Category Archives: Products

We have joined Houzz.com!

We have joined Houzz.com!  If you are not aware of Houzz.com, you are in for a treat!  This website is a fantastic place to get design ideas, find home professionals and to shop for all home-related products.  The site also offers helpful articles and an opportunity for people to ask for suggestions about their projects.

Our products can now be seen at: www.houzz.com/pro/grantlings/artistic-sticks.

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!

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?

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

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?

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.

Inspiring!

After spending time with my family this past weekend doing chores together and then enjoying a hike together in the woods, I started thinking about what inspires me.

Nature is certainly inspiring to me! During freeform3.1our hike, I spotted an interesting display of wild grapevines. The way the vines come out of the ground and reach for the sunlight is exactly the kind of scene that prompted several pieces I have made.

The Garden Art Chair has some wild grapevines on it. These elements take stickwork in an interesting direction as the vines have so much more curvature to them than typically found in sticks from trees. I like it!

Wooing Bench
Wooing Bench

The Wooing Bench was probably the first piece of stickwork furniture that I made that really incorporated the natural materials with very little alteration. The arched pieces used in the back of this bench were roots that had worked their way to the surface of the ground as the tree above had fallen.

The Hobbit Chair was a small-ish whimsical chair that sprouted from a collectionHobbit-chair of branches standing together.

The need for relaxation is also inspiring for me. I love making furniture that people use while relaxing: by the firepit, in the garden, next to a lake, or enjoying the company of others.

The Fire Pit Sit series of chairs has been a blast to make! From those with horse’s heads to the very rustic and redneck version, people have loved these little chairs specifically for the fact that they sit low to the ground – the best position by the fire!

Fire Pit Sit Chairs
Fire Pit Sit Chairs

Our Stick-a-rondack chairs are based on the well-loved LIchair2.2design on the Adirondack chair. Whether enjoying a relaxing moment in the summer breeze, or watching over the lake, or sitting around a fire, these chairs are a perpetual favorite.

We’d love to hear what inspires you!