Saturday, February 28, 2015

a functional entryway

meg farrels' hallway: design sponge

There are two pieces of furniture in this picture.  The wall mounted shelf with hooks creates usable hanging space for coats and bags.  Functional and decorative items sit above at eye level.

Below, a bench is a place to set a bag down, or sit and remove boots.  Footwear can be stored under the bench.

No expensive cabinetry is required.  Just two simple pieces that transform a bare hallway, so it becomes a convenient and homey place to transition from indoors to outdoors.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

perfect house

Houses don't need to be big.  They just need to be perfect.  Like this one.

With hand made twiggy railings and wood shingle roofs

Source: Small House Bliss
And plastered walls and beautiful green stillness around.

I'd love to make a house like this for myself.  Slowly, with time.  And I'd love to make perfect homes for others.  The workshops I take this summer will keep me moving toward that dream.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

starting on toy bench

I finalized the design with my clients.  This is a side view of the toy bench.

I found this design in a book on country furniture, and modified it:

After the design process was complete, I purchased the wood.  
Here is the wood stacked on the sawhorses I made at Hammerstone School's women's carpentry class.  They've come in handy!

Then I transferred my design onto the wood...

...and cut it out using my coping saw.  As my arms were burning, I was wishing I'd accepted the free jigsaw I was offered earlier this year!  However, there is a nice handmade irregularity to the cuts.

I've got two of these so far:

I'm interested to see how long this project takes.  And I'm loving the process!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

simple shelf

This shelf is made from 5 boards.  Hung on a wall, it transforms a space.


People need shelves like these on their walls.  Having objects like these on display, or at hand for use, makes a room feel more comforting.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

do the hardest thing

You know that thing that you're avoiding?  That sort of nags at you because you're not sure you can do it?  You put it off till last, happily washing dishes, checking emails, or sweeping the floor, because your success rate at those tasks is 100%.

I'm starting to see that I'm going to have to start facing my scary hard things first.  The things I don't think I can do aren't as bad as I think.

I finished this table.  Sixteen mortise & tenon joints.  I attached the table top.  Then I mounted the vise.  The vise was the part I'd been dreading.  I had to do it last, once the table was done.  The vise is extremely heavy and I was afraid that somehow it would fall and land on my toe or break something.

Also, drilling holes in the table top was tricky, the bit wandered, I did things in the wrong order.  But  in the end, I didn't mess up my beautiful tabletop.

I followed the directions, bought a special drill bit to drill larger holes, and installed the heavy vise using lag bolts.  It's on.  It wasn't particularly easy but I did it.

What other hardest things am I avoiding?  Well, there's a long list.  I'm going to make a personal challenge to courageously face them, one at a time, until scary things aren't as scary.

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote "Your fears are boring".  This comes to mind as I type this.  I am loaded up with fears, but writing them here makes them seem boring.  You should be turning away, distracted as I ramble on and on about how scary things are.  Good.  I'll stop now.  I'll go do one hard thing.  See you!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

table is done!

Esther Freud's house
I finished my table.  I don't have photos right now as the computer got overhauled and all pictures are on the external hard drive for now.  However, I'm happy to be done, and to have a new improved work space in addition to the countertop I'd been working on.

Next project is a toy bench/box for a friend's baby.  I found a great design in a furniture book, which I'll modify slightly.  I'm gathering my energy for this next project, which I hope is a lot simpler than my table was.

I am making plans for this summer, making up my own apprenticeship program with travel and a variety of experiences.  A new idea is to purchase a van and use it for my travels.  A portable home for the summer.  And I'm excited to be heading west!

The image above is one I saved as my desktop image.  I love how the timbers add coziness to this room.  Have a cozy evening if it is winter where you are.  Soup, warm bread, tea, toast, blankets, hot baths, candlelight.  I wish it all for you.