Tag Archives: natural materials

Caring for Rustic and Reclaimed Furniture

We are often asked the best way to care for rustic and reclaimed furniture as well as stick work and driftwood furnishings.  LittleBranch Farms in Tennessee has put together a little primer published by mountainiving.com with great tips to help you keep your treasures looking their best for many years to come!

Caring for Rustic and Reclaimed Furniture

Inspired by the Adirondacks

It is probably pretty clear to anyone taking a look at our furniture pieces that we love the Adirondack-style of furniture.  Rustic, yet with refinements.  Cozy, but not too soft.  Natural, yet with a clear design.

This article has some beautiful pictures of Adirondack-style furniture and furnishings.  Take a close look at the stair railing!

An Adirondack-Inspired Guest Suite

Decorating With Nature in Fall and Winter

Who among us is really ready for summer to end? Not many of us, I am sure. However, as much as we might love fall and winter, it is the absence of the things of nature that we miss so dearly. One way we can continue to enjoy nature in the colder months is to bring a little of it indoors. Enjoying furniture and home decor handcrafted from natural materials inside your home is a creative way to extend the feeling of the warmer months.

This article from houzz.com highlights some great ideas of how to keep a bit of nature, and in some instances a touch of summer, in our homes through Fall and Winter.

Decorating With Nature in Fall and Winter

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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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?

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?

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!

Custom Orders

One of the reasons we love getting custom orders for our handcrafted stickwork furniture is that we really enjoy creating pieces that are unique ideas from our customers.  One such order was a set of 6 bar chairs for a family with 6 kids.  The chairs were for the eating bar in their kitchen.  Because of the natural materials we use, each chair was unique, making it easy for each child to have a chair of their own.

Bar Chairs
Bar Chairs

Another custom order we received was for a mirrored pair of Stick-a-rondack chairs.  The customer knew each handcrafted chair would be a one-of-a-kind, but desired to have a touch of symmetry in the design of the chairs that would be placed on her deck overlooking the mountain range.

Match set of  Stick-a-rondack Chairs
Match set of
Stick-a-rondack Chairs

For Christmas 2012, we received a custom order for a desk and chair from a man who wanted his daughter to have a whimsical and unique place to do her schoolwork.

Custom Desk and Chair
Custom Desk and Chair

Our most recent custom order for 8 Stick-a-rondack chairs is well under way – 4 are completed.  Each chair has its own unique character, while contributing to the collection that is clearly a one-of-a-kind set.

Stick-a-rondack Chairs
Stick-a-rondack Chairs

The unique and creative ideas of our customers fuels our imaginations as well!

Favorite Tools – Hewing Hatchet

I have several favorite tools – all of which have very specific jobs to do in the making of my handcrafted Stickwork furniture.  Today I want to show off my hewing hatchet.

Hewing Hatchet
Hewing Hatchet

I use this tool for many jobs.  The job it has been doing most recently has been to “shave” the bark off branches that I am going to be using on some Stick-a-rondack chairs.  It does a fabulous job separating the bark from the branch wood.  So what makes this tool special?  What makes it different than a regular hatchet?

If you look closely, you will see that this hewing hatchet has one side (the left side) that has a flat

Flat side of hewing hatchet
Flat side of hewing hatchet

surface.  Sometimes this is called a flat hatchet, this flat side helps ensure that the natural materials retain their rustic look.

Here’s a little video of this tool in action: