A Tale of Two Tables, part 1

Originally published Feb 28, 2012

It’s been a while! I’ve been in the garage, building stuff. What stuff, you ask? Tables! I decided that it would be cheaper (and certainly more fun) to build my own tables to spec than it would be to hunt around at Ikea and various secondhand shops for tables of not-quite-the-right-size. All you DIY people know what I mean.

Of course, the last time I did any woodwork was … never. So never let it be said that I lack ambition when it comes to building stuff.

But I found an amazing site full of furniture plans. Thank you, Ana White! Armed with a plan (yes, carpentry puns!) I headed off to Lowe’s. And then it snowed. Remember my lumber, languishing in the back of my car? Yes, that lumber. Anyway, after the great thaw, I went to work. With some pretty retro tools:

It may be old, but it still has a lot of life (and sparks) in it.

old school black and decker drill

Who could resist such a pretty saw?

retro handsaw with floral detail on the handle

These are my dad’s. I suspect they are older than I am. But they sure do work. And although I was handicapped by only having two C-clamps (oh, the humanity!), I made quick progress on Day 1:

Table legs!

table legs

Legs, meet stretchers:

table legs with stretchers

“Measuring” boards for the top:

putting on the tabletop

And by the end of the day, I had this sexy little thing:

a finished small table

It only wobbles a tiny bit (I forgot that the square only works when you actually pick it up and use it), but since this table will live outside on a gravel surface, a bit of rocking really doesn’t matter.

Stay tuned for the saga of the big beater table!

Categories: business, DIY, papermaking, update | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Snow Day!

Originally published Jan. 19, 2012

I finally got my rear in gear and went to Lowe’s to get my lumber and assorted other necessaries for table making, and then … it snowed. So the back of my car looks like this:

fresh cut 2x4s

It’s too cold to be out in the garage all day without warm gloves, and gloves + powertools = nasty accident in my mind. But in the meantime, I’m knitting like mad (snow and ice is perfect knitting weather, truly) and getting inspired by all the winter scenery. Behold:

icy trellis

iron sunflower

icy rose

frozen rosemary

swirly grass


frozen grass

icy olive tree

Categories: business, DIY, papermaking, update | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

What do 40 pink flamingoes and a kangaroo hide have in common?

Originally published Jan. 11, 2011

They were both hiding in my parents’ garage!

We spent a festive New Year’s weekend hauling boxes around and shoving stuff aside so that I’d be able to get The Critter down from the rafters and actually set it up in the proper place to begin pulping. The poor thing has been neglected for over three years, so here’s hoping it still works …

I can’t decide what I’m most excited about – getting set up in general, or the fact that the Critter is a weird size, so I have to get to build a table for it. Power tools! Hammering! The smell of sawdust! The possibility for mayhem and frustration …

Anyway, I figure some of you might be wondering why on earth my parents have 40 pink plastic flamingoes stashed in their attic. Well, they’re left over from ambushing family members on their 50th birthdays. Wake up, have your coffee, walk outside – GAH! There’s a flock of bright pink birds all over my lawn! Very amusing. Ten of the birds found a permanent home after my ornithologist uncle turned 50 and decided he liked a little color in his yard.

The kangaroo hide has an equally weird little story behind it. I was in Adelaide, SA, on spring break with my parents after my study abroad term. Dad needed a new belt, so we found a little leather and shoe shop – the kind that you can’t find in the US anymore. The owner was a bit frazzled – he was about to close, and he was late for a big dinner party, but he didn’t want to turn us away. So he handed my mom and me $50 and asked if we would please go buy him a bunch of fresh oysters while he helped Dad find the right belt. We did, and when we got back, I found a beautifully tanned and pared kangaroo skin, dyed with walnut and then crumpled. I had to buy it. Wouldn’t you?

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Originally published Sept. 24, 2011

What an interesting day I’ve had! Today was BizFair, a free information fair and seminars for small business owners in Washington. While I am not a business owner (yet!), I do want to be one, so I decided to go check it out. Well! I’m so glad I did! All kinds of interesting stuff to learn and people to talk to. I am so fired up for starting my own business, now. Not that I wasn’t before, but now I have focus.  🙂

So, I’m just waiting to hear back from the office of the Secretary of State on whether or not my business name – Waiting for the Rains, of course! – is taken or not. Fingers crossed it’s not, because I’m terrible at coming up with names. Once I hear back, assuming all is well, it’s off to the races!

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Back in Seattle, at long last

Originally published Aug 15, 2011

It only took a whole year longer than it was supposed to, but I am finally done with Texas! Oh, and that degree thingy, too. As of last Friday, I have a Masters degree in Geosciences, that I’m not really planning to use in any official capacity.

I still like geology, of course, but the original plan of geology = career while art = hobby seems to have flipped on its head. I like art way too much to relegate it to hobby status. And geology, you ask? Well, it turns out that I like to look at the natural world and marvel at it, but ask me to sit down and quantify it as I would have to do for a job, and I just want to curl up and whine.

But how do I turn my love for all things fiber into a career?

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