Saturday, 15 August 2015

A burnt memory box

I love the smell of burning wood, and I like the fact that the word 'pyrography' sort of insinuates that you're a pyro-maniac going straight. 

This is a good craft for me, but I have no idea how I started burning wood; maybe I got inspiration from a small burnt-wood picture I found in a junk shop, or perhaps Hobbycraft just hypnotised me into buying their wood burning tools? It doesn't really matter, because I'm hooked. When you find yourself teaching your eleven-year-old niece how to burn wood without singeing her hand off (or hair, oops), then you know you've got a problem. Here's one of the projects I completed when I was in full pyro-mania-mode, a memory box for my daughter.

I am slightly obsessed with painting, drawing and burning these weirdo birds. I made a pencil case and embroidered the birds on... but it all began with this box. I didn't put too much thought into it - just enjoyed doodling. I used a cheap plain-wood craft box and acrylic paints to colour it. It's so easy, that you need to give it a try. You'll love being a pyromaniac.

A little birdie told me... there's something coming this way...
soon it will be here

While photographing the box for this post, I had a look at the contents again. Inside is the first onesie my little girly wore in the hospital; her first piece of clothing. BLIMEY, was she really that small! There is also a notebook documenting her feeding and sleeping schedule. It seems crazy now to read it, and I can tell we were totally wiped out, frazzled and a bit crazy. We have even recorded when she puked, pooed and cried - we really were scared, novice parents. Those first few months were soooooooo hard (like being on another planet, where the aliens cry a lot). There is also my work diary from the time I found out I was preggo. The week before I finally took a pregnancy test, I drew a picture of myself and in capitals wrote 'I NEED TO STOP SALAD DODGING". Little did I know why I was putting on weight.

I think everyone should have a memory box. Not just for the children, but for all sorts of reasons. Let's be like those people in the movies, who discover a tin buried in the garden and inside they find all their old beloved toys (never understood the burying bit, why not just put them in a box in the loft? Were they worried about the plague for goodness sake?). Anyway, so, we could make a box of delights to pass onto someone. What would you put in your box if you made one today? Please let me know. Hopefully you can add comments now (slight glitch), and I would love to hear from you. XX

But what is coming birdie, is it a present for me?
It's a very special person, of course...
Who is this special person? Is it the queen?

No silly... it's little baby Von Stone! Do babies like birdies?
The little burnt-wood picture I found in a junk shop

Sketches for the box, and subsequent pencil case
The contents of the memory box, including her first booties,
first shoes, hospital tags and our notebooks and diaries

My cheap and cheerful wood burning tool


  1. Oh my goodness, these boxes are BEAUTIFUL! I am in awe of your hand-drawn designs and gorgeous colours. You have inspired me, I'm going shopping for a 'hot tool'...!!! Xx

    1. Thank you Wendy, you will definitely have to have a go. It is so much fun. Thanks for commenting too love, you're the first EVER. So that means you get a special prize... I'll make you a box. xxx

  2. Hello, I found your blog thro a link on Wendy's blog. Your designs on the box are so fantastic, great use of colour. I'd also love to have a go at pyrography, any recommendations 're a good tool to start with?

    Thanks 😊

    1. Thank you so much Lisapmac, you should definitely try burning wood, it is so easy and smells fabulous! I just use a cheap £15 tool from Hobbycrfat, and it does the job. Have a go and enjoy it, you'll be addicted like me. Xxxx

    2. Excellent thanks for the advice and inspiration xx

    3. Excellent thanks for the advice and inspiration xx


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