Monday, September 26, 2011

A past due Post and a Goodbye

First, let me just say, Wow! It’s been a long time since my last blog post! Over the summer I just kept thinking I’ll do that tomorrow or later today…. Obviously that never happened. I’ll have to do a “Make up” post and tell you about all the fun we had over the summer.

Does anyone even really read this thing??

Near the end of the school year, Jensen needed help making an Oregon Trail project. He wanted to make a covered wagon like Gordon did when he was in 4th grade. Really, it almost isn’t fair to the other kids who don’t have a wood loving Mother!  Do I sound a little bit conceited?

We went to the garage together and I cut some circles out of ¼” wood for wheels with my band saw. This is after we used every lid and bowl in the cupboard to trace around until we found just the right size. We carefully marked the placement for the spokes. I was all ready to cut out the little triangles so they would actually look like wagon wheels. It worked well for Gordon’s last time.

We walked over to my scroll saw with our safety glasses in place. I turned on the light over my workbench and then pulled out the power knob to start the saw. Nothing. Not one movement. No smoke. No burned smell. Just nothing. We turned it on and off a few times and still nothing. It was dead. Really dead.

How can I express my sadness at this loss? I can’t even begin to count the many hours I’d spent cutting pieces of wood to cut and paint.

It was a Christmas gift from my Dad 17 years ago.

Christmas 1994 found me in a very sad state of mind. I had just had my second and third of our 5 miscarriages. We were living in Orem, Utah and Garth was going to graduate in April.

I was so sad and really felt sorry for myself. It didn’t help that around the same time that lady in the south admitted to drowning her two boys in her car and that she hadn’t been car jacked.

I really don’t remember why Garth was already in Oregon but I flew to Oregon to join him for Christmas. I was so excited when I received this saw! I spent many hours learning how to use it. It probably sounds a little strange but that little saw really helped me on the road to healing my mind and testimony.

Anyway, here we were last May/June and we didn’t have a saw that could cut out wagon wheels! Of course we were on a time limit and couldn’t just go to the hobby store and buy some pre-made wheels.

We ended up building the top of the wagon and then taking Gordon’s apart. We used the base of his with the wheels. Jensen’s wagon itself is made from some old cedar fence boards to give it a nice rustic look. We were very pleased with the outcome but I’m afraid Gordon was a little upset over his being taken apart! He eventually got over it. I think. Yet another possible need for therapy later in his life?

Back to the saw…

Over the weekend I was cleaning and attempting to organize my side of the garage. I unscrewed my beloved scroll saw from the workbench and Garth gave the motor a good look to see if it was salvageable. It wasn’t. When I started to carry it to the garbage can Garth asked if I needed him to do it, I looked him in the eye and said “no, I need to do it” It was so hard not to cry!

Goodbye my old friend!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wire Picture/Note Frames How To!

So, a few years ago, I saw something somewhere that I thought was pretty cool.  So, of course, I decided I could do it just a bit better.  Or, in other words... Do it so I would like it better!

These have been really good sellers at my bazaars.

If you don't care about the how to, just skip on down the pictures...

First, you need to go to your local Home Depot or th equivalent.  Make sure to bring your teenage son to help.  Head on over to the big pile/display of 1x2's.   They come in 8' lengths.  Sometimes it takes a bit to find the straight ones in the pile but you can do it!  I usually buy 10 or more at a time.  They are usually around $1.00 each.  If you can't fit 8 foot boards into your car, have them cut it in half for you.

You can get one frame out of one 8' board but if you want it bigger than roughly 21" square you will need two.  Sometimes I decide the size I'm going to make before I cut them.  More often than not I decide as I'm cutting them.

Here they are all cut and numbered so I don't get them mixed up.

Next, sand the pieces just a bit...

Then Paint them

Sand them again.  The more you sand the more rustic they will look.

Then slap some stain on the pieces.  You can put them together first if you like.  I like to use Minwax water based stain because it dries fast and cleans up with soap and water.  I used to be able to buy it already in the color I wanted but now I have to have the clear base tinted.  I like to use American Walnut.

Screw them together.  I use my nail gun to put them together then screw them for more stability.  Don't forget the glue!

For the wire, I like to use "tie wire"  you can find it at Ace or Home Depot.

It is really greasy though so you should have an old rag or paper towels handy to wipe it off.  I cut my pieces then wipe them off.

Wrap the wire around something round.

Alternate the circles.

If you don't have a staple gun like this one.  You should get one or borrow one!  You will need an air compressor as well.  If you use a home hand stapler (the kind you re-cover chairs with) you will need to use several staples and hammer them down to keep the wire taut.

Stretch the wire and start stapling it into place

When you are finished, the wire will look all crooked and messy.  The beautiful thing about wire is that you can just bend it until it is straight and lovely.

If you want, you can cut out some stars or flowers or hearts and use them too.  I use my band saw to cut them out.  My scroll saw recently died.  More on that later...  You can also buy pre cut shapes at Michaels.

You can use clothespins or not to hold all your pictures and stuff.

So, there you go.  I'm going to put these in my wood etsy shop just as soon as I can figure out an easy way to ship them!

Monday, April 11, 2011

But..... I did it last time!

Recently, Garth and I decided it was high time for an actual job chart for the Walker Family.  Since our refrigerator is usually covered with pictures and things to not forget I needed a place to put a job chart. 

I thought about it and had a vision.

My vision didn't have these blurry cell phone pictures though.  Why didn't I just go upstairs and get the real camera?  Laziness.

So, first I went to Costco and bought a magnetic dry erase board for $19.99.  It looks just like this one but without the containers attached to it.

This is going to go in the kitchen and I didn't want that lovely aluminum frame to ugly it up so I took it off.

I purchased some pine 1x4's to make a new frame.
First, I needed to route the edges so they would look nice and route out the part where the white board would go.

Here they are, ready for cutting.

I cut the edges with a 45 degree angle so they would fit nicely together.

I painted the pieces black then sanded them so they had a nice rustic look.  As an amazing finish contractor who spends his days making things nice and smooth and pretty, my Dad doesn't like the word "rustic". 
Sorry Dad!

I nailed the frame together so it looks like this

Then I stained it with American Walnut stain and inserted the white board. 

I added some hooks and acrylic knobs that make me happy and hung it on the wall!

Within minutes, Gordon addes his touch.

Soon, I'll print some job charts and hang them on the white board with lovely magnets.  Once we decide we like the "format"  I'll have a friend cut some vinyl to make it official.

Gordon and Jensen are anxiously waiting......   Poor babies.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Don't love Dogs.....

I really really don't love dogs or cats or little furry anythings. 
Waaaayyyy too many reason s to list.  really.

Last year, Garth's parents called to say they were going to serve a mission for our church in Taipei, Taiwan. 

The first thought that popped into my head was "we could take Penny"

What?  Where did that come from?  A dog.... in MY house?  For a whole year and a half?  Crazy.

I do believe my Mother-in-law was a little apprehensive about leaving her baby with her non pet loving daughter-in-law.  Her other one loves dogs.

I believe Penny and I have done pretty well so far.  She thinks I love her and I do like her a lot.  She is cute.

Little Penny is turning 7 soon if not already.  I think she was born in March.
She is a Trained Therapy Dog and really very well behaved. 

We've had her for 10 months now.  In those 10 months, she's learned to go potty outside. Yay!  She was used to potty papers at her house.  My in-laws live at the Running Running Y Ranch in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  Penny could be eaten by any number of bigger than her things.

She's taken over one of our family room chairs.

If there is a blanket on the couch she's gonna test it out.

She sleeps on Jensen's bed

Every morning she does this hoping for tummy rubs.  She usually gets them.

She believes all legs are for getting comfy on

We made her a bed for Christmas

This is her real Mom and Dad

We try to send pictures and videos to them often. 

I know My Mother-in-law Ellen misses Penny terribly.  They will be home in October and Penny will take up her usual position on Ellen's shoulders as she sits and reads by the window.

I might miss her.