Aspen Log Legs

I had the task of wrapping a wedding gift for a wedding on the mountain in Vail, Colorado. Having hiked more than once on the Berrypicker Trail, which climbs from the east end of town to the top of Lionshead wandering through numerous groves of very tall aspens, I was moved to start my wrap by digging through my collection of aspen blocks. I found four 1/4-round pieces and put them aside.

Next I wrapped the gift in layers of white paper. I did not have any paper with the qualities of luxurious wedding-dress fabrics, so I relied on the trim to bring that element into the wrap. I used various solid color ribbons: dark purple, dark green, white. I also had one large clean paper doily from a supermarket cake. I wrapped the ribbon around the box, trapping the doily between two sets of ribbon.

Next I cut the round shoulder into the aspen logs, and sanded down their milled surfaces. The curved surfaces I left with their natural, streaked exteriors intact as found. Then I airbrushed magenta and green directly into the wood. I glued them onto the white paper wrap. This worked well functionally. The four legs supported the gift. But it did not feel good when handling the wrap; the legs made the paper wiggle. So I cut some aspen twigs and glued them in as beams between the legs, under the wrap; they are not easily visible but they do look good if found by the curious.

The wrap was getting better, but the big blank sides, with only white ribbon cried out for more. I glued on the orange ribbons and that was all it took for things to look close to complete. I added a purple bow on top. I took a piece of abalone shell, signed the wedding couple’s names, and those of the donor (Linda and me), and glued this quasi-gem into the center of the bow.

The wrap was done, a spirited combination of references to wedding custom and to the setting of the actual event.