First, you need to pick out a log that will work for a wall hanging. This is a good project for using a hollow log that you may have hand, but it doesn't have to be hollow to work. Smaller logs can work just as well. I am using catalpa, but any wood that can endure the weather outside will do.

I prefer to have a project in an upright position while I am working on it so that I am seeing it as it will be seen by the viewer. Since these are large pieces and can be quite heavy, we will need to make a hanging bracket that will support the weight of each log and keep the log from moving too much as we carve it.

Poor Santa is overdue for a little rest and relaxation after a long night delivering presents around the world. This is a quick and fun project. Make simple changes to the pattern to create your own unique carving—be creative.

Before you get started, I suggest that you carve the star on the top of the tree last, because the grain direction makes it a little fragile. This area will require light cuts that are made with sharp tools.

This useful spoon came into my household by way of my mother-in-law, who says that a farmhand made it way back when she was a little girl in Minnesota. In my book, since she is now 85 years old, that makes this an antique spoon. It looks like it has been around for a long while, but I was surprised to find that it was a very handy tool in the modern kitchen. It is long enough to stir a deep pot, deep enough to be used as a ladle, and thin at the edges for taking a sip of the soup. The flat end on the bowl is great for stirfry and for getting the last bits out of the skillet, like a spatula.

We discovered Gary Burns while checking out some Internet websites and this pine knot fish jumped out at me. We immediately thought that the readers of Carving Magazine would enjoy this creative project. SeaBastion the Fish can easily be adapted for hand tools as well...have fun!

If you were a teenager in the 1950s as I was, this project may bring back some fond memories. The 50s was a great era in which to grow up. It was a time of relative peace and prosperity and rock-a-billy was our music. Remember Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps?