The manufacture of the tiles turned into a huge effort.
Helen and I ended up hiring one of my nieces to assist in
this. The main thing was the simply enormous and unforeseen
amount of sanding the project required. Here you see the
transition from a blank to a rounded, grain-filled tile to a primered piece,
to a finished piece ready for decopaging. A good part of the
reason for this is that the Lyptus is a very open-grain wood,
and we wanted the tiles to be very, very smooth -- like the
bakelite sets we enjoy playing with.
Though Lorien proposed this project in August, no work on any of
the physical parts of the set got started until the beginning of
November. Lorien spent a huge amount of time sifting through
various screenshots, publicity stills, and tons of other
Buffyverse pictures to find good images for the honors. As well,
she had to find convincing symbols for the other tiles.
Helen and I really started working seriously on
this at the beginning of November, when we started construction
of the tile blanks. We thought this would be relatively
straightforward: cut, shape, and sand. Helen took the edges off
the individual blanks using a Dremel and sanding down using
progressively lighter grades of sandpaper (starting at about 120
or so and finishing with 320). As November stretched into the
middle of December, we started making jokes about the Death March of
Sanding. Helen says she now has favorite
grades of sandpaper, which -- along with the split skin on her
thumb -- stands as a testament to the simply
staggering amount of work she and Lorien did on this,
a true labor of love for all of us. Happy Hannukkah, Becky!