Let's start with a 4" X 4" by 6" block of basswood.
Then, a front sketch for the front to back coping to make the template.
A little work on the band saw and Minnie is ready to delineate the side view.
(It never fails, I always spend a great deal of time drawing a reasonably accurate front view. Then, I end up with "depth scratches" on the sides and back.)
If I'm lucky, I can cut off the complete front view. That allows me to set it in place and give me a fairly good estimate of where I'm cutting.
The Stetson hat and Minnie's ears gave me quite a challenge. I figured she's a cartoon and it's my carving, I'll just make her ears go right through her hat!
After you see how the piece develops I'll explain how the hat, mug, crop and outfit came to be part of this piece
I've done one other pair of boots and even this character (The Disney VIT Tour Guide) before so I tried to alter the piece because I prefer not to repeat characters. However, tying all these items into one piece made it all worth while.
The actual boot behind Minnie is one of my Father's boots when he was a young man. He called himself "The Whispering Ranger." He sang requested songs on WESX AM radio in his 20's in the late ''30s and early '40s. I'm proud to be able to still have his boots. They are very small and in time gave him lots of problems with his feet. But they looked great.
(I plan to put together a post about my Dad's story at a later date.)
At first I wanted to carve Minnie's boots just like Dad's but I decided to go with "Cowgirl" boots instead.
As Minnie comes together you can visualize a few of the items in her title.
She's sealed and ready for paint!
And now.... the rest of the story....
The recipient of this piece is obviously a Disney Cast Member. She was a VIP Tour Guide and has a number of miniatures of these "guides" on her desk. Hence the PLAID outfit and crop.
Her friend (and one of my "sleuths") told me Melanie is working toward her Master's Degree at Stetson University here in Florida. The University Mascot is the "Stetson Hatter."
And that's how the cowboy hat and boots fit into the piece.
The real "kicker" is the beer mug! One of my "sleuths" told me that Melanie frequents the Town Tavern for a beer or two after class. In fact she's managed to be awarded her own "mug" to be placed on the "Wall of Fame" in the establishment.
Now you know just how the title and the carving ideas developed into,
"I'm Just a Stetson Hatter, Beer drinkin' PLAID Kinda Gal" came to be!