Carve your carving necessary

Valentine's Day?!?  But we're still putting away Christmas decorations!  I'm not trying to make you panic, but you may just want to start thinking about what you're going to do for your sweetheart.

Originally posted in June, here's an idea to get your creative juices flowing....


It’s hard to believe that it was 17 years ago that we got married.

It’s hard to believe that 2 apartments, 4 houses, 3 dogs, 1 rabbit, too many guinea pigs to count, 2 kooky kids and countless singular moments of insanity and joy have filled 17 years of marriage. 

Was it his long hair and brown eyes that caught my attention? Maybe.  What about the cut-off shorts and zip up boots?  Not likely.  Did the fact that he played drums and smoked cigarettes and was gonna be a rock star make me feel a little DANGEROUS for dating him? Of course.

But it was his hearty laugh and his genuine heart that made me never want to leave him.  Those things, and a gajillion more, made me want to carve our initials in a tree so it lasted for ever and ever.  Those things are why I didn’t hesitate to elope to Dothan, AL with $37.50 cash to marry the love of my life.  I knew I had found someone who was kinder, funnier, more generous and gentler than I will ever be… and he loved ME.  What girl would pass that up?!

And then after 17 years of marriage I realized I NEVER did carve our initials in that tree. Mostly because carving really isn’t my strong suit and I wouldn’t want to hurt a tree and which tree would I choose?!? 

So I finally did.  But our carving isn’t on a tree, it’s in a frame and it’s hanging on our wall amongst many fragments of our 17 years, where it fits perfectly.

Here is how I faux-carved those initials for my rock star with nothing but plywood and stain.  No actual carving skills necessary…..


P.S. When I gave him his gift he said what he loved most about it was I’m not the type to use “TLF”.  But cute boys you have a crush on will make you do silly things….


Supplies Needed

Open backed frame (found at framing/hobby stores)
Piece of plywood
Stain or paint in different colors
Small brushes


Using a jigsaw, circular saw or hand saw(or your home improvement store will cut for a small fee) cut a small piece of plywood to fit size of your open backed frame.  Mine had a heart-shaped “knot”….serendipity!


Using a lighter stain or paint, paint over the lighter grain of the wood, and using a darker shade of stain or paint, paint over the darker grain of wood.  I used an even darker color to accent the “knot” in my tree.  Using the lightest color of paint, “carve” your initials and maybe – if you’re feeling silly – a TLF  

Pop into your frame and hang!