Monday, September 07, 2009

My latest woodworking - Design by Kathy Wise. I cut, sanded, and put them together. Magnets for your fridge!

I'm working on some votive candle holders - they will be the centerpieces at the Zonta luncheon/jewelry raffle being held this weekend. Will get pictures when done and post then.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Artfire Crazy Train -

100% Coconut Oil Soap - Chai Tea from FayeFarms - doesn't this look great? I've enjoyed using some of the hand made soaps purchased off of Etsy and Artfire this summer. Sure they cost a little more than what I can find in the stores, but I like the handmade soap better.


A little information on Faye Farms:

Studio Announcement:
Welcome to the Faye Farms Soap shop! Every bar of Faye Farms soap is made with wholesome milk from our dairy herd of Ayrshire cows as well as lard or tallow from our naturally raised livestock. All of our soaps are made from scratch using only the highest quality ingredients. We also like to use a variety of vegetable oils and butters to make a beautifully balanced bar of soap with lots of lather.

Enjoy my (Faye Farms) 100% coconut oil soap which gives you mountains of skin loving lather. This soap is scented with Chai Tea, which is such a comfort scent. Just settle on in with top notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, followed by a body of fresh green tea and then topped off with the aroma of creamy milk. Mmmmm

Monday, August 17, 2009

Noveena on artfire: does some wonderful beedwork. I can't imagine the amount of time it must take her to make some of her items. I love the color of these earrings:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Went to Traverse City during the big Film Fest. Didn't see any films, but the gallery there had my daughter's pictures in their front window! They aren't easy to see with the reflections on the glass - but they are the pictures of the masks.

On another front, I have been remiss in posting the Artfire Train participant's items - there is a group on Artfire who are promoting others' shops and items. Today AJewelGift ( ) is being promoted. These are her Christmas Glass disk earrings - They look like little peppermint candies!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happy 4th of July everyone!

We spent the day at my folks. Built them a raised bed flower garden in their front yard. Forgot to get pictures - will have to next time I'm there.

What else have I been up to? Got a few more listings on Artfire and Etsy. Both sites are having "Christmas in July" promotions - do a search for either "Christmas in July" or CIJ to see what everyone is offering. I've got my patterns ( ) for $5 each

And I'm reducing my Christmas ornaments at both and .

Tweedle Dee intarsia version is completed! I even managed to get him listed on both sites! :)

And I found out that my Draft Horse intarsia piece was featured on the site HandMade News. Here's the link to the article:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I got an email the other day. EW had picked up a copy of the magazine I had the penguin ornament published in. She's a sewer, and last Christmas gave all hand made gifts. She sent me a picture of the Penguin she made using my scroll saw pattern! I think her's is cuter than mine! lol

Monday, June 15, 2009

Here's another version of Tweedle Dumb. The difference? This one was done using the intarsia method.

What's intarsia? Rather than using one type of wood and cutting the pieces out like a puzzle, Intarsia uses different types of wood, and each segment is cut independant of the other pieces. The grain direction is different for each segment. And in this case, no colors, dyes, paints were used. What you are seeing is the natural colors of the different woods.
I used leapord wood, satinwood, purple heart, blood wood, aspen (the green wings!) maple, walnut, oak, and a couple other exotic woods that I don't know the name of.
So - which do you prefer and why?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wow - it's been quite a while since I've posted! Life seemed to get too busy there with the end of school and all the kids activities! So - what's been happening??

I got the birds finished... and did an intarsia version of Tweedle Dumb. (Tweedle Dee is on my list of things to do) I'll post the intarsia tomorrow. In the mean time - here's the segmentation versions...

Schools over - My oldest Daughter graduated! Top in her class too!! Whoo Hoo!!! We also got prints made of her watercolor pictures and they are now at a Gallery in Traverse City! High School Senior and in a gallery - does she realize her talent yet?? :)

Now that the kids are out of school I should be able to post more often - thanks for sticking around!


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

All the little birds go tweet, tweet, tweet….

It's springtime! Even with the flurries of snow we are still getting, the birds are out and singing.

I’m cutting some brand new designs from Toni and Sue from Chrestensen Burghout Design. Tweedle Dee on the left has been shaped, while Tweedle Dumb on the right is only partially shaped. Usually when I plan on coloring my items, I use pine for them. But, I thought these two needed something different – I’m going to try a new coloring technique, so I am using Oak wood for these two birds. We will see if the vision in my head comes out in reality!

Staying with the theme, Here are a pair of cascading earrings handcrafted from genuine teardrop garnets and peacock freshwater pearls. They were made by Amy of The Jewelry Shop on Artfire. Amy is from Florida, and makes some beautiful jewelry. You can see more of her wares at:

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Artfire is a fairly new online selling venue. Each person has their own "shop" where they list and sell their hand crafted items from. Every few days I'm going to be featuring different sellers from Artfire!

The first is CaterpillarPeacock ~

Lindsey is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and makes the cutest tiny hats. She first crochets them out of wool yarn, then felts them. In the one shown above, she also added a few swirls. They are only about 4" wide, and clip to your hair with the attached bobby pin.

Check out her shop to see more hats along with the felted calla-lilly jewelry she has listed.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Nope, it's not Halloween - but I am enthralled by these skeletons we saw at the Museum in GR. I can't imagine what someone had to do to get the fully intact snake and bullfrog skeletons they have on display.

These were in a room fashioned after the displays in the original museum - rows of butterflies and birds, rocks and bones. In later years, the displays began to feature the specimens in their natural habitat.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Carousel Ride

We had the opportunity last weekend to go to the Gand Rapids museum where they also have a Carousel Ride. Their carousel has hand-carved horses along with other animals including a giraffe, a lion, and a tiger. I've always loved riding merry-go-rounds ~ as long as I got to ride on an animal that actually went up and down rather than just spinning in a circle!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Sometimes it takes longer to finish a job then the rest of the job took! To catch everyone up, I glued up the dragon using a combination of wood glue and super glue. The super glue acts as a clamp while the wood glue dries.

Then I headed to the local glass shop to see if they could cut me some mirrors. I added a couple more coats of tung oil, then sprayed the wood with a clear sealer. All of this was done over a span of a few days.

The simple job of cutting the backer board, and gluing the mirror to the back took another week or so - But it is finished now. Ok, not quite completed - I still have to add a hanger on the back so it can hang on a wall!

Friday, March 13, 2009

WIP - Coloring continued.....

Looking at what I had done so far, I wasn’t pleased with the colors. It was too “orangish” overall. So out came the sandpaper and stains. I sanded off some of the body color, and used a couple of different colored stains to make it browner. Touched up some of the other areas making them a little redder.

Making any wood “white” without painting it is difficult. I have some white leather dye I’ve used. Most leather dyes are pretty easy to use and mix together. Then there is the white! For some reason the white dye is totally different – which I found out the hard way.
The first time I was using the dyes I would pour them in small plastic disposable cups to mix and use. So I did the same with the white dye. The fact that the white dye is in a glass bottle where the others are in plastic bottles didn’t set off any red flags. But the flags went off when the white dye was all over the paper bag and the cup had melted!

So I use either a glass or aluminum foil to hold the dye now. This project I put all the little teeth in the aluminum foil and used a q-tip to dab white dye on the pieces. I left them to soak overnight.

Once I’m satisfied with the colors, it’s time to get the finish out – I use a tung oil (that’s what it says on the can anyway). The dyes will bleed a little with the addition of the oil, so you have to be careful in handling the pieces. You don’t want the blue to rub off on the white teeth!

The wood is dry, and the dyes make them even drier, so they will really soak up the oil. Let them sit about 15 minutes, then wipe the excess off.

Let these pieces dry overnight. Tomorrow we start gluing!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Segmentation - adding color.

Now it’s time to add color!
I gather together my stains and leather dyes, q-tips, containers for mixing, and a couple of paper bags to work on. Dyes and Stains do exactly that – so wear old clothing when using them, and I suggest rubber gloves (do as I say, not as I do!! Lol)

After painting for years, it was difficult to get used to layering the dyes – With dyes, you put down your darkest color first, then sand, and layer a lighter color dye.

You can see the progression in the next few pictures – in the flame areas, I start with Red dye. Let it dry, and sand some. Layer of Orange dye is added. Again, let it dry, then sand. Last of all I add a layer of Yellow dye.

And with the dragon’s head, I started out with purple, then a layer of diluted blue.
Since I have only a few colors of dye, I tend to mix them to get the colors I need, so even using the same basic colors for a project later on, the colors won’t ever be the same. And I’ve found that the dyes can be diluted with rubbing alcohol, adding even more options to color with.
More tomorrow....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Segmentation - continued....

Place the segments on the extra copy of your pattern to keep track of what piece is what. I also mark the bottom of the wood with a pencil – I’ve found if I don’t do this I will shape the wrong side of the sections!

I’ve started shaping the sections using my dremel and sanding attachment. Use proper safety equipment – ear muffs, safety glasses, and breathing mask. Yes, this is what I look like while working! Lol
After rough shaping, assemble the pieces and mark with pencil where additional wood needs to be removed. Decide if any piece needs to be shimmed up, or lowered.
Finished with the shaping – now it’s time to sand. I use a belt sander for the larger pieces, but end up sanding each section by hand.

Tomorrow we add color!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Work in Progress – wood segmentation

I found a design by Chrestensen Burghout Designs that works well with both segmentation and intarsia styles of woodworking. I’m starting with Segmentation, and will post pictures and explain my progress over the next few days.

I had to enlarge the original pattern and print out 2 copies – one to cut from and another to use to keep track of the pieces. I had a piece of pine in my stash of wood that was the right width. It was warped though, so I had to sand it flat.

After hundreds of passes on my sander, it is flat, and about ½” thick – just the right thickness for the project.

I glue the pattern copy onto the wood using a glue stick. Then cut along each line, separating each segment of wood.

More tomorrow.....

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What is “Intarsia” ? Inlay?? Segmentation??

According to wiki, intarsia is a form of wood inlaying that is similar to marquetry. Which doesn’t mean much if you don’t know what inlay or marquetry is!

So, I’ll try and explain what I think these all are –
Wood Inlaying to me, is to insert 2 or more different species of woods together to create a pattern or picture. Inlay pieces are flat, with no raised portions of wood.
Here’s a wolf inlay I made into a trivet:

Marquetry is inlay done with veneer (very thin pieces of wood) where inlay can be done with thicker wood.

Intarsia takes the inlay theory into another dimension – 3-D if you wish! Each section of the pattern is cut from wood – choosing different species and using the natural grain and color to enhance the design. The sections are shaped, then sanded, then glued together to create the design. Some sections are raised or lowered to create a 3rd dimension to the article. Here’s a horse head that I made in intarsia:

Segmentation is done cutting the sections of the design from a single piece of wood, then shaping and sanding the pieces and adding height if needed. Rather than using the natural color and grain of the wood as in intarsia, in segmentation you add color using stains, dyes, and/or paints. A different horse head done with segmentation:

Coming up ~~ I’ll take one design and show some Work in Progress photos using both the intarsia and segmentation styles.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tea for Two and Two for Tea (insert musical notes here); One for You and One for Me….. (more musical notes…) Just Singin’ in the Rain, Just Singin’ in the Rain…. (continue with the musical notes, and sing along if you wish!)

So – what do the 2 songs have to do with each other? Not much unless you are a follower of Thursday Sweet Treat blog ( Natasha publishes a phrase each Friday for artist’s inspiration during the week. The next Thursday, photos are published of what the artists’ created.

Last week the phrase was “Let Beauty Rain Down Upon Us”. I didn’t get a project done, but a lot of other artists did, including Lois from Our Name is Mud. Now – here’s where the 2 songs connect…. Lois created a cute little Tea Pot using the theme!! You can see her submission along with many other beautiful items on the Blog. And while you are blogging, be sure to stop by Lois’s blog – . After reading about Lois’s vacation, I am glad my kids are grown!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

After a dinner of homemade lasagna and decadent chocolate cake on Fat Tuesday, I woke up today still feeling full. Which won’t last long – it is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and a day of fasting.

Lent is a time to reflect on my life and to work at making it better. A time to give up some bad habit, and a time to improve what I can. The 40 days of lent are based on the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and praying before he was put to death. I can’t spend 40 days isolated, but I will do what I can, pray more than usual, and fast not by giving up all food, but by giving up some of my favorites. And it’s a time to look forward to Easter and Spring.

Something else to look forward to – I am going to start a series of instruction on intarsia and segmentation - the woodworking that I do. I want to take the same pattern and make it using both styles, and posting the steps involved. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mardi Gras Season

It's Mardi Gras season. Fat Tuesday is tomorrow, then lent begins. Enjoy this mask photo as you contemplate what the seasons mean to you. And have a donut or two while you can....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Winter in Michigan, Summer in Italy.

It's snowing again in Michigan this morning. After weeks of the cold, windy weather, I need to take a virtual vacation somewhere warm.
So I went through last summer's pictures of our trip to Europe. The hottest day there - the day we toured Venice.
As we were walking through town, I caught this display outside of a shop. I immediately thought of Dad and his wine making and snapped this picture for him.
What a (virtual) vacation! Eating gelato on the hot streets of Venice, and watching Dad make wine out of home grown grapes!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Sweet Treat

Dreaming in Color

The blog, puts out a wonderful Friday inspiration theme each week. Anyone who wants to participate then has the next week to work on a project and send a picture in to the blog. This week's theme was Dreaming in Color, and this was my submission. Be sure to visit her blog to see all the other great submissions, and to participate if you want!

Celtic Sun mirror
I believe your dreams are a reflection of who you are, and only you can make them come true. I found some of the more colorful woods in my shop to make this mirror. The satin wood, purple heart, oak, and red exotic wood are all natural colored - no stains or dyes were used in the sun.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A View from the Train

My husband and I got away for a weekend - no kids, no cooking, no dishes. We took a tour up to Soo Canada and the winter train ride to Agawa Canyon. 4 hours up, and 4 hours back. Because of the weather we couldn't get off at the canyon. That was OK - way too cold to hang out outside.

This is the view out our train window looking towards the engine.