Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Happy V-Day

St Valentine's Day has come and gone, and I don't think my fiancee and I shall ever have another one like it! All the paperwork went through okay on Sam's first car purchase, we picked up from the dealership yesterday evening and I must say that I am extremely jealous of her set of wheels! For a first car, it doesn't get much better! She got a fully loaded (and I mean loaded to the teeth!) Nissan Altima. Great buy! True, it has a good amount of mileage on it for an '06, but it runs beautifully and is in absolute mint condition, someone took very good care of the vehicle previously!

More in tune with the 'spirit' of this little holiday, one which I must say I've never been a huge fan of. It seems to me V-Day has just become one more over-marketed event, used to pry people away from a little more of their money, I thought I'd make something a little more personal for my special lady. Be it that this was our first V-Day experience together. So I perused the stock in my shop for a suitable piece of wood to accept the design ideas I had floating around in my noggin'. Low and behold, I found a piece of 1"x8" pine that would do nicely. I have been experimenting a lot lately with rotary tools, mainly with the idea of adding celtic knotwork inlays in future projects, and although that skill is coming along slowly, I have had a modest amount of success with engraving celtic lettering. So, I wanted to add some lettering to the project. On an occasion such as this, only a message of love would do (sappy, I know, but what can I say? I'm a bit of a sap!). To add a different touch as well, I decided to write out the message in Scottish Gaelic. Seeing as both our family backgrounds extend back to Highlands, I thought it most appropriate!

After a bit of searching, and translation attempts, I settled on the phrase "Goal Gu Brath", which translates into "Love Forever" or "Eternal Love" (depending on which English/Gaelic dictionary you use). With the message nailed down, I thought the plaque was missing something. Too much space left empty. A simple recessed border helped solve that a bit, and with the addition of the carving out of a bear's paw along with a wolf's paw (my and her favoured animals, respectively) the gift was complete. It took me about 4 1/2 hours to complete, not including the time to varnish and dry. I think it turned out alright, though there are numerous spots I am not pleased with. Sam tells me I'm too harsh a critique on my own work. She has a point, but if I don't find things to improve upon no one will, or simply won't tell me!

Above is the finished product, the lettering is taken from an a book printed in 1711, in Irish Gaelic. As I said, all-in-all I'm pleased with how it turned out. More importantly, Sam loved it, which is all that matters to me! The piece is already hanging up on her wall, for her to see everyday, with a message that will always ring true!

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