Monday, October 20, 2014


My goal is to consume less and create more.  Specifically, less "research" and "inspiration" time spent on tumblr, blogs, and pinterest.  More time working on actual projects I already have in the works.  Here is a drawing of a table/work bench I'm making right now.

(The quality of my photographs is a subject for another post.  As you may guess it hasn't been a priority, but I'd like to return to posting with really beautiful photographs.)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Creating Beauty

"Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul."
--Alice Walker

That sentence captures what drives me when I make things.  Whether sewing clothes or building furniture, I am creating in a way that heals me.

One challenge that I face is that beauty is so easy to find online.  There are so many pictures.  I get a big hit of euphoria when I overload myself with beauty, as is easy to do.  You can see one of my picture collections here.

Beauty is also easy to find if you want to just shop for it.

But if you want to be a maker of beautiful things, you will have to adjust to a slower pace.   Rather than scrolling or clicking, you must go slowly and patiently, and wait days or weeks for your creation, which will not be perfect, to be completed.  It's a real thing though.  And it's all yours.

So I'm wondering if I should take a break from all the pretty pictures I love to look at online.  It's too much!  And it satisfies me before I even lift a finger to make the things i want to make.

Monday, October 13, 2014

timber framing

Last weekend I did three days of timber framing at a workshop in Virginia.  I took the workshop at Heartwood Building School in Massachusetts last summer.  This workshop helped to refresh my memory of all the terms (arris, slick) and techniques I learned there, plus more.  

I like the purity of timber framing.  Using only a chisel, mallet, and pegs, you can turn timbers into the framework of a home.  Of course, you can incorporate lots of power tools too, such as a chain mortiser, which cuts down on time a lot.  Or planers to smooth the timbers so they look less rough than the one in the picture above.

There were maybe 20 or 30 others working on the frame, a mix of experienced and recreational timber framers, and a few people who were completely new to it, but had carpentry experience.  There was plenty of guidance, and a laid back, friendly atmosphere.

This is what we built:

It's called a woodshed, but it could serve other purposes too.  It will be auctioned off to benefit a program that prevents violence in families.

On a project like this, you work on pieces, and at the end, we put all the pieces together.  My own contribution felt small but it's there.