Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

… then there’s Steve who decides to make a cedar tongue and groove liner for the drawer that will hold some woolens. Last year, in 2020, around this time he’d crafted a dining room table out of three different woods, made a cutting board out of some of the remainders, and gave me some of the shavings from the tapered legs so that I could experiment with some wall art.

This year he received a commission (from me) to create a side table. He purchased some live edge wood and is experimenting with mortise and tenon jointwork for the legs. That incomplete project is leaning against the wall in his woodworking shop with one experimental leg sticking out. The focus right now is to methodically complete the cedar lining for one drawer, and with the remainder make some cedar blocks to hang in the closets.

The former owners of the house left behind a large wooden piano seat top. He’s planning to turn that into a utilitarian table to help organize his work space and properly sort out works-in-progress. I asked, silly me, why don’t we grab a hammer and some nails and put legs on that thing right now. With an arched eyebrow he described his plan to make a frame, the seat will rest on the frame, and legs will attach to the frame, just like the dining room table.

But of course.

2021 was a hard year physically (though not as hard as some I can remember!). He is not pleased at how long it is taking him to complete a project or sometimes even to saw through a thin sheet of wood. As his “sous chef” in the shop I am picking up a whole new language involving woods and tools. I’ve learned how to loosen a hold fast and help make a handle for a delicate Japanese saw blade. But mostly what I’m learning is a different kind of patience. Patience in working with the wood … you can’t rush it or you’ll destroy the wood or worse yet tools. Patience with that fellow as he learns, at least I hope he’s learning, to be patient with himself as he moves forward in the world at a different pace.

Oh, did I mention he has plans to make another dining room table? The plans are just in his head for the moment. When he starts to sketch it out on random pieces of paper that he leaves lying around the house then I’ll know he’ll make it real. At this pace … and keeping in mind I will co-opt his time with gardening related matters … he may not finish that table until Christmas 2022. And that’ll be just fine.

Read Full Post »

Once upon a time, I made jewelry.  It was a hobby to give my hands something to do when I wasn’t writing and my eyes something to concentrate on when I wasn’t watching television.

I was simply following in the footsteps of my friends who did much more elaborate, skilled, and exquisite work.  I admired their craftsmanship and eyes for design while I mostly played around with colors and textures.

Up to a certain point I could be disciplined enough to complete a piece but then more and more pieces remained unfinished.  That’s when I realized mostly what I wanted to do was experiment with placement of beads and unique baubles.

I still have the tools to make jewelry, at least my simple kind.  I have not tried in years. These pieces, and many more, I found in an old jewelry box as I was trying to do some early Spring cleaning.

Some pieces I may keep to wear while others will most certainly continue to be used as photographic inspiration.  As for individual beads and baubles, still unstrung, I may share some of those with a young friend still quite fascinated by the colors of the rainbow and how to hold bits of it in your hands.

And once there has been some space cleared in that jewelry box, perhaps I’ll try my hand at creating some new pieces. Or at least I can dream. 😉

Read Full Post »

Neither of us remembers purchasing it or even receiving it as a gift. So if you did give it to one of us, we both apologize for not remembering. The wind chimes are quite beautiful and the craftsmanship superb.

It surfaced this weekend, found in a bag of “stuff for review,” a bag which then got buried by other bags and dust and such. Someone had carefully wrapped the chimes in a Boston Globe newspaper dated 2008.

It now hangs at the kitchen window. On the inside, not the outside.  Just enough wind comes through so that there is the occasional gentle tinkle.

I am tempted to hang it outside on the oak tree.  I wonder what the red bird would think? 😉

Read Full Post »

… but sometimes, it is.  This day’s activity began with a desire to start sending out holiday cards.  Inspired by recent interactions with children of all ages and with artists from many different backgrounds, I decided to err on the side of curiosity and creativity.  For a while I had been wondering if I could transform one of my postcards (a simple stand of trees) into holiday stationery.   Today I decided to go for it.  I searched my supplies for white glitter to mimic snow upon dark branches but all I could find was gold glitter and a little blue, a bunch of old papers and stickers, some scissors and a bit of glue.  And so …

In the end, I expect I will send them to my youngest friends and family (or those who are quite young at heart), and who do not mind a bit of sparkle in their mailbox. 😉

Read Full Post »

I recently sent my young nephew a paper object (a train).  I warned his parents that it was coming through the mail, and that I did not expect it to last more than one gleeful scream and then be forever changed as strong young hands enjoyed an ephemeral object.  And that was okay.  I wanted to give him a gift that could be enjoyed in the moment and not worried about preserving.

These ephemeral works I created as a gift to myself … and probably to my neighbors below.  I could not sleep and decided I should stop pacing the night away.  And so I sat and found some paper and pens … and some leftover lip gloss and decided to see what might end up on the page.


Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

As you may have picked up by reading this blog over time, I am inspired by anything on any given day depending on which way the wind is blowing and how the stars are aligned.  Of late I have been inspired by autumn sun, of course, and also paper crafts.  In part, it has to do with my ongoing collaboration with collage artist Zoe Langosy, and through her and other artist friends learning of the craft of paper cutting — a craft that continues to evolve as artists find new ways to express their skill and imaginations.

As I explore the craft, I am having a lot of fun with layering papers of different colors and textures, and playing around with the concepts that I take for granted in my photography like illumination, the flow of water, and capturing winged creatures in flight.  In the above picture, I want to add a sail boat with billowing white sails.  There’s a reason why but I’ll share that reason later if I manage to make a passable sailing vessel. 😉

Read Full Post »

These lovely little boxes by Ingrid Goff Maidoff are sold at The Shop at Trinity Church in Copley Square, Boston.  I was asked by the manager to take some photos of the merchandise for possible inclusion in an upcoming shop newsletter.  Once the newsletter goes live, I’ll be sure to share.

Read Full Post »