Last year I decided to do some carving across the grain, and pencilled out a fairly complex design. Sadly, I then got distracted by other things, and by the time I came back to the wood (Noble Fir, a section of 2009's Christmas tree) in December, the section I had cut was well and truly seasoned and hard as nails.
After giving myself blisters trying to cut in my pattern, I decided to cut my losses and go for a very simple pebble shape with a star on one side and just cut the grain into the other side to emphasize it.
This year, because of the snow, we didn't manage to buy a Christmas tree, but instead cut a holly bush from the garden and used that. Holly is a lovely carving wood, particularly if you cut it when it is green, so I decided to press on without much of a plan, and cut off all the bits that didn't seem to belong. Once I'd done that, it turned out that there was a cat inside.
I've not drilled the hole or hung the 2010 carving yet, as it's still very wet and I don't want it to split. Centrally heated houses are murder on green wood. So at the moment it's in a plastic bag in the cool in the utility room.