Under the Weather…

Getting pneumonia at the end of May is certainly a surprise! Jeff has been through quite a week of feeling very poorly. It would seem that he is finally on the mend, but full recovery is slow coming.

Sick with fever clip art

(Free Clip Art Provided by Artclips.com. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved)

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!

COgate1.1

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.

footboard1.1 headboard1.1

Hoping you are feeling better soon, Jeff!

Variety is the Spice of Life…

Recently, we had the opportunity to make

Stick-a-Rondacks
Custom Order Stick-a-Rondacks

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

photo by John O'Connell/George Washington Bridge/Wikimedia Commons
photo by John O’Connell/George Washington Bridge/Wikimedia Commons

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!

Manhattan Skyline/www.freefoto.com
Manhattan Skyline/www.freefoto.com

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!

Enjoying a break in Southampton
Enjoying a break in Southampton

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?

How Do I Protect My Stickwork Furniture?

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!

Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane
Minwax Helmsman
Spar Urethane

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.

Jeff applying Helmsman to a      Stick-a-rondack chair
Jeff applying Helmsman to a
Stick-a-rondack chair

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…

rack3 LIChairs2.5

Talented Friends! Meet Juli Parsons

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!

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Treasury Break: Spring Yard Zone

Sharing a great Treasury on etsy.com that features our Fire Pit Sit Chair!  Enjoy!!

‘Spring Yard Zone’ by ElevateYourDecor

Great items to get you ready for a smooth and easy start to Spring.


Giant Dice – Yard Dice with …

$36.5

Hand Painted Pot With Whimsi…

$17

Clay Wind Chime Garden Bell …

$39

Morel Mushroom Handcrafted, …

$25

Large Bird Feeder, Primitive…

$99.99

May FlowersSale – Richloom K…

$69.49

PORCH SWING French Country …

$250

The Fire Pit Sit, Lounger St…

$245

Round Up 37″ Ranch Stee…

$1850

Adirondack Chair Kits (2) -…

$243

Sweet Stick: S’mores are…

$22

Plant Hanger, Wrought Iron

$18

Herb Planter with Tray and T…

$125

Mid century modern ceramic h…

$42

Hanging Tiki Torch

$20

Yard Jenga/Giant Jenga/tumbl…

$85

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Let’s get ready to Garden!

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!

IMG_3813Growing 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!

Arbor-#2I 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!

Garden Tower
Garden Tower

Where have you used unique pieces in your garden?

Coming Events: Arts in the Park, Bucyrus, Ohio

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!

Stickwork Plant Stand
Stickwork Plant Stand

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.

Garden Art Chair
Garden Art Chair

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!

Treasury Break

Just a little break in the day to share that our Garden Bench was featured in this Treasury on etsy.com.  Enjoy!

‘For The Garden’ by thesugartoothdragon

Wonderful items that I would love in my garden!


Self-watering Violet Planter…

$60

slip cast porcelain geometri…

$30

Winged Lion Stone Sculpture …

$30

Geometric Hanging Porcelain …

$36

Cat Chat Noir Black Cat Yard…

$30

Gazing Ball, Garden Art. Pre…

$175

Cottage Garden Mason Jar Sha…

$185.5

Purple Dragon Flamingo garde…

$85

Metal Daisy Garden Sculpture

$75

24″ Garden Art Metal Sp…

$200

A Garden is where the Soul F…

$14.95

Celtic Knot Art, Garden Ston…

$28

Stone Flowers Garden Art …

$130

15 Petal Steel Flower for Ga…

$59.95

Garden Bench

$650

Dragon Garden Statue – BIG S…

$99.99

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Top 10 most Viewed Products in our Etsy.com Store

We all love Top 10 Lists, so here is one to share with you today. These results are the Top 10 most viewed items in our store and based on the statistics for our shop on etsy.com for the past 30 days.

10. Walnut Side Table

Side Table with Black Walnut slabs
Side Table with Black Walnut slabs

9. The Fire Pit Sit chair

Fire Pit Sit
Fire Pit Sit

8. Three-Legged Stool

Three-Legged Stool
Three-Legged Stool

7. Console Table

Console Table
Console Table

6. Stickwork Camp Chair

Camp Chair
Camp Chair

5. Stickwork Locust Garden Bench

Locust Bench
Locust Bench

4. Garden Bench, Walnut

Walnut Bench
Walnut Bench

3. Stick-a-rondack chair

Stick-a-Rondack
Stick-a-Rondack

2. Rustic Gate

Rustic Gate
Rustic Gate

and the most viewed piece in our shop in the past 30 days was…

1. Baker’s Rack

Baker's Rack Potting Bench
Baker’s Rack
Potting Bench

Which pieces have you viewed? Have you seen any of our top 10? Find these and more in our shop at www.etsy.com/shop/artisticsticks.