All posts by Patty Grant

Treasury Break

Loved seeing this Treasury over at Etsy.com today, and thought I would share it with you.  It has a wonderful collection of items that have a natural feel and lots of natural materials-just what we like!

‘Natural feeling’ by katerinaRam

Trendsetting Treasury Team Challenge 98Featuring Yoko ofJooniJewelry.


Limited Edition Print-Ballad…

$25

Rustic decor, autumn decor, …

$8

Sterling Silver Loop Earring…

$30

Miniature Irish Cottage Hand…

$25

Still Life Fine art photogra…

$12.85

Cute French Vintage Padlock …

$55

Vintage French Table Runner….

$55

Earthy Brown Woodland Mushro…

$25

Wedding Arrow Sign: dark bro…

$48

abstract painting teal brown…

$400

Plain Ole Soap – Handmade So…

$5

Dandelions Wall Art, tribal …

$229

X – Dark Brown Leather Journ…

$32

Rustic Brass Bar Necklace / …

$28

Vintage Lantern – Rustic Cot…

$15

Antique French Storage Box /…

$84

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Arts in the Park, Bucyrus

What a beautiful day!  If we had placed an order for the weather, it would have looked just like it did Saturday.

Stick-a-Rondack and Antlered Coffee Table
Stick-a-Rondack and Antlered Coffee Table

Sunshine and temperatures that were so comfortable, it was almost shocking!

Although it was the first year for this event, the coordinators were brilliant to choose the day – the same day as the Graffiti Cruise Car Show, which is a well-established event, having run for the past 25 years.

The vendors had awesome wares – hand made baskets, jewelry and pottery, as well as home decor and even hand crafted brooms!

boothshotbucyrus1.2We loved meeting people and sharing Jeff’s talent for making this stickwork furniture.   We heard several comments from people that they had never seen anything like this style of artisan furniture before.

Book Case
Book Case

The all-sticks version of the Stick-a-Rondack found it’s way to a new home in a garden surrounded by purple coneflowers… I think it will have a wonderful life!

Bye, Bye Chair!
Bye, Bye Chair!

 

 

We had quite a few great matches of tic-tac-toe on our board, with one match lasting the better part of 30 minutes!  I think the kids were having fun!

tictactoeBucyrus1.1

 

 

We were glad to have been a part of the first ever Arts in the Park in Bucyrus -and look forward to seeing the event grow over the years!

Father’s Day

Did you remember that June 15th is Father’s Day?  I have to admit that I did not: I was expecting it to be the following Sunday!  Imagine my surprise to see it a week earlier than I had planned.

Patty and her Dad
Patty and her Dad

I love spending time with my Dad: he’s one of the champs in my life. He’s always easy to be with, and he is a great conversationalist.  He volunteers at least weekly for the local chapter of the Red Cross.  He has great stories about his life including his service in the Marines in WWII and working for the railroad.  He has traveled many places in the world as a travel agent and is amazing at solving crossword puzzles.  In his 70’s he decided to learn Algebra and Spanish: did I just hear you gasp?  It’s true, he really did.

I could brag on my Dad for a long time, as I am sure many of you could.  I am glad that there is a day designated to celebrate Dads!  I know I will be celebrating my Dad.

The other greatest champ in my life is Jeff.  He is

Jeff
Jeff

an amazing Dad to our two boys.  He is patient and caring, and is their biggest cheerleader in life.  I cannot imagine a better man to teach my boys how to be men in this world.  He challenges them when they need to be challenged and he allows them to make the kinds of mistakes from which they will learn so much about life.  He is helping them to see that they can push themselves to do more than they think, to be brave enough to pursue big dreams, and how to be young men of integrity and purpose.  And, above all that, he has given them one of the greatest gifts of all: he loves them unconditionally.

I hope your day celebrating your Dad, or being celebrated as a Dad is a very enjoyable day!  And my favorite men: Happy Father’s Day!

Garden Gates

Garden gates speak to something in many people.  I don’t know whether it is the natural materials that bring a sense of peace from nature to mind, or if it is  the enticement to join nature in growing things.

What I do know to be true is that many people love garden gates.  When we started using Pinterest, I

Hand Hewn Garden Gate
Hand Hewn Garden Gate

pinned several of our artisan stickwork gates.  One of our pinned gates, a Rustic Hand-Hewn gate, now stands with over 427 re-pins and our Rustic Stickwork gate has over 410!.  That is just amazing to me!  Until all these pins, I had no idea that people were so crazy for gates!

Rustic Stickwork Garden Gate
Rustic Stickwork Garden Gate

I think one of the things so many people like about the visual aspect of a garden gate is that they are just so inviting.  They draw your

Stickwork Arbor entering garden with gate
Stickwork Arbor entering garden with gate

 

attention to a world of lush garden foliage, creative pathways, and scents. Or they appeal to the imagination to fill in what could be.

Large gates protect our fruit trees and gardens, smaller gates usually help keep small critters (or children) from venturing in to areas where safety would be at issue.

How do you use gates?

Going Rustic

I was recently reading a blog article at www.lpostrustics.com, where the statement was made, “As our world gets more and more complex, many look to a quiet retreat reminiscent of a simpler time.” I think that is very true.  What we are seeing is people finding their way back to rustic decor, some of whom are using it in new ways.

Whether it is live edge slabs of wood being combined with more modern elements such as ironwork structures or a marriage of rustic natural wood married to painted surfaces, rustic accents are finding their way into homes where they’ve never been used before.

Live Edge Table with Aluminum Frame
Live Edge Table with Aluminum Frame

What is behind the shift?  One reason, I believe, is that there are more and more people interested in living simply. For many, that means a reconnection with nature, and bringing more nature into their everyday lives.  What better way to bring more nature into your everyday life than to incorporate all varieties of rustic furnishings into your home?

Stickwork furniture fits into this growing niche market.  The natural materials, and the very organic design of our artisan furniture brings the essence of nature into a room.  This can be accomplished through decorating an entire room with rustic furniture, or by bringing in elements to a room such as with a console table, a coffee table or a whimsical piece of home decor.

Birdhouse Plant Stand
Birdhouse Plant Stand

What are your favorite rustic elements to add to a room’s decor?

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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