Little Remnants of Wood

DH had some fellow woodworking enthusiasts and newbies over to make a fun project, a perfume or oil holder, turned on the lathe. He ordered some kits ahead of time with the 10K gold fittings, from Craft Supplies USA. I think he cut some pen blanks from cocobolo wood, but one can easily use little remnants of wood leftover from another project, or chunks of acrylic or various other hard substances that can be chucked up and turned on the lathe. Here’s a little gallery of the process:

Hope this format is understandable! Altogether a fun couple of hours.

A Little Wooden Reno-redo

DH tackled an item that’s been on his “honey-do” list for a while, part of our Arts and Crafts bathroom renovation.

We got a new shower door, put up some wainscoting and painted the upper walls gray to sort-of match the formica cabinet and the fixtures. It used to be lavender and blue, with a sailing sort of a theme. We figured since lots of other parts of the house are Craftsman-style, we’d gravitate toward that decor for the guest bathroom as well.

Here’s the ugly mirror with its peeling-from-the-underside edges:

bathroom mirror

ugly-edge mirror

DH had the brilliant idea of assembling a frame to go around the mirror and hide that shabby peeling edge.

framed mirror

the framed mirror

He used a pine-cone tile [one we’d bought a long time ago, thinking to use for something, but nothing came up until now] for a center piece for the upper frame. He added ebony plugs at the corners of the frame pieces.

framed mirror

in this b&w view, can you see the ebony plugs in the upper right corner?

He added a cloud lift to each upper corner:

cloud lift

cloud lift

cloud lift

right corner cloud lift

It wasn’t truly a simple project, because the wood he used was very spring-y so it was hard to glue the frame in place; the middle would bow up while the ends were being pushed down and vice versa. He tried several types of epoxy and Tite-bond II. Clamps wouldn’t fit in this scenario. We spent some quality time together in meaningful conversation while mashing the frame onto the glass with our out-stretched palms until the 5-minute set-up time was accomplished. He had to cut, sand, and varnish the wood, then he added the ebony plugs, and cut, sanded, varnished, and added the cloud lifts, so that was a lot of embellishing to the simple frame. Once completed, though, the frame added a whole new level of style to the room.

bathroom mirror

Unframed mirror before (note the ring-tailed varmint, Grayzie, in the background)

Postscript:

The idea that he had installed some cloud lifts to the frame, with nothing for them to lift, weighed heavily on DH’s conscience. He had to add an additional feature to the frame –two ledges or small shelves or lengths of frame just above the cloud lifts so  the lifts didn’t look just stuck on, they would be performing their function of lifting. I think it looks even better. And he feels better about the whole project.

framed mirror

completed mirror frame

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symmetrical

bench

Arts and Crafts Style bench

My husband’s first bench finished. Faux ebony accents, matching cut outs. Yes, he’s going to make three more just like it. For more symmetrical, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

wooden egg kaleidoscope

An egg Kaleidoscope 1) ready to be turned on the lathe, 2) finished in gilded holder, and 3) photobombed by Bob the cat’s tail as he sashayed by

 

Before: block of wood ready to be mounted on a lathe, to be turned into an egg-shaped kaleidoscope by my DH. After: He made the one in back that is sitting in its little stand. During: Bob’s tail is always close by. For more Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition photos, look here. I’ve seen more cool photos on this challenge than ever before: it must be the subject. Juxtaposition? A posed picture that makes you go “wow!”
And this is for Zero to Hero Day 22 assignment: take part in a blogging event.

Remnants of the 7th Annual Turkey Shoot

My DH, at many times in his life, has been a youth leader at church. This year, after a hiatus of doing other things at church, he’s back with the youth and so he wanted to revive an old Thanksgiving tradition: The Annual Turkey Shoot.

Turkey Shoot

Turkey Shoot

The young men were supposed to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for about 30 invited guests, including empty nesters and folks who might be alone or away from their family for the holiday. The young women were assigned the job of decorating. They provided table decorations, fresh flowers, fall leaf garlands, and these crafty little ornaments and fridge magnets that they put together ahead of time so each guest could have a memento of the event. DH ended up getting some already cooked turkeys and pumpkin pies from Honeybaked Ham. The only real cooking was minimal: baked sweet potatoes, mixing up packages of cornbread stuffing, throwing packages of frozen green beans into a pot of boiling water and simmering for 10 minutes, and pouring jars of turkey gravy into a pot and warming it up. There were also packages of rolls from the grocery store and margarine sticks on the tables, and pitchers of ice water. About 35 people sat down to eat.

crafty mementos

crafty mementos

Each youth was to serve as a personal waiter to a guest, asking what they wanted (i.e., “Would you like gravy on your stuffing?” “Would you like whipped cream on your pie?”) and then going to the kitchen and preparing and serving each plate of food.

kitchen scene

kitchen scene

More than that, the youth were asked by the leaders to go and sit at the tables with the guests and talk with them. “We know you might feel like you want to sit with your friends,” counseled one of the leaders. “But go and sit with the guests. Ask them to tell you stories, things about their lives and some Thanksgiving memories.” The kids learned that one lady had been in the military, and another man had once lived in Cebu, the island in the Philippines that is now serving as a staging area for the relief effort after the Supertyphoon went through last week.

enjoying each other's company at dinner

enjoying each other’s company at dinner

guests had good stories to tell

guests had good stories to tell

Then came the entertainment portion of the evening. Traditionally, the turkey was shot using whatever implements of destruction the young men devised at the time, be it paintballs, slingshots, blow darts, bow and arrows…but this year one of the boys had a friend who taught him the art of throwing knives. So he passed along his instructions and let everyone who wanted have a go.

Calling on his woodworking and engineering skills, DH made the turkey out of two sheets of plywood and bolted them together with a screwed-on panel across the back. He transferred the design onto the boards by using the graph method. He drew a grid of squares onto the picture and then a larger grid onto the boards. By eyeballing and drawing what was in each small square into the corresponding large square, he had a pencil outline of what he wanted it to look like. He wanted to use latex paint, but alas, the only colors he could find at the hardware store were red, yellow and black. That’s why it is an orange turkey instead of a brown one. I discovered that I liked the idea of painting something that was going to be riddled with knife-wounds by morning.

demonstrating the art

demonstrating the art


zeroing in on it

zeroing in on it

Score!

Score!

two out of three!

two out of three!

Weekly Photo Challenge The Golden Hour

Wood drying in the golden hour

Wood drying in the golden hour

For the weekly photo challenge, we are supposed to take a pic in natural light, during the golden hour before sunset or after sunrise.

Although other entries I’ve seen look much more golden-colored than my shots, that’s what I’ve got. And this one is from late in that hour after sunrise. The first set I took, about 10 minutes after sunrise, all used the flash. Duh. The second set I took, I had forgotten to insert the SD card. Duh. Uh oh. Clutz! During this set, the light outside was much more golden than the previous two attempts. And when I experimented with “enhance” on the photo editor, it took out the gold and made the look of it more neutral-colored. Don’t worry, I undid that so this photo you see is un-edited.

But I appreciate the opportunity to get up at this magical hour, with a 2-yard piece of fabric from the sewing room wrapped around me sarong-style, because I didn’t want to wake up DH who will be snoring for another hour at least.

This is just one of his piles of wood drying. We had to cut down some trees to better make use of our rooftop solar collectors. Since he is a worker in wood, those trees did not go to the dump, they got sawn into planks for him to make into future furniture and bowls.

Sewing and Spinning Wood

This year it seems hotter and muggier earlier, here in Central Florida. While it’s hot and muggy outside, sewing in the air-conditioned sewing room is a much more preferable activity than woodworking in the sweltering shop, even though a fan is blowing the sawdust and wood chips around. In the shop, I have to wear a plastic mask.

working on lathe, with mask

As you can imagine, this activity is very sweaty….so….

I made myself a sweat band, similar to the one I made for DH a few posts back.

sweat band materials & lunch

assorted lost-cause odd sizes of elastic

I found some old towel remnants that were left over from hooded towel and purse projects, a scrap of collegiate fabric, and I picked a soft, blue knitted elastic, sewed and trimmed and turned, and came up with this.

Gator Sweat Band

I like the added terry towel mini-band in the back, because the nape of my neck is where the sweat action is.

The other annoying dividend of woodworking in the sweaty dead heat of summer is getting sawdust and woodchips down your bra. But we’ll address that issue on another day!

I used a little block of cherry wood for my woodturning project.

wood remnants

Cherry wood spurtle

A spurtle (or spirtle) is a Scottish kitchen implement for stirring porridge. Or so they say. I think it looks like a rather thick wand. I mean, I not only need a spurtle, I need a wand, as well. If you’ve ever been to The Wizarding world of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, you know darn well that you can go to Ollivander’s shop there and a wand will choose YOU. (They don’t tell you that you get the same wand as others who have a birthday near the time of yours, or that it’s going to cost you about 30 bucks. If you have a lot of youngsters who want a wand, wow! is it going to cost you! You will find out! You might as well buy a lathe and start turning.) Now, some of these fancy blocks of wood can be expensive. Would you go for a wand made of birch, holly, hawthorne, or maybe elder? And then the tricky part is how to manage putting in the core—dragon heartstring? Phoenix tail feather? Hmmm—wonder how invincible I could be with an elder wand…J/K.

I used a regular roughing gouge to get the square edges off, then I switched to the Easy Tools to work on the bead, the tulip sort-of handle, and the tapered end of the spurtle. Easy Tools are very different because rather than just being a shaft of metal with a sharp angled blade, they have carbide bladed thing-a-ma-jigs on the ends of them. They are truly easy to use, so much that DH thinks you are cheating when you use one of them rather than a skew chisel. My DH was so proud of my spurtle, he wanted to oil it for me so he could really admire my workmanship. He bought some mineral oil, but you can use any food-grade oil to finish it, like peanut oil or sweet almond oil.

Spurtle waiting to be put to use

Do you see my copy of the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook? It’s got a recipe for thick treacle porridge…

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