In between naps, he’s been dreaming of many new items to make in the shop once he is back on his feet. He will often grab a scrap of paper or even a paper napkin and start sketching when ideas come to him. Even under the weather, he is still being creative!
Today he is finally feeling enough energy to get in the shop and start laying out the sticks he will need for a gate order, and will likely begin assembling it Monday. This gate will need to protect some vulnerable young Aspen trees from pesky deer!
An ongoing project for Jeff is the completion of a bed for our son. The foot board is finished., and the larger framework of the headboard has been started.
a delivery of some fine Stick-a-rondacks, and to meet our customers face-to-face. We covered a large stretch of Pennsylvania, and smaller portions of New Jersey and New York. That was a lot more than a little change of scenery!
During our travels, we saw beautiful views of farmland and rolling hills, and an increasing population density as we traveled east. Although our boys have traveled through some larger cities in the West, nothing prepared them for the sights, sounds and movement of New York City. From the
George Washington Bridge to the Throgs Neck Bridge, the drive was very different from anything our children have seen. Our boys knew NYC was big, but they were genuinely impressed with the enormity of the skyline – even in the foggy rain!
Then came a very pleasant and welcome change (for us country people) – Long Island. How amazing that the pace of traffic could change so quickly in just a few miles. It is no wonder to me how so many people have chosen to vacation there!
Bucolic countryside, mountains, cities and beaches – an amazing variety. Each one has its place and people who love it. And each place gives us a taste of something different, and hopefully a better appreciation for the places we love.
It is always beneficial to travel to new places and see how life is different there for people. We consider it a good rounding out of our perspective. The same holds true in art of all kinds, from fine arts to furniture. Over the past year we have been seeing a lot of modern style furniture with more rustic elements such as metal framework with slabs of rustic, live-edge wood. It would seem that there are more and more people enjoying a little rustic touch in their homes and gardens!
Are you finding that you are adding more rustic touches to your home and garden decor?
There are certainly a wide array of products available on the market these days for giving your handcrafted stickwork furniture a protective coating. Today I want to share with you the product we favor: Helmsman Spar Urethane by Minwax. We love this product as it gives an excellent protection and it is readily available to most people. It also comes in Gloss, Semi-Gloss and Satin finishes giving us a wide range of sheens for our artisan furniture. Of course our focus for the product started with outdoor funiture, but I have to share that we have used it multiple times on furniture intended for indoor use, and I love the finish inside as well!
We often give the horizontal surfaces of our handcrafted furniture several coats of Helmsman before making them available for sale. These surfaces are the most vulnerable to standing water and UV damage which can lead to issues. We then instruct our customers that the pieces will benefit from additional applications in the following years as a matter of maintenance. Obviously, outdoor furniture will require more maintenance than indoor pieces.
Taking a look at the Helmsman website (http://bit.ly/1oXXAzS), it is really easy to see why we favor this product so much:
Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane is specially formulated as a protective clear finish for exterior or interior wood exposed to sunlight, water, or temperature changes.
Contains UV blockers to reduce the sun’s graying and fading effects.
Forms a protective barrier against rain and moisture.
Special oils allow the finish to expand and contract with the wood as seasons and temperatures change.
Ideal for use on doors, windows, trim, bathroom cabinets, bar tops, kitchen countertops, outdoor furniture.
Here’s a sample of our Stickwork furniture to which we have given several coats of Helmsman Spar Urethane…
There are a lot of amazingly talented people out there! We enjoy having so many talented friends, we thought we would share them with you! This time, we are sharing our friend Juli Parsons of Lasercraft Enterprises.
Juli started working with glass 25 years ago, when all the windows of her new home were kicked out by the previous tenant. With all the broken imperfection glass she felt she could redeem the damage if she learned to create something from the pieces. Already being a painter, she certainly had the artistic talent to take on glass. Within 6 months after taking a class on glass, she found that people were wanting to buy the barrettes right off her daughters’ heads, and had her work in 12 countries.
When she is creating a new piece, her inspiration often comes from the experiences God brings into her day. She prays for each piece as she makes it, knowing that the eventual owner will benefit from her prayers. One of Juli’s favorite items to make is kaleidescopes. Fascinated with them as a child, she found her way to making them as a glass artist.
We especially like the pieces Juli has made that include sea shells – what an awesome and unique idea!
To look over a gallery of Juli’s artwork, you cannot escape the obvious that she loves Celtic themes : Celtic crosses, Celtic knots, and Claddaghs abound in her shop!
Juli’s artwork can be found on five continents: North America, South America, Australia, Europe and Asia. It doesn’t surprise us a bit that her art is appreciated so far and wide! You can contact Juli through her Facebook fan page, You can check out her Facebook fan page here: www.facebook.com/pages/Lasercraft-Enterprises-Stained-Glass-Studio/198067160203404.
Here’s a little gallery of Juli’s glass artwork for you to enjoy!
I love gardening! Growing flowers, vegetables, fruit trees, plants – you name it, I love to grow it. I can spend hours drooling over seed catalogs and more time reviewing seed packets at the store. I have already started some seeds, and am really ready to get more going. Spring is here and I am ready to dig in the dirt!
Growing flowers in pots is one of my favorite summer-time routines. Around the deck, on the front porch, and hanging baskets. Jeff has handcrafted several stickwork plant stands and Baker’s racks over the years, all of which have supported my flower habit! These pieces are ideal for displaying potted plants anywhere and everywhere.
This year I am starting a clematis plant to grow on the stickwork arbor at the entrance to our walkway. Arbors are such a great way to add a new dimension to a walkway or entry, or a focal point for a garden. Even without a climbing vine the natural materials are pleasing to the eye!
I am excited to use a couple of stickwork garden towers in my vegetable garden this year. They are made of Locust branches, and they are super sturdy! Cucumbers will be taking up residence on these!
To kick off our 2014 show season, we have been juried into the Arts in the Park show in Bucyrus, taking place Saturday, June 14, 2014. The show will be in conjunction with the Graffitis Cruse 23 Classic Car Show. We are very excited to be part of this new show! Mark your calendar today so you don’t miss out, as this is only about 5 weeks away!
The event is being held at Mural Park in downtown Bucyrus. For 23 years the Graffiti Cruse 23 Classic Car Show Car has been a well attended event, and has been in the top 10 list of Cruisin’ Times magazine for the past 5 years.
Hosted by the Crawford County Arts Council, the Arts in the Park event promises to be a delightful addition to the weekend.
The Arts in the Park show hours are 10am to 8 pm. We will have many pieces of Stickwork Furniture as well as home decor items and garden art. Come see us, enjoy all the artists in the park and the car show!