17 December 2014

Handmade Christmas

Christmas has really snuck up on me this year. Maybe it's because I am doing a handmade Christmas for my family this year, and those projects always take more time than I anticipate. My siblings decided to forgo gifts to each other and just focus on the kids this year. My gift for Catherine's kids is more of a family gift - a set of Notre Dame cornhole boards. Everybody gets their own set of beanbags, so the kids can play their own game while the adults are using the cornhole boards. I'm pretty proud of how these turned out.

The beanbags turned out equally well, though this picture was obviously taken before they were stuffed.

My niece Amelia is learning her colors, and her mommy thought she could use a color-sorting beanbag game. I was happy to oblige. The holes have a fabric pouch to catch the beanbags, and the colors (10 in all) have 2 beanbags each. I think it turned out pretty cute!

I even made a couple things for myself. It's not up to the level of craftsmanship of the other two items, but it's plenty sturdy and helped tidy up my pantry floor quite a bit, though you can see that I've got a long way to go in that regard. One day I'll get around to adding more shelving, but this utilizes the sliver of wall under the light switch pretty efficiently.

I also finally got around to making a cutting board for myself from an old piece of walnut I found. My old bamboo board split in half ages ago and I've been in need of a new board ever since. I just sanded it to bare wood, cut it to size, rounded over the edges, and applied as much mineral oil as it could handle. I thought about routing a juice groove around the perimeter, but the board is not quite as wide as ideal and the groove would have made the working area even smaller. The picture doesn't show it well, but this board is almost too beautiful to use as a cutting board.

03 December 2014

Unfortunately, it is officially too cold to be working out on the roof, so I'm afraid the lovely blue tarp is going to be a little more permanent than I'd hoped. Since I can't do that, I've been busy with inside tasks. I built fence panels:

I also hung insulation, installed battens in the master bathroom, started on the crown moulding in the master bedroom, and painted window trim in the master bedroom that has been primed for 2 years. None of it amounts to a whole lot, but it's something at least. We also spent about a week in October down at Gulf Shores in my sister's condo. We didn't ever want to leave! With this view greeting me every morning and not a speck of construction dust anywhere, can you blame me?

Since my last check-in, we also survived Halloween:

(Mary Poppins, a penguin, Bert the chimney sweep, Madeline, and Boo from Monsters, Inc.)

Thanksgiving, Sam's polydactyly surgery, and now we're on to Christmas preparations. I'm doing a lot of handmade gifts this Christmas, so I'll hopefully update with those projects as they are completed.