From the Woodshop

Out of town guests? Put them to work!

You can’t have your guest visiting from out of town just hanging out at your house and relaxing. And you absolutely do not want them expecting you to take them sight-seeing or anything like that while they visit!

Instead, you need to put them to work on home remodeling projects! (smile)

April was a busy month. Besides visiting Orlando, Florida (see post Oh Orlando), we also had two sets of out of town guests visiting.

The first set of guests (Marla Jo and Jason) we used to help build a new dresser for our master bedroom. Actually Jason and my partner John worked on the dresser while Marla Jo and I sat around and binge watched television shows, snacked and chatted (yes, that was exhausting work!)

No we don’t just invite people to visit us and then use them for home projects. Jason is very handy (he does amazing builds and remodels) and enjoys working on projects. Also he wanted to learn how to make drawers and John has become very good at making drawers over the past year.

Here are photos from Jason and John working on our new dresser:

The boys had fun playing in John’s workshop in our basement:

Mike the Miniature Schnauzer grew impatient as his Jason (Marla Jo and Jason used to be Mike’s babysitters when I lived in Oregon and went out of town) was ignoring him and not playing ball with him (Mike felt Jason should have been able to multitask, ha!)

So Mike kept tossing his ball between the back of Jason’s legs while Jason worked on the dresser.

We did actually take them sightseeing as well as out to a nice meal during their visit; and even visited with them. But most of their visit the boys did work on the dresser.

After they left to return to Oregon, John completed the dresser on his own and finished it with a beeswax and mineral oil mix that Jason recommended.

And here is the finished dresser in our master bedroom that two important men in my life worked on:

It was very exciting to put my clothes in it!


Postscript

Marla Jo and Jason are family to me and they have embraced my partner John. Jason drove my stuff 1200 miles from Oregon to Colorado when I relocated in April 2019 after my husband died in December 2018. They were both there on the most awful day of my life and watched my dog Mike when I traveled to see family and friends after my terrible loss.

They are very happy to see me in my life now and to also see that Mike the Miniature Schnauzer is doing so well. Jason took these adorable photos of Mike, posed with his favorite toy – “Beary”- during their visit:

A Crafter's Life, From the Woodshop

From the Woodshop

Crafting wise I do not have much to report as I am finished with the granny square blanket (see previous post Attack of the Giant Granny Square Blanket) and I am currently working on hand stitching Seattle Scrappy (see previous post and the post An Update on “Seattle Scrappy” – Haphazard Stitching… ).

So I am going to take this opportunity to share what the other crafty person in the house, my partner John has been working on.

A couple months ago we turned part of our basement into his woodshop (we had it professionally drywalled as well as electrical added, while John put in the floor and did all the finishing work), so he could have his own “craft room”.

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His workshop is a work in progress and evolving. For the first time in his life he has his dream of having his own dedicated woodshop beyond just tinkering in the garage.

John and I met in mid-2019 after suddenly each losing our long time spouses/life partners in 2018. We decided that since how long you have to live your life is unknown (when you become a widow/widower you think a lot about your own mortality in addition to grieving the loss of your spouse) we would not hold back from having our dreams (within reason and within financial possibilities of course!). One of his lifelong dreams was to have his own woodshop!

(One of our shared dreams is travel and pre-COVID pandemic we had many plans for travel in 2020, but you all know about “best laid plans” when it comes to 2020…)

Mike the miniature schnauzer did a guest blog post a couple weeks ago (yes, yes, stop your disbeliefs that my dog writes blog posts, ha, ha) on some of the projects John has been working on – Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On , but I thought I would share some of the projects since that post.

Wood Blocking Board

I saw on Instagram wood blocking boards for granny squares and asked John if he could make me one – and he did!

Here is an image of one I found online and texted him the image:

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He watched a couple YouTube videos and checked out some on Pinterest and figured it out how to make me one:

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It’s going to be great to use for making my next granny square blanket – I can stack my blocks pretty high with the long pegs.

Bike Holders/Storage

John loves Pinterest as a great source of ideas. He wanted to get our bikes off just sitting on the ground of the garage and found a cool design for a bike rack and made one for each of our bikes!

He made mine first so most of the images are of mine with some detailed images of the rack to include the little drawer he built for it also. 

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The little drawer is perfect to keep your biking gloves and other small items related to cycling. It is very easy to lift our bikes out of the holders.

Magnetic Board

I am obsessed with Scrabble letters. I have a collection of Scrabble letters from thrift stores and old Scrabble games. I’ve made gifts from them in the past like friend’s names spelled in Scrabble letters affixed to a magnetic strip. Recently while at a thrift shop I found a bag of Scrabble letters with individual thin magnetic strips attached. 

This led to the idea of creating a magnetic board for my home office where I could write inspirational messages for myself with Scrabble letters! I asked John and he made it happen!

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Currently up on the board I have the Maya Angelou quote:

Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.

Custom Tables for his Woodshop

The first table John made for his woodshop was a table/stand/storage for his Miter Saw:

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He used purchased plans he downloaded online to make this table and then made some adjustments for his needs.

Recently he made himself another table/stand/storage, this time without pre-purchased plans! He designed a table for his Planer with storage drawers with cool pulls he ordered online:

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Exercise Room for Water Rower

And the big project that John recently completed did not technically involve his woodshop as he did much for the work in the garage – he converted part of our unfinished storage room in the basement into an exercise room for our new Water Rower. This involved framing out and dry walling the room. A wonderful friend helped him with a lot of the initial labor related to framing,  installing the drywall, and pulling electrical for lighting and wall outlets.

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The artwork in the room was my idea and I found it at a thrift shop. John created the frame around the world map. I figured we can daydream about travel while we row.  We found a television on sale and an inexpensive TV mount online so we can watch rowing instructional videos (or Netflix) while rowing.

We repurposed an old bookcase for our “gym” towels and water bottles like they would have at a real gym. John also put in a vent for the room for ventilation while we break a sweat.

Well I better go work on my hand stitching so I can have something to show you in the future – John makes me look pretty lazy!


Postscript

Do you remember how in the post The Inpatient Schnauzer: Update on the Granny Square Afghan (Guest Blogger), Mike the miniature schnauzer was getting impatient for me to finish the granny square blanket? So it is all finished but he seems to have moved on!

He is now in love with a new fleece blanket we recently picked up and has become inseparable from it!

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I guess schnauzers are fickle!

Let me close this post with a sign/piece of artwork I discovered while thrifting that I put up outside John’s woodshop door. I think it goes with the aesthetic of a woodshop and also embraces how we are hoping to live our lives:

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Feature Image Photo by Joel & Jasmin Førestbird on Unsplash