Greencrow Creative Resources


   Crow in Flight by Anonymous

This is the page where I display and hope to eventually market my arts and crafts.  Most recent posts are near the top of the page:

Artwork #22- April 22, 2017 "Bird Carousel" found wood "branches" carry carved wooden "comfort birds" in a merry circle


This artwork is a show stopper for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it is the first time I've been able to upload a video onto my blog from my new IPhone.  If this works, I can use it on my other pages.  The "Bird Carousel" was inspired during a Skype conversation I was having a few months ago with my sister.  She lived in Kenya at one point and collected wood carvings during her stay.  While talking with her I noted a mobile hanging above her head.  It was a wood carving of birds on a branch "carousel".  I have replicated it in the carving above, but of course my birds look nothing like the birds in her carousel...hers were larger, each one was a different species, and I believe they were also painted.  Mine are natural.  I didn't even put a stain or a wax on them because I liked the natural wood so much.  Interestingly, I don't know what type of wood my birds are carved out of because a fellow carver gave the wood to me and even HE did not know what kind of wood it was.  Also, interestingly, I have been searching the local forests for another branch just like the one I found in the video above.  When looking for that branch, I found it within minutes.  But that was obviously "beginners' luck" because several days of intense searching have turned up no further suitable three-pronged branches.  I will have to search further afield, because I want to make more "Bird Carousels'".  They are quick to carve and fun to assemble.

I have had a lot of positive reaction to my "Bird Carousel", including an offer to buy it from me...but it is not for sale.

As a bonus on this post, I am going to add a photo of the "Bird Carousel" that belongs to my sister and provided the inspiration for my carousel. 

Hanging Birds hand carved mobile
from Kenya, Africa

UPDATED:  I ran into my fellow carver today, the one who gave me the wood for my birds.  He says he now remembers what kind of wood it is..."spalted Maple".  This is a very valued wood for woodcarver due to its unique grains.  So, I'm very pleased I didn't stain or wax it.

Artwork #21- April 11, 2017  Knitted Outfit for Doll - using Disney Movie "Frozen" design

My granddaughter loved the movie "Frozen" when she came for her Christmas visit.  We sang the hit song from the movie "Let it Go" while watching this video.  After she left, I decided to knit her baby doll that I gave her last summer a winter outfit.  Dress, Toque, mitts and shoes...and even a little cape...that doubles as a bag to hold all the clothing so the small pieces won't get lost...all done in the colours and style of the dress "Elsa" wore in the video linked above.  As I've already told readers...I can't really knit.  I call it "Pidgin" knitting...I just take the wool and needles and fashion the creation as I go along.  Something like sculpture...hack off everything that doesn't look like a [whatever].

Here is the completed outfit...that shows you don't always have to be serious when knitting...sometimes you can just knit for fun, or love and let your imagination go wild.

Eva's Doll wearing the Knitted Outfit

Doll Dress, Mittens, Hat and shoes

Close-up of Doll's Hat, Shoes and Mitts
Happy to say they all fit even though
I never measured...and Eva is very
happy with her Doll's new clothes!

Artwork #20- February 6, 2017 "Hand knit Toque and Scarf -

Toque and Scarf in Red, Black and White yarn

It's been a long time since I've put some knitting up on the Crafts Page of this fact it's quite a while since I put anything up...and that is too bad.  I've been doing a lot of arts and crafts...just nothing that I wanted to display...until this hat and scarf set which I knit out of left-over yarn.  It took me about a week to knit.  I really enjoyed the colour matches and the thick wool...which made knitting a lot faster.  I also knit three dog sweaters for my fur children. I used the same design for the dog sweaters as I used in the photos of dog sweaters below.  In the photo below you can see me wearing the hat and scarf, with my pets wearing their sweaters. Knitting is fun, creative and functional!

Webmaster in Toque and Scarf
Dogs in sweaters

Artwork #19 - June 27, 2016 - "Siberian Santas" mixed medium - painted barkwood carvings hung on 19 1/2" x 16 1/2" oil painting on canvas

"Siberian Santas"

This project started off as a quartet of Bark Carving Santas. Cottonwood bark, found on the riverbanks in Northern BC, is an excellent wood to easily carve fanciful figures. I decided to paint mine and also sprinkle a bit of glitter on their beards and fur caps. The Santas are on average 6" high by 2" wide. Then, I had to figure out how to display them. The Santas are free standing and I could group them on a table with some evergreen at Christmas...but I want to display them year round on the wall! I had an old canvass lying around that had some oil paint on it...but it was definitely a reject. So, I covered it in white oil paint and then black oil paint you can see above...rendered it into a scene of a snowy, moonlit Siberian night. Next, how to hang the Santas on the canvass? I wanted to be able to remove them, so gluing was not an option. Well, I nailed a one inch brass nail half way onto the back of each Santa.  Then I used an awl to puncture a small hole in the canvass where I wanted to hang each Santa and, voila!  Each Santa is quite securely attached to the canvass.

Here's a close up of the quartet:

I wish my cell phone photos picked up more detail from the faces of the Santas....they have quite amusing and unique expressions. Bark Carving is a lot of fun, and easy....and it's nice to go out of the "bark carving" box every once in a while. As I did with these fellows.

Artwork #18 - June 9, 2016 'Greenman Traditional Wood Spirit' 

Traditional "Green Man" or Wood Spirit
carved from Basswood.
He's 9" long x 8" wide x 2" thick

"Greenman", a type of "wood spirit", is a popular traditional subject for wood carvers.  They can be made out of wood, iron or ceramic and are generally painted green.  I added a few drops of green oil paint to my "golden oak" oil wood stain and used that, with satisfactory results.  I deliberately made my greenman with crossed eyes...because I plan to hang him high up on the wall of my deck and  didn't want him staring at me all the time...he's supposed to be looking down from a higher location and staring into space.  It looks better in real life than it does in this photo.

Here is a shot of my Greenman on the Wall of my Solarium, off my Deck.  Generally the Greenmen are hung on fences and walls, outdoors, of course

Greenman hung on outdoor wall

Greenman on wall
side vision, showing some of the underside of the carving

Greenman on Deck Wall with Grape Leaves
and raffia

Artwork #17 - June 9, 2016 'Seahorse Seafood Serving Set" 

I have already posted about the "Seahorse Seafood Serving Dish" (Artwork #14) which is also a wall hanging when flipped over (see photo below) and about the Seahorse Candle (Artwork #12). Well, here's the entire set together...for your edification and enjoyment. I use the candle all the time...the other pieces not so much, although they are on view in my kitchen.

Seahorse Seafood Serving Set

I put some potato chips in the centre section

The Napkin Holder is 10 1/2" tall, 5 1/4" wide, the starfish is 5" tall

The Napkin holder carved from basswood and has a place to store wooden cutlery in the Seahorse's head.  The napkin holder is composed of three parts...the Seahorse, Starfish at each end joined by a base.  I glued and screwed the the three pieces together with brass bracket and brass screws.  Currently, I use the Napkin Holder as a cook book holder.

Artwork #16 - February 12, 2016 'Fancy Party Dress" sewn from scratch for a loved one

I started sewing when I was a teenager and made a lot of my own clothes. I also learned to combine sewing with knitting and crocheting. I'm not great at any of the skills....just good enough to get a lot of pleasure from creating an outfit from "scratch" (not using a pattern...just coming up with a design and measuring and following through). I'm very proud to tell relatives that I once crocheted a pant suit (lined) for myself without a pattern. It was in the days of bell bottoms--and the pant legs were suitably flared. I also made my own graduation dress...a concoction of white lace over satin with satin spaghetti straps. It had a lace bolero jacket to match. It was such a success that my girlfriend bought it from wear for HER graduation!

I like to sew, knit and crochet in the winter months and do gardening and outside hobbies in the summer. Sewwwwwww...on to my latest creation.  I offered to make a party dress for a close relative of mine.  She finds it hard to buy dresses that fit her properly. I asked her to furnish me with a dress that did fit...and used that as a template. Today's fabrics are fabulous!  I wish I had the same fabrics back in the day. I chose a royal blue stretchy lace over a same colour jersey fabric.  Both had great stretching capabilities, so size/fit wasn't going to be such a rigourous problem as in days gone by.  I had enough of the lace left over to make a matching shawl and crocheted lace trim on each end of the shawl with bead accents

Below are photos of the dress and shawl...and one with the recipient happily modeling my creation! It fit her wonderfully...even though she never once tried it on during the sewing process.  I have to note here that, due to a weird dyslexia....I am unable to follow a knitting, crocheting or (most) sewing patterns. I HAVE to design it my head...and go from there.  It's like I have to overcome a disability to make these creations!

Completed Dress and Shawl

Shawl with matching pocket book accessory 

Trying on the party dress for the first time!

I am glad my infant granddaughter already shows signs of being a "girly girl".... as I call any girl who enjoys sewing and the "feminine skills"....I'm very much looking forward to passing on some of my tips and hints!

Artwork #15 January 1, 2016 - "Froggy and Oh! Oh!"

....a Children's Storybook
Written, Illustrated and Carved by Greencrow for Eva

The idea for this carving came out of a template in a Woodworking book.  I immediately wanted to carve it for my granddaughter for Christmas. But the frog had a plain dowel in its mouth....which was supposed to be run up and down its back to make a "frog-like" sound. I respectable frog would have a piece of wood in its mouth.  Then the idea came to me to put an insect into the frog's mouth.  A Dragon Fly seemed a natural choice due to the long thin dowel shape. Gradually, the entire story of "Froggy and Oh! Oh!" came to me as I was carving the piece.

Then I decided to make it into a story book so that one year old Eva could read it as she grows. Finally, we created a video out out of the story book so that other children can enjoy the story.  The Froggy sound can be replicated by running a piece of wood (pencil) over any rough surface. Enjoy!

"Froggy" Carved out of yellow cedar 4 1/2" x 1 1/2"
painted and glazed

Oh! Oh! (Dragonfly) cedar dowel  5 3/4" x 6" 
with wooden ball head screwed onto dowel.
Quilted fabric wings stuffed with cotton batting.

Close-up of Oh! Oh! with Froggy in the background

Froggy with Oh! Oh! in his mouth.

Watch the video of "Froggy and Oh! Oh!"....

Froggy and Oh! Oh! Video


Artwork #14 September 7, 2015 - Seahorse Seafood Serving Dish -

 View #1 - Seahorse Serving Dish hanging on the wall
hand carved out of butternut wood 16" x 6 1/4"

 View #2 - Seahorse Serving Dish upside down on a Seashell place mat

 View #3 - Seahorse Serving Dish - ready to be filled with seafood and dip

Finally finished my hand-carved butternut "Seahorse Serving Dish"--which matches the candlestick shown in photographs below. This was a very time-intensive project. I could still sand away till the cows came home.  The "serving side" of the work is stained with non-toxic bee's wax, while the "display/wall hanging side" has a coat of clear veneer added on top of the stain.  I have already used it a couple of times for serving fresh shrimp with sauce.  The hollowed out Seahorse snout will hold a dozen or so toothpicks! When it's not being utilized, it hangs from a nail on my kitchen wall. To complete the seashore motif, I sewed a set of six reversible "seashell" place-mats with matching reversible napkins. The next time I choose wood, I'll examine it more closely for the presence of tiny worm holes.  This piece has quite a few worm holes and, while some would say they "add to the charm"...they were difficult to work around.  As enjoyable as this carving is and as much as I learned from the project,  I believe I've worked out my obsession with seashells and seahorses and am ready to move on. 


Artwork #13 September 6, 2015 - Video of 60's artwork

A brief tour of greencrow's "Mini-Gallery" of oils and sketches - done in the 60's

Video of greencrow's "mini gallery" of 60's artwork.  This is a small representation of the artwork I did while I attended art school in the mid-60's.  It is comprised of "first and/or very early efforts".  The reason it's still together as a "gallery" is because my father had it on display in his home--until his death at 100 in 2013.  I received it back and have now put it up on my walls.  It's a "journey down memory lane" of old styles and mediums.  If I were to go back to doing oils or acrylics (nobody does oils anymore) it would be using an airbrush.  I have a complete airbrush kit given to me as a gift, lying around never used, in my studio.  As my readers know...I've been doing woodworking for the past year or so. That's my excuse for not trying airbrush...and I'm sticking to it! :)


Artwork #12 - June 12, 2015 - Wooden Seahorse Candlestick Centrepiece (Unfinished)

Wooden Seahorse Candlestick Centerpiece
11" x 4 1/2" carved Yellow Cedar

I'm so excited about this latest wood carving I'm working on, that I used it as a centrepiece for a dinner I had--even before it is finished. It's a Seahorse Candlestick carved out of yellow cedar. It has a brass candle holder that will be screwed and glued permanently into place once the candlestick has been sanded and stained. Sometimes, staining can "ruin" a piece so that's why I am enjoying this piece in its natural state. The candlestick is actually part of a very challenging set...a large bowl in three sections in the shape of a Seahorse--for serving seafood and dip (It will also double as a wall hanging/decoration)...and a napkin/utensil holder...also in the shape of a seahorse. These last two pieces are being carved out of butternut wood...which I've never worked with before.  It will take me all summer, at least, to complete my Seahorse Seafood Serving Set (Say THAT fast five times! ;).

Seahorse Candlestick Close-up

I 'll post some photos of the set when it's completed.  It will be interesting to compare whether the candlestick looks better stained and finished, or shown above.


Artwork #11 - May 14, 2015 - Two Carved "Love Spoons"

Carved "Love Spoons" in wall display. I carved the ones on the left and right over the past three months.  The big spoon in the middle is an antique carved wooden spoon picked up in an antique shop in Sweden in 1980.  Carved wooden "Love Spoons" as a tradition date back hundreds of years and were carved throughout Europe.  Legend has it that when a man wanted to marry a woman he carved a spoon to show her father that he was a good wood craftsman. The spoons take all sorts of forms and styles. Some are simple and some are extremely elaborate. I chose two spoons to carve that represented the two ethnic backgrounds in my family...Swedish and Celtic (Irish).  Enjoy!

"Celtic Dragon Love Spoon"
13" x 4"

This spoon is carved out of Bass Wood and was created from a template found in a book of Traditional "Love Spoons". The template did not call for a "jade eye" but that's my touch--as I had a jade ball left over from some jewelry and decided to liven up the piece with a stone insert.

"Traditional Swedish Love Spoon"
12" x 3 1/2"

This spoon was also carved from Bass Wood and the design taken from a template found in a book of traditional love spoons.  I chose one Swedish and one Celtic to represent the two ethnicities in our family.  Hopefully, each child will get to choose a spoon to bring to their own home some day.


Artwork #10  - May 2, 2015 - Two pieces of garden (outdoor) statuary I did way back in 1966...when I was attending Musee de Beaux Arts in Montreal.
 Picasso-style garden nymph
July, 1966 11" high by 16" long by 8" wide 

This sculpture is made out of ciporex (sp?) a kind of blown cement.  It was a block all students were given and asked to form a sculpture out of.  I decided to emulate Pablo Picasso...who was all the rage at the time.  I don't leave these sculptures in my back garden (where they were photographed) due to having three dogs.  I know they would like to pee on them as a kind of critical analysis (: 0)

 "Russian Woman"
July, 1966 13" high by 3" wide

This sculpture was made using a very elaborate process. First I sculpted it in clay..then covered it in plaster of Paris to form a mold (in two halves) and then poured cement into the mold. Then I burnished it with a special brush to make it look like iron. Even though I sculpted it back in 1966...I have always called it "Russian woman"  or "Russian peasant woman".  Who knew that I would become a Russophile and eventually visit Russia! Again, I do not keep this statue outside, due to my dogs perhaps causing damage to it.  It has already been broken once!


Artwork #9 Photos of an urban VanJuly, 1966 11" high by 16" long by 8" widecouver forest on a snowy day in December, 2014

This Great blue heron is a regular on this river and is fishing
This is where I found the toadstools (shown in the photos below) last fall

This is where I found the piece of wild cherrywood, from which I made the carving shown below.  I also found a nice Thorn Wood stick I'm currently carving a walking stick out of.  

Artwork #8 - March 3, 2015 - Wild cherrywood carving

Vänta! ("Wait!") View #1
6 1/4 " tall freestanding

This is a carving made out of a piece of wild cherrywood I found alongside a pathway near a salmon stream in the urban forest where I walk my dogs.  I found the piece of wood on a snowy day last December, 2014 (photos I took that day are shown above on this page).  I like carving out of wild wood more than "bought" (processed wood).  The wood "speaks" to me more clearly. This piece of wood spoke of an old man, virtually blind from cataracts, who hails from northern europe...perhaps Sweden.  (Vänta! is Swedish for "Wait")

Or, perhaps the man came from Siberia. The Swedes settled and populated much of Russia (which is why the Ukraine flag is yellow and blue...Swedish colours). This old man is dying, but wants to go to battle just one more time. That's why he's carrying the cudgel. He is asking his god ("Thor?") not to take him... just yet...."Wait!" It looks like he has blood on his hand... but that's just the natural colours in the wood. There are a lot of colours that came out in the wood, including his nose, which looks like he was a bit of a drinker (: )

The most interesting feature of the old man are his eyes. I made them out of tiny chips of "Aventurine". I knew exactly what colour of stone I wanted when I searched the bucket of discarded stone chips in the lapidary shop next door to our woodworking shop. I regularly peruse this bucket looking for interesting chips to add to my carvings. The person in the shop told me the name of the stone--Aventurine...and, when I looked it up...It said that Aventurine is from Siberia and the healing qualities of the stone include "vision". This was after I had already almost completed my old man.  Amazing!

Here are two more views of Vänta!

Vänta! ("Wait!") View #2

Vänta! ("Wait!") View #3
Note:  the celtic symbol carving in the background was one of my very first pieces.


Artwork #7 - December 19, 2014

Two Homemade Christmas Gifts

The first one is an Alligator I carved out of yellow cedar at the woodworking class I'm enrolled in.  It's 9" x 2".  My teacher gave me the alligator template as a challenge.  I don't even like alligators.... and wouldn't touch it... until I remembered the children's story about the "Frog and the Alligator".  The frog hitchhikes on the alligator's back across the river.  The alligator keeps encouraging the frog to move closer to his head for a "better view".  Once the frog is sitting on the alligator's nose...SNAP!  End of Frog...end of Story.   I had bought a miniature glass frog years ago and, in a fit of inspiration, I glued it onto the lid of the hollowed out stomach...a neat place to hide keepsakes!  A great gift to give a child....together with the cautionary tale (and of course some money tucked into the alligator's belly).

Alligator with Frog
The teeth are made out of toothpicks glued into the mouth and painted white


The second carving is a Gecko/cup also made out of yellow cedar.  It is 8" x 3".  I had a great time carving this one.  I bought a Dremel electric stylus to hollow out the cup...and discovered that I love to Dremel! Of course putting a little largesse and candy in the cup makes it the perfect gift!  A Merry Christmas to all my fellow artists out there!!!  Keep up the good work!

 Gecko Cup

Artwork #6 - December 1, 2014 Here is a selection of Christmas Crafts  I'm currently working on.  I am also working on some wood carving gifts..... which I will show in a later post.   In case you wonder why I'm not blogging as much : )

1.  Christmas Peace Balls -  Says "Peace on Earth - We Only Have One!"


2.  Doggie Hand Knitted Sweaters - with matching Bandanas


3Nut Babies 


4.  Cork Horses




Artwork #5 November 7, 2014 Two charcoal sketches of First Nations aborignal youth.  I sketched Severn and Jacob on August 10, 1966 while attending a summer school for the arts in Elliot Lake Ontario:


18" x 15" charcoal on paper

18" x 15" charcoal on paper

Severn and Jacob....two aboriginal youths from the
 Great Slave Lake region of Northern Canada
I sketched them in charcoal in August of 1966

Artwork #4  October 27, 2014 - Hallowe'en Art:  More seasonal art---this time Scary Hallowe'en wood carvings.

The two carvings below are recent work I've done as part of the "Fantasy" woodcarving course I'm taking.  Fantasy wood carving is quite a niche.  Artwork #1 at the very bottom of this page is also part of this series.

"Cri de Coeur"  (Cry from the Heart)  19", Cottonwood mask carving with tea lights

This wall hanging was literally my first effort in this genre and just took on a life of its own as I was carving it.  The eyes are bright yellow glass (doesn't show up too well in this photo).  And I put a red glass heart in the mouth.  I think I will only be taking this out on Hallowe' it's quite frightening...and frightful : /

"Nevermore" 21" cottonwood carving with tea lights, stained yellow cedar crow
and crow feathers

This piece was better thought out and is dedicated to Edgar Allen Poe's epic poem: "The Raven".  I used parchment paper with a tea light behind it to create the moon.  The crow feathers were collected on walks with my dogs in a nearby urban forest.  Closer detail shown below:

"Nevermore"  Detail #1

"Nevermore"  Detail #2 

PS:  Both these works show off their maximum potential with the battery T-lights on...and the room lights off!

Artwork #3  Photos of Toadstools/Mushrooms in a Pacific Northwest Urban Forest,
October, 2014

I like the idea of art photography.  I just don't have the patience or the camera equipment.  I'm always taking pictures of nature with the idea of doing acrylic paintings of the photos later on...but, again, never get around to it.  Recently, while walking my dogs along the banks of a salmon stream in a local urban forest, I came across a small field of large toadstools.  I noticed them because a mother and a young girl about 5 years old were standing looking at them.  I began to talk with the pair about the find.  It seems the little girl's name was "Alice".  I remarked that another "Alice" (in Wonderland) had a run-in with a caterpillar...who was sitting on a toadstool, smoking a hookah.  The mother laughed, remembering Disney's unforgettable scene.
Disney's Alice and the Caterpillar

  Then the mother and I both said in unison:  "And the caterpillar said to Alice,  'Whoooooo Are You!????"

Toadstools #1 October, 2014

Toadstools #2 October, 2014

Toadstools #3, October, 2014
Toadstools #4 October 2014
Toadstools #5 October 2014

Artwork #2 Children's Artwork circa August, 2000

This is some artwork that a family member recently found in a drawer where it has lain since 2000.  I had a look at it and remembered that I did it with my children on a rainy day when there was nothing else to do.  The project was showing them different mediums you could use with art.  Having looked at the artwork with "new eyes"  ...the pieces stand the test of time.  So I framed them with some cheap frames that were on sale at Michael's.  Our dear departed Flicka has been hung in our kitchen...above where she regularly sat in her long lifetime (14 years).  I'll be giving the two other artworks to a couple expecting their first child.

"Flicka the Family Cat"  August, 2000, 12" x 15", Mixed media (oil pastels, coloured pencils, pen, watercolours, crayons)

"Ladybug"  August, 2000, Potato Art 10" x 8". (create a stamp design on half of a raw potato and then work around it with pen and watercolours)

"Doves" August, 2000, 10" x 8",   This artwork was created by cutting out two doves from cardboard, sticking them on the white background.  Then paint the background with watercolours.  When dry, remove the doves and you will see their images in white.


Artwork #1 Wood Carving August 20, 2014

August 26, 2014 - Here is my first artistic offering for this page.  I had to learn how to upload from "Picasa" not an easy are three views of a recently completed "fantasy" wood carving.  I carved it out of two random pieces of raw cottonwood that had been gathered from the BC forest.  I carved the pieces to be hollow and fit together.  I carved holes in the wood and then glued glass pieces into the holes.  Then I strategically placed battery operated tea the artwork could be lit up from the inside.  Then I gave it away to a friend.  He will be happy to see his gift on the Internet:

"Tearful Totem", 12" high freestanding,
August 20, 2014 
raw cottonwood carving with glass and tea lights



Teresa Spurr said...

Keep up the good work!

RickB said...

Great stuff! Wish you the best with your dreams. Maybe one day I'll be selling photography of Spain.

greencrow said...

Thank you RickB. Art is all around us and is one of the spices that makes some of the negative things that take place on this planet palatable.