Heads up folks! We interrupt the whittling of a 1/2" ball for the whittling of hearts. Valentine hearts that is. My daughter decided that she was not going to take her Christmas tree down this year, but instead decorate it as a Valentine tree. She e mailed that she needed "rustic" wooden hearts of various sizes. It occurred to me that there is a lot to learn by just providing some knife cuts at the edge of a piece of wood.
I first traced some hearts onto 1/4" thick Basswood, and cut them out. I interpreted rustic to mean randomly "scalloped" edges. There is some good knife technique practice in whittling these "scallops" around the edges of the cut out heart. You must first determine which direction the grain is, and then cut the scallop with the grain. The grain changes direction so you'll have to also change your cutting direction. You should take this time to practice slicing with the knife. You'll learn to kind of "curl" the knife blade to produce clean "scallops". After you do several dozen hearts, you will not only have practiced a specific knife cut, but when painted, and with a loop of thread these hearts become tree ornaments.
I plan to make some for me too. I think I'll whittle T.H. Loves B. H. on them and hang them around the house on Valentines Day.