesn't always happen.  Most of the photos were taken with a really pathetic film camera that must have been dropped one too many times, so the pictures aren't that great but it gives you a good idea.

I will post these past projects from time to time to demonstrate what I've done and can do.

This one was done about 8 or 9 years ago for my very good friend and her new home.  The flag and lettering were burnt and then the flag was coloured with oil pencils.

I really liked how my friends' name plaque turned out and I haven't been able to get it out of my head all those years.  So, when we moved in to our current home (our first real home) I just had to make one for us too.  I gave it to my husband for Christmas and it is now proudly being displayed beside our front door.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's all good!

April has been a crazy month for us.  Every weekend has been busy with some sort of celebration or family event.  This past weekend was no exception.  My husband and his brother were fortunate to get some tickets for the UFC event in Toronto on Saturday night.  So, our little family made the trip to our relatives, who live near Toronto, and stayed with them for the weekend.  We all visited the Toronto Zoo and then B, K and I spent the rest of the time with our extra cute little nephew.

I was also able to hand deliver my very first custom order to my in-laws!  Thank you so much to them for supporting me!  I am super pleased with how their treasure box turned out and they seemed to be very happy with it too, which gives me even more confidence.

Being this busy means I am not getting to work nearly as much as I'd like to.  I'm really hoping May is a little more generous to me in the time department.  But, it's already starting to get booked up too.  Meanwhile, our poor yard and gardens are really showing how much they are needing our attention.  I need to find out how to add more hours to the day.

Today I did manage to get another frame on the Etsy site though.  You can see it here, and here...

I really like the sign language sign for "I love you".  My kids learned the sign when they were young and it's sort of stuck with us.  I think it would be a great frame to show off how much you love someone special in your life.

Here's to hoping I get a bit of free time to burn some more items this week.